Friday 30 August 2013

How Do You Have Sex after Kids?

(And, your mom lives in the basement. And, she shares your kitchen.)

Answer: With Great Difficulty!

(Language Warning)

Is this a topic that people are too afraid to talk about? There just isn’t much to find online. It’s not like I’m looking for details or anything. Just ideas. Really. That’s all!

This is usually how it goes for us (some background info: Hubby works at 4am so is up at 3; I haven’t gone back to work yet, but kid #2 doesn’t quite sleep through the night yet…):

It’s 8pm, and the kids are actually in bed. Oh, wait, baby peed. Change his diaper. Give him some more bottle, and when he’s back to sleep, put him back to bed. It’s 8:30 or 9:00.

Me: Wanna have sex?
Hubby: (looking exhausted and slightly comatose) You probably need to sleep.
Me: Apparently I look exhausted and comatose, too, and maybe I’ve been a bit cranky. But I want to.
H: Uh huh.
M: No, really, I do. I want you to fuck me. Just lube me and do me. It’ll feel really good!
Hubby then answers with either an “Okay”, or he tells me yet again that I need some sleep and then proceeds to snore.

Sometimes the kids are at daycare for the afternoon, and when Hubby gets home after lunch, my mom isn’t home:

Me: You wanna get frisky?
Hubby: Okay. When does your mom get home?
Me: I don’t know. We might have half an hour. We might have three.
H: K. I just have to wash up.

This is usually followed by either a quickie, or some actual love-making. Usually it’s the former. And, more often than not, we’re just getting going/I’m about to get loud, and my mom drives up. Now we have to finish quickly and quietly, and hope that she thinks we’re napping.

Yeah, we try to nap as much as possible. (It helps with the comatose thing.)

Sometimes on Hubby's days off we try to get jiggy in the morning before the kids wake up. Or, before my mom comes up to make her breakfast (we really need to get a kitchen put in downstairs).

This usually starts out with good intentions, but sometimes ends up with me “napping" solo for a while after Daddy gets up (he had time to finish) to deal with morning potty breaks, wet diapers, and Cheerios.

I do have to admit that Sex After Kids has been more possible lately, but it can still be tricky trying to find some alone time where you have enough time and enough privacy—and enough energy—to get the job done with great satisfaction. “Satisfaction” is a relative term. Sometimes “satisfaction” means a good, hard, fast quickie, and sometimes you’re so tired that an hour of effort on everybody’s part produces only a mediocre result, and you wouldn’t normally call that satisfied, but at this point, it’s been a while, and you got some, so you’ll take it.

And then try again the next time the house is empty/everyone else is asleep.

How do you find the opportunity for some good alone-time?

Wednesday 28 August 2013

We Are the Millers

I needed to laugh yesterday, so I picked "We Are the Millers" over "City of Bones". (My husband's probably thanking me, even if he said it didn't matter.)

Sure, there were a few holes in the plot (such as, what kind of DEA Agent can't smell a "pot baby"?), but we did laugh out loud. A lot. I just hope that my husband never feels the need to describe his haircut the same way that Dave does.

Just as funny, if not even funnier than the movie? The outtakes.

What movies made you laugh lately?

Sunday 25 August 2013

Chester the Molester

Sometime in my early twenties, which was also sometime in the nineties, I got a job as a First Aid Attendant in what’s known as The Oil Patch. I mostly worked on drilling rigs, but I occasionally did some pipeline and plant work, and once some seismic.

Drilling rigs were nice because they were 24/7 jobs, so I usually had my own shack, or at least half of one, whereas the other jobs were day jobs (AKA Truck Jobs), and I usually had to sit in my truck for twelve plus hours. Because I could never master the art of wearing sunglasses while “reading” an opened newspaper (a friend of mine could do this; said one guy, “I can never tell if you’re sleeping or not.” She usually was, but she could wake up before they got too close), it wasn’t that much fun.
Sure I got to read lots, and sometimes the road-radio chatter was amusing, but truck jobs didn’t usually come equipped with toilet facilities of any kind, unless you counted the trees. Have you ever seen the forest in the muskeg? A wheat field in the spring would provide better cover. Anyway, I digress, and this topic could be a whole other story, so I’ll leave it for now.
Back to the drilling rigs.
My second job ever was on a Bach-Camp job. In other words, the guys could stay in a nearby hotel (which was in the middle of nowhere on the Alaska Highway, north of Fort St John), but I had to stay on site in a shack 24/7. It was me, the Consultant for the Oil Company, the Tool Push (Rig Manager) for the Drilling Company, and a Geologist. I was the only woman.
I had my own shack, which was nice. I had to cook my own food, which was really nice because at that time I was a vegan, and camp food sucked—all salads came with ham or bacon.
I had a TV, but I didn’t have my own satellite receiver; I was tied in to the Consultant’s receiver, so I had to watch whatever he watched. His name was Chester, and I secretly called him Chester the Molester. Before you panic, let me clarify that he never molested me. I just called him that because he was always winking at me, which, when you’re the only girl around for miles on a rig staffed by men that are called Rig Pigs for a reason, makes you a little nervous. I was extra wary at all times.
Conversations with him would go something like, wink “Hi Spinny” wink. “I saw you out walking” wink today.” Wink “Where did” wink “you go?” wink. Chester’s winks didn’t occur fast enough to be mistaken as facial tics, but he winked a lot.
Anyway, I had to watch what Lester did, or more accurately, whatever he left on while he wasn’t watching. There were four options: movies (the rarest of them all); The Golf Network; a news network from somewhere that had NOTHING whatsoever to do with our region (or country, for that matter) and that looped the exact same half-hour newscast ALL DAY; and porn. Porn was the most frequent option, so I didn’t watch a lot of TV.
One day I had the TV on for background noise because it was golf or news, but it definitely wasn’t porn for once. I was carrying on with my day, and I happened to look outside at just the right moment to see Chester the Molester walking from the rig to his shack. He went in, closed his blinds, and within one minute, porn was on my TV.
How is a shy, nervous, never-makes-waves, young girl to handle such a situation? Well, it was the end of the month, so I waited a few minutes, and then, playing ignorant, I took an invoice over for him to sign. ;)

I let him keep the pen.

Saturday 24 August 2013

I Preview Samples on my Kindle and I Still End up with Crap

Does someone sit around at Kindle and decide where exactly to end a sample so that it hooks you in and hides how hideous the writing is beyond this point?

Do they contact the authors and say, "Yeah, hey, so you know that book you just wrote? Do you think you could rewrite the first five pages, maybe take out the comma faults, and try to make the heroine not seem so much like a wishy-washy, simpering idiot? Just for the sample section though. That'll make it good enough that people who want to be interested and insist on good writing before actually purchasing the book will do so.

"No worries about the stupid, simpering-idiot heroine who spends the next fifteen chapters going back and forth about the hero and about how much she hates and loves him at the same time (run, daisies, run!)--sure, she needs therapy (if you're doing a sequel, get her some fricking therapy), but so long as you make her seem like a strong, I'll-avoid-abusive/toxic-relationships kind of girl in the sample section, people will still buy your book."

Argh. Sometimes it's really easy to spot the crap, but lately I've ended up with some really stinky stuff. At least it's been cheap!

Friday 23 August 2013

#5: Make sure your child gets sufficient sleep.

I whole-heartedly agree with this one. Well, I do in theory, anyway.
I’d like to know, though, if there’s a list somewhere called “101 Things Children Can Do to Help Their Parents?” If there is, somewhere on it is “Make sure that you let Mommy get enough sleep; she’ll be in a much better mood for when you do things that you categorize as fun but that she categorizes as ‘Really?’ or ‘Oh for Crying out Loud’ (often followed by actual crying).” 
Because let me tell you, I could use “sufficient” sleep. What would Sufficient Sleep be? Ideally, eight hours. Pipe Dream, I know. Okay, okay, sufficient would be getting to bed at a reasonable hour, followed by four to five straight hours of uninterrupted sleep with a short break for a diaper change/potty break, quick drink and a quick cuddle before quickly falling back to sleep, followed by another two to four hours of sound sleep before having to get up for the day. Oh heck, I’d be happy with just “more” sleep!
I don’t think that getting your child to sleep through the night is quite what they mean, however, although that would probably help.
I think what Eva probably means is that we should put our children to bed early enough so that when they awaken from a steady slumber in time to get on with their day they’ve slept for as many hours as recommended by people like these guys. And if not, we should provide our children with opportunities for naps (which, I’ve been told (by my mom) should be on a regular schedule and shouldn’t be prevented or interrupted by “errands” etc.
Okay, that gives me: 1. sleeping through the night, 2. going to bed early enough, and 3. naps.

1. Let me start with sleeping through the night. My first child did as a baby, and he’s really good at it now. It took a year and a half, though, to move his chosen bedtime of two a.m. (want to know how many TV shows I watched on DVD while we did four+ hour breastfeeding marathons? A few. And Yay for the DVR) to nine p.m. He’s now three and we are just getting him in bed and to sleep (not always the same thing!) by eight p.m., sometimes earlier. No matter when he falls asleep, he sleeps until seven on average, which has been awesome.
Enter child number two. He’s now almost a year. He goes to sleep for the night much earlier that his big brother, but it’s an anomaly for him to sleep for more than three hours at a time (it used to be one to two hours, so there has been some improvement). Until very recently, a night typically went like this: nurse for an hour to fall asleep; if it’s before eight, pee my diaper within an hour of being put in the crib; nurse some more to fall asleep again; sleep for two to three hours before peeing my diaper at about eleven or twelve; so that I don’t wake up my older brother by screaming through the diaper change, bring me to bed with you so that I can nurse for two hours while you “sleep” and then change my diaper and put me back in my crib; sleep for two to three hours before peeing my diaper at about three; so that I don’t wake up my older brother by screaming through the diaper change, bring me to bed with you so that I can nurse for two hours while you “sleep” and then change my diaper and put me back in my crib; if it’s before four, sleep until four and bring me to bed to nurse while you “sleep” until it’s time to get up (I might go back to my crib for an hour, but good luck with that); if it’s after four, I might go back to my crib for an hour, but it’s not recommended to try.
Recently, I’ve been putting up with a lot of biting in the hopes that it’s just a once-in-awhile thing like it was with child number one, but he finally drew blood the other day and I just can’t nurse anymore. So now I’m expressing, and he can bite all he wants (poor bottle nipple). Now a typical night goes like this: a bottle? Really? Sigh. Suck back the meagre amount that you managed to squeeze out earlier, and let you sing and cuddle me to sleep (and after the first night, I won’t scream that much); you can express some more at this point; sleep for a couple hours until I pee my diaper; this time I guess it’s okay for you to change my diaper first; suck back a bit of milk from the bottle, but let me tell you, I’m pissed off about the change in delivery modes; cuddle me back to sleep and I’ll sleep for a couple of hours until I pee my pants etc. etc. etc.; oh wait—it’s four and you just couldn’t stay awake after I fell asleep last time, so instead of expressed breast milk you’re giving me formula? Wtf, lady. Sigh. I guess I’ll drink some, but I’m going to be talking to my union rep about this when he wakes up (Mom in: I’m assuming he means his big brother. Or, maybe his father); I’ll go back to sleep, but only until six, whereupon you will give me the rest of the formula while I pretend to drink it while snuggling in bed with you in your hopes of my falling asleep again. Ha ha, joke’s on you! Get up lady!
I know that there’s a book out there on how the French mommies get their kids to eat veggies and sleep through the night (one woman was embarrassed that it took her baby until three-months-old to sleep through the night), and during one brutal night I did an internet search for books on getting babies to sleep. I found this so I thought, “Never mind,” and I’ve been making enough progress to make me think that one day I’ll look back on all of this and laugh. Someday.
2. Going to bed early enough: sleep training does work—you just have to be consistent and stronger willed than the child. Lol.
To get child number one to sleep before two, and then before eleven, and then at around nine, without having to nurse/rock/swing and sing, I followed the advice given to me by a daycare operator (I was preparing to go back to work and therefore was shopping around for childcare).
She suggested putting the child to bed at bedtime. Let him cry. After five minutes, go in and check his diaper; change it if necessary. Do not engage with the child—IE don’t talk to the child other than maybe a quick hug, I love you and/or good night. Let him cry. Go back in after ten minutes and repeat the diaper check etc. Go back in after fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty minutes and so on. The first night took three hours or more before he fell to sleep. But I got a LOT of housework done in between checks. The second night took an hour and a half. The third night was less than thirty minutes. After that it only took ten (until toddlerhood).
As a toddler, we’ve managed to get his bedtime to an even earlier hour by following several steps: I set an alarm for starting supper so that we eat by six or so instead of “Oh! It’s seven? When did that happen? What does everyone want for dinner?” I also have two alarms half an hour apart that say “Snack or Bath-time” (depending on when supper ended determines the order of snack and bath-time). Snack Time is important because it prevents the “Mommy, I’m Hungries” five minutes after going to bed. Actually, they’ll still try it, but now you can legitimately say “I don’t believe you. Go to bed.” Then I have the “Bedtime” alarm which means brush your teeth, get a story, and get to bed. I’m not super rigid with the alarms (life does happen), but it does help me keep on track a little better, and later on I’ll be able to teach my kids a useful tool for taking over bedtime as their own responsibility. There are still nights where he cries (self-soothes) or plays, and we did have a few months of having to tie his door shut so that he couldn’t escape (we tried a baby gate but he just camped out by his door which was not conducive to sleep), but it usually only takes a few minutes for things to get quiet.
We are working on all of this with baby number two. He naturally goes to bed earlier on his own than his brother did, but he does not like to sleep through the night. (See (1) above.)
3. Providing naps. I’ve met people who are housebound at specific times of the day so that their children can nap. Kudos!
Child One’s naps have always been random, and now if they happen, they happen so late in the afternoon that I’m up until eleven with him, so I just deal with a couple hours of evening crankiness and make him wait until bedtime.
Child Two regularly gets sleepy at eleven-ish, one-ish, and five-ish. I like to take the boys to Strong Start which happens from nine to noon. Sometimes I have to be out in the afternoon or evening. Therefore, naptime sometimes gets pushed back a bit. My nephew must nap at ten, so he doesn’t get to go to Strong Start. I’ve found that eventually Child Two gets tired enough to fall asleep at Strong Start (even during noisy Gym Time), while out shopping, in the car, or while visiting. And if he doesn’t, he’ll fall asleep on the way home. I do make sure that if we have a couple of busy days in a row and that if he seems extra tired, we’ll stay home and have a quiet day (Child One appreciates this, too).

So, in the grand scheme of things, I try my best to make sure that my children get sufficient sleep, but life is life, and my kids are who they are, so I’m not going to lose any sleep over any lack of sleep because eventually it all balances out in the end. At least, I think it does. I’m pretty tired, so math is a bit difficult.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

101 Things I Can Do to Help My Children: The Most Important One

Recently I picked up a pamphlet titled "101 Things Parents Can Do to Help Children." I am going to try them all, but not necessarily in order.


The first one, for me, isn't even part of the list. It doesn't even have a number, and it's at the bottom, yet I think that it's the most important Thing of all: "Enjoy life together."

I love it when my kids are happy. I love it when I see that other people's kids are happy. I love it when I'm happy, and I love to see other people happy when they're with their kids.

But, does anyone have perfectly happy kids all the time? And, really, are any parents perfectly happy all the time? Maybe. If that's you, Kudos! I'm not sure that I believe you. More on that later.

My big questions are these: does happiness mean the same thing as enjoyment, do you need one in order to have the other, or can they be independent of one another; and, is 100% enjoyment an attainable (and healthy) goal?

I think that happiness and enjoyment can appear to be the same thing, but I think that they are also very different things. I think that happiness is more of a state of mind or a feeling in your heart, whereas enjoyment is a state of having fun. You can, for instance, be happy with your life in general, but at a particular moment you might not be enjoying what you are doing, or you could be depressed in general, but hey, right this second something tickled your fancy and you actually enjoyed this moment, if even for just a few seconds. So, no, you don’t need one to have the other, but it is probably easier to enjoy life and have fun when you’re happy than when you’re seriously depressed. I’ve known this to be true myself. On the other hand, finding a way to enjoy more and more little moments in your life can sometimes help you become happier in life. This too I know.

Is it possible, though, to enjoy absolutely everything you do, to enjoy 100% of your life (in this case, with your child)? I think only you can answer that for yourself, and I’m sure that someone out there will answer yes, and they might even mean it. Me? All I can do is to try. Yoda would be so disappointed.

Oh sure, I want to enjoy life together with my children, and I want them to enjoy life with me. I have to be realistic, though. I think that the more attainable (and healthier) goal for us would be to strive for 100% happiness. Okay, 90%, because let’s face it, crap happens that will make us sad every now and then. Enjoyment, however?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that my toddler doesn’t enjoy his time-outs for inappropriate behaviour. Actually, I’m very sure. Yelling “You’re a bad mommy!” at me while I’m putting him in the time-out is a pretty big clue. But am I going to stop giving him time-outs for things like purposefully pouring his milk on the floor at supper time while you are telling him “No! Please do not pour your mil-argh!”? Or for pushing his baby brother over again when you just told him not to do it again or he’ll get a time-out for it? Nope. Time-outs are a pretty necessary thing; I do not want to be the parent with the completely out-of-control, spoiled brat of a child anywhere, even though he honestly tries to be that child sometimes, I swear.

I also don’t think that he thoroughly enjoys having to wear clothes some days (no really, Buddy, it is a social norm to not go out in public naked, honest), or going to bed when he’s not tired even though it’s dark outside (he’s only rubbing his eyes and crying every two seconds because we’re making him go to bed, not because he’s tired, really), or having to come in from the super-fun backyard for a potty break (because apparently telling him that he’ll be going out again right after is a big fat lie even when it isn’t, and is therefore a cause for a mini-meltdown).

I personally don’t enjoy being called a bad mommy, I don’t enjoy feeling like an ogre because I’m constantly correcting/redirecting inappropriate (bad) behaviour (when, exactly, do children stop testing?), I don’t enjoy how physically and mentally exhausted I constantly seem to be (it would be nice if the baby slept for more than two hours at a time), and I really do NOT enjoy having my nipples almost bitten off (somebody’s getting weaned, which actually makes me a little sad (but my boobs will be happier. And less bloody)).

I DO, however, enjoy reading with my kids, I enjoy playing with my kids, I enjoy going for walks with my kids, I enjoy camping with my kids, I enjoy learning with my kids, and I enjoy laughing with my kids. There’s a LOT that I enjoy doing with my kids.

And, generally, I think that we’re pretty happy.

Do you want the reality check, though? Sometimes I think that the 100% people are lying, and sometimes it’s just really hard.

I said at the beginning that I don’t believe the people who seem to be happy 100% of the time. Sure, you may seem to be having lots of fun, but are you trying too hard? Are you spending more time in your car getting to your fun stuff than you are doing the fun stuff? Are you enjoying the trip, too? Shouldn't we be enjoying the journey as well as the destinations? I don't think that you can enjoy life when you're trying so hard to have fun by doing a million fun things a day that you're stressing yourself out. 
That, and life throws curveballs at you that can make it hard to enjoy every moment in life. Not impossible, but harder nonetheless.

My second pregnancy/childbirth did reeealy funky things to my hormones. Some days it’s all I can do to not cry. For no reason. It takes an extra effort on those days to not snap at my kids and at my husband. Thankfully those days are in the minority.

My friend, however, is fighting (and winning the battle against) Cancer. SHE is exhausted, and with good reason. She is finding it so hard to enjoy her kids right now. She is finding it very difficult to do all of the things that she used to enjoy on a regular basis. In fact, it’s a win for her if she gets off the couch, and she’s feeling guilty about all of the things that she’s NOT doing with her younger child that she did for the older one.

How do we enjoy life with our children when crap like this happens?

For me, I’m trying to find the balance between OCD Uptight Freak-Show and Lazy Lackadaisical Useless Parent. I’m trying to do more fun things with my kids without going overboard—we all need downtime, too.

For my friend, she needs to know that it’s okay for her to spend days on the couch. I’ve seen her on her bad days. She’s still there for her kids, no matter what, which is more than I can say for some healthy parents. She needs to know, too, that it’s okay to take a break from doing all of the things that she used to do (hobbies, crafts, etc.). She needs to know that it’s okay to sleep on someone else’s couch while visiting, because hey, who wouldn’t like to be able to do that? She has an end date for her chemo, so really, she needs to know that there will come a day when she’ll not only feel like, but will be able to do everything that she wants to do. She’ll be able to have more high-energy fun with her kids. For now, though? I’m sure that she has moments where she can find enjoyment with them, even if they’re little moments.

I think maybe I’ll (try to) conclude here (it’s late, I’m tired, and what was supposed to be a shorty has turned out to be a bit long—ramble much?) even if it feels a bit random.

“Enjoy life together.”

In my quest to do these 101 Things, I will try to enjoy them all. And, in doing everything else that I do with my children, and husband, I will try to enjoy them all, too. And, of course, I hope that my kids and my husband enjoy it all too.

I would like us all to be Happy most of the time while Enjoying the Fun things (with realistic expectations, of course) because even though we all have to do things that we don’t want to do at times, the fun should outweigh the miserable. Shouldn’t it?

I'd like it to.

How do you enjoy life with your children?

Saturday 17 August 2013

The Bookshelf (and the Kindle). A.K.A. My Library

I have a bookshelf full of books. A friend of my mother's was excited when she saw it; it makes her sad that so few people have a personal library these days.

I've always loved books, but when I was younger they were expensive (probably in part because they were "real" and partly because my allowance wasn't that big), so my library cards were well used. And, of course, English Literature was one of my favourite classes!

In my twenties I worked as a First Aid Attendant in the Oil Patch (more stories from there, I promise) and I a) made lots of money, b) was often out in the bush for weeks at a time and didn't want to incur late charges at the library, and c) had LOTS of downtime just waiting for someone to do something inanely stupid, so I started buying lots of books.

Now I have a couple of kids and an in-town job that doesn't pay as much (but it's getting better), so the buying of real books has slowed down. A little. I try to stick to series and authors that I already have been collecting. I only add authors that have recently produced some kick-ass series. Or authors that have filled a need . . . but more on that later.

Enter my Kindle. Baby number two does NOT like to nurse while I read real books. He's distracted by the light, and by the turning of the pages. So I downloaded Kindle to my phone and found a couple cheap books that were pretty good. I can now read silently in the dark (so long as I dim the screen)!

I have to admit that I prefer real books. Sure, my husband won't believe that statement since I've been reading tons of e-books lately, but honestly, I love real books. I thought that I'd NEVER go digital, and I still prefer to buy my favourite ("quality") authors in paper, so I reserve e-books for the cheesy stuff that I would prefer not to admit that I read (but I will. Admit it. But only under high duress) and for the books that are only available digitally.

Okay, I'll admit it: I also love digital books. No one knows what you're reading, hubby doesn't know how many e-books I'm buying until he sees the credit card statement, (actually, I don't know how many e-books I'm buying until I see it on paper. Cheap books can add up to a lot of money. . . . Ahem) I can quietly read in the dark, and I'm not carrying any extra weight in my purse when I'm out and about and my phone is right there when I'm waiting in line anyway, so it's really easy to whip it out to read.

But, I still like the feel of real paper in my hands. I love the smell of books. Paperbacks don't really weigh that much, and the batteries never run out. I can also read them in the bathtub (favourite pastime!) without fear of financial ruin; it's not too bad to replace a ten dollar book, but a 500 dollar phone? Yeah, no.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I have an eclectic library and I'd like to share it with you, so I'll be reviewing books that I've recently read, and I'll go back and review the books that I've already read. And, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these books/authors. I'd also like to hear any suggestions for good reads (and warnings against the bad ones).

I'm just going to go pick one. . . . See you soon. Maybe.

Sleep Ever Ellusive

It was a hot night, and Sheila decided to wait until it cooled down a little before she went to bed. Usually she didn't have to wait; usually her children kept her up until then. But not tonight.

Miracle of miracles, the older girl, Melissa, decided that all she needed was another story, and since it was the short Goodnight Moon, it didn't take long. And, the title was wonderfully appropriate. After that, she promptly fell to sleep. It probably helped that she spent a good portion of the day playing outside with the dog. In fact, it was a miracle that Melissa didn't fall face first into her soup at supper, she'd looked that tired.

I'm not looking that gift horse in the mouth, Sheila thought.

The baby was a bit trickier. She was destined to follow the usual pattern of nurse-to-fall-asleep-and-then-wake-up-within-one-minute-of-being-put-in-the-crib, Sheila could feel it. Terri looked a lot like her older sister, though, with a lot of head-resting on the high chair's tray at dinner. Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing for Melissa to interrupt Terri's naps today after all.

Sheila did sit on the couch to nurse her to sleep though. It took over an hour, but Shane sat beside her and they watched a couple shows, so at least she wasn't alone like usual. And, Sheila would take any "couple-time" that she could get.

She finally put Terri in the crib and was oh so hopeful that she'd get more than the usual three hours of sleep before being woken up. She and Shane even got to spend some quality time together.

It was cooler now, and Sheila tried to sleep. Miracle of miracles, no little girls woke up until four! Right when she was actually falling asleep.

Of course.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Sleep of Late

Just when I think that there’s hope for my getting more than three hours of sleep in a row, and not just in a night, it’s smashed into wet, teary smithereens by a seven-month-old monster. I mean baby.

My first kid slept for five hours straight right off the bat. Not until two a.m., mind you, but I could get a decent night’s rest after a nursing/”Firefly” marathon. Kid number two, not so much. This one goes to bed much earlier, but then wakes every one to three hours because he peed. Or needs to nurse. Or, more likely, he peed and now he needs a refill. Oy. And, if he wakes up after about three or four in the morning, I pretty much have to take him to bed with me if I want to get any rest at all because being woken up every half hour for a little suck-fest, well, it sucks. So he eats and I sort of sleep.

And by sort of sleep I mean I sometimes have weird dreams but I get woken up a lot to him rooting around for some boob.

Anyway, lately things have been getting better. Once he goes to bed I have a good few hours to sleep. (It’s not his fault that this is when I choose to check my email or Facebook or some favourite blogs.) The nights he sleeps past three are the nights that I have to get up at three to drive hubby to work because I need the car tomorrow. Then nights I don’t have to get up at three, he wakes up every two hours.

Tonight he was soundly sleeping on my lap so I took him to the crib. He hiccupped. He woke up. He peed. I changed his diaper. Did he go back to sleep? No. He screamed for a good thirty minutes before he was ready for more boob to fall asleep by. But hey, he slept.

Only four more months before I go back to work…

Tuesday 6 August 2013

To Clean, or Not to Clean. Your Plate, That Is.

I frequently, well lately it's sometimes, read this blog. Which recently pointed me to a nutritionist who says we should not be forcing our toddlers to clean their plates or to eat food in a certain order (IE good foods first and treats after).

Okay, firstly let me admit that I pretty much browsed through the second post very quickly because my kids are napping and will wake up any minute now, so I may have missed a pertinent point or two.

Regardless, I'll say that in theory I wholeheartedly agree with her.

When it comes to what our kids eat, it's usually pretty healthy food because that's 98% of what we buy, and when we do buy junk food, it's usually the "healthier" or more natural version, like real ice cream or potato chips that have ingredients that you can actually pronounce and spell unassisted. So to us it doesn't really matter what order the kids eat in, but usually because we eat dinner first before we even offer dessert, that's usually the order it goes in.

When it comes to our toddler, we've learned that sometimes he eats non-stop all day and therefore all it feels like I do all day is to get him meals and snacks. Usually, though, he eats some crackers. And by some, I mean two. Sometimes "two" means two halves of a stoned wheat thin, and sometimes it means two whole stoned wheat thins. Whatever. It's two. We've been okay with that. Because, in the grand scheme of things, sometimes all he eats is vegetables (raw; heaven help us if we cook his!) or fruit.

And, usually, when he's done eating, he's done, and it's all good.

Recently, though, I've been ready to force-feed him the last of his plate. We've had a few late suppers (as in, eat supper and go to bed), but when they've been early or on time, a snack before bed is provided. Lately supper has gone unfinished and/or the snacks have remained uneaten. No big deal, and this should be a non-issue according to Maryann.

I am, however, getting really tired of someone pounding on his door with his little fists while crying about how hungry he is within a five minutes of going to bed, which is within half an hour of the last offering of food (he gets to eat some crackers). And being woken up in the wee hours (read 04:00--a.m.) of the morning for the same reason got old the first time (he gets to eat more crackers).

So, generally, we're happy if he eats. Anything. And however much he wants. But he's either going to be force-fed before bed or ignored all night (but only if I can find my earplugs).

Maybe I should just feed him those magical crackers before bed/at supper. . . . Good thing that they sell them at Costco.

Friday 2 August 2013

KissMyFace Sunscreen Will Never Kiss My Face Again (After the Tubes I Just Bought Are All Used Up). I won't even let KMF KMA.

I recently went on a road trip to a much sunnier part of the province (which wasn't that much different in the amount of sun Home's been getting this year, but wow is 36C ever HOT, especially when humid. And I'm talking about degrees centigrade, not the cup size at a wet tee-shirt contest) and along the way I bought a "natural" sunscreen.

The result: well, let's just say that someday I might actually send in this letter:

Dear KissMyFace,

My search for a wonderful “natural” sunscreen, IE one that uses a physical (mineral) barrier rather than a chemical one, has not gone well.

I have small children, and I want to find something that will be safe for them to use for years to come.

I started out with Consumer Reports’ recommendation, and ordered some Eco. It all came expired. I’m talking, watery, cottage-cheezey grossness. I got my money back, but I needed something sooner rather than later, and the supplier had to wait for a new shipment, so on went my search.

Next I tried a local store which carries Green Beaver sunscreen. Let me just mention that Green Beaver could also be called Greasy Beaver. Oh god, that sounds awful. Maybe Green Butter would be better. Because, let me tell you, it’s like putting on butter, it’s so greasy. It works on the kids, though.

On a recent road trip, I left it at the place I was staying while out on a day excursion, so I stopped at a local store and bought the only sunscreen that they carried, KissMyFace. I picked some up for both my kids and for myself.

The first KMF sunscreen I tried out was the kid’s stuff. The application started out fine, but then holy cow, my kid looked like he had a really bad case of dandruff. Or maybe he was molting in a horrible fashion. Wow does that stuff ever flake up! It made me wonder, is it all rubbing off, or is that just excess balling up and I’m using too much? Maybe I’ll stick to the buttery Green Beaver on the baby so that nothing flakes into his eyes. . . .

Next, I applied the adult version, which, by the way, and since it’s your product, you should know, reads right on the tube: “Blends in Clear!” Whose opinion is that? That intern in your office who lurks behind the Ficas and looks like she’d actually fit in better in Forks, WA because she’s a vampire? Or maybe it’s the new guy in marketing who has a secret zombie fetish. Or maybe the clown that was at your six-year-olds’ birthday party used it and said that it was freaking awesome and that he couldn’t even notice it on.

Seriously, the only people who’d EVER think that KMF Sunscreen blends in clear, are the people whose skin is a pastier white than my glaring white ass. Like vampires, zombies and clowns, and maybe theatre people.

Oh sure, everyone wants to be a source of joy to people versus a bane, but now, until I can find something better I’m stuck being laughed at by all my friends. They laugh at me every time they see me. You know, they look at me, and laugh, and then they turn to redirect their wayward child, and then they turn back and look at me again, and laugh again, and then they walk by me on the way to the water and laugh at me some more.

So then I go into the water thinking that some of it will rinse off, and sure it does, but now it looks worse because it’s beaded up into tiny white balls, most of which have accumulated along the hairlines. You know, the actual hairline, and along my eyebrows, so I kind of look, well, I’d fucking laugh at me if I were someone else and I saw me looking like a total idiot who got “pied” and didn’t quite get it all wiped off.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but it sounds like the kids are actually asleep enough for me to go to bed, so I’ll cut it off here.

I’ll just say that I will NEVER buy KMF sunscreen again. Ever. I’ll take the Buttery Greasy Green Beaver over the Flakey Pasty KissMyFace. It has a higher zinc content anyway (and I think worked better anyway), and no titanium dioxide, which might be your problem with the ghost effect your product has.

No wonder it was on sale.


A Person who won’t even let KMF KMA.