Saturday, March 31, 2007

Now why didn't I think of that???

" I buried a lot of my ironing in the back yard."
--Phyllis Diller

Things My Parents Taught Me...

  • When dining out with your spouse, share one entree.
  • Don't be a Wet Blanket.
  • Have cats and hamsters, but not at the same time.
  • Don't slam doors.
  • Take a pair of crummy shoes to wear in case it rains.
  • A proper good-bye to guests includes standing on the doorstep and waving.
  • Ride a bicycle.
  • Keep in touch with relatives, even if you can't stand them.
  • Write thank-you notes.
  • Don't go to Mexico.
  • Feed stray animals and people.
  • Support Public Radio.
  • Always take a group photo, and don't forget to remove the lens cap.
  • Use the vcr, and bleep through the commercials.
  • Learn to love opera.
  • Carry a small handbag.
  • Always know where your glasses are.
  • Play the piano, and watch your fingering.
  • Keep a bag of bread crusts in the freezer for duck-feeding.
  • Pack a tennis ball and a frisbee.
  • A capon is just a big chicken.
  • Feed birds, foil squirrels.
  • Bring your loved ones a cup of tea in bed.
  • Put the spare key back when you've finished with it.
  • Don't park in the handicap spot, but if you have to, don't forget to limp.

Friday, March 30, 2007

You and me both, honey...

“I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.”
-- Joan Rivers

Domestic Goddess Words of Wisdom...

“As a housewife, I feel that if the kids are still alive when my husband gets home from work, then hey, I've done my job.”

“My husband and I didn't sign a pre-nuptial agreement. We signed a mutual suicide pact.”

“The quickest way to a man's heart is through his chest.”

“Women complain about PMS, but I think of it as the only time of the month when I can be myself.”

“I know how to do anything! I’m a mom!”

(About a woman who stabbed her husband 37 times) "I admire her restraint."

“There's a lot more to being a woman than being a mother, but there's a hell of a lot more to being a mother than most people suspect.”
-- Roseanne Barr

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mr Clean, My Secret Love...

I'm having an emotional affair with another man. His name is Mr Clean. Every time I see his beautiful bald head, tight white t-shirt and muscular forearms, my heart flutters and my hopes soar... Maybe, just MAYBE this horrible mess the kids just made is fixable after all!! Oh, Mr Clean, do it for me, make all my dreams come true!! You're my HERO!!

Honestly, I haven't felt this passionate about a man since the day I met my husband (that was love at first sight, too-- although I should mention that he ISN'T bald, but also looks great in a white shirt...) Mr Clean provides Domestic Goddesses like myself with everything a woman could ever want, with no strings attached.

First, he's available. You can find Mr Clean at any store-- and he's willing to come home with you for a modest price!

Second, he's easy on the eyes, in a Vin Diesel sort of way.

Third, HE WORKS. This is ONE man who knows how to clean. And let's face it, ladies, there ain't NOTHING more attractive than a man who can clean up after himself... This guy CLEANS UP AFTER OTHER PEOPLE, TOO!

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:

A woman is at a party, and sees an incredibly attractive man standing across the room from her. Their eyes meet, he approaches, seductively puts his arm around her and says, "For twenty dollars, I will come home with you tonight and do WHATEVER YOUR HEART DESIRES!" She presses a twenty into his hand and whispers into his ear, "Scrub my toilets, baby..."

Well, if that incredibly attractive man had been Mr Clean, he'd have had a product for that. He has stuff to scrub AROUND the toilets, too, with minimal effort on my part! Is it any wonder that I love him??

However, the BEST thing Mr Clean has ever done for me, the thing that absolutely ROCKS MY WORLD, is this:

Ladies, let me tell you something, Mr Clean's Magic Eraser will change your life. Not only will it clean your home, it will make you a better mother. I PROMISE YOU, once you realize that it will take care of almost ANY evil mess that your children produce, you will no longer have the same apoplectic-hissy-fit reaction to evil mess that you have had in the past! It is almost frightening how well this thing gets rid of dirt. It is downright addictive! The first day I ever brought a package home, I scrubbed scuff marks off of my baseboards for three hours, then went around the house LOOKING FOR MORE STUFF TO CLEAN. It works on EVERYTHING! It will take crayon off of walls, ballpoint pen off of the front of your white dishwasher, skidmarks off of the linoleum, crud off of your stove top and scum off of the shower stall... It even takes the tea-stains off of my stainless-steel sink and makes it shine like the day I bought it. It's incredible how one little piece of plastic microfibre can make a girl happy. And satisfied!! I really feel like I've ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING when I use this thing.

How sad is that?? Well, it's NOT, actually. When you're at home with kids, you'll take ANY opportunity to grab a little happiness for yourself, let me tell you. And for me, Mr Clean is IT.

By the way, that rumour going around on the internet that Magic Erasers contain deadly carcinogens is a load of hooey... They're safe, they work, and dammit, they're FUN. I, personally, think the rumour was started by a man. Probably a jealous husband, worried about his wife's divided attentions...

I can't possibly be the ONLY woman out there who has found true love with Mr Clean...

Today we are dancing to...


These guys are The Bomb!! Check out their award-winning video, "Here It Goes Again", on!! I haven't laughed this hard in a LONG time... Genius!! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Entertaining Children 101

One of the most challenging aspects of my Life As Mum is entertaining three little girls all day long (and occasionally all NIGHT long, too). My girls are at very different stages-- they are aged 10, 6 and 2, and so naturally, no one book or craft or toy or even SNACK will satisfactorily entertain all three of them at the same time. The act of dreaming up, and then juggling the supervision of, three separate activities for three very busy little people often overwhelms me. It is also hard for the girls to learn to be patient and wait for their turn... More often than not, the act of watching a sibling receive attention from me makes a little girl CERTAIN that what the OTHER kid is doing is far superior to the thing that SHE is supposed to be doing... And then the "IIIII want to do that TOOOOO..." whining begins, and eventually all the wheels wind up falling off of the little red wagon that is my daily life.

We really try to do things together as a sort of tag-team as often as we can. For instance, when gardening (one of our most favourite activities), I do the heavy digging, the 2 year old pokes her tiny finger into the ground to make a hole, the 6 year old drops the seed in the hole, and the 10 year old covers it with dirt and smooths everything over. Sounds great in theory, doesn't it? And it IS great, until the 2 year old wants to hold the seeds and spills them all over the place, the 6 year old gets mad and squirts her with the hose, and the 10 year old starts yelling because we're not supposed to be turning the flowerbed into a giant mudpie. I'm telling you, THAT scenario secretly videotaped would make a GREAT clip to endorse a paving company. And a laundry detergent manufacturer, too, for that matter.

Something that I think we often forget is that when it comes right down to it, the simplest things are the best things to do with children. It constantly amazes me the things that we as parents feel we "need" to do with, and provide for our children, in order to "successfully" see them into adulthood. We are so completely programmed with the idea of creating the EXCEPTIONAL, GIFTED CHILD, we wind up overprogramming and overwhelming our kids. Not only are they overprogrammed, the wealth of toy material we accumulate for them is downright astounding.

Now, before we go any further, I absolutely confess that my kids have a playroom that rivals Mastermind Toy Store for its stock content. And I also confess that I bought most of it myself. You name it, we've got it-- from Peek-a-Blocks to Playmobil, Thomas Engines to Hotwheels, Baby to Barbie dolls... Don't get me started. We Have A Problem. We are Toy-A-Holics. But luckily, my girls are also GREAT at playing with all the stuff. I often charge into the playroom with giant clear plastic bags, fully intending to FILL those bags with unused toys, and either Freecycle or consign them. But do you know what? Because my kids are at such different ages, there is actually very little in there that doesn't get a good workout by one of the girls on a fairly regular basis.

However, as I started out saying, it sometimes shocks me how effectively the very simplest things and activities delight all three girls at the same time. It's a wonderful, eye-opening moment for a mother to watch her children take pleasure IN one another, WITH one another.

Here are a few of the things that we do together on a regular basis:

1. SING AND DANCE. And I don't mean just the Skinnamarinky-dinky stuff (with apologies to Sharon, Lois and Bram, but let's face it, guys, even YOU can't stand singing that stuff anymore, can you??!). Don't get me wrong, nursery rhymes and nonsense verse is fantastic stuff, but KIDS CAN TELL if mummy is bored out of her gourd!! We put on stuff that mummy likes on a regular basis, too. The kids LOVE IT when we put on Aerosmith, I grab the vacuum cleaner, and we dance around the kitchen. One of my best friends and extraordinary mother of 2 boys has been enlightening our kids on the joys of Disco-- she does a MEAN rendition of "Play That Funky Music, White Boy", and the kids now do a great shimmy-shimmy (a baby diaper shimmy is a joy to behold). One should never be afraid of looking or sounding silly in front of kids when singing and dancing . Silly is grossly under-rated, in my humble opinion.

2. GET DIRTY. Garden! Finger paint! Roll out a LOOOOONG roll of paper and dump every single crayon in the house on the floor and make a banner! Play water games in the sink or pour dried noodles into tubs on the floor! Coloured chalk on the patio! Home made PLAYDOUGH!

3. BOXES. I can't BELIEVE the great things the kids have made out of the cardboard that other stuff has come in. There have been dollhouses and cars and puppet theatres and... One of my kids once just put a box over her head and giggled herself silly whilst trying to navigate her way around the house without knocking herself out. This burned up some time, but required heightened supervision.

4. GO FOR A WALK. Ignore the whining and get their little behinds outside. And no, they don't need to take their bikes and trikes and scooters and pedal cars and... Just WALK. They have a great time once they're out there, and if you make a scavenger hunt-type of list to take with you, it's even better-- they don't even realize they're exercising.

5. CLEAN UP. Sometimes cleaning the house with kids turns out to be a treasure hunt. It's incredible the things they re-discover as we sort stuff out. My girls call it "Going Shopping in the Playroom"... which is great for me, because it doesn't cost me a dime, and we've bought out the real toy stores anyway. Warning, however-- don't expect things to actually STAY clean, because the point of re-discovering toys is to PLAY with those toys.

6. BAKE. I recently Freecycle-d an "Easy-Bake Oven" that somebody gave us a few years ago. It had been collecting dust in the cupboard for TOO LONG. Why on earth would any kid want to fry a cake mix under a lightbulb when you can make cupcakes in a real oven? We Bake. A Lot. My 2 year old can't get enough, in fact, she's becoming a regular Julia Child. We do cookies and muffins and squares and bread... The pantry is always full of good stuff, and it's great for school lunches. The only warning I have is that THIS is what keeps that extra five pounds on me; that five pounds I can't seem to shake. Because I'm sorry, Baking is Better with Butter, there's just no denying it.

The best thing, I find, is when you can combine several of the aforementioned activities all in one day... It goes without saying that Baking and Getting Dirty pretty much go hand-in-hand, and if you could follow those two things with Walking, then mummy's behind has a lesser chance of becoming the size of the back-end of a city bus.

Sometimes I have to MAKE time to take time out to play and be silly. And I have to force myself to realize that it will be OKAY for me "not to get anything done" in a day (meaning bed-making and dish-washing and returning phonecalls, or even getting dressed before noon for that matter). Every now and again, I throw up my hands and declare what we in this house call a FERRIS BUELLER DAY. We skip school and lessons and appointments, and just take a day off. Usually by about 2pm, I'm wondering WHY I ever imagined that it would be a "day off" for ME, but the kids have a riot. Literally. And quite frankly, sometimes it's exactly what they need. Happy kids are the most gifted, exceptional kids, after all.

Children teach us...

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

~Franklin P. Jones

Children need more time to play!

"Play is the work of children. It's very serious stuff."
--Bob Keeshan

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My achin' head...

There's a big storm coming our way. Soon. And no, I haven't been watching the weather network-- I have a headache. I am literally keeping the Advil people in business. Have been for years now... all it takes is a change in the barometric pressure, and my head is away to the races.

After talking to my women friends, I am amazed at how many of us suffer from this affliction. Is it just that we as women are more "in tune" with the world around us? Are we that incredibly intuitive without even realizing it? These past several days, as winter has been turning to spring, mounds of snow have been poured upon and turned into gritty, muddy sludge. The mothers of my neighbourhood have huddled in the school playground waiting for their children to emerge at 3.30... and almost all of them have had that same pained, hunched-over look, with the all-too-familliar furrow between the brows. Some even sport sun glasses in spite of the dark and drizzle. I swear, we women can feel it.

So this begs the question: Why don't women rule the Weather Channel? How come Environment Canada hasn't figured out this simple phenomenon? Think of the money that could be saved on barometers and other fancy-schmantzy equipment, if they would just put a woman in charge of writing down her headache patterns for the websites, radio reports and newspaper columns! Weather forecasting these days seems to be a guess at best-- educated or not-- and I honestly think that the Guy-in-Charge figures that if he tells us "Partly cloudy with a chance of showers!!", we'll just be damned grateful if it turns out to be sunny instead. What the hell, right? How smart can those viewers and readers really be? THEY don't have degrees in meteorology... and at least they'll have packed their umbrellas just in case!

I want the migraine report, not the weather report. Sponsored by Advil. And I swear to you, the forecasts would never be wrong again.

I promise...

This morning at 4am, I awakened to the true affirmation of Springtime: the song of the American Robin. There were several of them chirping merrily away in the large tree outside our bedroom window. Even though it was still technically dark, and terribly, horribly early... my heart jumped at the sound. It has been a looonng winter for this household, and now I can actually believe that SOON my girls and I will be digging away in our garden, planning annual plantings and dividing the perennials, ENJOYING the warm, watery sunshine and revelling in the fact that we can just step outside anytime we like... Springtime with little girls is like discovering you have a huge "playroom" added on to your house!!

I love the song of the American Robin. I described it to my Sparks Troupe during our birdwatching unit as sounding like "Cheer-up! Cheer-a-lee!!" It's as though they're trying to jolly us along, to make us believe that there is beautiful weather just around the corner. The funny thing is, by about June, I find myself frustrated by being awakened at 4am by the birds... As a mother of three busy little people, sleep is a battleground for me, and it's a struggle to stay on the winning side for any length of time...

This year, I promise (again) that I will NOT take advantage of the music of springtime!! I will pause for a moment and enjoy it... before slamming my window down and muddling back to bed.

It's springtime, folks-- everybody CHEER!

Monday, March 26, 2007


dinner for cat

yes dad


wet cool something

share I said


I wonder

tiger sad



I ring I ride a silly star

I wonder if a candy girl flies



fish sing their secret whisper laugh

quietly under the mud

a sailing happy song

winter is through they wish for something good

wet water warm gentle rain remember how it was

they begin to swim and play

sun glows like magic

rainbows of joy in spring


Poems from the Dishwasher

We received a magnetic "poetry kit" from my brother several years ago... one of those little boxes filled with tiny magnetic squares with words printed on each one. We kept it carefully hidden on my eldest daughter's "precious shelf" for a number of years... basically until the youngest sibling was mature enough not to shove said magnetic squares into her mouth (or ears, or up her nose, for that matter). Now every little word is carefully secured to the front of our old, white Kenmore dishwasher, which chugs faithfully along in the heart of our kitchen. And, every day, my three daughters and I try to compose a poem. It's fascinating to watch little peoples' thought processes, especially when that little person is only six and just learning to read and write. My eldest's poems are usually full of humour. My poems are composed after choosing out words from the great muddle-- ones that jump out at me for whatever reason depending on what kind of mood I'm in-- and then stringing them all together into a thought. Here's what we've all come up with so far...

I Am Definitely There...

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

-- Albert Einstein

Web Analytics