Monday, August 31, 2009

An end of summer prayer...

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

the courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know that they are going back to school on Thursday.

Surely I'm not the only mother feeling this way, so this is for all of you too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Never offer ostrich

My husband is a very thoughtful person, I will admit. On days when I'm down, he'll come home with flowers or some little surprise to brighten my spirit. He loves to cook and will often cook up a favourite recipe of mine for us to share on a weekend evening. And I've had my fair share of gifts so that I couldn't really complain. Overall, I would say I'm a pretty lucky girl.

But, it's a well known fact that every silver lining must have a dark cloud, and today that dark lining was a shade of blackest black. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit. I'll settle for dark grey.

It was a pretty awful day around here today. The kids are still on holidays for another week, but unfortunately mummy isn't and does have work to be done. While I tried to entertain them or at least give them ideas to entertain themselves, they seemed to have other plans and expected me to play along with them. And if they couldn't get me to play, they had a back-up plan of driving me mad by playing their version of 20 questions. In their version, it's multiplied by 1000. So while I tried to update orders or finish up projects, I struggled to simultaneously respond to the barrage of 'when is lunch?' and 'can I write an email?' and 'where are the biscuits?'.

Our youngest is still very much in holiday mode and spent most of the morning asking about the weather - 'maman, il va faire chaud? froid? (mummy, is it going to be hot? cold?) or wondering exactly when it is that we're going out for a walk. The slightest sign that I could be moving in the direction of the door brought up a flurry of 'on y va? maintenant?' (are we going? now?) as he rushed to get his shoes on the wrong feet. This is the same child who has a propensity for stealing fruit and eating far too much of it, leading to a minor problem in our potty training efforts. It all comes out much too easily, leaving no time for running to the loo before an accident occurs.

If this wasn't enough, we've of course added a puppy to the mix. A puppy who thinks she's a cat and is quite the agile climber. The lovely safe corner we created for her while she learns to be house-trained has proven an all too easy challenge to her and she is no sooner placed in it than she is climbing straight out.

Between the untrained puppy and the really-not-constipated toddler, a good part of today was taken up with my hands in some kind of muck. Mostly with one hand in the toilet trying to salvage accidented pants while the other hand attempted to keep the pants' owner from touching anything in his immediate vicinity and my foot tried to hold open the bathroom door to allow me to shout at the puppy from across the room in hopes of keeping her from leaving any more thoughtful gifts for me to clean up. And let's not forget all the questions that just kept coming.

It wasn't a good day at all.

But then my afore mentioned thoughtful husband told me he was going to make dinner for me and things started to look up. I thought for a moment that all would not be lost in the 24 hours that made up today. Sadly it was to be a fleeting thought, lasting only the amount of time that it took my husband to tell me what exactly was to be on the menu and for my brain to register what he had said because it wasn't obvious straight away that I had actually heard correctly. It took a few times repeating it my head to believe it.

It's the schism that will forever divide the sexes - what makes for a smile-inducing dinner. Men, take note: when your wife or girlfriend or sister or mother or just plain friend has had a difficult day, please please please do not under any circumstance repeat my husband's folly. It will only make it worse. Guaranteed. Offer chocolate, offer macaroni and cheese, offer mashed potatoes or pizza or pasta or ice cream. But do not, ever, truly never, offer ostrich.

It just doesn't work.

I cried. I really did. I was on the phone with my mum and I cried. It started out as laughter at the ridiculousness of it all, but it ended in tears. Although I am usually able to find the humour in situations such as these, the ostrich was just too much. It pushed me over the edge. It wasn't the kids or the dog or even the poo. It was the world's largest bird that made me cry today.

As I write this, I still have 4 ostrich steaks in the refrigerator - uncooked, untouched, uneaten. Anyone want to come to dinner?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Never promise guinea pigs

That's how it started with us. Our oldest asked for a guinea pig and for some unknown reason, her father agreed. We had had guinea pigs in the past and I even had 2 growing up, Gladys and Arthur. But I just wasn't liking the idea of launching into the world of guinea pigs again. While they are absolutely adorable creatures, I felt like if we were going to attempt another foray into the world of pet ownership, it may be better to have more of a playmate for our kids.

And so we started discussing the alternatives. We have fish, but as our second daughter once pointed out to us, they are nice, though rather difficult to cuddle. Point taken. No more fish.

I briefly pushed for a hedgehog. They are super cute, live outside under a pile of wood, eat bugs, are generally low maintenance and have the added bonus of being able to substitute for a ball in case of a bowling emergency. But I was vetoed. No hedgehogs.

A bit more thinking and we finally gave in. We were headed for puppyhood.

And so upon our return from the summer holidays, the pressure at home to go and start looking for puppies began and increased at a surprisingly rapid pace. A few phone calls later and only one visit and Pippa has come home to stay with us. The fact that we had decided upon a Westie didn't seem to matter once the girls set eyes on the pitch black Scottie we had seen.

So now we find ourselves in the midst of potty-training a puppy while continuing to house-train our 3 year old. Or maybe it's the other way around. Which ever way it is, a new adventure has begun for us and Pippa has captured all of our hearts.

a boy, his dog and his red sparkly shoes...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home Again...

..and completely jetlagged. But arguing with children to go to sleep at 11 pm seems pointless since we only just rolled out of bed less than 12 hours ago. We'll get back to normal time soon enough and perhaps with a wee bit of coaxing. In the meantime, I thought I would share with you all a few images of our holidays as it's all my brain seems able to handle at the moment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Here!

Our first issue of Modern Handmade Child is finally out and online! Click on the Premiere Issue on the right to have a browse through and see what you think.

We'd love to hear from you as well on anything you particularly enjoyed or would like to see in future issues.