Miss em but they’re right there waiting.

My mother-in-law lost her husband recently.  It was sudden and unexpected and we were all pretty stunned.  She’s taking it well but it’s fresh still and facebook still throws things at her that are pretty clear reminders.  This morning it was a quiz that told you who your best friend is and it picked him for her.  I wrote her a small burb about something that comforts me when I’m missing my lost folks.  It’s really a picture in my head but it comforts me.

lakeIt’s a beautiful sunny day with a nice cooling breeze that’s blowing in the windows keeping it from being uncomfortable.  The trees rustle a familiar tune as the wind ruffles through their leaves and needles and stray noises from daily chores and children playing burst through occasionally.  There are slight waves breaking on the beach adding to the summer symphony.  I see a small cabin with a large kitchen.  Wood stove on one side, gas stove on the other.  Blue water pump besdie the sink.  There’s something baking or roasting in the oven.  Blueberry pie or chocolate brownie or some sort of roast beast meant for dinner.  There is a large table, big enough to fit many people, surrounded by comfortable wooden chairs.  My mom is sitting at it.  Her back to the hutch.  To the left of her is her mom.  Gramma never visited this particular kitchen in her lifetime but she would have been welcome and fits well in this company.  Blonde head and grey one close together as they drink coffee and talk.  At the head of the table is my Aunt Karen.  Notepad and ashtray within reach.  On her side is her mom, Auntie Addie.  The scene oozes motherliness and so much love I took for granted when I had it nearby and reachable.  The stories I heard and now grasp at trying to remember because felt I had all the time in the world to hear them over and over again.  I wish I’d written them down.

Others pass through from time to time.  Some naturally belong here, others are first time visitors, all are welcome.  Some just stop for a drink, coffee or rye or whatever, others set a spell and shoot the shit.

The four women are always there.  They keep an eye on me.  My very own cheerleaders.  When I’m down or having a hard time they send me support.  Sad they can’t talk to me to help.  When I do something funny or boneheaded I can hear their cackling in the back of my head and it reminds me to laugh at myself so they aren’t laughing at me.  They are always there, this picture in my head.  I miss them all so much.

I told my mother-in-law to send her husband a prayer to stop by for a drink.  He’d be more than welcome, the baking is incredible.

Why I Stopped Following Scary Mommy

When I was an expecting and new mom I found a great thing.  A blog called Scary Mommy.  All my fears, doubts and insecurities seemed to be there and if I couldn’t find an answer to them I could at least find others there who had them too and could empathize.  The forums are still okayish.  They do some great charity work (non-Americans need not apply) and the first few books are quite funny.  The testimonials are the same.  They go from hilarious, to pathetic, to heartbreaking but that’s what one should expect from anonymous admissions from women.  Unfortunately, the blog has become blametown.  One post is about how washing one’s misbehaving child’s mouth out with soap is abusive.  Siting the toxicity of soap being harmful to the brat (who has toxic soap around children?) it flat out calls you abusive if you’ve ever used that particular punishment on a child no matter what their transgression was.  Another post complains about how parents willing to play with their children are ruining her sitting on her butt time.  Breast is best vs. formula, Chrissie Teagan, cover the babe when feeding vs. whip out your baby feeders and take on anyone who wants to shame you for using them for what they’re intended for, discipline, precious snowflakes (anyone who knows me knows I don’t use snowflake as a compliment in this case) wine, more wine, dad’s as babysitters, dad’s who clean being the ultimate feminists, every group possible trying to explain how their particular group has it harder than all other groups.  Heck, my last blog post was a rant about a blog post on Scary Mommy saying fuck you and your sandwich to all parents who aren’t jumping for joy at the opportunity to have their children miss out because of other kids’ allergies.  The worst are the posts out there judging and shaming people for judging and shaming. There’s so much of it going around on there (and I’m just talking about the blog posts themselves, don’t get me started on their comments sections) that it’s difficult to find the solidarity-based, we’ve all been there, you aren’t alone vibe I grew to love because it helped me through my new motherhood until I could gain enough confidence to be an I’m a Mom! rather than I’m a mom?

It’s sad really.  I miss the old Scary Mommy.  I took part in the forums.  Shared what I’d figured out, learned from others and enjoyed the blog.  Now, the constant judging and shaming coming up on my social media feeds has totally turned me off and so, I’ve totally turned them off.  Maybe one day there will come a time when they, and/or the internet can switch back to helping rather than harming.  A girl can dream can’t she? If and when that day comes I’ll be back there happy as a clam because I’ve missed my old friend and I’ll be happy to have them back.

Gooooozefrabba!

If you aren’t familiar with the movie Anger Management starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, I highly recommend it.  The title of today’s entry is a phrase from the movie and is used to calm and relax those experiencing anger and anxiety in the movie.  I had a goooozefrabba moment yesterday.  Doing much better today.  Found a reason to laugh at/with (he didn’t know why we were laughing but whatever) my son, went for a long walk, threatened his life if he didn’t play on his own with his own toys for a while which he finally did and I got some time to just sit and veg and play with my new crochet thread stash.  He actually came over and helped me sort it.

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Mostly just playing around at this point but whipped up a bracelet for myself…

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And I’ve started on one for my sister.  She says she wants ‘camo colours’…

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She didn’t say it couldn’t be a camo coloured granny square cuff.  She’s being a good sport about it.  If she doesn’t end up liking it I’m sure it will have a good home with me or someone might decide to adopt it.

The Boy is co-operating well today.  Got him interested in his building blocks last night and he’s been keen to build stuff since.  Erected his first bridge yesterday.

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He was very proud of it.  We started a penny chore jar a couple of weeks ago and it seems to be working well.  I let him paint it.

He gets a few pennies for a day without potty accidents and varying amounts for doing whatever chores I need him to do.  Today he got a couple for helping me put away the clean dishes and deal with the dirty ones so we could make cookies.  I think the cookies were more exciting than the pennies going in the jar.

We just used the recipe on the Chipits bag also available at Original Chipits chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Ours aren’t as super perfect looking as the ones on the bag but taste like chocolate chip cookies.  I’m puzzled as to how The Boy manages to get chocolate all over his face by eating itty bitty individual chocolate chips.  Meh, he’s a boy.  His natural state is dirty.

Not Appreciating Mother Nature Right Now

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So sick of this shit.  Only took a few days to realize that I would have to do a lot more to get The Boy even close to as much exercise as he’d had at daycare.  We live in a little suburb that is unofficially called Park City.  There are parks all over the place.  Most of them have no dogs signs so I can’t kill two birds with one stone by walking them at the same time as The Boy.  Then The Great Bitch Mother Nature goes and does this to me (and everyone else) again.  For the third or fourth time now.  So any trip out with any level of short beasts is bound to be an ungodly mess.  So you’d think, “just let them play in the loverly little yard you spent all that money to have grassed and stuff.” Well, due to family shit and job losing and not having enough me to go around, I was negligent on my keeping up cleaning up after the dog, then dogs.  We got one nice stretch and I picked up the half of the yard that had dried enough and needed one more good day to get my little slice of grass spick and span and ready for boys and dogs to play to their little hearts content.  Then this.  It melted.  Got nice out again and to the point where I said tomorrow it’ll be dry enough and…she shits all over us again.  And again.  And again.  Always with just enough time in between to let me think I might just accomplish something.  Sigh.  Now I’m stuck with Captain Iwanttogotothepark!!! and working to convince myself that I don’t care that I’ll end up with wet feet and a wet chill and have to clean up the incredible mess he’ll drag home with him.

As far as accomplishing things goes, I’m doing okay but it often seems like the world is hellbent on impeding me sometimes.  I try to set up a schedule to keep on top of the house cleaning while teaching The Boy about that stuff too and the Powers That Be throw a defiant phase at me.  So instead of the happy mother son teamwork and learning I’d envisioned I end up with twice the cleaning to do because the tantrums usually include spreading chaos far and wide.  I’m trying to keep on top of food costs and making sure we always have some good stuff to eat but apparently I’m the only one who’ll actually write up a menu.  I’ve asked for help but it’s easier to whine about what we’re having than to sit and pay attention for ten minutes while telling me what we’d like to eat for the week.  I do get a lot of compliments on some of the stuff I’ve been cooking so there’s that at least.  Part of the defiant stage also appears to be freaking out about having to eat even our most favorite of meals most of the time.  Makes my head ache.

Then there’s this…

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This is a miraculous find I came across for a price I had to afford.  Seriously something like 85% of what it should have cost.  With summer coming (please silly Nature Bitch quit dumping snow on us so we can have a little summer sometime), big, thick afghans and cardigans and scarves and mitts aren’t my favourite things to work on.  Light shawls, doilies, jewellery and such are perfect projects for warm and hot weather and now I have a ton of stuff to make all that with…if I ever get a chance to even go through the bag let alone sit and crochet anything.  It’s sitting on my comfy chair pretty much screaming at me to sort through it and enjoy all the gorgeous colours and plan out what I want to make with it.  Alas, I had to make soup this morning to use up some chicken while The Boy decided it was a great time to just up and pee on the carpet and keeps insisting we must go to the park.  While I have a large chef’s knife in my hand.  Needless to say he’s still alive and we will have soup for dinner and I’m working up to going out in the snow.  Perhaps I’ll give up on cleaning anything for the day and pray that he runs himself out at the park so I can have a little quietish time to look at some of my new goodies.

Oh God!!! Just kill me now!!!  While trying to take a few minutes to type out some probably less than coherent thoughts, he’s managed to mess up the tv and gaming system pushing random buttons screaming that he HATES MARIO!! (what horrible thing did I do to deserve a kid who won’t play video games!?), smeared whatever is on his hands all over his favourite DVD to the point I doubt it’ll even read if I can get the system to decide to let me play it.  Then managed to scour out the upstairs bathroom drain with his toothbrush in the mere moments I was working to fix the disaster up till then.  Now he’s in the process of singing Fucktown punk you up!  Fucktown punk you up.  I actually think my brain short circuited at the thought that while he didn’t add the f-bomb where you’d think he’s stick it he still managed to stick one in there.  Whatever.  Now I’m laughing at how ludicrous that is.  Let’s go to the park.

Oh Crap Mom Moments

Yeah.  Had one of those this morning.  One of those moments in time where you look at what’s happening and think,”I think I may have made a slight error in judgement.”  We live in a place that’s almost, slightly, attempting to look like spring may happen sometime before mid-May.  It’s been quite warmish, above freezing anyway, and the mountains of snow have started melting into dirty, messy, piles of slush everywhere.  Unfortunately, due to the tentative nature of our pre-spring weather, it refreezes every night which makes the morning sidewalks into either skating rinks or fake skating rinks (that are really freaking freezing cold puddles for you so fall into once you slip on the rink looking sheet on top).

Anyhow, I was walking The Boy to school this morning and we were doing our best to avoid the ice as best we could.  Or I was anyway.  Not a fan of walking around with frozen wet pants or pain.  The Boy found the slippy ice to be quite fun and was running around like a goofus and sliding all over the place while completely ignoring my every warning to be careful .  About halfway there he took a step onto a particularly slippery patch of ice and thus began the most incredible, awesome, windmilling, feet flailing, forward, backward, wobbling, weaving fall on his arse I think I’ve ever seen.  It took a full fifteen seconds or so but I can see it in my head as though it was in slow motion.  It was brilliant!  Outstanding!  As he looked at me stunned from flat on his back on the ground and I finished my preliminary examination to determine how badly he’d broken himself and saw he was fine…I burst into laughter.  It was funny as hell.  After blinking at me and my laughing a few times he joined in and hopped up in a delightful Mommy/Son happy moment.

And then we continued walking.  It didn’t take long for me to realize the error I had failed to foresee.  I can just see the conversation in his precious yet demented little brain.  “I made mummy happy by slipping on the ice and falling down!!  Let’s do it again!!!” and again, and again, and again…Shit.  Nothing I could say would convince him it wasn’t funny anymore and he didn’t quit until we ran out of ice at the door of the daycare.  Sigh.  Thankfully, he appears to have forgotten after a full day of daycare antics and we had a fall-free walk home.  I’m such a dumbass but one that’s grateful for a boy that is willing to go really far just to make someone else happy.

As for recipes, I found one tonight that worked out beautifully for Teriyaki sauce.  Halfway through cooking a stir-fry for dinner I was dismayed to find we had only a tiny smidge left in the bottle of my favorite stir-fry flavor.  I hit the keys and searched for homemade teriyaki sauce and found this recipe…Restaurant Teriyaki Sauce.  It is incredibly simple but turned out incredibly good.  I compared it side-by-side to the smidge left in the storebought bottle and it was even tastier and had way less crap in it.  Looks like normal.

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Profound Mom Moments

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This is a sand mandala.  Tibetan monks make these beautifully detailed and intricate pieces of art.  Sometimes grain by coloured grain.  Then they just sweep it all away.  Okay, just read up on it a bit and they don’t just sweep it away.  They ceremonially dismantle it, wrap it in silk and then return it to nature by dumping it in a river.  The point being to show how fleeting and transitory material life is.  I thought of these the other day when I was listening to my son.  He was playing and singing a little song to himself.  He made up little lyrics that created a story and sang it to the tune in his little head.  I didn’t even really listen, just enjoyed his small tune as he toodled around telling his tale about whatever it was.  I don’t even remember now what the song was about.  What I do remember was thinking, “this song is like the sand art”.  Turns out I was right.  So very, many tiny details have already been lost and I can’t possibly enjoy them all if I spend every moment recording them or jotting them down.  I guess I’ll just have to hold on even tighter to the ones I have retained, either on film, on paper or in my memory.  Then comes the problem with profound thoughts.  They lead to more profound thoughts.  As his mother, I am the only person to see, hear, feel some things that no one else will ever have.  Even his father has a completely different experience of him and therefore a completely different The Boy experience that even I won’t have.  It’s fascinating and mind boggling.  That’s the best word for my experience of parenthood from moment one.  He is fascinating both in himself and in how I feel about him and react towards him.  And then I think of the sand mandala and remember that every moment is fleeting and the profound thought circle bites itself on the tail.  Whoa man!  That’s deep.

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This is how I put the brakes on the profound thought train.  Some marshmallowy hot chocolate (not coffee at this time of night.  I have to get to sleep at some point), my blog and a good vape.  For those in Winnipeg, Manitoba, my juice of choice is currently Nana’s Nut Bread and can be acquired at Epic Haze.  One of my favorite local vape shops.  If anyone cares I’m using a Triton Mini on an Innokin Disrupter.  I absolutely adore my Triton Mini!  Top fill, decent capacity, great flavor and IT HAS NEVER LEAKED!!!!!  I’ve used it almost exclusively since I got it for Christmas and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good, reliable tank.

So, anyhow.  I’m enjoying the whole having time to spend with my family and cook stuff and such.  Took The Boy, The Nephew and my sister to a Winnipeg Jets public practice today.  It was fun.  The boys enjoyed it a bit and we scored an official NHL practice puck that slid down the netting.

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Got wind of a friend who was desperately craving bread so I whipped her up a loaf and then got a ‘sounds like he’s kidding but probably isn’t’ request for some of the chicken and rice soup I whipped up for dinner in the crockpot this morning from my cousin who is also the bread friends’ spouse so I packed up what was left of that for them too.  I got the majority of the ingredients I made them with from their store, Fresh to the Bone, so it’s the least I could do.  I never had time for stuff like that before.

So that’s my night.  Profound thoughts about the fragility of life’s moments, practise pucks, a good vape and sharing food with awesome people.  Oh and too many marshmallows in my hot chocolate.  If only all of life’s problems were as delightful as that.

Clever mom moments

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I have been blessed with a beautiful, clever, delightful (most of the time) little boy.  Dinner time is not always one of those delightful times however.  He also happens to be a bit of a picky eater.  He did clue me in to a clever mom moment this past week though.

Since I’ve started my career as a stay-at-home mom I’ve been putting a lot of effort into cooking homemade foods for all of us for both health and financial reasons.  Something I never had time for before between working full time and momming the rest of the time (how lax I’ve got in the wifing department is a different blog post.  Man did I find a good one in The Hubster).  I started with something easy, turkey soup.  We had a late Christmas turkey dinner a few weeks ago for dad since he missed proper Christmas dinner being stuck in the hospital.  I kept the carcass and made soup with it.  Didn’t think The Boy would even touch it as it was chock full of veggies and such but instead he surprised me and loved the hell out of it.  French onion soup was also a big hit once we got him to taste it.  Perhaps someday I’ll actually get him to believe me when I am battling with him to “just try one bite and I promise you’ll like it!!!”  Ever since those soups, every time I ask him what he wants to eat he asks for “real soup” (not sure where he picked up the phrase but he means instead of packaged or canned soups).  I asked him what kinds of real soups he would like to eat and he declared that he must have spaghetti soup.  Oh boy.  How the hell do I make spaghetti soup for a picky eater?

Turns out all you need is animal noodles.  Picked some up at Bulk Barn for about $1 and added them to a can of tomato soup.  That was it.  I would never in a million years have thought he would ever…EVER have eaten tomato soup but as the picture shows, he chowed down on it like he hadn’t eaten in days.  I took pictures just to remind myself that he did actually eat it.  Now I guess I have to find a recipe for “real” tomato soup for when tomatoes are in season again in a few months and stock up on animal noodles.  Or alphabet noodles.  Whoa!  There I go being clever again.  ABC’s and good food all wrapped up in one.  Woo hoo!  I can totally do this full-time mom thing.

For those who might be curious, that is a small part of my yarn stash in the background.  I have a *cough* small problem when it comes to yarn and thread and crochet and such.  I have managed to curb it a bit what with having no money and all.  This pile is my current projects pile and consists of about ten half-finished projects and the yarn I’ve pulled out for them as well as the eight or so I intend to make.  I only actually remember half of them but I’m sure I can find a use for the yarn or else I can just go through it and take great pleasure in handling and sorting all the lovely yarns and of course have to pull out the rest of the stash just so I can make sure it all goes where it’s supposed to and get to play with all of those as well.