Friday, August 20, 2010

Mah Crack

Whatever you do, do NOT click on this link:

Mah Jong: home wrecker

If you love your family, or enjoy any social life at all, or want to be even slightly productive with your day . . . DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK!

This is my most recent addiction. It rivals the Sudoku marathon of 2006 (which I played on paper) and the Zuma obsession of 2007/08 (which I played on x.box).

I learned about this online Mah Jong from a colleague at work - because sometimes those night shifts are sloooooow - and once I figured out the rules I was hooked.

Eventually - hopefully soon - the appeal of this game will fade and I can get back to my real life. And telling you about it. In the meantime . . . go ahead and try it if you like, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My kitchen then and now

Life changes when you have kids. A lot.

I knew that going into this. But some things still catch me off guard.

Like how different my kitchen is.

See? Here it is shortly after we bought the house. After I'd spent an entire 12 hours painting it a bright new colour. So pretty and clean.



My fridge used to have adult oriented stuff on it.


See my fridge now?


And the dishwasher? More primary colours than before, right?


Can you spot my tupperware?




Now if I could only teach him to cook . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Copy-cat post #1: Food wars

Hm. This is fun. Maybe I'll make this a series.

My friend recently posted about her recent struggles with her sons over food http://great-britton.blogspot.com/2010/08/food-glorious-food.html. She and I have been chatting about this issue via email for a couple of days so her story was not new to me (though still fun to read). Since I've known J for many years, and I don't think she'll get mad at me for plaigerizing her blog, I'm going to copy-cat her topic and tell you about my own food dramas.

-----

Sam has been eating solids for about 5 months now and used to be quite content with the variety of homemade mush I presented him with three times a day. However, now that he has mastered his pincer grasp he scoffs at the spoon unless it contains yogurt. This means that there are always at least two tubs of that fabulous thick greek-style yogurt in our fridge (because, you know, the baby needs high fat content stuff! And also - yum!).

Since it is common knowledge that yogurt only contains, at the most, two food groups, I'm not convinced that it will sustain the little rugrat for very long. Though he definitely won't be calcium deficient.

In order to provide a variety of healthy balanced finger foods, we've had to be a bit creative. Small bits of broccoli in the mac & cheese, cheddar and spinach in the scrambled eggs, sliced turkey dipped in hummus. And blueberries with every meal! Seriously the kid's poop looks like it has chocolate chips in it.

When we introduce something new, or something old that he is not particularly fond of, we have to get him on what we have charmingly dubbed "the food train". We stimulate his appetite with something Sam-approved for a few bites then sneak in the new or unfavourable. Sometimes it works. Often it leads to a spontaneous singing of "Babies all over the world, eat your food, start a food train, food train".

Sorry, Sam, we are your parents : )

Large food has also been a big hit lately. I mean, if he needs two hands to hold it, he's willing to give it a try. But if I cut it into small pieces, it's a no go. The other day I showed him an orange pepper in the grocery store . . . he bit into it like it was my shoulder! I was slightly grossed out that he was chowing down on unwashed produce, but my distaste for germs was overcome by my joy that he was actually eating a vegetable!

I didn't have my camera, but it looked something like this (just replace the watermelon in this pic with orange capsicum).



Friday, August 6, 2010

Mindset

Sometimes you have to change your mindset so that a potentially (extremely!!) frustrating situation can become a little gift from the Universe.

For example, tonight I - surprisingly - have the night off. It's Friday (ha ha) so I thought for sure that I would get a call in to work. At the hospital where I work, usually a summer weekend + declined vacation = sick call. Not that I know for certain that someone had asked for this weekend off and didn't get it, but when there are close to 200 nurses on a unit and only a finite number of weekends in the summer, you can almost count on it. Anyway, a sick call leads to a staffing clerk phoning down the list of casual nurses to come in to cover. While I am low on the totem pole, a Friday night is not a popular shift so I was really surprised that I didn't get a call.

So now I have Friday night off. Unexpectedly. I didn't plan anything because I thought I'd be delivering babies. Therefore no social obligations. Sam is in bed. David is playing with his new tools in the garage. I have all this time to myself. Time that I crave and need. But I am overwhelmed with indecision about what to do. Too many options. Too many piles of books and magazines I want to read. Running shoes taunting me with guilt from the front door. A metric tonne of fabric to sort through in order to get back into some sewing projects. Several dirty rooms that need cleaning. About 12 bazillion photos that we've taken and downloaded onto my laptop that need to be culled and organized. A blog that is screaming for attention. And only 4 short hours between the end of dinner and exhausted collapse into bed.

I spent a few minutes staring at my fabric shelves in the garage . . . then walked away from THAT disaster. Right past my runners in the hall. With a glass of wine in my hand. Hm . . . I can read in bed later. Blog it will be!

But alas, my internet is down. I can't check email. I can't surf Crai.gslist for the rocking chair I am trying to find. I can't blog.

I CAN tackle the 12 bazillion photos on my hard drive. Yes, almost all of them are of Sam. Some are of the cats and huge zucchini.

The gift is that I didn't have to make the decision myself. I LOVE that! I know this is stupid, but I get anxious about all the things I want to do and don't have time to get done. I worry (irrationally) that I won't ever have the time to do it all. That my to-do list will just continue to get longer and longer and I will never have that oh-so-satisfying feeling of crossing things off of it. Stupid right? I know. I'm working on it. It's part of my not-being-so-hard-on-myself. I have taken a deep breath, made some tea, and accepted that I will only get (a portion) of one project done tonight. And that's ok. Because if I finished everything tonight, what will I work on tomorrow?

And ha ha Universe! I can write a blog draft offline to post later!

Here are some of the results of the interminable photo project:

Me and Sam


Splashin' around at Granville Island


Sam's first Dyke March - gettin' pumped with our friend Steph


Our friends' dog, Zoey - luckily she is an Omega


Riding Dad's shoulders at the beach


First gelato!


Post-bath


Crawlin'


Um . . .


Monty and the gargantuan zucchini - it's zucchinni wars Jen!

It's true that in many of these photos Sam is in various stages of undress. But hey, it's summer and if we were all honest we'd have to admit that we'd all be naked if we could!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I have the bad habit of signing into my blog with the intention of writing some fabulous, witty post that will surely win me accolades and an invitation to publish somewhere very prestigious, but instead I get distracted reading the new fabulous, witty posts on all the other blogs that I follow. Inevitably I become intimidated by the superior writing and funnier stories of these other women, and I end up writing nothing of my own.

I've been struggling a lot with blogging lately. Or maybe my blogging angst is just a festering little microcosm for the rest of my chaotic directionless life.

Too dramatic?

Alright, my life is not terribly chaotic. In fact, we've settled into a nice routine despite the fact that my work schedule is so unpredictable. Sam seems to adjust readily enough to me being around or not. One of the bonuses of David having been home since Sam was born is that we are more or less interchangeable to him. Y'know, besides the whole milk thing.

To say my life is directionless isn't fair either. I know where I'd like to be in 10 years, ideally. I just have no Earthly idea how the heck I'm going to get there.

Drama aside, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed these days. I'm kind of on the cusp of a lot of things (or maybe nothing) career-wise. I'm enjoying this summer with Sam and David with childlike abandon (seriously, we are at the beach at least 5 times a week!) but I know it won't last forever and I need to plan for the cold and rainy months ahead. There are a bunch of things we need to do with, and around, the house that are just not affordable in the foreseeable future and that drives me crazy. I am the negligent, absentee maid of honour in my friend's wedding two months from now, which I'm starting to feel guilty about.

All these things. And for some reason I feel anxious if I fall behind in blogging lest I let down my 14 followers.

See, I want to be a good blogger - a good writer. But I also want to be a good mother. And a good wife. And a good nurse. I want to have a clean house. I want to run 3 times a week. I want to go to the beach. I want to read the stack of books on my bedside table. I want to cook healthy food. And I need sleep. You see where I'm going here? I want all these things and I want to be all zen and shit about it.

So I'm having one of those realizations that I simply cannot do and be all the things that I want to do and be all at once. There just aren't enough hours in the day and there is not enough ATP in my body.

As a result, I'm going to sit here with my cup of pep-schnapp's infused hot chocolate (yeah, I know it was like 30 degrees today, shut up!) and do what I do best: make lists.

Things that are important to me / worth my time

Sam and David

Being healthy & balanced

Being conscientious, intelligent and thoughtful

Being a good friend

Being good at and enjoying my career

Setting a good example

Being fit (read: getting my ass out there for regular exercise so that I feel good and have the energy for everything else on this list)

Being creative

(. . . notably, having a clean house is absent from this list . . . Hm.)

So I am making a commitment to stop being so hard on myself and to focus on the important things. For example, I've been working on this post for a few days and I'm tired of looking at it. I'm tired of feeling guilty for not posting. It's not perfect, maybe not even coherent, but I'm just going to wrap it up and hit publish and move on. There are more important things waiting for me to feel inadequate about.

My next 5 blog topics (and the dates I will pretend to post them)

My awesome husband!! - Aug 4th

Why our cloth diapers are sitting around unused - Aug 7th

Why it's crucial, in a long term relationship, to talk about divorce once in a while - Aug 10th

What the hell are we going to do about our cat who is still peeing on the garage floor? - Aug 14th

Okay, and something fun, like pics of our fantastic summer so far (no guilt :) - Aug 17th