October 2008

I’m trying out a new experiment this year. I’ve made a deal with the big boys: they can go trick-or-treating as usual, but they’ll trade all of their Halloween candy, save for a very tiny bit, for a new Webkinz each.

I have no idea if this is going to work. Beloved and my mom both gave me a look that was a cross between ‘Are you kidding?’ and ‘Hey, good luck with that!’ But the boys are enthusiastic about the deal. Heck, I think they would have traded in their baby brother if I’d thrown in a Bakugon or Pokemon into the deal!

There may be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth (on the part of the kids, perhaps, but most likely on the part of Beloved!) come Saturday morning when there is no candy to be had. I have reiterated the deal several times, so they understand they will get to keep only two or three bites of candy each and give up the rest, and they didn’t even hesitate to agree. We’ll see!

I must admit that a small part of me is rolling my own eyes at me, thinking ‘Oh great, she’s become one of those mothers. Next stop, hemp underwear and no TV.’ But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we simply don’t need to have several pounds of candy in the house. Part of it is my new family healthy eating kick, but part of it is purely selfish. I’m within five pounds of my goal weight on Plan B, and there will be enough room for sabotage come Christmas — might as well eliminate as much temptation as I can.

What do you think? Would your kids go for it and would you subject them to it? What would be a sweet enough deal to entice them to give up their candy?

And, most importantly, any thoughts on what to do with an extra two sackfuls of candy? I’m thinking the last kid to show up trick-or-treating at our door is in for a delightful surprise!


Searching for a nanny. Again.

by DaniGirl on October 30, 2008 · 6 comments

in Working and mothering

Sigh. I should have known it was too good to be true. When I first started looking for a new nanny for the boys back in September, the first two people to reply were so awesome that I danced for two days. One was an ECE grad, one had a little daughter but tonnes of nanny experience. I was delighted that I’d have to choose between two fantastic candidates.

The ECE grad bailed the day of our first interview, saying she was sick. No problem. Then she missed the second one, claiming she thought it was the following week. Then she stood me up last night. The second one disappeared, too. One e-mail she was very interested, and I haven’t heard from her since.

(insert colourful curse words here)

So now I’m back to scouring the ads, placing ads of my own, sifting through the reams of applicants who I wouldn’t trust to take care of my garden let alone my kids, and hoping against hope that we get lucky again. It’s the most helpless, frustrating feeling.

You know, I really think this goddamn childcare search is the hardest, most painful part of parenting. I’d happily endure another 24 hours of labour if it meant I could be guaranteed a decent, caring, reliable person to care for my boys. So much for looking forward to going back to work.

I’d’ve loved to have our old nanny back, but she’s eight months pregnant with baby #2 for her, and I just can’t see her taking on my three boys plus her own two year old plus a newborn. You couldn’t pay me enough to do it, anyway!

Oh, and to add insult to injury… remember the woman who took care of the boys for two days and quit with no notice by dropping a judgmental letter in my mailbox in the middle of the night? Guess whose daughter is in Simon’s JK class? I get to see her twice a day, every day. I tell ya, the fun never stops around here.




I would have used a different word

by DaniGirl on October 28, 2008 · 9 comments

in Ah, me boys, Tristan

Tristan, in a tone of hushed awe as he gazes out the window at the first few of what is forecasted to be in excess of twenty centimeters of snow: “Snow in October? It’s a miracle!”

Snow in October


Lucas the amazing interactive baby

by DaniGirl on October 28, 2008 · 5 comments

in Baby days, Lucas

I’ve always said that six to nine months old is one of my favourite baby ages. Old enough to sit up but not old enough to creep around; old enough to love you obviously and joyfully but not old enough to be prone to tantrums; old enough to babble but not old enough to talk back yet.

Lucas at almost nine months is a delightful baby – if you don’t mind the 32 minute naps. I forgot how early babies become interactive, instead of just slobbery little blobs. He is fascinated by the boys and the pets, and loves when the boys pay attention to him. The other day, I was putting his coat on telling him that we were on our way out to get Simon at school, and as soon as I said “Simon” he started craning his head around looking for him. Way too cute!

He’s very talkative. I’m really so very not surprised about that. Hell, you have to be vocal to be heard around our house. What’s cute is how he imitates us. He not only repeats one of three varieties of babble (ahhhh, ba-ba-ba, or da-da-da) but modulates his voice to mimic us. We’re working on ma-ma-ma, but he’s not quite there yet. And there’s no doubt he understands a lot of what we say. I just about fell over the other day when I said, “Lucas, where’s your toes?” and he reached over and grabbed them.

My absolute favourite baby trick, though, is this. About a month ago, I was rocking him to sleep and singing to him when I realized that he wasn’t just cooing softly to himself — in itself almost heartbreakingly endearing — but he was humming along with me as I sang to him. At which point I became a gelatinous ooze of maternal love and forgave him a years’ worth of 32 minute naps.


Isn’t he delicious?


So we’re in McDonalds the other day. (Granny came with us to skating lessons and offered to take us all out to lunch at McDonalds as a special treat for the boys.) While there is room in my Plan B diet for a rare treat of hamburgers and fries, I’d rather they be really tasty home-made ones than the crap that passes for food at McDonalds. Besides, I’m not even particularly hungry, so I decide to order a salad. I know they have salads at McDonalds, because I’ve ordered one before. They suck, but at least they’re guilt-free.

I’m looking at the menu boards above the cash registers, but after carefully perusing each of the half-dozen or so menu blocks, I can find no mention anywhere of salads. They have giant pictures of the burger combos, and a placard for the Monopoly game. There’s not even a board with the kids’ meals on it. That sign standing by itself, propped in a corner.

Remember the good old days when the menu boards in fast-food restaurants used to actually show you all the items that were on the menu? This has been a gripe of mine for a while. I first noticed it outside at the drive-through. I figured maybe they don’t put all the items on display out there because of a lack of space or something, or because the menu boards have to be further away thus limiting the text they use. But here I am standing inside the restaurant, and I still can’t find any mention of foods that I know should be available. I actually step out of line and go read the microprint on the nutritional information poster near the condiment stand to find out whether they still carry salads.

We eat our lunch, but it’s still bugging me, so I go up to the counter and ask someone who seems to be in a position of authority. All of about fourteen years old, from the look of him, but he’s so quick with an answer that I can tell he’s either been practicing or has answered this one a few times before.

“Oh yes, we still carry salads,” he says. “But head office knows they aren’t very good, so we don’t promote them.” I’m too gobsmacked by all that is wrong with this answer to even begin to reply, so he continues. “They’ll be some fantastic new salads unveiled soon, though!” he says with evangelical zeal. “You’ll love them, and we’ll have lots of new signs then.”

Uh huh. So the takehome message for me is this:

(1) McDonalds has salads, but they’re too embarrassed by the quality of them to admit it publicly.

(2) I’m only allowed to order a salad if I know to ask for one. And I’m not allowed to know the price in advance, either.

(3) Instead of providing patrons with a list of actual food items available in its restaurants, McDonalds would rather display ginormous pictures of their most popular but least healthy items.

(4) McDonalds would rather you just forget about the whole salad thing entirely and have a supersized Big Mac and fries instead. (That’s 1090 calories, more than three-quarters of my entire daily calorie consumption.)

Nice, McDonalds. Very nice.


So THAT’s how it is

25 October 2008 Baby days

After waking me up seven, count ’em SEVEN times between four and six am, the baby has been asleep for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. Not 32 minutes. TWO AND A HALF HOURS. With his father. While I was at skating lessons. I’m no longer speaking to either of them.

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Barenaked in Ottawa

23 October 2008 Life in Ottawa

Yay! I’m getting good at cracking Ticketmaster’s presale codes. Last year I got advance Rush tickets by searching the Rush fan site. Earlier this year, I guessed the presale code for Spamalot tickets by looking at the presale codes for other venues (it was “grail”). And just now, after a rigourous course of algorithms, analysis […]

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32 minutes

23 October 2008 Baby days

For the last two days, Lucas has been averaging a 32 minute nap, a couple of times per day. That would explain, for those of you who are hanging on my every word (hi Mom!), why posting has been so light this week. For what it’s worth, 32 minute naps also make for one cranky-assed […]

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Another dream comes true

20 October 2008 Working and mothering

Around the time the boys started school in September, I started truly panicking about the idea of going back to work. It was still five months away, but I knew back-to-school season was only a quick hop to Halloween, which would start the slippery slide down to Christmas and before I knew it, February would […]

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