Thursday 30 November 2006

required reading

You know, it really gets my goat (that's right - I've got a goat. Want a piece of it? Do you, punk?!) when people state that blogs about certain subject matters are "lame" or boring. According to one blogger, writing about kids and cats is akin to cornering someone in a dark alley and forcing them to watch reruns of Question Time. Luckily, I don't own a cat so I'm still cool to the youngsters of today. Word. Anyway, my point is, I don't really see the purpose of saying blogging about a particular subject is less worthy of cyberspace than say, posting naughty pictures of yourself. If you're not that thrilled by a blog, skip it; there are about a bazillion other blogs out there that might be of interest. Putting other blogs down is just bad blogging karma, if you ask me. It may lead to things like weird formatting in your CSS or your comment numbering going all wonky.

Kristin of "Debaucherous and Dishevelled" fame has been nominated in the 2006 Canadian Blogging Awards for best blog, best personal blog, and best family blog. Note that entrants have been nominated by others; you cannot nominate yourself. I've followed her blog for a long time now (back in the old days when we were up the duff with our boys), and I simply love her writing - even though it now involves discussions about kids. God, how LAME. (that's sarcasm, by the way) While you're at it, please feel free to vote for Ed of "Blork Blog" (which sounds remarkably like a Lord of the Rings character). Cast your votes here.

I'm not saying just go and vote blindly just because I said so - I do know that I should only use my powers for good, but sometimes it's hard to resist. What I'm saying is please do go and check out these blogs if you're not familiar with them. They are not just blogs from friends, they are incredibly well written and deserve the recognition (if not a couple of extra readers).

By the way, Ed sometimes blogs about cats, but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday 29 November 2006

a whole lotta nothing

Some of you have been curious about the lack of posts around here, and some of you have even been speculating about my whereabouts. Rest assured, I'm still alive (others can attest to this) but simply not up to anything particularly interesting. I've got blogstipation; no ideas are coming out at the moment. I usually come across several topics that I file away for later use, or amusing situations that happen to us. Sometimes we go places or do things that are worth writing about. If all else fails, someone at work will eventually do something comical and worthy of a post. But lately, nada. Life is work, playing with Jack, getting errands done, watching Lost and scraping my brain off the ceiling, and occasionally getting together with friends. Even Heat magazine hasn't been that interesting lately.

So there you go. I've just blogged about the inability to think about something to blog about. Please don't give up on us just yet - I'm sure something interesting will happen soon.

Monday 27 November 2006

snips and snails, and puppy dog tails

My little boy has been asleep on the sofa since we returned from the soft play centre almost two hours ago. Oh how lovely it was to cuddle and coo over two little girl babies; such a treat when you're mummy to a boy. Caroline's daughter Emily gave us little gurgles and smiles, and Tosha's daughter Kalila happily sat in my arms (and Jack happily played with the puddle of spew she left on the table, but I digress). Meanwhile, Jack tore around the place, diving head first into the ball pits and making "ROOOWRRRR!!" noises. Jack followed Indigo around and they copied each other's every move. They yelled and screamed, and most of the time they were just little toddler blurs blazing past us. Totally adorable, but it made me think that having two boys must be exhausting. Cute, but exhausting.

Other cute things:
-Jack's toys in his cot are called "puppy", "puppy", and "raaaaaaarrrrr!" (the lion)
-he's still doing his pretend wees and poos, but come anywhere near him when he's doing a real poo and he'll say "noooooooooooo!!!" and hold up his hand to stop you. He's a very private young man.
-he has his first Christmas play on Dec. 15. I will spend the entire time taking pictures and sobbing like a lunatic.
-funniest thing heard on the baby monitor for a long time: "Da-deeeee. Da-deeee. It's da-deeeee. Da-deeeee. It's da-deeeee." (repeat for another 10 minutes)
-just like his mummy and daddy, Jack thinks raw celery is Satan's salad ingredient.

Wednesday 22 November 2006

potty all the time

Jack has started to mimic us, both verbally and in actions - which is both amusing and frightening at the same time. Amusing to see us recreated in mini me form, frightening to realise that we really do need to stop swearing and eating things right from the fridge (that last one probably only applies to me). So the other day, Jack looks at me with a frown, grabs his crotch (as boys are wont to do), and says "Wee!" "Jack having a wee?" I ask in my cheery "let's be chipper about potty-related things so that our son's not traumatised about the whole thing" voice. "WEE!" he says more adamantly, and points towards the downstairs bathroom. "Owah..owah" he says, meaning "shower", which is Jack's word for the bathroom. Goodness, he actually wants to use the toilet, I think.

So we walk to the bathroom together, and then I realise a) we don't have a potty nor a footstool to reach the toilet and b) I have no idea how to aim a toddler's winkie so that he actually wees in the toilet and not all over my shoe rack. I knew that he's definitely not ready for potty training yet, so I wasn't even going to attempt it. Instead, we did a "pretend wee". I put him on the toilet (fully dressed) while he sat there with a massive grin. "Did Jack wee?" I asked. "Yeah" he said, and he got down, flushed the toilet, and put the lid back down. I kid you not. We have raised a boy that doesn't leave the seat up. If we teach him how to cook, he'll have women pouring through his front door in around 20 years.

Almost every day since that first toilet trip he says "Owah!" and points to the bathroom, and I sit him on the toilet as he gleefully tells me if he's had a wee or poo. The other day, he took some toilet paper and pretended to wipe afterwards. If he starts spritzing the bathroom with that nice air freshener we always keep next to the toilet, I may find that slightly disturbing.

Tuesday 21 November 2006

photographic evidence

I've finally uploaded our pictures from California here. Detailed travelogue type commentary will be unavailable until I get a week off in a dark cave on a deserted island. (With broadband, naturally.) Enjoy!

Friday 17 November 2006

this might get ugly

Jack can only identify one Disney character, and he always does so with an enthusiastic cry of "POOH!!" When Jack fills his nappy, he says (solemnly) "Poo."

I'm just wondering how this is all going to pan out when it comes time to potty train.

Thursday 16 November 2006

storytime with jack

Jack pulls his picturebook off the bookcase and climbs up into our bed with it. It's 7am, it's dark, and I don't have my contacts in.

Jack: [pointing at a picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: [squinting and moving the book closer until my nose touches the page] "It's a truck."
Jack: [pointing at another picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: "Car."
Jack: [pointing at another picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: "Aeroplane."
Jack: [pointing at another picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: "Digger."
Jack: [pointing at the same picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: "That's still the digger."
Jack: [pointing at a different picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: "It's a..."
Jack: [interrupting] "What's that?" [rapidly points at another picture] "What's that?"
Me: "It' are you pointing at?"
Jack: [pointing at another picture in the book] "What's that?"
Me: "That's the car again."
Jack: [pointing at an empty space on the page] "What's that?"
[long pause]
Me: "Mummy's going back to sleep now."

Yeah, yeah I know. Bad Mother.

Tuesday 14 November 2006


Jack's vocabulary seems to have expanded rapidly since our trip to the States. It started with a few words and has evolved into two-word sentences, which is very cool. I'm not one to brag and there seems to be lots of other children around Jack's age who are reciting Shakespearean sonnets from memory, so this isn't at all about how brilliant my child is. It's all about how wonderful it is to be able to interact with Jack and thoroughly enjoying watching him learn about the world around him. We had the crayons out yesterday and he pointed at one and asked "What's that?" and I said "purple crayon." "Puh-ple," he repeated solemnly. I could almost see the little cogs turning in his head as his brain filed away this new piece of information. Everything in the house is identified by a finger point and "it's mummy's", "it's daddy's", or "MINE!" Apparently Jasper owns nothing, which is a bit sad, really.

I won't list everything he says, but suffice it to say that anything said in a tiny toddler's voice is pretty damn adorable. Equally, the word "mummy" when said in a sad sleepy voice in the middle of the night is enough to make me say "Yes, darling whatever you want! Cuddles? Milk? Snacks? My credit card number? Here! Take it! Take it all!" I am going to be in deep trouble for the next few years.

On a totally unrelated note, many congratulations and much happiness to lovely Lisa over at Turquoise who had a baby girl yesterday!

hiding under the duvet for the next six weeks

I don't care what my television tells me - I am NOT ready to start thinking about Christmas yet.

Friday 10 November 2006

damn yankees

Hi. I'm still alive - apologies for the distinct lack of bloggage. Please accept this gift of a miniature Peanut Butter Cup* as compensation. Anyhoo.

On Halloween night as Paul and I sat in London traffic, we heard several news reports about additional police on duty to deter hooligans from creating all sorts of havoc. It's a night for yobs and vandalism, they said. Local residents were afraid to leave home for fear of something unsavoury passing through their letterboxes. Decoy buses full of police officers roamed Merseyside, attempting to pick up troublemakers planning on trashing public transportation vehicles. The BBC interviewed the average person on the street about this harrowing night, and a comment that kept coming up was why should we acknowledge this American holiday? I read a newspaper article expressing a similar sentiment; that Halloween is an American invention and causes great strife in our nation. As if somehow the fact that trick or treating is an American tradition makes it inappropriate to celebrate here, and furthermore, this explains its unwelcome affect on British youths.

I think that Halloween is not celebrated here as it is back home (Canadians trick or treat too, you know - just with big winter coats over our costumes so you can't actually see what we're dressed up as) because it simply isn't a tradition here yet and no one quite knows what to do with it. I always describe my amusement each year at our local trick or treaters. We get none, they come on the wrong day, or they don't even bother dressing up. This tells me that there is great confusion surrounding this holiday, although it does seem to be improving the longer I live here. I'm not sure why there is a general distaste for it just because it's deemed American. It should be fun, with a bellyache the next day.

I came across another article about how awful it is that the British use "Americanisms" such as "Can I get...?" instead of "May I please have...?" So when you go to Starbucks to request a beverage from the 17-year-old behind the counter who really doesn't give a shit whether you live or die, you should do so by saying "May I please have a tall cafe latte?" instead of "Can I get a tall cafe latte, please?" because the spotty teen will be greatly offended by your American-ness.

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. As a Canadian, we do tend to find our downstairs neighbours to be somewhat rowdy and a little bit weird to be honest, but I can't say that I've ever found something to be abhorrent simply because it's American. When we were in California, people constantly acknowledged Jack. Businessmen with silly looking Bluetooth headphones at the hotel would greet Jack with a "Hi, Buddy!" and restaurants brought us endless supplies of crayons and balloons. Although over enthusiastic American store clerks can be unsettling to the outsider, they were very nice to have when we did actually need help. People smiled at us and chatted to us. No one batted an eye when I asked for menu substitutions. I'm two sizes smaller in the States. Sorry, that's another issue altogether.

What I'm saying is, Americans aren't all terrible. They're not all uncouth beasts who go around breaking windows on Halloween night, demanding food products in an impolite manner. All things American aren't terrible. We watch their television programmes, listen to their music, and watch their films. We celebrate Father's Day without (much) complaint, which is an American invention. And who doesn't appreciate a good burger? Mmmmm...burgers. Be right back.

Anyway, that's all I had to say. I might not always understand Americans and I'll never be tempted to eat grits, but if we could learn how to do Halloween like they do, that would be more than fine by me.

*(Supplies are limited. To claim your gift, you must come to my house between the hours of 7am and 7pm on weekends only, and answer a skill-testing question. Offer not valid in Quebec, Hawaii, or ROI. Thank you.)

Friday 3 November 2006

but i only let him watch the discovery channel

I always claimed that Jack's not interested in television (thus explaining my lack of knowledge about things like Ballamory and fit looking guys in The Wiggles), because he never seems to pay attention to it when I have it on. Or so I thought. While we were on holiday, Jack found a remote in our hotel room, held it up to me and said, with great seriousness, "On." Ha ha, how cute! Then the next day, and every day following: "On." (repeatedly until I either told him that the TV was broken or I just switched it on to avoid a hissy fit). At the airport while we were waiting for our luggage to come crashing down the conveyor belt, he spotted two monitors hanging from the ceiling. "On." he said, with his little pudgy finger pointing at the screens. It's true what they say; television is a drug and my son is addicted. Or I should say, he's addicted to switching it on - he doesn't really care about watching it. My son is addicted to white noise, then. Probably goes back to the womb. Or something.

Thursday 2 November 2006

you know you're a Bad Mother when... decide that you will diligently avoid giving your child nuts in any form until the age of two (due to nut allergies on both sides of the family), only to notice your son is chowing down heartily on a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Ten minutes after giving it to him.

I blame the jet lag.

dust. anyone? dust.

Just a quickie to say that we saw Little Britain live on Tuesday night, and it was absolutely fantastic. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, and we were mere feet away from the boys (row G!) The woman next to me didn't laugh once and only clapped at the end, so I'm assuming that she was there under duress, fulfilling some sort of community service.

Coming soon: my post about why the British shouldn't fear nor loathe Americans. No, seriously.