Friday, December 31, 2010

Pig Pen

The kid is not very good at tidying up after herself. It doesn't matter if she has storage spots - even if they are labelled.

The best example of her pigginess occurred after we spent the afternoon tidying up - finding placed for the new Christmas toys, etc... I was running her bath and discovered a pair of socks stuffed behind her stool. "Seriously, kid! Why are you leaving socks in the bathroom? Put them away." Twenty minutes later, she is still in the bathtub (she is 6 so I don't think she needs me in there the whole time) and what do I discover thrown on the floor - far, far away from her laundry hamper? The socks. Her excuse? "I was going really fast and got distracted." I call piggy poop on that excuse!

Sadly, the messy gene is genetic. My boss can confirm that from the state of my desk. Although I swear there is a method to my madness (and I don't have a bookcase - instead I have a photocopier sized printer). I don't just randomly through socks across my desk and hope they land where they are supposed to.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last minute shopping

I shop year round so I don't have to worry about making a mad dash to the malls on Christmas Eve. It seems this is not a genetic trait. That was obvious when at 3:30 pm on December 24, the kid looked at me and said, in a panic, "I forgot to get some presents! You have to take me to the mall!" Remember she is 6.

I caved since she was caring about others - namely her aunt and uncle. Plus, when I picked up my sister I noticed that the local mall wasn't packed. Our parking spot was about 20 feet from the door. And it was an underground spot. Score!

Kid gets $6 allowance each week and was able to buy her last minute gifts with her own money. Soap from Bath and Body Works for her aunt and a $5 Wii video game for her uncle (a punching game which, I gather, sucked).

She was happy. I was happy. And then I noticed the crack in my windshield that was not there when I parked 30 minutes before hand. Grrrrrr!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The joys of texting

Late in November, we were driving home from Niagara when we let the kid play with my iphone. While she was playing Angry Birds, my sister texted me. And now that the kid knows about texting she wants to use the phone all the time. So, sometimes I let her text her dad. Most of the time it is utter nonsense but she has finally realized that texting "111122222333333" is not the funny joke she thought it was. I must admit it is helping with her spelling. And she is learning her way around a QWERTY keyboard. So, I go along with it. Even if it does mean I never seem to get to use my phone!

Partial transcript of a recent conversation:

Kid: I. Love. You. Daddy
Daddy: Tell me about your day!
Kid: It. Was. Good.
Daddy: Why do you put periods between all your words instead of just spaces?
Kid: It"s. The. I. Phone.

A whole lot of nonsense goes back and forth.

Daddy: Oh. Type me a LONG message and give me some time to get work done. Tell Mommy I asked you to do that.

She didn't.

Kid: Do you. Want a. Taco silly. Silly. Goose
Daddy; Sure. Now send me a longer message or stop sending messages, please.
Kid: Longgggggggggggggg
Daddy: No more messages. Tell Mommy I said STOP!!!!! I'll come home soon.

Finally she said something to me that made me think that her father wanted the texts to stop.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Best. Movie. Ever!

That is what the kid has to say about Yogi Bear.

We were lucky and didn't have to watch that particular movie. My parents took her instead. They said it was the "Worst. Movie. Ever!" but of course, the kid contradicts them - she thinks it was awesome. She is currently campaigning Hubby and I to go and see it. Apparently, if you only see one movie this year - Yogi Bear is the one to see.

Yeah. I think not. Maybe if this was the actual ending.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Home Alone

I've been showing the kid movies from the 1990s lately. The latest one is Home Alone. You know Macaulay Culkin's movie debut.

The IMDb website describes the movie as

An eight year-old, who is accidentally left behind while his family flies to France for Christmas, has to defend his home against idiotic burglars.

The kid watched most of the movie one day. But then my dad showed up to whisk her off to St. Catharines. I just offered to show her the conclusion and she got all freaked out and said, "that's the one with all the Mommy's in it." I replied, "no, the one where the Mommy forgets her son and goes to Paris". She says, "yeah that's the one - the one with all the mummies!" (and she pantomimed a zombie).

I don't know about you, but I don't recall zombies and mummies attacking Kevin McCallister. But then, I don't remember Elizabeth Bennet dating or hunting zombies in Pride and Prejudice but I keep seeing Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at the bookstore.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Taco Bell

The kid loves Taco Bell. She's fond of McDonald's but she really, really loves Taco Bell. It has nothing to do with the stupid toys. I don't actually think Taco Bell gives toys. And she devours the whole thing.

I hate Taco Bell. There is nothing there I will eat. So, it is something special for hubby to do with the kid. You'd think she had died and gone to heaven when we decide to have a meal at a mall food court that has a Taco Bell in it.

Friday, December 24, 2010


When the kid was 2, our daycare provider gave us a bottle of homemade ice-cream topping for Christmas. She gave it to us on Christmas Eve.

Thus began our crazy family tradition. On Christmas Eve we eat ice-cream for dinner! The kid thinks it is awesome and is always bringing it up. She hasn't caught on that this always happens on Christmas Eve.

She also hasn't caught on that we have a big "snack" around 5 pm. Followed by the ice-cream dinner at around 6:30 or 7 pm. Usually our snack is Chinese food. I wonder how much longer I can get away with claiming that dessert is dinner?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Is it a stocking or a garbage bag?

Our stockings are huge. As big as garbage bags. It's a tradition that my parents started when I was born. All our Santa gifts had to fit in the stocking. And they were always quite full of cool toys. I remember my sister's was filled with Littlest Pet Shop and Polly Pocket toys in the 90s. I got lots of She-ra, Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Ponies. There are 8 years between my sister and I.

Santa has left the kid items that don't fit in the stocking. One year she got a Little Tikes make-up desk. It was her #1 item and Santa (with a little help from Hubby's parents) made it happen.

I collect items throughout the year for this. The only problem with this is that I tend to accumulate too much to fit in the stocking. That's why hubby and my stocking will feature a few items that were meant for the kid. Oops. We'll share with her. I promise.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Registered Trademarks

The kid has thought a lot more about her restaurant. She has decided that she wants to make it more of a Fast Food place. Sort of like Mandarin, Taco Bell and Lone Star. She wanted to name it Lone Star Taco Bell.

This led to a big discussion on how names are trademarked, franchises and all that. So, in a few years when she is ready to register her restaurant's name - she's going to talk to a lawyer. If none of her friends are lawyers she'll talk to my friends or the lawyers that work with her aunt. It's all planned out.

I know that you will want to hear more about this restaurant. It is going to be called Make it Yourself. She came up with the name and concept all by herself. It will be an all you can eat affair where you can make your own pizza, tacos, burgers, etc... Although she did tell me that she would cook the meat for people - they basically just have to assemble it themselves. She's really put a lot of thought into her plan. Now to teach her about business plans.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The best laid plans

This week the kid was supposed to spend quality time with her grandparents in Niagara. This was hubby and I could go to work as normal and have a little quiet time before the holidays.

My dad picked her up on Sunday. They went to a movie and dinner with my mom. On Monday they were supposed to drop her off at the inlaws house. We would then pick her up on the 23rd. Hubby took the 24th off to look after her and I finish work at noon. Sounds like a great plan, right.

Alas, kid coughed so much on Sunday night that she vomited. And she developed a case of the sniffles. We can't expose hubby's mother or sister's 3-month-old baby to that. And my parents are off to Texas tomorrow.

I picked her up from Niagara yesterday afternoon. Luckily my office is really quiet this week so she will accompany me to work each day for a few hours to make sure all is good and then I'll work at home the rest of the time. Thank God for giant portable hard drives, the Internet and my wonderful (although getting a little old) laptop.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last dolphin story of the year

Kid wrote a total of four chapters about Sparkles the diamond pooping dolphin. Here's the last chapter she wrote. We'll have to see what happens in 2011. Maybe we'll pick a new animal and its poop to write stories about.

One day Sparkles and all her friends decided to go on an adventure. They went to Chocolate Land. They all enjoyed Chocolate Land so much that they were hoping to go back the next day. So they all went back the next day. Chocolate Land was full of everything chocolate – mint chocolate, chocolate chocolate, white chocolate, brown chocolate and ice-cream with chocolate sauce. The rooftops of every house were covered with ice-cream and chocolate. There were a lot of restaurants in Chocolate Land. They kept swimming along to see what was interesting in Chocolate Land. They saw chocolate houses, and other things made of chocolate – in fact, everything in Chocolate Land was made of Chocolate Land! They went to one of Chocolate Land’s restaurants. The name of the restaurant was Chocolate, Chocolate Everywhere! Guess what they served? Chocolate-covered fish, chocolate flowers, chocolate rabbits and chocolate dolphins. Each of the dolphins ordered and ate a chocolate dolphin. When they got home they delivered mail about all their adventures in Chocolate Land.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Picky, picky, picky

I'm a picky eater.

Yup, I admit it. I've gotten a lot better as I've gotten older but there are some things that I really can't stand.

Enemy #1: Bananas.
I can't even stand the smell of bananas. Eating a banana popsicle once turned me off of popsicles for several years. Yes, I should have just stopped eating it but my Mom insisted that I finish it. Did I mention that I was 20? And hospitalized? I was really proud of myself for being able to puree them for the kid when she was a baby. Heck, I'm just impressed that I was willing to let my offspring eat them.

Enemy #2: Condiments
I hate all condiments equally. I despise ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish - all that stuff. I have since I was a child. Shocking when you realize my dad eats practically everything with ketchup. The kid loves all that stuff. Freak.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Think Pink!

I didn't used to like the colour pink. Can you believe it?

Then I got pregnant with the kid and became fond of the colour. Maybe because I was hoping it would be a girl.

And then she was a girl I wanted to make sure everyone knew she was a girl (she was bald for a long time) so I dressed her in pink. And myself too so we'd coordinate. I'm crazy like that. And somehow it became my signature colour. Even though I look much better in blue and green.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Practically the same thing"

Did you know that Jurassic Park and The Santa Clause are practically the same movie?

That's what the kid told me on Wednesday (she was home sick - nothing serious) when we watched all three Santa Clause movies back-to-back. If something is a trilogy, the 6-year-old kid has to compare it to Jurassic Park. Because, that it the "best movies ever!" It seems we have to watch a few more movies over the winter break, kid.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Christmas

We're having an open house on Saturday. If I forgot to invite you, let me know and I'll hook you up with the details. At this moment I have no idea what is going to happen. The kid begged me for some invitations to give out at school. I caved. I'm assuming that none of her friends will be able to show on such short notice. But you know what happens when you assume.

So, we're going to make sure we have lots of sugary treats. And liquor. Lots of liquor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dolphins poo diamonds. It's a fact.

Kid dictated another chapter about Sparkles the diamond pooping dolphin. Can't hear enough about that topic, right? Right? Hello, anyone still reading... ah well, here it is.

Sparkles and all her friends all went to butterfly garden to pick some of their favourite flowers for a feast they were having at dinnertime with lots of their favourite sweets which Sparkles had bought from Sweetland at one of her adventures. Sparkles pooed some diamonds for the feast. Just to decorate the tables because it wasn’t really sticky or smelly or gross – it was diamonds to all the dolphins and Sparkles. Sparkles delivered the mail to all the dolphins that didn’t know about the feast. The other dolphins set up games and food and stuff like that. Sparkles got on her computer to make some presents. The presents were guitars and nail polish for all the dolphins. And then it was finally time for the feast. All the dolphins had fun and enjoyed themselves as they went around all the shops and enjoyed the feast. Then they went to bed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When I grow up...

I think I was meant to work in the graphic design field. It all started in the mid-1980s when my dad bought The Print Shop for our Apple II. I had a ton of fun playing around with that program – I made cards, stationary, posters, etc… My friend Elizabeth and I raised money for sleepover candy by selling the results to her siblings.

I also spent a fair amount of time at the cottage creating magazines and booklets. Basically scrapbooking – which essentially is graphic design.

For years afterwards I would do bits of design – just whatever came naturally – until I discovered that graphic design would be a major element of the job I was interviewing for at United Way. I found this out in the middle of the interview. I remember feeling shocked at realizing that I could, potentially, earn a living doing something that feels so much like play.
It's been over 10 years since that day. I'm still at United Way and while my role has changed considerably I still feel like I'm being paid to play.

Monday, December 13, 2010

We're Time Travellers, baby!

We live in a great little townhouse. It has three floors, plus the basement. It also is magic. As we progress from the top floor (parents bedroom) to the main level (kitchen and family room) we actually go back in time!

Years ago my hubby started setting his alarm clock about 10 minutes early. After numerous power outages both our alarm clocks are in synch. They are also half an hour early. So, every day I get to sleep in until 7 am. Yet, by some miracle, when I come downstairs after showering and getting ready for work - it is... 7am!

Total magic, eh? The clocks on the main floor are either not working, lost, or hidden behind stuff. So, we're not sure what time zone the kid's room, craft room, laundry room and bonus family room are in.

It's weird, but it works for us.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A change of heart

On Wednesday, the kid discovered the Santa Secret. But on Saturday she decided to forget it. We were driving to St. Catharines to see Tangled as guests of The Investor's Group. Out of the blue, she said, "I think I'm too young to know the Santa secret." Since we agree, we told her that she can forget it if she wants. After all, we could be totally wrong. And we do believe in Santa magic.

That made the kid happy. So, we have a believer again. And I don't have to worry so much about all those Christmas movies that raise doubts about the North Pole.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


We had been dating a few months when Hubby (or rather future Hubby) started suggesting I “get a hobby.” Reading didn’t count according to him. Although I admired his ability to get wrapped up painting his Warhammer figures, I just couldn’t see myself getting so involved in anything other than my books.

After we were married, and I’d finally finished school, he started encouraging me to choose a hobby again. But nothing really caught my fancy. Until I discovered Scrapbooking. I bet he wishes he hadn't encouraged me so much now! :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Secret

It is the end of an era. On Wednesday night at roughly 8 pm, the kid discovered the Santa Secret.

It was a very sad day in our house. I knew it was coming. I thought maybe we'd make it through one last Christmas. Alas, that was not the case.

We were snuggling on the couch and she suggested we read The Polar Express. I said okay, so she ran and got our copy. I only got into the second paragraph when it happened...

On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound - a sound a friend had told me I'd never hear - the ringing bell of Santa's sleigh.

"There is no Santa," my friend had insisted. But I knew he was wrong.

And that's when she interrupted me. "I know Santa is real," she exclaimed. "It's not the Moms and Dads, right? Or is it, Mommy?" Not wanting to spoil the magic I asked her, "What do you think?" The response was an exasperated, "You can just tell me!"

So I did.

After I told her, she laughed and said, "So it's a big huge joke?" I then talked to her a bit about the magic of Santa and why we donated toys to Christmas wish programs, etc... I also told her that now she has to help fill the stockings. And keep the Santa Secret from other kids until they're ready to find out.

"Yeah, I am 6 now. I'm big enough to know. It's not like I'm 2. Then you wouldn't have told me." she said.

I told her that as soon as she asked the questions I would tell her the truth. Even if she had been 2. I think 6 is a little young to be in on the secret but, it is what it is. I did have to laugh though when I asked her if she still wanted to get her photo taken with the mall Santa.

"Of course. I mean, elves are still real. They make all the toys for the toy stores."

And as I tucked her in she told me, "If I hear the Polar Express I am so totally going on. You don't need a ticket after all."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Birth Control

I haven't had the talk with the kid yet. She has no interest in how babies are made. She knows they come out the vagina and that is all she wants to know. However, she did surprise me at one point when she told me that she and all her girlfriends were going to take special medicine so that they don't get babies when they own a restaurant.

She may not know the baby-making process but she does have a handle on birth control. And that can only be a good thing. Right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Chef Kid

In the Spring, the kid decided that she was going to open a restaurant when she grows up. She was full of plans. She and several classmates were going to open it together. All her other friends were going to work as servers.

Since we are her parents, she told us that we'd have our own private room in the restaurant! She wouldalways be our server and we’ll have a special menu. Best of all – it wouldbe free! But we could buy the ingredients from her and make the recipes at home if we want.

The menu and the name changed on a daily basis.  One thing they were always going to sell was Coke.

Her career aspirations have evolved and while she hasn't given up on the idea of being a chef, she has decided that she'd prefer to be a fashion designer. For the time being.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another dolphin story...

The third chapter in the Dolphin Poo book as dictated by kid.

One day Sparkles and her friends decided to go on a picnic. They went to Pizza Nova to get some pizza. They got one of Sparkles’ seaweed picnic blankets, they put all the pizza on plates and chose which pizza they wanted to eat and then they all got some drinks and sat down.  And then they all played some of their favourite games. They all took turns playing their favourite games.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sequels suck

At least according to the kid. She was quite dismayed by Jurassic Park: The Lost World because she "didn't get to actually see any people get eaten." It was implied but not bloody enough for my little psychopath. Sigh. At least she feels sympathy for people in real life. She won't end up being a serial killer, right? Right?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Being the Best Parents Ever we decided to let the kid watch Jurassic Park with us last night. Before I put it on I made sure she knew that the kids didn't get eaten and that the whole concept of bringing dinosaurs to life wasn't real.

I really didn't need to be concerned.

She loved the movie! I loved that she was even keeping track of the number of deaths. Part way through the movie she complained, "When is someone else going to get eaten? Only two people have been eaten so far!"

There were no nightmares last night and she can't wait to watch the second movie. Hubby won't let me show her Jaws 2 though (lots of carnage). He doesn't think she's ready yet. Maybe during the Christmas holidays?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Books and more books

Here is part two of my list of favourite contemporary authors.

Adele Parks - I like thick books. I really like to get to know the protagonist. Ms. Parks' books are an escape from the everyday. Game Over is an entertaining book which revolves around one of the worst types of reality shows. I'm actually surprised it isn't an actual show. Maybe in England?
Carmen Reid - Ms. Reid has written a series of books about a personal shopper. The first in the series is The Personal Shopper. There are also several fun books from this British author that aren't part of a series. Her slogan is "A fabulous read. A sexy read. A Carmen Reid." And it's true.
Annie Sanders - the first novel I read by Ms. Sanders was Goodbye, Jimmy Choo.  I think that is my favourite novel by this British author.
Wendy Wax - I've only read one of her books - The Accidental Bestseller. But it was awesome so she made my list.

Jennifer Weiner - She used to write for womens magazines like Cosmo. Now she writes fun books. Her first was Good in Bed. 

Lauren Weisberger - She wrote The Devil wears Prada. And yes, the book was even better than the movie. 'nough said. 

Penny Vincenzi - Ms. Vincenzi writes epic novels. Big thick tomes that span years. British. Most recent title is The Best of Times.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I have a love/hate relationship with sharks. They terrify me but fascinate me at the same time. But I couldn’t resist swimming with the sharks at Disney World. But, when I’m in the ocean (or even the lake) I can’t help worrying about what might be lurking a few feet away. But, if there is a shark movie in the theatre or on television, I have to watch it. And I love every minute of watching the actors and actresses get devoured. In fact, most of the time I’m rooting for the shark! What’s wrong with me?

A few of my favourite movies include Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D, Deep Blue Sea, Open Water, Into the Blue,and Spring Break: Shark Attack. I don't like Jaws as much. Not enough eating of people. Too much talking in the dark.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sneezy McSneeze a lot

I sneeze a lot. And by a lot I mean almost all the time! It's frightful how many boxes of tissues I go through in a week. It's downright sad.

I guess that is to be expected when you're allergic to cats and have two. But some days are worse than others. The last week has been awful. Usually I can sleep through the night without a sneezing fit. Alas, that has not been the case for several days now. Poor hubby! I think my sneezing bouts at 1am and 4am are giving him nightmares.

By the way, the only tissues that work for me are Royale Ultra 3 ply. None of that slippery stuff coating the tissue and it's strong enough to survive a bit. The Real Canadian Superstore has a no name 3-ply tissue that works too. It is a smaller box though.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wish List

Hubby's sister had her first baby in September. A little boy, we'll call him Nephew. My sister has no kids. So, kid has had a bit of an adjustment to make to the idea that she isn't the only kid in the immediate family.

I think things are going to be okay though. While making her Christmas wish list she also made a list for Nephew. After all, he will be 3 months in a few days. And what, you ask, does a 6-year-old think is on a 3-month-old's must have list this holiday season?

I think she doesn't quite how long it will be before Nephew can really play with her. Right now he pretty much just eats, screams, poops and occasionally sleeps. The aquarium is at least age appropriate. It was picked as a way to "stop him from screaming all the time." I think her aunt and uncle would prefer that to the drums or girly tea set.