Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Groovy Kind of Love?

Depends on how you define groovy, I guess:

adj. groov·i·er, Slang
You can sort of mostly tolerate one another's presence most days.

I was sifting through my email folders today, in particular the one devoted to DH, and began reading some of our years-old e-correspondence.

Um, seriously? We
acted like that? Spoke to each other like that? Sent long, chatty, lovey-dovey emails? Daily?? Now it's like, Pick up some damn bananas on the way home. TTYL.

Actually, bananas are too sexual. Maybe chicken. Chicken isn't sexual.

I mean, we're not quite at the hallway sex stage (you know the old joke, where you pass in the hall and say, "F@ck you"), but we're far beyond the days of
ye olde pleasante emailes. But it's not all bad, don't get me wrong. The whole honeymoon stage is fun and all, but it's nice having my head out of my ass again, too. Get way more done this way. And maybe "groovy" wasn't quite the word I was looking for. Maybe... quirky is more appropriate.

Yes - the Quirky Love sort of stage. Where you have grown to - if not appreciate, at least tolerate, and quite possibly poke fun at - your partner's quirks. And while I personally am Certified Quirk- and Eccentricity-Free, DH is a bit of an odd duck.

Nope, not pupating. Just cold. Always, always cold. There are actually only two seasons in our house: Not Cold, and Cold. Cold began on September 9 of last year, and hasn't let up since. I know this because I eat oatmeal for breakfast most days.

On September 9, 2008 I whipped up my weekly pot of Scottish oats and ladled it into serving-size containers, which I left
to cool on the kitchen counter while I did other things around the house. I popped back into the kitchen to find DH with a half-dozen Gladware containers of hot oatmeal stuffed under his clothing.

Me: blank stare
DH: "I'm, uh, cooling your oatmeal?"
Me: blank stare
DH: "Okay fine! I was cold!"
Me: more staring
DH: "Don't put this in your Christmas letter."

And I most certainly didn't, honey.

But, dear reader, you may be wondering how I know it's still Cold.

It's a funny thing, really, that the house gets so damn cold during the day. The baby and I are downright shivering by noon most days, but we power through, wear lots of layers, the usual.

Now, we do have a programmable thermostat. I, however am not a program-the-electronic-devices sort of gal. So DH takes care of that sort of thing. And the manner in which he took care of it is this: the furnace is set approximately to "Serengeti" starting at around 3pm - shortly before DH generally returns home from whatever it is he does out there in the real world - then once we're all nicely cooked, subsides to a more reasonable "Bermuda" overnight. Finally, a brief blast of "Mojave" from shortly before DH is scheduled to get out of bed in the morning to when he steps out the door. Then, DH has the furnace programmed to turn off. Poof! Magic! No more heat.

The baby and I, remember. At home all day, every day, allllll winter long. What kind of jackass furnace programming bullshit is that?

But that's just one of his quirks, I guess. And if I can love him for that, surely he can love me for my new quirk: refrigerating his underwear.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Painfully Employed

Whoops, I meant 'gainfully'. Must be wearing my Freudian slippers today.

But seriously, folks, 'tis very near the end of my maternity leave. Like, 179 hours 'til the end. Not that I'm counting. (Ah, hell, let's show up late for our first day back and make it a nice, round 180 hours.)

Trepidation, thy name is DH!

Oh - you thought it was ME who'd be feeling anxious? Are you kidding? Top ten reasons I am excited to return to work:

10. Regular, spouse-sanctioned bathing. And grooming. Wait: regular bathing and grooming without simultaneous care of small children required! Ooooh, I feel faint!

Not to boast here, but I cut a pretty mean paycheque.

8. And I plan on spending a portion of those paycheques on what is possibly the world's best baklava, sold at a little cafe conveniently located less than one block from my office!

So-shul life? What is this so-shul life of which you speak?

Can't wait to fire up the ol' prefrontal cortex again, whoo I've missed you old pal!

5. Hallelujah! It's raining [educated-interesting-dynamic-grown-up] men [and women with whom I get to work, converse and otherwise interact]!

4. After an entire year without managing ten consecutive minutes of free time, an hour by myself on the train seems breathtakingly luxurious.

"Getcha little sumpin' that you can't get at home..." and I don't mean pasties or g-strings, Mr. Waits, I mean recognition for hard work. Certainly a little sumpin' that no stay-at-home mother ever receives. Unless granted posthumously.

Hot office gossip.

And the number one reason I can't wait to return to work:

1. "I have to work tomorrow, remember? You get up."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Putting the Fun Back in Fungus Gnats

Because we are nerds, we know that the clouds of little bugs emanating from our potted plants are not fruit flies, as people commonly refer to them, but rather, fungus gnats. We looked it up. (Nerds, remember.) To keep the little jerks under control, we allow our plants to dry out quite well between waterings, and as a back-up measure invested in some of those yellow sticky flag doodads. Works like a charm.

Now, a few things you may not know about parenting:

1. The height of infant safety gates is standardized across the industry to be precisely two inches taller than my crotch.

2. Nope, I've never fed my kids corn, either - I have no idea where it comes from.

3. Those little yellow flags stick to an infant's head worse than poo clumps on a domestic longhair's ass.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to Home Depot to go pick up some Goo Gone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Advancements in the Field of Physics

We all remember a certain outstanding physical trait of mine, as detailed in Frecklicious Eps. 1, Bra Shopping, but perhaps you didn't know that I also consider myself somewhat artistic. And in the interests of visually breaking up my large expanse of canvas, so to speak, I wear a lot of v-necked shirts.

V-necked shirts, however, happen to be perfect vehicles for your infant or small child to subject you to public disrobing. (Say, at the mall. Good thing I just went bra shopping.) But it wasn't until a friend of mine recently complained of her four- and six-year-old step-daughters exposing her, er...
canvases at the swimming pool that it struck me, like an apple on the head:

The Force of Grabbity.

Theory: this force is as unique to infants and small children as the protective slime coating they secrete, and - like a tadpole's tail - diminishes with age. (My eight-year-old, for instance, hasn't pulled my shirt off in years. Plus, she's hardly slimy at all anymore!) I propose that The Force may also be related to their propensity for (dare I say it?)
grabbitating toward any dangerous, disgusting or embarrassing objects within a hundred-metre radius, and may be inversely related to arm length, as the inception of the ability to wipe their own butts directly coincides with a reduction in such behaviours as litterbox diving and battery licking.

(OK, so maybe "embarrassing" sticks around a bit longer, but how are they to know they're playing air guitar with a vibrator? The only one embarrassed is you, and possibly your visiting Great Aunty Beatrice. Totally subjective.)

But I'm telling you, once they can wipe their own butts you are practically

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Small Fry has recently entered a new stage of exploration. Previously, he enjoyed taking one interesting item and smashing it against a second, also interesting item. Hours of fun. In the new phase, he enjoys taking one interesting item and placing it inside another, also interesting item.

My car keys are interesting.

The toilet is interesting.

The perceptive reader may detect where this story is headed.

But wait - enter The Plot Twist. Now, we consider ourselves environmentalists 'round here, and to that end have taught our damn, darling Medium Fry a certain little ditty I like to call the "Water Conservation Poem". If you happened to grow up with a septic system (or with similarly hippie-ass parents such as ourselves), you'll know what I mean.

Back to the story.

"Gaaah! Small Fry! Don't put mommy's keys in ... *sigh* ... you frigging little turkey. Oh Jesus H. ... MEDIUM FRY!"


"Does brown rhyme with mellow?"

"Noooo." (This said as if I'm stupid!)

"Well then, flush the damn toilet next time!"

Getting my keys back was also interesting. Please, someone remind me why I gave up smoking.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You Can't Pick Your Friend's Nose

After some six months of teething-type behaviours (eg., excessive drooling, gnawing, sleeplessness and general misery), Small Fry is finally growing a top tooth. Trouble is, it appears to be an eye tooth. What kind of kid only has an eye tooth? He's going to look like Bucky Katt. The other kids are totally going to call him names! Well, okay, so he doesn't know any other kids, but his parents are totally going to call him names.

Can Opener. White Fang. Jewel. And that's just off the top of my head!

But does teething adequately explain his penchant for consuming (or attempting to consume) inedibles? Lint puffs, toilet paper, rocks, shoelaces, cardboard, car keys, Monopoly money, potting soil, the gDiapers swish stick, pastry brushes, buttons, spiders, socks, and of course, the ubiquitous floor Cheerio - the kid has tried them all.

"Does baby want some food?" "No thanks, Lunch Lady, but how about some everything else?"

(Use your best Lois and Stewie voices to enact the above exchange.)

Sure, maybe it's just teething, but since I'm all alone here with my thoughts and my crazed chewing machine of a baby... what if it's pica?

OK, I just checked Wikipedia, probably not pica. But hey, did you know that the consumption of mucus is called mucophagy? Makes it sound like a disorder or something. It's always been my belief that it's just something you do in private, like masturbating, or singing Linda Ronstadt tunes, or eating two litres of ice cream at one sitting.

Not that I do any of those things.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blogging as Gateway Drug

There aren't a lot of things I said I'd never do. For instance, I was not one of "those" people who saw other people's children (or parents, for that matter!) behaving badly and said, "I'll never let MY kids...", because I guess I could see that sort of thing coming back to bite me in the ass one day. And good thing, too, because from my current point of view I realize you can't stop the little Zulus no matter how hard you try. (Besides, kid leashes are really very convenient items to have in your parenting repertoire...)

I did, however, say I'd never write a blog. Yet somehow, here I am. Am I so self-important that I think people should have the privilege of all-hours access to my penetrating thoughts and ravishing wit? Turns out I'm just sorta lame and don't really have too many people to talk to, so I'm taking a page from the bivalve book of reproductive tactics: just lettin' it fly and hoping someone, somewhere is picking up what I'm putting down. Not entirely certain anyone is thus far... I currently have one - count 'em, one - follower. I call her my minion. (Bet you've never heard that word in the singular form before, eh?) Good thing I'm just getting shit off my chest here, because my plan for world domination seems to be falling sadly short.

But this begs the question: now that I've started a blog, what other "nevers" are going to come crashing through the Great Floodgates of Eating Crow? Velour tracksuits? Those ridiculous rolling backpacks? Horror of horrors - working retail???

One day you're starting a blog, the next day you're eating head cheese on white.
It's a slippery slope, I tells ya.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You May Be Premenstrual If...

Okay. Maybe my Greasy Hair Day special was a bit odd, and no, I didn't go into terribly much depth about our sleeping arrangements during the room-sharing fiasco. But seriously, just put the four molecules of Dijon on your sandwich already.

#27. Some people crave carbs while PMSing; I happen to be prone to random fits of irrational anger. And also, I crave carbs. Call me a multi-tasker if you will. That's why they pay me the big bucks.

#28. Okay, they really don't pay me that many bucks.

So, interestingly, the only thing more gay than a woman singing "I Kissed a Girl" is when your husband sings it, particularly when performed in a wicked Katy Perry falsetto. It's probably my fault for forgetting most of the words to songs, then belting out the one line I do know, over and over (...something something, cherry Chapstick...). I actually have quite the repertoire of moment-appropriate song snippets, but somehow this past week the only one I've used has been from Cell Block Tango - he had it comin'!

(Pop. Six. Squish. Empty jars in the fridge! Etc.)

Which brings me back to the irrational anger bit. And on that note, I am going to pour myself a nice big bottle of wine and chill the hell out. I don't like Dijon anyways.

Lacking in Depth

Once, on a greasy hair day, I devised a clever and (what I considered) reasonably attractive hairstyle comprised of said greasy hairs, plus numerous clips and bobby pins. I walked around all day, even in public!, right tickled with my invention and imagining a world in which I never suffered a bad hair day again - glorious! When DH returned home from work, I asked what he thought. Our conversation:

"Hey, what do you think of my new hairdo?"
"Okay, more specific: if someone came to work with this hairdo, what would you think?"
"Uh, I would think that person didn't try very hard today."


Tonight, DH complained that my posts have been "lacking in depth". "They're not very long. The first ones were longer," says he. "Why didn't you talk about how we slept in
shifts on the couch for four months, then moved to the basement where our Executive Guest Suite was just an air mattress that kept deflating for three more months, then we bought a brand new bed and still had to sleep on our shitty old mattress in the basement for four more months because our nice new bed was room-sharing with the baby?! They don't know how awful it was!!!"

Well, there. Since he's all hysterical about it, I've told you. And now while he's off having a good cry in the bathroom, I am going to tell you something else:

#26. I don't take well to criticism. It's a blog, for Pete's sake. Lacking depth my big white arse.

In completely unrelated news, it really annoys me when DH puts empty containers back in the fridge or cupboard. Or virtually empty, anyways - like we
really needed that last four molecules of grainy Dijon. But maybe I'm just shallow that way. You know, like, lacking in depth or something.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Home Renovations

I slept in my own bed last night, for the first time in eleven months. It's a bit embarrassing, really - I don't generally consider myself a gullible person, but as a duty to expecting parents out there I'll admit to falling for a ridiculous concept called "room sharing". The fallacy of room sharing is based primarily on the widespread misconception that babies sleep. At all. Ever.

Mine does not.

He grunts, growls, snorts,
whimpers, cries, crawls, climbs, thrashes, plays and wrestles, but does no such thing that could be perceived as actual sleeping. Hence, I have been sleeping in our Executive Guest Suite (ie., bed in basement) for eleven months.

I rue the demise of many conventions in our society. Table manners and giving the young'uns a nip of whisky to help them sleep are among them.

As we all know, one in three home renovations ends in divorce, so when you are planning your renovation budget be sure to include a generous allowance for custody battles and other such contingencies. Fortunately, I'm not married. (At least not to the person I'm shacked up with, but that's another blog entirely.) But we rolled the dice this past weekend and put in a third bedroom, and I am pleased to announce that the baby now has his own room, which means we have our own room, and hot dog, we like it.

So the moral of the story is: room-sharing is evil. It must be stopped. Tell your friends.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


If sandwiches had their own Hinterland Who's Who, they would be praised for their adaptability and humility. I can hear the little whistly tune right now...

Now, people blame all sorts of crap on their parents, "It's my bad genes", "They beat me with a rubber chicken", blah blah blah. But Dad, this one really is your fault: I hate sandwiches.

My dad likes sandwiches. He likes them for their ease of preparation and frugality, which I think you'll agree is a far cry from liking them for their diversity and endless gourmet applications. So lunches went something like this: two slices white bread, plus matter that fit between slices.**

** Not to be confused with matter that should be placed between slices of bread.

Sample menu:

- Drugstore Foundation with Pickle Morsels (aka. Kraft Sandwich Spread) (I guess calling it anything other than Big Jar of Awful is basically a complete fabrication, but note that it is not called Kraft Sandwich Filling.)

- Sliced Cold Meatloaf, avec Slippery Tomato Skin that Adheres to the Roof of your Mouth.

- Single Cheese-Type Slice plus Lettuce Leaf.

- Mustard. (Yep, only mustard.)

- Tinned Pork By-Product.

- Cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese is what really ruined sandwiches for me. You see, Dad figured it would be even more "economical" if he bought unsliced bread and sliced it himself, reeeeal thin-like. He's a talented fellow, could get about seventy-two sandwiches of a loaf that way, and cottage cheese bulged out the bottom of those sandwiches like Alien bulged out of that dude's abdomen - "Killlll meeeee..."

But I believe that there is good to be had from every experience, so if you'll excuse me I am off to pack my DD a decadent, sandwich-free lunch. I'm planning on ruining her life in my own unique way.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Confession: I go to Curves. Gym of choice for the large and lumpy. Unlike other gyms, I feel a true sense of camaraderie with other Curves attendees - like we are all there for more or less the same purpose, which is NOT trying to pick up a man. And since none of us are there to pick up men, there is no competition inherent in the act of being at the gym. I don't feel judged; I don't bother judging. I just hum along to ABBA and try to keep the little green light on. All is as it should be.

Tonight, my sense of peace and equality was challenged: there was this woman. This woman was not bronzed, oiled, coiffed, Botoxed, waxed, made-up or otherwise improved upon in any way I could discern. She was just. Plain. Peculiar.

I kept looking for the candid camera, because surely no one could be that effing bizarre under normal circumstances. She flailed her limbs madly. All of them. All at once. When the words to a song even hinted at some motion, she performed that motion: from a shockingly obscene "locomotion" to turn-turn-turning with the seasons. She was the leader of the pack; she worked that teeny weeny polka-dot bikini; she was defeated at Waterloo.

And then.

She squatted down, waaaay down. Feet shoulder width apart. Reached between her legs, grabbed her ankles from behind, and from this contorted crouch began launching her massive, middle-aged buttocks in the air in time with the music.

I had a time out. I can only hope the tears of mirth passed themselves off as beads of sweat. But no one else so much as batted an eye at this woman and her crazed calisthenics! So tomorrow, an experiment: I'm doubling up my usual dose of crack and hitting the gym.

Sourdough and Other Phenomena

I made the most beautiful, golden, fluffy, tangy and chewy sourdough loaf yesterday. OMG. It is so delicious with honey! Cheese! PB! I am drooling a bit here.

If I had thought of it before we devoured the whole thing, God rest its scrumptious soul, I might have even posted a photo of it.

And in other news: having a baby will ruin your sex life. If people truly understood this in all its awfulness, I believe the world would be a much less populous place. Consider this post my duty to humankind.

Besides, that chick in LA has already filled your quota.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Get to Know Your Friends"

It's that time of year again, my friends. No, I don't mean Groundhog's Day (though I did see my shadow this morning, and while when spring arrives is a total crapshoot, I can predict with some certainty that I have gained a few over the winter) - it's time again for those damned 'get to know your friends' emails. You know - somewhere between eight and seventy-two random and generally stupid factoids you didn't really care to know anyways and/or already knew from last year's edition.

38. What are you wearing right now? (The correct answer is, who cares?)

But I`ve recently seen on Facebook a revamped version of the old fave - it's a subtle difference, but an important one: in this version of the Get to Know You, the writer chooses twenty-five things about themselves they feel are worthy of being shared. Several of my friends have posted beautiful lists that truly speak to the heart of their beings, regardless of what they happened to be wearing at the time. Brilliant! So, despite the fact that, 1. I am an incurable (some may argue insufferable) smart ass, and cannot actually share anything personal without joking about it, here is my list:

2. I really like wearing aprons. Really. If not for the threat of grease spatters in untoward places, I might consider wearing only an apron.

3. DH calls me frecklepelt after a type of lichen with the same common name...

4. ... because I am very freckly, and...

5. ... because I am a biologist whose specialty happens to be plants (i.e., a botanist).

6. Being a botanist does not mean I grow marijuana, am a vegetarian, or know why your lawn won't grow in that one place by your deck. (Though it doesn't necessarily preclude me or other botanists from doing any of these things, either. Dude, pass the Twinkies.)

7. Celebrity crush: Rick Mercer.

8. But it would never work out between us. I need to be The Funny One in a relationship. Sorry, Rick.

9. Biggest mistake ever, and my sole regret in life: starts with a C and rhymes with, WTF was I thinking when I married my first husband?

10. I drop the F-bomb a LOT.

11. I firmly believe that the flavour of nearly all foods may be improved by either putting them in a pastry shell or adding whipped cream.

12. Or cheese, I forgot cheese.

13. If you can't stuff it in a pie shell or add high-fat dairy products to it, it's probably not something I want to eat anyways, so don't waste your time thinking up foods that can't be improved upon by those means.

14. Have I mentioned I am not a thin woman?

15. I often have trouble thinking of the correct word for things. (I once used the term "small mouth shovel" to indicate that I required a spoon.) There is a word for the condition, but naturally I can't remember what it is.

16. I like to bake - I find it therapeutic. And then I get to consume the results. Also therapeutic.

17. When I was a kid, I thought the lyric was "silence like a casserole", and I pictured a bubbly, cheese-topped casserole in a Corningware dish, just sitting on the kitchen counter. Silently.

18. My favourite season is fall. I like the decomposing leaf smell, grey skies and wearing layers.

19. I have extraordinarily bad morning hair.

20. My feet are so cute that I can't help but admire them whenever I'm not wearing socks. Sometimes I even remove my socks just to look at my feet. They are such hard-working, cute little feet. They never let me down. I really love my feet. I am going to give them each a little hug right now.

21. Oh gawd, I am not very flexible. They each got a bit of a reaffirming pat.

22. I got really stoned once while camping... okay, rephrase. This one time when I was really stoned while camping, I truly believed that the dead mosquitoes on the tent's mesh ventilation panels were also stoned and had just taken a bit of a lie down. To this day I have trouble believing they didn't get hot-boxed up there. *sigh* What a pleasant way to go.

23. And this other time... well, just don't ever throw your hiking boots into a tree, because how in hell do you think you're going to hike back out with no shoes?

24. I really try to think thoughts about physics, but my mind just can't .. quite ... wrap around it.

38. Green sweater, woolly socks, jeans, lime green cat-print apron.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Who the Hell Has Time?: Signs Your Wife is NOT Having an Affair

Maybe it's the new bras; maybe it's the new blog. Hell, maybe it's Maybelline. But last night my DH - actually, I find that far too cutesy. Please be advised that, depending on my mood, the D can stand for 'damn', 'dumbass', OR 'darling'. Or any number of things, I'm pretty creative that way.


Last night, my DH asked me, very gently and sincerely, if I am having an affair. Now this is generally not the appropriate response - I know he is just seeking affirmation of my love, blah blah blah, and I should be supportive and loving - but I said, "Oh, yeah. In allll my spare time, right?" Wait - what's that dripping sound? You guessed it: sarcasm. But seriously, with two kids, a mild home-cleanliness obsession, dinners to cook, blogs to write, Facebook to check, honestly: who has time?

So: seven signs your wife is NOT having an affair.

1. She
claims to be going to the gym, but then leaves the house dressed in (get this!) unflattering gym clothes, no makeup and stinky runners and returns home sweaty, tired, and able to do more push-ups than you. (Ouch! Little jab there, dear.)

2. She receives no mysterious phone calls, and in fact:
no phone calls at all!

3. She says she's "just checking her Facebook", but when you sneak a peek at her computer you find her
checking her Facebook! Maybe even playing WordTwist!

4. After having at best an ... er ...
relaxed approach to leg hair removal over the past several years, she starts to not shave her legs! Just like before!

5. She
claims to be "taking the kids to see a movie" or "pick up a few things at the grocery store", and then takes the kids to see a movie! Or returns home with groceries! Oh, the humanity!

6. The bra-delivery man turned out to be totally fugly. And the mailman's a woman. Also fugly.

7. She hasn't actually
left the house for longer than a half-hour without a screaming infant in tow for nearly a year.

So rest easy, my damn, darling husband. You're the only one for me.