Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Just so you all know, whenever you feel bad, just watch some Rankin Bass cartoons. Rudolph's Shiny New Year is pretty awesome!
Then go to the movies, and some museums, and watch some kids playing outside.
Funny story, while I was feeding the baby this afternoon in front of an Old Master---(yes, I did bare my boob in front of a painting of a woman with a bare boob), the kids made a deal at the museum. Kaz offered Mac $15 to stop bugging him until they got to the car. But as they left the museum, Kaz, having gotten what he wanted, turned to him and said, "I don't have any money to pay you, so the deal is off." And Mac started to cry.
Which is when I heard the whole sordid story. And rolled my eyes...
First, we don't bribe for good behaviour. It starts up a whole set of problems, that I don't want to deal with. Like escalation, cause first it's a cookie, then 50 cents, then 1 dollar, etc etc. Other issue is blackmail, when the kid gets so used to getting paid, that they tell you either they get the bribe or they throw a fit right then and there.
I bribed once or twice, then said fuck it as things went downhill. I just got used to the screaming and eventually everyone behaved.
But it's not okay for Kaz to refuse to pay after getting services rendered either so I had a conundrum.
After much hemming and hawwing and consulting with the hubby, we decided to tax Kaz $15 for both proposing a bad deal that hurts the whole family and just generally pissing us off. (I am buying a bottle of wine with the $15.) We also rewarded Mac for excellent behaviour with huge amounts of praise and love. Plus I told him I would tell the entire world what an awesome kid I had.
So I am officially blogging that Mac is the best kid EVER.
Take note. hehe
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Those states respect all choices, even ones they don't understand.
No one respected my choice.
No one has the right to traumatize a patient and violate their rights. Ever.
I think I'll just leave the house and not be home today.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
An example? My husband blew up the microwave last night after accidentally setting it to cook with nothing in it. He's okay, but we're out replacing it right now. We also bought a Cuisinart to replace the blender he burned out. Normally I'm the absentminded one in the kitchen, burning food items hither and yon, but he seems to be taking the prize for 2008.
Upside: Now our appliances all match. Brushed aluminum and black.
I think I'll be posting more photos of the kids on Facebook instead of the blog because FB's a little more private, so if you want to see them, send me your name and I'll friend you. That way you can see the hysterical Santa photo and the even funnier trek to chop down the tree.
Yes, we chopped down our own Xmas tree. The ones at the corner lots are always pretty dry to me. We normally just drive out to the tree farm and pay some guy extra to do it for us so we get a fresh cut tree but don't have to schlep an axe, but Mr.Cotta and The Boys got it in their head that they had to chop it down themselves. Something about real men and woods and sharp objects.....I did not really listen much after that to be honest. Anyway, after marching through the snow for what felt like hours but was more like minutes, they picked a tree, and got out the knives and wrassled it to the ground and killed it good. The Boys then dragged it to the side of the road and tied it to the roof of the car. Chest-thumping and boasting of brave deeds ensued.
The tree itself is likely the ugliest most misshapen pathetic tree we have ever put up. Mostly because Kaz insisted on getting a red pine (My choice is always blue spruce) and Mac wanted it to be bushy on top instead of the bottom. (He says it fits more presents that way.) It is heavily tilted since all the lights are on the bottom on one side and the ornaments are all on the other side. It will likely fall over very soon.
But that's okay. You know why? Because my kids did it all, all by themselves. They put it up, and decorated it, lopsided bits and everything. They put in a great effort and did their very best. When you are 8 and 12 that has to count for a lot, right?
I will never have a perfect decorator tree, or a perfect decorator life. I will always be topsy-turvy. But on the upside, I'm never bored.
Another good thing? My husband noticed that since Julius came along, I have had hardly ANY nightmares. I used to wake up screaming and flailing regularly, but not anymore. Tiny normalish bad dreams, yes. But not like before. So when the baby wakes me up a lot, at least I know that I can go back to sleep.
Okay, I've been writing this post throughout the day adding little bits, but now I have to wrap up. After I put the baby down to bed, I have to go bail out the basement. It just flooded again. And we're having fifteen people for dinner tomorrow. And the kids were supposed to play there.
Upside---hmmm, well, now I have a real reason to buy a new rug and get a contractor to deal with the floor! Project for January! Yayyy!
Merry Christmas everyone! And even if it's not so merry, try to find the upside.
Or the scotch.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thing is, I gave my nanny a few days off this week because her mom is going to the Philippines at Xmas for six months, and she wanted to spend some time with her. So I'm going a little nuts all by myself. No my husband isn't here, are you joking, he's still closing friggin deals. Likely he'll still work on Xmas if anyone will let him!! Back to the nanny issue-I'm referring to my nanny as the Nanny, by the way, simply because I'm out of blog names. IRL I do call her by her first name, as she requested, just in case someone assumes I call her "Nanny" in real life, a ridiculous idea.
I used to be the big daycare fan, never was going to use a nanny, blah blah blah, but schlepping one child to daycare is a lot easier and cheaper than schlepping three around. Plus, you can only work 9 to 5, and daycare spots at a good daycare are as scarce as hen's teeth in this country and stunningly expensive. Crappy daycare I can find, but a good daycare? Very very difficult. When we had our first two in a great top flight daycare, it was literally more expensive than a mortgage on a 600K house. (I figured it out one day when I was bitter.)
I am so lucky I found my nanny, and she really helps make my entire life run a lot smoother. Lots of people have mixed stories about nannies and some hate them, and some love them, but I think it also relates to how you treat them and pay them. For example, it turns out that I am one of the few employers on the planet who actually pays overtime, stat holiday pay and vacation pay. We give her a bus pass and a cell phone, because we expect her to have one when she has our kids and is taking them on the TTC or to the park, or the drop-in. (Literally, we treat cells, etc. like work equipment, just like at my husband's business. He subsidizes his other employee's work equipment, why not hers?) We want her to drive, so we're paying for driving lessons, etc. And we make sure she has a break during the day and gets lunch. And if I'm not home to relieve her, I have found another nanny in the neighbourhood and I get them to trade off covering each other, and I pay for it, so they each get some break time.
Apparently, lots of people treat their nannies like slaves, and then are shocked when the nanny isn't their best friend. Now, sure some people don't get along with others regardless, and there will always be poor job fits, but still----why on earth would you ever mistreat a human being who is entrusted with your precious child?
I don't know, people who are crappy to nannies mystify me. I figure if she's happy, then she'll be great to my kids, and they'll be happy, and I'll be able to leave my house on occasion and not worry. Right?
So, that said, I have to run and shop, or Christmas ain't happening. Back as soon as I can be.
If you have the time and are so inclined, what do you do for childcare? Cost? If you couldn't stay at home, (or wouldn't want to) what would your dream child care option be?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Like today? Everything that could break, has. Not just my internet, but my entire home network had to be reprogrammed, my breast pump got milk backing up into the motor and I think has burned out, my blackberry cannot sync with my computer, my fridge smells odd even though the entire thing has been cleaned and scrubbed and dumped, my furnace and humidifier don't work properly even though I have checked and readjusted them a dozen times, my new car is not doing what it is supposed to be doing, (like the locks don't work and some asshole rifled through it and stole a bunch of parking money from the console), the blender burned out when my husband used it, everytime I send emails to other parents in the kid's classes my emails get stuck in spam boxes and never arrive, I tried paying bills, but the amounts don't add up, plus the tax payment is off kilter, and now I have no idea how much money in the accounts is ours, and how much belongs to the government, and best of all, my uterus is playing games and I have just had the longest most awful period in the history of mankind.
Passports? Supposed to be ready weeks ago, they got completely screwed up, as I predicted, and the only reason we have them now, is because I sent in "The Man". ("The Man" btw, does not refer to an actual male per se, but to anyone who is a Boss, or powerful, and authoritative, and has the cojones/guts/wherewithal to stand up and tell others what to do, and then gets obeyed without question.) Sometimes I think the only reason Bay Street law firms exist is because they provide a venue for hiring "The Man" as a hired gun for people like me.
Anyway, finally got the passports after showing up with "The Man" in my case, an imposing white male over 40 lawyer in a thousand dollar suit. No one gave a shit when little ol' powerless stay at home mommy me showed up, but him? Nadda problem, YES SIR, NO SIR, SAME DAY OF COURSE SIR, MAY I KISS YOUR ASS SIR? I swear, this whole mess has me convinced that I should simply never ever cross a border again. Or at least not without someone like that tucked in my suitcase, you know? Weird thing is, I can do that stuff with Doctors. I have no fear of them. Lots of them have almost killed me, so really, what the fuck more can they do to me? But Governments? Especially the bureaucratic levels? Urghhhh.
I should set up some sort of exchange system. Like I will be "The Man" for any of you who need help making Doctors to do what you need health-wise, and one of you will cross borders with me, and help me fill out tax forms. Anyone game?
Then again, who am I kidding. At this rate, I will not be able to post this, because as I try, blogger will break, and then the internet again, and then I will really never make it to visit my friend who just had a baby. Dinner isn't even planned, and I'm late to get Mac from school.
And I haven't bought any Christmas presents.
P.S. Now I have a cold.
P.P.S. I'm sure the bit about "the man" sounds sexist, but life doesn't always work the way I want it to, and sometimes, you just have to play the game the way they make you if you ever want to go to friggin' Disneyland.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
No, I'm not kidding.
You might remember last February when he was admitted after a suicide attempt, and we brought him back to Canada, and got him into a hospital here? He was physically, and mentally ill, and addicted to drugs and alcohol. Anyway, after he recovered and got sober he felt much better. So much better that he got pissed off at us for assuming he was ever ill to begin with. Denial I think they call it.
So he ran back to Europe without telling us and promptly forgot to take his meds, started randomly self-medicating and drinking again and burned through all the money he had saved up to live on.
Then instead of negotiating properly and legally with his wife, he started acting like an ass, and she did everything she could to bait him and egg him on to destruction, and well, it deteriorated from there. Before you say it, he was terrible to her the last two years, no question.
But she is probably the single worst life partner he could have picked. Simpering, spoiled, selfish, naive don't even begin to cover it. He treated her like a princess for their whole marriage, supporting her, showering her with love and care and gifts, and it would've worked fine if he had stayed healthy and rich. But he became ill and needed a heart bypass. When he could no longer pay for designer clothes, etc...and it turned they might have to live like middle class peons, and horrors she might have to get a job, she turned on him. He became depressed, she started complaining to her mother, who harangued him, he started drinking and got sicker and sicker, she still refused to work, even though bills were piling up and his industry was in the tank.
Finally she left him, taking the kids far enough away that he couldn't see them regularly, which she knew would kill him. She also took all the money and the assets and left him homeless, in poverty, and disabled and unable to work.
Not so shocking he wanted to die, eh?
Anyway, he is safe for the moment, but we have no idea what will happen next. Personally, I hope that country's government sends little miss rich bitch a bill for his treatment and makes her pay some support until he can recover. She might have to sell the mansion she is living in. Again she doesn't have to talk to him, or see him, but I do think that her continued policy of hoping he simply disappears will not work. He is the father of those children, and someday they will find out how she treated their Dad at the worst moment of his life. Is this how she wants it to look?
In light of the fact that feedburner is screwed up, this post may not get seen by very many of you, but if you're out there, thanks for reading my rants. I need to get this out.
Off to make a gingerbread house. Between that and politics and my crazy extended family, I have things to do peeps.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Also, the vast majority of Liberal Party bloggers, members, and the national media are utterly incapable of reading either the Elections Canada Act or the Liberal Party constitution. They just keep proposing ideas for a leadership process and panicking and shitting themselves. Instead of, you know, READING WHAT THE LAW ALLOWS. I for one, refuse to fucking keep clarifying it for them. Morons. If you ever wondered why I don't feed into Liblogs blog aggregator for my political posts, this inside baseball echo chamber is the exact reason. The national news media? Even worse. Double sourcing? Bah.
Exams are coming up this week, and I'd love to post about how hard Kaz is working and how great his new school is, but I can't. He barely has to study. The materials, the subjects, hell the entire curriculumn is a joke.
Julius is nursing a bit more, but really is screaming in terror into my breast as he goes to sleep. Lovely. My baby cries out in fear at the mere sight of his mother's chest. Just what I wanted for Christmas.
I am exhausted and we have lots to do, but my husband, without asking me, keeps inviting his entire family over to dinner. Without asking me. They are lovely and sweet people and I don't mind hanging out with them, but why can't we ever just order a damn pizza? Why can't we go out to dinner to a restaurant?
Did I mention that he never even consulted me?
Hard to slam him though, considering that his brother in Europe will either be dead or in a locked hospital facility by morning.
Say a prayer. Just don't ask me which outcome you should pick...personally I'm leaving it up to God. Let him decide--fucker seems to just want my BIL to suffer.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
It took a while but he calmed down and we snuggled and he was happy. Until I went to feed him tonight before bed.
He screamed in terror everytime I went near him with my breast. He completely refused to go near me. My husband had to put him down.
Nursing Strike maybe? The question is, now what the hell do I do?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
My tooth lost a filling last week and I went to the dentist to get it fixed. Spent too long in the chair Monday. Yesterday, I realized that my jaw hurt like a mofo and I went back.
Skin sores on the gums. Viral or maybe stress induced possibly. Blech.
It's all Harpers fault.
Ok, maybe I can't blame my dental issues on him. But dammit, if he gets to pick up his ball and go home just because he's losing the game, then all the rules are changed and weaseldom rules.
Next thing, we wait until January to get a goddamn budget now. Only good point to me? The Conservatives are dead in Quebec, permanently for all time. After the Quebec bashing they just engaged in---they will never ever ever ever get another seat there. And lots of those middle of the road votes will come to the Liberals. And Harper is toast in his own party after all the dictatorial bullshit he has engaged in. You see, Steve does not play well with others.
Like since kindergarten.
So about my sore mouth? My dentist lasered away the dead tissue and it feels much much better. He says it should be healed by tomorrow. Yayyy lasers. Funnily enough, they are the same kind used to erase wrinkles and age spots. At least my mouth will be young and good-looking. Well, just my gums. Still....if that's how easy and painless it is, I think I'm really going to get some work done. Remove a few age spots, smooth out a couple of tired bits, maybe get that stress-free relaxed look. Honest, it was completely painless.
I should write more about Julius' new diet, we started him on solids, and no I don't follow those rules either. (Gee, big surprise, like I EVER follow the rules. Heh) They were all written by formula companies anyway. Have you ever tasted anything worse than baby rice cereal? I haven't! So I skipped it. Fuck that noise. I figure the Joy of Cooking is a better source for recipes that taste delish. I've got the slow cooker out, my baby food grinder, my blender, and my freezer trays and I'm cooking up a storm.
Since Sunday we've done baked sweet potatoes, fresh peas, green beans, avocado, squash, applesauce, blueberries, bananas, oatmeal, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, and my special bean recipe. (Most of the veggies were steamed and mashed, or lightly sauteed in olive oil and cut up in teeny tiny pieces with my french knife.) Yes, olive oil for a baby, why not? I don't add salt, but I do add sage, thyme, maybe some garlic, etc. Applesauce is yummier with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg, don't you agree?
The bean recipe is really Teh Coolest Shit Evah. The purpose of the beans is to add some nutritious protein and fiber to baby style veggies which really have a lot of water and don't have any calories to fill the kid up. That baby cereal doesn't, and neither does fruit, so of course, until you add meat or milk products or a dense food like beans, the kid is still eating just as much breast milk or formula as they did before. And if you are going to pay for food and spoon it bit by bit in the kid's mouth, shouldn't it have some sort of purpose beyond making you work hard?
Anyway, I use navy beans, but you can use whatever kind you like. Before bed, I do the usual soaking overnight of beans, 3 cups water per 1 cup beans. (I make a big portion in my largest pot, so really I do 12 cups water for 4 cups beans.) In the morning, rinse them, add more water, toss in a bouquet garni for flavour, then cook for 10 hours on low in the slow cooker while you are at work or blogging or taking the baby for a walk.
When the beans are tender, but not mush, remove from heat, take out the bouquet, pour out most of the water, and start squishing. (You can add the herbs in as you squish if you prefer. I add mine just before serving.) For large quantities, use the blender or food processor, but with these beans, add water as needed, and mash in small quantities. They can be so thick that you will burn out the engine on your machine if you get too ambitious. You should have a good bean paste when you are done. Then stick small portions in ice cube trays and let it freeze. When it's frozen solid, pop them out and put the little cubes in Ziploc bags.
Then whenever you serve a cube of veggies like carrots or squash, add in a cube of beans. Same for fruit, or anything else that needs a boost. You may need to add a touch of water to smooth it out and blend it in, but it should work well. 4 cups of dried beans makes about 50 cubes of beans, which should last 6-8 weeks.
Tomorrow, I'm going to make him an organic chicken. I'm going to brown it in oil first, then cook it upside down in the slow cooker with onions, mushrooms, celery, herbs, and some broth. Then I'm going to debone it, and chop the meat very finely and mix it in with the broth and veggies. And again, portion it in my freezer. It should make about 4 weeks worth.
Next week, poached salmon with dill. And yes, so far he loves everything. Practically licks the bowl. And no he has no allergies so far either. I won't be doing anything like cow's milk or wheat for a little while, but other than that, I'm taking it one day at a time.
Ta toots. Time to sleep.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
AND JUMP UP AND DOWN LIKE A TWO YEAR OLD!!!
But I won't.
Bad me. Terrible. Very very immature. Must restrain self. Show respect for process.
WHILE FREAKING OUT AT HOW AWESOME THIS MIGHT BE!!!
Ok, on to other stuff. I was feeling a bit calmer because I had tweaked my hormones a touch. I added some progesterone because mine was close to zero, and it has made me feel a bit better. This is good because Friday night and Sunday night we had massive fights with Kaz, over pretty much nothing. Puberty in pre-teen son + premature menopause in mother = sucky house.
Julius' helmet is going well. We slowly upped the time spent in the helmet to 18-20 hours and he now sleeps overnight. The reason btw, that he wears it only 18-20 hours a day as opposed to 24 is because this particular design covers his head on top, except for some vent holes, an adjustable slot with a tightening band, and it goes down the back of the neck to just above the shoulders. This prevents tummy time and riding in some car seats. (Our car seat works with the helmet, not all do.) So he needs tummy time on the floor sans helmet in the morning for an hour or two, and then we do dinner, bath, and bedtime for an hour or two in the evening before it goes back on for sleep. Too much time in this kind of helmet can cause problems with sores on the head due to rubbing. Some helmets are open on top but his head has a pitch that is high in the back and slopes forward, plus we need to deal with the forehead, so this is the one we had to go with.
Have I mentioned the nasty superior comments that are slipping from the mouths of every parent who sees him. Sigh..."I made sure I changed my babies position regularly. Didn't you know to do that? You should have done that. Poor kid, too bad he has to suffer like that."
If you see a news report about a woman with a helmeted baby randomly slapping people who speak to her, it's me. Raise bail please. Thanks.
Okay, really I can handle those people.~~~~~~~
(Yes, part of this post did disappear at some point....just in case anyone ever finds the blog. They are nice people I was talking about, just a little unwell in the head. In the meantime, rescue me from the schadenfreude, please.)