Sunday, March 28, 2010

I was wrong, but...

I'm an overly cautious mom. I worry all the time. I worry more than I have to. I have OCD when it comes to keeping my children's things clean and organized, bottles washed, soothers disinfected. Seat belts are always worn in the car, water is always within reach, Purell in every purse.

My children eat healthy - even if they eat chocolate almost everyday. They have rules, but not too many. I have a hard time saying no. I have a hard time with discipline. However, my children are happy, smiling all the time. And they are very smart. I love to teach my children, play with my children, read to them, and treat them with respect. I'm a good mom with good intentions, and I always put my children first - always. Especially their health, well-being and safety. Ask anyone who knows me - I'm the mom people tell to relax... everything will be okay.

Today, driving home with my two year old, he asked to take off his seat belt in his car seat. I never do this - but we were literally a street away from home, in a quiet residential neighbourhood, on a Sunday afternoon. I agreed. Not the smartest thing to do, but come on - we were literally a street away from home - and I was driving super slow. I reached over, and took off his seat-belt. He climbed out of his seat, and stood up, holding onto the head-rest in front of him. I noticed a red truck, driving closely behind me, but I didn't pay much attention to it.

We got home a few seconds later. I got out of the car and turned around to get my child from the back seat, and literally almost bumped into a complete stranger. A strange man, about 6 feet tall, in a track suit, appeared out of nowhere - and he was standing right in front of me, on my laneway.

"Were you driving with your child out of his car seat?" he asked me, abruptly.

"Uh... yes, I was. We were a street away from home, and .... " I started to answer, but he cut me off, saying:

"It doesn't matter - he shouldn't be out of his car seat."

"Yes, I realize that, but we were so close to home, literally seconds away from home, and... " I continued, but again, was cut off:

"That's not allowed, it doesn't matter how close to home you were!" He said, with anger in his voice.

"Okay, yes, I know it's bad, but really? What business is this of yours?" I asked. (At this point, I was totally pissed off and at the same time, totally weirded out by this man talking to me.)

"You should have co-operated with me. I'm an officer, and I'm going to file a report," he said, as he took off, getting back into his red truck, speeding away down my quiet street.

I was in shock. First of all, who was this creepy strange man, and why did he follow me to my home? If he was an officer like he claimed to be, why didn't he identify himself as one when he first started barking at me? And cooperating? About what? I was completely civil with this creepy stranger who now knows where I live.

I talked to my sister's husband about this, who is a police officer. He said this man absolutely had to indentify himself as an officer FIRST - if he was one. That, my friends, is also the law. Chances are - this was just some creep having a bad day - not really an officer after all. How creepy.

If this man was an officer, he really approached this situation the wrong way. Of course, I admit I was wrong to take off my son's seat belt, but some strange dude does not really have the right to talk to me like that. If I was smart, I would have taken down his license plate number, but I was alone, outside, with my baby. Hard to think straight when you're in a situation like that, with a creep standing close to you blasting you for a parenting mistake you made.

How would you have handled this situation?

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Girls Got a Crush on Girls Gone Child

One of the first blogs I started reading in 2007 when I started my blog, was Girls Gone Child. Girls Gone Child is still one of favourite blogs, ever. Rebecca is a super talented writer, published author, and mother of two adorable children. Her posts resonate with me, and they either always make me wipe away a tear, or laugh out loud. She's brilliant, she's interviewed Drew Barrymore, and she's one blogger I am dying to meet. Like, more than any celebrity, truly. That's how awesome she is!

Also awesome? This interview with her... now, go fall in love with her, too!


When you started your blog, Girls Gone Child, all those years ago - did you ever think you'd still be doing it now, years later? What do you love the most about blogging?

Before GGC I'd been blogging for several years elsewhere. I always thought of blogging as a great exercise - getting myself to write every day - it was more of an inspiring hobby, a way to converse with family and friends without picking up the phone. I've written all my life - for work and for fun so blogging was just another outlet from which to spew nonsense. Ha!

I love being part of the greater blogging community. So many incredibly talented writers and photographers and thinkers. It's an honor to be able to play along with such stars.


Do you have a favourite post - a post that you're especially proud of?

I think maybe the Motherhood of Boys post. It's not my greatest post by any means, but writing it was very cathartic for me, and ended up inspiring a larger project that's currently in the works.

(Awesome post - you should read it!)

You seemed to be much more confident in your parenting skills when Fable was born - if you could go back and talk to your 'I'm a first-time mom' self, what would you say to her? Are there things you have done differently with Fable that you wished you had done with your son, Archer?

Hmm.... I think I would congratulate myself for rising to the occasion. I may have been less confident as a parent when Archer was born but I was a pretty good mom for being twenty-three and scared out of my mind - and I made it work. I figured it out. So no, there's nothing I wished I would have done differently with Archer. I don't really look at life like that.

What has been your morst embarrassing moment as a mom? And the moment you have been the most emotional, love overflowing?

Thankfully, I'm not easily embarrassed. Blogging does that to a person. Embarrassing moments are good blog fodder. Humiliation makes for great storytelling. As for my emotions? I'm an emotional wreck all the live long day, especially when it comes to watching my kids love on each other. A mere hand hold sends me into a tailspin. Their love and kindness with one another moves me more than anything in the history of life.

Tell me about your book - Rockabye. Any plans for a sequel?

My book came out two years ago. (April 2008) An extension of Girl's Gone Child, it begins when I found out I was expectantly pregnant with Archer and ends two years later. Hal and I were going through a really tough time when I was writing the book and I thought the end of the book would be us divorcing. Instead, I ended the book with a very optimistic "everything is going to be more than alright" scene - depicting our worth as a couple - our love for each other and hope...

It's funny because when I think about Rockabye (I haven't dared read it through since it was published) I don't think of it as a memoir about becoming a mother so much as a memoir about struggling as a wife.

No sequels for now. But a lot of other exciting projects in the works! Woo!


What is the greatest joy of motherhood - and what do you consider the hardest part?

The greatest joy? All of it. The hardest part? All of it. Except the unconditional love part. That's pretty easy.

Do you feel like a grown-up yet?

Never.

Do you have any words of advice for moms just starting on their motherhood journey - or to those who are just starting to dabble in the blog world?

For new moms:

Trust your instincts. Books and experts and everyone else be damned.

For new bloggers:

Find your voice. Sing.


Thank you for this interview, Rebecca! xo

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Decision making for dummies

Several times a day, I have to make decisions. Yup, decisions. Shocking, isn't it? Do you make decisions, too? Right, then. Continue reading.

Often, I make the wrong decision, or spend too much time thinking about what decision I should make, and then, it is often too late.

Too late to avoid a meltdown from one of my children, too late to avoid hitting yet another concrete column with my car, too late to not buy yet another black sweater.

If I were to write an exam about some decisions I've made in real-life situations, I wonder how you would answer?

If the answer that you would go with is not on the list, please feel free to add your own in the comments section, as I'm sure it will be the correct answer.

1. Your 2 year old just woke up from a deep slumber at 3 a.m. He motions for you to pick him up, and you do, bringing him to your bed like usual, where he'll quickly fall back asleep again. Upon picking him up, you notice his pajama pants are wet, and that his diaper is filled with pee. What would you do?

a) Ask your baby if you can change him quickly, only to be told 'no, after, after.'

b) Stare at your child for 15 minutes deciding what to do. (I should just change him. No, he'll cry. I should, though. No, he'll wake up his brother with his screams. But really... his diaper looks so heavy! But what if I change him and it really wakes him up?)

c) Realize that it's almost morning and that the diaper can wait.

d) All of the above.

Loulou's answer: d


2. You struggle to finally change your baby's diaper at 7 a.m., after another failed attempt at 5:30 a.m. He squirms around so much, it is a nearly impossible thing to do. You:

a) Beg and plead and beg and plead with your child, and to God, to stop making this process so painful.

b) Distract him with toys and the television and chocolate.

c) Talk to him about his favourite things and his favourite stories.

d) Decide to change his diaper on your dresser, as he's standing, while he plays with your jewellery, almost losing your necklace behind the dresser, because you have no idea how else to get the job done.

e) All of the above.

Loulou's answer: e


3. You take your children to The Mud Oven, a place where breakable paint-it-yourself ceramics are sold, where people, usually over the age of three, go to paint. You select a 25 dollar bowl for your 2 year old to paint, while your 4 year old is painting a cup. Your 2 year old paints for 5 seconds, and then wants to spill the container of water into the bowl, and then run around the store touching ceramics. What do you do?

a) Say no, chase him around the store, cursing loudly, about why you thought it was a good idea to bring your 2 year old along.


b) Give in, hand him the bowl of water, and watch him spill it over the table. (He's the boss, after all!)

c) Do both.

Loulou's answer: c

This is just a smile sample of the decisions I make on a daily basis. And I wonder why I'm so stressed out all the time!

And yes, I do realize I need a Supernanny intervention.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mommy and Me Monday!

Why do weekends go by so fast? Monday is here yet again - and it's always a bit of a bittersweet day for me. On one hand, I love getting dressed up and going to work, going to the gym during the lunch hour, shopping, or lunching with friends -but at the same time, I miss my boys terribly when I go to work!

Nothing is as sweet to me as weekends with my boys. Waking up together, taking our time to get dressed, and doing whatever we want. Yesterday, we went to the sugar bush and it was amazing - the kids had the greatest time, and I was even able to get in a picture with them!

The truly amazing thing is that we're all looking at the camera and smiling! You all know this is not something that comes easy with children, right? Now I'll be able to look at their little smiley faces all day long...

Hosted by the lovely Krystyn for Mommy and Me Monday!









Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why are bloggers male? In other words, HUH?

When you think of a person blogging, do you usually picture a man - or a woman - in front of the computer screen?

I don't know about you, but I think, for the most part, women dominate the blogosphere.

When I first discovered the wonderful world of blogging, it was because a co-worker had started a blog. Through her blog, I discovered many other amazing blogs - my first blog crush was Girls Gone Child. I still adore that blog with all my heart.

In 2007, I started my own blog. Because I love to write. And because I loved being on-line. And the connections I've made through blogging have been amazing. Since I began blogging, I have 'met' dozens upon dozens of other amazing women who blog, who write, who make me laugh. And that's just a handful of amazing women bloggers I know.

An article written in The Globe and Mail today, by a journalist who did zero research before hitting publish - claims that blogging is "...more of a guy thing." More of a guy thing?

What planet is she from?

Of course, many men blog. And many men have great blogs. But, really?

I would say that women dominate the blogosphere, wouldn't you? I also don't think BlogHim exists - but BlogHer - well, that's one conference that sells out every single year, bringing together thousands of bloggers from different countries, bloggers who, for the most part, are women, bloggers who write about many different things, not just being parents.

The article went on to say that "Guys seek thrills and speed." Um, so that's why they blog? It gets worse... "Men clearly have an urge to blog that woman lack."

WHAT? Women lack the urge to blog?

I'm sorry, but that's just untrue. The women I know - we love to talk. And write. And blog. We love to express our (educated) opinions, whether in person, or online. So many women bloggers are also great writers - published authors, accomplished in the field of work they have chosen - whatever it is - and these women bloggers are respectful members of society. Not just 'thrill seekers'.

The author of the article said that "...the urge to blog is closely related to the sex-linked compulsion known as male answer syndrome. MAS is the reasons why guys shoot up their hands first in math class. MAS also explains why men are so quick to have opinions on subjects they know little or nothing about."

So, guys blog about things they know nothing about? Wow. Sorry, guys!

Basically all she proves in this article is that she's a journalist who forgot what she learned in school, and she not only puts down men for thinking they are 'quick to have opinions on subjects they know little or nothing about', but also putting down women for implying that we don't blog because we are scared, afraid to voice our opinons.

She claims her reasons for not blogging are because she also doesn't "get a souped-up snowmobile and drive it straight up a mountain at 120 kilometres an hour into a well-known avalanche zone. It's more of a guy thing." Really? How the heck do the two things even compare?

Since when is writing a blog... an adrenalin rush? Tubing, white water rafting, surfing, successfully changing a dirty diaper on a squirmy two-year old - that's an adrenalin rush. Blogging? Not so much. I mean, yes, sometimes when I hit publish, I feel awesome, but I wouldn't call it an adrenalin rush, would you?

I don't know what to say, really. It just kind of felt like I was reading an article that had nothing to do with reality. (For a good dose of reality, read this totally awesome article on mom bloggers.)


What are your thoughts on this article?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Fever

It hit me one day, a sudden revelation. It both excited and depressed me at the same time. But, I carried on, and continued doing what I was doing. Any guess as to what I was doing? That's right, I was shopping.

And what was my big revelation, you ask? I was searching within myself, trying to find the one thing I am really good at. I know I'm a good mom to my two adorable children, but besides that, what is the one thing I am so good at I could talk to others about? (In a PG environment, wink-wink.)

That's when I realized the one thing I am great at is shopping. For myself, for my children, and for others. Regardless of what the status of my wallet is, I will shop. I shop blindly, without abandon. This will be the end of me, I tell you. I don't always feel bad, though, because I am helping the economy, and because I am making myself happy. How bad can this addiction be, really? Well, let's not talk about that part. I have been known to hide bags in my car, after all.

Shopping and fashion make me happy. And with spring upon us, there is no better time than NOW to do a clean-sweep of your closet. You know, to make room for all your new spring purchases!

First thing - make sure you dedicate one hour to cleaning out your closet. Make sure, also, that your children are not around you, otherwise - disaster!

Okay, now that you're on your own, in your closet, take everything out. Sort through your items. Make 3 piles. Keep, Donate, Save.

Be realistic. Those size 4 pants you keep telling yourself you're going to fit into? It's been 6 years. Time to move on. Put them in a box, and donate them.

Put anything you haven't worn in a year in a box, and store it. If, after 6 months, you haven't worn anything from that box, donate those items. Now your closet should look cleaner. I like to organize my clothes in sections. Pants, skirts, dresses... shirts, blouses. Fold sweaters. Keep your tank tops and t-shirts in neat piles. Purchase a nice shoe rack. Work with what you have! Hang up your purses nicely. If your cloest looks good, you'll feel better!

And now? Time to go shopping! There really is not a whole lot you need for spring. This is my top ten list of things you should buy for spring:

1. A great pair of flats. You can wear a great pair of flats everyday, and with almost every outfit - with jeans, with capris, with cute little dresses. The best part? You will be comfortable! And you'll look stylish, too. I recently bought a pair of Tory Burch flats, and let me tell you - they are SO comfy, I never want to take them off!




2. Cute t-shirts! I love buying my t-shirts from J.Crew, but I also love to buy t-shirts from Joe - that's right - I often buy $10 t-shirts from the grocery store. You know why? Joe has amazing stuff for amazing prices!



3. Accessories! Really, with a great pair of sunglasses or a great bag, you're good to go! Splurge on items you love - for some people, it's shoes. For me, it's all about the bag and the sunglasses. A little t-shirt, jeans and cute sunglasses and you have my staple outfit on any given day!

4. A comfy dress. A dress you can wear over and over again. Preferably, in a bright colour, like yellow. Don't be afraid of colour - especially when the weather starts to warm up.

5. A trench coat. I love a nice trench coat that can be worn with almost everything in your closet.


6. A nice pair of white pants. In linen.

7. Of course, a LBD. (Little black dress.) If you already have your perfect LBD, good! Keep rockin' it! Change up your accessories, put your hair up, and pair it up with a new pair of shoes!

8. Wedge heels. I LOVE wedge heels - they're comfy, and look great with anything. Especially nice jeans.

9. Tank tops. Banana Republic and Old Navy have great tank tops. I like to wear two at the same time, to show some colour. Pair brown and peach together. Or black and white. Whatever floats your boat. Two tank tops worn at the same time is cute! Or one really nice tank top - like this one... so pretty!



10. An everyday chino - Banana Republic and J.Crew have tons - is another one of my must-have's. Comfortable and flattering - what more could a girl want?

Happy shopping! Remember to mix up what you already own, and to only buy things you're comfortable in. Classic is always best, and quality items last a lifetime.

Also, a bonus #11: Sequins! Sequins are so pretty and a simple shirt with sequins, worn with your favourite pair of jeans makes a great party outfit!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Colds suck - hydraSense to the rescue!


As a mom, something I'll never forget is when my boys got their first cold. With my youngest son, it happened when he was only 6 weeks old! Luckily, I had a bit of experience on my side, so I didn't panic too bad - however, it was still hard on me to watch him struggle with his stuffed up nose - it is so hard to watch your little one suffer to breath when they are sick.

Several months later, I came across the hydraSesnse easy dose vials of Nasal Care - and they were so simple to use, and totally natural, too. It wasn't too much a struggle to use them on my baby, either!

I was chosen to participate in the hydraSense Nasal Aspirator Blog Tour with Mom Central, and I received the hydraSense Nasal Aspirator Plus, the Ultra Gentle Mist Hydrating Nasal Care, a box of Easy Dose Vials of Hydrating Nasal Care and Nasal Aspirator Filters - I know I will be sharing these with my sister, who is about to have her first baby early this summer! These are amazing

Since babies are unable to blow their nose and get quite a few colds a year, hydraSense is the perfect, natural solution for your little one. Their new Nasal Aspirator provides fast and effective relief from a baby's nasal congestion.

Now YOU can sign up for the hydraSense Dolphins Club and get a coupon for $8 off towards the purchase of the hydraSense Nasal Aspirator - but make sure to do this by April 10, 2010! All you have to do is go here, and enter this code: MC2010 under the online coupons tab.


hydraSense will help make your baby breath easier... I promise!
















Saturday, March 13, 2010

This is the end, my friend...


video

The following post (below) is my entry into the fabulous Mabel's Labels BlogHer'10 Contest. The winner of this contest will receive a trip to BlogHer 2010 and a one-year contract as a paid blogger for Mabel’s Labels. I would LOVE to be given the honour to write for Mabel's Labels, because they are an amazing company, providing outstanding products for everyone - not just moms! What a gig that would be!


We were asked to write a post on our blogs in response to this hypothetical situation:

Electric storms are going to wipe out the Internet, perhaps forever - you have one day left to write about your passions - what do you want to say to the blogosphere in 300 words or less?


Here is my entry:

Where were you the first time it happened?


My love affair with the Internet began in 1995, during my first year of University, in the library computer lab.


Since then - since my first email was sent to my friend who was sitting next to me - I have not looked back.


My love for the Internet grows stronger everyday.

You could say I'm... passionate about the Internet.


I'm passionate about the Internet because of what it allows me to do - to write without abandon about my life - and my absolute greatest inspiration - my two children.

I write about why I love being a mom, my experiences, and my fears.


I write about the importance of enjoying the small things in life- because it’s those moments that make the greatest stories, that create memories which last a lifetime.

The Internet allows me to connect with you - faithful readers, commenters, friends. You make writing more enjoyable because I know there is always someone on the other side reading - you help validate my words.

We are an online network, a strong network, and even though some of us have yet to meet in person, the connections are there. And the connections are real. We are passionate. We support eachother. We laugh together, cry together, overcome tragedy, and help one another.


We gain confidence. We find out voices. We are heard.

Without the Internet, my words would be silenced. I’d still write - but there would be a void without the interaction.

You see, the Internet has not taken anything away from my life. It has enriched it.
So, thank you.

Thank you for reading, for your tweets, for your humour.

Thank you for your brilliance.


Most of all - thank you for supporting me, and for being there - all the time.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top 5 reasons to be stressed about BlogHer

Yup, it's only March. BlogHer is 5 months away. But seriously, guys? Time goes by so quicky that in the blink of an eye, it will be the last week of July and we'll all be completely freaking out because we haven't even figured out how many pairs of shoes to bring with us - or how much room to leave in our suitcase for all the shopping we'll do on Fifth Avenue. Wait - we will have time to shop, right? Eek!

Top 5 reasons I'm stressed out about BlogHer, in no particular order, although hair does come first:

1. My hair. I will be thinking about my hair for the next 5 months. Because I don't know if I should keep it totally straight. Or with a bit of a wave.

Like this?



Or this?



I know this shouldn't be an issue at all, but, well, it is, okay? Hair can be very stressful! It's a big deal! And it can't be both. It has to be one way or the other. (I can totally hear Maria snickering right now...)

2. I want to meet so, so many fabulous bloggers. I won't even bother naming all the people I want to meet, just know it's you and you and you. And you, too! And of course, you. In the 3 days that I'll be in NYC - will I get the chance to meet everyone I am dying to meet - to talk to, learn with, and party with all the fabulous writers I've come to know over these last few years online? I hope so. Look for me!

3. Drunken tweets. Enough said.

4. Will I be able to keep up with her while shoe shopping at Saks?

5. What if I'm let down in any way? For instance, what if someone I admire in the blogosphere isn't all that nice in person? That would really suck. I hope everyone is NICE and FRIENDLY to eachother. No Hills-type drama, okay? We're all bloggers. I don't care if you review cars or socks, or how many comments you get per post. All that counts is you're a good writer, an honest writer, and we're all there for the same thing! So people - put on a happy face and no snobbery! Because if you're mean, I will blog about it.

That's it. For now. I'm sure other stresses will come up sooner or later, like my fear of leaving my children for three days, and what to pack - oh, that's a whole other story, and I'm sure a blog post on that topic will be forthcoming!

What about you - past BlogHer attendees - what stressed you out? Did anything upset you while you were at BlogHer? Newbies - what are you stressed about?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I can see clearly now

One of the hardest decisions a mother has to make is whether or not to have another child. This is an issue I have struggled with for a long time, probably since my youngest, who is now two years old, was born.

Should I have a third child? Or not?

Being a parent is the greateset experiernce that life has to offer, and every single day, I count my blessings. My children amaze me. Every day, they say something, or do something, that melts me. I teach them, and at the same time, they teach me. Patience. Love. Understanding. Compassion.

When I hug them, I never want to let go. When they fall asleep at night, I don't want to leave their side. I want to watch them sleeping, hoping they are dreaming beautiful, happy dreams. I hate seeing them cry, I hate seeing them sad.

When my oldest son started kindergarten this year, it was very bittersweet. I cried. A lot. I was very emotional. I couldn't believe he had reached this milestone already!

At the same time, it felt amazing to have a child in school. It is amazing to see him grow, to see him starting to read, to see him writing his name, and to hear him telling me about his day. He is becoming independent, more confident, less shy. He speaks like an adult, and sometimes I can't believe the conversations we have. He is almost five years old. My baby.

My youngest son is almost fully potty-trained. He is almost out of the diaper stage. He runs to the bathroom on his own. His vocabulary is increasing steadily, everyday. He's now asking "why" ten hundred times a day, and I love it. I love his energy, his happiness, his smile.

My sister is about to have a baby, and she's asked to take the change table. At first, I was hesitant. But the more I thought about it, the more confident I felt that was a decision I was okay with. Starting to give away the baby gear is a good indication of whether or not you're going to have another baby.

I have two amazing, beautiful, smart, active little boys. They are my entire life. They have made me experience life on a whole other level. Every day is an adventure, every day I have stories to write in their journals.

Being pregnant and having a baby is incredible. And holding your new baby in your arms, well, nothing compares to that feeling, nothing. I think, as women, this feeling of wanting a baby will never fully go away, no matter how many children we have. Because that awesome feeling when your baby is first placed in your arms is magical.

But at the same time, there are things that I am not going to miss.

I'm not going to miss not sleeping for months on end.

I'm not really going to miss breastfeeding.

I'm not going to miss gaining all that weight, and struggling for months on end to lose it.

I'm not going to miss the tantrums. (Even though sometimes the tantrums are the funniest things ever - my goodness, can a two year old act or what!)

I'm not going to miss the huge diaper bag I have to carry with me everywhere I go.

Or the unexpected diaper explosions.

Or getting peed on.

Or the worry that comes with each new child, the worry when each child gets sick.

I'm not going to miss the lack of freedom that comes with being a mom to a new baby.

Does this make me selfish? I hope not.

My life is devoted to my children, always and forever. I am a mother first.

At the same time, I'm craving a bit more freedom. As my children get older, the easier it becomes to go out. The freedom is great. And just enjoying life, and each new stage that comes with it - that's what it's all about.

So I think I'm complete with my family. With my two children. What more could I ask for, really? No matter how many children you have, it's taking the time to enjoy the little things that make being a mom the greatest job on earth.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The clutter stays, for now

My children have too much. Too many clothes, too many toys, too many books, too much of everthing.

I know a lot of you are nodding in agreement right now, looking around your home, wondering when it stopped looking like Pottery Barn and more like the Christmas edition of the Toys R Us flyer.

There is a play room for the boys in the basement, with wall-to-wall shelves filled with everything from crafts, to TinkerToys, Wedgits, balls, marbles, books, trucks, cleaning supplies, and LEGO. In between, they have a little table with a magnet board and a variety of magnets. Two other shelves on the other wall hold my my four year old's Playmobil collection, and under those shelves, the chalk and cork boards from Pottery Barn Kids.

There are a lot of toys in the family room, too, where 4 shelves are dedicated to their books, trucks, puzzles and crafts. (The rest of the shelves are mine - filled with my books, photo albums, and pictures.) Their little red Ikea table and chairs are in the family room, and on one side, a section for my their trucks and construction area, where a toy storage unit also is. There is also a little tool section and a little kitchen.

Basically, my entire house looks like a daycare centre.

It is a little cluttered, and every night, after the boys fall asleep, I clean up, and put everything away, getting the room ready for the next day, bringing out toys that have not been played with or used in a while. I like to rotate things, so they have something 'new' to play with every day.

I line up the trucks, tidy up the craft table, put things back together again.

I know as soon as my youngest son is older, he will be able to play unsupervised with his brother in the basement, and then the family room can be 'mine' again.

At least, for now, the living room and dining room are in mint condition, for entertaining adult friends!

Their bedrooms have some toys as well, but mostly books on their book shelves. We often play in their rooms at night, after bath time. "Book, book!" my youngest son will say, and I happily pick him up, and read to him. "A hundred books!" my 4 year old says to me, before bed time.

And I pick up a pile of books and read to him until he falls asleep. It is my favourite part of the day.

I don't mind, really, the fact that our family room looks like a daycare centre. I love to be able to be in the kitchen preparing dinner (macaroni and cheese) or loading the dishwasher and watching them play, having them in my view, in case they need my help, in case I have to break up a fight, or if they want me to play with them.

I know soon enough, they'll be playing alone, both of them, in another part of the house, either in their rooms, or in the basement, and they won't need my supervision as much anymore. So I can totally wait for that day to come, and in the meantime, I can enjoy the chaos that is my house right now... because it is a house filled with giggly little boys, who run around making a mess, and having fun, right in front of my eyes.

I just have to be careful not to step on a piece of LEGO... ouch!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best movies ever!

The Oscars are on Sunday. And I've seen two out of the 10 movies nominated.

This never used to be the case - I am the biggest movie buff ever. I would go to the movies once a week before I had children. And now, well... it's just sad.

Up for Best Picture: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Precious, A Serious man, Up, and Up in the Air.

I've seen Up in the Air - which I loved - and Inglorious Basterds, which I loved even more. My vote for Best Picture? Inglorious Basterds. Because Tarantino can do no wrong!

Speaking of movies, I thought I'd share with you all a condensed list of some of my favourite movies, regardless of whether they won an Oscar or not.

Stand By Me





I saw the movie before I read Stephen's King book. This is my favourite movie ever. And of course, I loved the book once I read it. I saw Stand By Me a couple of days ago, and I was reminded how incredible this movie was. Every time I watch it, I fall in love all over again.

The story... the amazing cast... the end of innocence for four young boys on an adventure. This movie gives me chills. It's just perfection, from the acting, to the feelings that are evoked when you listen to the conversations between Gordie (Wil Wheaton) and Chris (River Phoenix, RIP, my first crush). Now Stephen King is a master at everything he writes, but I think this was his best piece of writing ever.

This movie also recently opened my eyes because now, as a mom of two young boys, I see things differently. How boys at that age are just as sensitive, just as emotional, as girls. And also? The trouble they can get into! I'm scared for what's to come!

P.S. The pie eating contest is still gross no matter how many times you see it.

P.P.S. And the leeches, too. Ack.

The Godfather I, II, III



Of the three, my favourite is Godfather II. DeNero, Pacino, Pacino, DeNiro... after seeing GodFather Part III, I really wanted to be in the mafia. It goes without saying that these movies are among the greatest movies to ever come out of Hollywood.

Goodfellas



Scorsese's masterpiece! This movie is worth seeing for the quotes alone. And Ray Liotta. And Joe Pesci. And Robert DeNiro. Again, another gangster movie that I love. I have seen this movie so many times! And you know it's a good movie when every time you see it, you want to see it again. It's all drama, but at the same time, very funny too.

Best quote:

"Funny how? I mean, funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to fucken' amuse you? How da fuck am I funny? What da fuck is so funny about me? Tell me. Tell me what's funny."

Scarface



Here I am, on my nice little mommy blog, talking about my love for Scarface and Tony Montana. But come on... this was the movie that made Pacino into the star he is! This movie is graphic. And depressing. And funny, at times. And tragic, even. But if you haven't seen it yet, you should. Because it's a classic. And it's written by Oliver Stone, and I only JUST found that out.

Best quotes:

"I always tell the truth. Even when I lie."
"Say hello to my little friend!"



Dazed and Confused




Best. Movie. EVER! Okay, not best ever, but best 'last day of school' movie ever. I have seen Dazed and Confused 10 billion times, and I never get bored of watching it. It also makes me really, really depressed and it makes me want to be in high school again. The music is awesome - so is everyone in the movie. Dazed and Confused was voted third in Entertainment Weekly magazine's list of the 50 Best High School movies ever!

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

A classic. Everyone loves this movie. Need I say more? I'm moving on. I just had to include this, because, you know. It's awesome! Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller? Which brings me to...



Anything and everything by John Hughes, including:

The Breakfast Club (my love for this movie is immense, IMMENSE!) Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink (sigh) Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and my 4 year old's current favourite movie: Home Alone.

Kill Bill



I know a lot of people hated this movie - but I loved it. I can handle any type of movie, and this? Was one of Tarantino's greatest. Uma was brilliant. And Kill Bill II was really cool, too.

Dirty Dancing



There is not one single girl on earth who does not love this movie to death. This is probably one of my most favourite romantic movies of all time. Above all else, I loved dancing because of this movie. RIP, Patrick Swayze!

Best quotes:

"I carried a watermelon."
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner."


Honourable mentions - I loved ALL these movies so very much, too, for different reasons. All of these movies are amazing, and worth seeing if you haven't yet.

Ocean's 11. Top Gun. Mean Girls. Chicago. Schindler's List. My Best Friend's Wedding. Say Anything. Gladiator. Love Actually. Elf. Pulp Fiction. E.T. Breakfast at Tiffany's. Dead Poet's Society, The Notebook, When Harry Met Sally. Zoolander. Legends of the Fall. Pretty in Pink. American Beauty.

Now I'm totally in the mood to watch some of my favourite movies again!

What's on your must-see list?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Evil pregnant sister

You all know about pregnancy brain, right?

I remember when I was pregnant, I would forget things all the time. Where my purse was, where the phone was, what day it was, where I was going once I started to drive.

In fact, I think I am still suffering from some form of memory loss, but that's another tale for another time.

When you're pregnant, you're also very emotional. You snap easily. You cry easily. You get angry for no good reason, and when you do, it comes without any warning at all.

No matter how nice of a person you normally are, watch out - a pregnant lady is not someone to mess with!

Take my sister, for example. This is a girl, who I swear to God, is sweet as pie. And, no word of a lie, even MY friends like her more than they like me. Because she's just the nicest person ever.

Her teachers all loved her as a child, saying on her report cards: "If only all children were as pleasant as Gina!"

Now? My sister is pregnant. And let me tell you - she's had some serious mood swings!

For instance?

She told me she wants to sell her nice pull-out couch she only bought a year ago, because she doesn't need it anymore, since the room it's in is becoming the baby's nursery.

I emailed her and told her she should, in fact, keep the couch - just move it to the basement, so she has an extra couch for when her basement is finished.

Then, the wrath of my sister arrived in my inbox:

whats wrong with you? like for real, get over it. I DONT NEED/WANT THAT COUCH IN MY HOUSE TO DO NOTHING FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS IN THE BASEMENT, SO YOUR KIDS CAN SIT, SPIT AND DESTROY IT. it would do nothing, and who would i put down there????? no one. we have a double bed upstairs already if we have guests. whats wrong with you?????????

and wtf you think that couch would go in my basement when its finished anyway? where? its a 2 seater. like i would obviously need a big couch like yours. so get over it. i am not keeping it, i am selling it and using the money towards shit we need NOW.

omg i never knew your love for this couch before. weird.

Okay. Seriously? I had to laugh when I read this email because, really? This is not my sister! This is her evil pregnant mind taking over her thoughts! When will my normal sister come back? I'm scared!!!

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