Friday, May 30, 2014

Damn You Murphy!

I found my phone the day I finally broke down and bought a new one.  So that's cool.  I was eligible for an upgrade but going from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the S4 Mini doesn't seem like much of an "upgrade" to me.  And I had to the pay the taxes, so it wasn't even free, but $29 for a brand new phone isn't bad.  I like having new things.

And even though I found my phone, the screen was shattered and it only half works - I can make/receive calls but not texts, and my data plan won't work unless I'm using WiFi.  So that justifies the upgrade anyway.

I did notice that my Facebook app released a new version with updates.  One of the features is location tracking, so it updates all your "friends" when you are in close range.  It's a little too Big Brother for my liking but I had to laugh at the example it gave me.

I don't know if you read can that, but my smartphone is basically telling me that my husband, who I live with, is in the near vicinity and with this new Facebook feature, I could message him to meet me at the park for a coffee.  Yeah, no.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


My littlest sister-in-law acquired a new kitten.  He's darling.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fish Smell

My boss is one of those people who hates seafood.  I actually feel bad for her because I can imagine how offensive seafood would smell to someone who can't stand it, and I have seen her unable to enjoy a meal at a buffet because of the sweet aroma of steamed crab wafting thru the air.  (I love seafood, obviously.)

And well, I eat canned tuna every day.  Tunacado. 

But yesterday when DP drove me to work, I hadn't realized that the reusable container I use to store my tunacado had a small crack in it.  And all the tuna juice leaked out into my lunchbag, then thru it and soaked my jeans.  You guys.  TUNA JUICE.

I smelled like a dock-worker all day.  It was so embarrassing.  I came to work fully prepared to apologize for the assault on my poor boss' olfactory nerves, but then had the good fortune of having her call out sick.  Actually that's really more her good fortune.

Seriously.  Tuna juice.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day

We ended up taking the kids swimming because DP has a hard time being cooped up with all of them in the house.  So he takes them places.  The good thing is that it wears them out so they don't complain about having to be in bed before 9.  Plus they just like being with us so they are fine to do whatever we do, and pretty willingly I might add.

On Monday morning I got them all up and we went to the grocery store because it's my shopping/cooking day.  I call it Meal Prep Monday because I make all Claire's and my lunches for the entire week, and giving it a cutesy name makes it feel like less of a chore.  I bought a box of pasta that boasts "a full serving of veggies" to make for Claire, mixed it with some ground turkey, and peas and carrots, then portioned it out in her little containers.  I served it to the kids plain with sauce because they are picky eaters, and they loved it, so I didn't tell them about the "full serving of veggies" they just ate. 
(Yeah, putting veggies in the kids' tummies warranted recognition ok?)

All the kids who didn't belong to us went home for the afternoon, and we got some much needed rest.  Before going to the Memorial Day BBQ my neighbourhood sponsors, we considered going to pick them all back up, but we were tired of children.  So I filled up my coffee to-go cup (so much better when Claire points to my drink and says "coffee" instead of her usual pointing and saying, "wine") and we just took the baby.  Of course the whole time we were there, all we talked about was how much the kids would have loved this and that.  I know Claire always has a better time when her cousins are around too.  They had about a half dozen bounce houses of different themes and some had water features, but we didn't want to wait in line just for the baby, so we sat on the lawn in front of the live band.  They were actually pretty good, played good music, and Claire danced and danced until everything shut down and the fireworks started.

Then Claire cried.  Fireworks are big and loud.  Poor Poopoo.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Some Kind of Weekend

I hate that I couldn't take pictures all weekend.  Now instead of showing everyone how cute my kid is, I have use actual syntax.  Here goes.

The kids came over on Friday night for a sleepover, but I had to work the next day so I made them go bed early.  Ramses was like, "Aunty, our bedtime is 9:35, and that's only when we have school.  Tomorrow is Saturday."  Too bad, so sad, Bucko, bedtime is at 8:35 tonight.  But I was nice and let them watch a movie on the iPad in my bed.  I guess we all passed out because I have a vague dream-like recollection of DP coming in the room, huffing and puffing around, then skulking out of the room with his blanket dragging behind him.  (Yes, we have separate blankets.)  I feel a little bad for him having been relegated to the guestroom, but he likes it in there so whatever.  He was on kid duty the next day so the good night's sleep alone fared well for him.

After work on Saturday, I picked up Claire and took her to a birthday party.  I put her in a pretty dress and sandals, hair in pigtails.  That day (and I corrected it asap, so it was only THAT day) I wore a polo shirt that was my dad's in 1984 and elastic-waist shorts, wherein I became that mom who was a slob with an impeccably dressed kid.  I do prefer we match in style and formality, not sure what I was thinking there.  But anyway, they had a bounce house and Claire loved it.  She's still too little for stuff like that but doesn't know it.  They had a guy doing face-painting and I put her in the seat, but they guy was like, "I don't know, she's kind of small."  I'm like, "Don't worry, she's fine.  Can you paint a monster on her face?"  So he says, "Let's start with her hand and see how she does," at which point he painted her 3 dainty flowers.  Okay.  They were cute, and Claire admired it, then immediately thrust her other hand at him.  So he painted Claire a little Mike Wazowski, which naturally she flipped for like it was the best thing ever.  (It kind of was.)

We got home that night and the kids were there, so I gave all three of them a bunch of candy/snacks from the party and they played outside for a while.  At 8 o'clock it was lights out, way late for Claire and seriously early for the kids.  So basically a good compromise.  This time I let the kids sleep in my bed and DP and I slept in the guestroom.  I honestly don't know how we ended up like this but the kids like my bed and DP likes the guest bed, so I am the only one who loses in this instance.

Sunday morning, I got up and went to the gym while everyone was still in bed.  It was glorious.  But the best part of my workout was coming home to three fed/happy kids.  I fawned over them and told them they make my life worth living and that they are all the best thing that ever happened to me, meanwhile they rolled their eyes and tried their best to get out of my grasp.  DP had fed them scrambled eggs and cereal, then cleaned all of last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast dishes, so I did what any well-adjusted suburban wife would do post-workout...  I made myself a white wine spritzer in a to-go coffee cup and told the kids we were going to the park.  I quickly boiled some hotdogs and packed a picnic basket with buns and ketchup, a couple bags of snacks, and sunscreen, then we picked up Fiori and took all the kids to the splash pad. 
Sidenote: Claire calls Fiori "poe-tee" and I can't for the life of me figure out how she got that from Fiori, but it's the funniest thing ever.  Especially when she gets all excited and screams it at her.  Poe-tee.
Anyway, I thought the baby would have a good time and not be as moo-moo when they kids were there, but Claire still didn't really want to get splashed.  So that kind of defeats the purpose of the splash pad but oh well.  She enjoyed the picnic on their fancy beach towels, and after they played for an hour and a half and had their lunch, we went home so Claire could nap.  It was funny when we got home and Gigi looked at the clock and says, "Holy crap!  It's still the a.m.  You guys get up early in this house."  Yes, we do.  We go to bed early too.  Thanks for playing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Most Hideous Shoes

Claire has a pair of knock-off Crocs that I bought at Walmart for $5.  They were intended for outside the house - watering the plants, taking out the trash, checking the mail, etc.  It may seem silly to have a pair of shoes by the door for this purpose, but until you have a toddler who needs to "help" with every single task, you have to trust me on this.  She can put them on herself and they don't slip off her feet.

Anyway, so of course these are the shoes that Claire determines to be the Most Favourite of all the shoes.  (She gets her fashion sense from me.)  And while I don't let her wear them in public, DP and my mom do.  I also make sure they are never photographed on her, and have cropped them out of pictures when it went beyond my control.  Seriously, they are hideous and impossible to match to anything.

Well lately it's been too hot for socks and runners.  And while Claire's runners have ventilation (cut-outs on everything are such a stupid fashion trend) her little feet still sweat.  I asked her daycare teacher what the other kids wear since they have a strict no open-toed shoes dress-code, and she told me that most kids just wear clogs.

Oh my God.  So Claire has delightfully worn her stupid shoes to school every day this week.  And when I tell her to put on her shoes or put them in the car as we leave on mornings, she squeals in delight.  And when she's happy, I'm (sigh) happy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cookie Monster

One day last week, DP picked up Claire then me, and I brought her a cookie that someone had left in our breakroom.  Now she thinks I work at CookieMart and asks for a cookie every time they pick me up.  (She says it like 'kooky' so it's really cute.)  One time she was particularly ornery, so she demanded a cookie and when I didn't have one and we started driving off, she actually started crying.  And then she cried all the way home.


And so I wanted to stop at my dad's house to grab her a cookie.  It's on the way home.  But DP was like, "No, we can't indulge her just because she's crying."  I'm like, "But I feel bad."  He goes, "Well you should have brought her a cookie then."

(He's actually dead right now.  I killed my husband.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oh Shit

DP is taking a summer session Marketing class at UNLV, so we have been car-pooling to work/school.  On the road this morning, he swerved to miss windblown pile-on in the middle of the road, and a little voice from the backseat says, "Oh shit."

Plain.  As.  Day.  In perfect context.

We stifled our laughter, obviously, and vowed to watch our language from now on.  It honestly sounded like a tape-recording of myself.  Same intonation, same volume, as the way I say it when I'm driving.  Just a soft, under-her-breath, oh shit

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Is it Me You're Looking For?

I've been "under the weather" lately.  I say that because while I haven't been feeling well, I haven't exactly been sick.  Like Claire last week, she had a bit of a fever on Wednesday and threw up on Saturday morning and Monday morning.  She didn't have much of an appetite but she wasn't expressly sick.  (It was kind of funny, because even the times she threw up, she didn't acknowledge it.  She didn't cry or even say, "What's that?" Just kind of went about her business.)

Anyway, so on Wednesday I went home early for feeling ill, and while I'm well enough to function at work, as soon as I got home every day this week, I've gone to bed.  No appetite (which may not be unusual for a toddler but it's definitely unusual for me) but otherwise, feeling ok.  It's just weird.

Oh, and I don't know where my phone is.  Haven't used it since Wednesday.  But my phone automatically uploads all photos taken, to my work computer.  (I love this feature because it does it for pictures people send me as well, which means I have secret folders of my nieces and nephews to fawn over constantly.)  Anyway, so this morning when I came to work, I got a notification that a new picture had uploaded from phone.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not the Claire I Know

All of a sudden Claire has been crying/clinging to my neck when I put her to bed and when I drop her at school.  She never used to be like this.  Even if she was upset, or didn't want to go, she would still behave herself and listen to what I said.  Her bedtime is what gets me the most, she loves her sleep and has always been good about it.  Her whole life I just put her in her crib and she rolls over and goes to sleep.  Not lately though, the past few weeks has been a major struggle.

The past few nights, I bribed her with an M&M.  I know it's a bad habit, but the child was tired so I used some incentive.  (I see this advice given to potty training parents all the time.)  Claire could have her whole body wrapped tightly around me but if I say, "Claire, if you lay down I will give you an M&M," all of a sudden she becomes an angel.  Hops in bed, "Night-night Mummy," pulls her covers up, takes the candy and goes to sleep.  Not a peep out of her.  In fact, I waited outside the door once because I just gave my kid sugar at bedtime, but when I checked on her after 5 minutes, I found her passed out in the exact position she laid down in.

I started to feel really guilty about this, and I don't want it to become part of our nighttime routine, so last night I handed her off to her dad.  He loves putting her down but I always do it because it's my snuggle time.  Well I listened from downstairs - he took her up, put her in the crib, and came downstairs - not a peep out of Claire.  I was about to feel really sad until I saw the package of M&Ms in his hand.  Guess we're locked in now.

I also wonder how much of this is us being selfish.  Maybe bedtimes aren't supposed to be seamless, maybe sometimes kids give their parents trouble at bedtime and it's just like, part of life.  We are probably supposed to "deal with it" and not just throw money candy at the problem. 

Great, so now there's a whole added layer of guilt to this bedtime thing. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

I'm just happy to have a cool kid, who totally adores me.  I wish I could have seen all my nieces and nephews on Mother's Day but I get it, they have their own moms.  My dad hosted a BBQ and used his outdoor cooktop for the carne asada.  It was fantastic.

He mentioned something like, "Shouldn't Veks and DP be hosting since it's Mother's Day, for Mom?" and I was like, "What? I paid for mom's brunch yesterday!"  (Guess we'll be hosting a BBQ for Father's Day.)

Claire made gifts at school and repeated "Happy Mother's Day" to me. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

En Francais

Mon Ami Gabi is kind of a cult classic as far as restaurants on the strip go.  It has become a "must-eat" place for tourists AND locals in the past few years, despite not having a Top Chef attached to its name.  Plus hello, French food.

So when my cousin's Maid Of Honour messaged me for a brunch recommendation, of course I suggested this place.  I have been dying to eat there after all, and I would pay for my mom's meal so it's a Happy Mother's Day win-win.  They flew in from Vancouver for a bachelorette party so I wanted to make sure that our brunch was perfect.

Then Claire behaved horribly the whole time. 

What are parents with "spirited" toddlers supposed to do during these years?  Stay home?  Take turns?  Get a babysitter every time I get a hankering for brunch?  I am sad.

But I got to see my cousin and have food with my mom.

Claire loved walking thru the parking garage and walkway to the casino.  I feel like I should take her to the strip more, there is a lot to see and open space for her to explore.  I guess that's where I'll be spending the next couple of years until Claire can learn to sit still.  Time for me to learn to make corned beef hash and poached eggs at home!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Shame Upon My Father's House

My daughter's favourite colour is green. 
I failed as a mother.  My husband thinks it's hilarious.
(Click here to watch the video, I can't even post it.)

Friday, May 9, 2014


I wanted to put Claire to bed early one day this week so I could meet up with cousins for a birthday dinner.  So I gave her a bath and put her in sweats, but I don't think she thought that was enough.  She ran off to her room and came back wearing my Spiderman shirt.  On her head.  What a goofball!

We went to a hibachi restaurant where they cook the food in front of you.  I ate every single grain of rice I was served because all of a sudden I'm starving allthetime.  I'm sharing some pictures of my family because they are awesome and I miss them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Stall Tactic

Claire hasn't been wanting to go to bed lately, which is totally unusual for her, and so we don't really know how to handle it.  On Monday I was trying to put her to bed and she was clinging to my neck.  It was pretty cute and I can't lie, I was enjoying the attention and cuddles.  She pointed at her bookshelf,


I'm like, "No Claire, we don't read books at bedtime."  Who are you?  Then she pointed at her dresser, where her nailpolish is, and says,


What?  No.  I'm not painting your nails before bed.


Wait a second, is she...


Yeah.  She was stalling.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quiet Weekend

We didn't do much, so that was cool.  I think I went to the gym once.  Since my old non-training runs were usually 3 miles at a time, and my new regular runs are 5 miles, I get more out of it these days and don't mind skipping when I have other stuff to do or just want to stay home.  I did get some exercise weeding my front yard while Claire chased a yellow ball around the cul-de-sac.

On Saturday, my cousin texted me to ask if he borrow a black button-up shirt from DP.  I knew he had prom coming up so I asked when he needed it, and he said, "Right now." So he went a picked it up when I wasn't home.  I tried to get DP to take a picture, but...

On Sunday, my mom and dad had their first BBQ.  The yard isn't done yet, but the grill and patio are, so that is good enough. 

Plus, kids like dirt.  They insisted on individual pictures, and since they are usually completely uncooperative when I try taking any kind of pictures, I jumped on this.

My parents bought a swing from their travels, and my dad hung it up.  It's one of those relaxing hammock type things.  I think you're typically supposed to sit out back and read a book in it or something, of course my mom had other ideas.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

That Settles It

When I started planning Claire's second birthday party, DP put his foot down.  With a thud.  He told me that since I did everything for her first birthday party, leaving him completely out, he got to do this one. 

I made such a sad face you guys.

I only went crazy for the baby's first birthday because it was her first, and because I honestly didn't think he'd care one way or another about the details.  I should have known though, because he rolled his eyes at all the Care Bears stuff I was buying, and then became really serious about his water balloons.

So I'm letting him do this one.  Easier for me, right?   
No.  Because he is the WORST PLANNER EVER.

And he won't make any decisions.  Everything is, "we'll see." 
Should we order pizzas or grill out?  We'll see.
What is the theme going to be?  We'll see. 
Where will the party be?  We'll see. 

So I have been verbalizing my ideas and making him think they are his.  I already decided it was going to be a Monsters, Inc. party since that's Claire's favourite thing ever.  So I printed up a mock invite to show him.  Of course he said, "we'll see," so I left it alone.  Don't want to be a nag, ya know?

Well this morning he called me and said Claire was going nuts in the living room, screaming, "Mosters!  Mosters!" and he was like, "Geez Claire, I'll put it on in a sec, okayyyyyyy?"  I know he's tired of watching that movie. 

But it turns out, she had found the mock invite I made and was freaking out because she LOVED it.  And he was cracking up because she was being really cute about it.  So I said, "I guess Monsters it is then!" 

And then he said,

"We'll see."

Friday, May 2, 2014

Smelly Claire, Smelly Claire, What Are They Feeding You?

My parents are on vacation in Puerto Vallerta, so on Monday we went and spent the day at their house.  I don't mind keeping an eye on the place, it's like a mini vacation.  A staycation.  I picked up a pizza and we had an MTV Challenge marathon.

We didn't bring anything with us because we weren't planning to spend the night, but we ended up doing just that.  Good thing my parents stay stocked up on diapers and milk, and that my mom and I wear the same size and have the same general taste in clothing.

The next day, Rishi asked us to watch the kids overnight, so we just stayed on.  I brought Claire there after work and DP met us, then all of them went to the park.  Claire ended up getting hit by a flying swing and her nose was gushing blood.  Poor thing has gotten one "owie" after another lately.  DP said the daycare people are going to think we beat her.  I'm sure they understand though, the amount of bruises, scratches, and bumps Claire gets on a regular basis can't be that uncommon for kids her age.  It seems like she's always shoving some body part in my face to kiss better.

Anyway, she was so exhausted after the park that I put her straight to bed.  I let her sleep the next morning while I got ready and she was sleeping so soundly that I didn't even want to wake her up to shower.  So I wiped her down with baby wipes and sent her to daycare.  She was the smelly kid at school that day, I'm sure of it. 

Battered and bruised, stinky, with leftover pelau for lunch. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mornings at Aunty's

Some days, I come downstairs and have to take an inventory of the kids in my house.

Some days I have stray adults too.  Yeah, Claire has a fun life.