October 31, 2011

Project Grocery: Loosely, Accomplishments

I DID go grocery shopping this weekend, and spent $114.14 on things that will make tacos, chicken stir fry, pork chops, carrot soup, and shrimp pasta with sugar snap peas. Also on cinnamon rolls from a tube, ice cream, and chips. Mmmmmm....saturated fats...

Oh, and ten dollars of that was stupid Halloween candy. How I hate it. I almost had Mr talked into buying those gross Halloween kisses, but because we only ever have about six and a half kids come to our house, he's become dependent on candy leftovers, and I'd hate to see what withdrawal would do to him.

I DIDN'T take a picture, because we decided that instead of going grocery shopping after breakfast, we'd go just before supper. It was a great idea. GREAT, I tell you. We weren't grumpy or tired or anything.

I DID make applesauce, pastry, roasted beets, and two packages of ground beef for the freezer.


I DID clean out the fridge. ::Shudder::

I DIDN'T figure out why my freezer is so full, and maybe if I can use up some of the stuff in there instead of buying new stuff and trying to jam it in.

I DID read a whole (grown-up) book (Bossypants).

I DIDN'T do anything else. Not one single thing.

It was awesome.

(Today, I've been persuaded to go to work as a fairy, which means I'm wearing my normal clothes and a teeny tiny pair of wings that Miss got when she two, and that shed little fluffy pink feathers whenever you look at it. If you're good I'll show you a picture tomorrow. Miss is going to school in a clown costume from when I was three, because she doesn't know the difference, and she's only getting dressed up because everone else in her class will be to. So, loosely, I'm dressing up as her and she's dressing up as me. Fun times.)

October 29, 2011

Lannis: The World We Create

My apologies for the lateness of this post - it's not like Leslie emailed it to me a week and a half ago or anything. Sheesh. The world I'm creating is one of procrastination and ungratefulness. Fun times.

* * * 

As a parent, we learn that lessons can take many forms.

Some, not so great. Others, absolutely charming in their surprise arrival.

Shortly before Hallowe’en, I took the kids on a jaunt. We needed pumpkins, and being new to the area, I’m still learning the local secrets. My neighbour helpfully directed us to The Place to go -- down the town line and across a county road, to a farmer’s stand set up in the corner of a field.

My flimsy memory held that day, and believe it or not, I found our destination in spite of myself.

There were pumpkins. And pumpkins, and pumpkins. And gourds, and squash, and more pumpkins. Bumpy ones, smooth ones, squat ones... almost every shape you could imagine. And the colours! Oranges, reds, yellows, greens, whites -- even blue-grey!

I wish I’d brought my camera. Lord knows I wish I’d brought more home.


Mr Lannis laughed at me when he saw my haul. And again when I enthusiastically described the massive tables laden with a vast variety of squash.

You’d think it was the first time I’d seen vegetables.


So pretty!

(Yes, I’m aware this is probably a sign I need to get out more. Probably? Certainly.)

At least I had had a passel of kidlets with me at the vegetable stand, not all mine, but all of whom were just as enamored as I was with the bounty before us.

We wandered the tables, talking about pumpkin-decorating possibilities, marveling at specimen every size, from our fists to prize-winning fair entries the size of our living room recliner.

I studied the educational display table, with helpful examples of different varieties, paired with signage depicting their name, their desirable qualities (colour, taste), storage tips, and the usual cooking method -- or if they’re generally used for holiday decor only.

(Read: excellent for a doof like me who’s interested in sampling more than just the same old butternut squash at the dinner table.)


As I began choosing our haul, the seven-year-old began to panic, finally seeing more than just vegetables.

“Who’s selling all this?” she asked.

“A farmer,” I answered.

“But where is he?” asked my four-and-a-half year old.

Yep. It was an old-school set up. A lock box, with a coin slot.

The honour system.

The seven-year-old immediately latched onto the obvious. “But what if people don’t pay?”

“Well,” I said, “If this was your stuff, would you want people to pay for what they take?”

She rolled her eyes. “Of course.”

“Well, then we pay for what we take,” I said, stuffing folded bills into the slot.

“Why?” My four-and-a-half year old asked.

“Because we create the world we live in. This farmer is trusting everyone to pay for what they take. So we pay, earning that trust. And by doing so, we help create a world where people can continue to trust others with the honour system.”

One of my go-to parent lines (usually bellowed from the kitchen as boys pound on each other in the next room) is “if you don’t like it when someone does it to you, don’t do it to someone else!”

But sometimes it takes an outside example for messages to sink in.

Knee-deep in pumpkins, three motionless kids stood. With grins and unfocused eyes like saucers, they were clearly, excitedly, processing the social connection between actions and consequence -- and a world of benevolent possibilities.

$18 worth of squash, some for decorating, some for eating.

All in all, a very cheap lesson, indeed.

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.


October 28, 2011

Food Waste Friday: Bags 'O Help

Hmmm...it's Thursday afternoon. What should I do with myself? Trade completely serious and meaningful emails with Mr or worry about food waste?

Well, given that I've spent most of the past two weeks writing absolute ridiculousness, and that I've freely confessed how low on the priority list my evil fridge has been, the answer must be obvious.

I'm obviously going to worry about food waste.

The reason is this: for the first time in a long time, I rescued something from the horrid depths of my fridge (which looks like this:


You're welcome.)

I may have a lot of things in there that are past rescue, but see the grisly apple crouched maliciously in the back of this pile?


I rescued him, and half of his friends. Or family. I didn't ask. Instead, I cut them up, stewed them, mushed them through a strainer, and fed them to my kids.


Yum, yum. Rescue tastes delicious. It also freezes well.

My other rescue I cannot take credit for. Credit, instead, must go to Clearly Fresh Bags, who contacted me in September to review their product - aptly named Clearly Fresh Bags - that are meant to keep fresh food in the fridge fresher for longer. (That might be the best sentence I've ever written. Ever.)

And - guess what? - they did. To illustrate, I'd like to introduce you to my cauliflower:


This cauliflower was in my (evil) fridge for two and a half weeks. You'll notice it did not develop those little black spots all over the top that cauliflowers so often do when in my custody. That makes me happy. It also makes Cauliflower Protective Services happy, which in turn makes me happier still. I'd hate to see my brassicas taken into protective custody.

Clearly Fresh Bags also kept a bunch of radishes fresh enough to pack in my lunch for three weeks, which not only kept me from throwing them away, but also gave me something to snack on, although I really wanted chips. Excellent. (Not excellent. I'd rather have chips.)

All that to say: Clearly Fresh Bags sent me some of their product in exchange for giving you my opinion, and they are good. I plan more extensive testing with cucumbers soon. You're going to love the one that doesn't go in the bag.

Promise.

October 27, 2011

Momma Be Thy Name

Oh, yeah. I forgot. (Because I was full, remember?)

Stephanie at Momma Be Thy Name has graciously allowed me to invade her blog today and tell you things about my daughter and her nimmie.

Also, the hole is WAY bigger now than it was when I wrote the post.

And she still asks for it every night.

Fail.

I Think My Love Language Might Be "Crazy"

Mr and I have been communicating a lot lately. It's kept us very busy and entertained.

First, by text:

ME: Don't push anyone, I'm coming home.

HIM: Too late I pushed the cat. And your dad.

HIM: And I have plans to push your mom.

Then, by food. We recreated this, except with parmesan risotto and tempura fried sweet potato crisps, all with leftovers from the freezer and pantry, because apparently leftovers is also one of my love languages. Mr took pictures, but I was too full to lever myself off the couch and upload them last night. Or even look at them.

I was also too full to check my email or respond to any comments on yesterday's cloth diaper post. Because I'm awesome like that.

Then we communicated by talking about how logical and not crazy Scientology is, and how the twenty-six minutes of Sister Wives we watched two weeks ago still makes us want to throw things at the television.

Just like last time, we did not clean up the kitchen or wash any dishes. It was heaven.

This morning, we spent time we didn't have talking about the Occupy movement and the pros and cons of changing their chant to "You're rich! We're not! Do something!"

Then I had to bother him to get the transcript of yesterday's texts, because between then and now I might have mislaid my phone, but the only way I could convince him was to send him this email, to which he responded immediately, of course.

From: Mrs (mailto:mrs@hahaimnotwritinganythingfunnyinherebutyourestillreadingit.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 12:46 PM
To: Mr (mailto:mr@stillhisbusiness.com)
Subject: nothing


SEND ME THE TRANSCRIPT OF OUR TEXTS YESTERDAY, OR I'LL KEEP CAPSYELLING AT YOU UNTIL YOU DO!!
IT WILL BE EXTREMELY ANNOYING, AND YOU WILL START TO HATE YOURSELF. BUT NOT ME, BECAUSE I AM AWESOME. AND BEAUTIFUL.
KIND OF LIKE GALADRIEL, BUT WITH NORMAL SKIN AND HAIR THAT DOESN'T WAVE AROUND EVEN WHEN THERE'S NO WIND.

Don't you wish you had our life?

October 26, 2011

Not Giving Up. Just Thinking About It. Sort Of.

Pretty soon, I'm going to talk about poop. Just so you know.

First though, the top of my washing machine. (Where the poop lives.)

When we switched to cloth diapers for Jr back in April, it was motivated purely by cheapskatery. By our (painstaking, if you've forgotten) calculations, cloth diapers save us money.

But - news flash! - they don't save us time. Like every other cheap thing - CRAPPIT! - cloth diapers take so much more time to use than disposables.

Sorry, let's back up. (Further away from the poop, I know, but don't worry. We'll get there.) See, the problem isn't the amount of time cloth diapers take to rinse and wash and dry and fold, it's the fact that we have to do that Every. Other. Day.

If you remember (how could you forget) all the navel gazing surrounding the momentous cloth diaper decision, particularly this conversation, you'll know that we started with 24 cotton prefolds, 24 washcloth wipes, 12 Bummis fleece liners, 2 small wetbags, and 6 Thirsties Duo Diaper Wraps. Since then, we've had to get 12 more washclothes, 6 more liners, one larger wetbag, and that cursed diaper sprayer.


And every bit of that extra cost was because of daycare.

Because of daycare - and poop.

(Ah, there we are. Finally.)

When we're at home, poop gets rinsed right away. Not so at daycare. At daycare, it gets left in the diaper. They're not set up to rinse. (I'm over it, despite what you might surmise from this post.)

Not only that, but for some reason Jr goes through twice as many diapers and covers when he's at daycare than when he's at home, turning my three or four day cache of supplies into enough for only two. Sometimes one.

This means that every other day - sometimes every day, if I'm an extra lucky girl - I drag that big old bag o'poop home from daycare and spend a whole lot of time rinsing (and gagging, depending on what stage of pregnancy I happen to be in.)

And it's making me seriously consider switching back to disposables for daycare. Which - as dear Leslie reminds me every day at work, is for only 96 days.

And that's why there's a bag of poop on top of my washing machine.

October 25, 2011

Lannis: The Infamous Geek-O-Lantern

Oh my goodness! It's Saturday, and YOU got up early for work. How silly. Do yourself a favour: get another cup of coffee, curl up in bed with the iPad you don't have, connected to the WiFi you can't figure out the password to, and read this instead. Because it's not too late for you to have a science-fiction themed pumpkin for Halloween.

Or I could always write you a poem for Terry Pratchet...

* * *
Sadly, that title sounds rather vague, at least until you get a gander at this post. But the alternative title, A Pictorial Tutorial in Template Pumpkin Carving, just didn’t sound as snappy...

Since Hallowe’en is right around the corner, if you’re in this corner of the globe...

I wrote that, then realized neither the globe nor months actually have corners, but we’re about to see pics of when Mr Lannis let me use his power tools on vegetables! so let’s move quickly, shall we?

Basically, I decided to dig out the photos I took last year of my foray into template pumpkin carving to share with our schnazzy little group here at The Mrs.

Also? This entire post is highly geeky, so I’m inordinately (perhaps impossibly!) proud.

You’re welcome.


See? Wheel of Time related. Told you this would be geeky.

First, we need some tools. No, not people. Tools. Thank you, peanut gallery. (Editor's Note: You're welcome.)


Nothing special. Just a nail file, a paring knife, a chisel, and a screw. Not pictured: the drill Mr Lannis gave in and let me play with — whee! — but that happened, unexpectedly, later. Erm, and tape. You’ll need tape.

Now, empty out your pumpkin, hollowing out the choice carving side is a good idea if your pumpkin is extremely thick.


Next, choose your template. POINTS FOR GEEKINESS! — remember, this will look amazeballs regardless of how it turns out. And I’ve learned people (especially the kidlet variety), are easily wowed (those of the parental variety are, too, even if it’s only from fathoming having the time to do something more than, say, a few triangles and a gap-toothed smile).


Making a template is easy — the Internet and a printer and you're good to go. Wheel of Time chapter icons are excellent for this (obviously), but anything will do. For kids' cartoon characters, I'd look at free colouring pages online for decent black and white images. Be adventurous! Print out your choice as large as you can, providing it fits the carving space on your pumpkin.


Center and tape your template to the pumpkin, and you’re ready to pick up sharp things! Okay, maybe just the screw.


Using the screw (or a wide pin, nail, or anything sharp), punch holes to trace your template onto the pumpkin. Use LOTS of holes, because it can be tricky to see your guide lines if you don't.


See? Lots of holes punched.

Removing the template, use a sharp knife to cut along the dotted lines, but don’t cut all the way through your pumpkin! About halfway is good. You want to your candle to glow through the rind when it’s lit, not be seen through giant holes in your hollowed-out squash bucket (who came up with this wacko tradition anyway?).


I found it easiest to cut out small chunks and carefully remove the pieces one at a time. Yes, this is the time-consuming part.


Use the chisel to clean up the grooves. There’re no points for neatness — and if your neighbourhood is anything like mine, you’re basically competing with kindergardeners (read: yours will be ├╝ber-cool, regardless, so no worries).


It was at this time that Mr Lannis took pity on my ambitious butt and suggested I use the drill to carve the pips of the die. It was that or he was tired of hearing me create swear words — and I can be pretty creative. (Editor's Note: She can. Trust me.)


Finished!


(The winning toss! Or the losing toss... wait, erm, that doesn't sound positive at all... go Light!)

I drilled all the way through the pumpkin in the hopes that the pips would glow better. And in the way of jack-o-lanterns, they never look quite as good in a photo as they do in person.


We'll drink the wine till the cup is dry,
And kiss the girls so they'll not cry,
And toss the dice until we fly,
To dance with Jak o' the Shadows.


Sorry — can’t have a Mat-related jack-o-lantern without a little Jak o’ the Shadows to accompany it...

Now go forth! Carve your geeky WoT hearts content! Pepper your porches with WoT-y goodness! Revel in extreme geekery and know that you have the coolest jack-o-lanterns, despite how your husband rolls his eyes with that tone of voice.

Or, you know, you could use the skills in this post to carve another, equally intricate design to wow your neighbours.

I’m sure Disney princesses are charming.

...

But bonus points for unabashed geekery. It is hip to be square, after all.

Now to decide what to carve in this year’s squash bucket...

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.



October 24, 2011

Project Grocery: No Cartoon, But I'm Still Laughing

The only thing that makes me happier than last week's carnival of ridiculousness - in particular, the cartoon - is the fact that we came in under budget on our groceries this week.

(Is she ever going to get over that cartoon, like, ever? Sheesh, it's like she drew the Mona Lisa or something. It was mildy funny, at best.)

The short answer? No. No, she isn't.

On to groceries? Sure.


$109.96 for what? Meat Mountain and what looks like thirty-two bottles of ketchup? And from that, we'll be making (and eating, which is really the point) ribs, chicken parmesan sandwiches, sausage ragout (thank you, Jamie Oliver), shepherd's pie, pork chops, and ribeye steak with risotto, to which the kids are not invited. 

I love my freezer, I really do.

Almost as much as the cartoon.

October 22, 2011

Lannis: A Careful Dance

I have this exact same problem. Here endeth the intro.

* * * 

It’s that time of year again. Might not be where you are, yet, but hereabouts? Well, October finally remembered it’s October, and that means Mr Lannis and I are back at it again.

(No, not that. Though this does involve the bed. And keeping warm. ::snort::)


This is the time of year where sleeping gets tricky.

(Geez! You people! Mind out of the gutter!)

The temps are dropping quickly at night, and yep, you guessed it: I’m cold, he’s not.

So I have to be sneaky about implementing the winter bedding switch.

Sneaky, sneaky.

The silky cool feel of percale is not my friend. Okay, maybe when it’s scorching hot outside and you’re not really ‘in bed’ so much as you’re just ‘on’ bed, since it’s too hot to bother covering yourself with, well, covers... then I guess it’s not so bad.

But certainly not when I’m wearing flannel PJs, thick socks, and technically two extra quilts, because one is folded to become two layers, yet he isn’t cold at all and is completely content to subsist on one quilt and a summer sheet -- men and their internal furnaces, grumble grumble.

Did I mention he also wouldn’t mind cracking the window? Oy.

So when the weekend hit (read: cheap laundry time), I made the big switcheroo.


Oh, lovely fuzzy flannel, how I’ve missed you so!

(And part of me is really excited to wash the percale set and store it away in its own pillowcase because Pinterest occasionally blows what little is left of my mind on the simplest of things...)

Anyhow. I know I’m going to hear it from Mr Lannis. But subtlety? Not always my thing.

Because I will continue to do this...


Every. Day.

(That’s our winter duvet in its storage bag. And as you can tell, it is stealthily hidden for my husband to discover. Technically, it’s even on our bed. Hint. Hint.)

Eventually he will get fed up and tell me I can take that duvet out of the bag and use it. Whee! (Read: I win!)

Or, I could bypass the juvenile games meant to wear down the psyche’s resistance silliness and just put it on the bed already...

Maybe I’ll just do it tonight. Sure. Why not? I’ll just tell him it migrated.

He’ll believe me.

Right?

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.

October 21, 2011

Things We Think About In The Afternoon

Following along with this weeks's theme of flat out random hilarity ( I can hear you laughing over your supper of Chipits, don't think that I don't), with highlights that include pictures of my toilet, peeping in a saucepan, and - of course - the best cartoon ever drawn, by yours truly, I present to you the following:

(with full and written consent from Mr, who would like you to note that this telecast is for the viewing enjoyment of our fans, and may not be rebroad - er, never mind.)

. . .

From: Mr (mailto:mr@hisbusiness.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 11:30 AM
To: Mrs (mailto:mrs@herwork.com)
Subject: van

Don't forget to ask about the van today or we are going to run out of time.

Thanks.
____________________________

From: Mrs (mailto:mrs@herworkexceptnotduringbusinesshoursbecausethatwouldbewrong.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 12:46 PM
To: Mr (mailto:mr@hisbusiness.com)
Subject: van

STOP BOTHERING ME! I'M VERY BUSY AND IMPORTANT!

Also: Leslie got the Little Britain reference just from the illustration, which is why I love her. That is all.
____________________________

From: Mr (mailto:mr@hisbusinessofwhichthereisapparentlynotalotsincehehastimetodothis.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:15 PM
To: Mrs (mailto:mrs@herveryverybusyworkwithnobreaksmoanmoansob.com)
Subject: van

blah blah blah you are weird stop being a jerk and do it already computer says no you are still weird go away
____________________________

From: Mrs (mailto:mrs@ilikechinesefood.com) 
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:16 PM
To: Mr (mailto:mr@hisbusinessthatnowIkindofthinkmightbeillegal.com)
Subject: van

Oh. My. Lord.

I love you to bits
____________________________

From: Mr (mailto:mr@hemustbeactuallysittingontopofthecomputer.com) 
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:19 PM
To: Mrs (mailto:mrs@holycraptheseemailsareonlyminutesapart.com)
Subject: van

yes you

do.

THE END.
____________________________

From: Mrs (mailto:mrs@isanybodyelsethinkingaboutchinesefoodnow.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:20 PM
To: Mr (mailto:mrs@becauseidefinitelyam.com)
Subject: van

::BAM::

That was the sound of my head exploding. If you could ask someone to wipe off my monitor and clean up my headless body, that would be great.
____________________________

From: Mr (mailto:mr@imalsothinkingaboutcatsforsomereason.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:23 PM
To: Mrs (mailto:mrs@whichisweirdbecauseidontlikecats.com)
Subject: van

Could you get me the phone number of that person?
____________________________

From: Mrs (mailto:mrs@whichisreallyweirdbecauseihavetwoofthem.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 1:24 PM
To: Mr (mailto:mrs@althoughnotreallybecausethosetwoarewhyidontlikecatsanymore.com)
Subject: van

Uh.

644.9999

Which person, numbnuts?
____________________________

From: Mr (mailto:mr@areyouactuallystillreadingthese.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 2:16 PM
To: Mrs (mailto:mrs@becausetheytookalotoftimeandcreativitytowriteyouknow.com)
Subject: van

the person you want to clean up your head.
____________________________

From: Mrs (mailto:mrs@andnowimfeelingliketheyrewastedonyou.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 2:20 PM
To: Mr (mailto:mrs@soimgoingtoactallhuffynexttimewetalk.com)
Subject: van

MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED AND YOU WANT ME TO WORRY ABOUT WHO'S GOING TO CLEAN IT UP?!

You suck. I take it back about loving you. I hope our ashes don't get mixed up in the same cardboard box.
____________________________

From: Mr (mailto:mr@justsoyouknow.com)
Sent: October 18, 2011 2:16 PM
To: Mrs (mailto:mrs@fairwarningshiftyeyes.com)
Subject: van

cardboard box!? aren't we fancy. i was going to get mine put in a pepper shaker.

. . .

Sensible? No. Edifying? Probably not.

Romantic? Oh yes. Yes indeed.

October 20, 2011

Potty Mouth

Weeks ago, I promised you a picture of our toilet, and I know you've been waiting on tenterhooks ever since.


You're welcome.

Why show you a picture of our toilet? I hate it, that's why. I hate it with a deep, soul-eating passion.

When we moved to this house, just before Jr was born, the downstairs toilet was older than I am. Certainly bluer than I am, even on days like Monday (seriously, did you SEE that awesome drawing?)


But that old, blue toilet had two wonderful characteristics, qualities I sadly took for granted while it lived with us: the seat stayed put when I sat on it, and there was lots of water in the bowl.

We had plans to replace it eventually. You know, in the very futuristic future when we A) save up the money to do the whole bathroom and B) somewhat improbably get sick of the colour. But then Old Blue started to leak. A lot.

And so Mr decreed that it had to go.

When the new toilet was installed, I was excited. Who doesn't get excited by a brand new, sparkly-clean bathroom fixtures? Okay, fine. YOU don't. But I did.

...until I realized that it's a brand new, sparkly-clean low-flow toilet, with minimal water in the bowl and minimal water in the tank. That's a problem for us cloth diapering types. The whole swish-swish poop removal system doesn't work so well with only an inch of water in the bowl, let me tell you.

So we had to invest in a diaper sprayer, which really cheesed me off since I don't want to have to buy all sorts of fancy-pants accessories - the whole point of switching to cloth diapers was to reduce our spending. That's the first reason I hate this toilet.

But the second reason that I hate this toilet is worse by far. I know: what could be worse than being forced - by a toilet - to spend money? But it is, trust me.

The toilet seats moves when you sit on it. Someone out there, back me up: isn't a toilet seat that moves if you lift your eyebrows while you're sitting on it The Worst Thing In The World?

I'd rather peep in a saucepan.

October 19, 2011

Happy Accidents

Fast on the heels of my moan yesterday, one of the key bodies at work told me that we're soon going to have more help. I don't think she knows about the Mrs, and I definitely didn't email her the best illustration ever. Definitely not.

. . .

Mr was at home today doing up quotes for clients and took the time to send me some of the most ridiculous emails I've ever had the pleasure of receiving. My head exploded from laughing, and he had the audacity to ask me for the phone number of someone who could clean up my gory headless body.

I ask you, of all the inconsiderate, lazy--like I'm going to worry about cleaning up after myself when I'm dead because he killed me. Sheesh.

. . .

I'm currently eating sour gummi bears, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, watching Pride and Prejudice (Matthew Macfayden, not Colin Firth. Better.), and waiting for Mr to get back from another job he's quoting.

Oh, yeah. And writing. Not drawing. Definitely not drawing.

. . .

Yesterday as Mr and I were making dinner, and the kids were playing around in the pots and pans cupboard, as kids are wont to do, Miss came running up to us crying because she "peeped in her pants".

Except she didn't.

She peeped in a saucepan.


That is all.

October 18, 2011

The Mrs At Work, Complete With The Best Illustration Ever Drawn


I have some news for you...and you might be surprised. Sit down.

Ready?

[whispers]I love my job.

Yes, it's true. I truly enjoy the work that I do, and mostly it's because I get to talk to people about their money. It's kind of like driving through a small town at night, and being able to see into people's windows as we go by. Poetically creepy, right?

The thing about right now, though, is that we're down a couple of essential bodies at my particular branch. Which means that those of us that are left are doing our jobs, plus. And I'm getting behind. Really behind. As in "you asked for some money to fix your septic tank two weeks ago and I've only just gotten back to you today" kind of behind.

And I know why: I'm so buried in an avalanche of paperwork - reports to do, people to call, estate files to open or close, transfers in to shepherd, checklists to go who knows where - that even digging out, let alone figuring out what's important yesterday and what can wait another couple of days is next to impossible.

Let's take a minute to role play, shall we? You pretend to be a client with - say - concerns about the value of your investments, or a property you've got your eye on and want to know if you can get a mortgage for, and I'll repeat the preceding whine at you.
 


Didn't that go well? Don't you feel increased confidence in how much I care about you and your concerns?

Yeah, me neither.

You see, I love my job, when I can do it well. And normally I can do it well. I can knock its socks off. But not recently. And that annoys me.

At home, I'm the it can wait, it'll be fine girl. Most of my seams are crooked, most of my recipes have compromises in them somewhere, and most of my laundry gets as far as folded in the laundry basket before it stalls there until the next weekend, when I really need the basket to be empty again, so I can fill it.

At work, I'm the well-groomed (well, slightly better-groomed, anyway) opposite of the it'll be fine girl I am at home. I do things right. I get back to clients when I say I will, and I get things done that no one else can, because I think I might just be magic.

So this past two weeks has really cheesed me off, because I love my job when I'm doing it well.

I just happen to love being home with my kids better, even when I'm not doing it well.

October 17, 2011

Project Grocery: When Other People Feed You

When other people feed you (and your family, three of whom are hungry any time you ask), you get not only the pleasure of not cooking or cleaning, but also the great pleasure of moving menu items over from one week's menu to the next.

If that counts as pleasure. It certainly floats my boat.

You also start to think that you've got some room to stock up, since paper towels are on 6 rolls for $4.44 (and you have a coupon for another dollar off, which you forget to use). And since Miss still wears the generic version of pull ups at night (probably called "push-downs" or something equally ridiculous. I've never thought to check), and for the first time ever they're on buy one, get one, you happily get those too.


And then you look at what you bought, realizing that - yet again - you've gone over budget, if only by $15.59, and you moan a little. And you wonder wear those push-downs are, and realize ten minutes later that your daughter and son have absconded with them and are in the playroom pretending to have a nap on the floor with very strange pillows.

But you've been grocery shopping for an hour and a half, and you're tired and kind of barf-y, so you stop thinking about it. All of it.

(You is actually me, on the very slim chance that you're actually confused, and I spent $135.59 on groceries for a week in which two of our meals are from last week's menu, and five are from things we already have in the freezer. So in reality, I wish I was you.)

October 15, 2011

Lannis: Blackmail

Leslie is wondering what we're going to get for Google Salad on this post...and I'm wondering it myself. Especially "saucy".

Also, we're going to make t-shirts. They will be hilarious, and you will want to wear them. That is all.

* * *

I am raising jerks.

Sorry, let me rephrase that. I am raising saucy boys.

Yep.

Don’t get me wrong, they are very polite and (for the most part) they obey and listen to what they’re told — they are children, after all.

They have manners, and they generally aren’t (I hesitate to say ‘never’) ill-behaved. If they leave this house with adults who aren’t their parents, I never worry that they will run wild and disrespect their temporary guardians — they’re very good boys.

But they’re saucy. They don’t backtalk, not intentionally, anyway, but occasionally snarky things slip out.

Let’s be truthful, now — we all know they come by it honestly. They were born with the sarcasm gene and I’ve (inadvertently) done my best to see it fostered properly.

Anybody who has friended me on Facebook has borne witness to the crazy things my kids are wont to say. I like to share — the quotes make for great status updates!

I also have a file titled ‘blackmail’ on my laptop, because Momma likes to keep tabs. Ha HA!

So today I’m sharing some of the silly and saucy things they’ve said.

Recently I cracked out the camera in an effort to make up for my sorry lack of photo-documentation lately update our snapshots. This involved me bashing my head bribing boys to sit nicely by offering a trip to the park (which I sneakily used to get more shots in). It also involved a handful of verbal gems from the peanut gallery.


Boys [to me, while sniffing our potted mum]: Is this YOUR mum?
Me: Yes.
Four-and-a-half-year-old [doubtful]: Yeah, but, it doesn’t look like you at all...
::facepalm::


Me [to almost-six-year-old, hanging upside down at playground]: Look at you, you monkey!
Almost-six-year-old: I’m not a monkey!
Me: Then what are you, then?
Almost-six-year-old: I’m a poodle!


Four-and-a-half-year-old [holding a maple leaf aloft]: I found one!
Me: Just one?
Four-and-a-half-year-old: Well, I know where the rest of them are.


And hands down, the best quote of the day? —

Almost-six-year-old [shouting at another playground kid]: I don’t HAVE to do what you say! If I do that I’ll break my BRAIN!

Note: I have no idea what prompted this outburst, but it. was. awesome.

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.



October 12, 2011

A Girl By Any Other Name

So we're having a girl. And I'm excited - it's what I was sincerely hoping for.

Don't get me wrong, I love our little Jr. His enormous head, drunken baby wobbly walk, and face-splitting dimply smile are highlights of every one of my days. I'd be quite happy with six of him. I don't not want a boy, I just do want a girl.

But I have two very good reasons for wanting Bean to be a girl (not for not wanting a boy, savvy?):

Reason one: I have a lot of girl stuff, and I even have an equation for you (because we all know how well math and I get along):

First baby + "girls are fun to buy for" = A. Lot. Of. Stuff.

As in, stuff Miss never wore once. New stuff. Pretty stuff. FREE stuff.

And as if that wasn't a good enough reason, there's another, even better one.

Reason two: We have no boy names. None. We used up our one beloved name on Jr. Enormous Head and have no others. Conversely, we have seventy-two girl names. (Forget the mini-van, our next family vehicle is going to be a school bus.)

Jr's been practicing. He's had some time to work on his older sister's name, now we've got four months to teach him how to say his younger sister's.

So far, we've made it to Wah-woh and Dee-doo.

I'm tempted to stop practicing.

October 11, 2011

Surf City

I'm eating one of these (the chocolate one, obviously),


And hearing this:





Why?

Because it's October 11th, and we just had our ultrasound. I'm a happy mama, and not just because I'm eating.

Project Grocery: Easy Street


We're letting ourselves off the hook this week. There's some leftover French Onion Soup in the freezer, Mr's version of Shrimp Pasta takes about twenty minutes to make, and the carrot soup practically made itself (this version: curry, ginger, and black pepper). Easy meals, for which neither of us have to remember or face thawing things, prepping things, or - let's face it - making things.

Because - news flash - we're tired. (Play that song again, please. I'm not sick of hearing it yet.)

Stephanie, I hate to do this to you, but we spent $113.20 on groceries this week, after my $5 points redemption at Sobeys, and my $6 worth of PC gift cards at YIG.

(Milk, by the way, was $4.69 for 4 litres. 3 bags. 4 litres. Believe me, I wonder at it too.)

No coupons, no special sales (although the shrimp was three dollars cheaper than I've ever seen it before, hence the enormous riches of three whole bags). Just plain old groceries.

So I guess I'm not an extreme couponer after all.

Wow. Two news flashes in one post. However can we handle it?

(And it's just possible there will be another later today. Because it's October 11th. And you know what that means.)

October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving. Busy.

One of the very best thing about being married to an American (other than the fact that I'm married to this particular American) is that we get to enjoy two Thanksgivings.

Two whole days, devoted to family.

...

Who'm I kidding? Two days devoted to FOOD. And some family, thrown in there for good measure.

This holiday? Designed for me. Oh, I know the whole story about the Pilgrims, and the parched corn and the what have you. It's nice, but you and I both know that in the midst of all the thanksing and the giving that they were doing with the Indians, the whole group of them were thinking "You know, some day, there's going to be this lady. And she's going to need a whole holiday - ah, make it two - devoted to food. Turkey would be nice. Sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and stuffing will make her pretty happy. Make it so."

A little history lesson from the woman who spent forty thousand on a post secondary education in the Arts. Specifically History.

You're welcome.

This year, we might even get three Thanksgivings. Saturday my mom's extended family got together to celebrate, which we've never done before. It was great (Hi Rhonda!).

This guy spent most of the time on the floor, pushing cars around and making "vroom" noises.


Success.

But it meant we missed out on spending Thanksgiving with just our immediate family, so it's very possible we'll be doing that at Mom's house within the next two weeks. I'm calling it Thanksgiving: The Sequel, and am more excited about it than most sequels, particulary Clone Wars.

...

Sunday. Picnic time. This weather is the kind of weather that I'll look back on three months from now, in the depths of moaning winter, with dry knuckles, cold feet, and three more months of cold to look forward to, and wish ardently I had done more to enjoy.

So we got ourselves outside. My Dad found us a secret spot at a local park, away from all of these people, who had the same idea:


There was some hiking,


Some duck watching and wintergreen eating,


And - of course - some general silliness.


Oh yes. And eating. (Thanks for packing the lunch, Mom.) This guy spent most of the time on the ground, falling down and making "oomph" noises.


Success.

...

Today, after the walk, and the trip to the playground, and the other walk, I found myself staring at a five pound bag of carrots.

So what does one do when confronted by carrots purchased two weeks ago for two dollars and dangerously close to turning to the dark side?

One cuts them up, sautes some onions in butter, and simmers the carrots and onions in chicken stock until the whole mess is soft. Pureed with the immersion blender and frozen in ziploc bags, it's the base for about six kinds of soup that I don't have any diffuculty eating, especially at six thirty on a work night after getting home late and forgetting to thaw or prep anything the night before.


Saturday, Sunday, Monday. All busy, all fun.

Success.

(Also: "That I don't have any difficulty eating?" Please. It's like you don't know me at all.)

October 8, 2011

Lannis: Playing House

How is it Saturday already? Seriously. 

That is all.

* * * 

Last Sunday Mr Lannis and I woke up and stared at the ceiling. No, seriously — we did.

And in the rare chance to laze in bed together while our boys played nicely (yes, they were awake! I know, I’m amazed, too!), we plotted our day.

And just like that, a day with no plans turned into a day with big plans: that playhouse was coming apart!

We got to work, despite 4c drizzle. Mr Lannis heroically swept creepy crawlies from the pieces of giant Tupperware before I had to go near it.


Our inventory of displaced tenants included potato bugs, ear wigs, more spiders the size of our thumbnails, a paper-wasp nest (dead wasps included), a toad, a frog, and I can’t forget the dead mouse — courtesy of our cat, Shakespeare.

I was on wash duty.


I scrubbed. And scrubbed, and scrubbed. (Sadly, this is the second time this year I’ve scrubbed this roof — though I’m happy to report it’s much easier when you’re not willing your arms to be just a teensy bit longer, as you stand, teetering, on a chair while your five year old helpfully reminds you that you are the living example of what not to do.)

Did I mention it was 4c out? And raining? Want to know how cold my hands were? The water from the hose felt warm, that’s how cold my hands were...

But it was worth it.

Because our goal was to take this —


And turn it into this —


Because sometimes, even when you live in Canada, this creeps up on you —


And we couldn’t have that happen (again) this year.

Occasional poster at The Mrs, I'm Lannis - or Leslie, depending on which circles you're swimming. A while ago I decided that I don't care anymore, hence my general standards for life are lower than The Mrs' (but she still loves me.) [Editor: I do]

I live in a small town with my favourite people: my husband, Mr Lannis, and our two boys, along with two cats and one hamster.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might witness my issues with linear thought, road rage, spending more money on food than books, and potty mouth. Be warned.