December 31, 2012

In Conclusion

I'm writing two letters today. The first is my official resignation letter to the bank, and the second - well, the second is this one. To you.

I've put your letter off because I truly, sincerely didn't want to write it. At first, I couldn't, conventional wisdom being that you inform your employer before you inform the rest of the world (crazy, I know). Now that The Letter is out of the way, I can't put this one off any more, much as I want to.

So to answer your question, WilliamB: I didn't quit when Lucy was born because I didn't have to. I technically don't have to until the beginning of February, and we all know how fond I am of technicalities (::coughthreematernityleavesinfouryearscough::), but now that I know for sure that I'm not going back, I can't in all good conscience field any more "so when are you coming back?" questions with the oh-so-clever "my scheduled back to work date is February 27th" lie of omission.

Yes, I was sure I wasn't going back before I even got pregnant with Lucy...but then I wasn't either. It's a good job I'm leaving. A career job, in a field that I love, that pays well, so as easy as it is for me to walk away from it to stay at home with my babies and never send them to daycare again, it's hard at the same time. A job is a job, you know? Safety in employment something something something.

What truly decided the issue is a simple bit of money math (and we all know how much I love money math, right? If I go back to work full time, and we pay for full time daycare for Lucy and Oscar and after school care for Norah, I will be making minus two dollars a month. So basically I'll get paid two dollars a month to stay home with the kids.

Or let's put it this way: If we're going to be poor whether I work full time or stay at home, I'd rather be poor at home all stressed out with a dirty house than poor at work all stressed out with a dirty house (Mom: this is totally not true, I am very happy and my house is very clean).

Really, though? I'm Christmas-day-without-the-bloody-nose excited about this actually happening, while at the exact same time Eyeball-surgery-day-without-the-sedatives nervous and scared.

And then there's the small matter of the girdle.

The girdle, you see, was because I was applying for a starting your own small business program through the Ontario government and needed to make a good impression.

And we all know that  nothing says "confident entrepreneur" like a girdle, right ladies?

I didn't get in. This is because I was technically still on maternity leave and therefore not technically eligible, what with the government already paying for me to have children and all (oh, the injustice of it all and woe and stuff), so I'm saying screw the government (except for the baby bonus and health care) and starting my own fee only financial planning company.

My butt cheeks haven't relaxed yet from just typing that.

(Um. I didn't type it with my butt cheeks. Just...uh, so we're clear. No butt typing has occurred here. Ever.)

So to sum up: I'm quitting my job, staying home full time with my three children, and starting a business so I can talk about other people's money. And - oh yeah - quitting The Mrs. I will truly, truly miss writing here. I will miss hearing that Leslie snorted her tea all over her computer screen, I will miss being a public weirdo, and I will miss you. All of you. Sincerely.

But something has to go, and it's this.

Love,
Sandi

(I just finished writing this and now I don't want to stop writing ever. Blergh.)

December 8, 2012

Lannis: Queen of Manipulation

So this is a cat blog now. Awesome.

* * *

I have long suspected that Hamster is a jerk. Loooooong suspected.

He eats. He sleeps. He avoids everyone. When put in his roller ball, he sits in the middle of the floor and stares at us.

He’s a jerk.

Then recently he escaped his cage, and made me take all the books off the shelves (because his favourite spot is hiding underneath our bookshelves), and have Mr Lannis help me move them to search for his fuzzy butt.

It was time consuming. And annoying.

And while the now-seven-year-old fretted that the cats might eat his lovable (ha!) Hamster—seriously, the kid was giving himself a coronary after watching Moggie toss a field mouse around the backyard—we shifted those damned bookshelves to discover... a hamster, blink, blink, blinking at us.

And this:


That, my friends, is a hamster-sized mountain of cat food. Along with a nice BIG hole (circled, with Mr Lannis’ hand beside it for reference) in our carpet.

Yes, not only did Hamster scurry across the living room to the kitchen and squirrel away cat food RIGHT under the noses of two mousers, he also decided that our carpet made good bedding material. And the underpad underneath did, too.

Yes, that’s our SUBFLOOR you can see beside Mr Lannis’ hand.

::headdesk::

At least it’s under the bookshelves we have no plans to move any time soon?

Oy.

So we put the situation to rights, replaced Hamster in his cage (several times the seven-year-old requested I not call his hamster a doofus—I kept forgetting), and went along our merry way.

The next day—still under house arrest thanks to her running off—Moghedien protested said house arrest by occupying what she probably thought was my favourite toy (thanks to its daily use):


I snapped this shot and uploaded it to Facebook, whereupon one of my friends (Hiya, Jacy!), mentioned that once upon a time she had a cat pee in her dryer...

CUE MOGGIE PEEING IN THE WASHER!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was creeping my Facebook account!

This sudden rebellion of two pets in our usually serene (who’m I kidding? haha!) household seemed suspect...

There’s only one who hasn’t kicked up a fuss lately. She’s smart, she’s dignified, she’s prissy and a cat’s cat... she’s exactly the kind of personality that would manipulate two lessers into defiance so she looked like feline perfection by comparison.


Highly suspicious, Minette. Highly suspicious.

I’m on to you, missy...

Regular Saturday 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.

December 4, 2012

The Super-Fantastic, Mega-Amazing Advent Calendar of Awesomeness

Everybody's doing it.

Advent activity calendars, that is. Not for our children the crappy stamped plastic chocolate of yesteryear. Nope. Instead we (The Pinterest Generation) are planning elaborate activities for every day of the advent.

I had a weak intention to sew an advent calendar this year, but realized (in time, thank goodness) that my sewing skills are not even mediocre, and that the last thing I want to look at every Christmas until my children grow up is a crooked, baggy, ugly advent calendar hung up on the wall for a month.

So we bought one. Hooray for retail!


Last week I was all set to write beautifully calligraphed, keepsake worthy notes for every box. Our activities were a mix of cookie baking, ornament making, Christmas book reading, toy drive giving, new pyjama getting fabulousness.

Then came Thursday. The day I caught what I thought was The Man Flu when Seth had it. Words cannot explain how truly crappy I felt until this morning.

So I made a movie. Here's me on Thursday (also Friday and Saturday):


Saturday was the Santa Claus Parade, and the Stupid Advent Calendar of Stupidness had also promised my children that we'd decorate the tree, too, so here's a movie of us all frolicking throughout the day, glowy and happy and filled with Christmas Spirit:


Right.

By Monday, even though the concrete snot in my face had solidified enough that my teeth were about to fall out, I roused enough to get excited about the phone I won from Christine at Cook The Story in her Where's Your Coffee Contest:


(Yes, those are dirty diapers piled up on the arm of my sofa, Judgy McJudgerson.)

Today I have drugs (and a sinus infection. Hence, the drugs). Norah is home from school for the second day in a row with strep throat.

The Advent Calendar of Doom has decreed that we're making and writing Christmas cards today. Don't be alarmed if you get one from my Glitter and Profanities collection.

(Also: Thanks Christine. I really am excited, except I look like a starved hobo and my house has fallen down from lack of cleaning. Also I'm buried in laundry.)

December 1, 2012

Lannis: Missing

Fine, keep your muddy feet. JUST STOP HAVING ADVENTURES ALREADY!


That was Wednesday. Thursday morning, with the intention of printing and posting these signs around appointments, I take a round about way home from dropping kidlets off at school, and guess who’s crossing the street three blocks over?

Screeching the van to a halt while simultaneously screeching, “MOGHEDIEN! YOU LITTLE SHIT!” was probably not my most graceful moment. Probably.

(Who’m I kidding? “Graceful” is an adjective that’s rarely used to describe me... ha!)

In other news... guess who’s getting microchipped as an early Christmas present?

::grumble grumble ungrateful cats grumble::

Regular Saturday 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.

November 27, 2012

I'm Going To Look Up Like I'm Surprised You're Standing There

Oh, hello, internet.

I didn't see you come in.

You see, I've been busy not wearing my girdle, making up an advent calendar that doesn't have twenty-four horrible chocolates in it, playing Hay Day, avoiding That Woman That Bosses My Kids Around While I'm With Them on the walk to school and back, reviewing our insurance, working (and working and working) on our budget, getting Pintesty, and nursing Seth through the man flu, so you'll excuse me if I'm not as awesome as I normally am.

Why so busy, you ask, dear internet?

Because February 26th is rapidly (rapidly) approaching, and the bank is waiting for me.

Let's revisit this in a month or two, shall we?

Because right now, I'd rather die than think about it, and I'M TOO BUSY TO DIE.

The end.

p.s. For your general edification:


November 17, 2012

Lannis: This.

No, seriously, THIS:


I’ve never noticed muddy feet on our various (tabby) cats. Or it could be that Moghedien’s just exceptionally nervy...

[Ed: No, cats are dirty and gross. The end.]

 Regular Saturday 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.

November 16, 2012

I Was A Bully, But Now I Have A Feather Pillow

Uh, thanks for not telling me about feather pillows, you guys.

Seriously, I've only been sleeping on a synthetic fill pillow with the (approximate) comfort level of a starving gerbil for the past 12,334 nights (give or take), so take your time filling me in.

Or is this that karma thing all the teenagers are talking about these days?

Have I had to suffer through thirty three years of being denied the ultimate middle-of-the-night joy of smooshing my pillow up to optimum fluffiness and sinking luxuriously back into a feathery pillowy sleep because I was a mean kid in elementary school?

Figures.

I spent 95% of my grade school days with my face in a book, 3% being bullied, 5% being mean to B--- or T---, and 10% not paying attention in math class.

You know, I've been meaning to apologize for that (the bullying, not the math. At the bank, they give you a calculator, so math can suck it), except if I could find B--- or T--- and tell them how sincerely sorry I am for teasing them in school, I think I'd be giving my eleven year old self more credit for for their psychological development than she deserves.

I thought I was important. I'm 611% sure that I wasn't.

Which doesn't excuse the bullying. The ostracism, the outright meanness. Not at all. And although I was about to write something about how I was so unimportant that they probably don't even think of me now that they're adults, I caught myself recalling how much it hurt when M--- or M--- or D--- bullied me, and how the impact of their bullying still rears up in low moments when I catch myself assuming that of course the other woman dropping her kids off at school will think I'm a total weirdo if I smile and say hello to her...

They probably had to wait to find out about feather pillows too.

November 10, 2012

Lannis: The Marble Jars

Syndicated on BlogHer.comOkay, want to know what’s pretty freaking cool?

Independent kids.

No, I’m not talking about potty training—though no longer wrestling with diapers and being able to trust my kidlets are wiping themselves well okayish I think they wipe?... okay just being able to trust that my kids know where the toilet paper lives is enough right now...

Anyhow. I’m talking about having kids who are sharing some of the housework.

We’re not a “make your bed” family—their rooms are down the end of the hall, and I don’t have to look at them, so that’s not a battle I’m willing to choose—but they need to throw their dirty laundry downstairs so I don’t have to collect it every day. They have to pick up their toys. They have to hang up their coats and put their backpacks away after school.

They must be responsible for their own belongings.

These are daily givens.

What Mr Lannis and I implemented recently, after much discussion, was a reward-based chore system for things that wouldn’t normally be within the boys’ jurisdiction.

Like emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming the rug, clearing the table, folding the laundry (my standards have lowered, yes), and scrubbing the toilet (I swear this is the best thing ever!).

It’s not an allowance, this reward, but it is monetary—eventually. For each chore (or multiple tiny things that count as general “helping”) they get a marble to put in their jar. They each have their own, and the jar has tape on it, with their name and an arrow indicating how far it needs to be to be filled.


(The tape is deceiving, because one arrow points up, and one down—in actuality both boys have to fill their jars to the same spot to earn their reward.)

Once they’ve filled their jars, they get $10. And they can choose—put it in their piggy bank and save it, or use money in their piggy banks to pump up the amount they’re allowed to spend.

It took them two months to fill their jars the first time, and Mr Lannis and I artfully arranged it so both boys filled their jars at the same time this first round... so they both got to go on the reward trip to Walmart to purchase whatever their little hearts desired.

Which (after they added their piggy bank money) turned out to be Lego Ninjago for the five-year-old, and a Cars Micro Drifters Dump Truck for the almost-seven-year-old.

They were both stunned that they were allowed to choose something that would be on their Christmas wish lists (newsflash, children: your mother is the only one who’s done any Christmas shopping for you as of mid-October... heh).

The best part (so far) is that they were so excited that they tell everyone about how they earned their rewards... with marbles... and chores.

I’m crossing my fingers this lesson is engrained, and the next time they take a corner quick quick on their bikes, it won’t just slip out their ears...

This system is a hell of a lot cheaper than allowance, and I’m not killing myself harping at them to do their chores, so I’ll take it.

Balance is the key, I figure. Finding that exact balance of how much effort in a chore constitutes one marble earned. This link was invaluable in figuring out which tasks could be considered appropriate for their abilities.

That marble-chore balance, though... that’s the big key. If you don’t gauge it right, you’re handing out marbles for not enough work, or the boys lose interest because the task is too large to equal the single marble earned...

So we give out multiple marbles for larger tasks.

My oldest was ecstatic the day he vacuumed the upper floor... and why not? He earned seven marbles! The breakdown went like this:

1 marble for picking up everything off the floor before vacuuming* [1]
1 marble for vacuuming each boy's room [2]
1 marble for vacuuming the hall [1]
1 marble for vacuuming the spare room [1]
2 marbles for vacuuming Mom and Dad’s room (it’s big) [2]

*By the way, that “picking up before vacuuming” marble is crucial. If you don’t train them to do it (and reward them for it) they won’t bother and will suck up every book and bed sheet in sight. Trust.

And dividing the marbles by room makes the task easier to split between the two of them when they decide to work as a team.

And who doesn’t want to man the central vacuum, when you’re five?! (or almost seven...)

The dishwasher’s another one I had to think about. It’s broken down by rack. Upper rack, lower rack, and utensils—three possible marbles earned for emptying the dishwasher. The silverware needs to be sorted in the drawer. The plates and bowls stacked neatly on the counter, the glassware placed neatly on the counter (because they’re too short to reach the cupboards where they’re stored), and the plastics in the clean side of the sink to dry...

But three possible marbles. And they fight over who gets to unload the utensil rack.

The most brilliant part of this entire plan? That I don’t have to harp on my kids to do their chores.

Oh, you don’t feel like earning any marbles today? No problem, you won’t be filling your jar very quickly, will you? MuahahaHA!

And if one fills his jar before the other? Then only one child is getting the $10 towards something he wants—we don’t give out prizes for maybe around this house, and my kids are going to learn that they have to earn their rewards fair and square.

(This depressing and baffling culture of entitlement that has cropped up in society is a rant for another day... possibly two.)

Anyhow. What has this accomplished?

Well, in the last two months there’s been a change—they actively seek things to do for marbles.

They voluntarily do chores they know constitute marbles, and then politely request one once the task is finished(!).


They ask if there’s anything they can do to help, when Mr Lannis and I are cleaning out the garage, or sorting through clothes for stuff outgrown.

They suggest tasks if they see something that could be done (my youngest asked the other day if he could have a marble if he tidied the van—dumped all the garbage and recycling cluttering up the floor, and put the toys back in their basket... hells yes!).

All in all, we’re delighted with this system. I’m not the house slave one picking up after everyone, and the boys are learning independence, life skills, and a touch of respect for what it takes to keep a house, uh, close to ship shape (let’s pretend, ha!).

And they are proud!

Just wait until someone realizes he’s lightyears behind his little brother... hehe...




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.

November 8, 2012

Thirty Two Things That Are Totally Related

Hi there.

Facebook just told me to "update The Mrs", and I think he (Facebook is a guy, right?) meant something else, but then I realized that even though he probably meant "do something something to Facebook because WE NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOU SO WE CAN SELL YOU WEIGHT LOSS PLANS", it probably won't hurt to update the real The Mrs while I'm sitting here playing Hay Day doing important work.

...

(Awkward silence as we both realize that I have absolutely nothing of consequence to say.)

...

Tomorrow I have another super important secret meeting for which I will again be donning my girdle. I'm looking forward to not having to suck in my post-three-babies-belly for three hours. And looking like a human adult instead of a nineteen year old college student whose worn pyjamas for the last week.

...

Speaking of human adults, I broke out the wagon for the walk to and from school, and now get to school and back at the pace of a normal human adult instead of a toddler looking for sticks.

...

Speaking of toddlers, we went out trick-or-treating for the first time ever with Norah and Oscar. They think that everyone only goes to four houses. They were delighted with getting to pick out two pieces of candy to eat and surrendering the rest to be doled out as we deemed necessary. They didn't memorize the contents of their (meagre) haul, and we have therefore eaten most of it.


In summary: Halloween with little kids that don't know any better than what you tell them is pretty awesome.

(I have another story to tell you about Norah's tutu. You will love it...three months from now when I actually get my shit together enough to actually write it.)

...

Oh. Hello. I didn't hear you come in. I was busy being warm and gooey. 


Say hello to my new friend, Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa from Closet Cooking. Unless talking to something you're about to ingest isn't your style, in which case...why are you here again? Because here is only for crazy folks.

...

Speaking of crazy folks,  I made this too (and put it up on my Pinterest Stuff I've Actually DONE! board*). It looks pretty, but it didn't taste pretty.


Not even drowned in sour cream and bacon, which means whoever wrote this recipe is an enormous loser who I hate. ← not an exaggeration

...

Seth came home with swords last week. Now every night looks like this:


THE END.

*Why don't you have a board like that?**

**Or why didn't you ever tell me you have a board like that? Can't we be all Pintesty together? Leave a link to it in zee comments, please, orIwillcutyouwithmysword.

October 27, 2012

Lannis: No one has to know... unless you blog about it. (Whoops?)

So this week, I pretended to be a Food Blogger.

I say “pretended” because let’s face it, if one of either Sandi or I were going for the title of “Food Blogger,” it wouldn’t be me who wins...

But let’s pretend, because this week I tried.

I bought big ol’ hunks of pork loin centre at Costco, and decided I’d try my hand at some experimenting.

I sprinkled some kosher salt on the pan. I sliced apples. I laid that shit out and doctored that shit up sprinkled brown sugar on top like I knew what I was doing. My reasoning being that at one time my grandmother probably just did whatever in the kitchen and her brood ate it gratefully, so why can’t my experience be the same?

Okay, so my grandmother didn’t have the entire internet on hand for crowd-sourcing recipes, and more likely than not was cooking up wild game, but whatever...

Tiny steps.

Evidenced here:


And here:


Mr Lannis looked on doubtfully.

And when Mr Lannis finally opened his mouth to ask what the hell I was doing where my inspiration had come from, I mumbled something about Pinterest.

Pinterest being, of course, the place where all the new ideas come from in our household. And sure, I may have run my eyes over a recipe that included pork and apples. In fact, I’m sure of it. Did I refer to it at this juncture?

Nope.

Heh.

Lucky for my family, after forty minutes in the oven, our potential pork fiasco meal turned out like this:


And it was tender and delicious.

So yeah, if anyone asks, I totally knew what I was doing... just don’t tell Mr Lannis otherwise...


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 25, 2012

Life's Profound Questions

So I've had a week and a bit to think very deeply about some profound questions I've been grappling with recently, and I think in at least one case I've found the answer:


My kids have such delicious round chubby cheeks as babies because my shoulder is their head rest of choice and - physiologically speaking - most closely resembles a coat hanger with skin. Comfy.

Related: Lucy is not a mommy's girl. She only cries when I leave the room because I have such an ugly back.

---

On a completely unrelated note, yesterday I had a meeting that was so important that I wore a girdle for it. It was a super-duper top secret meeting about something that I'm more than a little excited about but for reasons of national security lame secrecy cannot talk about yet.

But I will. Bet on it.

---

Also, this?


This has become a serious problem.

Help. Me.

October 20, 2012

Lannis: Enough is Enough...

Okay. So. Today, while folding laundry, I had an epiphany...


Sometimes you have to wave the white flag and call it quits.

Really. I mean, look at this:


While looking at the above monster, I thought, “geez, I need to get that grass stain out...”

And then I realized it’s a freaking double knee-patched pair of play jeans!

Does a grass stain really matter anymore?!

I mean, they’re cute and all, but these jeans are no longer heading into the hand-me-down bag when they’re done. They’ll be into the rag bag, to use the denim to patch other things down the road.


Sometimes you just need to give up the ghost... or monster... heh.


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 15, 2012

Weird Or Not Weird?

In honour of the fact that I've just finished The Hunger Games (DIS-satisfied), I give you the "real or not real" game, except it's totally different and completely unrelated.

If you looked out your window this afternoon and saw this or any possible variation of it would it be weird or not weird?


And for you smartasses that are saying to yourselves (and those around you, because - let's face it - you are crazy): "that's the same thing she was blathering on about on Friday", then you, my friend, are wrong. Because this was on Friday, this was on Sunday, and what you see today is an entirely different group of people.

I've faithfully recreated the shot for you, and although I am aware of how fabulously wonderful and unicorns and stuff my house is, I still kind of have to wonder about the kinds of things these people have to photograph regularly, because seriously.

Here is me, creating an exact reproduction of the shot they were taking (not at all):


And here is the (digitally enhanced because I'm awesome like that) shot I hope ends up as a poster on every wall wherever these folks are from:


You'd totally stop the bus to take a picture of this house, real or not real?

p.s. Don't get off the warm cozy bus to take a picture of this mess in the rain. Buy one from me instead.

October 13, 2012

Lannis: Sanity in small squares

You know what has saved my melty brain this week?

This square:


(Yes. Everyone marvel at my inability to figure out how to draw a circle in Picasa—I still am.)

I sewed that square. Now the boys can no longer pull the ties out of their housecoats in order to strangle each other lose them, and it means a world of difference in the Lannis household.

Suddenly there’s no more whining of, “But I can’t wear my housecoat, the tie is missing!”

And with the chilly weather coming, this is a blessing. I caved and turned on the heat last night, because my kidlets were chilling in their PJs. Literally.

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 11, 2012

This Boy...


He's the first to wake up every morning. When we tell him to whisper so he doesn't wake up his sisters, he says "Okay!" in a clear, piping, little boy voice that is not a whisper.

He climbs in with us (with much effort) and digs his way to the middle of the bed, where he lays still for about forty-five seconds. Then he starts playing with our ears. Sometimes our noses. His feet are always cold and he pushes them up into my stomach to warm them up.

When I'm in the shower, he'll slap his palm against the glass from outside (really hard), and say "Play dis game, Mommy", by which he means "put your hand on the glass on your side, and I'll put my hand on the glass on my side". When I play, he is delighted.

His smile when I come downstairs (unless he's fighting with his sister) crinkles his eyes into little slits. His hair sticks up all over his head, and when the sun hits him from behind, he looks like a blond porcupine took up residence on his head.

When he prays at meals, he somehow inserts an "L" in every word (including "Daddy"), and has to stick his tongue out the entire time. He likes to reach over to Lucy in the high chair and hold her hand, even when (especially when) his hand is covered in food. Or general stickiness.

Every day before we head out to walk Norah to school, he asks if he can bring his monkey. Every day I say yes. Every day he asks Seth, too, who also says yes.

He only has two speeds: Hobbit or Fast. He prefers Hobbit, but can sustain Fast for a surprisingly long time, and usually the only way to stop him is to yell something like "COOKIE!" or "WATERMELON!" He hasn't caught on yet.

When he waves to Norah as she walks into school he shouts "Goodbye, sweetie" at her. She mostly ignores him, but he doesn't notice.

He can't take his own shoes off, but he'll sit down on the front step and wait patiently for you to take them off for him, and as soon as we walk in the door he asks if it's time to have a snack and a drink of water and to put our babies to bed. When I inevitably tell him we have to wait for another half hour or so while I do my chores, he races off to the living room and does something else...for five minutes. Then it's back to me to announce "It's time to put our babies to bed!"

Lucy and Oscar's monkey go down for a morning nap at the same time. She gets tucked in; he gets tucked in. She gets a kiss and a "good night", he gets a kiss and a "good night". And a "don't get out of bed" for good measure.

Once Sesame Street is over, and before it's time to wake our babies up, he usually wanders over to the computer and asks to be picked up. He has a hard time not pushing buttons.

The meanest thing you can possibly say to him is "Go away."

He can fall down if he's running, walking, or jumping, but he mostly falls down when he's standing still. When he jumps, he crouches down so low that I'm sure he's actually just going to sit on the ground, but then he springs up and smiles like he just stuck an Olympic vault landing.

When he wakes up from his nap, he stands behind the baby gate at the top of the stairs and announces "Oscar's awake!" I picture him doing it at thirty.

It's always his turn first to have a tubby. When I pour water on his head, he gasps and splutters and stands up. Always.

When I hug him, he wheezes like the breath is being squeezed out of him. When he hugs me, he wheezes like the breath is being squeezed out of him. At no time is the breath being squeezed out of him.

This boy is pretty awesome.

October 6, 2012

Lannis: Our garden... grows...?

Last fall we moved the playhouse inside, and we were left with this:


So I put this in its place:


Yep. I built it myself this past spring. Okay, Mr Lannis made a few cuts, but I used that deathtrap sorry excuse for a drill to put it together (I only screamed a little bit, I promise). I also screwed strapping to the fence in one corner of our yard to create another glorified dirt box mini garden bed.

Our inventory of seeds planted (yes, only seeds — I purchased one tomato plant that has stubbornly decided 2012 is the year of the apocalypse and has clearly given up hope for survival) included carrots, two varieties of lettuce, green onions, cauliflower, peas, beans, pumpkin, zucchini, butternut squash, corn, cucumber, sunflowers, and watermelon.

Doesn’t it look quaint?


Yes, I’m being saucy. For while we had a decent go of it, harvesting peas here and there, plenty of beans (still!), but our four cobs of corn were recently stolen by local assholes squirrels, my vines have mostly dissolved into pulpy mush thanks to mid-summer storms, and our watermelon vines are clearly late to the party — seeing how they’ve just decided to start blooming now.

And now for a visual take on our veggie garden over the summer (please excuse the quality of the pics — some were from the cell).


Yes, those are some schizophrenic carrots. And since then we’ve had plenty more, too... the boys think they’ll give them superpowers. Sure, whatever. Just eat ‘em kids.


Moghedien lamenting the stolen corn cobs — I know, buddy, I know. It makes me sad, too.


Yes, that’s a dinky car next to the pumpkin — the pumpkin I originally thought was an oddly shaped zucchini. Clearly I win at gardening.

As for next year’s plans, they’re already in place...


Sure, we’ve a long way to go still, but a girl can dream...


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.