June 28, 2012

Of Housewifery, Feminism, And World Peace

I read Feminism + Housewifery on Feministe yesterday, and was riveted to my computer by the three hundred or so comments (then). That made me go back and read the Elizabeth Wurtzel piece they were all talking about. I had a lot to say, and most of it was of the "I can't believe she..." or "so she's saying that..." variety, and most of it was incoherent. It kept coming up - at supper, while we were cleaning up the kitchen, after the kids were in bed and we were playing video games - and right in the middle of other discussions.

I'll spare you. Maybe someday I'll squish all of my thoughts into a tiny ball and try to get them all out on the page, but for now, I have this to say:

Can we all agree that the places we live in should be clean(ish)? That toilets shouldn't have three years of poop stuck to the sides, and that if a shower is pink from top to bottom, it should be by design? That - eventually - someone needs to wash the dishes or load the dishwasher?

Can we all agree that everyone needs to eat, and most of us need to eat multiple times a day? That even the fastest of fast food needs to be fetched from somewhere and that it might not be a good idea to eat out of a bag for every meal?

Can we all agree that - if you chose to wear clothes that is - said clothes need to be washed at some point? They don't have to be folded and put away (Lord knows mine often aren't), but that if they are it's easier to find the pants you want?

Can we all agree that if you have children, and you want them to grow up to be healthy, mature adults, you have to teach them things about their bodies, actions, and emotions? That you have to hold them sometimes, and interact with them in a meaningful way occasionally?

Can we all agree that some person needs to do these things, and that it doesn't have to be the same person, and that it doesn't even have to be the person who owns the toilet, shower, dishes, food, and pants?


World peace: achieved.

Oh, wait. You want all of us to agree on who exactly should do these things and why? You want all of us to decide whether it's me, or my husband, or someone we hire based on what's best for society as a whole, and not on what works best for our family or what makes us happiest?

You lost me.

June 25, 2012

CSA, Happy Meat, And Organic...Oh, My.

Despite my insistence that I am not a food blogger, and the fact that I haven't even mentioned food in...uh...weeks, I'm still head over heels in love with it. See exhibit A:

We're really, really into food.


Which is why it is with great trepidation and anticipation that were embarking on a quest to healthify our eating. Yes, healthify. We're looking into buying a quarter of a grass fed, happy cow. Some free range, happy chickens. Organic produce where we can, and - possibly - a CSA share from a local farm.

It will be a big change. We'll eat less meat, and a wider variety of vegetables. It will cost more.

And I have no idea what I'm doing.


June 23, 2012

Lannis: Time's Up

I tried. I truly did. But I am at the end of my proverbial rope.

And so I call on you, fancy folk of the Interwebs, to lend a hand—or at least a few suggestions, if you so please.

You see, my kidlets are early birds. As in: if the sun is up, so are they.

And it’s not that they’re the kind of kids to leap into bed with their parents, startling us awake (we’re heartless souls who outlawed that on pain of death, therefore our children do not breach the sanctity of our bedroom unless they are ill. Or if they think the zombie apocalypse has hit. You know, emergencies only).

No, they get up, gravitate to the toy area (naturally), and proceed to play quietly. For a bit. Until they forget it’s the ass crack of dawn way too early and get carried away.

Then Mr Lannis and I hear them, to discover it’s the ass crack of dawn 5:30am, and our kids are hosting a Lego man party—complete with bread and grapes they have pilfered from the fridge.

If we put them to bed later, they wake up at the same time—and they have venetian blinds and curtains to darken their rooms, and they still manage to sense that bloody sunrise.

So I put this in their bathroom:

The new rule being that if it isn’t 7am, THEY MUST STAY IN THEIR BED!

Guess what? Now we get to hear the doors clicking open and shut repeatedly between 5:30 and 7am, while they CONSTANTLY CHECK THE TIME.

I give up.

Or maybe I’ll just invest in another clock and give them one each in their bedrooms... Hm.

Any other suggestions?

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.

June 20, 2012

To Market, To Market

We were at the farmer's market bright and early this morning (er, nine o'clock), because it is so stinking hot today that I can't bear to drag my hot sweaty meatball children around in the heat of our usual arrival time - eleven-thirty (you know, just in time for the dreaded Lunch Grumps. The kids are pretty bad then, too.)

Except it was hotter this morning at nine than it usually is at full on noon, and I still dragged my kids out in it, and all for the sake of dandelion greens (not found, bought kale instead) and frisee (found) to make this for tonight. Because there's nothing better on a stinking hot day than a hot salad. Awesome.

Five minutes in and not yet a quarter of the way through the circle, and Oscar was already trailing ten steps behind and stopping every seven seconds to talk to whatever dog was in the vicinity. Norah had picked up a rock and was talking into it like it was a phone, sweat pouring down her face. Lucy was asleep, like the good third child she is.

My other reason for needing to go to the market was to bother a local farmer who is planning on starting a CSA. I want to build a website for her farm, because she sells happy meat, happy eggs, and happy produce (um.), and I've only just heard about her.

By walking past her stand. 

People. Please. You can't not be online. You just can't. Am I right?

She wasn't there. Crap. I was hoping to trade a CSA share this summer for the website.

This time last year:  Backyard DIY: Let That Garden Grow

June 18, 2012

Monday, Monday

Five AM. The boy wakes up, yelling for Daddy (presumably to ask him if "issa holiday?), but in my sleep confusion, I think it's the girl. It doesn't matter anyway, since I kick Seth (affectionately, of course) for him to go investigate. Once he gets back into bed, we settle in for at least another hour.

Except just as I'm slipping back into comfy, happy sleep, the cat lands on my chest and starts to make herself comfortable (which involves making me decidedly uncomfortable, naturally). Her shrill MIAOW! as I toss her to the floor and the skittering of her claws wakes up the baby, who spends the next ten minutes grunting quietly while maneuvering her hands out of the tight swaddling blanket as I hope in desperation that she'll forget about it and just go back to sleep.

She doesn't forget about it. I finally get out of bed (cursing myself for giving birth to a child who could outgrow her bassinet so quickly, thus making a trip all the way across the room necessary), give her the nimmie, rewrap her, and crawl back into bed.

This buys me an additional seven minutes, during which the cat sizes up my face as her next bed.

The next trip across the room to reswaddle my little Houdini is accompanied by muttered imprecations. The phrase "child from the pit" might have been used, although I am mostly not awake, so don't quote me on that.

Good thing she's cute.

Also good thing it's Monday, and the kids are in daycare. Looks like I'll be accomplishing the ENTIRE to-do list today, and not sitting on the couch reading Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.

This time last year:  Food Waste Friday: Three Things

June 11, 2012

Truth In Advertising

Scan Kijiji for cats, free or otherwise*. Anywhere.

You'll see this:

If you're new around here, I'm working on getting rid of my cats. I've got one foisted off on some unsuspecting chump**, but that was the nice one, albeit the barfer.

Daisy's the leftover. She's been listed on Kijiji since Oscar was born (uh, two years ago, my friends. Two. Years.) She's the one with "personality", but her ad has always read something like "dainty little cat with great personality...with two three kids we don't have time to give her the kind of loving attention she deserves blah blah lie lie something something more lies..."

Then my conscience pricked me (after two years, mind you), and I've decided to tell the truth. Like so:

Double click to enlarge. It's worth it.

*(Seriously. Who's going to BUY a cat?)
**I mean, "nice guy". Um...

This time last year:  Cloth Diapers Have Germs

June 9, 2012

Lannis: It could always be worse...

Apparently a memo went out this weekend, one dictating that since Sandi had so lovingly posted about BARF, it was A-okay to start the intestinal pyrotechnics in the Lannis household, too.

Okay, so maybe the five-year-old was the only one who read that particular memo (which is kind of odd, seeing how he’s the only bipedal member of the family who can’t really read yet), but he followed through just the same.

Yep. Went to Nana’s for dinner, and—like always—had the boys put on their PJs before leaving for the hour-long drive that would end at Home Sweet Home slightly past their bedtime.

Drove to Papa’s (it’s on the way home) for a quick hello, and then proceeded to our house, arrival time adjusted now to slightly more past their bedtime...

And there were some uncharacteristic complaints from our five-year-old. Too hot. Thirsty. Are we home yet?

(By the way, that last phrase is outlawed in our van, due to its repetitive rudeness—completely NOT allowed. Best. Idea. Ever... trust.)

Arrived home. Kidlets unloaded. Entered through the garage. Boy one. Boy two. Lannis. Mr Lannis. Then...

L: I don’t feel good. [sits on laundry room step] BARF!
R [6.5 year old]: OH! EW! He puked on me!

No, he didn’t really puke on his brother. Just on his own clothes, his shoes, and the accumulated mangle of footwear that migrates into a disordered pile in the laundry room—seeing how that’s where the garage entryway is, it makes sense to me.

Mr Lannis, bless him, took our oldest boy upstairs, helped with toothbrushing and returned moments later after said boy was in bed.

The pukey one, however, was still sitting on the step. With a new accessory: a puke bucket. Which was good, because the BARF was still happening. Until it wasn’t anymore.

I was rinsing shoes and tossing them into the garage while sickly boy emptied his belly. It didn’t take long. The rinsing or the belly-emptying. Thank goodness.

Oh, and in there somewhere I’d wiped his face with a cool cloth and helped him blow the ugly from his nose.

By this time, Mr Lannis had found clean PJs for sickly one, and a glass of water, and was attempting not to gag as he helped his son undress.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love that man?

And I don’t know if it’s an innate mom-skill, or if it’s an acquired one, but I mindlessly rinsed those shoes, rinsed and scrubbed puke from PJs, a sweater, and the laundry room floor, put on a load of wash (Lord knows we had a good one by then), then scrubbed the laundry sink with bleach before I realized it...

It was 9:30pm, and I was on my hands and knees scrubbing my laundry tiles, and was thankful.

Yes, thankful, because sickly boy had his colour back and for all the world it looked like he’d eaten too much delicious food at Nana’s, then added a smattering of exhaustion, heat, and car sickness...

And he’d picked, of all places, one of the easiest areas in the house to clean.

Not the carpet, not his bed, and GOD BLESS HIM NOT THE VAN!

Sure, it was puke. But it could have been a hell of a lot worse!

Rationalization. It’s the underrated super-power.

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.

This time last year:  Working Gal, Hardly Working (I got it back, baby!)

June 7, 2012

How To Make Your Four Year Old Laugh Until You're Afraid For Her Sanity

When your kids are babies, they laugh when you look at them.

When your kids are two, they laugh when you ask them if they want to eat elephants for lunch.

When your kids are (almost) four, they laugh - hysterically - when you sing Yankee Doodle with new lyrics, like so:

Oscar Aaron went to town, riding on a donkey,
Ate some pebbles from the ground and pooped out a big monkey.

Try it. I dare you.

(I know this because I have one of each. That makes me a parenting expert, right?)

<< Like Dominoes

June 6, 2012

Like Dominoes

Big changes around here this weekend, necessitated by the fact that my infant daughter is freakishly tall and can no longer fit in her bassinet beside me.

So - much like dominoes- my children held a bed swap meet, and everyone moved up a size.

 Lucy graduated to Oscar's crib...

 Oscar graduated to Norah's bed...

And  Norah graduated to my old single bed that my parents still had. Ahhh, the free life...

Of course, Sunday was the day that Oscar decided to fall on his head and maybe develop a concussion, so of course his first night with a new (to him) bed was spent on the mattress on our floor. And Lucy's first night in the crib was the first she spent not swaddled, so she woke up, waking up Oscar, waking up me...

Dominoes. Aren't they great?

p.s. We're swaddling Lucy until she's sixteen. Or possibly twenty-nine.

p.s. 2 Norah's bed actually looked like this before I felt the need to make it look better. Because I know you all troll around the internet checking up on how neatly I keep my four year old's bed.

Does anyone know how she can sleep with all that stuff on her pillow? No? Me neither.

This time last year: The Commandments Of Lannis (Also known as Leslie's first semi-regular guest post. Happy Guestiversary, Leslie.)

June 4, 2012

Of Families, And Reunions Thereof

I dreaded the family reunion, I really, truly did.

Oh, not the visiting. I have a great time with Seth's side of the family - all eight million (eighty) of them. What I was not looking forward to was chasing after my two (very) mobile children in a place I've never been, and trying to keep them entertained, well-behaved, and alive while simultaneously keeping track of my admittedly (and gratefully) immobile three month old. Oh, and getting them all to sleep in the same room as us.

Turns out, I learned a lot, most of which is already more than obvious to the rest of the world.

Lesson one: give the kids a pack of other kids to run with, and they'll entertain themselves with only very occasional requests for water or snacks.

 Lesson two: most normal people aren't offended when two year olds act like two year olds and almost four year olds act like almost four year olds. No one came away from those four days thinking that Oscar was unforgivably rude for not saying goodbye to every single person there and not handing out hugs and kisses indiscriminately. (I might have bribed him with treats to hand out a few.)

Lesson three: tire a kid out enough (see lesson one) and they will sleep anywhere. Even on a mattress on the floor. Even if one of them has never slept out of his crib before. Even if one of them drops a plastic echo microphone on the cement flooring the middle of the night (not. quiet.)

Glad we went. Glad to be home.

Not dreading next year.

This time last year: We Interrupt This Blog