Sunday, June 10, 2012

My two loves: internet and reading

A while back, I decided that I would do an occasional book review here.  I haven't done one in a long time so I'm going to do three mini reviews here.  Three, you ask?  How can I weave that into one blog post, you ask?  Okay, I'm assuming that you're asking that...... that is, if you're still with me and haven't move on.

Well, here goes.....

Two of my biggest loves, aside from my kids of course, are the internet and books.  This is where these three books come together in one post.  I love the fact that the internet has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people.  I have met a few in person but, for the most part, these are people who live far away from me and we have entered each other's lives on Twitter and Facebook.  We read each other's blogs and status updates and feel that we are one community regardless of where we actually live.  Through this community, I have found and read three books recently that I want to tell you about.

Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler of is the first one.  If you have ever checked out her website, you know that her blog exists to let us know that none of us are perfect and gives us permission to laugh at ourselves.  Jill and her Scary Mommy community let us know that we are not alone in our sometimes scary trip through parenthood.  In her book, she shares with us her trip through parenthood from pregnancy, through the toddler years, school and the competition between moms.  Between chapters, she shares some of the confessions from her Confessions board; some funny, some sad, others you just nod and totally understand.  If you've never checked out the Scary Mommy confessional, please do, but not now or you'll get totally addicted and won't come back to finish reading my post!

The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha of is the second book.  This is a fun and easy read; something to take to the park with you to read while the kids run around and (hopefully) tire themselves out.  Neil describes himself as a "boring guy with a nine-to-five job" who found himself in a world where we are surrounded by bad news and decided to start a blog where he reminded himself of all of the small, awesome things that make us feel better.  To his surprise, his site quickly became a hit with people from all over the world sending him suggestions.  From little things like the smile popping bubble rap brings to your face to waking up to realize that it's Saturday, this book is about all of life's little pleasures.  I found myself nodding and smiling at many of them and laughing out loud at others (embarrassing when you're on the bus)

The third book is Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson of  Go to her blog and read some of her posts.  If you enjoy her writing style there then definitely go get her book - you'll love it!  I should warn you that, if you are easily offended by bad language or off-colour imagery, you may not want to pick this one up (again, check out her blog first).  This book is basically a trip through her life that explains where the blogger we love came from and why she is so awesomely entertaining.  Jenny is quirky, often inappropriate, full of anxiety and has a love of stuffed dead animals in funny costumes.  You end up laughing at things you never would have imagined you would ever laugh at.  Her conversation with a (male) coworker about huge labia made me laugh myself to tears (yes, on the bus.... sigh).  Her conversations with her long-suffering husband are just as funny and off-centre.

I highly recommend these books to anyone looking for some fun summer reading.  They remind us that none of us is a perfect parent, we all need to enjoy the little things in life and we need to be able to see the humorous side of our craziness.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dish Gremlins

I swear that there are gremlins hiding in the shadows here whose only purpose in life is to put dishes in my sink.  I have washed dishes five times today and yet, every time I walk through the kitchen, there are a few more in the sink.

I have dishpan hands!

I've gotten over being embarrassed when someone walks into the apartment and sees dirty dishes in my sink.  I just distract them with my tumbleweed dust bunnies (hee hee).  Those who know me well, know that I will never win any good housekeeping awards and are cool with it.  They're here to see me not my clean sink...... thank goodness!

I suppose the fact that I've got a teen and pre-teen in the place who are constantly eating or drinking something could explain a lot.  They inhale the current refreshment and, plunk, there goes something else into the sink.  Maybe these two also explain what I, until now, took to be the work of the cousin of the dish-gremlin.....the grocery gremlin whose purpose in life is to empty my fridge (and wallet).

Now, the kids don't mind helping with the groceries or carrying them up the stairs because that means that their bottomless pits will continue to have fuel but getting them to deal with the aftermath is something else.  I practically have to twist their arms to get them in front of that sink and even then they often do a half-assed job of it.

I made a great breakfast and a super supper as well as doing dishes multiple times today so you'd think that when I asked Drama Queen to wash the desert dishes, she'd do so without a fuss, right?  Wrong!!!  You wouldn't believe the eye rolling and groaning..... I actually had to yell at her after calling her to the kitchen THREE times.  I had to remind her of all that I'd done for her today.  I almost had to pull out the I-carried-you-for-nine-months-and-gave-you-life card.

I suppose that most parents of 11 and 13 year olds go through the same kind of thing so I guess that I'm not alone.  I'll get these two trained yet!

Until then, somebody please pass me the hand moisturizer....


Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's been quite a while since I put up a post.  I've had a lot of ups and downs since last summer when I last posted and I suppose that those "downs" are the reason for not blogging.  I just haven't had the inspiration or desire to write.  Thankfully I seem to have landed in a better place now - an "up" - so the itch to write seems to have reappeared.

Over the past year, my job has been trying and tiring not to mention stressful.  It has had an effect on every aspect of my life.  I was coming home exhausted, my mind drained, which left me depressed and moody.  These are not the qualifications of a good mother or fun person.  Add to this the fact that money was very tight for quite a long while - more stress, thank you.  Then, of course, the cold weather came with its grey skies which eventually takes me into a funk no matter how good I started out feeling - in this case, not very good.

I guess that I kind of went into hibernation mode.  I wasn't going out, wasn't doing anything creative, just existing.  I'm not sure that I would have been diagnosed as "clinically depressed" but I think that I was as closed to it as you can get.  With this mood, any attempt at meeting people or dating would have been laughable so it has also been lonely.  My children are wonderful and thank goodness I've had them to keep me from going completely under but sometimes an adult needs another adult to confide in late in the evening when the day is winding down.

Speaking of my children, they are thriving in spite of my floundering.  Scout Boy is now taller than me (at 13!) so I'll probably have to think of a new nickname for him soon (Stretch, maybe?).  He's intelligent and questions everything, not happy to just follow the status quo.  Sometimes he stretches my patience when it's me he's challenging but I'd rather put up with that than have him be a sheep.

Drama Queen (yes, that nickname still fits) is quickly turning into a lovely young lady.  Puberty has hit, much to her father's chagrin, and her personality, sense of style and view of the world around her are rushing to keep up with her changing body.  For the most part, she is doing wonderfully at it although the emotions are always bubbling under the surface.  She is sometimes caught between being an eleven year old (still a kid really) and being a young woman.

The reason that I'm "up" lately?  Well, raise time at work has just passed and my boss showed just how much he recognizes and appreciates the hard work that I've been putting in with a decent raise and an extra bonus.  To be honest, we all got a bonus in my department because we've all been really rising to the challenge this past year and it shows.  Also, the workload has come down a bit and the stress has eased, thank goodness.  I'm not sure how I would have handled it if things had continued the way they were.  On top of that, I also got in some nice tax refunds which have left me debt free and bought a few things that I've really needed/wanted.  Work-wise and financially, I'm in better shape than I have been in a while and a great weight has been lifted.

The fact that the sun and green grass have come back is also a thing to cheer for and has done a lot to lift my soul.  I open my window in the morning, breathe in the fresh air and don't mind stepping out my door to start the day.

The love life still leaves something to be desired but even that had a bit of a lift recently.  A very nice man that I had a couple of dates with last summer got back in touch recently and we got together.   It was really nice and we are still in touch.  Of course every silver lining has its cloud.  He's had to transfer back home to the UK because his mother is in bad health (couple of strokes) and needs help.  He's hoping to come back to Montreal but it's not going to happen any time soon.  We'll stay in touch but I'm not going to let myself get too hopeful.

All in all, I'm feeling better than I have in a long time and am hoping to continue that way.  Maybe you'll even hear from me a little more often.  I promise to attempt more entertainment and less complaining :)