Sunday, November 30, 2008

In Which The Maven Feels Very Old

It's official: I have a twelve-year-old.

Twelve years ago today, at the age of twenty, I miraculously birthed a 10lb 6oz baby boy after a wonderful 48 hour labour.

Then, while I blissfully bled out all over the floor, I held him in my shaky arms with the help of Geekster and a nurse.

Then, while they were giving me blood and trying to stop the bleeding in a calm and leisurely manner, my beautiful baby boy was taken away for observation because he wasn't breathing very well.

We just try to block out those particular details and remember that, on the surface, it was a joyous occasion. Minus the blood and potential death parts.

Today we bought his love with an XBox 360. It's the least we could do, having burdened him with the task of being eldest brother to two little horned ones who bite him with their fangs and claw at him when he doesn't give them a turn on the computer.

Buying children expensive gifts shows that you care. But, just in case, we also have some therapy money put away for later. You never know what major screw up will haunt a child for life. My big parenting blunder of the week, you ask? The one that is bound to keep a therapist's car payments secured for at least few months?

Gutsy threw a tantrum and I taped it.

Yep. Like, with my camera. You see, recently Gutsy has reclaimed his role as The Loud One Who Screams When He Doesn't Get His Way. On more than one occasion I have threatened to record one of his fits and show it to his classmates. In the past this would cause him to stop screaming and settle down in fear that I'd actually do it. This last time, however, my threat stopped working.

Who knew that empty threats eventually stop working? Nobody told me that. Is it in any of the parenting books collecting dust on my shelf? Would I know if I actually read them from time to time? That's, like, work. Who wants to do that?

Anyway, I had enough of the yelling and throwing himself on the floor this last time, so I picked up the camera and started filming.

I expected him to stop his juvenile behaviour and act like the mature six-year-old he is. I figured he would take a breath and say "Mother, what you are doing is upsetting me. Could you please stop? I promise never to tantrum again, which I believe to be a reasonable compromise. How about a hug?"

That's not exactly how it went.

Ever watch Taz on Looney Toons? He sort of looked and sounded like that. It was epic. It was damn impressive on so many levels. The running, the chasing me, the trying to knock the camera out of my hands (which he succeeded in doing). My idea to extinguish the flames of his anger set the entire Gutsy Forest on fire, and nothing would put it out.

After I abruptly stopped filming because the batteries fell out of the camera upon impact with the floor, Gutsy received a time out, some heavy consequences, and I chalked it up to a failed experiment,

...Or was it?

As it turns out, my parenting methods are not only revolutionary but highly effective. For, when I showed him the video of his tantrum, we both cracked up laughing and he said 'I look so funny, mom! Can we watch that again? You should put it up on YouTube!'

When Geekster and Intrepid came into the room he proudly showed them his crazed Hulk-like behaviour, grinning when they laughed out loud.

And he hasn't tantrumed since. Not once.

The Maven: 1 point for being awesome

Gutsy: 1 point for having a good sense of humour

Intrepid: 12 points for his age and 360 points for being spoiled by electronic devices

Happy birthday, Intrepid. I can't wait until Gutsy is 12. I can, however, wait a very long time for his teen years. My hair is grey enough, thanks.

Now I'm going to go play XBox.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dreaming of demerol

Just so we're clear: if this post really sucks it's all Spawnling's fault.

I went to bed at a decent Maven hour of midnight. I figured I would get a good night's sleep that way. Seven hours to this new vegetarian is like sleeping in. I used to wake up drained and now I wake up refreshed after five or six solid hours.

Five or six solid hours.

Not an hour of sleep in my own bed before Spawnling calls me, wide awake, from his bed.

Not another hour of trying to get him back to sleep in his bed while he kicks the wall as I nurse him.

Not admitting defeat, heading down to the living room with a blanket and a pillow.

Not another few minutes finding the all-night preschooler channel, a granola bar for each of us and some orange juice for him.

Not another hour of him talking my ear off as I try to go to sleep.

And certainly not another couple of hours of him rolling around on top of my snoozing body, waking me up, elbowing me in the ribs, kicking off my covers and trying to get comfy.

I woke up sometime after it was light out with feet in my face. Smelly toddler feet with the toes creeping into my nose. He was almost snoring. I was a mess. Not even a hot mess. A mess.

I left him on the couch and crawled into my bedroom. Gutsy had made his way in to cuddle daddy and was coughing quite a bit. I was able to ignore him and go to sleep anyway.

Five minutes later the alarm clock went off.

I tried to throw it into the yard but there was a damn window there.

Five or six hours of solid sleep, not seven hours of broken sleep. I've realized there is a big difference.

This afternoon I attempted to sleep while Gutsy and evil, evil Spawnling were playing nicely on the floor. I whispered my plan to the Gutsmeister who nodded maturely and said he'd watch his brother while I tried to catch a few winks on the couch.

Contrary to what you might hear, not all stay-at-home-moms nap during the day. In fact, once I had my second child I became the anti-napper. I would rather bum around on the computer, clean the house, watch some trashy TV or gossip on the phone with a coffee in hand. Very rarely am I exhausted enough to sleep. But today was one of those days where I knew it was an absolute must.

Good thing I have all that good karma from all those kind deeds and positive energy I put out all the time. I figured I would cash some of that in so I could get some much needed shut-eye.

Apparently I used all the good karma in my savings account for the damn picture that makes me look hot, because the next thing I knew I had Spawnling sticking a finger in my ear saying "Wake up, Mommy! What you doin'? You seeping? I wan' to play! Come on, Mommy! My finguh is in yo ear, see?"

Oh, I see.

When Spawnling decided to fall asleep an hour later while watching Dora I wasn't having any of it. No way was the gremlin going to get away with napping when I couldn't. No way was he going to recharge his little batteries and pull an all-nighter again. So I picked him up and swung him around with my arms under his belly until he woke up in protest.

Protest he did, but he also woke up and stayed up until his bedtime. Then I went and saw the lovely Coffee Fairy for her birthday (and gave her - what else - a gift card to one of our favourite coffee shops because it's all about me, me, me and my damn lattes and don't you forget it), came home, watched a great documentary, and am now blogging.

He's still sleeping. I'm fried. I should go to bed. I will go to bed. I just have to figure out a witty way to finish this post, and then edit it.

No. Instead I"ll use my 'get out of being witty' card for the night and top it off with the 'you may edit this for errors in the morning' card, too. I've used two of my three lifelines, but I did make it to the end of the post so that counts for something.

Goodnight. Let's hope it is, anyway. Otherwise I may consider a demerol drip, either for him or for me. Preferably both.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hot Bloggers in Chilly Ottawa

How come I can look like a total slut in this re-vamped picture (thanks Jobthingy, and the real one is in the post before this one)...

... And yet be oddly proud of that fact?

Seriously, now. I'm a mom to three kids. I should not enjoy looking like a skank. I should be embarrassed and never let this picture see the light of day. I should berate my friend for trying to sexify my pure self.

I should, but I won't because it makes me see some gorgeousness in myself I don't normally see.

My time for caring whether or not I'm attractive should have left about 12 years ago, when my hooha stretched wide enough to let out a 10 pound watermelon, and my hair was matted so badly during the 48 hour labour that I had a macho warrior top knot.

Sexy left me a long time ago. I waved goodbye to it with a baby to my engorged breasts and many extra pounds in my bum. For years I consoled myself in bags of Oreos and focused on my growing family (and thighs). I stopped thinking about shades of lipstick or the grey creeping into my hair. I stopped thinking of myself as anything but den mother to the gremlins.

Oreos make everything better, just in case you were wondering. They are a super food.

But, now we're done having babies. We're starting our transition out and into the next chapter of our lives. Our eldest is about to turn twelve, which makes me really old, right?


No, wait. That's wrong. I'm thirty-two. Something tells me I'm not over the hill just yet. Maybe I have a few more years left in me to try and look hot. Maybe I can start going to bars and wearing pleather and animal patterns as I flirt with the 20-year-old college students. Or, better yet, I could ditch my husband, shack up with a cabana boy, get a personal trainer, leave the heartbroken cabana boy for the personal trainer, leave that guy for a millionaire, move to Florida and drive a sports car to my Botox appointments.

Or not. That sounds like a lot of work. I think I'll just let people mess with my pictures and maybe lose a few more pounds. I don't have the commitment to be a cougar. I can't even blog every day for crying out loud.

Speaking of blogging, Jobthingy and I had a blast at the blogger breakfast. I even broke anonymity and wrote my actual name under 'The Maven'. I felt like a rebel! Well, not really, but I like to sound badass whenenver possible. I met some cool chicks, like Alison, Nat, Meanie , Zoom and the awesome Xup (although I didn't get a chance to chat with her as much as I would have liked - there were a lot of us and she's even more social than I am, if you can believe that)

There were others as well but I have to find their blogs. That involves work and I think I just finished talking about how lazy I am. I'll get there later in the week. I just finished 30 minutes of pilates and nearly an hour of power walking. I earned the right to slack tonight.

One thing I did notice is that there are some very attractive bloggers out there. I guess there's hope for me yet! Who knew people who spend time chronicling their lives in front of a monitor could be so beautiful? How much karma did they have to use up for that, and where can I find some more?

Hey, if anyone comes up with real life Photoshop could they give me a call? Until then I'll lounge happily in attractive mediocrity and let Jobthingy make me prettier. It's a good life, this one.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Distractions in Demonic Form

Like this picture? I can't remember when I took it or why, but it's awesome. It's like I'm trying to be sultry and sexy-pouty and instead I look tired and awful. And... what's that on the right? Why... Could it be a toddler arm practically blocking my windpipe?

There goes sexy-pouty. I'm obviously looking dazed because I'm being suffocated.

I think it about sums up most of my week. See below.

Pardon my absence. I was a tad distracted this week. It's not a difficult scenario to imagine, coming from me. I get sidetracked by things like dryer lint, for crying out loud.

The good news is that I'm better now. After two great evenings out in a row I feel refreshed and ready to go. Go to where, I'm not quite sure. I do have a blogger breakfast tomorrow morning. My very first one! I get to meet a bunch of people who only know me as The Maven and then - drumroll, please - I can reveal my secret identity. I can stand up and shout "It's me! I am the mole!"

... Okay, maybe not. Maybe I'll just use my real name which will lead straight into dropped jaws as people realize that, yes, the persona I have online does exist in real life form and she's pretty much exactly as described in these posts.

How frightening.

Perhaps, when my fellow bloggers start running from the table, they'll leave behind their scrambled eggs and I won't have to buy myself any breakfast.

Jobthingy and I are going together, so this should be a blast. Everything's a party with Jobthingy around!

As I mentioned previously and am only saying again for the portion of my readership that doesn't actually read my material and instead scrolls over it to get to the funny picture of the Conjoined Fetus Lady, it's been a week of distractions. Most notably how the majority of it has been overrun by Tropical Storm Intrepid, Hurrican Gutsy and Tsunami Spawnling.

(In my world we give tsunami names, alright? It makes for better reading.)

On Tuesday we had our flu shots. The goal was that we would keep the gremlins home until 10AM, cruely stick them full of needles at the clinic, then send them to class just in time for lunch (which I painstakingly made that morning).

And now is the time when anyone who reads regularly asks themselves "so what actually happened?"

Not much, really. Just Intrepid turning white as a ghost and almost passing out about five minutes after his vaccine, which in turn caused a stir involving nurses lying him down on a mat and giving him orange juice, which in turn revealed that he didn't eat much for breakfast, which in turn caused dirty looks and lectures to be given to us by said snarky nurses about how we should have fed him, which in turn made me snarky and reply that a handful of Honeycomb cereal is better than nothing, which in turn made my case officially lost. And all of this caused Gutsy to panic about possibly fainting as well, so we kept them both home, turned on the television and let them eat their packed lunches.

Swell. There went Tuesday.

No big deal, of course. They would just go off to school for the rest of the week and I could get my cleaning and sorting done in anticipation for the in-laws to arrive on Saturday. The house was a huge mess, but that was fine because I still had three kid-free days to clean it.

Oh. Wait. I didn't. Because Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were PD days. Isn't that great?

Deep breath. Still not a problem. Now that Gutsy and Intrepid are both in school they've matured a great deal and have learned to solve conflicts without resorting to yelling, chasing or using physical means to get their point across.

Also, during my visit to Magical Fairy Land, I lost 80lbs and all my grey hair turned blonde.

Needless to say it's been a little...tense... around here the last three days. To top it off, I barely slept last night for a variety of reasons, so I was three shades of burnt out at eight this morning. Coffee Fairy came by with two java juices for me: "One for now and one for later" she explained.

I love my Coffee Fairy. Seriously. Do you get any better than that? She saved my entire day!

In between caffeine refills I spent the day in a daze; very slow and very emotional. A nasty combination and something that always happens when I'm tired. Little things become big things and big things get overlooked because I'm too focused on the little things. It was a pervasive theme all afternoon, made worse by the screeching hooved ones, chasing each other down with fangs and claws out.

Being a resourceful parent I had the perfect solution to end all conflict.

Then, once I realized I was out of tranquilizers I went to Plan B.

Plan B involves me, an iPod, and a big grin on my face as all but the loudest screams are drowned out. While ignoring fights I knew couldn't be resolved and were best left ignored, I dusted the spot in my trophy case for Best Mother in the World.

It's so mine this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finally, I'm Normal

In AA we talk about normal, or social, drinkers. Those are the people who enjoy a glass of wine every so often with dinner, or only have a few drinks when they're out with friends.

Then, they go along their merry way for days, weeks or months at time without having anything alcoholic. Just like that. Like a neat-o magic trick.

They don't center their lives around drinking; they do it as an aside, like if the function they're at happens to have alcohol, they might indulge. They usually won't overindulge either, as that could lead to poor choices or a hangover and it's just not worth it to them.

I've never understood these people. I've never been able to wrap my noggin around this lifestyle of theirs. I've contemplated performing tests on a social drinker, like ripping a martini from their hand to see what the reaction would be. As a practicing alcoholic I would have lunged over the table and politely snapped their wrist in order to get my damn drink back, carefully trying not to spill any liquid self-esteem in the process.

I've found myself quizzing social drinkers, even after 17 years of sobriety:

"So, like, how do you not want to get drunk all the time without a 12 step program in your life?"

"Do you realize how odd it is that you can stop at just one? You're a total freak."

"Does the drink taste bad? Is that why you're not having more? Couldn't you just block your nose and down the next one?"

"So what if you lose your inhibitions? Most guys that would take a drunk girl home have some alcohol and/or drugs lying around anyway, so what's the problem?"

The problem is that I am not normal a normal person. I know it's hard to believe that I, The Maven, am not the standard upon which all living creatures should base themselves, but that's the conclusion I've come to.

Take a breath, people. I know that's a tough pill to swallow.

People with addictive personalities have to work very hard at not wanting the things that feel good to the point where it becomes a problem. My entire life has been lived with the desire for instant gratification. Some of the proofs of this are: the HDTV in my livingroom (thought and bought the same day), the countless 'if I get this I'll read it right away' books on the shelf who's spines have yet to be cracked months or years later, and the bag of chips that sits on the table next to me because eating them now tastes better than fitting into my new winter coat more comfortably next week.

Having spent my entire life basking in the dysfunction of I-want-a-lot-of-it-all-the-time syndrome, I felt quite alien next to all the perfect social-whatever jerks who make me look bad.

Then, a brilliant thing happened. A light came on.

(Lights are brilliant, are they not? Do not question my prose.)

I realized recently that I am social when it comes to one thing and one thing only:

I am a social blogger.

Think about it: When was the last time I blogged? (I'm practically giving the points away: scroll down for the answer). Friday of last week, correct? And before that? The day before... Ok. I had a bit of a binge going on. But before that was Monday, and before that Saturday... And then...

Well, look! Could that be partial abstinence I see? A pattern of blogging which could be indicative of a balance between my online life and the life I have when I close my laptop?

Amazing, isn't it? I'm actually normal. Me. Normal! And all I had to do was be a giant slacker who doesn't feel like putting the effort into writing!

Two conclusions here:

1. My name is The Maven and I am a social blogger

2. You social drinkers aren't healthier than I am. You're just slacking off on the drinking because you're too lazy to develop a full-fledged addiction.

Hah! Who's the awesomest one now?

Friday, November 14, 2008

In which The Maven defends what's hers

"Maven! Put the chips down. Drop them NOW!

Good. Now back away, slowly.

That's it. Now I'm just going to reach over and carefully grab the bag to put it away in the pan...

What are you doing with that fire poker? Stay back! STAY BACK! NO, DON'T! ST..."



Oh, hi there! Nice to see you. I was just washing up.

The sharp stick thing in my hand? Oh, that. Yeah. I was just having a little fire. Want to come in and sit for a while? Just follow that trail of... ketchup. It'll lead you straight in there.

Three boys. Ketchup. You know. Heh.

It's funny you showed up completely unexpectedly without calling first or anything like most people would. Why did you do that again? I was interviewing a personal trainer this afternoon. I was checking to see if he was.... Uh, is... a good fit for me and my lifestyle.

He just... left. Like, a few minutes ago.

It didn't work out so well, unfortunately. Turns out that we're not in agreement on certain key issues. He says lentils and I say chocolate. He says they're not the same and I say chocolate comes from a bean, so what's the difference? He calls that semantics. Semantics! Can you believe that? He's far too black and white in his thinking. I bet he became a personal trainer because he likes to torture fat women. His fat mother probably beat him with a spatula or something.

What are those in the fire, you say? ... Oh! Those. No. They're not running shoes. They're environmentally friendly logs. You can buy them at Walmart. They're made with rubber and vinyl so as to burn extra clean. Did you think I was actually burning sneakers? You're so funny!

Want a drink? How about some chips? I just have to wash the ketchup off the bag.

Did I mention I started my period today? No PMS symptoms whatsoever! I'm not even moody. Isn't that amazing?

Uh, listen. I said some chips, ok? You might want to save me some. Just sayin'.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bonne fete, mon petit Gutsy

That was my awesome French. The Maven may be a freak, but she is a cultured freak.

Freaks who mate with Geeks produce freaky geeks, which is not a very nice way to describe my children. Instead, I pleasantly refer to them as gremlins. It sounds so much more loving, doesn't it? It flows off the tongue and floats lightly in the air like the scent of flowers on a spring day.

I just puked a little in my mouth saying that.

It should stand to reasong that I am feeling a bit emotional right now as today is Gutsy's sixth birthday. Remember him? He's the one who thinks his big brother should shut his piehole. He's a boy after his mother's heart with those sweet words.

I always tell the gremz that I love them all differently. That's the politically correct term usually applied by parents to say they prefer one of their kids over the rest, but surprisingly that's not what I mean.

I love Intrepid because he's the first. Firstborns are always amazing without ever having to do anything special. I know, because I'm a first. I'm also an alcoholic and drug addict, I'm horrifically fat, I procreated at nineteen with a baby daddy who wore leather and had purple hair, I'm so liberal my conservative mother has to take Benadryl just to be in the same room as me... and yet I'm unexplicably adored. The only reason for this is that I'm the first. Isn't that amazing? Intrepid is a fantastic child in his own right (all my doing, of course) but he doesn't even have to be. He could pretty much suck as a human being and still be the apple (or maple fudge) of my eye.

I love Spawnling because he's the baby. He's also really cute and chatty and funny, but none of that matters. He will always be our baby and thus will be coddled and smothered his entire life. He will never be able to take a bus alone, stay over at anyone's house or, heaven forbid, grow any pubic hair. He's a baby forever and ever and that's why mommy loves him.

So where does Gutsy fit in? Not the first and not the last, but the middle child. What's so special about being in the middle, anyway? Not much, to be honest. In terms of birth rank that is definitely the short straw. So, to compensate, Gutsy decided he would make his birth as miraculous as the first by making sure I didn't get pregnant for a very long time. For those of you who don't understand the birds and the bees (shame on your parents), I shall explain what happened:


Once upon a time there was a magical kingdom filled with princesses. They lived in Castle Ovarium. Once every twenty-eight days a princess would be chosen to leave the castle and travel into the magical world of Fallopia. There, she would meet a white-tailed knight for a blind date. If all went well, they would travel down to Las Uteras, find a 24 hour chapel and get married. It was the way things had been done for many years, and the way it was intended to be for years to come. Every princess sat anxiously in the castle and eagerly awaited her turn.

Every princess but one.

One day, a beautiful princess named Gutserella was summoned to leave the castle walls. A wreath of may flowers was created for her and a special dress picked out by her chambermaid. Her steed was saddled up and waiting in the courtyard. Her grand moment had come.

"I'm not going," said a stubborn Gutserella.

"But, you must!" replied the chambermaid. "Sir Spermalot will be here in a few hours. There's not much time, my lady!"

"No. I'm playing Webkinz! I almost have enough money to get my dog a lawnmower!"

"Do you not want to meet your prince in shining armour? You must go now. You game can wait."

"No it can't! This is a limited edition item and it's only offered this week. I can't leave now. I can't! I WON'T! I DON'T WANT TO AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!! YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!" screeched Gutserella while pounding her fists on the desk.

The chambermaid was quiet for a moment. "... I hear he has a great personality."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! He'll never be as special as this lawnmower!!!"

It took over four years for Gutserella to finish playing Webkinz. Thankfully the knight was very patient.



And that is how children are made.

Wait. No. Hang on. That's how children who come from PCOS resulting in secondary infertility are made.

And that's how Gutsy was made.

I love him because he's always been the little princess. He's like that rock star who goes on late because it creates a stir. He was conceived when he wanted to be, of that I have no doubt. And he arrived with flare; with a gush of water so intense you'd think the Hoover dam exploded in the family room (and in the bathroom, and in the computer room, and later on in the hospital...). He wrapped his little umbilical cord so tightly around himself that they had to cut him out, and he screamed the mightiest scream at the injustice of being halfway out of his warm womb.

He had the biggest cheeks I'd ever seen; so big, in fact, that I feared the weight of them might pinch his nose shut when he would lay on his side. So big that I secretly hoped they wouldn't stay because they were sort of funny looking. (When a mother says that you know it's bad. We're supposed to think our newborns look perfect.)

While Intrepid and Spawnling are so similar in many ways, Gutsy has carved his own path in life. Intrepid writes stories, Spawnling listens to the stories and Gutsy draws up plans for the giant robot he intends to build over the winter in our basement. You can't tell him he won't be able to do it. He simply won't believe you. You are wrong.

He will not do something if he doesn't want to do it. He'll throw a tantrum for an hour and then do it, but only because he's tired of throwing a tantrum and suddenly the thing you asked him to do seems more appealing. He'll eat vegetarian 99% of the time and yet tell everyone who listens that he's not a vegetarian. That's so punk. He's a rebel and the chicks are going to dig that. I figure if his rebellion consists of finding Big Mac containers in his car I will count my blessings.

The Sister and Chemgineer watched Spawnling and Intrepid (in other words they played Rock Band and ate pizza, which honestly sounds like the best night of my life) while Geekster and I took our often overlooked middle child out for a special birthday. He took forever dressing and undressing his new stuffed friend at Build-A-Bear. I felt like I was in the Village People dressing room. First the thing was a police officer, then a soldier. Finally he decided on a moose with light up Christmas antlers who's dressed in a karate outfit.

He called him KARATE, despite our bests efforts to redirect him.

Originality is not his strong point, ok?

Happy birthday, Mr. Gutsy. You're six and amazing and I love you so much. Thank you for being a diva princess, a Barbie-loather, a karate-moose fan and a stubborn old goat who dreams of giant robots. You keep my life interesting. I used to be sad when I thought about how hard it was to get you here. That stopped a long time ago. What's there to be sad about? In the end you are here, and we're all better for it. Every tear and every pain was worth it because in the end, we have you.

Special you.

Somewhere deep in Fallopia they're throwing a kick ass party right now.

(Photo credit: The Sister, who I'm starting to believe is now 'the talented one'. Good thing I'm firstborn or I might feel a wee threatened.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gutsy's Bump and Maven's Payback

I must be getting calmer in my old age. Either that or highly insensitive. I vote for both.

I got a call from the school this morning. Apparently Gutsy's forehead hooked up with a rock and created a large, purple egg. The secretary wanted me to come have a look at it and decide what, if anything, the follow-up should be.

Being a concerned parent, my first thought was that I was going to be late for Spawnling's dentist appointment at this rate. So I asked the secretary if she thought it was something I would have to take him home for because, you know, I'd reschedule with the dentist before coming by if that was the case.

Look, it's not my fault. Intrepid took the shock and awe out of childhood injury for me. Between my formidable impact with a car at the age of thirteen and his femur snapping, tree falling experience last year, things like rocks to heads aren't as terrifying as they maybe should be.

I should have been freaking out.

I should have been worried sick.

I should have dropped the phone and run to the van in a panic.

Instead I asked if he was speaking, if he was dizzy, if he was vomiting and whether or not his pupils were the same size. The answers given were satisfactory, so I dressed Spawnling in matching clothes, put on some mascara and lip gloss, and then went to the school.

What a terrible mother. I bet there are people all over the interweb that are dying to see me get my just deserts for that. I would tell them not to worry because the story isn't even halfway over yet.

So, my Higher Power, who has the best sense of humour of any deity I've come across, decided this would be a good time to learn me some lesson.

I brought Gutsy home not because he was dying of a head wound but because I know I wouldn't want to walk around school with what looked like a conjoined twin on my forehead. It's called empathy and I surprisingly have a bit of it lying around for special occasions. But seriously: The poor kid looks like he has a third eye just above his nose. It's a little mutant-ish. There's no question he would have made the other kindergartners cry and earned a less-than-flattering nickname. So, being the nice mom I am, I put on Ghostbusters and made him some popcorn in the name of sheltering my little Hunchback of Notre Dame from the townspeople.

We were home for about an hour when the phone rang again. This time it was Intrepid. He wanted to come home because he was *cough* *sniffle* sick *cough*. He sounded pitiful on the phone. Not quite real sick, but more like a runny-nosed kid who didn't want to give his oral presentation in the afternoon. I couldn't very well say no after bringing Goose Egg Gutsy home, could I? Of course not. That involves follow-through and tough love that I'm way too lazy for. I packed the wee gremlins into the van and took them to the school. Again.

But wait. There's more!

They say things come in threes. Who are they? The weird superstitious people that I laugh at, that's who. They're so crazy, those people. They figure if they toss some salt over their shoulders and knock on Ikea press board furniture that life will be kinder to them. I pay them no attention. I just smile and nod and make the finger circle around my temple when they're not looking.

That's pretty judgmental of me, isn't it? It most certainly is. And do you know what happens when you're a horribly judgmental individual without a leg to stand on? Your littlest son - the one who was happy and carefree while his sickly and injured cohorts were making their way out of the school for the second time - runs into a post and hits his face so hard that he falls down.

Then he cries... And he cries... and there's nothing really wrong with him, exactly, but he's tired and has a bit of a cold and your Higher Power is smiting you for your smugness. It's payback time, Maven. That's what you get for being an insensitive mother and nasty human being.

But I did make a pit stop at the Tim Hortons and picked myself up an extra large coffee to make up for all the horribleness that happened to me today. My sons were sick. My sons were injured. My day was sidetracked.

Oh, did I mention I'm self-centered? Want to know what self-centered gets me? Just as I was putting the finishing touches on this blog, Spawnling - who woke up a little while ago for seemingly no apparent reason - pooped out the side of his diaper and down his leg. I now have that lingering fecal smell on my hands.

Good thing I spoke at my AA homegroup meeting tonight or he probably would have barfed on me, too.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Exercise is gross

I really need to start exercising again. Once upon a pre-Spawnling, I ran 4km every day. Now I can run about a block before I'm huffing my asthma pump like a giant wussy girl.

I used to do yoga. Now my stretching involves reaching the top cupboard to grab a bag of chips.

I used to lift weights. Now I lift handfuls of peanut M&Ms.

I used to do pilates with weighted balls. Now the only balls I touch are... *ahem*

Never mind that.

I've lost 12 pounds. It used to be 14, but now it's 12. How did I gain back two pounds?

Don't be daft. That was a rhetorical question.

The truth is, I've been slacking. In my warped little mind (key word: little) I've convinced myself that eating vegetarian is all I need to do if I want to be healthy. What I've also told myself is that most candy is vegetarian, so it's okay to eat it. A lot of it. Maybe too much of it.

Okay, okay. Definitely too much of it.

In another attempt at denial and self-destruction, I've concluded that exercise isn't necessary when you're living a balanced vegetarian lifestyle (key word: balanced). About the only balancing going on is the neat trick I do where I have a bowl of buttery popcorn on one knee and a bag of Reese's Pieces on the other.

Well no more, people. No more. For I have some excellent motivation.

The Butler Did It hooked me up with a pair of gorgeous grey chords. They were free, which makes them even nicer. All I had to do was show up at her place and raid her closet to get some sweet hookups. The only problem? They're a little snug. Not a lot, but I may be tresspassing somewat into Camel Toe Village. This is an unacceptable crime. I must turn and walk away from the village, leaving all camels and their toes there.

So, I shall set a goal of five pounds. That would be lost, not gained, just so we're clear. Five pounds down in one month. It will be a tricky task, fraught with birthday cakes (two gremlin birthdays in that time period) and Christmas goodies. But I shall persevere, in the name of sexy grey cords. I will be a smoking hot bitch who camels run away from because they're so ugly next to her. My husband will say 'Hellooooo, nurse!' even though I am not in the medical profession. People will envy my motivation and tell me how awesome I am again, because quite frankly the fact that I'm vegetarian isn't earning me kudos anymore. Nobody cares because it's old news. I have to up the ante again and make more changes so that I can get compliments again. How unfair and somewhat attention-whorish of me.

I think five pounds is a very reasonable goal. I just need to start moving again. Walking, pilate-ing and all that other stuff I'm going to dread doing every morning.

Thank goodness coffee is a diet food, even with cream in it.

Yes, even with cream.

We're going to make a special exception, alright? Don't argue with me.

Stop looking at me like that. Don't roll your eyes.

I mean it; i'll beat you with my new cords.

Friday, November 07, 2008

An Open Letter To My Abandoner

My dear friend Pixie,

I'm writing in regards to your recent decision to abandon me for a cruise. I realize this was planned before we became good friends and prior to your realization that I'm wickedly cool. However, I think you should have canceled it. Honestly, I don't know what a stupid boat has on me. I mean, I talk more than a boat and I smell better than stinky ocean. You won't spend a week with me and then cry when you get your Visa statement. I don't sway you around until you puke in the corner of a ballroom. Furthermore, I'm both funny and hilarious, which are traits you don't often find together, especially when also using the word 'ship'.

There are other things you should consider: The food you eat at my house is less fattening. You could have hung out here for much less money and not gained 10 pounds in the process. Looking hot and hanging out with The Maven? Is there a better vacation, I ask you? Also, I don't give you skin cancer like your friend Mr. Sun. Oh, and Mr. Sun doesn't write in a blog, does he? (If he does I bet it's quite boring: "Today I shone, just like yesterday... and the day before that.. Output is up 10%! The ice caps are melting...still. And today a boy held up a magnifying glass and burned an ant with my help. That ROX! LOLZZZ!!")

In short, you made a huge mistake. You will miss me and your trip will suck. But that's the bed you made (well, the people there made it for you) and you will have to sleep in it (uninterrupted, several nights in a row). I will, however, be too busy with all the fun things I have to do around here to give you a second thought. I'm going to rake leaves and write out a meal plan for the week. I'm going to go on playdates and hit up playgroup.

Come to think of it, I don't exactly have time to spend with you anyway, so I suppose you picked a good week.

I guess we can still be friends.

The Maven (Who still has Geekster, The Butler Did it, Jobthingy, Coffee Fairy, Impossible MOM, Lovebucks, Fallout Girl ... and even my parents to talk to this week. Yeah. Mom and Dad! Who's envious now?)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We did it, we did it, we did it, yay!

I have to be honest with my American counterparts.

Over the last eight years I haven't liked your country very much. It's crowded, it's dirty (do you have any idea how big your ecological footprint is?) and it's full of fat cat politicians who only think of themselves and their oil-drilling buddies. You've seen them around: They all have curly mustaches, top hats and cigars, and their bellies are the size of a keg of beer. They wear suspenders. They cackle while they count their change. They kick puppies.

They're bad people and they're friends with your president. That's made me say "The United States" with much disdain, sort of like if I was spitting out poop. I've spent nights wondering how Al Gore can keep preaching environmental revolution to people who obviously prefer profits and McMansions over breathable air.

Oh, don't get me wrong: I like a lot of individual Americans. I just haven't trusted or respected you as a collective (the Borg are a collective too, you know). And now I can admit that, because everything has changed.

Last night you showed me that you you can go from suckage to awesome in 2.8 seconds. That you can actually live up to your reputation as the country to watch. You rocked my world more than Coldplay.

More than freaking Coldplay! I mean, nobody rocks me more than them.

Thank you for going out to vote in record numbers. Thank you for choosing the right candidate to lead your country and the world. I melt when he speaks. I believe what he says. I know he will change our world. If he ran a cult I would most likely drink his Kool-aid. He's amazing and he's giving me hope for all of us that I haven't had in a long time.

Huge props to you, America. To celebrate, I will no longer refer to you as 'Amurkans' because, after January 20th, you will no longer have a president who can't say it right. Wasn't the entire electoral process worth it just for that?

Oh, and he also said "nukler wepunz" which made me want to tear my ears off.

Congratulations, America. I am so proud of you. And I know what I think matters to you very much. You're welcome.

Monday, November 03, 2008

When Crazy People Stalk Me

Yesterday I made a deal to buy some used winter tires from a really nice family. I saw their ad online, emailed them, spoke to the husband, agreed on a price and confirmed that those were, indeed, the size of tire my van used.

Then, two hours later, I emailed him again to tell him that I was wrong and that I actually needed a bigger size, that I am a giant dumbass and that I hope he gets another buyer for his tires ASAP.

Basically, I wasted this couple's time because I never bothered to double check the size I needed before jumping in with both feet. Nice of me, right? Right. Dragging other people down with impulsivity is what Mavens do best.

Wouldn't you know that today, less than 24 hours later, the Karma Monster would appear and give me a good dose of you-shoulda-known-better. I knew it would come in some form, but expected salmonella or something instead of what I actually received. Instead of puking my face off, I came home to find a special surprise in my inbox.

My favourite blog stalker is back with a different yet frightingly similar biblical name. I've reported him to Blogger twice and he has switched accounts at least that many times so that he may hound me and other 12 step people who blog. This time he made 22 spammy comments on my last post because he thinks it will make me stop going to AA meetings, which will invariably save my soul from the devil.

Apparently AA meetings turn members into zombies that drool and stink and yet somehow have the brain capacity to kick Jesus to the spiritual curb and worship the devil. Allegedly, if you turn your life over to a Christian lifestyle (I'm guessing his idea of Christianity, which is a special version reserved for crazies), God will miraculously cure your alcoholism and you'll never have a drinking problem again. Better yet, you don't have to become a shape-shifting reptile (he really did call me that once) with a forking tongue and a penchant for virginal sacrifices.

I know my skin is a little dry in the winter, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm reptilian. And about the closest thing I have to shape-shifting powers would be a nifty ability to change my undies every day.

But the thing is I really like AA. It's kept me clean and sober for over 17 years. And another thing: I'm *gasp!* not religious. Yeah, that's right: I went there. I do not worship any particular deity or any deity's family members. I am a spiritual human being who, get this - and I learned this in an evil 12 step program - I can respect other people's beliefs, too!

So, even though I think my stalker is a few fries short of a Happy Meal, I respect his beliefs. I do not, however, have to like his spam. Therefore, I have now turned on comment moderating. So, while I might have to endure his psychotic ramblings hidden behind biblical quotes, you will not.

You're welcome.

Now I am, ironically, off to a meeting.

(Also, Americans, if you like me and you want me to keep liking you, you'll vote Obama tomorrow. Kthxbi!)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

What happens on a sugar high

It's funny how, when I'm looking for a topic to write about and staring at a blank blog post window, a topic finds me.

Just a minute ago, Gutsy and Intrepid were in the playroom watching some lame television show about cyborgs that I can't understand to save my life. A Barbie commercial came on. Something about a magical princess castle.

"I'm buying you that for your birthday," I heard Intrepid say to his nearly six-year-old brother.

"No you're not." retorted Gutsy.

"Oh, yes I am. I know how much you loooove Barbie," taunted Intrepid. In this house one tries not to toss around the "B" word too much unless one is purposely attempting to start a fight with a sibling. "Look! It has pretty sparkles and a pink horse! You love pink Barbie things, right Gutsy?"

By now you could hear the tension in Gutsy's voice "No I don't! And you're not buying that for me. You're lying!"

"No, really! I've been saving up my allowance all year to get that for you. I'm sure you'll have so much fun with it!"

It took Gutsy a second to process what was just said. Then, victoriously, he shouted "It hasn't even been out for a year! So how could you have been saving up for it, huh?"

The victory was short lived. "Gee, Gutsy, you know a lot about Barbie stuff! Have you been keeping track of all the new things and when they come out? Aww, that's so cute!"

".... Moooooooooooooom! Intrepid says I like Barbie!"

If I keep this in perspective, this has been a very tame sugar-filled, post-Halloween day.