Wednesday, 31 July 2013

don't stop till you get it right

I am still trying to figure out this morning routine crap. Yesterday was a breeze and made me feel like I was just a whiner and parenting isn't so hard, so why don't I just shut up already.

Today.... not so much. It wasn't AWFUL. I didn't want to leave my kids at home and take off to Mexico (not that I would ever do that....), but they didn't listen or get out of the house on time either.

I need a plan B. Since Fox helped get Diva dressed yesterday, it took all the hard work out. Today, she was dead asleep. So he couldn't do it. (also he was refusing to wake her up... jerk) So when she got up, it took a lot of effort on my end to not get grumpy and to keep smiling, and help her pick out a shirt. But after that, it all went down hill again. The girls just HATE when I ask them to do anything. "Put your shoes on" "NO", "wait for me at the door" "NO! I wanna be naked now!", "Shoes back on!" "NO, I find Abbey Dabby!" I was 14 minutes late again. (that's after almost being 30 minutes ahead of schedule)

The threat of no TV if they don't listen, is working though! So that's good. We had a fun family night last night, dancing and cleaning and reading bedtime stories. (I had remembered to take out chicken for dinner, for the first time in months) and we ate as a family. So there's the promise of good times ahead.

I just really need to get my mornings off a bit smother. I know that most people have hectic mornings. But with school starting in a month (Diva starts Kindergarten!) and new sleep schedules to come (Step two soon!), i have to get my house in order.

Tonight. I WILL get the kids clothes laid out before bed. I will bathe my children (woops! haha) and I will get them to bed at a decent hour. So that when morning rolls around, they are more pleasant to deal with.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Step one: Create a routine

Oh Hello there, didn't see you with my eyes shut. :p
I'm so tired today, I fell asleep WHILE WALKING. (yes, that can actually happen)

SO! My brain storm yesterday went well. I have a small plan of action towards my morning problems with Le Diva.

Fox will do it.

Ok, that's not the WHOLE plan. But he will get her up and dressed from now on. Then all I have to do is get the happy one ready. And myself.

This morning, it worked, and I even had a few minutes to enjoy a coffee. (isn't that nuts? that's how horrible it's been, i get up with plenty of time, and today I got to enjoy it) Also, i'll be getting our snacks, and lunches and breakfasts all ready the night before. I just want to get dressed, and grab a bag and go.

A big part of our morning stress, is emotional. The kids wake up grumpy, I wake up grumpy, and we take it out on each other. I tried to think of ways to boost the happiness in the mornings, and came up with a few things.
1. Play kids music in the car (*shudder*)
2. Smile even when I don't want too
3. Get up early and have a coffee after my shower
4.  Hug my kids when they get up (actually I do this most of the time already)
5. Get the kids up early enough to not have to rush them. They are trying to get dressed by themselves, they want to pick out a toy to bring, put their own shoes on... I have to give them enough time to do what they do.

So that's it. I hope it helps.

Any ideas?
I'll start talking about my next issue to tackle tomorrow... Bathtime

Monday, 29 July 2013

The gifts that keep on taking

This weekend, my cousin gave me a gift. She said "when i saw it, I thought of you". It was a plaque. It read "Children... the gift that keep on taking". It made me laugh. But on the inside, I cringed.

I have been feeling pretty low lately. I have been extra grumpy, extra rushy (I don't even care if that's a word) and just not fun to be around. And I know the girls notice. I know this, because they too have been extra grumpy and yelly (new words yo)and spitty, whinny (oh GOD have I ever mentioned the whining???) and pinchy. So after crying to my boss this morning, (it's ok, we got it like that :) I think... ) she gave me some advice, I've decided to go on a mission. A HUGE mission, but taking TEENY increments (ADHD ya'll, take on too much, get overwhelmed then completely give up) (have you noticed I haven't written any follow up on my year of organization? ) (Ok, so I just went back to find the link to the posting where I talked about my 52 weeks of organization... and I've never written it! haha ooops! So basically, I signed up for weekly emails, with tips and calendars to follow to organize my home, I haven't even seen an email in probably 3 months now...)

So as you, YOU as my witness (i'm not even sure who YOU are...), I am going to fix one thing at a time. This might take months. But it has to happen. I can't live all grouchy anymore.(ooh add grouchy to my list of crap up there)

Here is my outline in order of importance to me:

Morning routine

Bedtime routine

Bath time


My mornings are currently like this:
5:00 am alarm goes off. Diva is usually in my bed, and I've been awake probably sine 4, then with my sleep disorder, I drag myself out of bed... usually at 6.
6:00 i get the kids up, plop them in front of the tv, with milk and cereal. put their clothes out in front of them, and hop into the shower.
6:30 (yes I only need 30 minutes to get showered and dressed)  Go get the kids dressed. This part takes the longest, because Diva is... a diva. And she screams at me no matter what i have laid out for her to wear. Even if SHE picked it out the night before, or if I let her pick it out that morning. She screams. Nothing is what she wants. I'm not right. She runs around the house naked and yelling and crying, saying she doesn't know how to get dressed. whine whine WINE. All the while, Nana is watching, like it's a tv show. She also doesn't get dressed without my help, and is so happy most of the time, she is too busy playing and climbing on furniture to hear me say "put your shoes on".
7:00 Is when I am supposed to leave
7:20 is when I usually leave.
7:40 Is when I get to my moms house.
I "start" work at 8.... or lately... 8:20.

Tonight will be a brain storm on the morning routine.
I'll report back tomorrow

Also, I've hung my plaque at work.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bunkin up

Diva doesn't like to sleep in her room. Even with Nana there, she cries and says she doesn't want to sleep alone. She means, without me. So every night, while we are asleep, she creeps into our bed and JAMS her tiny body between mine and Fox's. By the time my alarm goes off, i'm Hanging for deal life on the edge of my bed.

We had started a sticker reward ... thingy (shut up) a few months ago, and that only lasted for... 2 weeks. After a while she'd say "I don't care about stickers! I want sleep with you!" GAH! Every once in a while, she'll stay in her bed all night. And we celebrate. And she's proud. But sometimes, she doesn't, and we argue at 1am. And she comes in and hogs my side of the bed (only.) (when I ask her why she doesn't kick daddy out, she said "because he'll be mad" ...) and I get no sleep and everyone wonders why mommy is so grumpy in the morning.

The other day, i decided to try to change this habit. My mother has these small couches, that pull out into flat beds. So I took mine home (the two she got for my girls) and put one beside my bed, and told Diva, that f she comes in to our room, this is where she will sleep. That was on Friday. She slept in her own bed all weekend!
THEN last night happened.....
There was a storm. Not just any storm, a majestic "tornado warning" type storm. I had gotten the kids settled in bed, and warned them "go to sleep, so you don't have to hear the storm". They were too busy giggling and kicking each other (they both sleep on the bottom bunk, since Diva hates to sleep alone... )
Well, there was a huge thunder boomer at 8:30. it came simultaneously with lightning, which set off our  fire alarm. Since we live in a condo building  that means everyone in the building has to hear the loud pterodactyl squawking alarm. So we went outside. Fire dept came and shut it off.
Then it went off again around 9. Fire dept took a little bit longer, so the alarms (which can be silenced in our unit) went off for a long enough time... 

Finally got to bed at 12. (took a long time to calm the freaking kids down. Slept on their floor). 4 am. Alarm goes off again. This time took 30 minutes for them to come. Had to silence our alarms 4 times. Kids were hysterical. I got 4 hours of sleep and the kids were grumpy. By the time my alarm went off at 5am, I was hanging on for dear life at the edge of my bed, my head dangling over the side. Nana was tossing and turning and BURROWING into my back. 

I need to figure out a way to get the girls to stay the frick in their beds!!!!!!!!  After last night, they might be traumatized... 

Kids in my bed. It's 5 am

Friday, 19 July 2013

And then it went back to normal

A few weeks ago we had some flooding... and then we had the Calgary Stampede. And now it's over.
The flood recovery is still going on, and repairs will take YEARS, but at least nobody is swimming home anymore. There's lots of controversy going on in one of the towns that was affected, and I don't want to take away from their stress at all, but I feel like here in Calgary, things are looking up. :)

I keep thinking about that one house I helped out, and I keep thinking about going over there and seeing the progress. But then I wonder if that's just being invasive. I mean, it's not like I did much. And they are not exactly ... broke. And I am. I'm sure i'll go down there one day. Maybe even to just give them a Christmas card or something...

OK! So I went down to the stampede for the first time in a few years! It was SO MUCH FUN. Of course, it helped that we had some birthday cake flavoured vodka... but fun nonetheless! We didn't go there to spend all our money, so we just wandered, and took in the sights and smells, and tastes! haha My best friend @runcrysrun, doesn't drink much, so when we got there, and she declared "only phallic foods all night!" I knew it was gonna be a good one... LOL So much fun stuff went down that night. Here is a run down in list form:
- Phallic foods all night
- buying a lotto ticket for my mother, the man misspelled Belinda for Mekuba (WTF!! LOL)
-  DEEP FRIED OREOS. It was so good, i was emotionally overwhelmed... I wish I was kidding.
- Playing some games. AND BEING AWFUL AT GAMES
- Running into our friend Mark (picture below. you'll know it when you see it)
- Touching my friends new (tiny) baby belly! If you didn't know her, you'd never know she's preggers yet. BUT WE CAN TELL :)
- "I’m not getting in a cab with you if you smell like meat." long story short, there was a steamy cooked/smoked meat stand... I was basking in the wonderful smell. Then burnt my hand, beside the "caution Hot" sign... my friends were REALLY good at rolling their eyes that night...
 - Longest bathroom line ups ever. I'm pretty sure we had a party that lasted 30 minutes just to go pee. BUT since I was a bit tipsy, I didn't mind, or notice...
 - Cowboys EVERYWHERE! Real and Fake. Le sigh,,,
 - Girls trying to be cowgirls but actually looking like skanks. This part always makes me uncomfortable... since I don't dress like a skank (I can't even say anymore, since I can probably remember twice [maybe thrice] dressing less than classy, ever)
- Rain! lots of rain!
- Fireworks, in the rain
- Three headed monster in a poncho (some random GIANT man wanted in on the poncho action) (Correction, poncho party)
-FREE BEEF JERKY. (aka, more meat :) )
- Wandering downtown, trying to find a spot for our ride to pick us up.
- Being tired, and happy with my two best friends.  :)

My fave pic of the night

Three headed monster poncho party

Probably texting the men folk


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chocolate and Vanilla

My babies are mixed. So am I. (Although Fox is still not convinced ... lol)
My mother is a mixed black woman from southern Ontario and my father is a French Canadian. I have LOTS of different colors in me and my skin changes color many times throughout the year :) In the winter i'm a strange green color. haha

I'm not writing this because of recent news in the states. That's been talked about, and on more informed levels than I have. I'm writing this because I have kids, and it's been on my list for a while

Growing up, I didn't know I was black. I'm not kidding, I have an aunt, who I'm very close with, and she's pretty dark, and I had NO IDEA she was black until I was probably 10. That wasn't until my babysitter asked me about my black background. I was like "what? i'm not black" HAHA um... yes you are!
Then she showed me pictures of my family on my mothers side, and even my cousins on my daddy's side. Then it hit me. I was stunned for a while. :)

So after learning that I am not pale,and having only a few minor issues growing up as a girl of a certain caramely... green shade, I went and had kids with a Jamaican.

My babies are going to grow up darker than me, with even more curly hair. Not to mention the strong Jamaican ... way about them :) Their daddy is teaching them how to talk like him. It's cute.
But I wonder what the world will be like for them. When I was a kid, there was a problem between black kids and Lebanese kids in my neighborhood. For whatever reason, they didn't get along. I remember walking down the street with my sister and cousin, and these guys walked by us with a confused look on their faces. WE knew what they were thinking "what are they?" So they asked, once they had passed us... and my cousin yells "We're the whitest black people you'll ever see!" and They started yelling mean things to us. I am STILL not sure why the hell she had to go do that. LOL But it's something that stuck with me since.

Will the small world my kids live in, be separated still? Will people assume things about them? Will they grow up to act a certain way? Will they relate to either parent more, based solely on color? Will they feel judged? Will they try to fit into stereotypes? Are they going to think they look too white? too black?

I had a different problem, since I don't LOOK black. But I do look like something. i get that a lot. "what are you? You look ...something, I can't figure it out." I've had people talk to me in different languages, assuming i'm from their country. Which is fine. I love hearing it :) Most of the languages I've been spoken to in, are very beautiful. So I like the guessing game.
But will my babies? Will they understand that it's not an insult? That it's flattery? They might be mysteries like me.
I can only hope that either way, that they are happy with what God gave them. That they don't try to change anything.
My mother has already started using a flat iron on Diva's hair. Don't even get me started...

Friday, 12 July 2013

Soft and smelly

Diva has a blanket that she's had with her since she came home from the hospital. This blanket is her most favorite possession and I wouldn't change that for anything.
She is still a thumb sucker (and her father was until he was A TEENAGER, so I guess I have THAT to look forward to...)

I know eventually she'll have to let it go (or maybe not). It's VERY fluffy, so it's not the kind of material that will fall apart easily. I'm just afraid that since I haven't been able to find another one EXACTLY like it, that one day, the world will fall apart. I'm sure i'll cry if it ever gets lost. That's my baby's favourite thing in the whole world. OH MAN NOW I WANT TO SUPER GLUE IT TO HER BODY! I'm already sad and it's still safe and sound!
So I don't actually have any stories about her blankey, which has no other name. I know lots of people whose kids have named theirs. I've heard, boo boo, boo ba, mumu... lots. Not over here. Just Blankey. Here.. quick... look at some cute pictures!

Thursday, 11 July 2013


I worked in a clothing store a few years ago (actually I worked in retail for 8 whole years, beginning when I was 16). One day while folding cashmere sweaters that were far too expensive for me to ever purchase, a lady came in panting and looking a bit frantic. She said (in her exact words) "Have you seen a lady, short Asian,... spastic, wearing a blue sweater?" We kind of smiled at her and said no, she said "OK, i'll come back, she said she was heading this way, if she comes, KEEP HER HERE." Then left. I asked my manager "did she just say spastic?"  A little while later this short Asian lady (to be fair, she was probably of Chinese descent, but totally raised in Canada) in a blue sweater blew in and TORE THE STORE APART. I mean that in a nice way. :) She unfolded everything, while talking to us, but not talking TO us. And interrupted EVERYTHING we said (knock knock, who's there, interrupting cow, interruptMOOO!!!). She would go all over the place in one sentence "Oh! how much is that pair of.. I like this hat! Where did you buy that necklace? I should cut my hair!" It was pretty intense. And I loved every minute of it. :)

I often wonder though, how much of that woman, people see, when they are with me. Just for fun, every once in a while, I take an online ADHD self diagnosing test. SUPER FUN. :) I do however, always come to the conclusion, that had I been diagnosed as a kid, i'd be a totally different person today (or at least have gotten some kind of education after barely graduating high school). I know those things are not true diagnosing tools. But it's fun to answer questions about myself just the same :)

I started noticing a few years ago, that I CANNOT look people in the eye while talking anymore. My eyes are constantly darting around the room. The bigger the room, the bigger the problem. Sometimes, I'll hear words come out of peoples mouths, but i retain none of it. Other times, i'm thinking about something that's distracting me and they are all "so my cousin was taken off life support" and I go "gah, my my elbow is so itchy. Sorry about your cousin". I'm sure I've offended many many many people, but the only difference I've seen with those online tools, and my real life, is that nobody has TOLD me I have. Sure there are the usual, "Chantale... slow down" or "Chantale, woah! are you even listening?" But even in high school, when I wouldn't couldn't sit down, and i'd lie at the front of the room, and "supervise" the class from the floor, the teachers never really said "I think you have a problem.....".

So I posted on Facebook today, asking people to describe me in one word. So far, I've gotten, Real, funny, Chantale (as in, you're just Chantale...), Creative, expressive, fluttery, Orange (my best friend knows me so well ), my boss said i'm like a roller coaster. HAHAHA she would know best! So far, nobody has called me a spaz.. SO... yay! I'll have to update later with more words the peeps have described me as.


That's not me. That's Jenna Marbles yo

Just got called impatient
Random, Quirky, multi-dimentional, GASSY (bwahahah jerk), colorful, home

Monday, 8 July 2013


Ok, the title sounds angry. But it's not. Not really...LOL That's what Nana said to me this weekend when I attempted to ask some pretty serious questions.

If you remember I had asked my girls some pretty hard questions not too long ago, well I went and did it again!
I stole Borrowed some more questions from mommablogsalot. Here is her bio: My name is Jen and I am the stay at home mother of an amazingly clever seven year old boy dubbed “MM” who never ceases to amaze me with his intelligence, kindness and charm and an adorable little dictator three year old daughter “BB” who can go from sugar and spice to temper tantrum central in less than ten seconds – she’s addicted to all things princess and would eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for every meal if I let her.

Here is the crap fun answers we got this time!:
Diva age 4 
Nana age 2
My thoughts are in blue

What is the meaning of life? 
Nana: Kept saying no. Not sure how profound that is...
Diva: (in her exact words) God made us alive and we need to try to don't be dead.  Well there you have it folks! The end!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Nana: She just repeated my suggestions... a dentist! a dr!
Diva: A singer. (I asked her if she's a good singer, she said "no, not till i'm a grown up")
What brings you the most happiness? (i had to rephrase this one a few different ways..)
Nana: YOU! (me! hehe i love it!)
Diva: When daddy is playing with us
When do you feel the most loved? (I had to rephrase this one a lot)
Nana: Dear God, after hugging (i'm still not sure if she gets the question, but that answer makes sense!)
Diva: I don't know (miserable)

What are you afraid of? 
Nana: A monster! (so matter of fact)
Diva: When we go to bed, and the light is off, my dresser looks like a wolf (that's the first I've ever heard of it...)
If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
Nana: Ummmmm (that's all she did, then looked at me blankly for a long/creepy time)
Diva: A toy. who is grumpy like daddy (hahaha what?)
What is the funniest word? 
Nana: I don't know. (then she started laughing for no reason , i think the word she thinks is funny, is the word "funny")
Diva: Googley. She uses that one a lot. It is pretty funny 
What is the hardest/easiest thing to do?
Nana: *Stares blankly at me* So... apparently the hardest thing to do is answer this question.
Diva: Hardest :(I wish i was lying...) Nothing is hard for me, I can do everything!
         Easiest: Turn on the TV (Fox practically gave her this answer... jerk lol)

What is the best/worst thing in the world?
Nana: She answered Daddy for both parts of this question
Diva: Best : Daddy (darn those kids....) Worst: our house. I want a big house with an outside door (HEY that's MY line!)
What makes you mad? 
Nana: Daddy (I kept telling him to leave the room, because she's only two, and has no brain yet, and he's very cute distracting)
Diva: Cousins not sharing, and nobody listening to me (me too baby... like when YOU don't listen to me)
What is the meaning of love? 
Nana: No (aaaand she's had enough of the questions)
Diva: People love people and kiss EW
If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it? 
Diva: I had to ask this question a few times, because she was getting distracted (see cute daddy...) here are her 2 answers : 1.An angry mommy. I already have an angry mommy, I'm going to buy another one. (What the hell??) 2. Biggest kitty that can stomp on people (why is she so miserable!!???)
So, in conclusion, my kids get distracted VERY easily, and have some work to do in the areas of career choices, and money management.
Also, daddy is very distracting :) 
 That cutie in the fedora is my nephew. Lub Lub :)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Food for the soul

Saturday, I went and volunteered my time for flood relief. It was truly amazing and it was so good for the soul.

My friend and I went down to the neighborhood called Mission, and they had a great volunteer tent set up! There was a tent for first aid, a tent for food, a tent for cleaning products, and tents labeled "registration" and "job assignments". This guy would come on a microphone and say "we need __ amount of people to go with this man here to his house." then we heard "we need 30 people to go to ___ Street". we hopped up. They even had transportation for us! That morning, as they were setting up, they were called for 100 volunteers to help somewhere, and the microphone guy had ran out into the street and stopped a bus! He said about 15 minutes later they had 4 buses for the day! Isn't that just awesome?

So we pile into the bus. Looking out the window, the view changed from clean homes with no (more) damage, already cleaned up and ready for the next phase in all of this, to homes that have volunteers running in and out wearing hazmat suits and/or neon vests. THEN we turn down this street. Before we left, the microphone guy said "i'm not sure what happened over there, but today, we are being bombarded with calls form this one street". I know what happened, they JUST got to go back home! There were still water pumps, pumping out basements! There was dump trucks everywhere and lots and lots of mud. It was awful. I almost burst out crying right there on the bus. They told us to just go door to door an offer our help. So that's what we did. Plenty of homes were full of help already, so it took us a while to find anyone who still needed help.

 We found a family, and never even got to learn their names or their story. We just jumped into work. We helped them clear out their yard. the lady of the house told us that earlier that day, the yard was a huge pile of personal belongings and the dump truck had just left not long ago. So what was left was a yard full of hard mud and stuff embedded into it. I found cups, and toys and pieces of paper (probably remnants of books) There was also lots of wine corks (my kind of people!!) (which made it instantly that much sadder). We dug up the yard for almost 2 hours. We even dug out their garden, which was still somewhat intact under a layer of clay. Then we went into the house to offer more help. It was stripped bare! all the way to the frames. I didn't go upstairs or downstairs, but I could tell the house was going to be almost completely gutted. So we helped keep the floors clear, so that they can dry properly (at the same time that they were ripping down walls, we were shop vac-ing after them). By the time we left, I was exhausted. I felt so bad for them, because I was leaving, to go home to my kids. In my dry clean (sort house. And they were going to be there. For a long long time. With no walls, or toilet (we saw that being removed too) or furniture.

As we left, the lady of the house came over to thank us, and gave us a hug. She said "Thank you strangers who showed up on my lawn". It was so sad. And also uplifting. they had pretty good spirits despite what was going on around them. She had said "well, the end is in sight". And that's true. Soon, they'll be picking out new cupboards and fixtures and furniture. And maybe even getting a little excited about it. Picking out things they'd had their eyes on for a while... changing little things around the house, crossing off that dream list. Who knows.(at least that what i'm hoping for them).

Once we left, and walked around to find the bus, I saw the whole neighborhood a little bit differently. I'd always known it to be a nice, rich area, with huge homes (it was and is...) with river front properties. I'd always looked at it from afar, with this sense of jealousy and maybe even bitterness. (I'm always praying to the lotto gods). They have (had) such nice homes, and they lived in a quiet area, by the river and not far from downtown. But now, I see hard working people, trying to put their lives back together. Hard working people, who have kids, and have jobs (doesn't matter what kind of job really. A job is a job.) They don't necessarily have it better than me. (except maybe the square footage and ... storage.. and annual vacations... OK whatever they just don't ok!?). People who've put time and effort into their gardens, and into homes, and now they have to start over.

Helping out that day, was so good for the soul. It made me realize a few things about other people, and also i realized that I have it pretty darn good.
The end (haha i never know how to end these things...)