Wednesday, December 26, 2007

conspiracy theory #175388

my mother and mother in law both want me to have an eating disorder, i swear.

i'm not very wide at all. i'm 5'8 and somewhere between 120 and 130. i've got a post-baby gut, but so what?!? apparently it's a huge deal.

first of all, my mom: she lives with mental health issues. one way of telling how she's faring is seeing how big she thinks i am. this year for christmas she made me a pair of pj bottoms. i sent her my measurements, even. but she thinks i lie when i send her measurements (she's pretty much said so) and so made them about four inches too big in the waist. i'm very, very used to sizing things down after so many years of oversized clothes. i'm not going to grow into them, ma.

once when she was doing really badly she made me some overalls that would be loose on a 350 pound man. they were awesome otherwise, though. electric blue with a yellow star appliqu├ęd on the arse and huge bellbottoms. too bad i could have easily fit 3 of me in them.

then there's my mother in law. she has no mental health issues that i am aware of. but she feels the need to help me slim down. she's asked me when i plan to lose my baby fat. and when she brings plates of hors d'oeuvres and dainties and squares and whatnot into a room of people and passes them around i somehow get missed - every single time. and if i work up the nerve to go get myself some lunch from the kitchen she stands there and watches me as i load up my plate, then watches me eat it, eyebrows raised.

should i be taking this personally??


oh, and santa loves me. this was by a long shot my best christmas ever as far as getting cool stuff. and i still have things back home to open. i'm listening to my fancy new ipod as i type this.

Monday, December 24, 2007

fluke


review of fluke by christopher moore

i've read all his books before, and some of them aren't worth a second read, but this one is awesome. it's my second favourite of his books. first comes the gospel according to biff, but that is a review for another post.

fluke is golden for many reasons. the plot chugs along nicely, the characters are likeable, moore has wit and humour to spare, quirkiness abounds... what's not to like? but the thing that makes me love this book is kona.

pelekekona keohokalole, born preston applebaum, is a white kid from jersey who is also a dreadlocked rastafarian living on maui. he says stuff like

"Oh, she a blackheart thief that would take a man's Snowy Biscuit to have a punaani nosh. That Snowy Biscuit belong our tribe."
just for fun, let's dissect this. 'oh, she a... to have a' is piratespeak crossed with jamaican pidgin. snowy biscuit, allegedly, means pale, attractive woman. i'm not sure if that's surfer lingo or more jamaican. google tells me that punaani means vagina in jamaican. whatever. but nosh??? what is the yiddish word for snack doing here???

the marvelous mr. moore is known for having characters make appearances in multiple books. so far kona is only in fluke, but i keep hoping he'll pop up in another book... or ten. are you listening, author guy?

two more for the road.
"Rum," said Kona. "Too much hostility in dat buzz. Rum come from da cane, and cane come from slavin' the people, and dat oppression all distilled in de bottle and come out a man mean as cat shit on a day."

"Ya, mon. Kona can spark up a spliff and calm down that bumpy brine for all me new science dreadies. We can take the boat no matter what the wind be," Kona said. He was thinking, I have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, but I really want to get out there with the whales.
need i say more?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

staying at the il's

coffee.
conversation about how cute/ good the babies are
food. (with a garnish of glares and comments from mother-in-law who thinks i need to watch my weight)
sitting on the couch playing on the laptop.
more playing on the laptop.
coffee.
sneaking chocolate.
more laptop on the couch.
coffee.
another conversation about cute babies.
yawn.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

flight and fight

let it be known that flying halfway across the country with a 2 year old, a baby and no stroller is no easy task. because i'm sure most people would consider it to be a breeze, a walk in the park and a piece of cake. but i did it.

i had help, though. i would have died (figuratively) without it.

the day before the trip i called airport security and came up with a game plan with the lady on the phone. she was very helpful and a little too enthusiastic. it turns out that when you're checking in you can ask for a special security clearance thingamie for someone to come with you to the gate. gate h, in my case.

the flight left at 9.15 so we arrived at the airport at 8. my friend and i juggled babies and checked luggage. no biggie. then my friend decided to get a cup of coffee. again, no biggie. the boy was in awe of the real live airport, and a little nervous, so he stuck close. security and the gates are all upstairs so we had to take the elevator. so my friend, (a 6'3 metis woman with a cane) the boy, myself (with the baby strapped to my chest) and a luggage cart with my backpack and the boy's carseat got on the elevator. an elderly couple with matching walkers joined us. it was cozy. especially when the elevator got stuck.

it had gone up a floor and was hiccuping, going up and down a few inches, over and over and over... my mind went straight to the worst case scenario, where both babies start screaming, we have to be rescued with the jaws of life, and i pee on the floor. what actually happened is the older man pressed the 'open door' button and the doors opened. who, me? melodramatic?

then we realized that my friend couldn't go through security with her coffee. it was about 8.30 so there was no huge rush, but there was an insane line for security, so she slurped that coffee up. sort of. she is a pretty slow coffee drinker, it took her about 15 minutes to drink that little cup.

finally she was done and we were on our way. the babies and i flew through, i'd planned ahead so none of us had any metal on us. but my friend wasn't thinking about metal detectors when she had gotten dressed that morning... she ended up being frisked quite thoroughly by a man who called her 'sir'.

it was almost 9 when we reached the gate and the flight was already boarding. oops. i bid adieu to my friend (who, despite the delays she caused, saved my life. how could i have made it with a wandering boy, a carseat, a backpack and a baby without her? i couldn't. thanks, amber!) then got the pleasure of carrying everything while trying to herd the boy down the long walkway thing and onto the plane.

airplane aisles are not designed to accommodate people as heavily laden as i was. and half the people had already boarded. i got a lot of sympathetic smiles as i urged the boy to walk ahead of me, no, come back, ok, this is your seat, no move over while i plug in this car seat... i'm a slender woman but i felt huge, trying to navigate that tiny space.

eventually i had the boy in his carseat, next to the window. the carseat was critical to my strategy, since he can't get out of it without help. a lapbelt wouldn't have held him down for more than a few seconds. he loved his window. there was an airport out there! and a tanker truck and a pickup truck and people and... a huge, huge woman coming to sit with us. she filler her seat and overflowed into mine. did i mention that the boy's carseat was a few inches wider than his seat? i was left with about half a seat for myself and the baby. cozy.

the boy loved the takeoff and was fascinated with his view for a little while, but then it got old. so i broke out the snacks. those were great... for about ten minutes. then i pulled out some books he'd never seen before... there was another ten minutes of fun. then came an hour and a half of pulling at his carseat and complaining that he was stuck.

thankfully he never got as loud as the kid across the aisle, who was teething. compared to that kid my son was an angel. but 2 year olds aren't good at sitting still, being bored and overheated, for two straight hours. but he made it. at one point the woman sitting in front of us turned around to sing 'old macdonald' to the boy. it was surreal, having a complete stranger sing a silly song out of the blue like that.

deplaning was the trickiest bit. the airport is a tiny regional one where people have to walk outside from their aircraft to the building. so i had to bundle up both boys while still in that tiny space. a flight attendant helped me get the boy and the carseat to the top of the (icy) stairs. then an air traffic controller carried him down the stairs. then an airport employee carried the carseat & backpack while i got both boys inside... we had to walk very, very slowly, since the boy only has very short legs. eventually we made it inside the building... and there was no one there to meet us.

really, they showed up a few minutes later and everything was fine, but i wanted to end on a dramatic note. either way, good story, non?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

away

i'm staying with my in-laws. it's interesting. mixed. the boy is having a ball with all these people playing with him and fawning all over him - he loves attention and he's getting attention so he's happy. he barely remembers that i'm here, which is mostly ok with me.
the baby gets frustrated because all these people want to hold him all the time and all he really wants in life is a boob to suck. so he gets really, really hungry while he gets passed around and around - sooner or later i step in and just take him. they're shocked at how fat he is, how much he eats, how often he gets hungry... i love that in a crowded room of admirers he looks for me. one day cars and toys will be cooler than mama, but right now i'm his favourite.
so i sit on a couch and drink cup after cup of coffee. it's a little dull, but after the craziness of two babies every day, all the time, boring is ok. hopefully i'll get a nap and some time to work on the projects i brought.
just an update.

Monday, December 17, 2007

vegan survey

ok, so i'm not vegan or even technically vegetarian, but we eat vegan a lot, vegetarian almost all the time, and don't support the meat industry. as i become a better cook i make more and more vegan food.

i got the survey here but if you're looking for amazing vegan recipes, look here, too.

1. Favorite non-dairy milk?

usually silk soy milk, since it's gluten free and a lot of other soy milks aren't. i'd like to try almond milk next. and kirkland soy milk tastes amazing, but i refuse to shop at walmart and so can't have it.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook?
my to-die-for spicy orange tofu is amazing. potato & tofu fries are a favourite, especially with the 2year old. and i can do things with black beans that i can't even write here. also falafels, soups.... i'm actually a great cook, when i make an effort.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn?
salt, chili powder and oil.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure?
i made this cranberry stuffing a couple of xmases ago that was bloody awful. but it enlivened the dinner conversation, i guess, since everyone spent the whole meal making fun of it.

5. Favorite pickled item?
olives

6. How do you organize your recipes?
most are in my head, a few are in an actual recipe box, many are saved in notepad files on the computer or bookmarked.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal?
mostly compost, with garbage when it's too cold to empty the full compost pail. so compost in summer, garbage in winter. yes, i suck.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be (don't worry about how you'll cook them)?
mangoes, avocados and coffee.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood?
hangin' with my dog.

10. Favorite vegan ice cream?
italian-made fresh sorbet.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance?
garlic press

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
chili powder

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
more with less

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly?
currently mango/passionfruit... mmmmmm.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend?
spicy orange tofu if they're open to tofu, chili with tsp if they aren't. (my fil went on and on praising the 'nice, meaty chili' last time)

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh?
tofu.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
breakfast is easy but dinner offers more exciting possibilities.... it depends on my mood. never lunch, though.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?
boxes of cereal, bananas, apples and coffee

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
leftover vegan stew, carrots and broccoli

20. What's on your grocery list?
nothing, flying out tomorrow morning

21. Favorite grocery store?
stupidstore, it's huge and i can find anything i want, usually for disgustingly cheap. organic planet when i'm trying to be more organic/ ethical.

22. Name a recipe you'd love to veganize, but haven't yet.
bacon.
kidding. quiche would be nice, then the kid could eat it.

23. Food blog you read the most (besides Isa's because I know you check it everyday). Or maybe the top 3?
something in season, gluten free goddess, and... um... the bookmark is on the laptop and i forget the name.

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate?
frozen orange juice has been on my top 5 treats since i was a little kid.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately?
organic, fair trade, dark kicking horse coffee

26. who is the sweetest sleeping baby to lie in your lap today?

life in general


we had a good weekend. three parties (or four) and lots of hugs. tomorrow the babies and i fly out to the inlaws' place, my partner will come join us on friday.

we had our biannual solstice party on saturday and it was great. several of our closest friends couldn't come, this is a crazy time of year to try to schedule things, but it turned out ok. better than ok. it was a toast and wine party and it was a hit. we burned through many, many loaves of bread, lot of nutella, jam, bread, wine, eggnog, coffee... and conversation flowed. there were probably 15 people at the height of the party and everyone was having a good time. friends from all different parts of our life met and hit it off. i had been afraid that nobody would come and it would suck, but it was really good. i'm still on a little bit of a high from how well it went.

except for the part where the boy fell down the stairs...

off to pack.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

don't read this



for the second post in a row i'm hesitant to hit the 'publish post' button. i have another confession to make.

every day, in my living room, surrounded by my impressionable children, i dance...

to shakira's 'hips don't lie'

a couple of weeks ago i realized that i was in pathetically bad shape. i was at my friend's party and we were all crazydancing and i was badly winded after less than a full song. michael jackson's 'billy jean', to be precise.

so i decided that i need to exercise at least a little every day. i don't have any fitness equipment and don't want to spend money on something that will just gather
dust. i tried a video, but the boy wouldn't let me do it, he stood in front of the screen and demanded attention. plus hardwood isn't too nice for floor exercises. so i figured if i dance, hard, to three songs a day, that's about a 10 minute workout. i went through my cd's and mp3's, looking for a dance mix, and came up empty. bob dylan, jack johnson, rage, and rancid are all great, but none of them are dance-able. then i remembered that ages ago i'd had stupid shakira stuck in my head and in desperation i'd downloaded her latest hit to banish her from my brain. so every day i dance, hard and geeky, to some of the world's least cool music. or most cool. or something. either way, i've been stealthy and secretive about the whole thing, since my partner and friends would be merciless if they knew.

so why exactly am i posting this on the internet?

ok, look at the thingamie and don't blink, ok?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

sometimes i just suck

i'm really, really imperfect. so is my son. we've been known to disagree, upon occasion. take yesterday morning.

now, in my defense, i'd had about 2 hours of sleep. but that's a feeble excuse. many other women could have held it together in the same circumstances, but i am not those women. really, from the moment i hauled my sorry ass from bed i was looking for a chance to blow up. then the boy emptied the container cupboard - something he does every few days. normally i let him play with the containers, then when he loses interest i bring him back and help him clean them up.
yesterday he'd barely gotten them all out of the cupboard when i decided that he needed to clean them up, now. so i said so, but maybe more like NOW. then i told him that they had to be picked up NOW, OR ELSE!!. then i proceeded to insist that they be cleaned up THIS MINUTE OR YOU'RE GETTING IN TROUBLE!!!!. being his happy little self, my son ignored my unprovoked fury and picked up the lid of a yogurt container and skimmed it across the floor. i swear that at this moment i gained a second personality, and that personality was hitler.

i swear, before i had a baby i was the mellowest person. it took a lot to get me pissed off, and even then i'd just rant and rave a bit then forget all about it. but something changed when the boy was born. there are days when i just quietly simmer away, waiting for the chance to let my rage loose. i have so much pent up fury, for no good reason. nobody has wronged me. i have a comfortable, safe life. people love me. my baby grins at me every time i look at him. my boy wants nothing more than to play with me, be hugged by me and just generally be around me. so what's wrong with me?

Monday, December 10, 2007

pirates III


instead of 'at the world's end', the subtitle should have been 'the movie even johnny depp couldn't save'. seriously. he was the only good thing about the movie. i generally take every chance i can get to ogle mr. depp, but this one wasn't worth it. the plot was incoherent, the writing was like nails on a chalkboard... none of us (roomate, hubby and i) had any idea what was going on at any given time, and we were barely drinking. it seemed like one long, stupid sea battle with brief scenes on land thrown in just to confuse the viewer.
i loved the first movie (how many movies can you describe as swashbuckling? a good time, what's wrong with that?!?!) but the second one was garbage and this was even worse. i will never get those hours of my life back, alas.

although there was a scene with about 100 of johnny depp in the same frame, some of his incarnations were shirtless...

bonnie burstow and the house on lippincott*

i'm in the middle of this book and it's amazing. a pair of holocaust survivors are living in toronto and have three daughters. the daughters grow up in a house haunted by pain and memories of the unspeakable. they each end up as different as three women can be. that sounds so trite. i'm not even near the end of the book yet, but i can say that this book is deeply satisfying because it is a well-told story, it is emotionally impacting thanks to the premise and the writing, and it is philosophically challenging.
the book doesn't gloss over any of the pain, yet none of it is glorified or dragged out. pain is simply a daily fact for the book's denizens, much like hunger and cold. it divides the family and, paradoxically, holds them together. it forms the characters as they strive to overcome it, wallow in it, deny it... pain is as air to the family in the book. amazingly, the book isn't depressing. it's deeply thought-provoking, though. several issues (pedophilia, homosexuality, guilt, racism, etc) are treated with the gravity they deserve but without bogging the story down. the writer is unafraid of being intellectual. most novels don't have footnotes, but this isn't most novels. the writer assumes a certain amount of literacy on the reader's part in regards to philosophy and history, which i don't mind at all, but others might.
this book really isn't for everybody, but for the right people it's staggeringly good.

*this review was written while nursing, bouncing and burping a heavy, fat baby to sleep and so the syntax is choppy and the thoughts don't flow. consider it to be a draft. come back in a week or two to read the final version

Saturday, December 8, 2007

the same, only different

lovely, non? i should have taken a picture yesterday, it was even worse. the good news is that these hideous, festering wounds are on the retreat. one day i'll post these lovely lips smiling and cold sore-free.

right after i took the pictures last time, the boy discovered that the bulbs on incandescent fairy lights are removable, and promptly took them all out. so i took the lights down and got led lights, which are more toddler-proof. also they use much less electricity and are less of a fire hazard. and the string of lights is significantly shorter so the fort looks less cool. and they give off less light so it's dimmer inside the fort.
still cool, but not bright enough. i might get more lights, or i might just say fuck it. probably the latter. the colours are nice, though.
but it's that time of year. i love it when it's legitimately winter so i can bust out the hot chocolate powder to mix with my coffee. sure, i could do it in july, but where's the fun in that?

and for all those who were anxious, the ass zit is better now. no one is happier to hear that than me.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

it's beginning to look a little like christmas


yes, those are my lips. why yes, they are a little sore, why do you ask? oh yeah, and TWO cold sores that suddenly popped up... how lucky am i?
actually you're the lucky one. i have a deep, painful zit on my ass the size of a marble. it hurts to sit. but i'm not posting a picture of that, just telling you about it.

and if that grosses you out to hear, don't click this link.

in less gross news, i started decorating for the holidays.what's more festive than a half-assedly decorated construction zone? i'm pretty sure the guys who tore out the ceiling are never coming back to put it back up, so i'm going to have to get used to the gaping hole where drywall should be. it's ok, though, i can't afford to pay them anyways.

this is pretty. that's what a person sees as he or she comes through the door into the house. notice how the light fixture looks a lot like a nipple? that's because it looks a lot like a nipple.

the piece de resistance, though, is the boy's first blanket fort. i was bored and remembering how much i loved blanket forts as a kid. then i realized that the boy has never had one and might not be old enough to think of it himself. so out came the nasty old blanket, the staple gun and the fairy lights. as a bonus it partly hides the hideous table that's uglified our living room for ages.
i'm told there are places where people don't use old cardboard boxes as decor. i don't live in one of those places. oh, and that blur in the left corner? that's the cat.


he thinks it's magical. i think he might be right.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

my new hair

last week i cut it all off. i now have 10 inches of braid to give to those bald, cancerous types. until i get around to it my hair is living on top of the microwave, with the oven mitts. it's been a week since i cut my hair and so a week since i washed it. things are more than a little insane here and my skin is sooooooo dry, i dread showering and have quit taking baths. so this pic shows my hair at less than its best, but i still like it. sort of punky and funky and not so long that it gets caught on everything like before.
longer in the front, shorter in the back. the front strands are almost chin length, a lot longer than the hair around them. one day i'll get a better pic.

while i had the scissors out i cut the boy's hair, too. badly. see, my mother in law loves cutting hair and is quite good at it. last time she was here she cut the boy's hair and it pissed me right off. that's my job, damnit! so i pre-empted her. i'd rather have him get a bad haircut from me than a good one from her.
can you see the uneven bits at the bottom? i'll buzz that section so it's even before i take him to see his grandma in a couple of weeks.

ben's holiday special

we're not putting the tree up at all this year (we're going to stay with the inlaws, why bother?) and the lights and whatnot are in a ball on the shelf. but for ben, my son's doll, christmas is here.
yes, ben has boy bits. and yes, he is always naked. my son lost his clothes two minutes after he got him. and yes, ben's tree is cut out of a flyer and glued to the wall of 'ben's house' (a shelf in the bathroom. the lower shelves have to stay empty thanks to the boy anyways, why not make a home for ben in one?)
so that's our christmas decoration. i'm trying to figure out a way to get ben a festivus pole.
just for reading all that i'll give you another pic - ben's potty. it's opposite the 'tree' so en can enjoy the festive decorations while dropping a log. a yule log, even.

Friday, November 30, 2007

slogging through a swamp of fetid molasses

we have:
a HUGE credit card bill to pay
a toilet that is leaking and destroying the floor
a shower surround that needs replacing before mid-january, along with most of the drywall behind it and around it to replace
an even HUGER car repair bill to pay

christmas coming soon and many gifts not yet gotten, let alone sent to their recipients
three rooms to at least partly furnish so the new roomate and her son don't have to sleep on the floor
and all the stresses of normal life with two babies, a marriage, regular bills to pay, work to be gotten done, housework to be avoided, etc.

today a friend borrowed the boy for a couple of hours so i could get caught up. i got a little bit done on xmas gifts and some laundry done, plus i picked up some of the piles of crap that appear around the house whenever i'm not looking. it was good to get those things done, but where did the rest of the time go? why is my life still chaos?
maybe i should fold laundry instead of whining about how nothing ever gets done around here. or make coffee. mmmm. coffee sounds good.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

money and hair

so today:

the huge-ass credit card bill came. it included such expenses as our flights to toronto for xmas and the repairs we did on the upstairs bathroom recently.
i noticed that the main floor toilet is leaking all over the basement floor. fortunately that part of the basement is unfinished, but we still need to replace the toilet asap.
we got the repair bill for the car - more than three times what we had budgeted, but if we leave it, the repairs will only get more costly and it will be dangerous to drive.

if these things were staggered out over a few months we could handle them. it would suck, but we could do it. instead, we're about ten grand in the hold, about to owe more. so maybe i won't spend a few hundred dollars on my hair, after all. i have two options, hair-wise, at this point. i can:

  • get my friends to dread my hair and hope for the best
  • cut my hair off and hope for the best.

my friends might give me awful dreads. they take lots of time and are hard work, i don't want to coerce them into making dreads that i might just cut off right away. on the other hand, cutting all my hair off means i may look like a chia pet for a long time. i have really thick hair that sometimes looks bloody awful short. i can't just leave my hair as it is, i find it incredibly annoying and it's forming messy, ugly dreads on its own.

i'm leaning towards cutting it all off.

i'll post pics, either way.

Friday, November 23, 2007

humdrum

after at least three hours of playing sims i'm ready to do something else. i've felt a creative urge for a few days but i have no outlet, what with these children all over the place and all. so i play sims. i really, really want to be painting, but that's impossible. i'd settle for collaging, but i can't do that, either. there are no magazines in the house. i could tolerate building something out of wood or other materials or sewing, but i have nothing to use. i'm deeply frustrated.

on the other hand, i just set up the baby swing for the first time. the boy is pushing the baby, the baby is killing himself laughing, and the boy is 'wheee'ing as shrilly as possible and piling his toys into the swing on top of the baby. good times. serioulsy, they're both in heaven and i don't have to do a thing. how could this be better?

today is buy nothing day. i'm participating, but i probably wouldn't have bought anything anyways, except maybe some booze to celebrate my non-pregnancy. that's right, i am not pregnant. i know nobody knew i might be, but i'm not.

back to buy nothing day. i think it's so cool. i would love to do buy nothing christmas one year, but i have a feeling that nobody else would be into it. especially now that we have the babies, i'd be accused of depriving them and being a no-fun commie.

speaking of no fun, while i was writing that paragraph the baby decided he'd had enough of the swing. i rescued him, causing the boy to have a major meltdown. good times have been had by all.

does this post have a point? probably not.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

my new deity

originally an evangelical christian, i have been on a journey for the past few years. i've established that i'm definitely not a christian (don't tell my parents or in-laws) and i'm not an atheist... according to beliefnet's belief-o-matic quiz i'm a neo-pagan, but i'm disinclined to express that faith in any but the most casual and cynical of ways.
today i realized what my faith is. (aside from pastafarianism, which will always be my true faith) i actually worship the internet. i'm not sure what the name for that would be, but there you have it. the internet is an invisible, powerful, mysterious being that brought me together with some of my closest friends. it gives me companionship, comfort, entertainment and information. it it who i go to when i can't sleep at night, when i'm worried about something, and when i'm bored. i can't imagine a day without the internet and i talk about it fairly regularly. this very blog could be considered a prayer.
internetian? nope. um, webworshipper? uh... i need to think on this.

ps. googleimages was unhelpful in my quest to end this post with an appropriate image. alas. the internet let me down.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

more ethical clothes

i just discovered a new, CANADIAN ethical clothing company. htnaturals is a vancouver company that sells bamboo, hemp and organic cotton clothing. i bought a shirt of theirs on saturday and it is madly sexy as well as very ethical. they get five stars from me. plus their clearance section on the website is really well priced.
i've been emailing with toby the sales rep about running a co-op for better prices on their stuff for my friends and i, and i complained about their lack of plus-sized items. here is what toby said.

We are a small gorwing company, so while we would like to offer a broader array of colours and sizes, we are a bit limited in being able to take all of this on at once. Our men's sizing extends up to XXL, and our women's sizing to XL, but we'd certainly like to do more.
You might want to check with Continental T-shirts as they make Organic Cotton and Bamboo shirts, and I believe that their sizing extends to XXXL (men's) and XXL (women's). Another option would be to try Bamboosa
continental sells regular clothes as well as organic cotton/ bamboo clothes, which is ok but not as cool as being 100% environmentally friendly. i'm a little biased towards them because the male model here is freaking HOT. their prices are not listed but they seem to have some really nice stuff.
bamboosa looks great, but pricey. 22$ for a tank top and 28$ for a hooded baby bath towel? not terrible, but not great. at least they're usa made and very environmentally friendly. but they're clothes aren't super stylish or interesting. i can find organic, ethical plain, boxy t-shirts for less elsewhere. i don't think i'll be buying from them.

cooking fiasco story

chris at notes from the trenches suggested that people blog their cooking mishap stories. read the comments on that blog, they're great. so here it is.
my funniest cooking mishap
in grade 12 my best friend was annie*. annie was the cutest person i have ever met. she was tiny and had dimples and pink dreadlocks. she looked just like strawberry shortcake, but funkier. because of her appearance no one really took annie seriously, which is good, because she did waaaaay too many drugs and her brains were addled.
one day when my parents were out we decided to make cookies. we made cookies or cakes almost every day because annie was hypoglycemic and so got high off sugar. she was fun high and it was a cheap high, so we became excellent bakers.
the recipe said to soften the butter and also said to preheat the oven. we decided to kill two birds with one stone and soften the butter in the preheating oven. annie put a huge block of butter in a small bowl and stuck it in the oven.
a while later we began to wonder why the room was full of smoke. then the smoke detector went off. while i was taking the batteries out of the smoke detector i noticed flames in the oven. oops.
i knew not to open the oven and give the fire oxygen, but it's hard to think straight when your friend is running in tiny circles shrieking. so i called 911.
911: 911, what is your emergency?
me: DON'T send a fire truck, but what do i do if my oven is on fire?
911: can you see flames?
me: yes.
911: inside or outside the oven?
me: inside, and i haven't opened the oven door.
911: and you're sure you don't want the fire department?
me: YES, but what do i do? the flames are getting bigger!
911: have you turned off the oven?
me:... oh, yeah...
911: is everyone ok there? who's screaming?
me: uh, no one. i gotta go. thanks.
*hangs up*

a couple of hours later my parents got home and wanted to know why all the windows and doors were open in the dead of winter. i told them the house was too warm. they wanted to know why i hadn't turned down the heat instead. annie, high on sugar, giggled and started twirling around like a ballerina. she made a good diversion.

*her name wasn't really annie, but i don't want her, wherever she is, to google her own name and find this post since it's not all that flattering.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

to the end of my rope and beyond

two hours of sleep. three, tops.
see how active she's being and how involved she is with her kids?
yeah.
that'll teach them to take turns keeping me up all. fucking. night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my 11th post

there are ten posts previous to this one, and here are the tags they bear:


as you can see, 40% of them are about exhaustion, 40% feature my older son, and a third of them mention vomit. i'm actually surprised that vomit didn't get mentioned in more posts, since it's the main feature in my life lately. but there you have it. this blog is exhausted and puke-infestd, mostly thanks to the boy. take a bow, son.

my future hair

in a month and a bit i hope to have hair like this
but hopefully without the facial hair. and my glasses are cooler. and i'm not a guy. and... yeah, you get what i mean. dreads, with colourful accents. i'm stoked. right now i have such awful mom hair - it's long with a million split ends, frizzy, and always either in a ponytail or straggling all over the place. and it often has someone else's puke in it. dreads won't help the puke situation, but i won't look like i should be driving a minivan, at least. all thanks to this woman.

Monday, November 12, 2007

his noodly greatness

so if my son can't have pasta, is he excluded from the church of the flying spaghetti monster? i can't imagine having to endure life without the touch of his noodly appendage... is there a flying spaghetti squash monster for celiacs? i suppose he could be made with rice noodles or corn noodles, but those are nasty and my deity is many things, but nasty is not one of them.
i've requested clarification on this matter from the facebook group. may the fsm (and his facebooky minions) reveal all that is hidden and inform us in his great wisdom.
ramen.

weekend of a thousand pukes

all weekend the boy was pukey, droopy, weepy and sleepy in turns. i got thrown up on at least seven times. the baby has recently become a night owl, too, so it was not the best weekend of my life.
on the other hand, we came out of the weekend with a much tidier house than we started it with. our beautiful midwife/ friend and her kids came for dinner so the punky papa and i took it as an excuse to get our act together and haul 8 bags of garbage & recycling out of our dining room. i washed the floor by hand, even. it was a shock the first time i walked through the kitchen without my feet sticking to the floor.
after the puke and the scrubbing and the complete lack of sleep i deserve this:
or maybe about twenty of these:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

eau de puke

last night the baby cried from around 10 (when we went to bed, being party animals on a friday night) until midnight. so we finally made it to bed. it's been a long week so we were more than ready. then, ten minutes after lying down, the boy projectile vomited all over himself and his bed. it was lovely. the kid was lying in a pool of his own vomit. so we got him cleaned up and suggled back into bed - then he puked again. this time all over both of us. the poor kid was shaking and his eyes couldn't focus so i spooned him while my partner slept in the other bed. then he puked again. each time he waited until everything was tidied up before puking everywhere. all told he puked 6 times, the last time at 5.30 am. he and i both have dried vomit in our hair and on our skin. we're going to take a bath soon, then i'm going back to bed.
we actually have a really busy day today, watching my midwife-friend's kids while she's at a birth. we need to get moving. and no one in this house (except the baby) has slept. urg.

Friday, November 9, 2007

pathetic.

today i did almost nothing. i played around on the laptop, played sims2, tolerated countless tantrums, and lactated. i have no energy. actually, that may be because
a. i have had almost no sleep for 3 nights in a row, now
b. i haven't eaten anything at all
no wonder the coffee isn't helping.
tomorrow i'll be productive and all that shit. for now i'm going to put an elmo video on and drink more coffee.

homework

the assignment: list five things about myself that i like. two have to be physical traits.

  1. i'm a pretty good mama. wen we're out and my boy is holding my hand and looking adoringly at me as i walk, i feel like a good mama. not so much when i'm yelling at him to leave me alone, but overall i think i'm doing ok.
  2. my friends. (i don't know if this one counts) if i were in a cafe and a couple of tables over there was one of my friends (irl or online, it doesn't matter) and i didn't know her or him (confusing enough scenario for ya?) i would spend my time in that cafe sneakily watching that person, thinking how cool he or she is and how this must be a really great cafe to have people like that come here. somehow i've surrounded myself with these people that are simply incredible. a midwife, a few doulas, a playwright, a stained glass artist, photographers, teachers, videographers, parents, children, gardeners, all sorts of craftspeople and creative types and compassionate, passionate, loving people. if i look at it egotistically i must be pretty freaking great to attract such amazing people. whatever it is about me that they like, that's what i like about me.
  3. i can make almost anything, given time. i can draw well, sculpt, craft, etc.
  4. i love my ankles. i wish i lived in a culture where ankles are considered to be sexy. i would be a goddess in such a culture.
  5. i also love my wrists.

there, i did it!

ethical undies

for some reason i'm huge into not harming anyone else or the planet just so i can have stuff. silly, isn't it? so my choices are fairly limited. thrift stores are ok, but i hate thrift shopping. it takes forever to find anything. i'd rather just thrift for the babies, who are easy to shop for. in case you're interested, here's a list of what i get where.
  • i get my t shirts & long sleeve shirts at mec.ca, where organic cotton, sweatshop-free shirts are 12-14 $.
  • i'm currently sporting no sweat hemp hi-tops on my feet, but
  • i think my next shoes will be simples.
  • winter boots and coats are a lot harder to locate, but i have a few years until i need to worry about replacing my current ones. i haven't yet found good, affordable, ethical pants yet, or socks. the sock thing is going to become an issue in the coming year.
  • but for underwear i've found the answer.
sooner or later i'm going to get tired of only buying very specific items from very specific retailers, but hopefully by then i have more choices.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

a gluten, dairy and nut-free post.

the boy is one of those horribly annoying children that can't eat anything. at 6 months he stopped gaining weight, by a year he was diagnosed as failure to thrive, and at 18 months i'd figured out that he is a celiac and he was gaining weight once more. the alternative ending to that story was that he die of malnutrition while eating us out of house & home. i'm more than a little glad that the story ended the way it did, i'm not crazy about that alternative ending. so now he's 2 and weighs about 22 pounds, only 5 pounds more than his baby brother.
anyways.
i am constantly searching for gluten, dairy and nut-free foods for the little man. (yes, he has food allergies. the fun just never stops) and i have discovered a couple of great things this week:

1. thick slices of eggplant will work as pizza crusts. i haven't tried it yet, but i'm still stoked. one day the little dude is going to realize that everyone else eats a much wider variety of foods than he does and he will want to eat pizza. so now he can have a little pizza on an eggplant crust. so long as he doesn't want cheese on the pizza.

2. these 'cookies' are pretty decent and nicely versatile, as well as being ridiculously healthy. i got them from this book. it's the best gf cookbook i've found yet. i want to kiss jeanne marie martin on the lips. anyways, the recipe:

brown rice breakfast chews

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, cold (i used hot rice. it worked fine)
  • 1 tbs maple syrup (i used honey. spank me.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds or other nuts (i was out so i omitted this but will use sunflower seeds and coconut next time)
  • 1/4 cup raisins, currants or other dried fruit (my chopped up dried apricots got all soft & delicious)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (i used minute tapioca. i have no idea if it's even close to the same thing, it gave it an odd texture but the kid doesn't seem to mind. i'll have to try it with actual tapioca flour someday)
  • 1-2 tbs arrowroot flour (skipped it, don't have any. might try rice flour or potato flour or another of these crazy expensive flours i have kicking around next time)

mix all together and try not to squash the rice. drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet and form little ball thingies.* bake at 300 for 40-50 minutes.

*these things are insanely sticky and i couldn't form them into any shape at all. they're little haystacks, with tons of rice scattered all over the cookie sheet that burned. if i could figure how to make them into granola bar shapes i would, they're the right consistency. oh, and don't skip greasing the cookie sheet like i did. the nonstick surface of the cookie sheet came off with the cookies and that can't be good.



if you know of any good gf recipes or whatever, let me know.

g-rated filth

as i write this i can hear my 2 year old playing with the toilet. the toilet that looks like something from the mens' room in a truck stop. the punky hunk put the toilet bush somewhere safe from the 2 year old and now we can't find it. it has been over two months. i've thought about buying a new toilet brush, but if i do that will be the day that the old one shows up, and what will we do with two toilet brushes? actually, i've already bought a new one. then the hunky hubby hid that one, too. so we would have three toilet brushes. i am losing the war on filth. me and my indifference are, that is.