Bad Blogger…

Me these days....

Me these days….

Jayzus!  I am a bad blogger.  I can’t even remember the last time I sat down and wrote a post.  I’ve been waiting for an inspiring reason to write (read: non-boring reason) but I just can’t seem to come up with anything that I feel is worthwhile.  So I guess I’ll write an apology instead.

Sorry.

There, are you happy?

Life just takes over sometimes and kids, career, husband, home maintenance, families and holidays take over my brain power and I simply don’t have the bandwidth to put it all down on paper (ok, laptop).  What can I say?

We’re fighting with the people that built our house over deficiencies which is SUPER FUN.  And when I say SUPER FUN, I mean in a total nightmare sort of way.  The work stuff is crazy as we just completed office renovations and are juggling unpacking and refurnishing with the daily chaos that is what we call in the music business Q4 aka the time when EVERYTHING happens.

The kids are completely obsessed by Halloween.  These are the most common phrases heard in our house these days:

5. “I want to be a cat for Halloween.  Can you get me a cat costume?  I know I wanted to be a Zombie Vampire Devil yesterday.  But now I want to be a cat.  Puuuhhhhlleeeazzze can you get me a cat costume.” – Shorty #1

4. “We need more decorations.” – Shorty #1

3. “This Halloween I want to be a Bumble Bee.  Next Halloween I want to be Spiderman.” – Shorty #2 who will clearly be disappointed when she realizes that successive Halloweens take place exactly one year apart.

2. “We don’t have enough decorations.  Can we go to the store and buy more?” – Shorty #1

And the #1 most heard phrase at our house these days:

1. “Is TODAY Halloween???” – Shorty #1 and #2

I’m continuously searching for a delicate way to explain that we have another two whole weeks of waiting!

We’re invited to a Gala on Friday night.  Which is lovely.  But no one can tell me what the expected dress code would be for said Gala.  I’m thinking then its perfectly acceptable to wear my fave Smythe blazer, jeans and heels.  RIGHT?  Please say yes.

Otherwise, its just life.  Day to day busy that all of you are experiencing too.  So just know that I love that you still come visit The R&R Mom and I love that you still care.  I promise that as soon as I can get my shit together and come up with a brilliant thing to write about, you’ll be the first to know.

XO

Lube, Oil and Filter

Since crossing the threshold into 40, regularly scheduled maintenance is something I’ve had to focus on a little more.  There is a lot of mileage on this body (not that kind of mileage you perv… well, maybe a little of that kind) and once you complete the 4th decade, it definitely needs more attention than it used to.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

Post baby body has been a real eye opener.  After the arrival of Shorty #1 there was a drastic and clear difference in the bounce back.  But once Shorty #2 arrived on the scene – and I was entering my 40th year – it was a wake up call that we were now well past the point of no return.  In addition to the major lifestyle changes to help take off the accumulated baby weight, the hair was just a little greyer, the skin a little looser and the fine lines and wrinkles just a little more prominent.  Ok – maybe it was a lot more of an issue than I care to admit, but there was no more avoiding it.  Its was time to start a maintenance plan.

The real issue here is when.  With 2 kids, a busy career and a silly travel schedule – how am I supposed to find 2+ hours to sit in a salon for a lube, oil and dye job?  I mean, its a necessity so I find a way.  But its not easy.

I know this is only the start as I begin the investment into middle age.  The creams and lotions and elixirs and serums (Why is it called a serum?  It sounds like some potion created by an evil villain to transform all the villagers into mindless slaves.) all ringing in at literally hundreds of dollars an ounce.  All claiming to deliver the fountain of youth and literally erase the signs of aging.  FYI – NONE of them really work.  Sure they work for a while, but it never lasts.  So its really just cash down the drain.  Hydration is the only thing that really helps.  Right cosmetic companies?  That’s the real truth isn’t it?  Genetics and hydration.

Even Botox only lasts for a while.  The only permanent solution is going under the knife but that scares the living shit out of me.

So I’ll stick with the dye job, send gratitude to the side of the family that gave me youthful looking chubby cheeks and curse the side that gave me these new jowls.

D-BAD: Noisy Cell Talking Lady

D-BAD aka DON’T BE A DOUCHE.  Each week I get to call out someone/ someplace or something for being a total DOUCHEBAG.  Its when I get to vent and take out my frustration on whatever makes me nuts each week, are you in?  Feel free to share your D-BAD’S anytime!

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Dear Noisy Cell Talking Lady:

Just when I thought my week might be lacking in D-BAD inspiration, I ran into you in the store today.  The conversation you were having on your cellphone appeared to be riveting.  Not that I was eavesdropping, we merely entered the shoe department to your verbal assault.  I’m sure whoever you were talking about would love to know your thoughts and opinions on their new relationship and be thrilled that you let me, my 7 year old and half the store know that they “hadn’t had sex yet.”  Awesome.  I was actually dying to know… and so was my 7 year old frankly.

It was great to bump into you a second time in the lingerie department while I was searching the discount bin for bargain dainties.   I was riveted to hear your thoughts on the state of yet another poor couple’s relationship as you bellowed across the racks “Why don’t they get a divorce? I mean, gaaawd, why doesn’t he just break it off?”  Because my dear heart, whether he does or does not initiate a divorce with someone is one thousand percent (and that’s not even real math) none of your business or mine or (again) my 7 year old’s or for that matter the old lady shopping for a girdle.  None of us want to know.  But we didn’t have the choice.  You didn’t even give us a choice.

I’m all for talking on the phone while shopping.  Its a lonely business and a ripe opportunity for multi-tasking.  But please, for the love of all things good and holy, don’t be a douche and shut the f%$k up.  Especially if that’s when you feel the need to play the role of Relationship Judgy Judgerson.  The rest of us are not living some Real Housewives of Somewhere life and simply don’t want to know!

Love,

The R&R Mom

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

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Last year, I wrote this post about how much I hate Labor Day and how it mockingly heralds the end of summer.  But this year, there’s a bit of change a foot.  For the first time in my – ahem – forty-something years, I’m actually starting to count the days.

Its been an extra long summer due to the old teacher’s strike (which is highly likely to carry on into September) and Shorty #1 is bored!  We’ve tried to keep her well programmed with summer camps and what-nots but she is done.  She misses her routine and she clearly missed the vibrant social life that the classroom offers.  I’m ready for her to go back to school.  I’m ready for her to get back down to the business of learning.  And I’m ready for her to get settled into a routine.

I’m also ready for everyone to finish their freaking holidays and get back to work.  The summer slowdown this year has seriously cramped my style.  Everything upon everything I’ve been working on has been on hold while the masses are on summer vacation.  HONESTLY, if I get one more out-of-office email, I’m going to puke.  Yes, yes, you’re away for the next 15 days.  Quit bragging that you will only have “limited access to email.”  We all know that’s total bullshit.  Unless you’re spending your holiday at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean or in my kitchen (which is a cell black out zone for some bizarre reason) – you only have limited access to email because you don’t WANT to have access to email.  Just be honest:

“Please be advised that I am now on vacation with people that I love.  I don’t love you because we are merely business associates so I have no plans to respond to your annoying message until I am back in the office and have had at least one full day to complain to everyone about all the email I need to catch up on.”

Yes!  Bring on September and lets all get back into the swing of things.  Besides, Christmas break is just around the corner.

 

Head of Purchasing

The back part of my brain is responsible for the grocery list, the front part is for composing witty correspondence and the top part is for remembering where I left my phone.

The back part of my brain is responsible for the food inventory and grocery list, the front part is for composing witty correspondence and the top part is for remembering where I left my phone.

Yep, that’s me.  Chief in charge of acquisitions.  Its almost a full time job.  Seriously, this chore in my daily life takes almost as much brain power as my real job.  Keeping a ready inventory of all the dry goods, perishables, produce, socks and undies in this household is a never ending task.  The question “what’s for dinner” is followed by a beep beep boop and the whirring sounds of my brain as I open the file “what’s in the fridge” followed quickly by “what’s in the freezer”.  Once inventory is complete we can assess what sort of a meal we can put together without a trip to the grocery store.  Boxed mac & cheese with a side of steamed zucchini followed by a stale crackers and peanut butter.  Excellent – I’ll be back in 30 minutes.

Its ensuring enough food in the house to get all 4 of us through at least the next 24-48 hours.  Plenty of healthy and organic options too if you don’t mind.  Oh and have I told you yet – remember how last week I LOVED orange juice?  How orange juice was my jam?  How I was plowing through a liter of orange juice like it was crack and you couldn’t keep enough of it in the house to try and sate my UNDYING THIRST FOR ORANGE JUICE?  Yeah, well now I think its gross.

I mean, really.  How are we supposed to keep up with all the whimsy and ever changing appetites?

Groceries are a neverending task.  You see, you can’t just go to one store, stock up and be set for the next 7 days.  Oh no.  The super massive supermarket that should clearly be a one-stop shop, well it doesn’t carry the brand of gluten free crackers we like.  Or diapers, yeah they have them, but they are precisely $2.00 a pack MORE EXPENSIVE than the other stores.  But the one-stop super massive supermarket offers roughly 80% of what we need – until, you know, they completely run out of ketchup or some other vitally crucial pantry item we cannot live with out.  Not to mention that their produce is complete shit anyways.  So we spend an hour there getting the aforementioned 80% of stock.  Then off to the good produce place, which offers everything that is green that we could ever need.  But then, CRAP!  I forgot to buy cream cheese (which in our house is akin only to LIFEBLOOD) so over to the neighborhood grocery store where I remember we’re down to our last 1/2 cup of rice so I better get some of that too and oh look, canned soup is on sale.  Awesome done.  What?  Dental floss?  Are you f$%king kidding me?  We’re out of dental floss.  Off to the drugstore.  Wait, toothpaste.  Better get some now while I’m here.  And laundry detergent, that was getting low too.  The thing is that two days later, we’ll need hamburger buns and asparagus so I know I’ll be making the rounds again in just a matter of hours.

But its not just the groceries and consumables that fall under my portfolio of purchasing responsibilities.  Its things like undies.  Kids BLAZE through these things.  Not only do they grow out of them at a record pace “Mom, these gaunch are too tight!”  But they tend to disappear (Remember that accident in the restaurant?  We sacrificed two pairs of Minnie Mouse panties to the poop gods that night).  All of a sudden, Shorty #2’s down to two pairs.  And then, #1 seems to have shot up 3 inches overnight and all her pants are floods and every skirt is DefCon Kardashian levels of short.  Back to the aforementioned super massive supermarket that also remarkably sells clothes to stock up.

This is a constant battle of the inevitable in a family striving to consume less and be more environmentally conscious.  Yeah, we’re doing a shitty job.  But what do we do?  Maybe I should just buy more coffee – that would curb appetites and stunt their growth.

 

 

Summer Camp Save

Shorty #1 is at day camp this week.  This is her third of four different weekly day camps this summer.  In previous years she’s bopped around the various community centres and day camp programs in the city, happily adapting to her new comrades and surroundings with ease.  Until today.

This week she is at soccer camp.  She’s agile and coordinated so the thought of soccer camp seems great.  Plus she LOVED that she got new (used) cleats for the event.  However, like me, #1 isn’t a fan of the learning curve and this is completely new for her.  She needs to learn a skill and apply herself to the steps needed to adopt said skill.  And that for her is a major drag.

Day 2.  11:00am.  My phone rings.  “Hi.  Is this Shorty #1’s mom?”

“Yes.”

“This is Summer Camp Counsellor X.  Shorty has hurt her knee and is asking to go home.”

Soccer Camp Splat

Soccer Camp Splat

Ok.  I might have been able to predict this had I not been blinded by optimism!  Turns out #1 had taken a soccer ball to the knee which was a shocking turn of events seeing as she was playing soccer.  When I finally got her on the phone I asked if she was really hurt?  “YES.”  Did she need ice.  “Um, no.”  Do you need to come home?  EMPHATIC “YES!”

Its been a rough summer for #1, so rather than follow my book-learned parenting brain and say things like “Tough it out” or “You need to honor your commitment” or “Do you know how much those big socks cost?” I listened to my heart and said “Don’t worry, I’m on my way.”

This camp is out on the extreme other end of the city, so in the car I get for the 40 minute drive over there.  I arrived just in time to meet up with her and the soccer gang skipping from the field to lunch.  Hand in hand with a brand new friend, she skipped straight past me.  Uh, hello?  Remember the call we had no less than 40 minutes ago when you were crying in pain?  Oh yeah, right she nodded.  “Just wait here while I eat my lunch with my friends.” she says.

Right.

So the Shorty and I had a little heart to heart.  She hoped I would take her home and deliver an afternoon of non-stop shenanigans and good times.  Sorry Shorty, Mom’s going back to work.  That was the straw, she decided to hang in there for the long haul and is ready to get back at it tomorrow.  So we cuddled for a second and off she skipped to lunch with her new pals.

Then I ran out all the way back to the car like Rocky Balboa, fist pumping to anyone who was watching.  Its T-minus one week to back to school.  But who’s counting?

 

D-BAD: Airlines

D-BAD aka DON’T BE A DOUCHE.  Each week I get to call out someone/ someplace or something for being a total DOUCHEBAG.  Its when I get to vent and take out my frustration on whatever makes me nuts each week, are you in?  Feel free to share your D-BAD’S anytime!

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Dear Airlines:

Can we have a heart to heart about change fees?  I mean, I get it.  If we all changed our reservations all the time willy nilly, it would be a total NIGHTMARE for you.  How could you plan anything?  But the simple fact is that we don’t use you like we did in the good old days. Its not like we’re only flying once every few years for the long saved-for vacation.  In this day and age we actually commute by air.  And that means we fly a lot and when we fly a lot the likelihood of plans changing is very high.

With this in mind, its ok to charge us a small, reasonable fee to make the change and detract from whimsy.  That’s cool.  But the change fee and then an additional fee to compensate for the change in fares?  C’mon.  DON’T BE A DOUCHE.  Its the same seat to the same destination.  Why do you have to get so assy and expensive about it?

As it is, we pay hundreds in hidden surcharges and taxes.  That’s cool.  We pay to change our seats.  Ok.  We pay to check a bag.  Sure.  We pay for the glass of wine and crappy sandwich on board.  I get it.  Can you please cut us some slack and let us make a change without having to cash in savings bonds?  I mean, you’re allowed to change itineraries and cancel flights on us and we don’t charge you.  Right?

C’mon airlines.  Don’t be a douche!

Love.

The R&R Mom

 

Hats Off!

Can we talk about hats?  Like as a fashion statement.  I like a hat.  I really really do.  I envy those airport paparazzi shots of Hollywood starlets looking all cool after a trans-Atlantic flight sporting a jaunty hat and sunglasses.  It looks good.  I treasure the image of my grandparents out for the day circa 1964 in camel hair overcoats and matching fedoras.  Its a pretty bad ass silhouette.

But I just can’t do it.

I own hats.  I think I even look good in a hat.  But I can’t.  I feel like a douche.  Maybe if I moved to Europe, I could reinvent myself and incorporate the hat into my daily street style rotation?  Is that it?  Would that work ok?  Otherwise, I’m the lady with the hats in the closet collecting dust.

Shorty #1 and I have some fun shopping.

Shorty #1 and I go shopping.

Maybe I should have been born into royalty, then I would feel more free to express my hat love more openly.  Good for you Katy Cambridge, you lucked out to marry into a hat wearing family.  Go for it sister.  Expand your horizons beyond that little fascinator and rock out a wide-brim why don’t you?  I know people judge you for what you wear but you can actually pull that shit off.

The truth is that a hat is a pain in the ass.  They are a nightmare to pack (I’m looking at you Mr. taking up half an overhead storage bin with your Tilley Endurable).  They make my forehead itch.  And seriously, when we’re inside and need to take the hat off – HAT HAIR.  WTF!  Any minuscule amount of fashion props we’re getting for rocking a great hat goes immediately out the window when you’re sporting a crushed blow out.

So, I guess I’ll just save you my precious for a day at the beach.  The rest of you are getting donated to the School for Johnny Depp impersonators.

Traffic Jammed

Traffic jam - in my living room/ office/ study.

Traffic jam – in my living room/ office/ study.

Picture if you will, a sunny summer afternoon in the Pacific Northwest.  A rare day where warm breezes tickle our cheeks, the smell of salty sea and cedar forests kiss our noses.  We must be outside enjoying the lovely day.  NOPE! NO WE ARE NOT.  We are inside, working.  Why you ask?  Because its a Thursday!  So unless you’re enjoying your summer holidays – GO BACK TO WORK YOU LAZY GIT!

I wish I could go to work today.  But I can’t.  Our offices are being renovated you see and there’s no where for me to set up shop without the constant dulcet tones of a table saw and the fog from piles of dust.   We’re just back from our annual summer vacay and typically I would be quite keen to head back to the office today.  A chance for adult conversation, to put on more make-up than simply sunscreen etc.  So I tried to brave the construction site but only lasted a mere 30 minutes and headed home.  This is where things get interesting.

 J is also mid office renovation so he too is working from home.  And Shorty #1 is home on one of her rare weeks off from Summer Camp.  #2 is running around along with our nanny.  The tutor is here, the phone is ringing, emails are piling in and I’ve been relegated to my bedroom.  I’m trying to be productive (as you can see, its going well) but as I’m all thumbs on this touchpad mouse I just marked all my unread emails read.  That’s REALLY bad as its my to do list.  So now I’m busy scouring over 55,000 emails to make sure I am not missing anything.  By the way, WHY do they call it a lap top if its impossible to use on your lap?

Tomorrow should be more of the same, with pleas from the attic and J’s office to keep it down as multiple conference calls are being conducted and kids are tearing around searching for their stuff.  I think I may become one of those people that sets up shop in the local Starbucks for the day.  If you’re looking for me, that’s where I’ll be.

D-BAD: Mr. Contractor

D-BAD aka DON’T BE A DOUCHE.  Each week I get to call out someone/ someplace or something for being a total DOUCHEBAG.  Its when I get to vent and take out my frustration on whatever makes me nuts each week, are you in?  Feel free to share your D-BAD’S anytime!

 

Dear Mr. Contractor:

Thanks so much for all your hardwork to fix our house.  The half-assed way in which you completed the job has left me breathless with disappointment.  I realize that you are being paid by an insurance company so I’m technically not your customer, but the way you completed the job makes my house look worse than it was before you started.  I mean, if it were your house – would you be happy?  Oh and the mess you left is great.  I’m really enjoying the stains and paint drips all over the place.  The open can of turpentine you left out where my kids could easily get at it was an amazing touch.

So, Lovely Mr. Contractor could you do a job right?  Could you finish it so it looks nice and not leave a million loose ends that I have to call and remind you about?  Could you show up when you say you will and not be pissed off when you show up un-announced and there is no one home to let you in?  Oh and do me a favor – DON’T BE A DOUCHE.

Love,

The R&R Mom