Monthly Archives: July 2014

Blog Tour: Answers to Questions You Never Even Asked

So, apparently there’s this thing among bloggers where they “tag” each other on their blogs and get each other to answer a series of questions. It’s like a chain letter, except that you not only answer it, you make other people read it, too! When my (Jac’s) friend Jenn at youpinspireme.ca tagged me to do one of these, I considered just ignoring her. But then I remembered that she has been VERY helpful to me in starting up this blog and figuring out twitter and reminding me of the difference between a web host and a website builder, and I’m worried that if I ignore her, she’ll start to ignore me. But more importantly, I found that I really ENJOYED reading her answers. I got to know my friend Jenn a little better, and that was nice! I decided to do it, and I also recruited Juli to answer the questions too, so if you like this, you’ll be doubly happy. And if you don’t, you can be annoyed with BOTH of us, which is just the way I like it.

1. What am I working on?

Jac: I’m working on being more patient. I’m working on complaining less. I’m working on finding time to exercise. But for my blog I’m working on not having so much fun with it (and with social media in general) that I totally lose touch with the rest of my life. So I guess you could say that I’m working on maintaining eye contact with my family members and keeping a handle on my laundry pile.

Juli: In all seriousness, I am currently working on a poem about pee on the bathroom floor, and how I long for the day that my bathroom is pee-free. I am also working on a large cup-o-candies that my husband brought me from a late-night run to 7-eleven. And if you were wondering, the answer is yes. They are delicious.

2. How Does My Work Differ from Others of the Genre?

Jac: There are actually quite a few blogs like ours out there, but the fact that Juli and I have each other makes this one different. We really “get” each other’s sense of humour and parenting style, even (and especially) in online chats, and it’s been fun to share ideas with each other and to share our conversations with our Bloopies. What also sets us apart, I think, is the line we try to walk between honesty and complaining. Mostly, we make fun of ourselves and each other a lot, which we think is funny, even if no one else does.

Juli: I like to think that we keep it light, fun and funny at TwoFunMoms. There are heavy (and heady) opinions all over the interweb; lots of comparisons, lots of information, and lots of choices presented for parents to make, which I think often have us all feeling overwhelmed, and guilty, because we are SO ready to believe that we’re doing it all wrong. I think we need a break, a laugh-break, in the midst of the day’s craziness, and that’s what Jac and I try to put out there. The BEST compliment I have ever received about the blog, which I think sums up exactly what we are trying to do, was given to me by another parent, who has two very small children. She said that she would read our blog posts in the midst of her day’s chaos, and it helped to lighten her mood right there, in the moment, even with both children melting down around her. The idea that we could give parents a solidarity break—a “you’re not alone” when they are feeling SO alone, is exactly why I want to do this. Also it’s fun, and helps me to get the chaos out of my own system. Very cathartic.

3. How do I Write / Create What I Do?

Jac: When I have an idea, I have to write it down immediately. I just word-vomit it all out onto a computer, or a journal page, or a napkin … usually in point form. Then when I get the chance, I write it out in big-people sentences. When it comes time to publish it, I “edit” it approximately 97 times until I’m happy with it. I sometimes don’t think I’m actually a writer; I’m just an editor of my own words.

Oh, and I also think about what I should write when I’m supposed to be doing other things. The other day I got off the freeway at the wrong exit because I was thinking too much. I hope they don’t start handing out tickets for that!

Juli: Usually when the thing that I am drawing inspiration from is happening, in real time (my kid said something hilarious, or is peeing all over the bathroom floor—stuff like that), I grab my phone and quickly write a word or a sentence (whatever I have time for, before pee is tracked onto the carpet, for example) that will help me remember that moment, to conjure up the feelings and frustrations and humour of that moment, later, when the kids are in bed and I actually have time to write about it.

4. How Does Your Writing / Creative Process Work?

Jac: I mostly write with a computer on my lap, on the couch, when I should be in bed. Then, when it’s finished, Juli edits my work for me, which is SO helpful, and then I save what I’ve done until it’s time to post it online.

As far as pictures for the blog are concerned, I take pictures with my iPhone, or my regular old digital camera, and we generally have a no-filter, no-photo-shop style around here. This blog is about finding the hilarious in the mundane, and presenting life as it is. I kind of feel like if people think, “Wow, what a gorgeous picture!” they might not notice that the kid in the picture has her finger up her nose. Plus, photo editing takes time and talent, and I’m much more worried about the word editing.

Juli: I sit on the couch with my husband (you know, “quality time”), and write, and snack, and watch a show, and play a candy-match game, and then write some more. Eventually I will fall asleep, and at that point, the writing is done for the night. When my turn to post is coming up (usually a day or two before), I will send the post to Jac, so she can add what I like to call her “Jacqueline Sparkle,” meaning she edits all of the grammar mistakes and “proper” writing particulars that she is so good at seeing, and makes suggestions for ways to improve the post. I am free to accept or reject these suggestions, but usually they are great and I keep them—we have discovered that we are of one mind about many things, such as what is funny and what is not so funny (but maybe SEEMED funny to me, very late at night). After she sends it back to me I make my final edit, and then try to think of a picture that sums up the spirit of the post, and a caption for that picture. Then I post, sit back, and wait for all of the accolades to roll in … from Jac’s family members. (Just kidding. But they are wonderful! So encouraging!) (Jac here. This is usually true. But also, my mom only likes us on Facebook because she forgot to log out one time when I was over there so I “liked” us on her behalf. I wonder if she’s noticed yet.)

Juli's work station. This is very similar to Jac's work station, only Jac's has cheese instead of chocolate and a laptop instead of a tablet. Also, it looks like Juli needs a refill.

Juli’s work station. This is very similar to Jac’s work station, only Jac’s has cheese instead of chocolate and a laptop instead of a tablet. Also, it looks like Juli needs a refill.

Now that we’ve answered, we’re supposed to nominate three other bloggers to do this, too. Because of how it’s a chain letter blog tour, remember? I nominate:

– Louise Chapman at talknerdytomeblog.com. Louise and I played football together (really!), and it was awesome. She writes a blog that got her nominated for the VancouverMom.ca top 30 Ultimate Blogger competition. And she was a runner up! So she’s basically famous, and you should check out her blog!

– Kara Overton at karathenovel.blogspot.ca, a fellow mommy blogger I “met” on twitter. I love her blog. She is totally honest and vulnerable, and she is definitely a capital-w Writer; her posts are so beautifully written, personal and universal at the same time. I hope she answers these questions so I can get to “know” her better.

– Amanda Arneill at focusingonmiracles.com. Amanda is a cousin of a friend of mine, and she started her blog to record their family’s journey with her daughter’s rare heart condition. She has continued to do this as her daughter has gotten older, and now she recently had another baby that her readers (like me!) can watch grow up. Amanda may not have time to answer these questions anytime soon, but maybe she’ll be relieved that this gives her something positive to blog about, because having a new baby and a two-year-old at the same time can make you want to write negative things. I should know.

What you’re missing if you don’t follow us on Facebook

If you read our blog, we’re so happy you’re here, no matter how you found us. But if you are reading this blog, and you don’t “follow” or “like” us on Facebook, we are sorry to tell you that you’re missing some of the TwoFunMoms’ fun! In addition to announcing and posting links every time we write a new post, we regularly update our status with little anecdotes or funny pictures.

Here are a few examples from the TwoFunMoms Facebook page:

  • S just came up to me and said, “Mommy, I’m writing a sign for A that says ‘No F-ing in the house!’ F-ing means ‘hurting or fighting.'”

    I’m looking forward to that sign being taped up on our wall and left there for months, for all to see.
  • You have a belligerent toddler. You know that it’s best to give her control in any area that you can, so you decide to allow her to select her own clothing. She is delighted, and selects two flannel sweaters and no pants. Alternative suggestions are met with … belligerence.
    Toddler for the win. As usual.
  • “Good morning, peanut!” I said to 3-year-old S as I wandered into her room and leaned down to give her a kiss on her wild blonde head. “I … am … not … a … peanut. I … am … a … robot.” She declared in a monotone, robot voice.
    “Oh! Well, if you’re a robot, can I program you to get dressed?”
    “No. If … I … get … dressed … I … will … ‘splode.”
    Have a wonderful day, friends, and may your peanuts never turn into ‘sploding robots.
  • Just had my nightly talk with E, age 4, about not getting out of bed unless it’s an emergency. Decided to get her to clarify what this means. She said, “If my bed is on fire and I have to poop.” Well. That would be an emergency.

And that’s just a few of the status updates. There was also a “Who Wore it Best: Baby Version!” photo contest starring Jac’s two youngest kids (spoiler: the winner was no one because the outfit was ridiculous). There was the time we gave away a PRIZE to someone who shared our post to our first “stranger” fan. There was the announcement that Jac is on twitter, with the follow-up announcement that we got the twitter widget (really, that’s a thing) to work on the blog itself. And finally, there was the barely repressed glee when one of our posts went “viral” (by our own definition) and got over 5,000 page views in one day.

This is fun social media stuff, everyone. Just click “like” over there on the right, or click the link to our page (THIS IS THE LINK TO TWOFUNMOMS ON FACEBOOK!), and like us there.

While we’re at it, you can also follow Jac on twitter: @twofunmoms.

Or look at endless pictures of her children, delicately paired with sarcastic comments, on instagram: @onefunjac

If you’re looking for Juli anywhere on social media besides the blog itself or the Facebook page, you won’t find anything. She has, like, a job, or a life, or boundaries … something like that.

But even Juli, with her job and boundaries, is on Facebook. And so are you. FOLLOW US!

Twisted

I made a huge mistake. I bought my children the game Twister for Christmas. In my defense, I was probably deep in the pre-Christmas haze when I bought it, where I’m sure it seemed like a really good idea. I can see myself standing there in the aisle of the toy store, envisioning my children playing Twister together for hours on end, laughing and getting exercise while their father and I lounge comfortably on the couch in front of the fire, wearing cashmere sweaters and drinking hot toddies in the gentle glow of the Christmas tree as we gaze upon our happy children with love and amusement. Of course I never pictured having to actually play it with my children, who are all elbows and hair and shrieks while playing Twister, and yet every time we have played in the months since, my full participation has been required—nay, demanded.

1966_Twister_Coversource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twister_(game)

 Just look at this old Twister ad. In what world would respectable adults ever want to play this game together, especially while dressed in such restrictive suits and ties? Without holding alcoholic beverages? Give me a break, Milton Bradley.

A few days ago S, my adorable, bossy-boots of a three year old, wanted to play Twister with me. Now, I’m in for any game that will allow me to lie on the couch for five minutes, so I decided that I would volunteer to be the spinner. However, she insisted on being the spinner. Once we had the mat laid out, she drove this point home even more by picking up the spinner and saying to me (and very formally, I might add), “Now get on the mat, my sir.”

So, for the next 10 minutes, I “twisted” for her amusement. She would tell me to put my foot on red. “Which foot?” I would ask, panting, hands firmly planted on green and blue, head hanging down so I couldn’t see the spinner, old bones and joints cricking and cracking under me. “That one.” She would say. So I would move a foot. “No, the other one.” I’d move the other foot. “No, the other one.”

Then later, when it was finally her turn (because, “Whoops, Mommy fell down! Ha ha ha—your turn!”), and I’d call out, “Left hand blue!” or, “Right foot green!” she would just stand there lazily, one hand on her hip, and say, “I can’t reach that, Mommy,” or, “I’m not going to do that, Mommy.” Say what?! I thought to myself. Funny, I didn’t know simply refusing to play was an option!

It’s become clear to me that the solution to my problem is simple: I just need a time machine, so I can go back in time, get my hands on every copy of Twister KNOWN TO MAN, and destroy them. This will protect myself, and many other parents, from being taken in so easily by its bright, cheerful circles and images of active, laughing children, and we can all choose a nice, relaxing game for our children, instead. Hungry, Hungry Hippos, for example . . . that seems like a nice, calm sort of game . . .

If you’re thinking, “Hey! I was planning on buying Twister for MY kids!” then to you I say: you’re welcome.

What Does That Spell: When Kids Learn to Read

Over the last few months, my oldest daughter has definitely become an “emerging reader.” This means she is not sounding words out anymore, she’s just reading them, at least in books labelled “easy reader.” She’s quite a bit ahead of the average kindergarten kid, which was no surprise to us considering she’s always been so full of questions and interested in what all the letters say, and that she learned how to write her name before preschool.

Honestly, she probably could have learned to read a lot earlier if her parents had done even the minimum amount of required home reading this year, but we decided that it wouldn’t be good for her socially to get too far ahead. Okay, fine, that’s a blatant lie; it just sounds so much better than what actually happened. The truth is that she was doing so well we kind of just didn’t bother to read with her very often because listening to kids try to read when they are just learning is horribly annoying. (Kid: “T-t-t ha-ha-ha e-e-e. T-t-t ha-ha-ha e-e-e. Tah-ha-e. Tah-ha-e. Tah-ha-e.” Grown-up: “The. T-H-E spells the. Just like it did over there, earlier on this same page. This page has six words on it, and two of them are the! How do you not remember that? Why do we always wait until right before bed to practice reading? IT SAYS THE!”)

Anyway, despite our neglect, our daughter has learned to read. This new skill has brought changes to our little family, and while most of these changes are good, some are not. Here are some of the pros and cons of having a child who knows how to read, at least in my house.

PRO: A child who can read can take books into the car with them. This means they are happily entertained on the drive, screen-free, and you don’t have to entertain them by playing “I’m thinking of an animal!” or listening to the Frozen soundtrack again. Just buy a Frozen BOOK! It’s win-win!

CON: A child who reads in the car might vomit in the car.

PRO: A child who can read can successfully go to bed MUCH earlier than one who can’t. A little bedside lamp is the solution to all your evening-time problems. Add a clock to the mix and you don’t even need the follow-up “turn your light off now” conversation. Instead, have the earlier “show me I can trust you to turn your lamp off on your own” conversation, and then you can confidently forget to check until hours later when you stumble up to bed yourself.

CON: You can no longer spell things to other adults in front of your child. We learned this the hard way when I suggested to my husband that we could possibly go to the p-o-o-l that afternoon. “We’re going to go swimming!” G giddily exclaimed, and we were suddenly committed to that plan.

PRO: You CAN spell things to your child in front of her younger siblings. Do you want to avoid an argument about who gets the first turn to try the new drawing app on your iPhone? Promise her she can stay up l-a-t-e-r than her sisters, or get a c-o-o-k-i-e after dinner without having to provide explanations or excuses to the others.

CON: Children who can read are capable of reading things you’d really prefer they not read. Graffiti on the side of the road, the text you just sent about her to her father, the novel she pulled off the hallway bookshelf—and I don’t even want to think about the magazine covers in the grocery store checkout line.

PRO: Finally, for other parents in a situation similar to mine—those who have more than one child and whose oldest has just learned to read—there is one big pro that outweighs all the others. Big siblings who know how to read can read stories to the littler ones for you. This is simply amazing. A positive activity that your kids can do together that also gets you off the hook for something you should be doing yourself? Now THAT’s a win.

Raise a reader, everyone. For your own sake, if not for theirs.

Journal entries like this are another pro, of course.

Journal entries like this are another pro, of course.

That 70s Season

Fall is here, everyone. That’s right—it has descended upon us in all of its soggy, brown glory, whether you and I like it or not. I personally like to think of Fall as the “‘70s” of the seasons. You know—with all of the oranges, browns, golds and reds, and the fact that the pants we put on our children all have a short, flared “bell-bottom”-like quality because we are just now realizing that they need to wear pants again but that they grew out of all those pants during the summer. Also, we keep trying to attempt wearing that one turtleneck we have, even though turtlenecks will never be in fashion again. (Okay maybe it’s just me who wants that. But I look good in that turtleneck, darn it!). And we keep trying to wear sunglasses, even though the sun is GONE, people. You agree with me now, don’t you? It truly IS that 70s season; all it’s missing is Topher and Ashton.

I really like many elements of Fall, actually. I love the cozyness of staying inside with a book and a warm drink, and the excuse to not exercise (“Well, I simply CAN’T go for a run, NOW!? Thanks a lot, rain!!” (Winks at the sky and whispers, “No, really, thank you.”)) Of course, Jac no longer has that excuse, because she joined a GYM. Foolish, foolish woman. But I digress.

Fall is cozy. And Fall presents the opportunity to consume way more delicious, hot beverages per day than were ever socially acceptable to consume in the summertime. (Me: “Hey, everyone, why don’t we go out for coffee?” Everyone: “Coffee?! Yuck! We’re going for Gelato, because it’s summertime. We’d invite you, but you’re clearly crazy.”)

In addition, being PALE is more acceptable in the fall! As a very pale, nay, nearly translucent, human being, this is exciting for me. I can hide my pale legs under stockings or leggings on the rare occasions that I wear skirts. I don’t have to stand beside those tanned people in all my ghostly glory, while others comment on the stark contrast. I should clarify—I don’t want to be tanned ANYWAY, okay? Sun protection is where it’s AT—I’m not jealous of your J-Lo glow.*

Also: mulled wine. You can drink mulled wine in the fall, while wearing your turtleneck and your flared, too short, out-of-date pants, all under your crocheted blanket and NO ONE will think that you are a weird, old hippie, because it is FALL. It’s the ‘70s, my friends.

This is what Fall looks like before children. Notice that this woman looks like she could have stepped straight out of the 70s? It is the 70s season.

This is what Fall looks like before children. Do you notice that this woman looks like she could have stepped straight out of the 70s? It is TOTALLY the 70s season.

However, if you’re like me and you have small children, Fall, and the reasons for enjoying Fall, have changed somewhat. Hot drinks, when finally consumed, are rarely still hot (unless you hide in the closet—that’s a little trick for you, you’re welcome, use it sparingly.) And if you are like me and feel that it is a crime to microwave coffee (or wine, for that matter), having children has taken some of the fun out of hot drinks.

Sitting under a blanket in front of the fire and reading a good book is not really the same anymore, either. This is because if any part of you is even slightly horizontal (such as your lap. Or your shoulders. Or your head), your children will clamber upon you, arms full of their own books and blankets and stuffies. You will be putting down your own riveting book before you know it, in favour of reading Angelina Ballerina to your four-year-old. And you will find yourself becoming irritated because Angelina always gets the best role in the ballet. What about her faithful companion, Alice? Or Penelope, for that matter? Penelope may be mean, but she has good reason to be—she is always put in the chorus, and never centre stage! But, again, I digress.

So Fall has changed for me, as it has for all parents in this season of life, the season of family-with-young-children. Finding indoor activities that will allow me to be cozy and in front of the fire and not climbed upon is currently the best scenario, but not always what I get to experience. Today I was up and about playing Ursula to S’s Ariel, and it involved a lot more energy than I had counted on expending (Me: “What I want from you is … *cough, cough*… your VOICE!” S: “No! You can’t have it!” (Runs away) “Chase me, mommy!”)

But the neat part is that I am finding myself enjoying Fall for different reasons, now. For one thing, it is so nice to feel a little head, resting on your shoulder and listening to you read while the rain rages outside and the lamp light is warm, and the blankets are soft. It’s fun to sit on the couch with my family and play video games or watch a movie, and laugh together while we stuff popcorn in our faces. I like to watch the cheeks of my kids from behind, curving into smiles as they experience for the first time the humour and joy, warmth and laughter of the movies that I loved when I was a kid. There is even some joy in being Ursula, tentacles flailing around while following the frantic giggles of a bouncing blond-headed Ariel around the house. At least I’ve got Ursula’s paleness down cold.

So it’s a different season this year for me, Fall, as I’m sure it is for others. But I hope we’re not all so bummed out by not being able to send our kids outside (as much) that we can’t embrace what Fall has to offer. Just put away those sunglasses and pull out the mulled wine, my friends! It’s the ‘70s of the seasons—let’s make it groovy.

IMG_2278

Fall after children. Playing in leaves  – another unexpected bonus.

 

*Okay, I am a tiny bit jealous of it.

Blow me to Bermuda!

There is an old Disney animated movie that no doubt many of you have heard of called The Sword in the Stone about the adventures of young King Arthur (known as “Wart” in the movie) who is on his way to becoming king under the wise tutelage of the wizard Merlin. It is my son A's favourite Disney movie (but then, he has about 49 other “favourite” Disney/Pixar movies, so this doesn't mean much). I also like it, especially because of this one part in the movie, where Merlin is trying to explain something to Wart, and Merlin is getting really, really frustrated, until he finally just says; “Blow me to Bermuda!” And with that, Merlin becomes a fiery blue rocket and shoots off, presumably to Bermuda. The reason this moment resonates with me so very much is because I have had many such moments (or mom-ents, as I like to call them) with my children, moments that I refer to privately as “Blow me to Bermuda” moments. These are times of ultimate frustration, despair, and struggle while parenting, times when I just want to shout, “Blow me to Bermuda!” and take off like a me-shaped rocket, to a land of quiet, sandy beaches, where I will lay on a white chaise lounge while hunky shirtless men bring me cocktails and fan me with palm fronds. I've never been to Bermuda, but this is what I'm sure it will be like when I eventually land there.

Examples of such mom-ents include:

It is the hottest day of the summer, and the children are whining and lying on top of me on the couch, clutching at me whilst sporadically fighting with each other. Blow me to Bermuda.

I am trying to get one naked child dressed while the other one removes her clothing in frustration because she wanted the PINK princess underwear, but not THAT pink princess underwear, and we had to leave the house five minutes ago. Just blow me the heck to Bermuda.

merlin_juli

And there I go! In my dreams, that is. Credit for this beautifully photoshopped masterpiece goes to my husband, who was almost TOO excited to make this photo a reality.

We are finally sitting at the dinner table after I have just prepared a complicated meal (by my standards, which means it has more than three ingredients) over a hot stove, and the children are both expressing vehement distaste for said meal. Also, we are out of wine. My husband and I look at each other, pleadingly, over the chaos. Blow us BOTH to Bermuda.

So there you have it. Any scenario that seems just so frustratingly helpless that even if it could be helped, I am too exhausted or overwhelmed to help it right now: these are “Blow me to Bermuda” scenarios.

But, of course, I would never leave my children alone in this fantasy, because then what kind of mother would I be?! No—I have played this all out in my mind to its most logical conclusion: after I turn into a rocket and blow the heck out of there, the practically perfect Mary Poppins appears and cares for my children and sings and dances with them and dresses them up like little British schoolchildren, in the most delightful way.

Just do not give my children a spoonful of sugar before bed, Mary Poppins, because you WILL regret that decision. And then we will BOTH end up in Bermuda.

A Momversation: Introduction to a blog

Jac: Dude, we have got to start this thing. Any ideas for our first post?

Juli: “One night, Jacqueline had a dream. . . . She dreamed of writing a super amazing blog. And then a kid shrieked and awoke her from said dream, and so she decided to write this one instead.” We could start with that.

Jac: Actually, the real blog is better than the dream blog, because my friend Juli got involved and we decided to write it together. You know, half the work and twice the fun!

Juli: Would you call us friends? I mean we got along in high school, but we had never even been to each other’s houses until now.

Jac: We’re not not friends, right? I mean, you were pretty awesome in high school. And we’re friends now, I think.

Juli: I actually maybe would have even called us friends in high school—I feel like we were solidly going in that direction, anyway. If there had been a grade 13 we would have been fully established friends by that point.

Jac: True. So, why do you want to start this blog with me?

Juli: Well, it is fun to have kids, but it’s also really hard. And before we were fun moms, we were two fun girls, who became two fun women. Then we had kids and things got . . . different. More poop, less perfume. But still lots of fun. Anyways, I guess I wanted to speak out about the joys and miseries that make up my experience of mothering. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but never have I had such a desire to write—partly because my children give me such great material, and partly so I can feel like a human adult again and use real words and phrases and form sentences and feel like I’m in a conversation with another adult, and have a connection with someone who might also have that need on a day-to-day basis. You?

Jac: Great answer. Ditto. That’s my answer: Ditto.

Juli: Nice. It also feels good to say, “This happened? Can you believe it? My child did this and said this to me! Are you kidding me?” That, I think, feels really good. Just to get it out there. Because I know other parents out there are like, “Is anyone else feeling this way?” The answer is yes. “Us! We are!”

Jac: Ditto again! And I’ll elaborate on why I wanted to write this. I’ve wanted to write a blog for a while, because in college my favourite thing to write was personal essays about my life, which were kind of like blog entries before blogs were popular in my world. But when the main thing you have to write about is how tired and overwhelmed you are, it’s hard to find the time to write. I mean, it’s been three days since I’ve had time to shower, so writing is just kind of not happening.

Juli: Oh, I hear you.

Jac: I have written in a journal for years, with every entry being a note for my kids or myself in the future, so we can all remember the things that happen in these fuzzy years of their early lives.

Juli: That is amazing. I have not done that. At all. But I love that you have. I guess I should start making a baby book for one or both of my kids. . . . Maybe I’ll just make one for my favourite kid. Done. Less work for me!

Jac: I made baby books for my kids, too. They are awful. Like, with a pen and actual photographs that I had to develop. If my kids were born in 1991, these books would look the same. And the baby’s is so behind schedule. Oh, and my sister-in-law even did the pictures for me in two of them. But, yeah, you should probably feel inadequate about this.

Juli: Oh good. I feel better. Inadequate and guilty, always. But slightly better.

Jac: Anyway, the blog. Then you, Juli, my (facebook) friend, started updating your statuses (stati?) regularly, and they were well-written and hilarious, and I was like, “I should get her to write a blog with me.”

Juli: Yes! Then you suggested it to me, and I immediately thought, “I do.” And we were blog-married that very day.

Jac: Till no-one-reads-this do we part.

Juli: Amen.

Jac: So let’s tell our readers about our blog promises. If you read this blog and you are a parent of small humans, we will try our best to never:

Juli: What?

Jac: Make you feel guilty.

Juli: Good. We know you will feel guilty anyway, but you can’t blame it on us.

Jac: Share our recipes. Because we are not particularly good at cooking.

Juli: Yes. I promise to tell you to eat cookies to solve your problems, but will not tell you how to make them.

Jac: Plus, you can just buy cookies at the store. That’s allowed, as a parent.

Juli: We promise that we will keep it fun around here. If we talk about serious topics, it will be with a twinkle in our eyes.

Jac: We will avoid advice-giving. Sometimes accidental advice may slip out, but not intentionally. I mean, I think you should vaccinate your kids, but I’m not a scientist and I don’t like conflict, so I’m not going to tell you to do it. But if I’m at the health unit and something funny happens, I might tell you about it, and you’ll know how I feel about vaccines. It’s inevitable.

Juli: Exactly. Oh, brava. Well said.

Jac: Shoot, Juli, are your kids vaccinated?

Juli: They are most definitely vaccinated. They are vaccinated to the FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW. To the point that I tried to sneak them in for extra vaccines, because, science.

Jac: Yes, self-vaccinations. Against the common cold. You put snot into a needle and vaccinate away.

Juli: Luckily, my daughter eats her own boogers ON THE REG. So, same thing.

Jac: Totally. They do really like to do that, don’t they? I have a two year old who is constantly sticking her fingers into things and then sucking it off. Her nose is the favourite, but she also enjoys her ears. The baby’s eyes. My nose. Yum! But anyway, where were we?

Juli: Promises. . . . How quickly the conversations turn to boogers, though, hey?

Jac: Always. And poop. See what I mean about poop and snot jokes being cheap? They’re easy. But we will occasionally resort to them because we also promise to be honest about this phase of life, so stories about poop are impossible to avoid. Plus, I mean, boogers are funny. Have you got any more promises to make? Or shall we wrap this sucker up? Blog post number one, into the eternal vault that is the internet?

Juli: We promise to make very few promises, so that we can actually keep the ones we make.

Jac: Excellent promise. I can keep that one.

Juli: Jac, I think I speak for everyone here, reading this first blog post, when I say that this blog is going to be amazing and they will read it regularly, and should it ever have readership in the millions, they will still feel special, as though it is being written directly to each and every one of them, which it is.

Jac: So kind of you to speak for them. And millions? Really? Those are some big dreams Juli. Big dreams.

Juli: Well, you know what they say: shoot for the moon, and if you miss it, your kids will pee their pants in the middle of the McDonald’s playplace and remind you that you never should have had dreams anyway.

Jac: I cannot promise great blog success, Juli, but I can promise pee in the playplace.

Juli: And that’s all I ask, Jac. That’s all I ask.

When Kids do the Gratitude Challenge

A few weeks ago, Baby N did the gratitude challenge. I read it to my older daughters, and they thought it was very funny, so we decided that I would interview them for their own gratitude challenge. What follows is that interview. I’ve edited my part out if it because it was mostly just, “And what else are you thankful for?” and, “Stop jumping on the couch, please, and talk to me,” and “Yes, I’m typing all the words!” I think you blog readers can do without those three phrases being repeated over and over, right?

IMG_2516And so, without further ado, I present G (age 6) and E (age 5) and their gratitude challenge.*

G: I am thankful for television. Actually, all screen time! I love television.

E: I got one. Is it my turn? I’m thankful for my house. Because otherwise I won’t have any food to eat and just live outside.

G: I am thankful for fires. I love fires. Cause they keep us warm. Outside fires, inside fires, every kind of fire. Except forest fires. Because those are TOO BIG, even bigger than our HOUSE.

E: I am thankful for flowers. Because I can smell them and pick them, and have a whole bouquet—that means a bunch of flowers. A BOUQUET. I like dandelions and buttercups and I LOVE … what are those kinds again?

G: That are swirly?

E: What kinds?

G: (Runs away, for no explicable reason)

E: What are you getting? Where did you go?

G: This picture of these roses. Do you mean this kind?

E: My favourite kinds are roses. And one time I got you flowers, Mommy, because I love you and I love making special surprises for you. Maybe next time I can ask Daddy to make a surprise for you and get you flowers for a surprise. Remember that one time when I got you prickly roses?

G: My turn. Um, I am thankful for crafts. Every kinds of crafts. Especially origami, that I did in kindergarten. When you fold things out of paper. I’ve made a boat, a hat, a wallet, and a heart. Actually I just made a heart; I didn’t make a wallet or a boat. Ms. O from Japan taught me how to make origami.

E, very, very sadly: Mommy, I want to do a craft. I really, really want to do the craft I’m thinking of and I won’t have time tomorrow! I’m thinking of it and I really want to do it, Mommy. It’s drawing a heart and then cutting out the heart—that’s the craft. And I won’t have time mommy, okay? (Sad sigh)

G: You’re supposed to say what you’re thankful for.

E: I’m thankful for clothes. I like dresses! And tights! And dress-up clothes!

G: Now it’s my turn.

E: And I’m thankful for heads! Otherwise we couldn’t see or hear or talk and … we would look really weird.

G: No, our ears could be on our shoulders, our eyes could be on our neck …

E: No, we wouldn’t have a neck.

G: On our chest, then.

E: We wouldn’t have a neck. We wouldn’t have a neck.

G: I am thankful for being silly. Because being silly is weird and I like being weird, sort of.

E: Weird means silly for me.

G: Being weird means sticking your butt in someone’s face.

(Maniacal laughter from both children for five minutes while they repeated this phrase over and over.)

Finally …

E: You’re weird! (And then, looking at me and whispering because she knows she’s not allowed to call her sister that) Weird means silly.

G: I’m thankful for E because we can be silly together and pretend we have two heads.

E: I’m thankful for G because she hugs me so tight and we both play and we really do a good time.

G: You mean HAVE a good time.

E: Right. A good time.

And then they started to hug each other while spinning around as fast as they could, with no coordination or planning, and then G knocked her teeth on E’s forehead and started to cry, and then I comforted her and sent them off to brush their teeth before bed, feeling grateful myself for these two silly sisters, and also for the fact that it was finally bedtime.

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*Please note that I know how these kids of mine like to give the “right” answer, even if that answer is a bit boring to read about. So I told them that they were not allowed to say that they are grateful for family or friends or God or love, because I KNOW they are grateful for those things and I wanted to be surprised by their answers. Which I certainly was, in the end.

Six Fun Kids!

When the two fun moms get together to have a playdate, we bring our six fun kids together too! Last week we went to have a swim in Jac’s parents’ pool, and because we try to make the most of the time we spend together, we of course decided to post about it.

We took a picture of each of the four “big” kids making their best silly faces, and then we interviewed them about what they thought of their Mom’s blog. Each child was supposed to answer the same question in his or her own cute and hilarious way, but—in a development surprising to absolutely no one—none of the kids behaved as they were supposed to. But it’s okay. We fun moms can make it work. We’ll just tell you some things they did say.

 

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Juli
: So, you know how I’m writing all the time? Do you know what I’m writing?

A: Uh-huh

Juli: What do you think we should write about? What would be a good story idea for us?

A: Um … A banana with a moustache and nothing happened!

Juli: Nothing happened to him?

A: Yeah!

Juli: So … He’s just hanging out and enjoying life as a banana with a moustache?

A: Yeah! Um … A banana with a moustache jumping into a swimming pool!

Juli: ….

A: And then it could be about Spider-man, who loses the fight, and throws a moustache into the swimming pool, then jumps out of the swimming pool and jumps into a bucket of bananas, and then gets out of the bucket of bananas, then he’s covered in monkeys, and then he gets chomped by this giant Pac-man.

Juli: Um. Okay!

 

IMG_0624Jac: What about you, G? Do you know what I’m writing?

G: No.

Jac: Yes, honey, you know, when I’m on the computer all the time? Writing?

G: Um… No.

Jac: And you sit right beside me, and ask what I’m doing, and look at the computer, and there’s a drawn picture of me and Juli and all you kids, and—

G: Oh! Twofunmoms.com.

Jac: Right! It’s called a blog, remember? And we write about our lives and our kids and stuff? Do you have any ideas? What should we write about? You can say anything at all!

G: I don’t know.

(And when I want her to be quiet, she’s FULL of chatter. Sigh.)

 

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Juli
: S, how about you? What do you think mommy should write abo—

S: CAN YOU GET ME SOME WAAATER!?

Juli: Uh, okay. (Gets water). Okay, what do you think we should write about, if we could write any crazy or cool story in the world?

S: Um … (chugging water) … um … um … Frozen, goes in a pool, he saves some superheroes, and then, he jumps into the pool, and then, uh p-, uh, a giant monster came and … hurts the girl, and then the superheroes comed and saved the girl.

(This didn’t make much sense to us, either.)

 

IMG_0629All E would say when we asked her anything about the blog, or Mommy’s writing, or story ideas, or computers, or absolutely anything was “I don’t know.” So we’ll just share something else funny that happened.

Jac’s sister-in-law arrived after we got home from the pool and the kids were playing. She peeked into the playroom, and said hi to the kids in there.

E saw her and started to jump up and down with excitement. “Hi! Hi! Hi! This is my friend A!” and then she bent down to where he was sitting on the floor and KISSED HIM ON THE HEAD. Oh, and did we mention that this was the first time that they met? A was perplexed, to say the least. But he kindly went back to his block tower without comment.

Finally, I’m sure you want to know what we snacked on while we were together. We of course had fresh, home-made baking. Presentation is key.

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To clarify, this is what they looked like BEFORE we started to eat any.

So there you have it! A glimpse into the minds of our six (well, four) fun kids! You’ll be pleased to note that we will likely not be writing the stories that our children have suggested. Unless we get really desperate, of course. In that case, a banana with a moustache may start to sound like a pretty good idea.

The Best Laid Plan

I consider myself somewhat of an “expert wordsmith.” Sort of a “poetic genius,” if you will. I’m basically an artist, but the WORDS are my paint, and YOUR SOUL is my canvas. And now that I’ve built it up an appropriate amount, please enjoy my latest creation:

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