Category Archives: Momversations

Two Fun Moms on Instagram!

Alternate title: How Jac convinces Juli to do things.

Here’s what you need to know before you enjoy this glimpse into our Facebook Messenger conversations. 1) Jac has been on Instagram for a while and kind of loves it. 2) Juli is not on Instagram, but she chats on Facebook all the time and is an expert at conjuring perfect gifs, instantly. 

Jac: Hey. I stole your picture from yesterday’s post and put it on Instagram. You don’t want me to tag you, do you? Or do you? You should start an Instagram account already, called onefunjuli. It’s fun over there and then we could interact with each other and it would be great!

Juli: Hi! You can tag me. I should start an account. I will get Spence to show me how. Continue reading

TwoFunMom FAQs

Here at TwoFunMoms we get unsolicited questions from readers (and/or friends) all the time, and not just the obvious ones, like “How do you stay so trim?” or “Are you leaving Costco? Can I have your parking spot?” We do not mind any of these questions at all, so we decided to take some time to answer some FAQs in case other people are wondering the same things. Or maybe just because we like to talk about ourselves.

1. Do you ever get jealous of each other’s successes on the blog? Continue reading

It’s the Most Breakable Time of the Year

Jac: So, have you done any Christmas decorating? Do you decorate for Christmas?

Juli: Why, yes! Yes we do. And we have to make the decorating look GREAT, because it will be up until February. You?

Jac: Yes, and I was actually excited about it for once because we finally have a house that didn’t feel super cluttered already, before decorating. So we took our six decorations and we put them on shelves … Done! Here is an example of classic Jac Christmas prep: we made one of those paper-chain “Count-down to Christmas” thingys. We made it on, like, November 20. But then we threw it on top of the bookshelf “temporarily” while we tried to figure out where to hang it. It is still there.

How Jac's family decorates. By throwing a bunch of Christmas things on the top of the bookshelf.

How Jac’s family decorates. By throwing a bunch of Christmas things on the top of the bookshelf.

Juli: I love it! And when you find it again, it will be time to throw it out!

Jac: And just where am I supposed to hang it? Because G and E want to be able to reach it, but N and R must NOT reach it or they will rip it apart.

Juli: Well, the answer to that is obviously nowhere. You can hang it nowhere. And I should clarify. When I say our decorations have to be “great,” I mean great by our standards. This usually amounts to a wreath on the door, and a gentle sprinkling of Cheerios on the floor.

Jac: Of course you have a wreath on the door. How charming! Your cute little neighbourhood is probably full of door wreaths.

Juli: Our neighbourhood actually has a Christmas Decorations contest every year! We do not come close to winning. We have fun joking about how we will not win, though!

Jac: Of course it does. Is this about outdoor decorations? Like lights? We have definitely not hung our lights. We are SO LAME about lights. We do just enough to be able to say we have them. Because it’s always so cold out when we go to hang them up! Who has time to make them straight?

Juli: People in my neighbourhood, apparently, because yes, it’s outdoor decorations. We like to pretend that we leave our grass long on purpose, not giving it that last fall mow that it needs, because of Christmas! Because green is a Christmas colour! And we just have a few measly strings of lights up. It’s pitiful, really. But if Spence is reading this: looks great, honey!

Jac: Ha! Right. Anton does ours too. He KNOWS it looks bad. He doesn’t care if I tell him so, because we are a team. And that was last year, of course, because this year: nothing. But remember? We’re the ones who got literally zero trick-or-treaters. We don’t exactly have people to see the lights.

Juli: Do you guys do a real tree or a fake one?

Jac: REAL

Juli: It’s real? And spectacular?

Jac: We even went all together to pick one out this year! And cut it! With a SAW. The whole experience, including hot chocolate, took us 15 minutes. How about you guys?

Juli: Wow! What? I’m impressed. Ours is a fake tree that we got for free. And every year, Spence and the kids go up to the attic and bring it down, with great pomp and circumstance, as though they have just come from the woods with a newly chopped tree. And I stand in the kitchen and ooh and ahh. This is the ritual. And then…

Jac: And then you cheerfully decorate it together, listening to Christmas music, and drinking hot cocoa? And then the kids happily go to bed, and you and Spence sit by the fire in the light of the tree drinking hot toddies.

Juli: Oh, hell no. Our kids always fight over who gets to hang which decorations. And S likes to take out all of the ornaments and become attached to them. They become her “babies,” and then it becomes difficult to ask her to “hang” her babies on the tree, as you can imagine.

Jac: Classic S.

Here the Christmas minx is adopting all of those ornaments, giving them nonsensical names and making them her "babies." She would be at this for hours, if we let her.

Here the Christmas minx is adopting all of those ornaments, giving them nonsensical names and making them her “babies.” She would be at this for hours, if Juli let her.

Juli: This problem is better than the problem we had when she was eighteen months old, and took one of my great-grandma’s old teardrop-shaped glass ornaments out of the box, put it in her mouth and bit it.

Jac: NO WAY! That’s the worst!

Juli: And it shattered of course, and I spent the next half hour with a flashlight in her mouth taking out pieces of glass. Amazingly, she swallowed none of it. But, that was an adventure. You have a baby … How do you guys decorate your tree?

Jac: We just decorated it while she was sleeping. And then every day we periodically pick up the balls off the floor and put them in a basket.

Juli: Nice. A decorative basket o’ balls! Classy.

This was after two days of Christmas-tree ownership.

This was after two days of Christmas-tree ownership.

Jac: Right? And then we “put them back up” in the evening. We have yet to do that. The basket is full. Very full. We also have a picture frame someone gave us that plays “we wish you a merry christmas” when you spin the little snowman.

Juli: Oh dear.

Jac: The picture in it, which is the best I could do, is a picture of me and Anton and our three children. In the sunshine in our summer clothes. Baby N LOVES it. I wonder next year she’ll notice she’s missing from it?

Juli: Ha ha! Does it drive you crazy with it’s endless playing of that song?

Jac: You’d think it would. But N has been exceptionally whiney lately, so I much prefer the annoying song to her annoyingly following me around and crying, which is the other option.

Juli: Well, that is absolutely understandable. We have a few ornaments that I really hate, which I try to hide, but somehow the kids always find them and display them prominently on the tree.

Jac: Yes, they always like the uglies in the front.

Juli: Oh yes. The headless elves, the gaudy snowmen, the ornament that was a gift from a relative of Spence’s—for our first Christmas together. On it my name is spelled wrong. But at least they didn’t get the name totally wrong—like put an ex-girlfriend on there, or something.

Jac: Is it breakable? I mean, so you can drop it?

Juli: Oh no. If it was breakable, I would have “solved” that problem long ago.

Jac: Totally.

Juli: Well, I think we can probably agree on the very BEST thing about Christmas decorations: you never have to dust them, because they are temporary. Also because I never dust.

Jac: Right. Just shove those dusty things back into the box and put them in the attic till the next year! Merry not-Christmas-anymore to us!

Momversation Snippets about the Canadian Weblog Awards Shortlist

November 29, 10:45pm

Jac: Dude. I have bad news. Remember our award nomination that I really want to get shortlisted for because I have an irrational dream that getting onto the shortlist will somehow magically make our pageviews skyrocket?

Juli: I DO remember! I try to keep track of ALL of your irrational dreams.

Jac: Well, tonight I went to see if the results are up yet because it’s supposed to be announced on December 1st, and it apparently has been delayed until December 5. And even worse, there are now a million more nominees! So there is basically no chance. Booooooo!

Juli: That award is a dink. Those other nominees are also probably dinks. I’m sorry you feel disappointed. Also, thanks for always dreaming big dreams for us, and keeping track of all these things. I feel like I’m the “blog husband” in this blog marriage of ours. And by that I mean, I’m the one who does the minimum requirements, and you do so much more work than me.

Jac: I don’t mind being the blog wife. Please don’t leave me. Now take out the garbage and pick up your socks.

December 5, evening:

Jac: Even though I KNOW we are not going to get shortlisted, I have been checking all day to see if the results of our award get posted! WHY is it taking so long? WHY won’t my hopes stay down? I’m so stupid!

Juli: Would it make you feel better if I gave you an award?

Jac: Will your award help us generate lots more pageviews?

Juli: Probably! Because Christmas magic is REAL.

Jac: Okay, yes then.

Juli:

10841636_10154908917235596_623379300_n

Jac: That’s tiny. But thanks. Now we can talk about your post for tomorrow morning.

LONG LONG conversation about Juli’s post, which is about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her first baby. It’s a wonderful post; you’ll all think so. She hit publish on the post just after midnight, and we said goodnight to our blog spouse so we could join our actual spouses in bed.

December 6, 3:09am

Jac: I hope you’re in bed. It’s 3am, after all. I’m up with the baby, of course, and I thought I’d check the award results. And DUDE. We got shortlisted!! In one of our three categories: humour! Yay us! Now I’m going back to bed!

December 6, 3:14am

Jac: I’m out of bed again. Because, Juli. We just posted a post about DEPRESSION three hours before being nominated in the HUMOUR category! What if we actually get all those extra pageviews I’m dreaming of, and the first thing they see is a post about depression?! I’m going to take it down for now. Okay? Okay? We’ll put it up again soon. I don’t know when; it’s 3am.

December 6, 8:19am

Juli: Naw it’s fine. Good call. Classic Jac overthink, at 3:00 in the morning. So good to wake up to.

Jac: You’re not mad?

Juli: No. I’m the blog husband, remember? I don’t GET mad. We should post something about how we got shortlisted though, because our bloopies will want to know, so they can say that they knew us before we got FAM-OUS!

********

And so we did. This here Momversation. If you want to see this list of all the categories and blogs that got shortlisted, you can find it here. There are a lot of great Canadian bloggers out there! (We’re sorry we called you dinks. It was late, and we were grumpy, and it had been a long day!)

10836152_10154908925640596_826570146_n

Thank you Canadian Weblog Awards! Also: Sorrrrrrryyyy!

Smartphones and Friendship: Making Difficult Things Easier Since 2007

If you’re someone who wonders why people like to be on their smartphones all the time, everywhere they are, such as the dressing room at the gym or the waiting room at a doctor’s office, you may learn something from today’s momversation. Perhaps those people are chatting with a friend, making their day’s monotony a little more interesting.

***********************

Jac: I’m sitting in the change room at the gym, tapping on my phone while my kids are in the childcare room … How long can I hide in here before I have to exercise??

Juli:
smiletongue

 

 

 

 

Jac: Okay, well here I go. I guess.

Juli: Good luck?

Jac:
tongue

 

 

 


(Later…)

Jac: Question: I want to get business cards for twofunmoms. Also, by the way, I’ve been sitting in the car for 10 minutes with a baby and a toddler, and it’s raining. I’m waiting for our last day of half-day kindergarten to end.

Juli: Ooh, can we have a “who has it worse” contest? I’m currently waiting for my Pap Test to begin. Colour me excited! And your question?

Jac: Oh no!! Paps are the worstest ever. Ever ever.

Juli: Yes. So, so bad. Just kidding about the contest, though, because I would win.

Jac: You do WIN and your prize is top-notch cervical and vaginal health.

Juli: Ha ha—true. I’m just going to leave my body while it happens … So, what’s the question about the business cards? I’m happy to go halfies!

Jac: The question is, I want it to have our header picture on it, but that will take me ages to figure out on my computer and then it will look only okay (not great) when I’m done.

Juli: Okay … And your question?

Jac: I’m seeing how long I can say I have a question without asking a question.

Juli: Apparently.

Jac: Okay. The question. Would my BFF Spence* be faster at that an g

(pause)

D be willing t

o help? dasfguihjk

(pause)

Jac: Sorry, dealing with this now:
10711294_10154704135950294_1581232183_n

 

 

 

 

Jac: She really really wants her phone back.

Juli: Yes, your BFF will help. And YES. Paps are AWFUL.                                              And that picture—so cute! Here’s what I’m dealing with:

10699057_10154621556980596_1730623308_n

 

 

 

 

Jac: Yuck. Ugh. The stirrups are up and waiting. #solidaritypoundit

Juli: Thanks.

Jac: Ok, I’llfmnmkl

Juli: Hello! R? Is that you?

Jac: Yes, that was from her.

Juli:
tears2

 

 

 

 

Jac: Okay, I better put the phone away. Things are going very badly here in the van. Because also, N is on my lap in the driver’s seat playing with all the buttons and knobs.

Juli: Oh no.

Jac: And, besides, you have to take off your pants and put on the little paper gown/blanket.

Juli:
barebear

 

 

 

 

Can’t wait.

Jac: Good luck.

Thumbsup2

 

 

 

 ***********************

*Spence is Juli’s husband, whom Jac has never even met, and whom Jac likes to ask for favours. BFF means “Best Friend Forever,” but if you didn’t know that you probably stopped reading a long time ago.

A Momversation: In which we dream of time away from our children

Juli: Tonight Spence and I have an OVERNIGHT DATE.

Jac: No! Where??

Juli : Just dinner out and a movie at home, probably. But NO KIDS. Tomorrow’s going to be a SLEEP-IN, baby!

Jac: Oh, so nice! I love getting to be at home without the kids!

Juli: It’s amazing. The sucky part is when they come back, though—because it seems extra irritating for a while on account of the fact that all of a sudden there are 200% more kids around than there were before. Also because it’s likely that they’ve been spoiled by their grandparents’ dutiful and doting care and amazing and plentiful treat supply.

Jac: Oh, I know. It’s so lovely to have them away, until they come home and discover you are not refreshed and excited to see them after all.

Juli: Ha ha! Exactly.

Jac: But at least they haven’t been watching much TV so you can ease in with a little screen time? Or does the grandparent spoiling (about which we do NOT complain! … to the grandparents) include lots of TV?

Juli: No, we absolutely do not complain! We appreciate the heck out of them! Yes, TV—as they have way better channels than we do, and our kids know it, and often stay up late. And lots of those amazing treats.

Jac: Oh! So they are crabby as can be when you get them back, but have had a great time while they’re gone. Excellent.

Juli: Well, luckily now the kids know that staying with Nana and Papa is a special treat, and so, they adjust. S went up to her Nana once and said, “I am the girl who loves treats!” The girl definitely knows her audience.

Jac: I try to never complain about Grandparents, either. One of my peeves is when people complain or pick fights with free babysitters.

Juli: Oh yes. I take what I can GET!

Jac: If someone is watching my kids so I can leave them, they can feed them chocolate and hotdogs and park them in front of movies ALL DAY. I can always choose to find other sitters. Which I will not, because they don’t exist. And because of the aforementioned leaving I have planned.

Juli: Oh, agreed! We like to have a “free n’ easy parenting style” where we don’t worry about what happens when our kids are with people we trust and we’re not watching.

Jac: We’re the same, or we try to be. Actually, this summer when we spent lots of time with Anton’s family, R started to go to her Auntie K instead of me for comfort, even when I was there. Then I was like … Um. Uh-oh.

Juli: Uh oh. Was that because R knew she was leaving soon?

Jac: No, just because Auntie K was around all the time, and they were sharing a room on vacation, and she was just very helpful with R, and R started to love her lots. It was quite sweet if you weren’t concerned R would forget who her mother was.

Juli: Aw. I doubt she could forget that. Who would she angrily complain to about losing her soother? You have an important role.

Jac: True. She DID still come to me when she wanted to scream irrationally. There’s always that. What’s the longest you’ve ever left your kids?

Juli: A weekend. We’ve done it a couple of times, actually, thanks to that same wonderful Nana and Papa. You?

Jac: I left G and E for a WEEK. E was one and a half, G was three.

Juli: Wow! How was it?

Jac: It was a long time … and it was amazing. They spent half of the time at our own house with Auntie K, which made it a lot easier, and then the other half of the time with my parents’. I think a few days shorter would have had the same positive impact on our sanity while putting others out less … But it was great and the kids were fine.

Juli: That’s amazing. It helps me to believe that such a dream is possible. Thank you.

Jac: Oh, it is possible. For you. Not for me anymore because I have too many. Who can take FOUR kids for a week??

Juli: Santa Claus? Mary Poppins?

Jac: Right. Silly me. I’ll ask them. Maybe Peter Pan wants more lost boys? Will he take girls? If not, we’ll have to wait until we can divide the kids up and send them to all different friends.

Juli: Dibs on G!

Jac: Good call; definitely the easiest one. For others, of course, not for her parents.

Juli: Of course.

Jac: We are currently dreaming of a cruise as our next kid-free vacay. In 2020, probably, at this rate. But still, we dream.

Juli: Oh, lovely! Take us with yoooou!

Jac: Okay! Actually, no. Because you have G, remember?

Juli: Riiiiight.

Jac: You AGREED.

Juli: I did agree … And THAT contract is binding … But maybe A and S’s Nana and Papa would also take G? She’s cute, right? And so helpful! At least that’s what we’ll TELL them …

Jac: Excellent. I can see it now: “G, these are strangers. But I think they’re probably nice. See you in a week!”

Juli: Ha! She’ll love it. Just tell her there’s candy. And good TV. And staying up late.

Jac: True. She does love candy … Okay, I have to get back to putting away laundry.

Juli: All right. Stay classy, and I’ll see you on the cruuuuise!

There do not appear to be any children on this boat. I guess we'll just have to leave them all behind.

There do not appear to be any children on this boat. I guess we’ll just have to leave them all behind.

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.

Of Wet Wipes and VHS Tapes: A Leisurely, Rainy-Day Momversation

Jac: I have a question for you.

Juli: Ok. I just hope it’s not about math.

Jac: Your kids are both potty trained, yes? So do you still have wet wipes in nearly every room of your house? Because I’m not sure I’ll be able to do without those in the future (the very distant future, it seems) when all my kids are out of diapers.

Juli: Short answer, yes. Long answer, because I always need them, everywhere and anywhere, because we are all slobs who live here (well, two of us in particular). Sticky hands are a 24-7 occurrence. I don’t even know how the kids can possibly be sticky all the time, but lo and behold, they are. Same goes for disinfectant wipes. There’s always something to disinfect, you know? Walls! Floors! Hardcover children’s books that I find in pools of urine on the bathroom floor!

Jac: YES. That’s what I’m talking about! I kind of understand those people who have the re-usable little cloths on their diaper change tables because it saves so much waste and so on, but what do they do when they arrive somewhere public where everyone looks nice, and they look at their kid and it’s suddenly like, oh GOODNESS. Peanut butter EVERYWHERE.

Juli: Whoever invented wet wipes deserves a full, long kiss on the mouth.

Jac: Agreed. Did our parents have wet wipes? When were they invented? Because what did they do without them? I’m gonna ask Siri.

Juli: Maybe that’s why our parents are so grumpy about us and how hard it was when we were babies. No wet wipes.

Jac: Siri says: “The technology to create disposable non-woven towelettes was developed in the late 1970s.”

Juli: Ah! Ok, so they had them! Hah!

Jac: I bet they didn’t have them, actually. My parents were not the “new technology! Get it!” types, especially considering that I’m the youngest of four and I was born in ‘82. I could ask them, of course, but I won’t bother. Much easier to ask Siri.

Juli: Because you know with Siri it will be a nice, to-the-point conversation.

Jac: Right. No silly pleasantries.

Juli: And you’re right about them maybe not having wipes. My parents weren’t new technology types, either. That’s why we rented those suitcase-style VHS players from the local video store so often. But, uh oh … I’m showing my age …

Jac: I remember renting a VCR! I think … It’s a vague recollection …

Juli: Right? So crazy.

One day, when our kids are grown up and we are all watching films through laser implants in our eyeballs, it will be hard to believe that these things ever existed.

One day, when our kids are grown up and we are all watching films through laser implants in our eyeballs, it will be hard to believe that these suitcase-things ever existed.

Jac: And just today I was at a garage sale where someone was selling an entire BOX of VHS tapes for $4. Times, man. They are a-changing.

Juli: The lady down the street from me came out of her house one day in her nightgown with a giant garbage bag full of VHS tapes of kids movies, asking me if I wanted them.

Jac: Did you accept that lovely offer?

Juli: I politely declined. Because, on one hand, there is already too much useless kid-related garbage in my house, and, on the other hand, I felt that there was a slight chance that it could actually be a dead body …

Jac: Smart. Best to avoid that scenario. And also because you’d have to own a VCR. Do you?

Juli: I do not own a VCR.

Jac: But it feels like I recorded shows on my VCR so recently. I mean, when I was a grown-up, definitely. My own VCR, my own TV, my own shows … Those were the days.

Juli: I do still have a few old VHS tapes from my childhood days. Like an old copy of “The Little Mermaid,” which I pointlessly keep, just for nostalgia.

Jac: What is the best toy you guys own now, for your kids?

Juli: Besides the TV, you mean?

Jac: Yes. I mean the thing that buys you the MOST non-screen-time play? So, no iPad, either.

Juli: Ah, good that you specified that, because I was going to SAY the iPad. I guess the answer would be LEGO* at this stage in the game. My children will muck around with it for forever making weird creatures, and creating a minefield of painful LEGO pieces for my husband and I to step on.

Jac: Yes, A definitely seems like he would be awesome at LEGO magic. But does S even manage it? My kids have some, but they always need so much HELP with it. Are they below-average in LEGO-Putting-Together? It’s okay, tell me the truth. I can take it.

Juli: Yes, she does, actually! I’m sorry that your kids aren’t strong in their LEGO-bilities, but maybe it’s a good thing? Because, for example, S once made something quite unrecognizable and demanded I guess what it was, and would not give me ANY hints. And she grew increasingly frustrated with each wrong answer.

Jac: It was not a house? Or a person? Those are always my first guesses with this sort of thing. I’m usually wrong, of course …

Juli: “A … Ladder? A …. Duck?” “A …. Tractor?”    “NOOOOOOOO MOMMY! IT’S A SPICY DRAGON WITH A HAT!”

Jac: Ah, of course. My next guess.

Juli: So obvious, right? Spicy and scary are words she uses interchangeably, by the way.

Jac: I was going to ask about that. Because how would she KNOW if a dragon is spicy unless she bites it, and if she’s such a genius, she should obviously know that that would just be a mistake.

Juli: Well, that is a great point.

Jac: LEGO is a good one. Maybe my kids will grow into it. Or else my younger set of children will be more LEGOly-inclined and show up my big set? What are your kids doing right now, anyway? Mine are in our Wreck Room, playing band.

Juli: I love that you call it a “wreck” room. That’s how I know that you would be allowed to come over to my house. Are they a good band?

Jac: Mostly they turn on this old keyboard we keep down there, turn it up real loud, and then jump on the bed. Also, they discuss what they should be named. You know, just like a real band.

Juli: Of course. Mine are playing video games with my husband. Luckily it’s raining outside, or I would feel more guilty about this.

Jac: No, it’s important father-children time … Oh man, Baby N just crawled under the barstool and got stuck again. I bet babies have been doing that since the dawn of time. Or the dawn of stools.

Juli: Oh, Baby N. What is under there that is so darn interesting!?

Jac: Cracker crumbs, of course.

Juli: Of course.

Jac: And a bandaid wrapper.

Juli: Ah, yes. The “holy grail” of babydom.

Jac: Totally. I bet YOU wanna play under there, now.

Juli: Oh, babies. Get your priorities straight! Stop worrying about what’s on the floor, and think about learning to use the toilet! That will improve your life TREMENDOUSLY!

Jac: Dude, I have another kid to potty train before I even get to Baby N. I’ll be living in diapertown for a LONG time yet.

Juli: And back to baby wipes! Which we will both need for years, whether our kids are potty trained or not.

Jac: At least we are getting so good at general wiping.

Juli: Yes. We do both do a lot of wiping, don’t we? Hey, should that be on my resume?

Jac: I hope so, because it’s ALL THAT’S ON MY RESUME at the moment. “Efficient and Thorough Wet-Wipe Usage.”

Juli: Isn’t it lovely how our conversations always come full circle?

Jac: Wet wipes to wet wipes.

Juli: Whether wiping bums, peanut-butter faces, or pee-soaked books—we’re just the dames for the job!

 

* This is the correct way to write this word. Apparently the people at the LEGO company like to shout.

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.

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