Category Archives: S

Reasons my daughter won’t wear that

By Juli

Lately my five-year-old daughter has become increasingly picky about her clothes. This is made exponentially more frustrating by the fact that I continue to buy her cute clothes that she will never wear, it is getting harder and harder to get her out the door on the morning, and also, with what she ends up wearing, the teachers at her school probably think that she is homeless.

I have stooped to bribing her to put on the odd Christmas or Easter dress, but for the most part, she lives her life looking like a Rainbow Brite bag lady, slummin’ it up all over the place, and she loves it. When I ever so gently (or ever so forcefully) attempt to choose her clothes for her, here are some of the very REAL reasons that she has given me for why she could never wear the things I have chosen: Continue reading

A Visit From Shello

By Juli

Before Jac and I started our (award-winning) blog, I used to do all of my writing about life and child-rearing in my Facebook status, where I would regularly write long, rambling statuses that only my friends and family would be able to enjoy, FOR FREE, I might add. Now that we make the BIG BUCKS* on this blog, I figured I have to recycle some of the posts that were popular on Facebook, because recycling is IMPORTANT, if Earth Day taught us anything, which it did.

So, without further ado, here is one I wrote in January of last year. Please enjoy.

*We do not make the big bucks. Continue reading

On New Year’s Resolutioning: Why I have decided to continue being a piece of Bologna

By Juli

Let me be the very first to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! This is utterly presumptuous of me, because of course I am assuming that reading our blog was your very first task of the year 2015. However, perhaps that was your new year’s resolution—to keep more on top of reading your very favourite, award-winning blog, and WHO AM I to judge your thoughtfully made, carefully considered resolutions? In actual fact, I admire and applaud them, particularly that one. And so, my original statement stands: let me be the very first to wish you all the best that this New Year has to offer, and then some! Continue reading

The Treat Seeker


My greatest achievement…

Dawn. The subtle, cold light of the December morning creeping in through the window easily wakes me. My eyes open, and I survey my surroundings. Dog poster on the wall, Spider-man toy clutched in my hand, other toys still strewn about the bed from when I snuck them in last night when my parents thought I was sleeping. Sleep: one of my most persistent of foes. It had slowed me down for a while, but it can no longer hold me, keep me from my main objective. That objective, of course, is treats. My mission is simple: find the treats, and consume them; find more, and consume those. The thought of not accomplishing my mission is too painful to consider—I will push it from my mind. For now I have to get moving … for the treats… the treats. They will not find themselves.

I exit my room, still wearing my dinosaur jammies. The house is quiet. Mama and Daddy must still be upstairs, in bed. I consider my options. The advent calendars are on the counter, tantalizingly within reach of my small, adorable hands. Oh, advent calendars— how I long for those treasure troves, full to the brim of delicious chocolate treats nesting teasingly behind tiny, enticing doors. I know I could tear those flimsy things open and have immediate access to all the wondrous treats inside, but I also know the trouble that decision would inevitably bring. For it is the adults who are the keepers of the treats, and with them it has been my experience that a softer touch, like a single persistent whine, or continuously asking for treats in a repetitive and constant manner will inevitably result in a more steady supply of treats. In my position, of course, it is important to think long-term.

And so I bypass the advent calendars, and instead make my way upstairs. I find Mama and Daddy sleeping in their bed. This is always curious to me, how these people could so easily be eating treats, and yet they choose to sleep? I nudge the mama one. She groans, and turns over. I nudge her again. I’ve played it cool long enough—I decide to make an attempt.

“Mama?” I say, making my voice as sweet and engaging as possible. “Can I have some treats? I want a treat.”

She looks at me, groggily. “You, what? No. You can’t have a treat! It’s still dark outside—please. Go back to bed.”

She buries her head in the pillow. I weigh my options. I have had success with this mama one before, but I decide to try another angle. I gently, silently, like a silver fox stalking it’s prey, stroll over to the daddy’s side of the bed. He is asleep—I begin repeatedly poking at the exposed flesh of his back with my finger. I choose my words carefully, and prepare my eyes so that they are just moist enough, my brows furrowed ever-so slightly, so I look as pitiful as I possibly can, almost sickly. And then:

“Daddy,” I say, sweetly and sorrowfully, “I’m hungry. Can I just have a treat?”

I make sure my voice goes up slightly at the end, to indicate the hope it would provide to my desperate situation to be granted a treat, or two, or five. Daddy is not in a good mood, as it turns out.

“Go back to sleep. No treats, it’s sleeptime,” he grunts.

I weigh my options, yet again. I can keep going with this technique, though it may not be as effective as I might hope. Or I can loosen them up with another request—pave the way to a later treat. I go back around to the mama’s side.

“Mama? Mama? Can I play on the iPad?”

She grunts and hands me the iPad. Excellent. These adults … they’ll do anything for a few more minutes of sleep. It’s disgusting, really. I enjoy a few minutes on the iPad, until the mama’s alarm goes off, and she realizes how late it is. She flies out of bed and heads downstairs to get my brother ready for school. I decide it’s as good a time as any to ask for a treat.

“Mama! A treat? Can I have a Trrrreat?”

Busy throwing sandwiches together and matching socks from the dryer, she barely has time to look up at me and say: “Ah! Not right now!”

It’s what I’ve been waiting for.

“When Mama? Wheen? Whhhhhennnnnn? When can I have a treat?”
“You need to eat your BREAKFAST!”
“After I eat breakfast can I have a treat?? Please! Oh, pretty please with a cherry on top, mamaaaaa?!”
“We’ll see!”

Again, what I’ve been waiting for. I scarf down two bites of the Cheerios she has hastily thrust before me, and open my Cheerio-filled mouth to speak. The plan is working perfectly.

“I athe ma thhheeerios, can Ah hathve a treeat?”
“Finish your Cheerios!”
I scarf down two more bites.
“Now, mama!? Can I hathve my advent thchocolate?”
She has her head in the fridge. “Did you finish your Cheerios?”
“I don’t WAANT anymore. I’m full of Cheerios!” I muster.
She sighs. “Two more bites, and THEN you’re done.”

Perfect. I take two microscopic bites of cheerio dust and then set upon her, once again.

“I’m FINISHED! Now you said I could have my advent chocolate!”

She sighs, and looks up at the roof. I don’t know why she does that.

“FINE.” She says. “Have your advent chocolate. But that’s IT. NO MORE TREATS until at least after lunch! So, please, STOP ASKING!”

And with that, I know that the game is once again afoot. I wrestle the hard-won advent chocolate from its magic christmassy cardboard door, my thoughts churning all the while around the newest barrier between me and the treats—lunch. My strategy: continue to ask for them, before, after and during lunch. That’ll work.

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.



: 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!

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.)



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


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.


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.

“Hello, Man.”

My daughter has always been one of the “friendly sort,” the type of child who will talk to anyone, everyone and everything, and as sweet as it is, it has made for some awkward and terrifying times. When she was a toddler she was always gunning for the strangest person at the park— because that was the person she wanted to smile at, touch, and/or suck on. It’s a beautiful thing, really, it is, that she is so accepting of all types of people: she is an example to us all of acceptance, empathy and compassion. But by the power of a mother’s anxiety vested in me by … my uterus, I guess, I pronounce myself freaked out by this, and often quite embarrassed. Along with her general friendliness can come a lack of cultural sensitivity … Or any kind of sensitivity, as a matter of fact. When she was two years old I was pulling her out of her carseat when she spotted a kindly, turban-clad Indian neighbour of ours. Her eyes grew wide, and she pointed at him, screeching, “Look, Mommy! A PIRATE! A pirate, mommy!!”

I don’t always have the privilege of overhearing her conversations with strangers, if, for example, she is riding her bike home from the park and I am huffing and puffing behind her and her brother in my flip-flops, trying to keep up. This is what happened the other day. I could see her on the street ahead of me, eyeing a brusque-looking neighbour, who was in his driveway tinkering with his motorcycle and minding his own business. He was big, bearded and not particularly friendly looking. S stopped, chirped a few words to the man, listened to his deep, baritone reply and, satisfied, carried on down the street. I couldn’t make out the content of this little exchange, but it made me nervous, so I started walking a little faster. When I finally flip-flopped my way up to where he was, he called out, and I noticed he’d been waiting for me. His expression was soft.
“Do you want to know what she said?” He said, looking amused.
“Oh! Sure!” I said, not doing a good job of hiding my surprise.
He cleared his throat, “She said, ‘Hello, man. What you doing? I’m just riding my bike back home. I’ll see you later, okay?'” He was smiling, clearly delighted to share this with me.
I chuckled, “That sounds like her!”
“She’s sweet.” He said, and turned his attention back to his tinkering.

I know I have to get used to it—that my daughter likes and wants to connect with all kinds of people—and it does appear that the more intimidating, weird, or “different” they might seem, the more appealing they are to her. This has been true since the moment she flashed a gooey, 9-month-old grin and reached her chubby arms out for the homeless man with the yellow teeth and the SEVERAL pet rats. Even though I smiled and carried on without stopping (on account of the SEVERAL pet rats),* it was nice to see how much she made his face light up. She’s got no pretensions, no defences, no prejudices, no anxiety or fear when it comes to other people, and this is both sweet and terrifying, embarrassing and inspiring. I can’t wait to watch her grow into the amazing and empathetic woman I just know she will be. I just hope we make it there without me having a heart attack.

My charming girl. She is the type of kid who would look past your outward appearance, and the amount of rats you own, and still ask if she can have a bite of whatever you're eating, or if she can take something home from your house.

My charming girl. She is the type of kid who would look past your outward appearance, and the amount of rats you own, and still ask if she can have a bite of whatever you’re eating, or if she can take something home from your house.


*Not sure if I was clear how many rats there were. It was SEVERAL. SEVERAL pet rats.

Knock, knock

“Tell a joke, mommy,” S said, as she and I lounged in the backyard one sunny afternoon. “Uh …” I said, because nobody has asked me to tell them a joke in a long time. All of a sudden I had the same anxiety I had in high school when one of the “cool kids” introduced me to someone and said, “She’s really funny. Say something funny, Juliana.” Gulp.

My kids are naturally gifted when it comes to spontaneous, physical comedy bits. They get this from their father.

My kids are naturally gifted when it comes to spontaneous, physical comedy bits. They get this from their father.

I blame S’s sudden interest in jokes on a joke book that her brother A took out from the school library (for two weeks in a row, unfortunately). For those two weeks I was hearing the same TERRIBLE jokes over and over and over again. (A: “What did the frog order from the fast food restaurant, Mommy?” Me: “I don’t know, what?” A: “A side of flies and a diet croak!” Me: “Ha … ha … huunngh” (curls into fetal position).

So now S wants a joke. I scour the dustiest part of my brain, the “childhood jokes” part …

“Um … Knock, knock!”
“… and then what?” She says.
“No, no … You have to say, ‘Who’s there?’”
“Who’s there.”
“No, now you say, ‘Banana Who?’”
“No, you say, ‘Banana, who?’”
“Banana who?”
“Knock, Knock.”
“Knock Knock?”
“No, you say, “Who’s there,” remember?”
“Oh. Who’s there?”
“Oh! It’s a banana!”
“No, you say, ‘Banana who?'”
“No, Banana who?”
“Oh, Banana who?”
“Knock knock?”
“It’s a banana! I know that!”
“But you still say, ‘Who’s there?'”
“Oh, who’s there?”
“No … ‘banana who?'”
“Banana who!”
“Knock knock”
“You say, who’s there?”
“It’s a banana?”
“You have to say, ‘who’s there?'”
“Who’s there?”
“Now you say, ‘Orange who?'”
“Orange who?”
“… Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana!?”

And so, as unceremoniously and awkwardly as it began, my sad little joke came to a bitter end. But instead of the laughter I was expecting she gave me a blank look followed by a sad smile and a sympathetic chuckle, as if to say, “Oh, mother … that was terrible.”

What I should have said was, “A side of flies and a diet croak,” because in my house—in the 3-6 age demographic, at least—that punchline kills.


I like to think of myself as a “modern/chill”-type of mom, the kind of mom who, if my kids have questions about sexuality or private parts, I will talk to them openly about it, and won’t shame them, or snicker about it while I give my husband a look (at least, not until they’re in bed, that is). When they bring it up (which they will, probably at the most inappropriate of times) I have resolved to look at them seriously, and with love, and to make it an open and acceptable conversation that they know they are welcome to engage in with me any time. This helps me with my irrational fear that they will end up learning about sex “on the street” (P.S. What street do you go to for learning about sex?)

So one afternoon as our family of four sat in a hot tub, I noticed S was very interested in my breasts. It was a bit creepy, to be honest, but I thought, sure, I’ll allow it. Then she floated over and climbed on my lap, facing me, her mouth pursed and serious, her eyes wide and transfixed. Then her little hands drifted slowly up through the water, and began to gently cup them. Before I had time to comment she said, matter of factly, “I’m just touching your bressels, Mommy.” My ever-alert husband chimed in to gently correct her: “You mean ‘breasts,’ honey.”


When you’re three, there’s a lot to ponder.

I thought I would perhaps use this as a teachable moment, so I launched into it. “Breasts are something only women have, and when you grow up, you’ll have breasts too! And they are very special; if you decide to have babies they will start to make milk, and you can feed your babies from your breasts! But breasts are private parts too, sweetie, and only you should be able to touch your breasts, because they are private.” (I considered adding, “or your husband” But I thought to myself, why volunteer information? This is enough for today.) “If you have any questions about breasts, you can ask me anything you want, ok?”

She was quiet, then, for a few moments, her mouth twisting right and left. I braced myself, thinking, here it comes, she’s brewing a big one. I prepared my serious expression and loving gaze.

Then she opened her mouth: “Mommy, if Spider-Man came here, what would happen to your breasts?”

Aaaand: speechless.

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