10 ways you know you’re nailing this marriage thing?

1) Your spouse calls you by the wrong name on the phone. Rather than freaking out and hurling around accusations of infidelity, you both just laugh and adopt the new name as a nickname: Hi, call me Misty.  2) Your dog sees more of your naked body than your spouse. 3) Your arguments consist of reminding the other person of the last time you had that argument. 4) When you finally get a date-night, you try to go as long as possible without talking about the kids. Your record is 22 minutes. 5) Casual conversations have been replaced with planning […]

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Get a puppy, they said; it’ll be great, they said.

We’d been thinking about getting a puppy for a while. Actually, it wasn’t so much a thought per se as a constant nagging refrain uttered in the key of toddler: the kids have been asking for a puppy non-stop for roughly the last 17 weeks (or since they could talk). Anyone who’s ever had a determined kid will know that after a while, we began to think that it might be easier to just give in rather than constantly making up excuses. But all joking aside, we’d been tossing around the idea of a new dog for a few […]

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Almost … but not quite

Much as I like to think writing is a cumulative activity — the more you write, the more you keep writing — sometimes there’s so much going on that even five minutes on another project is more than you can spare. And there has been a lot too much recently. So much, in fact, that nothing seems to ever be quite done … yet. There’s been a lot of stuff with the house: We had a new roof put on the house last month — a big change from the flat roof we had before. The boys loved watching the crane lift […]

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The Only Kids’ Behaviour I Worry About

“We have a zero screen time policy” “Formula is practically poison!” “I’d never let my child behave like that!” These are just a few of the statements I’ve overheard lately whilst trying to squeak out some writing time at various coffee houses. Most of the time, I’m pretty good at tuning out the conversations of others, but sometimes these gems just filter through. The screen time one made me laugh out loud because until he was about two and half, I would’ve given anything for my older child to sit still and watch something – anything! – on TV […]

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The mouths of babes …

I’ve been on-deadline with my thesis for a few weeks now and the latest draft is due this weekend. This means I cut a few corners to try to scrounge extra writing time. A lot of corners. So here I am, no makeup, schlumpy clothes, unwashed hair scragged back into something resembling a braid and my sweet, soulful child exclaims: “Mama! You look just like Elsa!” Elsa, his favourite character, the one whose songs he sings and actions he mimicks. I have never really understood the phrase “love is blind” until today. Thank you, little one. Linking up with:

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5 tips to help little kids at the dentist

We brush, we floss, and we don’t have sugary drinks, but still my four-year old wound up needing two fillings. After an initial consult with my regular dentist who confirmed the squishy bits I’d noticed while brushing were indeed cavities, we were referred to a paediatric dentist. I can’t say enough good things about how kind and patient the staff were. For a small child in a new, environment with people asking him to do strange things can be quite terrifying, but he actually wanted to go back for his follow up! It took us two “happy visits” before […]

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The Renovation: Before and After

The great thing about having a lot of people over is the motivation it provides to tidy up. If it’s a few friends, I can usually let stuff slide — after all who doesn’t have piles of papers, books, a selection of Elsa costumes and the last three years’ worth of kid-crafts spread all around the kitchen? (Or is that really just me?) But when it’s a whole bunch of people — children, parents, old friends, new friends — well, the hubs and I both felt we should at least try to tackle some of the clutter. As we […]

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“Scary-spiderman” and the birthday party disaster

Four is such a funny age. Four year-olds aren’t babies any longer (as they are very quick to let you know), but they are still such small children — at least developmentally — that they can be just as tricky to decipher as a newborn. Though they usually have the ability to communicate with actual words — as opposed to the vehement grunts and wild gesticulations favoured by my almost two year old–  it’s still hard to know just what they are thinking and feeling. Harder still to predict what they will like on any given day, or to know […]

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That awkward moment when you question your sanity

We’ve been on the look-out for a play centre for the boys for a while now. We’d been hoping to find one second-hand because these things are a) notoriously horrific to build and b) not cheap — as in, the better part of 2 grand kind of not cheap. But of course, so is every other parent out there also looking for a deal, so buying used (and still finding something safe) was like trying to find a needle in a stack of unicorns. With spring approaching and the boys practically bursting out of their socks with eagerness to […]

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Where can I return 2016?

Yes, hello. I would like to know where I can return 2016? Why? Because it is clearly defective. The kids, hubs and I have spent almost the entirety of the last 70 days being sick, getting each other sick, or recovering from being sick. First it was stomach ‘flu right after christmas. Then, that weird virus that saw us cut our holiday short. Then another cold that just. wouldn’t. go. away. And now… Now the littlest has been fighting strep throat with crazy high temperatures and a weird rash. It’s at the point where the four year old keeps […]

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Today you are four: I can do better, I promise.

Today you are four — no longer a baby, a toddler, or a “threenager” — officially a little boy.    You are funny and silly, determined and strong-willed. You love puzzles and stickers, superheroes and princesses, and anything with wheels or tracks.  I know you are growing up and testing limits because most of the time I seem to be telling you not to do things — don’t push your brother, take your hands out of your pants, stop picking your nose. But I also see how independent you are, how much you love to accomplish things on your […]

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An Open Letter to the Teacher Who Left My Child Behind: 

I have hesitated on posting this as I don’t want to make things more difficult for my child, for the school, or for the teachers, most of whom are fantastic — kind, dedicated and professional to a fault. As a former teacher myself, I also know how hard educators work, how stressful it can be, and just how easy it is, especially with the very young, to lose track of who’s where and with whom. Nor is this about looking for apologies or establishing blame. What it is about is awareness — for teachers, parents, and even children. Because […]

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A Night Out: Hair! Heels! Inhaler?

The hubs and I had a night out this weekend. This in itself is rare enough to be remarkable. We have a couple of trusted babysitters, but no family who can step in and take the kids when we could use some down time. So between the additional cost and the planning required, our outings are few and far between. Plus, we’ve been sick for the better part of two months (feels like longer …) and no-one has been able or willing to leave the house for anything beyond the necessities of school, work and grocery shopping. But this time, […]

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The Slow Race

We’re still getting over our month-long colds, so on Sunday, when no-one was feeling much like heading outside, we broke out the radio-controlled race-cars. The boys each received one as a present two Christmases ago, but they were too small to really understand how they worked: the eldest just drove his into a wall repeatedly while the hubs had way too much fun “helping” the baby play with his.   Now though, both boys are bigger, able to see the fun in a car you don’t have to push around with your hands, and able to ask for their turn […]

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The End of an Era

We had a good run, all things considered. The “baby” will be two in a few months but up until recently he would still take a bottle to go the sleep. It’s not good for his teeth, I know, but he protested this final stage of weening with all his thirty-pound might that we let it slide for a bit. But with a family vacation planned, and knowing that it was beyond time, we made a switch to cuddles and sips of water before bed. At first, he wriggled and complained, but after a few nights of the same […]

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A Misadventure

We probably should have turned around at the gate right after the baby vomited and started to seem oddly warm.  He’s just overheated and tired, we told ourselves, refusing to believe that after all the weeks of planning and preparing for our first family vacation it was all going to fall apart. So we boarded the plane and continued to hope for the best. The baby fussed a bit but eventually napped curled up with his daddy. Five hours later, we got to our rented condo and managed to set up the boys little campcots.  But just as the […]

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A Would-be Birthday

She was never one for big celebrations; a hand-made card and a school craft was usually all she wanted. There’s still a stack of them in the top drawer of her old chest of drawers. When I was grown, we’d usually mark the occasion with a nice lunch but not much more. But then my mum became sick, enduring rounds and rounds of chemo, and when that didn’t work to knock out the lymphoma, a stem-cell transplant that made her so thin and tired she could hardly walk. Suddenly, the occasion of a birthday didn’t mean being another year […]

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10 Things to Keep in Your “Sick Bucket”

For the last week or so, our house has been hit with gastroenteritis, aka “stomach ‘flu”. It started on the weekend with the little guy being fussy and tired … and quickly went downhill from there. I got sick on Monday and spent twenty-four hours in or near the bathroom (side note: someone should really invent a toilet-bowl headrest). Fortunately, the hubs was able to gamely step up to the plate … until he made a dash for the bathroom late Wednesday night and didn’t emerge until late the next morning (see, inventors of the world?). Thursday saw our […]

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The Christmas Dog

A few days before Christmas, my mum and dad left four year-old me with my Grandmother for a few hours because, they said, they needed to do a little shopping. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink. I’d been pining after a walkie-talkie doll for what seemed like forever, so I remember being excited at the implication that they would be picking one up for me. Besides, my gran kept a store of books and toys, all selected from the various second-hand stores and charity shops she frequented, in a secret cupboard , and was apt to let me have not one but two biscuits […]

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10 things I learned looking after a kid with Hand, Foot and Mouth

On Sunday, we had a party for Chanukah and the hubs’ birthday. Our little guy was a little warm and grumpy, but we thought maybe he’d just eaten too many latkes (!) or was teething. Then on Monday, he woke up with a slight fever and spots around his mouth and legs. Uh-oh. We bundled him up still in his pajamas and took him to the doctor. As we undressed him in the exam room, there were suddenly more spots, popping up all across his stomach and behind his knees. The doctor arrived and we showed her the spots. […]

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