Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Funny

After the week I've had I can not even begin to tell you how happy I am that it's Friday! Let's just say it was "one of those weeks" and leave it at that. Otherwise I may go on an excessively lengthy rant and I'd rather not bore, depress or annoy anyone.

So, today I'm keeping it light and fluffy and since it's Friday that can only mean one thing - Friday Funny time! Once again, thanks to Tracy, AKA The Mayor of Crazy Town for hosting her weekly FF blog hop! Got a funny story, joke or video to share? Post and link it up with The Mayor's handy Mr. Linky widget!

So, as promised last week (and because I'm still too brain-dead to come up with anything better), here are two more silly videos, this time involving goats.

Goats are amusing enough on their own; if you don't believe me try Googling "funny goats". There are literally over 1 million results. But my fav has to be this crazy critter:

Now, listen to him bleat it out with Usher:

Call me immature, but I could watch (and have watched) the yelling goat again and again. Sometimes when I'm having a bad day I'll put it on and life doesn't seem so serious. I like to think that's what the goat's trying to say, too.

"Hey you! Think your life sucks? What about me? Here I am tied up as these a-holes point a video camera and force me to sing with some horrible R&B music!!"

Guess even goats need to vent every now & then. Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hard Questions

Ciaran's been asking some tough questions lately. At first, I thought I was answering them pretty well, but the truth is, they've become increasingly difficult and I find myself struggling to provide him with knowledgeable responses.

First of all, let me define "hard questions". I'm not taking about stuff like How did I get here? or Who's this Jesus person Nona's always going on about? No, I mean impossible-to-answer questions, like demanding to know who lives in a random house that we happen to pass by.

I start out by saying, "Well, people live there." Then he wants to know, "What people?" Then I might say something like "Probably a family, a mother and father and maybe some kids." But he keeps pushing me for more and more information and refuses to except the answer I ultimately resort to, that I just don't KNOW!

Now, I am usually a very calm, relaxed person, but these constant questions are DRIVING ME INSANE! I know it's probably all very normal and that children must ask questions in order to learn, but really? "Who lives in that house?" And the follow up question to that was "Why do they live so far away?"

I've tried giving short answers and brushing the question off, distracting him, "Oh, look over there, honey! A doggie!" Or the old answering a question with another question trick. "Who do you think lives there?" But this child's insatiable curiosity will not be ignored nor is he easily fooled.

Instead, I end up repeating the same answer over and over until he finally moves on to a new series of questions at which point my breathing rapidly becomes more shallow and my left eye starts twitching like a madwoman.

And Then! There's the Then, what happened? game. It goes like this:

Ciaran: "Mom, Why is the vacuum cleaner loud?'

Me: "Because it has a powerful motor."

Ciaran: "Why does it have a powerful motor?"

Me: "To vacuum up all the dirt and dust."

Ciaran: "It vacuums up dwurt and dust?"

Me: "Yes, that's what it does."

Ciaran: "And then what happens?'

Me (keeping it nice and calm): "Nothing. After the floors are clean, we turn off the vacuum and put it away."

Ciaran: "But what if it doesn't pick up the dwurt? Then what happens?"

Me (mild frustration creeping in): "Well, it will, honey, because that's how it works."

Ciaran: "But what if it doesn't work?"

Me (taking a deep breath): "Then, we'd have to fix it."

Ciaran:  "And then what happens?"

These conversations can last ten, sometimes fifteen minutes. And depending on my state of mind, how much sleep I've had the night before, or whether or not I'm driving, I can become somewhat frazzled.

The only two child-rearing books I've read in my life "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "What to Expect, the Toddler Years" have not prepared me for these constant questions. I'm a quiet person who likes to talk only when absolutely necessary. Perhaps it's time I revisit the Parenting section of my local Chapters and read up on the best way of handling this non-stop barrage of questions.

If I had to make an educated guess, I suppose kids ask questions repeatedly like this not only to learn, but for some kind of reassurance. I remember when he first started talking and he'd hear a louder-than-usual sound he'd say "Noise? Noise?" over and over and I'd have to keep talking to him about the noise until he felt better about it.

After that "What Happened?" became his catch phrase. If you so much as raised your voice slightly, dropped something or even sneezed, he'd come running over asking "What happened? What happened, Mommy?" And again, I'd have to convince him every time that no, the world was not coming to an end. I actually got really freaked out once when he said "What Happened?" like thirty times in a row. It was as though a fuse short-circuited in his little brain. Sometimes kids really know how to scare the crap out of you!   

Now that I've vented my frustration at my son's questioning nature,  I wouldn't be a proper Libra if I didn't look at the flip side of the situation. Often, his questions actually do make me smile and some have me biting my lip so I don't burst out laughing.  I also have to wonder, where's he picking up this stuff.  Yesterday, for example, he asked me "What's jail?" But I'd have to say, his recent inquiry "Where does piss come from?"  really takes the cake!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Funny Blog

After reading about Tracy from Crazy Town's fantastic Friday Funny idea to post something humorous as an alternative to Follow Fridays, I knew immediately what to do. I have to also give props to Jesse over at Screw Your Courage, who introduced me to what I think are two of the most hilarious videos I've seen this year.

You may have seen the Charlie Bit My Finger video:

Cute, but you may not have seen it like this:

Maybe it's from lack of sleep, but something about adding AutoTune to regular talking just makes me laugh myself silly! Next week (if Tracy doesn't ban me) I might just post another hilarious parody of Usher singing with a goat!


Please excuse any spelling, grammatical or other errors in this post as I'm typing this as my rambunctious son jumps up and down on the sofa beside me, while a toy mixer runs without cessation next to me and my husband is giving me an extra loud play-by-play of the neighbor across the street's wedding preparations  (over the noise of the mixer and blaring tv). All this on just four hours sleep last night...Okay, time for my Friday night glass (or two) of wine!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Invasion of the Ladybugs

They came not in droves, but slowly, one by one into our home. The first one arrived about a year ago, received excitedly by Ciaran, who loves all things red, and now apparently, red with tiny black spots. It was plump, rubbery and kind of evil-looking, but my boy was delighted and so, we let the creature stay.

He looks menacing but he's harmless

This next specimen was handed over by his Dad as a bribe, one of many items given in such a manner, this time for sitting quietly while getting a haircut. (A cherry-flavored lollipop was also part of the bargain.)

Wind me up and watch me go!

By Christmas, news of Ciaran's insect collection had spread and good old St. Nick delivered a very special bug that lights up and is the perfect companion for little boys who are just a teeny bit afraid of the dark.

The added bonus of lights made this one an instant favorite!
Then, we spent New Year's Eve with a very dear friend, who also decided to add to our infestation  with this fun little guy.

With 8 legs, he really gets around!

By now, a precedent had been set and whenever we'd see any red and black spotted object it would inevitably come home with us. Like these recent inhabitants:

And finally, seeing that we'd become some kind of crazy, red toy insect magnets, the mother of all ladybugs showed up on Ciaran's 4th birthday:

Unfortunately, our runaway cat got really freaked out and peed all over the above giganotosaurus, somewhat  putting a damper on the birthday festivities, so we now keep it in a safe, high and dry locale.

So, what does one do, you ask, when such creatures have overtaken your living space and you can't go three feet without tripping over, kicking or accidentally stepping on a ladybug?

If you can't beat 'em join 'em!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The New Babysitter and The Man

There's a new babysitter in town and I must say, she not only provides Ciaran with endless entertainment, but she's (mostly) quiet, well-mannered and hard-working too. I leave him in her care with complete ease of mind. I've never seen him so content in my absence; I can actually walk away without the usual clingy and tearful goodbyes that mar most of our partings. Her name? She goes by Whirlpool model no. YLSR7233EQO but my son lovingly refers to her as "washing masheen".

That's right, Ciaran is obsessed with a laundry room appliance and has been for over a year now. It started by letting him accompany me to the basement to sort and wash clothes, rather than leave him alone upstairs to get into who knows what kind of trouble. He was instantly fascinated. He's always had a thing for water - turning on the faucets at full blast, flushing the toilet over and over again. I finally told him that The Man would come and yell at him if he didn't stop wasting water. I had to, he wouldn't listen to my rationale on expending resources. I honestly don't even know who The Man is, but in Ciaran's little mind it must be a scary man. Not my proudest parenting tactic, but hey, it works and sometimes desperate measures need to be taken.

Anyway, once Ciaran discovered the spinner part of the machine, (the agitator, I think?) well, he went completely apey. Turns out he loves spinny stuff too. I can't tell you how many times he's asked me what the spinner is doing, why does it turn, how come it spins so fast? Question after question about something I'd never given much thought to other than cramming filthy clothes into and peeling clean ones out of.

I deferred him to his Dad, who explains these types of technical questions much better than I do. His Dad not only explained every working part of the machine, but in my absense took these pictures of Ciaran inside of it. (This is exactly why I rarely leave the two of them alone in the house): 

In no time the kid could tell you what cycle the machine was on, just by standing at the top of the stairs and cocking his head towards the laundry room.

"Mom! Mom! I hear the rinse cycle!" And the joy in his wide-grinning face would have you believe Santa Claus himself had just dropped off a heaping sack of toys, or at the very least a handful of red lollipops.

"Mmm hmm", I respond. And every time I lug yet another basket of laundry down the stairs, my little helper races past me into the creepy, damp place where spiders hang out to seek out his new favorite pastime.

The routine goes something like this: Ciaran stands on an old kitchen chair directly in front of the washer, I select the time required per load and he starts the machine. I measure out the detergent and pass it to him to carefully dispense into the water. I hand him each article of clothing and he tosses them one by one into the sudsy abyss.

Yes, we are a dynamic duo. There's nothing that doesn't come out sparkling clean using our team effort - toys, money, household items - you name it. I dare anyone to find a grungy plush toy in my house. And coins? You'll never see the Queen's face gleam as brightly as it does on the spare change around here.

Yet, as cute as I found his washing machine fixation in the beginning, it quickly started to wear on me. He would not stop talking about it, asking even more questions, wanting to visit it after all the laundry (and other assorted items) were washed, and put away.

At first I'd hang out with him, until after the machine filled up and began its washing cycle, but he kept wanting to stay longer and longer. I tried dragging him away, but he'd sneak back down. Then, I did as other busy, tired parents do and just gave in.

So now, he stays in the laundry room until all cycles are complete and then yells up the stairs for me to bring down the next load. It's actually working out very well. I can clean up, make dinner, I even started my blog during one of his washing machine sojourns. I do check up on him often, just to make sure he hasn't stuck his hand into the machine or anything like that. But he's very cautious, and has been warned over and over about touching the machine when it's working. Besides, he does not want The Man dropping in on him and his favorite new babysitter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Whether as a result of my religious upbringing (I'm an ex-Catholic - strong emphasis on the ex), or perhaps it's one of those emotions instilled in all mothers the moment they give birth, but some days, I have overwhelming feelings of guilt.

Most of it stems from things I feel I should be doing but am not, either because I'm too busy, tired or just plain overwhelmed at the thought of whatever I'm currently avoiding/ignoring/putting off until later. Some of it stems from things I am doing, but wish I were not.

There is so much to deal with during the course of a day that many little (or not so little) things get left by the wayside and pushed back to the place where guilt begins to fester.

I know I'm not alone, so I thought I'd share my top 10 guilt triggers. Maybe you'll relate. Or maybe I'm just a neurotic guilt-mongering, freak. Decide for yourself:

1. Not spending enough "quality" time with my son. Time itself is not the issue. When I'm not at work, he's with me all the time, especially lately, now with his Mama's Boy phase in full effect.  It's the playing and teaching time where I feel I'm lacking.   

2. Not spending enough time with hubby. I can't take full responsibility nor am I casting blame, but his job requires him to work long hours and at times, he'll get home, have a bite to eat and go straight to bed. It doesn't help that we don't have anyone close enough to babysit for more than a couple of hours at a time, so date night is nothing more than a novel idea for us.

3. Our Only Child dilemma. Not to totally  re-hash my previous post, but if Ciaran had a sibling, or playmate his age, perhaps I'd feel less guilty about point #1.   

4. No time for family. My entire immediate family lives in other provinces and now that we all have families of our own, we rarely talk, other than on birthdays and Christmas. I know that's life, but it makes me sad all the same.   

5. Losing touch with friends. Same idea as #4, only my friends live much closer, so in some ways, it makes me feel worse. Even finding time to pick up the phone to say "hi" can be challenging. Especially since I forget all their phone numbers!  

6. Not exercising enough. Supposedly I'd have more energy to expend if I exercised more. But if I have no energy, how can I exercise? It's a vicious, vicious circle, I tell you.   

7. Not eating / making enough healthy meals. I try. I really do. As long as I don't buy junk food, I don't see it and therefore, am not as tempted to stuff my face with Sour Cream & Onion chips right before dinner. However, my husband does most of the grocery shopping (yes, in some ways I'm lucky) and he tends to pick up those naughty but oh-so-delicious snacks that I just can't resist!  

8. Not reading enough. I love to read. It's my second biggest pleasure after writing and slightly before my love of caramel-flavored cheesecake. But, again, other less important but necessary evils such as laundry and housework often take precedence and my reading material (literally) gets shelved.  

9. Not being career-oriented enough. I've never been one of those corporate ladder-climbing types. I've made mistakes and chosen paths I was not meant to follow (Hi, customer service rep position(s)!). I'm happy with the work I'm currently doing, although I still feel like I should be much further ahead at my age. It is nice that I can leave at 5:00 p.m. and go spend some (non-quality) time with my son.  

10. Not thinking "positive" enough. This is one I struggle with more than I'd like to admit. I've read a few "positive thinking" books and I wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea of changing your thoughts and changing your life. Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of my favorite self-help gurus. It's a good thing he's not a cult leader because I swear, his voice could command me to do almost anything. However, being positive takes constant practice and I tend to fall back into negative thought patterns, thinking the worst in certain situations.

So there you have it - the things that make my guilt-consumed mind tick. It seems to me that if I had a handle on all of the above, I could finally reach perfection. Isn't that what most of us strive for? Of course, we know it's unattainable, but it doesn't stop us (me, at least) from constantly beating ourselves up.  I am getting better at letting things go. All the little life lessons I'm learning as a Mom are slowly teaching me that some things are not worth worrying about.

    Sunday, April 11, 2010

    The Lonely Child Dilemma

    Lately, I've been thinking about our only child situation. Worrying is more like it. I never intended for it to happen - it just turned out that way. Another baby is not an option for us now. I feel way too old and tired to go through it all again. Plus, I can't imagine loving another child half as much as I love Ciaran. Oh, I know I would, but it's just hard for me to picture.

    He doesn't seem to mind not having a brother or sister. I guess not knowing any better he's fine playing on his own, talking for his stuffed animals and answering them back. (Maybe something else I should worry about?)

    At any rate, he's a happy little guy, always laughing and making up silly songs, talking a mile a minute, asking a multitude of questions on any given subject.

    I bring him to play in our local park, but we are, more often than not, the sole visitors there. Our neighborhood consists mainly of seniors citizens, and there are very few kids, let alone kids his age, to be found. It's lonely for me, with no other moms or dads to chat and compare our kids playing habits with. I'm sure it's even lonelier for my son, with no one to chase around or build sand castles with.

    So, I send him off to daycare a couple of times a week for that all-important 'interaction with other children' I keep hearing about. But, all of a sudden, he is a different child. Withdrawn. Quiet. Sad.

    I kiss and hug him goodbye and put on the "cheerful voice" I use whenever I feel guilty making him do something I know he doesn't want to. Maybe you're familiar with that voice too. It's slightly higher-pitched than normal, usually quite perky-sounding with undertones of anxiety.

    "Okay, honey, have a good day. Have lots of fun! Mommy will be back just as soon as she can, okay? I promise, sweetie pie! Okay, bye, love you!"

    He hugs me back dutifully but his eyes search mine questioningly. "Why are you leaving me here, Mom? Why can't I stay home with Nona again today?" they ask.

    Every day I'd ask him how his day went, did he had fun, make any friends? As much as I am concerned for his well-being, I wanted to clear my guilty conscious. But, no, he didn't have much fun and he did not make any new friends. The friends at daycare were mean, he said. They yelled and pushed and were very very loud.

    Then, one day, he started talking more and more about another little boy. Lucas. "Lucas, your cousin?" I'd ask. "No", he said. "Lucas my friend at daycare." He and Lucas had lots of fun together, mostly laughing and acting silly as 3 and 1/2 year old boys are apt to do. They giggled uncontrollably when they'd see each other and my heart felt much lighter, leaving Ciaran with his new little comrade.

    They both wore the exact same red snowsuits and black hats and when I'd drop Ciaran off at daycare in the morning, he'd race to the little cubbies where the jackets are hung to see if Lucas' was there.

    Then, one day, Lucas' jacket was not hanging with the others. "Oh", Ciaran frowned, "Lucas is not here". "Well, maybe he's coming a bit later," I said. "If not, then you'll see him on Friday."

    But Friday came and went, then Monday, and still no Lucas. I later discovered after reading the monthly daycare newsletter, that Lucas, along with a few other children had left the center. The daycare expressed sadness to see them go and wished them the best of luck. It happens. Families move, mothers decide to stay home and take care of their little ones. I'm not sure which one applied to Lucas and his family. But my little boy still misses his friend.

    The other day, while washing Ciaran's clothes, I noticed that his black hat felt different. Slightly more worn. I looked at the label inside the hat. The writing was not mine. Upon closer inspection I saw the name Lucas written on it. A remnant of my child's first friend.

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    Cult of Personality

    In my last post, I dished quite a bit about my Libra characteristics and pondered over whether or not my birth date had anything to do with who I am. To sum it up, I don't follow my horoscope regularly nor do I believe the stars can predict my future, but it is uncanny just how many Libra traits I feel describe me perfectly.

    I also believe that there are certain personality traits we're born with, inherited no doubt, from our parents. Also, there's the nurture factor - the influence of our surrounding environment. It makes sense to me that both DNA and environment play a huge part in determining our personalities.  But, I'm not here to debate the whole nature vs. nurture theory. What do I know? I'm no psychologist. Maybe I should have been, though.  I do enjoy trying to figure out what makes people tick!

    A work friend recently sent around an interesting personality test that had some of us amazed at the results. It's called the HumanMetrics Jung Typology test, based on the Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality. Turns out I'm an ISFJ - Introvert, Something, Feeling, Judging.  I think. Oops, I already forget. What I do remember is that I apparently have the same personality as both George Bush Sr. and Mother Teresa. Who knew?

    If you find these kinds of tests as intriguing as I do, try it out when you have a few minutes. There are 72 yes or no questions, dealing with how you feel, act, or perceive certain senarios.

    And, just to balance things out ('cause that's what us Libras are all about) I'm throwing in another quiz for you  courtesy of It's called Who Am I Meant to Be? and it supposedly helps you find your striving purpose. It's not quite as long as the HumanMetrics quiz, and although I'm not exactly sure how accurate it is, I was quite pleased to find out I'm an Intellectual, striving for knowledge. 

    My take-away on these personality tests? People are complex and can not be categorized by answering a few questions on a computer.On the other hand, it can be entertaining and maybe even give a wee bit of insight into your life. What are your thoughts? Have you tried taking these or similar personality tests? Did you learn anything about yourself that you're willing to share?

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Getting to Know Me - Part One

    Psst! Wanna know some secrets about me? Stuff I've never shared with anyone else? Well, if you are reading my posts (and hopefully someone out there is) I thought it might be a good time to reveal a little more of myself and maybe dish the dirt, as they say.

    As you've probably noticed, my astrological sign is that of the Libra. Born October 1, 19-none-of-your-beeswax. Kidding! Sort of. It's way too depressing to go there. Anyway, other than reading an occasional horoscope for entertainment, I really don't take the whole zodiac thing very seriously. I find it hard to believe that your date of birth somehow predetermines the kind of person you'll be.

    I will admit though, that many characteristics I've read about Libras describe me pretty darn accurately. For instance the whole Needs to find harmony in every situation. I must weigh all sides of an argument over and over before coming to any kind of conclusion or decision. It does not help that my husband is also a Libra cursed the same flaw trait. You would not believe the amount of fence-sitting that goes on around here. A typical conversation goes something like this: (Disclaimer: this conversation took place pre-baby).

    She Libra:  What should we do this weekend?

    He Libra:  I don't know. What do you want to do?

    She Libra:  Maybe see a movie?

    He Libra:  Sure, if you want. Which movie?

    She Libra:  Hmm, how about (insert non chick-flick, non action-film, something-we-might- both-enjoy movie title here)?

    He Libra:  Doesn't matter to me. I'll leave it up to you.

    She Libra:  Early or late show?

    He Libra:  When do you think would be good?

    And on and on it goes until we eventually hammer out the details or get overwhelmed by too many options and give up on trying to plan anything. This also explains why haven't gotten around to buying a house yet. We've literally spent years trying to decide on which neighborhood to live in. 

    The next Libra characteristic that I possess is Being neat. Yes, I am was a neat freak before having a little boy who colors and smears food on the walls and a cat that likes to barf everywhere. These days, if there are no puke or chocolate milk stains on the carpet I'm happy. That being said, I do tend to arrange and rearrange the same household items to the point of borderline obsessive-compulsiveness.

    Other things Libras are supposed to like:
    • Beauty - Sure, who doesn't?
    • Subtle colors & textures - Sounds lovely
    • Haute Couture - In my dreams, definitely
    • Gifts - For me? You shouldn't have - but I'm really glad you did!
    And some stuff Libras dislike:
    • Noise - Not a big fan 
    • Confusion - No love for bewilderment here
    • Sloppiness - Is there anything worse?
    • Dirt - In a word, Blecch!
    • Being rushed - One of my biggest pet peeves. Ever.
    Okay, so these aren't exactly earth-shattering revelations, but now you know a bit more about me and maybe about Libras in general. What about you? Does your astrological sign match your personality? Do you think it's possible that our fates have already been decided by the stars? Or do you think it's all hogwash? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Next Time on My Life as a Libra - Stay tuned for Part Two to find out even more about me (who say's Libras are narcissistic?) and perhaps learn a few things about yourself with an interesting personality test!
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