Friday, December 31, 2010

Pushed to the Edge

Just when I thought my stress levels would start evening out a bit after the holidays - guess what? Surprise, surprise - they haven't. If anything I may have hit a new high on the old stress scale. What with our current kitchen reno situation and - gasp! not having a dishwasher for like 3 weeks now - things (my patience, namely) have been quickly falling to the wayside.

We've been holed up in our (yikes! unfinished) basement until the renos are complete, speaking of which, seem to be taking waaay longer than anticipated. But I did anticipate this, actually. These projects always take twice as long as you originally plan. Especially when your husband insists on doing all the work himself.

I'm trying hard to keep my mouth shut until things go really wrong. Should it come down to it -  I have Mike Holmes on speed dial, but for now, I'm zipping it. Hubs has been getting enough hassle from my mother-in-law, who insists on telling him her dreams of beams falling down and killing him instantly. At least I'm not that neurotic.

Also, being off on "vacation" this week with a very bossy, constantly-needing-to-be-entertained 4.5 year old, hasn't helped matters. Its bad enough I feel as if I've been abducted and forced to live in someone's creepy basement (without having "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" playing repeatedly on a dusty old tube television and a kid yelling "Draw a skeleton, mouse, snail, insert random animal or object here picture, Mommy!").

After a few days of this, I've lost whatever reason I may have started out with. Like yesterday for example. In a desperate attempt to flee from the hammering, drilling & welding sparks seen flying from my home, I grabbed Ciaran and dragged him to the nearest mall, which happens to be the size of an entire city block. Not exactly clear thinking on my part. True, it wasn't boxing day, but in these parts "boxing week" gives half the city the idea to mill about aimlessly, looking for so-called bargains.

Normally, I wouldn't have braved that crowd, but my dear, delusional hubby, obviously blinded by his love for me, purchased a beautiful sweater gift for a size 4!! I am definitely not a size 4 - to be honest, I don't think I ever have been.

To make a long story short, we didn't return the sweater. There was a huge lineup and I don't do well with lineups - especially with a kid in tow. But we did end up taking this beauty home:

Ciaran enjoying his latest toy catch!
There was no logical reason for me to buy this for my son. He'd just gotten a sh!tload of toys for Christmas only days before. Strangers walking by the lineup to pay were looking at me like I'd lost my mind. The thing is bigger than he is.

I suppose I had gone a little insane - at least temporarily. I was tired and sweaty and I really needed the whining to stop. Also, I felt guilty because earlier that day he wouldn't get in his car seat and I said something to the effect that if he didn't I'd beat his ass. Oh, I didn't mean it. I never even usually talk like that, but I had that anxious, over-whelmed feeling I get when I'm being pushed to my limit.

A woman getting out of her car next to us gave me a really dirty look after hearing me. But she had the privilege of going shopping with her male friend without any kids tagging along. I'm sure I've given that same look to frazzled mothers back in my know-it-all pre-child days. So I didn't take it all that personally. One day she'll understand. And maybe even end up lugging a giant fish pillow home with her.

Anyway, Ciaran thinks it's pretty cool that I bought him a giant catfish at the mall. And I decided I'm not going to live my life with regrets anymore. Besides, it kind of goes with the psycho / abductor decor we have going on right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Must be Santa

I just realized that every one of my posts since the beginning of November have been about Christmas in some form or another (yes, all 3 of them - what can I say - it's a nutso time of the year). And... this post will be no different. It seems the whole world revolves around December 25 - even more so when you have kids.

But you know what? I love it. Yes, it's stressful and nerve-wracking and can cause mental anguish (when you can't find that one gift your kid really, really wants) and physical pain (like the blisters on my feet from walking up and down concrete mall floors in search of a gift that will have to suffice).

But like the line from that crappy Bryan Adams song , there is something about Christmas time that makes me wish it was Christmas every day. No offense to the Bryan Adams fans, I've just heard that song one time too many, lately.

Now, I'm not one of those insane over-the-top Christmas people who put up trees two months in advance and decorates every room in their house - no, I don't take it that far. But I do adore the scent of a real pine tree and insist on dragging one home every year while my hubby complains about the sticky sap all over the car and the needles we'll find well into the coming summer months.

I love drinking eggnog lattes, and getting bundled up for evening walks to stroll the neighborhood and see the lights against the crisp, white snow. I force let my son watch all my favorite childhood holiday movies and get just a tad carried away when the Heat and Snow Miser sing their awesome odes to the winter and summer, respectively.

And in my quest to make things all magical for my son at this time of year, we've unintentionally begun another Christmas tradition: The annual Santa photo. And not just any Santa photo. This ain't your typical fake-y cotton-bearded mall Santa, ya'll. If he doesn't look like the real deal, then I don't know who does. The best part is we've been lucky enough to track him down every year since Ciaran was a baby.

My little baby Santa's clearly unimpressed, here at 9mos.

Year 2 (sporting a rather bowl-like haircut, for some reason - shame on me!)

I know, not a Santa photo, but just look at that smile!

Santa, Ciaran and the ubiquitous pig
I skipped a couple of years in between so as not to bore you with pictures of my kid (well, that's not actually true - I just don't have digital versions of them). But isn't it cool that we have a picture of Ciaran with this  I mean the real Santa every year?

The only downside is that whenever another Santa makes an appearance, like at the JK Christmas concert, Ciaran has taken to shouting out indignantly "That's not Santa, Mom! He's not the real Santa." Which doesn't make him very popular with the JK crowd, let me tell you. Apparently, I've turned my son into a Santa snob. Great, yet another thing to add to my never-ending mommy-guilt.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Losing what's left of the marbles

It's official.

I've finally gone off the deep end.

Why, you ask?

For doing this:

Goodbye, ugly beige kitchen

And this:

So long puke-y parquet floor
As well as this:
Buh bye diving wall

In the midst of this:

Getting into "Reindeer mode" for the JK Christmas concert

And this:

Still in character
And let's not forget this:

Family Gingerbread-house-making night.

Not to mention all the other million-and-one-things that go on at this time of year.

If, for some reason I'm not 100% certifiable right now, I surely will be by the end of the holidays.

Friday, December 10, 2010

An open letter to Tim Burton

Dear Tim Burton,

While I'm sure you get your share of fan mail and I do love every film you've ever made (well, other than Batman - nothing personal, I'm just not into the whole superhero thing), this is not just any old fan letter.

Yes, it's true that Edward Scissorhands is possibly my favorite movie ever. That scene at the end, where Kim is telling the story to her grandchild? Makes me sob like a baby every time.

I get teary-eyed just looking at this

You might also like to know that my husband and I loved The Nightmare Before Christmas so much we considered decorating our son's nursery Jack and Sally style. But friends and family intervened - they didn't think little skeletons decorating the walls would be appropriate for a newborn. However, knowing what I do now, I beg to differ.

I know that you've recently visited Toronto, so you're aware of our dipping temperatures, overplayed holiday music, frantic shoppers and children making their yearly wish lists (not exclusive to Toronto, of course). But it brings me to the point of my letter. I need your help with something - something I'm convinced only YOU can pull off.

It's not as if I haven't tried everything I could think of. For weeks I've been combing the web, to no avail. In desperation, I even appealed to a certain jolly man with a white beard and red suit, but alas, he is not as magical as he would have me believe. There are some requests even he can't deliver on and well...that's where you come in.

You see, my little boy is completely obsessed with a creation of yours from a certain movie called Beetle Juice. Not only the title character, but everyone in it, and in particular, The House, aka Adam & Barbara's House. He knows every nook and cranny of that house, can tell you about every window, door, step and hallway, you name it, he's memorized it.

A typical evening at home

I know it's unusual, and trust me, I don't encourage it. But if I don't let him watch his favorite scenes repeatedly, there's hell to pay. Have you ever dealt with an tantrum-throwing Junior Kindergarten-er, Tim? Let's just say it makes Beetle Juice himself look like a freaking saint.

In my darling son's frenzy to re-create the Beetle Juice house, he's torn apart my home, using furniture, cushions, Tupperware - anything he can get his busy little hands on to build it. Being the artist you are, I'm sure you can appreciate his creativity.

His latest rendition

However, my dilemma is this: The only thing this child wants for Christmas is the Beetle Juice house. Yes, it's my dumb luck that his little heart is set on a toy from a movie going on 23 years ago, which to my knowledge (and I have done my homework) has never existed. Oh, I've found Adam and Barbara Maitland action figures and tons of Beetle Juice dolls, but not one house was ever constructed.

Well, except this one:

My husband's solution to all of this is to order the above. And, although he means well hubby's obviously lost his mind. This $75USD ceramic work of art just will not do. Mostly BECAUSE IT'S CERAMIC. Read: Highly breakable. Not ideal material for a 4.5 year old boy's Christmas gift.

So, what do you say, Timmy - can you help a Mama out? Call in one of your... I don't know, production people or something and have them whip up a toy Beetle Juice house? I mean, it can't be that difficult. If you can make Johnny Deep look ugly, then anything's possible, right?

One last thing - I realize you probably aren't in the habit of perusing "Mom Blogs", but who knows? Maybe on that off chance you're searching for the next #BurtonStory... also, if anyone else has any suggestions - tell me, please!

Yours truly,

Ciaran's mom.
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