About me

I am a Stay at Home Mom. I love Chai Lattes, anything chocolate, and all of the Real Housewives. I hate cleaning bathrooms.

I've been with my husband since 2000, married since 2005, and together we have two little girls. Little Bear was born in 2009 and Crazy Plates in 2010.

This is my blog. A place where I share all the fun and frustrating things about being a Stay at Home Mom.

I hope you can enjoy, relate, and have a little laugh.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Toddler Weight: The Dangers Of Being Alone In A Car

The other day, I had the opportunity to get out of the house.  Without the kids.  Where I was going was a 3-hour car ride away, in the middle of winter, but I didn't mind.  I was actually looking forward to it.  3 hours in a car on an icy highway?  No thanks.  3 hours alone in a car on an icy highway?  Sign me up! 

As we discussed already, toddlers make you gain weight.  But did you know that they also make you gain weight, even if they're not there?  Let me explain.

I love chips.  More specifically, I love Doritos.  I believe the large bag of Doritos is a single serving.  The smaller bags are there if you want to have a few different flavours of Doritos, or if you like to have your Doritos with a chocolate bar.  I don't eat Doritos that often because if I do, then the girls will ask for some.  I don't like to share my Doritos.  If I'm going to have a treat, I don't want to share.  If I have to share, it is no longer a treat.

I also love donuts.  I rarely get donuts however because, currently, the girls think Tim Bits are donuts, and therefore are satisfied with just one Tim Bit because even they know it is socially unacceptable to eat more that one donut at a time.  If I introduce them to real donuts there is no chance I'll ever get them to eat anything else.

When I found out that I was going to be in a car, alone, for 3 hours, I decided to take full advantage.  I stopped at the gas station before I left town to fill up the tank, and pick up a bag of Doritos.  Then I went to Tim Horton's and got a chocolate glazed donut.  Then I went to Starbucks and got a venti soy dirty chai latte.  Why venti?  Because I knew I'd be able to drink the whole thing while it was still hot.  A luxury you lose when you have kids.  Then I put in my new Lady Gaga CD and turned the volume up way too loud, drove and ate and drank, had a little dance party in my car, drove and drank and ate some more.  It was magical.  I felt like a kid on spring break. 

When I got to where I was going, I was covered in Doritos crumbs, I had a bit of donut glaze on my cheek, and I had to go to the bathroom so badly I really didn't think I was going to make it.  I almost didn't.  I felt fat and gross and I slipped into one heck of  food coma that rendered me more than useless for the rest of the day.  My teeth hurt, my mouth was full of cankers, and my belly was so bloated that for a brief moment I actually thought it might rip open. 

I felt awful and was now even farther away from getting rid of this darn toddler weight.  But, it's not my fault.  The kids made me do it. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Funny Things Happened At The Walk-In Clinic

Little Bear woke up the other day with an ear infection.  I mean, I'm no doctor, but she was definitely sick, and she was definitely having ear troubles.  So off to the walk-in clinic we went.

Once at the clinic, I handed her OHIP card to the lady at the front desk, she swiped her card, and told me, "Little Bear has no OHIP coverage.  It has been cancelled."

I know what you're thinking.  What?  Cancelled?  Can that really happen?  I know because I was thinking the same thing.  "What?  Cancelled?  Can that really happen?"  I said to the lady.  "Yes.  It can.  You'll have to call the OHIP office on Monday.  In the meantime, if you would still like to see the doctor, that will be $75."  So I handed her my MasterCard, which felt entirely un-Canadian.  Paying for a doctor's visit?  What's next, declaring a nation-wide ban on Tim Bits?  Will people stop saying sorry for things they need not be sorry about, but can't help it because they're all just so darn polite?  That's a Canada I just don't want to live in.

Anyway, we saw the doctor and yes, Little Bear had an ear infection.  We picked up her amoxicillin and headed home to wait in wonderment until Monday arrived and we could call the OHIP office and put an end to this OHIP mystery.

First thing Monday morning my husband called the OHIP office.  This is what they told him.  Get ready, it's a good one...

"Oh, yes, well, we sent Little Bear a survey in the mail and it was returned, marked undeliverable.  We here at the OHIP office figured that meant your 5-year-old moved and didn't bother to call us with her new address.  So, we cancelled her OHIP coverage knowing that the next time she was at a walk-in clinic or a hospital emergency room, and tried to use her OHIP card, she would realize the coverage was cancelled.  Then, on Monday, when she called us to find out why, we could update her new address."  OK.  I'm paraphrasing a bit, but that was the gist of what was said.  They cancelled her OHIP to force her to call and update her address.  But the funny thing is, we didn't move, and no, she didn't either.  Because she's 5.  She's 5 and, call her crazy, still lives at home.  And even if at the ripe old age of 5 she did decide to move out and rent a condo downtown, she wouldn't know how to call the OHIP office to update her address.  She only recently figured out how to zip up her coat.       

I don't actually know why the address is so important.  So what if she moved downtown, the important thing is that she lives in Ontario, right?  That's what the O in OHIP stands for.  I could see if she wanted to go to an out-of-province kindergarten, and packed up her things and moved to Alberta.  But then, flying to Ontario with an ear infection would seem like a long way to go for amoxicillin, don't you think?  I guess maybe she could have flown home for a visit, and caught the ear infection from someone on the plane (can you catch an ear infection?) and when she got here she decided to use her OHIP card to visit the walk-in clinic for free, which she really shouldn't have done, since she now lives in Alberta.  In that case, maybe it does make sense that OHIP cancelled her coverage.  Hmm.  I guess I owe you an apology, OHIP office.  I'm sorry for getting so angry.  Let's get a 10-pack of Tim Bits and call a truce.     



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Toddler Weight: The Untold Truth About Having Kids

Weight gain.  That's a fun topic.  There are many reasons people gain weight over the course of a lifetime, but there are also some universal weight-gaining events that happen to all of us.  Well, most of us.  There are some people who never struggle with their weight, but I'm not entirely sure they're human.  So yes, it is safe to say that the following are universal weight-gaining events.  For all of us humans, that is. 

1. The Freshman 15.  This is like the perfect storm of weight gaining.  I drank more in my first year of university than I did the other 3 years combined.  Add to that the requisite post-bar pizza or gyros, and a fully loaded meal card with unlimited apple crisp at Creelman Hall (go Gryphons!) and you have, the freshman 15.  Or 20.  Depends on how dedicated you are.

2. The First Year of Marriage.  I didn't live with my husband before we got married, so for me, the next major weight-gaining event was our first year of marriage.  If you lived with your husband before you got married, then that year is the year I'm referring to.  When you first move in together every night is a special occasion.  You bring a cake home from the grocery store to celebrate your fist week of living together.  Cupcakes to celebrate putting together your new IKEA furniture.  Sunday night becomes pizza night.  And so does Tuesday night.  You discover a great Thai restaurant around the corner from your new place, and order in every Thursday.  You see where this is going.

3. Pregnancy or Baby Weight.  Obviously.  This one needs little explanation.  I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant with Little Bear, and 54 pounds when pregnant with Crazy Plates.  Being pregnant is really a license to indulge all your crazy food fantasies, because, who is going to stop you?  Want cake for breakfast?  Sure!  A milkshake with every meal?  Why not.  A sleeve of cookies before bed?  If that's what baby wants, that's what baby gets.  Then you give birth to a 7 pound baby and are left with 43 pounds of chocolate ice cream and French fries.   

4. Toddler weight.  This is the weight-gaining event that no one talks about.  No one warns you about.  No one wants to blame the children, but it's their fault.  You've lost the baby weight, but then those babies turn into toddlers, and with the toddlers comes the toddler weight.  They want the crust cut off of their grilled cheese, so you cut it off, and then eat it.  They can't finish the ice cream that comes with their kid's meal, so you finish it.  They require a snack cupboard filled with Goldfish and Bear Claws and Rice Crispy squares.  How are you to control yourself around such temptation?  You're not.  That's how.  When you have toddlers or other small children, there is a birthday party every other weekend.  Birthday parties mean cake and pizza.  You can't not eat the cake and pizza, that would be rude.  Toddlers and small children create stress for parents.  Stress that can only be relieved with large amounts of chocolate or entire bags of ketchup chips.  Not wanting to have hot dogs for dinner yet again, you make hot dogs for the kids, eat one yourself, put them to bed, then have dinner with your husband at 9pm while watching Blacklist.  Toddler weight is the deadliest of all weight-gaining events, primarily because it is completely out of our control, and because, as I see it, there is no end in sight.  As kids get older they just eat more, snack more, drink more juice, cause more stress, which leads to more chocolate and more chips and more 9pm dinners in front of the TV.  I'm in the thick toddler weight right now, but, as the internet community as my witness, I will beat it!  I don't know how, but I will.  Right after I finish this bag of ketchup chips. 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Yummy Valentine's DIY

Is there anything better than chocolate?  I mean really, is there?  I was at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory recently, the holy land of all things chocolate, and had one of their chocolate covered Rice Krispies squares.  Cover anything in chocolate and it goes from regular to exceptional, but chocolate covered Rice Krispies squares?  Perfection.  They're chewy and chocolaty and sweet and crunchy.  They're just the tastiest things ever.  I knew wanted to try making some because, over Christmas I made chocolate dipped marshmallows, fell in love with molding chocolate, and was dying for an excuse to use it again.
And then along came Valentines Day. 
Of course!  Valentines Day is chocolate's biggest holiday, so this was a perfect opportunity to head on over to the Bulk Barn and peruse their molding chocolate aisle.  I didn't really have a plan, other than I wanted to dip Rice Krispies squares, but when I saw they had pink and purple molding chocolate, I naturally thought...I'll make a flower arrangement!  And this is how you do it.
What you will need is
1) Rice Krispies squares.  You could make your own, but the pre-made ones are already in perfect rectangles and are firm enough to hold up during the dipping process.  And it's Valentines Day.  Not Kill Yourself In The Kitchen Day.
2) Cheap fake flowers.  Emphasis on cheap.  Like dollar store cheap.  Cheesy and whimsical is the look we're going for here.  Pick up one bundle that has many stems that you can cut apart.
3) Molding chocolate.  I chose pink and purple, but you can use any colour you like.  I bought way too much molding chocolate, but it's OK because, as I learned at Christmas, it makes a great snack all on it's own. 
4) Green ribbon.  I chose green ribbon to act as leaves for my Rice Krispies flowers.
5) A terracotta pot and Styrofoam ball.  Make sure the Styrofoam ball fits into the terracotta pot, and doesn't stick up over the top too much.
6) Lollipop sticks.  They should be a medium length.  You will be sticking them into the Rice Krispies squares and into the Styrofoam ball, and you'll want them to still be long enough act as a stem for the flowers.
7) Little bags.  The ones I picked up are called Ribbon Lollipop Bags.  Just make sure the bags you buy are big enough to fit a Rice Krispies square, and still have enough room to tie it with the ribbon.


Step 1. Stick the lollipop sticks into the Rice Krispies squares.  Easy peasy. 

Step 2. Melt your molding chocolate in the microwave.  Use small intervals, 30-60 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted.  Then, spoon the melted chocolate over the Rice Krispies square and use the back of the spoon to smooth it out so you have a nice, even coat and the whole square is covered in chocolate.

Step 3.  Let the chocolate covered Rice Krispies squares dry on a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.  I find the silicone backing sheets work best.  If you use parchment paper, be sure to move the Rice Krispies squares a couple of times during the drying process to ensure they don't stick. 

 Step 4.  Put each chocolate covered Rice Krispies square in a bag and secure with the green ribbon.  These are your flowers. 

Step 5.  Arrange the flowers in the terracotta pot, sticking the bottom of the sticks into the Styrofoam ball.

Step 6.  Finish off your flower arrangement by adding in the fake flowers.  And that's it! 

We're going to a Valentines party with the kids on Sunday, and I'm going to bring this as a hostess gift / treat for the kiddies.  If you're having a party, another idea is to put each flower in it's own mini terracotta pot as a party favour.  Or, make an arrangement just for you and eat the whole thing before the kids get home from school.  I was more than a little tempted to do this myself. 

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Why Going To A Nightclub Is So Very Different Once You're A Mom

Nightclubs.  Remember those?  I hadn't been to one in at least 6 years.  The Mickey Mouse Club, yes.  A nightclub?  No.  Sure, I've been to a bar, mostly when I'm waiting for my table at Jack Astor's, but a nightclub?  No.  I used to go all the time before I had kids.  In university I'd go out at least 4 times a week.  Last Friday a couple girlfriends and I were wondering why we didn't go to nightclubs anymore and thought, let's go to one!  And you know what?  We don't go to nightclubs any more because going to a nightclub when you're a mom is different.  Oh, so very different.  And here's why.

1.  In 4th year university I had a job at an all day breakfast restaurant, and my shift started at 6am.  More often than not, I was out late the night before, but having to work in the morning never tamed my night time activities, and a little hangover never stopped me from serving eggs bright and early the next day.  Ok, one time an order of poached eggs sent me to the bathroom to revisit my activities from the night before, but the point is I could go out all night and still function in the morning.  But, now that I have kids, I just can't do it.  I had a 6-year-old's birthday party at 10am the next morning, and that is something you should NEVER attempt to do with a hangover.  And so, I volunteered to be the designated driver.  Something I never would have volunteered to do before kids.  Which brings me to difference #2.

2.  There was the very rare occasion before kids that someone would drive to the bar.  But never, I mean never did we ever roll up to a bar or nightclub in...a minivan.  Never.  Not even once. 

3.  My plan that night was to have only 2 drinks over the course of the whole evening, which proved to be really easy.  Do you know how expensive drinks are at a nightclub?  I never thought much about the cost of my watery rum and Cokes before kids, but now, well, who has that kind of money?  I mean, two drinks costs as much as half a season of skating lessons.  Or an Elsa dress. 

4.  Have you seen what the girls are wearing to the clubs these days?  The shirts are cut so low, and the skirts come up so high, and what the heck is with all the side-boob?  Is this really what we're doing now?  Because if it is, I'd have to have my arms in the air all night because, after having breast fed two babies, that is where my side-boob is.  In my armpits.  I wanted to slap them on the wrists and tell them to go back to their rooms and put on some more clothes. 

5.  Not even before kids could I dance sober, so nothing much has changed there.  What has changed is that before kids I could at least fake it a bit.  But now that I have kids?  The only dance moves I have in my repertoire are ones I've learned from the Wiggles. 

6.  Kids or no kids, there is something about a nightclub that sucks you in and then spits you out onto the street at 2:30am.  What do you do at 2:30am after a night at a club?  Go for pizza.  We were sitting in Pizza Pizza, as we had done so many times before kids, only this time it again was slightly different.  There was a guy at the table next to us puking into a napkin, thinking it was a bag.  I had a candy in my purse and a Kleenex tucked up my sleeve that I so desperately wanted to give to him.  I wanted to get him a glass of water, rub his back a bit, then scold him for drinking too much.  Then I thought, he's puking into a napkin thinking it's a bag.  I'm not going near that.

7.  By the time we finished our pizza, loaded up the van and headed back to the suburbs, it was 4am.  Arriving home at 4am isn't very different from when I didn't have kids, but what is different is that I crawled into bed only to be greeted by my 5 year old an hour later, and my 4 year old an hour after that.  Now it's 6am and I am in  bed with my husband and two kids trying to squeak out another hour of sleep before the girls are up for the day.  7am arrives and like clockwork the girls are up and ready for breakfast.  I scrape last night's makeup off my face, throw my hair into a ponytail, and make breakfast.  Then it's off to the 6-year-old's birthday party, but first a stop at the Starbucks drive through for a venti dirty chai, extra shot of espresso, please.  While I didn't have a hangover, I quickly realized that that didn't matter.  My nights of being out late and bouncing back to my old self in the morning were gone.  My bounce back was gone.  And so were my nights at the club. 

In case you were wondering, or ever find yourself having to choose between the two activities, serving a plate of poached eggs with a hangover is way easier than attending a 6-year-old's birthday party on 45 seconds of sleep.  Way easier. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Reasons Lacrosse Is Better Than Hockey

Full disclosure, I'm not a sports fan.  I lived in Phoenix the year they were in the Superbowl, and I'm still not sure if the team playing was the Phoenix Coyotes or the Arizona Coyotes.  Oh wait, I think that's hockey...maybe it was the Phoenix Cardinals.  Arizona Cardinals?  Anyway, I think I've made my point.  Not huge sports fan.  But, I am a mom, and this mom will jump at any opportunity to leave the house.  Last Friday, such an opportunity arose.  My friend Kate invited me to a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game, and, if you've been following along, then you know that I jumped at the opportunity to leave the house.  Even if it meant going to a sporting event.  But you know what?  I actually liked it!  

My dad is wildly into golf, and growing up, for a really long time, we only had one TV.  That meant Saturdays and Sundays you could find me and my dad on the couch watching golf.  Have you ever watched golf on TV?  Not fun.  If it weren't for our mutual love of eating cookies by the sleeve-full I definitely would have found something else to do.  Now that I'm married to a crazed hockey fanatic I have been subjected to more hockey games than any non-sports fan ever should be.  I know it's Canada's favourite game, but it sure isn't mine.  But being at the Rock game on Friday was a totally different experience.  I was exposed to a level of excitement and sports fandom I had never experienced before.  And so, I present to you, the 10 reasons lacrosse is better than hockey.

1. Music.  Music is played throughout the whole game!  Cool, exciting, get you pumped up music.  A very welcome change to the slapping of sticks and clinking of pucks against the crossbar. 

2. It's not cold.  Since Lacrosse isn't played on ice, the arena isn't cold.  This to me is a HUGE selling feature.  It's way more comfortable not to be freezing cold, obviously, but it also means that whatever cute outfit you pick out for the game will not be hidden by your huge parka. 

3. Free pizza.  Need I say more?  They run a contest at Rock games between two rows of seats, and the winning row wins pizza.  PIZZA!!  That's reason enough to go to a game, don't you think?

4. Free tickets.  Didn't win any pizza?  Don't worry.  They also give away free tickets to another amazing Rock game.  Which means another opportunity to win free pizza.  Which is awesome.

5. Super easy to follow.  The rules of lacrosse are simple.  Team A has 30 seconds to score, if they don't, the ball goes to team B.  Ok, I'm sure there are actually more rules than that, but that's all I know about the game, and that's all you really need to know.  I've been watching hockey with my husband for 14 years now and I still don't know what icing is.  Or off-side.  Or a 2 line pass.  Well, I know it's a pass that goes over 2 lines, but I can't for the life of my figure out why that is a bad thing.

6. High scores.  Lacrosse games typically are higher scoring than hockey games.  A higher score equals more excitement.  More excitement is always better than less excitement. 

7. Cheap tickets.  I'm not talking nose-bleed seats, I'm talking across the board cheap tickets.  I haven't been to a Leafs game in years because 1) most tickets are held by season's ticket holders 2) the tickets I can get are way too expensive and 3) I don't want to go to a hockey game (see reasons 1-10)

8. Cool mascot.  Iggy is the Rock mascot, and he's the coolest.  Don't tell, well, anyone, because it's a little embarrassing, but I kind of have a crush on Iggy...in a weird comic con / anime sort of way.

9. No $14 million contracts.  Lacrosse players don't sign million dollar contracts like NHL players do, and I like that.  Their egos stay in check, and they're out there playing lacrosse simply for the love of the game. 

10. The fans.  Lacrosse fans are awesome!  I know, because I am one now.  The crowd at the game was full of fans of all ages, not corporate guys trying to impress clients with fancy season's tickets.  Just a bunch of crazy fans drinking way too expensive beer, loving their free pizza and their warm cheap seats. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dear Teenager: A Few Things I Want You To Know

I live very close to a high school, and therefore regularly come in contact with groups of teenaged girls.  Seeing them reminds me of when I was a teenager, many years ago.  Having survived those tumultuous years, I feel as though I can offer some advice on how to make it through to the other side. And so, dear teenager, here are a few things I want you to know.

1) Don't be the most drunk person at the party.  It's not cute, it's not funny, it doesn't make you more likeable or attractive.  It will make you the butt of the joke and get you into trouble. 

2) Always play hard to get, it will serve you better than being too easy.  You are worth being respected, and if the boy really likes you for you, he will allow the relationship to run on your terms.

3) Especially with youth on your side, beauty comes naturally, education doesn't, so be sure to spend more time on the latter.  It will carry you farther in life.

4) If a boy breaks your heart, it may feel like the end of the world, but just think of how wonderfully amazing the boy who doesn't break your heart will be. 

5) Listen to your parents.  It's a drag, I know, but they really do have your best interest in mind and only want the best for you.

6) Your friends have a greater influence on your life than you realize.  Ditch the mean girls and surround yourself with real friends and relationships that are based on mutual respect.

7) Youth is amazing and fleeting.  Don't waste it.  Don't be in a rush to grow up.

8) The one person who will be with you always, through the good times and the bad, is you, so make sure you treat her well.