Friday, 16 December 2011

Reindeer Poo

I never did understand the whole lump-of-coal-in-your-stocking thing.  Ok sure, you’ve been bad so you don’t get the ipod touch you requested, but why the coal?  Yes, back in the day it may have been a readily available substance that most parents had on hand on Christmas Eve, but now it is a hard to come by fossil fuel that is contributing to global warming.  Plus it just makes your socks all dirty and who needs more laundry anyway?  So I was really quite impressed last year when Santa (well, to be more exact, his reindeer) decided to start a new naughty trend.  Instead of coal in your sock, if you are naughty you get Reindeer Poo. 
Now don’t get your knickers in a knot – if you don’t know, Santa’s reindeer (because they are magic and live off a diet of fruit cake and candy canes) only poop out chocolate chips, which are completely sanitary and edible, so there is no waste, no laundry and no offensive smells. 
How do I know all this?  Well, aside from being a close personal friend of Mr. Claus, Edward was a bit naughty last year and ended up with some Reindeer Poo in his stocking.  We actually got quite a few unique gifts in our stockings last year – all of which came with their own note explaining their purpose.  I thought I would share these notes with all of you so you will be prepared in case you have been naughty this year.  Oh, and in case you didn’t know, as a magical creature, Santa always talks in rhyme.   Enjoy!
Author’s Note 1: This first note was found on the coffee table Christmas morning next to an empty plate of cookies we had left out for Santa:

Dear Cullens:
As you know, at the Pole it’s a family affair,
Mrs. Claus, elves and reindeer all really do care.
This year they have begged for a more active role
So I had to do something to keep peace at the Pole.

The task that I gave them at first seemed quite small -
To fill up the stockings- why that’s nothing at all!
But reindeer, they have very long memories;
I never dreamt they would take it so seriously.

Therefore a warning: this year things have changed,
When you open your stockings things won’t be the same.
It depends on the reindeer, if they like you it’s fine,
But beware if you slighted them even one time.
Good luck to you all and please don’t forget
That whatever you get, don’t blame St. Nick!

Signed St. Nick

Authors note 2:  Being slightly cryptic in nature, this note had us anxious to tear into our stockings to see what was going on.  Edward went first and found a bag of what appeared to be chocolate chips with a label of ‘Reindeer Poo’ on it, and the following note:
Us Reindeer, we have to fly very far
And without sustenance this is really quite hard.
So Next time remember, leave a carrot or two
Or else you will end up with more Reindeer Poo.

Signed Santa’s Reindeer

Author’s Note 3:  It was at this point that we realized that we had not left out any food for the reindeer – only cookies for Santa!  But the reindeer weren`t done with us yet -Edward also found what looked like a bag of mini-marshmallows tucked down in his stocking with a label of ‘Snowman Poo’ and this note:
Us Reindeer and Snowmen are really good friends;
We’ll stick with each other ‘till the very end.
When they heard of your actions (not leaving us food)
They couldn’t believe it – they all said ‘How Rude!’
So they sent you this present, from them straight to you:
A nice little bagful of their Snowman Poo!
Signed Santa’s Reindeer

Author’s Note 4:  I was now very wary to reach in my sock- what I found there sure gave me a big Christmas shock!  (Damn it, now I’m talking in rhyme!)  I wasn’t really that shocked – it was just a small jar of something that looked like spices, with a label of Reindeer food and this note:
You have now received your warnings - your excuses are all gone.
We know that you’ll do better for us reindeers’ from now on.
But we really want to help you to avoid more Reindeer Poo
So we give you this to spread around – it’s magic reindeer food.
On Christmas Eve just go outside and close your eyes right tight,
Make a wish and sprinkle this on to your lawn that night.
As Santa and us reindeer first begin our night long roam
This magic reindeer food will guide us straight down to your home.
And then your magic Christmas wish will certainly come true:
You’ll have successfully avoided getting dreaded Reindeer Poo!
Signed Santa’s Reindeer

Author’s Final Note: We received a few other interesting presents in our stockings that year – one was a can of beans labeled Male Bubble Bath and I got a secret hot chocolate recipe from Mrs. Claus herself(I had been very nice that year).  Personally, despite what Santa said in his note about the other people at the Pole wanting to contribute, I think the economy hit St. Nick hard that year and he simply was filling stockings with random items he found in his pantry and backyard.  Which is cool – I’m sure Santa has to stay on budget like everyone else.  Hopefully this information has helped prepare you for what has been another fiscally disappointing year for many.  And stay tuned – I will be posting the Bubble bath and Hot Chocolate notes next week! I hope Mrs. Claus doesn’t get pissed at me for sharing her secrets... Oh well, I could use some more ReindeerPpoo – I need something to put in my Christmas cookies!

Friday, 9 December 2011

New Wives’ Tales

Back in the day, before scientific studies cornered the market on partially true bullshit, it was the old wives who were responsible for warning all of us naive children about the dangers that faced us out in the real world.  You know what I’m talking about – if it wasn’t for those old wives many of us would have our faces permanently stuck with our eyes crossed, lips puckered, nose wrinkled and tongue stuck out from making too many faces at our annoying siblings.  I for one would like to thank all the old wives out there for saving me from blindness (if you don’t know what they say causes this, see below) and for helping me avoid the doctor via apple eating.  
However, as I inch nearer and nearer to reaching old wife status myself, I have realized that it is high time that us ‘new old wives’ come up with some tales of our own.  Because really, the main purpose of old wives tales are to stop children from doing things they’re not supposed to – like being rowdy in the house and breaking mirrors, swallowing gum and (as mentioned above) making faces.  And I for one am all for having some stories in my arsenal to use when my kids start texting at the table and dreaming about tattoos. 
Let’s face it – what with Google and iphones, the future generations aren’t going to be as easily persuaded by a warning that eating before swimming will cramp you up.  And unfortunately, it is no longer socially acceptable to simply scare the crap out of your offspring.  So us ‘new wives’ are going to have to be either be more creative, tricksy and super-awesome in order to pull one over on those tiny techies or, since the world is going to shit around us, we will sometimes simply be forced to tell the truth.  For instance, if you don’t wear sunscreen you will get skin cancer, don’t smoke cause it will kill you or at least keep you from competitive sports and don’t try to be famous when you are young or you will end up in rehab.
Personally, I think the answer to how to come up with our ‘new wives tales’ lies somewhere in the middle.  By creatively telling the truth we will most effectively be able to cram some sense into those tiny techie brains.  For example, I plan on coining the phrase ‘If you pierce something without permission it may fall off.’  This is partially true – it could possibly get infected and have to be amputated or turn gangrenous or something.  And it is certainly true that if I find out about said un-permissible piercing, appendages will roll. I also plan on telling my kids that it is bad luck to text during dinner.  This is totally true, because if I catch them they will have the bad luck to be grounded for the next week.
So while I will continue to inform my children that they must eat their carrots to improve their eyesight (although any idiot with google could tell you this is not true - vitamin A, which carrots contain, is good for eyes but eating more won’t help you avoid glasses -but will in fact turn you orange), I will throw in some of my own new wives’ tales for good measure to better address the needs of a new generation.  I encourage you to make up some tales of your own (whether you are an old wife or a new wife, or not a wife, it doesn’t matter).  I figure if you are going to have bullshit in your life, it might as well be your own.

Wives’ Tales Reference Guide:
Old Tales-Breaking a mirror will earn you seven years bad luck
-If you swallow your gum it will stay in your stomach for seven years
-It’s bad luck to open umbrella inside
-If you make faces, your face could get stuck that way. 
-Masturbation will cause blindness
-Carrots improve eyesight
-An apple a day keeps the doctor away

New Tales
-Too much cell phone use will give you brain tumors
-Bad luck to text during dinner
-If you pierce something without permission it will fall off
-If you don’t wear sunscreen you’ll get skin cancer
-Smoking will kill you or at least keep you from being a professional sports star
-Never Say Never (i.e. don’t give up at anything) and you too can be as successful as Justin Bieber

Friday, 2 December 2011

Mental Pictures

I hate taking pictures.  Not just because I am horrible at it, although it is true that any photo I take looks like it was taken by an intoxicated monkey.  I hate taking pictures because in order to take good pictures you have to be two things that I am not – lucky and patient.  Either you get lucky and just happen to have a camera handy when your little one decides to plant a wet one on the cat or you have to patiently wait around for two hours or two weeks until the urge to kiss a feline returns.  Since I would rather enjoy these moments than miss them because I am hiding behind (or trying to find) a camera, my photo albums are mostly empty.
However, being the typical mom that I am, I feel very guilty about this fact.  Sure, I personally have very vivid mental pictures in my head that I cherish, or in some cases wish I could forget, but my kids will not have these memories to pull out at their leisure in the future.  So I thought I would take this opportunity to describe some of the very memorable mental photos I have taken so far this holiday season so that my kids can enjoy them in the future and you can enjoy them right now - and so I don’t have to feel so damn guilty. 
In this first picture you will see a close-up of the face of a man wearing a blue tuque.  This man was standing behind us at last week’s Santa Claus Parade and, just as I slid a poopy diaper out from under Simba’s bespeckled bum, I happened to look up to get a whiff of fresh air and caught a glimpse of this man’s face.  Mr. Blue Tuque was recoiling slightly as if he had been physically hit with Simba’s poop instead of just by its smell while his eyebrows attempted to find refuge in his touque.  I don’t know if his reaction was because this was Simba’s third poopy diaper of the day, or if it was because I had the audacity to change said diaper in a stroller on the side of the road while surrounded by a couple thousand people.  Who knows – maybe the Coca-Cola polar bears that were passing by on the float behind my head were doing something really shocking.  Hey, it’s possible.  But whatever provoked it, his look of astonished disgust made me realize what a superhero I am for being able to deal with these diaper disasters on a regular basis - and that some people really shouldn’t wear tuques. 
The second mental photo I am sharing with you shows a quiet street lit by lampposts in the evening, as seen from above.  This is how I saw our street as I attempted to string Christmas lights on the tree in our front yard.  Though the picture would probably be more accurate if you shook it side to side while looking at it, because that is how I viewed the street while clinging to the tree trunk in a desperate attempt not to get blown out of said tree.  Apparently, the higher off the ground you get, the windier it becomes.  I wish someone would have told me that before I climbed up to the top most step of our ladder (the step it says not to stand on btw) and stretched out to my fullest extent to secure some lights to a branch just a huge gust of wind came barrelling down the street, knocking me off balance and causing me to wrap myself around the tree in a very tigger-like fashion as my ladder plummeted to the ground.  This is when Prince, who was watching me from the safety of the front porch yelled out “Mommy, don’t break the ladder!”  His concern for me was so touching that I will always remember this moment, and the fact that you should never step on the top of a ladder.
The background of our final mental snapshot is filled with boxes of Christmas decorations, while in the foreground Simba is being pursued by a Santa doll riding on a cookie.  This doll was a gift from my parents last Christmas and is simply one of those annoying Christmas toys that sing and dance around.  However, from the look on his face, Simba has got St. Nick confused with Old Nick because he is running away from that thing as fast as his chubby little legs can carry him.   Now anytime he hears jingle bells he starts to cry.  But on the bright side he no longer eats cookies. 
So what have we learned in Mommyland today?  One:  there is a reason that you are not supposed to stand on the top of a ladder.  Two:  musical dancing Santa dolls are not a good gift idea for children under 2.  And three:  some people should not wear tuques.  See?  Who needs intoxicated monkey photos when you have mental pics like these!
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Take a walk in my slippers

It’s no wonder I am getting stupider.  If you have been paying any kind of attention to our posts lately you will have notice that mine have been sorely lacking.  Yes, I may blame that on the fact that I was traumatized over the possibility that my blog partner had died in a freak helicopter accident in Hawaii (more on this later), but I think the real reason is because I am becoming gradually stupider.  How is that possible?  Let me explain.
As I remember it, a typical day in my life prior to having children went something like this: Wake up at 7:30 am.  Shower, put on makeup, dress, style my hair and otherwise ensure that I don’t traumatize the people on the bus who will be forced to stare at me for the 45 minute bus ride to work.  I would arrive at a place of employment that actually compensated me with money for educating children (yes, I was a teacher).  I would stand at the front of the room, talk without being interrupted, hand out tests and assignments and catch up on the school gossip with the other teachers during lunch hour.  Repeat for the afternoon, go home, feed myself, maybe grade some papers, relax and go to bed.   
Here is what I did today:  Woke up at 5:30am by Prince coming into our bedroom announcing that there was a scary shadow in his room.  I dragged my sleepy ass out of bed to take him back to his room while explaining, as I have every night for the past three weeks that said scary shadow is in fact just the shadow of his curtain.  I fall back in bed like the sleep deprived zombie that I am just to wake up again at 7:30am to Simba’s shrill screams, which in SimbaSpeak means he has a poopy diaper that needs to be changed.  So I get up, clean some poop and make some breakfast for my two hungry children.  If I am lucky, in between demands for yogurt, more milk and paper towel I will manage to have a few bites of a week old muffin and take a few swigs of lukewarm tea while trying to simultaneously empty the dishwasher, fulfill the requests mentioned previously and clean up the food that seems to fly out of my children’s mouths as fast as they can shove it in.  Note:  I have not yet showered, gone to the bathroom or brushed my teeth yet. 
I am then forced to pretend to be Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and fly Santa’s (Prince’s) sleigh around while the elf (Simba) drops toys down the chimneys.  In between stops I manage to get the kids dressed and brush all our teeth.  Then it is time to play ‘the baby game’ where Prince pretends to be a baby, Simba is the Daddy and I am (surprise!) the Mommy and have to take everyone on a pretend train ride to the zoo and walk in circles around our living room visiting all the pretend animals.  Then it is time to make more food for snack time, clean up the kitchen again and wipe more poopy bums.  Then we all sit down to watch Caillou, and because Caillou visited a farm and saw a pig in today’s episode we all have to pretend to be pigs rolling around in the mud.  Then it’s lunch time so, you guessed it, make food, eat some food (if I’m able to sit still for more than 2 seconds), and clean up the kitchen for the 3rd time.
After lunch while Simba naps, me and Prince color some pictures, read some stories and unpack some boxes that still haven’t been unpacked since we moved to this house 5 months ago.  When Simba wakes up, after cleaning some more poop it is snack time again – if you are keeping track this will be the 4th time I will have to scrub down the kitchen so far.  Then we go down in the basement and race cars (yes I am forced to drive a little kiddie car too), play trains, pretend to be a Prince (Prince) and Princess (me) who gets locked in a tower and needs to be rescued.  Oh, and of course we had to do some obligatory ring-around-the-rosie.  Then, you guessed it, make food, serve food, clean up food for dinner bringing the grand total of kitchen cleanings of the day to five, yet somehow it still seems dirty. 
Then, thank goodness, daddy comes home and after eating, gives the kids a bath allowing me to veg out in front of the TV for 20 minutes.  Then I put the kids to bed and sit down at the computer to write about cleaning poop and making food while Prince interrupts me every 5 minutes by yelling downstairs to ask when I am going to come check on him.  If you have been paying attention you know that, at this point I am still wearing my pajamas.  Hey, it saves on laundry but I do feel sorry for the poor the door-to-door salesman that rings my bell during the day.  If I am lucky, I will have time for a quick shower before falling into bed sometime around midnight.
So what was my point again?  Oh yeah, this is making me stupider.  I am not sure how much longer I can continue to pretend to be an ostracized reindeer without losing the remnants of my sanity.  And, when three days after my blog partner leaves for her Hawaiian Honeymoon there are reports of a honeymooning couple from our city being killed in a fiery helicopter crash on the same island my friend was destined for, I admit that I lost my shit altogether for a little while.  But luckily, Alice was fine and there is less than a month until Christmas, at which point I can legal refuse to be a reindeer any more as Santa and his crew will then be on vacation. 
So please excuse my shitty posts lately – it is my hope that by getting out of the house more and not allowing Alice to take any more vacations I will be able to retain the few brain cells I have left, rub them together and, at some point in the near future produce a post that is worthy of our fantastic Mommyland readers.  Until then, let me apologize for the drivel that is all my poor reindeer brain is able to produce at the moment.  
Ok, time to give me back my slippers now cause my hoofs are getting cold.
P.S – My job may turn my brain to mush but getting paid in hugs and kisses is the best.  Plus Prince does a pretty great Santa impression.  And Simba is an incredibly cute elf. Call me stupid but I love my job!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Facing the Giblets - Again!

In honor of our readers south of the border, and in order for me to get out and catch some Black Friday deals, I have decided to give you all a second helping of my Thanksgiving post 'Facing the Giblets.'  If you aren't celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, at least this will prepare you for the Christmas giblets that I see in your near future (less than a month people - hence my need to shop).  Happy Holidays!
Sometimes it really sucks living far away from your family.  Ok, basically it is just on holidays when you are forced to cook your own turkey that it really sucks.  The rest of the time I am kind of grateful that my crazy Aunt Sue can’t just drop by to hand out condoms anymore “just in case you ran out dear.”  But on holidays I would gladly trade all forms of birth control for a relative who can cook.   
As I currently don’t have so much as a third cousin in the vicinity, this year, for the very first time, I was forced to cook my own Thanksgiving turkey.  Sure, this may not sound like a big deal, but to me the point of Thanksgiving has always been to be thankful that someone else had to cook that gi-normous meal so that I would be able to bask in the glow of my turkey coma afterwards instead of cleaning up for three hours.  Yet once again, Mommyhood cracked the rose-colored holiday glasses to reveal the devastating truth – It is now my turn to take up the Thanksgiving mantel or else have the holiday perish for future generations.  I don’t know if I am ready for this kind of responsibility people.
But, ready or not, Thanksgiving was coming.  So with hope in my heart and a cornucopia on the table I went out and bought (ok, got for free) a twenty-two pound behemoth of a Turkey, because, if I damn well had to do this whole Thanksgiving thing, I was going to do it right!  A pumpkin pie, a box of Stove top and a can of cranberry sauce later I was feeling mighty fine.   Then I remembered the giblets.
I really don’t understand the purpose of giblets.  I especially don’t understand the purpose of storing them inside a turkey.  Why not just sell them separately and save me the torture of having to shove my hand up a half-frozen dead bird's ass in order to retrieve something that looks like what an alien would give birth to?  So what if some people like to use giblets in their stuffing?  Why not just can your giblets and access them the way we were meant to get at our food – with a can opener?  Or better yet, just bag your giblets and put them in the freezer section.   Honestly, I don’t care what you do with your giblets, but don’t put them in my damn turkey!
I will spare you the details of the giblet extraction that took place.  All I will say is I am very thankful this Thanksgiving for Ziploc freezer bags and tongs.   After this stint in (what felt like) turkey gynocology, I admit I was forced to crack open a bottle of wine even though it was only 1pm.  Hey – don’t judge me - if you can manhandle giblets without being forced to drink, then you are made of tougher stuff than I.
With the giblets gone and wine in hand I stood back to view the perfection that was to be my first turkey.  Then I realized it was upside down.  Minor detail.  Upon flipping it over, I discovered the painful truth – I had a disabled turkey!  I had already thrown out the packaging by this point so I was unsure if it had been raised in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Japan or whether it was simply maimed by a rouge tractor on the farm, but my turkey only had one wing!  I felt so bad – think of the bullying it would have had to endure from the other turkeys – and to think I had ever criticized its giblets!  Well, I was determined to make my Charlie Brown turkey feel special by making it the centre piece of the best damn thanksgiving dinner ever!
With fire in my belly and the giblets in the garbage, I set to work.  By my hand potatoes, turned into whipped mountains of buttery goodness, gravy flowed like post-natal menstration* and vegetables of all kinds bowed to my every whim.   The cranberry sauce practically jumped out of the can, so eager was it to be part of this feast.  Finally, all was ready. 

*Editor's note: Your gravy flowed like what?? I don't think I'll be having gravy at Wendy's anytime soon. -Alice
I ushered my (non-extended) family to the table and presented them with the fruits of my labours.  As Simba threw his food gleefully about with reckless abandon while screaming at a pitch only mothers and dogs can hear, and Prince proceeded to eat three helpings of stuffing and nothing else, I realized that to my kids, this was just another Monday night dinner.  And what I truly needed to be thankful for was that my parents (and Edward’s parents for that matter) were not here to witness it, because if they had been, the only thing they would have been able to come up with that they were thankful for this year was living so damn far away from this craziness.  Let me tell you, when you have a male version of Shreeky from the Care Bears seated next to you at the dinner table it is kind of hard to appreciate the flavourfulness of your handicapable turkey. 
Anyway, as I sat amidst the chaos that was my Thanksgiving dinner I realized that Thanksgiving is highly overrated.  Maybe it would be more special if we were farmers and actually had a harvest to celebrate.  Maybe it would have been better if I hadn’t been forced to cook a turkey in 30 degree (Celsius) heat (thank you global warming).  Maybe, if we had relatives to distract the children, they wouldn’t have decided to coat their heads in cranberry sauce.   Who knows?  All I know for sure is that next year, if no one will come visit us, I am going to start the tradition of giving Thanksgiving presents, which I can use to manipulate the kids into behaving through dinner.  And hey, what kid wouldn’t love to get a box of giblets?!  Waste not, want not, people.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

To Procreate, or Not To Procreate, That is the Question...

Children.  They light up your life and empty your wallet.  They provide you with unlimited love and a seemingly endless stream of stinky diapers.  Yet everyone who has them will tell you that, although kids are a ton of work, they are also more than worth the sacrifice. 
For myself, it was always a given that I would have kids.  I am an only child (in case you couldn`t tell from my inherent bossiness and self-obsession) and therefore require children in order to have any family left once my parents kick the bucket.  However, for some people the question of procreation is not so cut and dried.   Sure, there are plenty out there like me who have always wanted kids.  But then there are those, like my friend Christina, who know they don`t want children because in her own words, she “has no desire for them and wouldn’t know what to do with them.”  To you I say, bravo.  While I may have a hard time understanding why you don’t want to emulate me in all aspects of your life, I respect the fact that you know your own mind and are responsible enough not to bring a child into the world just because others think you should. 
There is also a third group of people, to which I would like to offer my services today.  This is the ‘undecided’ group.  You know who I mean - the people who like kids but who have no problem handing them back to mommy when they get poopy or grouchy.   Maybe you’re not sure if you are ‘ready’; maybe you worry about not having enough money, or time, or patience.  Well, ponder no longer my friends.  I have created a simple questionnaire* that will help you determine whether or not you are ‘ready’ to take up permanent residency in Mommyland.  So grab a pen and some paper write down the answer that best describes you:

1.  When someone vomits in your vicinity you:
a) Quickly volunteer to hold back their hair
b) Ask if there is anything you can get them while discreetly keeping your distance so as not to get puke splatter on your new shoes
c) Automatically begin to puke as well because you really can’t handle the sight/sound/smells of vomit – in fact you are getting queasy just reading this.

2.  When dinner time rolls around you tend to:
a) Cook a variety of healthy yet tasty meals
b) Pop something in the microwave or order take-out
c) Ask your Mom what’s for dinner

3.  If you don’t get a good night’s sleep you are:
a) Okay, as long as you have a morning caffeine fix
b) Irritable, but all will be well if you can squeeze in a nap at lunch
c) Going to sleep until noon, and God help the person who tries to stop you

4.  If your significant other empties the dishwasher for you, and doesn’t put the dishes in the proper places, you will:
a) Thank them graciously and secretly put things away when they are not around
b) Say thank you but then give them a five minute lecture about where things actually go
c) Either lose your shit and break the dishes in an angry rage or turn into Ms. Pillbury from Glee by making this face, donning rubber gloves and scrubbing your dishes with a toothbrush while counting to 100.

5.  When faced with the dilemma of only having enough money to pay off either your credit card balance or your cable bill you:
a) Pay off the credit card and cancel the cable – it will save you money in the long run and you are too busy volunteering at the homeless shelter to watch Survivor anyway
b) Pay the cable bill – your interest rate isn’t bad and you will be able to pay it all off next month, but you just can’t miss the season finale of Dancing with the Stars
c) Pay neither – if you can squeeze out a few tears your dad will fork over the money for those bills later – right now you must have a new workout outfit from lululemon.
If you answered mostly A’s, not only are you ready for kids, you will probably win mother of the year.  If you answered B’s, welcome to the club and I say, as long as you like kids, feel free to have them.  If you answered mostly C’s, you may want to reconsider child bearing, at least until your mom can find the time to give you some cooking lessons, at which point I am sure that even you will make satisfactory parents. 
At the end of the day, the only one who can determine if you are ‘ready’ is you.  As you will quickly learn if you do become a parent, there is no recipe for making a perfect parent – great parents come in all different shapes and sizes.  Married, unmarried, young, old, straight or otherwise, the most important thing is that you try your best and give your kids all the love you can.  So even if your mom still cooks you dinner and you have an affinity for lululemon, you can still be a great parent.  Just make sure you keep an airsick bag handy, because one thing that is guaranteed about parenting is that your kid will puke on you at least a few times during your stay in Mommyland and it’s always better to be safe than be puked on. 
You’re Welcome
*This questionnaire is solely the construct of a rather befuddled mind and does not claim to have any kind of scientific authenticity.  Your decision to procreate is your own and this is meant to be a humorous guide only. 

Friday, 18 November 2011

10 Things Every Mom can do to Save Money

Ok, so getting advice from me on spending money is about as smart as asking Carson Kressley the best way to pick up women.  As Edward will gladly tell anyone, I am the spender in our relationship and he is the saver.  Aside from the time he bought a 1936 Nash online (it’s a type of car ladies), and the time he bought some vending machines online (both of which he considers “investments” but have yet to make us any actual money) he is the epitome of frugality, from his frayed underwear that consist mostly of holes and an elastic band (I think he thinks this is sexy) to his $200 car that I am unable to park without stalling.  I however would much rather spend my Saturday catching up on Days of Our Lives than scouring the weekly flyers for the best deal on frozen pizza.  Ah well, to each his own. 
Yet  despite my predilection to save time rather than money,  after all our years together I could not help but pick up some tips from Edward on how to stash some cash.  While I will refrain from suggesting some of his more questionable methods such as fighting parking tickets and becoming overly familiar with store return policies, I will pass on some of the more easily implemented, fairly painless and otherwise non-sketchy thrifty tactics.
10.  Don’t have kids.  Kids are money-suckers.  Whether it’s the food you provide that they don’t eat, the clothes that don’t even last as long as a Kardashian marriage, or the toys they insist they need but don’t play with, children seem almost magical in the way they can make money disappear.   If however, it’s too late for you to follow this advice, take a breath, try to ignore the screaming and smell of feces that I am sure surround you and move on to number 9...
9.  Breastfeed (if possible), until they’re five.    Sure, you may get some strange looks at the park, but think of the money you’ll save on formula, bottles and milk.  Edward was so determined that we breastfeed our kids that, when it didn’t work out for me, he even gave it a whirl, just in case.  Hey, I told you he was cheap.  Unfortunately, despite the fact he had sympathy pains during my labour, sympathy lactation was simply beyond him.  
8.  Potty Train Early.  To this day my mother insists that she had me potty trained before I was one year old.  Personally, I think having to parent me through my teenage years addled her brains because, although I admit I am fairly exceptional, I cannot imagine potty training a child who cannot even walk yet.  But if this is possible, I by all means urge you to do it.  Sure, you’d save money on diapers, but more importantly, the less poop you have to wipe the better.   Which is why I avoid fibre.
7.  Do it yourself.  Sure, it may be tempting to call an electrician to install a new light fixture, or a plumber to fix that leaky faucet, but why bother when you have Google?  Not only will you save some much needed money but you will learn something new, thereby counteracting the brain cells you lost this morning during that 2 hour session of Ring-Around-the-Rosie.   Sure, you may get electrocuted or end up flooding your bathroom, but at least then when you are forced to call a professional you will be getting your money’s worth. 
6.  Cut the Cable.  Seriously, if the internet has done nothing else for us, at least it has brought us free T.V shows with fewer commercials.  Sure you have to wait an extra day before you find out that Santana was outed by Finn on Glee this week, but since you spend most of your day confined to your house with only a toddler to talk to, this probably won’t come up in conversation. 
5.  Lose the landline.  If you have a cell phone that is, and who in this day and age doesn’t have a cell phone?  My grandmother even has one and she’s in her 80’s.  Sure, she has no idea how to use it, but she has one.  Yeah, you may miss a few calls because you left your phone in the car or your battery died, but that is what voice mail is for.  And bonus – when you get rid of your landline those pesky telemarketers won’t be able to call during naptime anymore.  So what are you waiting for?  Enjoy a telemarketer-free existence before they learn how to text.  
4.  Hide it; don’t buy it.  Children have very short memories.  Until they hit about three or four, you can totally get away with hiding some of their toys for a month or so and then “discovering” them all over again.   Also, less toys equals less mess to clean up.  So not only do you not have to spend money to buy new toys, but you can save hundreds on the medical bills you will be avoiding from not constantly tripping over toys that are underfoot.   
3.  Try your hand at hairdressing.  It is really not as hard as it looks.  Though I do recommend practising on your husband or significant other first before moving on to the children and yourself, just because I know you will love your spouse no matter how ridiculous you make them look, and they are less likely to be made fun of (to their face at least) than your kids are. Hey, you need to practise on something. 
2.  Utilize Kijiji (or craigslist, or other sites selling used crap).  You can find anything on Kijiji.  Even a blog partner.   And it all goes for cheap too.  One of the biggest mistakes new parents make is thinking they need ‘new’ everything for their kids, but by the time you have a couple kids like myself you learn how incredibly stupid it is to buy something new and fancy just to have your kid poop in it, color on it, or throw down the stairs.  So go ahead and buy that used rocking horse, cradle or blog partner and you’ll be glad you got it second hand later when your kid pukes on it (sorry about that Alice).
1.  Read our Blog.  Yes, the best things in life ARE free, and this is one of them.  Don’t spend your money on fashion magazines whose only purpose is to make you feel bad about yourself.  Come to Mommyland and read about our how I got banned from Boston Pizza ... and Tim Horton’s... and the park...or how Alice got judged by the crazy lady at church... or the old guy at the doctor’s office... or  Dr. Suckypants herself.  You just have to feel better about your own life after reading about ours.  Seriously, doesn’t your husband seem just a little hotter after reading about my husband’s nasty holey underwear?
I thought so, and you’re welcome.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Post-Post Post

I know I have already posted today, but today is Alice's birthday and, since she is currently living it up in Hawaii with her new hubby and I cannot peer pressure her into doing shots (as if it ever takes much pressure with Alice) I had to send a virtual shout-out to my gorgeous, always late, brilliant yet slightly neurotic, completely awesome-sauce blog partner. 

So happy birthday Alice.  You may still be younger than me, but I will always have more poop stories. 

Love Always,
Your always early, gorgeous, brilliant yet slightly neurotic, completely awesome-sauce blog partner

(You know you love me)

Mommy Measures

Reserved parking for mothers is genius.  You know what I mean – those parking spaces with the big pink blobs on them, some complete with stork-adorned signs stating that the space in question is reserved for pregnant ladies or moms with babies.  Thank you women’s lib for finally allowing a woman to get high enough up the corporate food chain to implement this measure.  I mean, yeah, we are still not as close as the handicapped parking, but when you have to get out of your car in the rain, wrestle a stroller into an upright position, strap an unruly toddler into said stroller and hoof it into the store before your bundle of joy freaks out because (God forbid) if a raindrop touches him he might actually get clean, the fact that you have a pretty decent parking spot is the only thing saving your from not losing your (now very soggy) shit.   
Due to the overwhelming success of the mommy parking spot, I would like to suggest that retailers implement other Mommy Measures to keep their mommy-customers happy, such as the Mommy Service Counter.  Think about it – a special check-out just for moms who are accompanied by children.  Instead of candy and magazines around the counter there could be toys available to play with and cartoons playing on TV’s to amuse the kids, thereby saving us all from experiencing the all to frequent and totally embarrassing check-out line tantrum.  And when you are at the check-out and need to spend five minutes digging through the random assortment of toys, snacks, and diapers contained in your purse before you find your credit card, the person waiting behind you in line will not be some Condescending Cathy or Sighing Sally, but rather a Sympathetic Supermom who understands and is probably happy to have the time to empty out her own bulging bag.
Let me give you an example of a recent outing that could have benefited from some Mommy Measures such as these.   It was a Sunday morning, and the boys and I were headed to Tim Horton’s.  Being the popular coffee shop that it is, the line up was out the door.  However, I had promised the kids Timbits after our early trip to the gym, so despite the fact that my better judgement told me it was a bad idea to wait in line with a squirmy 18 month old and an impatient 3 year old, we stuck it out.  After ten minutes spent persuading Prince that the rope strung next to the line-up was not meant to be swung from and generally trying to keep my shit together so that the other patrons would think I am a better mother than I am, we reached the front of the line.  After ordering and annoying the people waiting behind me in the gi-normous line-up even more by letting my son pay, thereby taking up an extra three minutes of their time, we were finally out of there.
For all of two seconds that is.  The door had not finished swinging shut behind us before I realized that the cashier had forgotten to give us the chocolate milk we had ordered.  So while carrying my baby, a box of donuts and steering Prince via gentle yanks on his hood, I somehow managed to get us back inside the overflowing coffee shop, shove our way back up to the counter and interrupt the person who had already spent 10 minutes being frustrated at having to stand in line behind us.  Once I got my hands on that milk, you can imagine how eager I was to get the hell out of that place and never look back.
What you may find harder to imagine may be my reaction when, after traversing the parking lot, literally two steps from our car Simba, in his rush to get at our donut booty, rips the box out of my hand sending Timbits rolling in all directions.  In fact, it is probably better that you don’t imagine it, because it involved a lot of profanity, door slamming, pulling of hair (all my own, I promise) stomping and crying (not my own).  Prince proceeded to have a meltdown when I refused to let him eat the Timbits off the pavement, attracting at least 3 different people to the scene, 2 of which offered the kids one of their Timbits, to which Prince replied “NO!  I WANT MY OWN!!!”.  Despite the fact that every fibre of my being was set against ever setting foot inside that donut shop again, especially when it contained the very people I had already annoyed twice, the tears of my three year old forced me to ignore my own discomfort and we headed back in. 
I will spare you the details of the begging and shameful exploitation of tear-stained children that followed, but sufficed to say we once again managed to butt our way to the front of the line and I convinced the cashier to replace our Timbits for free.   However, I am now banned for life that Tim Horton’s. 
If only there had been Mommy Measures put in place at that Tim Horton’s location I might still be able to enjoy the caffeinated goodness of a double-double.  If there had been Mommy Parking we might have made it safely to the car before the donut disaster.  If there had been a Mommy Service Counter, I would not have annoyed all the regular customers, but would have probably made a new mommy friend of the person I interrupted.   
So as you can see, unfortunately kids were not born to shop, so it is difficult, if not impossible for moms everywhere to get stuff done, let alone get some much needed retail therapy (or caffeine) during a long day with the kids.  The sooner retailers address needs of the mommy-shopper the happier we all will be.  And I do mean ALL.  The retailers will make more money because us moms will not be confined to our houses due to fear of embarrassment, other chid-free shoppers can enjoy their experience more without being forced to endure the mayhem that is motherhood.  And maybe I would stop getting banned from places.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The One About the Chicken

Every small town girl has big city dreams.  Some involve bright lights and movie stars, stilettos and martini glasses, or even sky scrapers and subways.  However, I doubt that anyone’s big city dreams involve a chicken. 
Or a racoon, or a skunk.  These animals have no place in a city.  Rats?  Maybe.  Cockroaches?  Why not.  But a chicken?  Really?  Ok, not really.  But a racoon and a skunk?  Really.
Let me explain.  As you all should know by now, Edward and I recently moved to the ‘big city’ from the boonies.   Seriously.  We lived just north of nowhere, in the middle of dullsville.  When we wanted to get out and do something exciting we would - get ready for it – go for a walk.  Nothing ever happened.  Ever.  There were no buses or public transport of any kind, no buildings over 4 stories and, *gasp* no Starbucks.  How did we survive?  I’m not sure.  But amidst all the boredom, general blandness and blocks of time spent starring into space, not once did we encounter a chicken.  Or a racoon.  Or a skunk. 
So imagine our surprise when, upon purchasing a house in the ‘big city’ we come to realize that we have an animal of some sort living under our front porch.  After much debate, we decided that the creature was a skunk, a racoon or a chicken.  How did we come to this conclusion?  Well, Edward encountered (i.e. had the shit scared out of him by) a (supposed) skunk one night when he was taking out the garbage, but knowing Edward, I am not so sure it wasn’t just a stray cat that he saw, because, as far as I know, skunks don’t tend to rub up against peoples legs and meow.  Aside from this rather unreliable eyewitness account, the other evidence we had was the footprints we found at the scene of the crime.  These footprints showed that our creature had long fingers, which, combined with the recent vandalism enacted upon our garbage cans, led me to believe that it our critter was not in fact a skunk but actually a racoon.  
Yet despite this forensic evidence, Edward, like any good lawyer I suppose, would not admit defeat.  In the end, it came to down to me and Edward yelling back and forth like two kids in the school yard: 
Edward: “It’s a skunk.”
Wendy: “No –It’s a racoon.”
Edward: “It’s a skunk!”
Wendy: “It’s a racoon!”
Edward: “SKUNK!”
Wendy: “RACOON!”
Edward:  “NO!  IT’S A CHICKEN!!!!”
At which point we took a moment to just stare at each other and then we both lost it.  We burst out laughing and could do nothing but roll on the floor and wheeze incoherently for the next 15 minutes.  To this day simply thinking about Edward screaming out determinedly “ITS A CHICKEN!” makes me giggle in the grocery store, earning myself weird looks from the cashier who now thinks I find poultry amusing.   
Where did this chicken comment come from?  Well, the day of our fateful conversation, Edward had gone out and bought some chicken wire to use to catch our critter with, and as far as we can determine, he just happened to be thinking about that chicken wire during our conversation and had a Freudian slip.  Because in the end, we never did find out for sure what our creature was.   It could have been a weird skunk/racoon/chicken mix or simply a long fingered chipmunk for all we know.  Edward simply filled in the hole with concrete last Saturday when (we hope) the creature wasn’t inside of it.  But either way we have not seen any sign of the creature since.  So our skunk, racoon or chicken has relocated or they are now entombed under our front porch.  
Oh well, at least life in the city isn’t boring!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Wendy’s Wisdom: On Marriage...

Welcome back to Mommyland’s first, only, and best advice column!  After demystifying your cleaning conundrums I thought, considering the events of the past week (i.e. Alice’s marriage and Kim Kardashian’s  lack thereof), I would let you in on the secrets behind my years of wedded bliss. 
It’s simple really.  You need to have lots of sex.  Not the kind where you are pretending to enjoy yourself so he can finish up in time for you to catch the end of Grey’s Anatomy.   The other kind.  The kind where you look like you just finished the world’s hardest spinning class, complete with matted down hair and jelly legs.  Leg warmers and headbands are optional.  Oh, and I guess I should make sure to point out that said sex should with your spouse.  That’s pretty much it.
What’s that you say?  How does this advice help if my husband is a lazy sloth who can’t manage to get his own underwear into the hamper?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  While sex is great all on its own, for your marriage last longer than Kimmy’s, you need to know how to use it properly.  To give you an idea of how sex can be used to solve common marital woes, read on:
Your husband doesn’t help out around the house?  Welcome to the club!  Husband training is an important first step that begins right after the honeymoon and continues for the rest of your life.  The key?  Positive reinforcement.  In many ways, husbands are just like toddlers.  If you give them a little incentive for doing the right thing, they catch on in the end.  Soon you won’t even have to ask them to take out the trash – they will be running upstairs proudly proclaiming they took out the garbage, expecting their reward.  Then you say “Thank you Honey” give them a kiss and ask them to clean the bathroom.
Your husband wants sex all the time?  Big surprise.  I have heard this story time and time again.  The man is constantly pestering his woman to get busy when his woman is already busy.  How do you stop this vicious cycle?  Reverse it.  I’m serious!  For one week, give him what he has been begging for.  Every day, sometimes twice or more, dress up in your finest lingerie and get to work.  I promise you, by the end of the fourth day he will be the one saying “I’m kinda tired,” “I have a headache,” or, even better, “let’s just cuddle.”   
3.  Your kids are driving you both bonkers?  It happens to everyone.  Despite the fact that you love those little rug-rats more than life itself, sometimes the shrieking, thumping, smashing and screeching combined with the constant barrage of questions, demands and total lack of courtesy can turn supermom (or dad) into Oscar the Grouch.   When this happens, it is time to send for the babysitter and have some adult time where you can be reminded that you are a woman and not just a mother.  Just don’t forget to use protection, because that is kind of how you got into this mess in the first place. 
Yes, I know.  I am a marital super-genius and with my help divorce will now be eradicated.  Just remember:  ‘If he’s pushy, there’s no pussy;'   ‘Have some class – not in the ass;' and ‘When things are stormy, just get horny.’  
You’re Welcome

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Survivor, Mommyland: Celebrity Edition Part II

Last week before wedding madness descended on Mommyland we brought you the exclusive blog premier of the exciting new series Survivor Mommyland: Celebrity Edition.  This week we bring you the finale of this pseudo reality series.  Read on to find out who will outwit, outplay and outlast all the others in Celebrity Mommyland.  Oh, and just in case you missed the premier...
(Insert Jeff Probst voice over here saying:) PREVIOUSLY on Survivor:
Some modern mommies were stranded on an island together sans children.  Kate Gosselin was true to form and nagged herself right out of the game.  Alliances were formed and broken, Gwyneth’s mommy-superpowers were exposed, and Angie was exposed as a villain.  Some other B & C list celebrities were voted out due to their lack of star power and their excess of crazy.  Here is where the tribes stood at the close of our last episode:
Tsaerb Tribe:                   Anigav Tribe:
eidi Klum                         Tina Fey
Katie Holmes                     Rosie O’Donnell
Gwyneth Paltrow                Madonna
Britney Spears                   JLo
Alison Sweeny
Day 20: Tree mail arrives at the camps and throws a shocking twist into the game.  The merge is not taking place yet.  There is to be one more challenge before the merge and the team that wins this challenge will be able to vote out a member from the other team instead of the other team voting out one of their own.  The ladies from both teams realize the importance of winning this challenge – they could completely destroy key alliances in the other tribe and leave it in chaos.
The challenge is the hardest one ever seen on survivor.  It involved climbing a mountain blindfolded with a baby in a snugli, swimming relays, solving puzzles and identifying different kinds of baby poops.  In the end, the challenge hinged on the fact that Tina Fey actually changed her own kid’s diapers – Tsaerb had a huge lead until the final poop identification station where Katie froze and exclaimed “It all looks the same!”  Despite her teammates desperately trying to help, Tina managed to whiz through the poop and get Anigav a victory that they desperately needed.  After that, Anigav required very little debate to decide that it was time for Gwyneth to go.
The next day the tribes were treated to a picnic lunch at a waterfall to celebrate the merge.  Without Gwyn, Katie and Heidi were scrambling to try and secure votes from the other team.  Unbeknownst to them though, Alison had already been wooed by Tina and, knowing she was on the chopping block in her own tribe, agreed to vote with the former Anigav’s to take out Britney (due to the fact that she had long since lost her underwear and the other ladies were annoyed with her going commando all the time).   At the end of the picnic the ladies decided to name their new tribe Sinepon.
The first individual immunity challenge was easily won by Madonna after she managed to keep her cool while being screamed at by random children for more than 12 hours.  Rosie freaked out first, closely followed by JLo, who had to be restrained by security after only 20 minutes.  Needless to say, that night, as planned Britney went bye-bye, becoming the first member of the jury. 
The next week things did not go so smoothly for the former Anigav’s.  Heidi and Katie managed to lure Alison back to their side with promises to take her to final three since Gwyn was now gone.   And when Katie won the kids movie trivia challenge they were able to convince Madonna to vote with them to vote out JLo who had been getting on Madge’s nerves with her outspoken ways and her tendency to frequently remind everyone that she was recently voted the most beautiful woman in the world.  So that night JLo took her final bow. 
With only six contestants remaining the tribe was shocked when it was revealed at the next challenge that two tribe members would be going home that day – the member who gets disqualified first in the challenge as well as the member voted out by the tribe that evening.  The challenge involved improvising ladders from random furniture (i.e. stools, chairs, tables) in order to reach a toy on top of high shelf.  All ladies must build a structure to stand on and the one who stays up longest would win.  Whoever fell first would go home. 
Due to an unbalanced stool, Rosie tumbled first while attempting to climb her structure, sending her packing.  When Madonna again claimed the immunity idol due to her kick-ass yoga and meditation skills she and Tina immediately started scheming.  With Rosie gone, the three original Tsaerb tribe members could easily decimate the remaining Anigav once and for all.  But using their combined star power, witty repartee and some good old fashioned persuading, Tina and Madonna managed to convince Katie that she would stand a better chance at winning in the final against them than against her former team mates due to the alliances of the people in the jury.  In the end, Katie secretly votes with them to get Alison off, while the other two voted for Tina expecting Katie to vote with them.  In this blindside, Alison ended up being the biggest loser.
The final four spent a luxurious day at the spa to celebrate day 30 before their final immunity challenge the next morning. Knowing that if she didn’t win immunity she would be gone, Heidi pushed through the pain to come out the winner of the up-and-down-the-stairs-with-heavy-laundry-and-kids challenge.   This left everyone jockeying for positions with Heidi.  Katie was able to worm her way back into her good graces despite her recent defection due to the time they had spent together and the original pact and together they decided to vote out Madonna due to her awesome performance in challenges that they thought would give her an edge in the final vote.  Easily convincing Tina to come on side, Madge was voted out. 
In the end, the jury of Madonna, Alison, Rosie, JLo and Britney stayed true to their roots, each voting for a member of their original tribe, thereby electing Tina Fey as the winner of Survivor Mommyland: Celebrity Edition.
The tribe has spoken.  Peace out!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Who Needs Hallmark?

As you should all know by now, our Alice is getting hitched tomorrow.  I have therefore spent the last week  babysitting thumper and stressing out over finding the perfect wedding present for the perfect blog partner.  I believe I have finally accomplished that feat.  As part of my perfect present, I wrote Alice the follwing in lieu of a mass produced greeting card and thought I would share it with our extended Mommyland family this week in honor of our Bride-to-be.  So pour a glass of wine and hold it high as we all share a gulp to celebrate Alice becoming an honest women:)

Dear Alice:
Screw Hallmark.  I refuse to pay ten bucks for some Alice- or-Wendy-wannabe to spew bullshit about how love blooms eternal, just for said card and all my witty hand-written comments to end up under some used condoms in the trash can.  So instead I invested my ten bucks in Mommyland by purchasing this journal for you to use to record all those angry Alice rants that we love so much and, I hope you don’t mind, I have borrowed these last few pages to record my wedding wishes for you.  
That being said, before I get to the wishes I would like to take a minute to explain my choice of wedding gift.  I have come to realize that wedding gifts are not like other gifts.  While you may quickly forget about/hide/re-gift that Snuggie you got for Christmas, the green and orange veggie dip tray that you get for your wedding will haunt you for the rest of your days.  It is simply impossible (for me anyway) to get rid of anything that I got as a wedding present.  Not only do relatives and friends expect to see the trinkets they bestowed upon you proudly displayed when they visit, but I have developed this weird sentimental attachment to the stuff.  It’s as if somehow I believe that keeping that four-foot fairy statue is essential to my continued wedded bliss.  Go figure.
Anyway, this is why I have spent so much time debating what to get you.  At first I was going to get you a toaster because that is the chronically cheesy wedding gift and I thought you would appreciate your blog partner, who is not at all cheesy (insert sarcasm here), getting you the classic wedding appliance.  But then I thought no, I don’t want Alice and Dawson associating me with burnt toast and, by association cheesy, yet informative Canadian Heritage Minutes. 
Next I considered a dirt devil, since I know, as a fellow mom, how convenient and necessary these things are, but I didn’t want you to think I was subtly trying to tell you that your house was dirty.  And I really didn’t want you nicknaming my children after that appliance (appropriate as that may be considering that, if I had got it for you, you would have had to whip it out after every time we visited).
So I continued my search.  I wanted something that wouldn’t become obsolete, or shoved on some dusty shelf to be forgotten about until the day Thumper (or more likely Prince) threw a basketball at said shelf, scaring one of the nine lives out of your cat and forcing you to wear shoes in your house for the next three months in order to avoid getting tetanus shots.   So in the end I settled on a punch bowl.  I figured anything made for using with alcohol wouldn’t have much time to gather dust at your place (if only because I will force you to use it at our blog meetings).  Plus – bonus- I thought this particular punch bowl resembled a fishbowl enough for you or your friends to use during, as well as after a big night of partying.  Or you could always just buy Thumper some goldfish.  Whatever.
My point is, during the millions of days of wedded bliss that I am sure you and Dawson will have, you can use this punch bowl/fishbowl to celebrate big movie premiers, getting published somewhere besides on our blog, and golden anniversaries.  And when you do, maybe you will spare a moment to think about that crazy blog partner you had once-upon-a-time who never did figure out how to use commas correctly.  But don’t worry, if you forget I will most likely remind you via a sharp kick under the table and a raised eyebrow.  Then we will both raise our glasses in a silent salute to the best wedding present ever. 
But right now I would like to thank you.  Not only for including me in this amazing day, but for taking the time to answer a poorly written ad on Kijiji, and then actually agreeing to pursue my crazy suggestion that we do a blog together.  You have taught me so much about writing, Mommyland, and Mommyship that I feel as if a punch bowl is a very insufficient way to show you how grateful I am.  So I got you the journal too.  But seriously, I can’t tell you how much having a girlfriend nearby has meant to me. 
So do I wish that you and Dawson have a life of full of happiness, live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live?  Hells to the yeah.  Do I wish that, as you slide down the banister of life the splinters never point the wrong way?  Damn straight.  Am I going to babysit when you need to keep the home fires burnin’ with some afternoon nookie?  Maybe, if you ask nicely and return the favour.
Bottom line:  Enjoy your day Alice, and every day that follows.  May you always find patience in your belly button, love in your heart and Dawson in ‘the mood.’
Suck that Hallmark!

Editors note:  As I was writing this post, Alice texts and asks me if I have a punch bowl she could borrow.  Seriously – am I good, or am I good?