Thursday, February 24, 2011

To Market, To Market...

Groceries with four kids in tow can get pretty crazy.  It's not for the faint of heart.  My best tip is to move, move, move.  The quicker it's done, the better the chance of getting out in one piece.  My second rule is:  Every man for himself.  Mommy is in charge of doing groceries, and each kid is in charge of keeping track of Mommy.  If Mommy moves, kids move.  If Mommy goes down one aisle, kids go down the same aisle.  If you run off, you're in big trouble, Mister. 

Actually, this is what the kids believe.  The reality is that I'm doing a head count every time I blink, but they don't know that...

So, we parked next to cart carrier (another rule) and headed in the door - Graedon firmly clasped in hand, baby in my arms, girls keepupkeepupkeepup.  We walk into the store's entry and I head to the rows of carts.  I fasten Baby Gen into the seat, I turn around and - where's Graedy?  Graedy?  No little camouflage tuque bobbing around the entryway.  Crap.  I knew I shouldn't have made him wear camo.  Now I can't see him!  2 seconds later (which felt like 10 minutes), the doors slide open and out comes Graedon from the main store, bawling, followed by a nice store clerk.  Poor Graedy.  We hug, we make up, and he doesn't let go of my leg for the entire trip.

The usual, we pick out our fruits & veggies.  The kids are super interested in all those exotic fruits.  We buy some lychee just for fun, but I say no to the pistachio nuts.  Old ladies stop me at every turn with comments of, "My, you're busy!"  and stories of how many kids they had and their moms had and when the latest grandbaby is due.  I don't know these people. 

One younger lady stares and gasps, "Are they all yours?!"  In my head I say, "Nope, I just picked up an extra couple from the parking lot cuz I like to torture myself at the grocery store."  but in real life I say, "Yes."  She shakes her head and moves on. 

Up and down the aisles, the kids trotting behind, and all is going well.  There are a few helpful suggestions to load the cart with Kinder Eggs and Easter candy, but since we avoid the junk-laden middle of the store, it's not too bad.  They're being very very good. 

Finally, we get in line at the cash.  Graedy is being extra helpful and placing (throwing) food up on the conveyor belt.  I start grabbing the breakable stuff and place them on as quickly as I can so that he doesn't need to "help" too much.  The man ahead of us laughs, saying, "Whoa whoa whoa!  I haven't put my stuff on yet!"  Crap.  My face red, I realize that he wasn't the one paying.  The woman in front of him was pulling out her wallet, and I completely wedged myself in front of him and his cartful of groceries!  I apologize up and down and he just laughs and blames it on having 4 kids at the grocery store.  At least that came in handy.

Off we go!  We load up the van, we take off and half way home...

Maddie's conscience gets the better of her.  She holds up her fist and asks, "Mommy?  What's this?"  A tiny lonesome pistachio nut.  A stolen pistachio nut.  A 2 cent stolen pistachio nut, but that's not the point.  A U-turn and a scolding later, we're back at the store.  I was hoping to avoid hauling all 4 back into the store, but the only employee I see is the cart-guy.  He doesn't look like he could find his way out of a paper bag, never mind play along for the Crime Dog scene I have in mind.  We march in the door, purposely avoiding the male employee with the hair net.  He looks like he might be too "Bad Cop" for the purpose.  I spy a mature, matronly looking woman on her break. 

Holding hands, Maddie and I walk up to her. 

"This is Madeleine.  She has something she needs to return to you and she has something to say." 

Employee looks at her friend, they knowingly hide their smiles and give me a wink over Mad's head.  They catch my drift.  They've been through this before.

Maddie hangs her head, "I'm sorry" and hands over the nut.

The lady crouches over with an Oscar worthy frown.  "We'll forgive you for this time." 

Light hearted, conscience clear and footloose, we skip out to the van.  It wasn't a perfect shopping experience, but it sure was a learning one.  And our supper conversation subject?  Juvey.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Today, someone asked me what I do for hobbies.  The best I could come up with was, "Hmmm...well, every once in a while I take an extra long shower."  Seriously.  I think I might be boring.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been wanting to write a post about how life is changing for us, but every time I start, I sound whiney and I say things I shouldn't.  So, here's a post about Valentine's Day instead.

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

Richard and I celebrated by going out to a local restaurant - Fresh  Spectacular!  It's in the little town of Bristol.  The restaurant is a restored 1930's train car.  It's quiet, it's adult, it's fancy and oh, my, it's delicious!  Check out the website (but turn off the music.  It reminds me of questionable late-night naughty girl TV shows.  LOL BTW, has anyone noticed how "sexy" cooking shows have gotten?  No more clean cut, motherly's all close ups, slow mo and badoink-a-doink music.)

Then, this evening, the kids decided to surprise Richard.  They made him valentines - glitter everywhere! - wrapped up gifts they found in their toyboxes and set the table with linen and stemware.  Then, they made him spaghetti.  I kid you not, they pretty much did it all.  They chopped the veggies, stirred the pot, grated the cheese and even helped roast the garlic.  All I did was supervise and boil the pasta water.  They were so proud of themselves! 

I made dessert, though.  Strawberry mousse in chocolate cups with a strawberry coulis.  Yum!  It was like eating little strawberry clouds. 

I hope you've had a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Formula Sticker Shock

I have lots of milk.  Baby Gen is chubby, happy and certainly well-fed.  If Gen lets go in the middle of a feeding, more often than not I end up spraying half-way across the room.  It's great entertainment when we have guests over (kidding!).  Pumping, though, is not my forte.  Somehow the machine just doesn't trigger my milk making hormones like that cute little baby face.  I can pump a half bottle in one sitting, but only if I give Gen a bottle to ensure that I'm full when I pump.  See the predicament?

So, since Richard surprised me with the news of a fancy supper out on the town, I needed milk.  With 4 days to prepare, I figured I'd have plenty of time to pump a feeding for Gen.  Nope.  2 ounces is not going to tide her over.  Six months old, and Gen will be having her first taste of formula.  Sigh.

At the grocery store, I located the baby aisle, found the cases and cans of formula and nearly fainted.  Oh. My. Goodness.  A case costs $47.99  Atrocious!  I finally settled for 6 cans of ready made for $19.99!  Even the powder DIY cost an arm and a leg.  If I had to formula feed all the time, I'd have to sell my first born to afford it. 

By my calculations, if the typical baby drinks 5 bottles per day at 6 ounces per bottle (this is an older infant), then it would cost $12.50/day if using the pre-made Nestle brand.  That's $87.50/week and $375/month.  Wow. 

So far, breastfeeding has cost me about $55 - including breast pads, Lansinoh, and a pump.  Granted I got an awesome deal on the pump, but still. 

True, the store brand powder stuff would be less expensive (but not for me since I'd end up throwing most of it out because I couldn't use it up in the 30 days), and with all the breastfeeding stuff you can buy (which advertisers would have you believe is *essential*), the cost difference won't be so extreme as my example.  However you look at it, though, money talks.  My money says, "There's no taste like homemade!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Madeleine Olivia

Somehow, I wasn't able to post this picture of Maddie in yesterday's post.  Here she is - my 7 year old.

Lover of all things soft and cuddly, wearer of many hats (literally), leader of the pack, and little woman in training.  If you could only see how she has grown, not only in the last 7 years, but even in the last few months.  What a girl!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Maddie!

 Maddie turned seven last week!  Oh my goodness, where has the time gone?  Her birthday party included a sleigh ride.  What a beautiful day it was - sunny, warm and filled with all sorts of good things.

The kids had a ball.  They loved jumping off the sleigh and running to catch up with it.

The snow was so deep!  Thankfully, we had the sleigh ride last weekend.  We've had about a foot more since then.

Kitty cat cupcakes (or are they bunnies?).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

A bit of background:  There have been times when the kids have stuck up their noses at things - my cooking, a handmade gift, etc.  I've been very adament that they never openly criticize someone else's labours because, after all, someone took the time to think of them and make whatever it was.

Now the story...

Grammy L. gave the girls new colouring books and they've been colouring up a storm for the last couple days.  Eventually, Maddie came to a picture of a prince that she thought lacked a bit in the "handsome" department. 

Maddie:  Why would anyone want to marry a prince like that?!

Eva:  Maddie!  Don't say that!

Maddie:  Why not?

Eva:  It's not nice.  Somebody worked really hard at making that colouring book.

There you go.  Proof that something I've told them has actually stuck.