Posted by: Hannah | 08/19/2014

there goes the neighbourhood

We have new neighbours. The elderly couple who lived right next door have moved to some kind of assisted-living scenario and gave their house to one of their adult children and his family. Oh lord. They have two large dogs who spent the first couple of weeks ‘adjusting’, or ‘whining all day long while kept in a backyard cage, escalating to panicked alarm-barking every time one of us stepped onto our own deck’. They have been doing a prolonged renovation project which involves liberal use of the word ‘fuck’ – imagine if every time there should be a comma in your English speech all day long, you said ‘fuck’ instead – and smoking so much pot that Otto the Bus Driver would be horrified.

I’m sure that power tools and marijuana should always go together. ALWAYS.

We are just back to normal today after our summer “staycation” and we had a blast. (Sorry for using a made-up word, but at least it was ‘staycation’, not ‘nakation’, which is one I heard today to describe the rise in nudist-friendly vacation resorts.) The kids are exhausted. Our vacation money cookie jar is depleted. I have a fabulous tan and all of us have sunstreaks in our hair. I think we’re all ready to get back to the normal routine, though.

There’s probably a vacation recap post coming. And a Harry’s 9th birthday post even though that was last month. And oh! I went on a job interview and that, my friends, is at least two blog posts right there (short version: if I’m going to have my life in the hands of petty tyrants I want them to at least be the sort I can put in a time-out). But I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing, and my brain is covered in cobwebs.

Some random thoughts just to get me moving again:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the best comic book movie ever and even if you don’t like comic book movies you should go see it right now. NOW. Seriously. Be prepared to have “Hooked on a Feeling” stuck in your head for several days afterward.
  • Harry’s baseball team narrowly won their quarterfinal game and are now waiting for a break in the weather so they can play their semi. In other news, I ate an entire bag of stress chips yesterday. (Today I’ve been super-virtuous, because you can’t let one little bag of stress chips and two weeks of vacation eating derail your healthy eating plans).
  • Pixie is leaving the dayhome as of mid-September, so I’m the hunt for a new client. It’s been a long time since I had to go looking for new kids – it should be interesting.
  • Ron thinks “Up All Night to Get Lucky” is about “drinking beer, or maybe getting married.” Harry thought it was about going to the casino, but then he asked what it actually meant so I told him. One of parenting’s little moments of payback is watching the horrified expression on your kid’s face when he realizes that every time he sang along to a song he was actually talking about Teh Sex.
  •  I got an email from Target Canada through this blog, asking me to review some of their products. I’m not proud! School is starting and, well, it’s more expensive every year. Want another reason why Target Canada is not succeeding? They are offering product to review all right – on loan. And they will give interviews. In other words, I provide space on my personal blog for free to shill their product and in return I get the hassle of borrowing (and then returning!) products that I may or may not need. Go home, Target Canada. You’re drunk.

Back to school in two weeks from tomorrow! Guess I’d better buy poor Harry some new pants. The child has grown many, many inches since last fall and even the “we’ll buy these big” pants are now too short. Oy.

Posted by: Hannah | 07/25/2014

too dumb to hate-watch

You probably all remember just how much I hate, loathe, and abominate E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Gray series.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a refresher:

50 Shades of Gray – hated it.

50 Shades Darker – hated it so much I got the title wrong in my original post.

50 Shades Freed – when my hatred crossed over from “jesus this is stupid” to “holy shit this book glorifies abuse”

They are just terrible using every objective measurement, from the piss-poor editing to the bad writing, from the total misunderstanding of D/s relationships to the promotion of the idea that love isn’t true & real unless one partner is miserable all the goddamn time.


The first movie trailer hit the interwebs this week, so suddenly it’s back in the news again… and will be, I’m guessing, until it comes out in February and earns one thousand million zillion dollars.

I resisted watching the trailer for days, until my prurient curiosity got the better of me. I went to YouTube and watched this video. It’s  SFW but embedding was blocked, sorry about that.

I watched the whole thing until I realized it isn’t actually a movie trailer – it’s a watch commercial. A watch commercial tagged “50 Shades Official Trailer”, mind you.


So I searched again, and after finding an Audi commercial disguised as a trailer… and a helicopter commercial disguised as a trailer… and some badly-lit homemade porn disguised as trailers… I finally found this:

Which is NSFW, obviously, but also really boring. I can’t imagine paying cash money to sit through two hours of that.


My point is… I deliberated hate-watching them. The suggestion was made on Twitter yesterday that anyone who did go hate-watch should atone by donating twice the ticket price to a local women’s shelter, and I thought about it, but I just can’t. I’m still recovering from the experience of reading the stupid books, I can’t imagine watching the movies, unless I had a gaggle of like-minded folks to go with me and I smuggled in a mickey of rye to pour into my over-priced movie theatre Coke.


Posted by: Hannah | 07/15/2014

rainy day survival

It’s a rainy week in Halifax, which means all daycare providers have to step up their game.

Yes, it’s warm enough to play outdoors anyway, and yes, there is a certain amount of that. But on sunny days it’s not uncommon for us to spend all of the morning & half the afternoon outside. Even the hardiest child is not going to play in the rain for that long.

Anyone who says “puddle jumping!!” with manic cheerfulness has never taken more than one kid out for that activity. One kid in a puddle will wade, maybe jump a little bit, possibly get wet socks if their boots aren’t the best.

Seven kids in a puddle looks like the ending of Waterworld, minus jetskis.

The last time I took them out puddle-jumping, I ended up doing two loads of laundry afterward. I had to wash the girls’ hair. The dog needed a full-body wipedown.

It’s a ton of extra work, is what I’m saying. Sometimes you have to do the cost / benefit analysis. If an activity that takes half an hour of actual fun requires 2+ hours of clean-up afterwards, it may not be your best option.

Yesterday was not a good day. Everyone was cranky, overtired, off their schedules, and foul. We didn’t experience the day, we survived it. Like passengers on a cruise ship that picks up Norovirus. By the end we were all exhausted, we smelled bad, there had a been a lot of tears and no one wanted to discuss it ever again.

Today we were all determined to have a better time – me included. So we had circle time, wherein we each get a turn to tell the group a little story, and then we sing some songs.

Arthur told me that he’s reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and that Harry sleeps in a cupboard under the stairs, which he couldn’t picture because what on earth is that?? So I pointed out that I have a cupboard under the stairs, although it’s really more of a utility space and houses the water pump & treatment system. Also spiders. The boys insisted on getting a tour of the dank hole and they were duly impressed.

Ron likes to throw curveballs at me when we sing “Old MacDonald” (think “pterodon”) so today I tried to add enough extra interest to keep him on track.

Me: Farming’s a tough business, so Old MacDonald sold the farm and bought a zoo! Today we sing with zoo animals!
Kids: YAY!!
Me: Old MacDonald had a zoo, E-I-E-I-O! And on that zoo he had a…

After circle I lied and told them the walls were looking kind of bare since I’d taken down the last batch of art. (They are, but here’s a confession – I like them bare. It helps the space we’re in feel less claustrophobic to me. However, needs must.) Arthur and Ron made me a huge mural of a spinosaurus and a t-rex fighting while an asteroid hurtles toward them. The littles learned how to peel the backs off stickers and spent a blissful half-hour covering pieces of paper with them. And Harry drew several panels of Angry Birds.
My walls are very violent now.
After circle I coached them on how to construct a massive fort with the nap mattresses, the kitchen table, and a stack of old sheets. Within minutes they were pretending it was an airplane. Then the airplane was being used to transport “petraceratops” (I eventually figured out they meant “protoceratops” which then necessitated an explanation of the prefix “proto” because LEARNING, guys.) Then the airplane was attacked by pirates. Pirates who (apparently) needed to be shrieked into submission.
I held it together until about 1pm. By then, I was done. My ears were actually ringing. Naps weren’t happening because the big boys would not be quiet. The living room looks like a tornado hit, I needed to make a lasagna because that seemed like a good idea back on Saturday when I planned the week’s menu… I cracked.And I did what any sensible, responsible, 36 year old mother of three does when she can see the end of her rope and it’s a foot above her head.

I called my mommy.
Now I only need to survive until Saturday morning – then I load up my kids and drive them to her house. And leave them there. For, like, 30 hours.
You ask me what I’m going to do with all that time, and I tell you frankly that I have no idea.
But whatever it is, it will be quiet.

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