Lather, rinse, repeat. (Or: This is your brain on kids)

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img © Omar Chatriwala

This morning I was in the shower… too much information? Again?

Oh well.

This morning I was in the shower. I was conditioning my hair when I suddenly couldn’t remember whether I had shampooed yet. I had to rinse it all out and start again.

Then I “helped” my 3-year-old get dressed. I told her that her shirt was backwards, and helped her turn it around. Then I noticed that, while the shirt was now frontwards, the kid was backwards.

That’s right, I looked at my daughter and couldn’t tell front from back.

So I thought to myself, this would make a great blog post. I should make a list of all the crazy things that mommy brain can do.

But I can’t remember what any of them are.

This is your brain on kids.

sigh

Too Much Information?

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I just gave away all my maternity clothes and have been flogging various bits of baby gear on kijiji (Stay tuned! More to come!).  But between Sara (who is expecting) and Julie (whose only crime is to blog about her family of six, and today’s post isn’t even about that), I suddenly find myself with the baby-crazies. Witness the latest message exchange with DH:

Ode To Mommy Brain (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

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Girls, it is said, are made up of sweets,
Sticky, and licky, and gooey-gum treats.

Boys, on the other hand – puppy dog tails,
Creepies and crawlies and eight-legged snails.

But neither is true, as I’ve said all along,
They’re made up of brain cells they stole from their mom.

Inspired by Sara’s grinchy Growing post,
itself inspired by Brie’s Monday Moments.
Gawd, but I ♥ the interweb.

Image © Margo – Fotolia.com

Teeny Tiny Tidy-Up Tuesday Post (on a really BIG subject)

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In weight loss, as in toilet training, as in life – I think the key to success is setting attainable goals. Well, I haven’t been attaining much in the way of Tidy Up Tuesday posts lately, but you don’t get much more attainable than this:

I pulled out the last of my maternity clothes.

(ooooooh!)

I piled them up on the dresser.

(ahhhhhhh!)

I wrote two posts about it, including this one.

(wait. seriously?)

And then I put them in the basement. And now the world is a tidier place.

That is all.

Great Garage Cleanout: The Not-So-Instant Replay

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[The Instagram pics don’t seem to load very well – you may need to refresh the page a few times. Bleh.]

This post feels a little bit like I’m cheating, but I’m going to do it anyway. Because Sara April issued a Garage Cleanup Challenge – at my suggestion – and not only did I not get to it until the May long weekend, I’m only finally blogging about it now.

The cheating part? I live-tweeted it. So all I’m going to do now is paste in my tweets. So for those who did not see it live, here is the replay ;).

[Editor’s Note: I did figure it out – sort of. It was purchased for a bin of scooping & construction-type toys. Not sure how it migrated out to the garage though]

[Another note: we do, in fact, now have 5 strollers. But we are selling at least one, possibly two. If you know anyone who wants an as-new (used once) MEC stroller/trailer, please let me know]

[Hi. Me again. I have to admit that that box, along with several others, went into the shed pretty much as-is. There’s another project right there.]

[So I, er, feel the need to justify owning 8 shepherd’s hooks. We used to live in the country. The hook-density on 2 acres was a lot lower than it is here.]

[No justifying this one though. And no pic – too embarassing :P]

Phew! That took almost as long as the cleanout itself. Someone shoot me the next time I decide to take a ‘shortcut’ and ‘just paste together some tweets’ instead of writing a post…

Everything I ever needed to know about tidying I learned from Dora the Explorer

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© Nickelodeon, Fair Use (Commentary)

Have you ever watched Dora the Explorer? At the beginning of every adventure, she consults her map, which always has exactly three steps to get to where she needs to go. A typical trek might take her

  1. across the raging river, and
  2. over the slippery rock, to
  3. crocodile lake.

Through the rest of the journey, Dora will chant to remind herself:

RIVer. ROCK. CROCoDILe LAKE.”

(I apologize to all the parents who now have that running through their heads.)

A week or so ago, I was playing single parent for 5 days. My usual M.O.in this situation is to hunker down, accept that not much will get accomplished, and focus on not going crazy. But about half-way through, I snapped. I couldn’t stand to look at a livingroom floor so covered in toys as to obscure the wood (and yet without hiding any of the dirt. Go fig.)

So I surprised myself. I strapped the baby to my back, deposited the toddler in the livingroom with an iPhone and Netflix (tuned to Dora, of course), and started cleaning.

Now, what frequently happens when I go on one of these cleaning binges is I get bogged down in ‘prerequisites’ and attempts at uber-efficiency. I want to do the dishes, but first I should start the laundry (you know, so the machine is going while I do other things). But if I’m going to do that, I should really go through the house first and make sure everything is collected and sorted. And while I’m doing that, well, if I’m going up the stairs there’s all this stuff I should take with me…

At the end of the day, I’m just frustrated. I’ve been busting my butt, but it seems like nothing has been accomplished. Certainly very little has been completed. Indeed, all the running around has reminded me of all the things I haven’t done.

Enter Dora, and her three-step process.

I decided that my ‘todo’ list was not allowed to have more than 3 items on it. Only after finishing one could I add another. And to keep focussed, I was walking around the house chanting “LAUNdry. DISHes. FEED the CATs“.

So I guess you could say that I had abandonned my mantra of “hunker down and don’t go crazy”.

But something rather useful came out of this little diversion from sanity, aside from a house that was in better shape while single-parenting than otherwise. I came up with a few rules of thumb that I think may serve me well going forward:

  1. never let the to-do list get longer than 3 items
  2. don’t walk by something that can be fixed in 30 seconds, but
  3. never divert from the current item for more than a minute.

Wow. Leave me alone for a few days and I end up with an entirely new world-view. It’s enough to make me look forward to hubby’s next trip.

Almost.

The Garage

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When we moved into our new house, we had a very aggressive timeline. We closed the new house one Wednesday, and the old one the next Wednesday. We had my sister’s out of town wedding the weekend in between, and a 10-month-old in tow. So when I got the keys at 4pm, the first thing I did was head for the house to make sure everything was ready for the movers the next day.

It wasn’t.

There were 8 large bags of smelly garbage in the garage. There was an ancient chest freezer downstairs, and a queen size bed upstairs. There was a lamp in the guest room that the previous owner had been so kind as to label for us:

Fire Hazard

Yes. That does, in fact, say “fire hazard”.

Thankfully, we had the world’s awesomest real estate agents, who got on the phone with the selling agents and (ahem) persuaded them pay for the clean up. We had the world’s awesomest movers, who called in reinforcements and got everything moved out so that we could move in.

1.8 metric tonnes of stuff went to the dump that day.

That’s right. One point eight metric tonnes. Including a sign that said “City of Kanata. No Dumping”.

No Dumping

But that’s not all. While the movers were pulling junk out of the shed, it collapsed. Apparently it was only being held up by the stuff that was stuffed into it.

Without a garden shed, the garage never really had a chance. It’s now so gridlocked that we can’t move around in it to organize it. I’m sure there’s stuff in there we could get rid of, but I can’t even get to it.

And so, tada! Here is our new shed:

This is, shall we say, a work in progress. But progress is being made, and it is being made just a bit quicker thanks to Sara’s garage challenge.  This deadline was the only thing that kept me going when every Home Depot in town had the shed I wanted ‘in the computer’, but only one actually had one to sell.

So we’re off! We’ve found someone to help build the shed, and with any luck I’ll have some ‘after’ pics in time for April 22!

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