Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why, why, why, why, why…

She's such a good kid. She's such a good kid that I hate to ever, ever complain about something she's doing because, well, she's such a good kid!

But good God, for the love of all that is holy, could somebody please tell me how you make the never ending WHY questions stop? She started with the questions a few weeks ago, and in those few shorts weeks I have gone from "Super Earnest Mommy Who Tries To Make All Every Day Situations Into A Learning Experience," to "Crazy Lady Who Will Buy You Some Skittles If You Just Stop Asking Me Why A Horsie Is Called A Horsie!"

Seriously, here is an actual conversation we had today:

"What are you doing Mommy?"
"I'm doing laundry."
"Why are you doing laundry?"
"Because the clothes are dirty, and we need to make them clean."
"Why do we need to make them clean?"
"Because we can't wear clothes that are dirty and smelly, silly!"
"Why can't we wear clothes that are dirty and smelly silly?"
"Because that's yucky! And we like to be clean. Don't you like to be clean?"
"We like to be clean? Why do we like to be clean?"
"Because it doesn't feel very nice to be dirty…"
"Why doesn't feel very nice to be dirty?"
"Are you hungry? Would you like some oranges for a snack?"
"Why are you making oranges for a snack?"

It's like this all day long. She follows me everywhere I go and asks me endless streams of questions in an infinite loop. I mean, I'm certainly glad she's a smart and inquisitive kid, and intellectually I know that this is just a phase that she's going through. But seriously! How long does this phase last? Because I think I can make it through a couple more months, but much longer than that and I think my head is going to explode.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Look! She doesn't even do the cheater push-ups!

The other day, my friend Julie posted on Facebook that she needed people to give her some motivation to exercise, and I joked that I should send Gracie over to her house.

Because that child of mine is sure to grow up to be someone's personal trainer. She loves to exercise. In fact, the first thing she wants to do when she gets up in the morning is exercise.

"Come on Mommy! It's time to do our exercises!"
"How about we have some breakfast first, so Mommy has some energy to exercise."
"Oh - Kay," she says, head bowed and heading to the breakfast table in total disappointment.

Once breakfast is over, she will tolerate me cleaning up and doing a load of laundry, but then it's get your butt to the Wii Fit time. Seriously. It's pretty good for me, I think. And probably my butt.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pick something else

When I was in my early teens, and had reached the age when everyone started asking me what I was going to be when I was done high school, the first answer I ever gave was: A Teacher.

I LOVE kids, and it seemed like the dream job to me. I figured I could spend most of the year teaching and spend my summers writing the children's books I had floating around in my head. And then, when I was older and had kids of my own, I would always be home for them when they were on school vacations. To me, it seemed like a no brainer. Teacher. Done.

But when I started telling people that's what I wanted to do, there was not one person who told me it sounded like a good idea. Not one word of encouragement, not one person who thought I should.

"You'll spend your life dealing with unreasonable parents!"
"You don't want to be around other people's little monsters all day, every day, do you?"
"You'll spend your evenings marking papers instead of having time to yourself."

Even my grandmother, who was A TEACHER, tried to talk me out of it, giving me a little speech I will never forget:

"Good God girl! When I was your age, there were only two jobs a woman could have. Teacher or nurse. You live in a time when you can do anything you want. Anything! PICK SOMETHING ELSE!" The last sentence was spoken so loudly and forcefully that she actually spit on me. I never said I wanted to be a teacher ever again.

Fast forward 20 years, and I'm now a volunteer teacher for Gracie's little playgroup. Every Tuesday, I get to dance around to The Wheels on the Bus, read stories to a sea of cute little faces looking up at me while they eat a snack, and then help them all make a little craft. And you know what? I love every single minute of it.

I can't even put into words how much I love being the Tuesday morning teacher. I love being around small children. They make me happy right to my core. Whenever I see a little one, I break out into an involuntary smile. I don't even mean to, it just happens. I give them the widest smile I've got, and I almost always get a smile back, and maybe even a little wave.

Whenever I'm around little kids, the worries of the world melt away. I feel lighter, happier, and I can't stop smiling. I like listening to the long winded stories of "and then…and then…and then…" I like it when they bring me their treasures to show me. I like asking them a question in the middle of a story, and hearing a chorus of: "it's a kangaroo!!!!"

I'm having so much fun that sometimes I wonder if maybe I should have stuck to my guns when I was younger, and done what I wanted to do. Of course, I don't regret my time working in newspaper. If I hadn't gone into journalism, I would never have met Nathan, and we wouldn't have gotten married or had Gracie. And it goes without saying that I loved all the years I spent working with him too.

But I sure do love being the Tuesday morning teacher.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ta Da!

So, what do you think?

First of all, this isn't the best picture. With the lighting in my kitchen, I'm having trouble taking a picture that doesn't make the wall look slightly green. It's really a kind of sand-ish color, with gold undertones. And honestly, I must admit that I liked my red kitchen better. But we want the house to sell quickly, so we thought a more neutral color would probably be the way to go.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Up to my eyeballs in primer

Sorry everyone. That whole new year's resolution thingy didn't work out so well, huh? Except for one. I got a new client to do some work for, so that's kinda taken up my time.

Also, we have decided to paint the kitchen, the entryway, the half bath, and maybe even the living room. Which I'm supposed to be doing right now. We are doing this so that we might have an easier time selling our house when we list it at the end of the month. Because apparently, other people don't like bright red kitchens and forest green entryways. Who knew?

Anyhoo, better get back to painting. Tomorrow -- pics of the finished product!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The only resolution blog you'll read that DOESN'T include weight loss

I'm not really a New Year's Resolution kinda gal. There's just something about the freezing temperatures and hardly any daylight that makes January kind of bleak, and not at all conducive to having the energy to start something new. Honestly, before I had Gracie, I spent most of the winter curled up on the couch with a good book and a bowl of popcorn.

But a month ago, my Mom introduced me to the wonders of Extra Vitamin D, and I tell you, I've got more energy than I've had in YEARS! (Seriously, fellow Canadians. You have to try it. 3000 units of Vitamin D and you'll feel like a new person!) And with this newfound energy, I'm thinking what the hell, why not try a few of these resolution thingies.

So, I give you Denice's New Year's Resolutions, 2010 Edition:

1. Blog More Often. In the last two months, seven different people on seven different occasions have told me how much they loved to read my blog, you know, back when I actually used to post a couple of times a week instead of a couple of times a month. And, when I actually find the time to do it, I really LOVE this blog. So, I'm going to make more time (read: spend less time reading other people's blogs) and do some more writing here.

2. Find a Way to Make Some Money. I love being a stay at home mom. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that right here, right now is the happiest I've ever been in my adult life. But… I still feel guilty every day that I'm not doing anything to contribute some income to the family bank account. We're certainly not starving to death, but we're on a pretty tight budget, and that is entirely my fault. So, I'm going to start looking for things I can do from home to generate a little extra income. (Anybody wanna buy an ad on my blog? Seriously - anybody? BlogHer? Federated Media? I've got, like, 30 people per week!)

3. Read More Books. A do read a lot, it's just that what I've been reading lately is Bloggers. And I love my bloggers. I'm not sure what I would do without my daily dose of Dooce, and Amalah, and The Pioneer Woman and the Farm Chicks. But I'm kind of craving something that takes a little longer than 5 minutes to read, and so, I think I'm going to start breaking into that large pile of books that I have bought over the last five years or so, and actually read them.

And I was also thinking: wouldn't it be fun if I had a little Denice-isms Book Club? Who wants to read with me? I'll pick a new book each month, so you've got a whole month to read it, and I'll post what I thought of the book at the end of the month, and you can all leave your comments and let me know what you thought. What do you think? Who's with me?

The first book I thought I would read is: The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd. Now, I'll admit, the one and only reason that I want to read this one is that I have a bit of a thing for bees. (I'll tell you more about my bee-aficiando ways when I write about the book at the end of the month). But I'm guessing that it's actually about people, and not bees. But there's bees in the title! So I'm holding out hope.