Josée in Ottawa

Leave a comment

My Story’s Up on The Billfold!

I’ve got an article up on The Billfold today: I Saved Up For A Family Disney Trip and Then Didn’t Go

Please don’t tell the kids!




Gimme a T! Gimme a V! Gimme a P-V-R! Goooooooooo cable!

Television is back, thank God. Glee (so sad about Cory Monteith), The Good Wife (best show on television), The Amazing Race (love Phil!), Elementary (Lucy Liu and Johnny Lee Miller are terrific together)- it’s a television cornucopia just in time for thanksgiving and I couldn’t be happier. September kicks my ass every year and the only thing helping me through it is television. The month of September is always one big to-do list for us. Between the return to school and routine, the (usually) colder temperatures that require complete wardrobe overhauls, and our many family commitments (everyone in our family seems to be have been born in September), it’s go-go-go all month long. Today is the first weekend day this month where we don’t have anything scheduled. Being able to wind down with a good show in the evenings lately is a real treat. (Alcohol doesn’t hurt either. Note to self – buy more wine!! :))

bob's television dream by Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr Creative Commons)

bob’s television dream by Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr Creative Commons)

Leave a comment

Room to Breathe

I’ve been striving for years to simplify my life, and I’ve finally gotten to a point where I have some breathing room. The night course I was taking at Ottawa U ended in early April, and when B.G.’s gymnastics session ended at about the same time we decided to wait until September to re-enroll her. We made the same decision when both kid’s swimming classes ended. I’m still trying to study for the upcoming promotion at work but at the rate that’s going it may drag on for another six months – the urgency has totally dissipated. Which has left me with time to read, time to exercise, time to plant the garden I was hoping to plant last year, and more time to socialize. And it’s been great. I feel much calmer and more refreshed than I have in years. In the past few weeks however, I’ve figured out that my brain doesn’t really deal well with downtime. I promised myself that when I got to this point I would take it easy for a long, long time, but every day my brain seems to hatch a new plan – lately I’ve been obsessed with painting and decorating the house. After the stress of the move last summer and unpacking and organizing the place, we managed to paint the kids’ rooms and then ran out of steam for other home improvement. Nothing’s been done since, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I promised myself that I would take it easy and laze about during my holidays this summer, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to.


Leave a comment

Put Out an APB…

 …on spring!

Flower 18 by Brenda-Starr (Flickr Creative Commons)

Flower 18 by Brenda-Starr (Flickr Creative Commons)

It’s warmer than it was last week, I’ll give you that, but the forecast is calling for snow on Friday. I don’t know how much more winter jacket weather I can take. I still automatically put on my tuque and mitts before heading out the door, and more often than not I end up wearing them the whole time I’m outside. Mother nature, give us a break!

On the other hand, we finally got our hot water heater fixed this weekend and I can now spend more than three minutes in the shower before the hot water runs out. Yay heat!

1 Comment

I, For One, Cannot Have It All

Ok, so I may be a little late to this party. But it’s finally starting to dawn on me that maybe, just maybe, I can’t have it all.

What I want right now and what I would have to do to get it:

I want to be the best mom ever, to never scream at my kids, to take them on terrific weekends away, and to have home-made cookies waiting for them every day after school/daycare. In order to accomplish this, I would have to at least cut back at work, get us into massive debt, and put on twenty pounds.

I want to be a wonderful wife to my terrific husband at all times. In order to do this I would have to stop complaining to him about my work, stop reading random stuff on the internet (at night :), if you know what I mean), learn how to cook (thank God he likes to cook/is good at cooking or we would have all starved by now, or at least be in massive debt and all be overweight due to take-out). In order to be a wonderful wife I would have to quit my job, put us in debt, say goodbye to the internet and try and learn to cook. (I’m not convinced that last one is even possible.) Oh, and Hubby would add that I have to learn to put my empty soft drink cans in the recycling bin instead of “leaving them all over”. I would counter that in order for me to be a wonderful wife he would also have to learn to put the empty milk bags in the garbage, instead of leaving them all over. ‘Cause you know that a wife who is stewing about empty milk bags is not a wonderful wife.

I want to love my job and I want to get the promotion that is soon to be offered at work. In order to accomplish this I would have to study non-stop for the next three months and get the promotion, leaving no time for cooking, cleaning, playing with the kids, or not surfing the internet at night (wink wink).

I want my business to take off and make me lots of money so that I can take those weekends away with my family, and so that I can pay someone else to clean my house (see below) and cook for us (see above). In order for this to have a chance at happening, I would have to spend half my time networking and be very lucky. I could not bake cookies every day, or cook at all for that matter. I would have to quit my job, putting us into debt. I probably wouldn’t take the time to exercise.

I want to lose twenty pounds. In order to accomplish this I would have to exercise and track what I eat. I could possibly combine exercising and playing with the kids. And not surfing the internet at night is exercise, right? So I’d just have to give up on studying for the promotion. And the cookies.

I want my house to be clean most of the time. I clean the whole house in one shot once a week (or thereabouts) so that for a glorious five minutes the whole thing is clean. It doesn’t last, of course. But it stresses me out when it’s a mess – I really like things tidy. In order to keep the house as clean as I want I would definitely have to give up some exercise time and some play time with the kids.

Can you see how no matter how I work it, it won’t work? There is just no way for me to have it all. But somehow I still have hope. I still dream the impossible dream. Some weeks, I’m a great mom and wife, but my eating habits are terrible and I don’t study at all. Other weeks I eat really well but neglect my business. Sometime I’ll study all week and manage to get in a run or two but the kids are neglected and the house is a mess. I am not making any progress in any of these areas; it’s one step forward and two steps back. I know that I should concentrate one one area at a time, but I just cannot let go of the others… I can’t have it all, yet I can’t seem to stop trying.

1 Comment

Fluffy White Relief

October and November are the worst months of the year for me. The shorter days and longer nights coupled with the realization that a long dark winter is just around the corner always make it hard for me to do anything but sleep. I often find myself in my pajamas by six and in bed by nine at the latest. But then…the first snowfall. Sweet relief.

The view from our dining room table.

From the kitchen.

1 Comment

It’s Not Carbon Monoxide Poisoning You Numskull, It’s a Hangover

Last weekend we were gloriously child-free for a few hours, and we stopped by a friend’s open house. They had Boone’s Sangria, my all-time favourite drink after Bailey’s Irish Cream. (Apparently I have “cheap”, “clumsy”, “sorority-house” taste. What can I say.) I don’t know what possessed me, but I had one two three glasses of sangria in the span of about an hour. No wonder I thought that Argo, the movie we went to see afterwards, was the Best. Movie. Ever.

Sangria Pour by Dinner Series (Flickr Creative Commons)

Sangria Pour by Dinner Series (Flickr Creative Commons)

I don’t like beer, and since everything else was really expensive at the bars I frequented while in university, I never drank much and am a total lightweight.

I felt fine when I went to bed later that night, but around 2 am I woke up and felt… odd. My first thought was that I had e coli poisoning from the hamberger I’d eaten for supper. Hubby also had a hamberger, but his stomach is apparently made of steel and nothing phases it, so the fact that he was happily snoring away wasn’t conclusive one way or the other. I was lying awake and afraid to move, knowing that as long as I was perfectly still I probably wouldn’t be sick, but feeling like moving my head even a tiny bit was a very bad idea.

I’ve had food poisoning before, and it’s been my experience that if you have food poisoning,  you will be sick (repeatedly) no matter how still you are. So I started thinking that it was something else. I stayed perfectly still for another half hour and didn’t throw up. Food poisoning was therefore officially, conclusively ruled out. Then it came to me: carbon monoxide poisoning! Never mind that we have a CO/smoke detector right outside our bedroom door, and that it was just installed a couple of months ago so was probably working just fine. My mind latched onto that idea, and suddenly I had to check the children. Which meant moving. Which might lead to bad consequences, given how I felt. But the children! Why isn’t the CO detector going off? Is Hubby still breathing? Yup. Still breathing. I don’t feel tired. Wouldn’t I feel tired if it was CO poisoning? I have no idea. Must check the children.

So I got out of bed and made sure the kids were still breathing. Yup, both were fine. I checked that the green light on the CO/smoke detector was on. Yup. Back to bed. I spent another hour lying there feeling odd and worrying about CO poisoning.

Just as I was finally drifting off to sleep, it hit me. I’m hungover! Or possibly still drunk. I am a lightweight. That’s it! It’s not CO poisoning! I’m just drunk! I can go to sleep and stop worrying about the kids. Yay!

I have never, ever thrown up because I’ve had too much to drink. And despite those three large glasses of Boone’s Sangria, my streak continues.


A Short Conversation with B.G.

Care Bears lineup by johntrainor (Flickr Creative Commons)

Care Bears lineup by johntrainor (Flickr Creative Commons)

B.G. sold a few toys on Used Ottawa recently, and to my dismay she couldn’t wait to head to the store to spend some of her money.  At the time, she was hoping to find a stuffed Care Bear. I tried to convince her that it might be a good idea to save her money but she wasn’t buying it (pun intended :)). Our conversation on the way to the store went something like this:

Me: I’m not sure we’ll be able to find a Care Bear today. They might not have what you want. If you can’t find one, you could save your money and put it in your piggy bank. 

B.G.: If they don’t have a Care Bear I’ll get something else I want.

Me: What else do you want?

B.G.: I don’t know, I don’t know what they have!

Me: *sigh*