Tag Archives: Funny Stuff

H&ohMygosh!

H&M

My first H&M experience happened 5 years ago while I was in Calgary. I had stalked their fashions online and couldn’t wait to step foot into an actual store. I was all hyped-up the whole morning and when I finally crossed the threshold I freaked.

(A little side note about me: When I get excited, I get really really excited. There are certain stores or places that I love (like Bulk Barn) and when I go inside I practically vibrate. My eyes dart around quickly and I become overstimulated. I’m giddy with possibilities. But the flip-side is that I get overwhelmed and can’t function properly. The awesomness is too much and I am unable to make basic life choices, like which trail mix I’d like to buy. It gets better once I visit the location on a regular basis, but if I’ve been anticipating going somewhere for quite awhile then it’s hopeless.)

I tried to calm my internal freak-out and told myself to walk slowly and look at all the racks of wonderful fashions. I had a bit of money to spend, knowing that it would be one of my stops while visiting family, but I quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I liked and left the store without purchasing anything from a retailer I had waited years to visit. This happened the next two times that I was inside an H&M store.

I like H&M because I find them to be classy, fashionable and trendy all rolled into one. You can spot a vintage inspired piece with a peter pan collar right next to an edgy sweater with leather patches on the shoulders. They carry garments that are easily added to your current wardrobe at reasonable prices. Sure, not every thing inside their walls is for me, but its my kinda store.

Since that first encounter, I’ve spent 5 years hoping that they would one day open their doors in Winnipeg. Sure enough, that day finally came.

Amid much hype, fist pumping, dancing employees, security guards and news crews, H&M Winnipeg cut their red ribbon and opened shop yesterday morning at 11:00am. I figured that for a Wednesday morning it wouldn’t be too insane so I packed-up my little guy and made my way to the mall. I’ve waited 5 years after all and dammit, I’d be there on the first day!

As I rounded the corner I was made an ass of for assuming there would only be a small crowd. I stood in shock as the line-up of people was half a kilometer long, winding through the mall. The music was blaring and the place was buzzing. I cut through the line and went straight for Starbucks. I wasn’t dealing with any of that nonsense until I had an empty bladder and a coffee in my hand.

I finally decided to get in line at 11:30 when it shrank a good amount and Eli and I only waited for about 25 minutes. He stayed happy eating grapes and I stood and people-watched. A CBC reporter came and wanted to interview the two girls behind me, to which they quickly declined because they were skipping class. After walking down the length of the line, they ended-up interviewing the guy standing right in-front of me as he was the next lucky individual to enter the store (they were letting someone in the store every time someone would leave so they could keep things under control).

Finally it was my time. The lady waved me through and I pushed the stroller into paradise. It was overwhelming. It was crowded. The DJ was deafening. The lines for the fitting rooms and the registers were winding through the whole store. I could barely get the stroller around people and racks of clothing. But I tried to take a peek at some clothes and look for a certain skirt that I’ve been trying to find. A few minutes in to my shopping my sister phone. So I pushed Eli, glanced at clothes, tried not to hit people and talked on the phone. I realized this wasn’t working and decided to call it quits. I’d come back when things calmed down. I clearly wasn’t getting anywhere and Eli wouldn’t sit for long enough to wait in any sort of line. I slowly made my way to the front of the store and was just about to leave when Eli grunted at me (because the only two words he can say are Bubble and Cookie). I looked down and he held up two pairs of tights that he had pilfered from somewhere. Not only did he have them in his lap trying to steal them, he had been eating the tags. Yes, eating them. They were chewed, mushed-up and soggy. Disintegrating actually. He had a huge smile on his face and looked pretty proud of his make-shift snack. I changed course and veered in between two clothing racks and had a moment of panic. I almost unknowinly stole some clothes and Eli ate the tags. I got all hot and red, threw the tights under a bunch of skirts and made a B-line for the exit. Am I proud of it? No. But I’m owning it.

So that was my H&M shopping experience yesterday. After waiting for 5 years and anticipating opening day, it sucked and my kid ate their stuff.

Next time will be better.

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Lemon Liberte

I was 20 when I moved out into my own place. I rented the first floor of an old house on Maryland Street directly beside a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that had a bar and live music. I loved it. Scott Nolan played every Wednesday night. My bus stop was in front of a magnificent old church, I was walking distance from my job, there was a thrift store around the corner and I had the most amazing Indian food close by. I painted my kitchen walls orange and called it home.

Since I didn’t own a set of wheels I made frequent trips to the dingy grocery store at the end of my block. It was always a hit or miss. One particular day I was standing in front of the yogurt section deciding what kind I should buy and if it was within my budget to do so when an audible voice chimed in to my internal debate. “You should buy this one” it said. I turned, rather surprised by the uninvited opinion, to see a middle aged man pointing at the expensive Liberté yogurts. I’d never bought the expensive yogurts. “Have you ever tried this kind?” he asked. The man looked fairly normal for my neighborhood, but that’s not saying much. I lived in the quirky, granola crunchy area of the city which was a stones throw from the inner city, so you never really knew if people were going to hug you or stab you or try to sell you drugs.

“No, I’ve never tried that kind” I offered back, hoping he’d be on his way. “The lemon is the best kind. Really. It’s soooo good. You should buy it.” I picked up the carton, my eyes widened looking at the price. I turned it around in my hand trying to look interested but secretly waiting for him to walk away so I could return to my cheaper yogurt purchasing habits. “Well, I do like lemons.”  “You should really try it. I promise you’ll love it.” I hummed and hawed. “You know what? I’m not going to leave here until you buy it.” I looked at him. He was completely serious. This man, right here standing beside me, this total stranger was going to force me to buy Lemon Liberté yogurt against my will. I held the carton for a moment debating if I should just drop my basket and run. Was he some kind of weirdo with a yogurt fetish? That didn’t seem like a far fetched idea with how excited he was becoming trying to get me to buy the damn thing. I was looking particularly cute that day in my pink jacket. Maybe he was trying to hit on me in the most bizarre way known to man. Maybe this was his pick-up line? On the other hand, I did really love yogurt and now I was curious about why a total stranger was so excited about it. I decided the best course of action was to put it in my basket to appease him. My yogurt stranger looked victorious. I thought that maybe I could just ditch it when he walked away but, no, he held to his word. I proceeded to the checkout, the man close behind, and I bought the yogurt.  He went on his merry way as soon as we were done with an enthusiastic “Enjoy!” I left the grocery store reluctantly, hoping he wasn’t around a corner. I’ve had a stalker before and it’s no fun. But thankfully he was gone.

I walked home baffled by what just transpired. Once inside, with my door locked, I started laughing.

Then I tried the yogurt. Immediately the clouds parted and a chorus of birds began to sing. I realized that this man was no mere mortal, he had been sent by the gods to open my eyes to outrageously priced greek style yogurt. It rocked my world. And still does to this day. I often buy it as a treat and my children know if they touch it there will be hell to pay.

So now I ask you, have you tried it? I promise you’ll love it!

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The Intruder

I often like to imagine that our household doesn’t fit into the typical “couple with young kids” stereotype. I puff out my chest and can rattle off a list of things like how interesting our kids are, how artsy they’ve become, that one can beat adults at a game of chess and the other has a sense of style like…well…Betsey Johnson maybe? I like to separate my kids from the herd in saying that they’re polite and well behaved and are burning through books and not greedy and whiny and obsessed with video games and Disney princesses. The truth is that they’re typical and that we do fit into the stereotypes. I live off of coffee, own a lot of yoga pants, and know the theme songs to way too many cartoons. We buy McDonald’s, we YouTube pop songs to dance around to, we let them play video games and they whine and cry and demand. We even have ground up Cheerios in our living room rug! I suppose part of it is that I don’t like falling into what everyone thinks living with young kids is like. It’s a picture that’s painted with equal parts repulsion and curiosity. Why would people ever have kids? *blech*

They interfere with your body, your bank account, your lifestyle and your sleep.

Ah, your sleep. Your precious sleep. Since having kids I find that I don’t sleep well. I’m either stressed, physically sore from stress, having bizarre dreams about them growing extra limbs and failing math tests or sleeping with one ear open in case there are midnight tummy aches and teething. A good deep sleep is now a precarious thing.

Last night I must have been having a dip into the elusive REM cycle when some subconscious alarm went off. I opened my eyes a crack and saw a dark shadowy figure standing right by my head. Natrually, because I was completely freaked out of my mind thinking I was about to die, I started yelling loudly which alerted my soundly sleeping husband to the present danger. Being a police officer, his adrenalin and hyper-vigilance went into overdrive with his need to subdue the threat to my person. He lunged his upper body over me and grabbed the shadowy figure, pulling them onto the bed. As he was about to unleash his fists of fury onto the burglar we realized it was Amelia. She’d had a nightmare and came upstairs for some comfort. Poor child. Afterwards she told me that she had been quietly saying “mommy” trying to wake me up when I started screaming and James attacked her.

Needless to say, Amelia managed to get to sleep after that. James and I tossed and turned, trying to find space to get comfortable without knees and elbows and stuffed animals. It didn’t happen.

Our lives will calm down eventually, when the kids are older and independent. For now, we fit most of the stereotypes…except for the mini-van. We’re fighting that one until the bitter end.

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No-Brainer

no-brain·er (nō′brā′nər)

n. Informal

Something so simple or easy as to require no thought.

I live a block and a half from a curling club and until this winter I’d never thought much about it.

A few years ago we were invited to a curling birthday party for my father-in-law. Rhys and Amelia were instantly hooked. It was only the second time I’d attempted, what I like to call, ice bowling (because that’s the extent of my knowledge and experience…throw a rock down an ice lane and knock a bunch of other rocks out of the way) but my husband curled a little bit while growing-up (and I must be a true Canadian because I remember thinking repeatedly that he looked really hot while curling at the birthday party).

Last winter I became aware that there were curling classes for kids and this winter I decided to enroll Rhys and Amelia. They were ecstatic. For two months I’d walk them over and sit in front of the window on the first level of the club and watch them slip all over the ice (actually Amelia slipped all over the ice, Rhys was bumped up an age bracket because he caught-on so fast). Then, after two months, they had their Christmas party on the second level and my mind was blown…they have a huge second level with tables and chairs and a dance floor and TV’s and a bar!!

So let me get this straight…what they’re saying is that I can pay $60 for Rhys and $45 for Amelia (because she’s a sibling) for them to go and be supervised while having a hoot for an hour, they get snacks after each session, a Christmas party, a wind-up party, $25 in gift certificates for the curling store (each), I can go and sit and get myself a rum and coke and all of this is only a block and a half away from our house!?

That folks, is what I call a no-brainer.

photocurling

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The Outtake

 

I’m not a traditional family portrait kind-of gal. I, more often than not, enjoy the silly, quirky, candid pictures much more. I like pictures that are more telling and open and vulnerable, ones that show personality. However, I feel it is my duty to at least once a year make an effort to take a nice picture. Of course, I forgot to take one while my husband was around (he’s working this week) but at least I remembered before it was too late! I’m shocked that we actually got a nice one with every set of eyes looking at the camera. So this is our prim and proper picture for Christmas 2013:

photofamily1

And this is the outtake:

photofamily2

She’s so much like me it’s frightening.

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I’m Exhausted

I woke-up early to my alarm and, much to the protesting of my body, hauled myself out of bed. I shuffled downstairs to get the baby, sleepily wrestling with the arms of a cozy sweater. He was lying down but wide-eyed and happy to see me. Amelia popped up from under her covers and yelled, “BOO!”

Hooray, she’s awake.

I changed Eli and helped Amelia get some clothes out to wear to school and attached an oversized flower to the top of her head. Off to the kitchen.

This is how my next two hours played out:

Argue with Amelia about what she’s going to be eating today.

Rhys wakes up.

Give Eli a bottle.

Argue with Amelia over the fact that she can’t bring a camping chair upstairs to sit on in the middle of the room.

Watch as Amelia does some weird interpretive dance to the words ‘Deep Freeze’.

Make lunches.

Make breakfasts.

Insist that Amelia does, in fact, like peach yoghurt and that for years it was the only flavour she would eat and demand that she choke it down before she drives me crazy.

Sit down to feed Eli and myself and keep Rhys and Amelia focused on getting food into their mouths.

Tell the kids a gazillion times to clear their dishes.

Hose down the baby and get him playing with some toys.

Clean-up the kitchen mess while making sure the other two are brushing their teeth and doing their hair.

*Sniff-sniff* Change Eli again (I think a skunk died in that diaper).

Make sure the kids are dressed appropriately for the weather.

Send them on their way and put Eli at the front window to watch them and the bus.

Make coffee.

Clean out dishwasher.

Load dishwasher.

*Sniff-sniff* Change Eli again and put him down for a nap (after looking high and low for my phone which he hid in his toy bin).

Get dressed and un-zombify myself.

Throw some laundry in.

Sit down to my now tepid cup of coffee.

And I wonder why I’m exhausted by 10:00 in the morning!?

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A Conversation with my Inner Self

The title of my post is slightly misleading. I suppose it would be more acurate to say that this is an inner dialoge between Me, Myself (my negative inner voice) and I (my positive inner voice). I’ve had a lot rumbling around in my head (that’s not out of the ordinary though, is it?) and it goes a little something like this (try to keep up, I’m unleashing some serious crazy on you right now):

Me: Oh my GOSH! {Flops on the couch} I’m almost 30!

Myself: I know! Didn’t I say I’d “be in the best shape of my life before I turn 30”? {Eyeballs my body} That didn’t happen.

Me: I did say that…I mean, I did just have a baby 10 months ago.

I: Ya, c’mon! I look great for having 3 kids.

Me: I DO look great for having 3 kids. But, I should really work-out more and eat better.

Myself: Ya, you should get on that right about…6 months ago!

Me: I need to do something with myself. I can’t believe I’m almost 3o and I haven’t done anything with my life.

I: Um, I had 3 kids. Remember the 3 kids I had?

Myself: Whatever, everyone has kids.

Me: It’s true, lot’s of people have kids. That’s not all that special.

I: I think it’s pretty special! Look at how great they are. I’m doing a pretty good job of raising them and it’s hasn’t been a walk in the park either.

Myself: But I’m just a stay-at-home mom. You’d think that by 30 I would have done something awesome!

Me: I know! I always thought that I was made for something great…and here I am, folding clothes and washing dishes all day. Every day! Bummer. That was a bit of a let down.

Myself: Double bummer.

I: Guys, it’s not like I expire when I hit 30! It’s not like I have a best before date stamped on my butt that says “Use by: 13 OCT 2013”

Checks to see

Me: I guess not. Ya, you know what, it’s okay! I still have a lot of time to make my mark in the world and to accomplish the things I want to do.

Myself: Not really. You’re old now.

I: Oh, shut up! Who says you have to have all the fun before a certain age? Grandma went to university and got a degree at 60. I think that I can do whatever I want to do regardless of how old I am.

Me: That’s true! My life isn’t ending. No one is handing out a report card on my birthday to see how I’ve stacked-up to everyone else. I have a lot to offer and so many things that I want to try and do, who cares what everyone else has done.

Myself: But I’m still not in shape.

Me: It’s only 10lbs! Not that big of a deal.

Myself: My pants think it’s a big deal.

Me: My yoga pants don’t!

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