Monday, 31 March 2014

Treats of the Week - Goodbye Smarch

March was quite the month.  I have to say I'm super glad to see it go.  But first, a few good things.

  • SUNSHINE.  Vivian and I went to the park after work today and it was so nice to just be outside!
  • Finding a good parking spot downtown is nice, but finding a good parking spot downtown that already has money in the meter is awesome.
  • I got a new external hard drive to hook up to my PVR, giving me an additional 300 hours of space for HD programming (or 1000 hours of standard programming).  Best. Decision. Ever.  I was also lucky enough to get a second external hard drive for watching downloaded stuff through my bluray player.  I'm in media heaven.
  • Vivian has been saying her own name finally, but she pronounces it "Widian" and it's adorable.
  • I'm watching the series finale of How I Met Your Mother as I type this, and I have a feeling it is going to make me cry before the end of it.
  • I finally got around to starting to watch season 3 of Sherlock.  I haven't watched the finale yet (gotta save something) but the first two episodes were SO GOOD.
  • Vivian had her skating carnival on the weekend, but it went so well that I think it's going to deserve its own post!
  • I had a very successful trip to the Columbia Employee Store on the weekend, where I got myself a nice classic trench raincoat.  There's something so nice about actually getting yourself something you really need.
  • I got my hair coloured last night and went back to a red, red like I had in high school.  The burst of colour is awesome, I love it so much.  Just what I needed to kick things off for spring!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Very Vivian - Dinner Date

Vivian and I have been spending a lot of time on the road lately.  And time on the road usually means a Happy Meal thrown her way while we're trying to get from Point A to Point B.  Last night though, I thought I would push my luck and try taking her to a real, live restaurant.

See, I don't like setting Vivian up to fail.  I try to avoid situations that I don't think she can handle, because it just makes things easier in the end.  Taking little kids to restaurants is always a challenge, so while I had taken her to restaurants when she was small, it has been on hiatus for the last year or so.  Things like sitting still, eating food instead of throwing it, and not melting down are not always things that Vivian excels at.

I decided to go to Boston Pizza, and it worked out so well!  I read her the riot act before we went in - we're going to eat our food, then she could have ice cream.  She has to listen to Mommy, or else we will leave.  Aside from one small incident where her bare foot somehow landed on the table, we had a lovely little dinner together.  We really lucked out by having a great waitress who helped Vivian put on a temporary tattoo.  Boston Pizza seemed to have some really great options on the kids menu, so I got her the chicken fingers and veggies, but ordered a side order of fries for us both to pick at and the waitress brought that out to us before the rest of our food.  Nothing fancier than fries as an appetizer.  

Who knows - maybe next she'll be ready to head to an antique mall with me!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pop Culture Blind Spots

I pride myself on having a pretty well-rounded knowledge of pop culture.  I like to at least have a working knowledge of the major things, at least to be able to pick up on references and get the jokes.  It's hard work, and is probably part of the reason why I have an almost-full PVR (with a new external hard drive waiting to help out!) and over 200 unread blog posts currently in my reader.

However, there are those blind spots.  You know what I mean, those areas of pop culture where you just have zero knowledge.  My friend Jenn has never watched The Simpsons.  That's a massive blind spot.  I can't even keep track of how often I drop Simpsons quotes into general conversation.  She's gotten to the point that if there's a reference she doesn't get, she just assumes that it's from The Simpsons.  My friend Suzanne hasn't seen The Wizard of Oz.  These are two people who are equally invested in pop culture, but that's just their blind spot.  (Side note/hilarious story - My mom didn't watch The Wizard of Oz in colour until she was 17.  Up until then she had no idea that they switch to colour once they get to Oz!)

If I had to pinpoint my own blind spot, it would probably be all things Pride and Prejudice/Sense and Sensibility/anything in that vein.  I've never read them.  I've never seen the movies or the miniseries or whatever else there is.  I have a vague understanding of who Mr. Darcy is (we like him, yes?) or is it D'Arcy?  I DON'T KNOW.  I could throw my lack of Whovian knowledge in there too, but I'm planning on rectifying that one.

The best part about blind spots is that sometimes they can get filled in without you even realizing it.  I didn't watch The Godfather for the first time until I was well into high school, or maybe even early into university.  But by the time that I watched it, I already knew what was going to happen.  Nothing was a surprise because it's been parodied so much in other things.  I expected the horse head, the car bomb, all of it.  It was like I had already seen it.  Maybe if I hang around the girls at book club a little bit more I'll be able to fill in my Jane Austen/Bronte sisters blind spot without actually putting any effort into things.

Tell me all about your blind spot - I think everyone has one!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Outfit of the Day - Versatility

I still haven't done much shopping since my surgery in November.  I'm partially blaming it on this never-ending winter for making me so uninspired about wearing anything other than pajamas and slippers.  I did come across this dress a little while ago though, and for a mere $6 I figured it was worth the gamble.

Nothing fancy - just a nice, basic navy dress.  I was excited to try it though, since the neckline is higher than anything I would have worn before the surgery.  Higher necklines just added too much weight to me before, but now that I actually have a regular flat collarbone-type area.  Anyway, I loved how the dress fit, and I liked that it was sleeveless so I could layer something over it in the colder months and then just wear it on its own in the summer.

I've worn it a few different ways already, and it's quickly becoming one of my favourite things to reach for on those mornings when I can't be bothered to put too much effort into things.

Option number one was the first way that I wore it - with a plaid shirt layered over it.  The tights have polka dots on them too, but you can't tell in the picture.

Shirt - Old Navy
Dress - Old Navy
Tights - Joe Fresh
Shoes - Aldo

And for option two I belted it and went with the old reliable cardigan.  Oh cardigans, is there anything you can't do?

Cardigan - Old Navy
Dress - Old Navy
Belt - Wal-Mart
Tights - Joe Fresh
Shoes - Target

And one belted without the cardigan, just for comparison.

I've also worn it with a green cardigan/sparkly gold belt/leopard flats combo - there's nothing this dress won't do!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Treats of the Week - We will not speak of the weather

Moving right along...

  • Frozen came out on DVD this week, making my life that much easier.
  • My friend Kimberly and I went to see Divergent on the weekend.  The movie was pretty true to the book, and it was a fun night.  The best part was that Theo James, who plays Four in the movie, gets sexier and sexier as the movie goes on.  Damn.  And he's 29, so it's not creepy.  We checked.
  • Also at the movies, there was a sweet girl who was just learning how to work at the concession.  In typical fashion, I was giving her a hard time and joking around.  I ordered my fancy nachos, which she had never made before.  She decided that they needed lettuce on them, even though that's definitely not how they usually come.  I told her I would Instagram it and it would be the newest sensation.  I took a picture, but it was too dark in the theater.

  • Singing along in the car to an album you haven't listened to in a really long time, but still know every word.
  • Hearing Vivian telling people that my friend has a baby in her belly.  (She does actually have a baby in her belly, so it was cute and not terrible.)
  • Getting my garage door opener fixed - no more terrible screeching around here!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

I just want to get in the door.

Having a kid changes everything, in good and bad ways.  Once upon a time, I was able to come home from work, walk in the door, take off my coat, and sit down.

Things are a little different these days.

I pull into the laneway, and already Vivian is asking for something to eat.  Get her unbuckled, grab the 7000 bags that seem to be sitting in my car and need to go in the house, shuffle through the door.  Start yelling, "Boots and coat!  Boots and coat!  Boots and coat!" before Vivian tramples through the kitchen in wet boots.  Stuff gets dumped on the floor.  Cats are going crazy because they haven't eaten in 6 hours and are clearly starving to death.  Now Vivian is starving to death and instead of going to the cupboard to get a granola bar or something, she's asking for crackers and Nutella.  Again.  I tell her to just let me get in the door.  She changes her tune and now wants to paint, then play with Play-Doh, then watch cartoons.  I try to open the door to check the mail, and a cat runs outside nearly tripping me.  Vivian is now dragging the crackers and Nutella out of the cupboard and dragging a chair over to the counter.  "I do it myself, Mommy!"  I hear a cutlery drawer opening - bad news.  All of this, and I'm still running around the house in my coat.

Kids don't make anything simple.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Treats of the Week - Silver Linings

It has been a challenging week.  I've gotten some very bad news about some very dear people.  It sucks, but things can always be worse.  I don't think it's appropriate to talk about either on the old interwebs, but I definitely appreciate everyone who has offered kind words and help over the last few days.

In other news...

  • Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pop Tarts are a thing, and they are goddamn delicious.
  • Vivian had a very busy weekend thanks to all the March Break stuff happening.  We went to see Little Ray's Reptile show again, and it was awesome!  It was a Dinosaurs: Past and Present theme, so it was a lot of crocodiles and birds of prey.

Amanda and I also took the kids to see Mickey's Rockin' Roadshow on Sunday.  They kids had a blast, and meltdowns were kept to a minimum.  Vivian did have a massive meltdown in Target later that afternoon, but we had pretty much pushed them to their limit at that point.

  • Vivian and Ellyot had to wear their princess dresses to the show, and then continued to wear them while walking through the mall.  Nothing attracts more attention than two little girls in princess dresses.
  • Having vodka in the house when you really need it.
  • The snow melting just enough to remind me that there actually is grass under there.
  • Quick and painless trips to Costco.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Seeing the mess clearly

Vivian has a pretty hardcore Kinder egg addiction.  The kid is crazy for them.  She likes the chocolate, but she loves the toys.  And she's at the point now where she is remembering all the different ones that she has instead of immediately discarding them.  The other day she opened one and upon seeing the toy and looking at the little flyer declared, "I only need one more!"  Having all these little toys sitting around was turning into a bit of a disaster, so after Christmas I got this storage tower to help organize things.

It helped, but then I just ended up with a bunch of drawers that looked like this.

Not really helping anything.

Then one day I was at the Superstore and found these clear plastic pencil cases.  I liked that they were different sizes and it was a pack of 4 for $1, so I really couldn't go wrong.  I grabbed all the ones I could find and ended up with a dozen different sized clear pouches.

Now it's easy to have different pouches for different categories - jewellery, dolphins, small lego pieces, miniature ponies, etc.  So instead of digging through a whole drawer of stuff when she starts freaking out that she can't find her tiny lion, I can now just go for the pouch with the tiny animals in it.

They still get dumped out all over the coffee table, but I don't think there's any avoiding that.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Vivian's Outfit of the Day

A few weeks ago, Vivian got to go to a London Lightening game with me and her daddy.  She sat through it about as well as you would expect any energetic three year old to sit through a basketball game.  There was lots of walking around, getting snacks, and trips to the bathroom.  On one such trip to the bathroom I just had to take some pictures of her - her outfit was so darn cute, and she just looked so grown up!

I kid you not, she struck this pose all on her own.

Who knew that you could have so much fun in a family bathroom?

Top - Gagou Tagou
Pants - Old Navy
Boots - Osh Kosh

Monday, 10 March 2014

Treats of the Week - Sunshine!

What a difference a little Vitamin D makes!  We've had a bit of sunshine this week and it's been so nice to just be outside and not freeze!  Bring on the springtime!

  • I had quite the swords and sandals weekend, having gone to see Pompeii and 300: Rise of an Empire.  They were both okay, but not fantastic.  Pompeii had a distinct lack of shirtless Kit Harington scenes.  There were basically two, which is a travesty.  300 was pretty cool in 3D (including 3D boobs!) but beyond that it was pretty bizarre.

  • Rrroll up the Rim to Win has actually been pretty successful so far - I've won three coffees, which is probably better than I've done in any year.
  • Vivian has entered the sleepover stage - she had a sleepover with Blair on Wednesday night (which was awesome, since I was really sick for most of the week) and then had her buddy A (one of the kids who lives with my mom) over on Saturday night.  She did really well with both, and next it's Blair's turn to come to our place!

  • I tried the new Butter Chicken sub at Quiznos and it was pretty darn tasty!  Not quite saucy enough, but still a winner.
  • The finale of True Detective aired last night and I was on the edge of my seat (well, couch) the entire time.  Loved that series - can't wait to do a marathon rewatch!
  • My friend Jenn got me a sweet new coffee mug, just because.  It's awesome, and holds the largest setting of coffee on my Keurig!

  • Getting someone a birthday present that they love.
  • Going for a quick walk on my lunch break - I didn't realize how much I missed it!
  • Getting a hand when you really need it.
  • Lena Dunham's episode of SNL this week was awesome!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The social wasteland that is the food court

I think everyone has some situations where a little social anxiety creeps in.  I don't like going to unfamiliar variety stores/gas stations/grocery stores.  It stresses me out not knowing where things are - I prefer to stick to my usual locations and not branch out from there.  Then there's eating alone in public.  I have often eaten something in my car because I don't like eating alone in public.  Again, I think it's a pretty common anxiety.

You know where it doesn't bother me to eat alone though?

The food court.

One day, Jenn and I slipped over to the food court to get some snacks to smuggle into a movie.  As we stood there, shoving paper bags of tacos into our purses we commented on how anything goes in a food court.  You can eat by yourself and it's not weird.  You can order bizarre combinations of food and no one cares.  Poutine and sushi?  Totally do-able in the food court.  People will set up camp to study or just kill time and no one bats an eye.  It's a magical, wonderful wasteland of social rules.

Furthermore, if you're to believe Mallrats (and really, why would you doubt anything that happens in that movie?) it's also totally acceptable to carry around a Dixie cup to be refilled with Coke, no ice.

Nothing cuter than the young Jason Lee.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Treats of the Week - Oscar Gold and Walk-in Clinics

Keeping it short and sweet this week, since I have a three-year old with an ear infection and stayed up way too late last night due to the Oscars!

  • Living so close to a walk-in clinic is awesome.  I was able to realize that Vivian had an ear infection (the uncontrollable crying and pulling at her ear was a pretty good indication), take her to the walk-in clinic, go to Shoppers, get her prescription, and get her home and in bed in about 45 minutes. 
  • It was the Oscars last night and I got to spend the evening watching it with an awesome bunch of people.  I managed to pull off a tie in the Oscar pool with my lovely friend Jeannette!
  • We went to an adoption party on the weekend and it was such a loving and awesome experience with members of the bio family, foster family, and forever family.  
  • Two words - American Netflix.
  • I took Vivian to the library after work today and she had a blast looking at the books, playing on the computer, and checking out all the toys.  I don't know why I don't take her more often - I'll have to make a point to do so in the future!
And with that, I have to catch up on last night's episodes of GIRLS and True Detective!