Category Archives: Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Deep Clean

Two weeks ago I hired people to come in and deep clean my house.

It was an act of desperation: we’d just been away and we were about to have visitors who were on their first (and likely last) trip to Canada. I wanted to leave them with a good impression of our life here, as I’m a bit sensitive to the fact that most of Q’s family think we’re nuts for living where we do.

I wanted a super clean house but didn’t have time to scrub baseboards, so I threw (a not insubstantial amount of) money at the problem until it went away.

They came in, and they cleaned, and afterwards, I felt…disappointed.

The house was cleaner, definitely, but I didn’t walk in the door and be amazed by the change.

I suppose that’s a good thing, as it means that Q. and I generally clean our house pretty thoroughly. The only two places where we did notice a huge difference were the windows and the kitchen (not coincidentally, those were the two areas that prompted the deep clean in the first place as they were driving me crazy but I just didn’t have time to get to them).

Basically if I can find time once a month to really scrub down the kitchen and we clean our windows even a couple of times a year, I can see no reason to ever hire someone else to clean our house again.

I’m not sure I’m pleased I’ve made that realization.

Do you have a house cleaner, or do you sometimes get someone in for a deep clean? If you clean your house yourself, how do you fit in the extra chores above and beyond the usual laundry, vacuuming, bathrooms?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays, Money Matters

Microblog Mondays: Firsts and Lasts

My first baby had his first sleepover this weekend.

He was excited and nervous and worried about saying goodbye to me, which basically sums up E.’s reaction to most new things.

Q. and I weren’t sure if we were going to have to go and get him, but he had a fantastic time.

My last baby is in her last week of being a baby.

Every time E. does something new I’m reminded, again, that we will get a second chance to experience those firsts.

And every time P. does something new, I am reminded, again, that her firsts are also my lasts, for she is, truly, our last baby (despite E.’s insistence that we should have a third child because he’s “not done being a brother”).

She is the baby we never thought we were going to have, so every one of her firsts brings with it this complicated mix of emotions.

Gratitude. Grief. Nostalgia. Anticipation.

I am excited, so excited to see the little person she is in the process of becoming.

But it is bittersweet.

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Blink and you'll miss it, E.- the seventh year, Microblog Mondays, P.- the first year

Microblog Mondays: Unexpected Good News

Today I had an endocrinologist appointment, so I gritted my teeth, packed up P. and a whole bag of entertaining things, and hopped on transit after dropping E. at school.

When I got there, I found a large notice taped next to the check-in window which announced that my endocrinologist, for health reasons, was retiring.

A youngish female doctor is taking over his clinic.

I met her today.

She wants her patients to get bloodwork done two weeks in advance of the appointment so that she can have the results when she sees you. You can get the bloodwork done at ANY LAB in the city- no more waiting for an hour or longer in the hospital after the appointment to get bloodwork done.

She greets you! She makes eye contact!


I don’t wish health issues on anyone, but I am not going to be disappointed to see the last of my rude, condescending, bullying endocrinologist. I should have quit him years ago but inertia and the repeated assertions by every other doctor I encountered that “his bedside manner sucks but he’s the best of the best” kept me coming back.

In one classic closing punch, the new doctor commented that in December my TSH had been overly suppressed. She asked if the old doctor and I had had a conversation about it. I snorted. “He doesn’t do conversations.” Then we discovered that he had adjusted my prescription and forgotten to tell me to change it.

Good riddance.

Have you stuck with a rude doctor because they’re good at treating the issue?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Microblog Mondays, Thyroid

Microblog Mondays: Library Fines

We use the library a lot.

I largely stopped buying books for myself four or five years ago when it became obvious that books were my latte factor. Beyond the expense there was also the question of storage, particularly as our spare rooms became bedrooms for our children. When I realized just how good our public library system was (almost always has anything I’m interested in and will let me make holds inactive if I’m not ready to read something), it became very hard for me to rationalize purchasing books, although I do still make some exceptions for favourite authors.

I tend to work at our local branch in the afternoon on my work day, and I always pick up a few new readers for E. given he’s now at the stage where his reading confidence is high enough that he’ll sit and read books on his own for fun (!!!!!). I’ll pick up holds for myself if they’re in, and I’ll sometimes even pick a book spontaneously off the shelf, which is something I haven’t done in years. I think it’s partly because of the proximity of the books- sitting for hours next to them makes it impossible not to get intrigued by a title. Mostly, though, it’s because on work days I have the time and space to go upstairs to the adult section.

I often go with E. as well at some point during the week, and sometimes I’ll pop in with P. when we’re out for a walk.

Last year we got E. his own library card after one too many occasions where I couldn’t check anything out because he had so many books out (and my library allows you to have 50 books out at any one time, so that really is saying something). The advantage to doing this is his fines are much cheaper than mine are. The disadvantage, of course, is now I have two library cards to manage and two accounts to track.

The combination of two different accounts and multiple weekly trips has meant that the rolling due dates have finally exceeded my ability to keep track of them all. Even with helpful email reminders two days before something is due I’ve found our fines slowly but surely increasing. I often wait until the last minute to renew a book because I know E. loves it, and if you renew early the new loan period starts from the date you renew and not the date it was originally due. This is a great system unless a) when you go to renew the book you can’t because someone else has put a hold on it (not very likely for E’s books but it does happen) and you don’t have time to get to the library that day, or b) you see the email, delete the email, and forget to renew the books two days later.

I’ve renewed all of E’s books and then forgotten that I had some due on the same day. I’ve missed picking up a hold before it expires (which costs $1). The total of my fines is still relatively small but it irks me because it is a system that SHOULD be free if I manage it correctly.

I try to view the fines as a very small donation to a system that gives my entire family enormous pleasure.

But it still bugs me I can’t quite keep it all under control.

Do you use and love your library as much as I do? Do you have a system that works for keeping track of the books and their due dates?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Books, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Rake

Q. and I have recently started watching an Australian television show on Netflix called Rake, which is set in Sydney and follows a brilliant but deeply flawed barrister. We were tipped off it was available by an English colleague of Q’s who was sick of watching Dr. Who and Sherlock because they’d become too similar and too self-referential.

We’re continuing to slowly work our way through the Dr. Who reboot, but we’ve hit season 8 and I don’t like the new not new anymore but we take so long to watch it he’s new to us Doctor very much and there are still episodes that make it difficult for me to sleep afterwards so it’s good to have an alternative.

Rake is the sort of Aussie television that just cannot be successfully reproduced anywhere else (I gather there is a U.S. version of the show which has been a miserable failure, which doesn’t surprise me in the least). It’s irreverent and lewd and profane and deeply, deeply funny (although it definitely has points where Q. thinks it’s hilarious and I’m finding it to be just too much, which is typical, in my experience, of the difference between Aussie and Canadian humour).

It’s started off with such a flourish I’m a bit worried about where it’s going to go, as most of the other television series we’ve enjoyed watching have clearly dropped in quality (or just outright jumped the shark- Sherlock, I’m looking at you) as their run continued.

At this point, though, it’s fun to have something to look forward to.

What’s the best thing you’re watching right now? Why do you like it so much?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Cake-tastrophe

E turned six today.

He requested, just like last year, a train cake (although with a few modifications).

I am not what you would call a Pinterest-worthy mama. The train cake last year was a stretch, but it turned out surprisingly well. So I wasn’t too stressed when I woke up this morning and still had to bake and decorate said cake.

By 11:03 a.m. I was sitting on my kitchen floor sobbing because absolutely NOTHING was working with the cake. It stuck in the pan and broke when I tried to get it out; it crumbled whenever I tried to cut it; the icing glued to the crumbed edges and broke them off; the jelly roll sitting on top of a flat slice of cake looked nothing at all like the oil tanker of my imagination.

The cake was completely, utterly, fucked, and I no longer had any time in which I could fix it because I was out of cake mix and out of icing and P. was soon going to wake up from her nap.

And although I knew it was JUST a cake, when E. had woken up that morning he had been disappointed because he had thought that all of his presents would be out and wrapped just like at Christmas and when I’d taken him to school he’d said to me sorrowfully that “this hadn’t been how [he’d] imagined [his] birthday would start” and the thought that I would have to pick him up that afternoon and tell him I hadn’t been able to make him the train cake he wanted, the train cake that he’d picked the decorations for when he went with me to Bulk Barn, the train cake that he’d asked for months ago, just broke my heart.

So I sat on my floor and cried.

And then I called in the cavalry.

My youngest sister turned up with a slab cake and more icing (AND helium balloons including a giant silver E) and my mother turned up with one of those icing nozzle things and together we fixed the cake.

And E. loved it (except for the fact that I directed my mother to put the boiler too far away from the cab of the steam locomotive).

Some days it really does take a village.

What was your worst baking disaster? Were you able to fix it?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), E.- the sixth year, Family, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Pink

A couple of days ago I called E. over to look at a prospective sun hat on the computer (because who has time to go to a store in person?). E. badly needed a new hat, not only because he’d just lost his current one at school, but also because that hat was getting too small for him, and although he’d repeatedly said he wanted a new hat that was “exactly the same as the old hat!”, I’d several years ago only purchased said hat in small and medium, not large, and now the store no longer made it.

The potential new hat was from the same store, but in a different style. E. came over, looked at it, pronounced it a good hat, and then said, “Oh, and look, it comes in pink too!”

“Do you want to get it in pink?” I asked.

“Yes, please,” E. said immediately. “Navy really isn’t my style.”

I ordered the pink hat with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

E. loves pink: he will tell anyone who asks that it’s his second favourite colour because “pink is closest to red!”

Thus far, E. has remained blessedly oblivious to the gendered associations of pink (even though he frequently comes home from school and tells me that something is a “boy movie” or a “girl book”). At a birthday party in January he picked out the last pink balloon when it was his turn and seemed genuinely perplexed when the girl behind him challenged him on his choice (she had clearly assumed that that balloon was hers because she was the next girl in line).

But he is about to turn six, and I know someday soon he will be told he shouldn’t be wearing his pink hat or his pink, orange, and red leggings, that he shouldn’t choose the pink balloon. It will come from his peers or (worse) from adults in the community. I don’t know when it will happen, but I know it is going to.

I hope he is strong enough to ignore the naysayers.

It breaks my heart that he’s going to have to defend his choice, that he’s not going to be allowed to just be a kid wearing a hat.

Do boys wear pink where you live?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.


Filed under Brave New (School) World, E.- the sixth year, Microblog Mondays