Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cor Blimey Gov'ner

Since I moved to Calgary, people have shown an interest in where I'm from. They've asked, am I Australian? Am I Kiwi? Am I from some random place in the UK? I tell them no, I'm from London. And they nod knowingly, saying "Ah yes I was going to say London."

Actually the truth is (but don't tell anyone) I'm from Essex - a county just outside London. And if you tell anyone that knows the meaning of the word Essex girl that you're from Essex, they will instantly morph into a grinning idiot and begin in a highly annoying sing-song voice "You're. An. Essex. Girl! You're. An. Essex. Girl!" And then I'll stand there rolling my eyes and saying "haha yes very funny. No, I don't own a pair of white stilettos, sorry to disappoint you". Which is why I rarely tell anyone I'm from Essex. London sounds better. And besides I did live in London for years before moving to Calgary. And I was born there. So really it's true.

Anyway. When I arrived in Calgary, I stuck out like a sore thumb with my strange accent and peculiar words. And I wouldn't have bothered changing a thing but I wanted the Canadian folks to stop staring at me as if I had just descended onto earth in a spaceship.

For instance, I'd be chatting away, and someone would interrupt me with "uh, what did you just say?" and I'd say "I said I nearly lost the plot" (as in, lost my mind) and then they would fall about laughing and be all "oh ha ha he he ha ha oh that is SO cute!".

And then there was the time J took me to a hockey game and I yelled at the Anaheim Ducks for being "RUBBISH". And told the Flames to "GIVE IT SOME WELLY". And a few people in the seats ahead of us made a point of turning to see who was making the strange remarks.

And the time I wrote "ta!" at the end of an email to a colleague. He was like, what the frick is "ta"? Thanks. It means thanks.

And then I was playing golf with a client and I accused someone of being "jammy". Oh boy did I get hell for that one. (Jammy = lucky)

And when I said I was totally "sloshed" last night. (Drunk)

And when I told someone I had a "stonking" headache. (Big)

...Let alone all the other little words that are perfectly normal to me but which mean sweet fanny adams to people here:

Trousers (pants)
Knickers (panties)
Lift (elevator)
Flat (apartment)
Cuppa (cup of tea)
Faffed around (wasted time)
Boot (trunk)
Crikey (holy crap)
Bloody nora (holy crap)
Dodgy (iffy)
Kip (nap)
Nutter (weirdo)

So I changed a little, so as not to be so alien.

Now I say, "that sucks!", "awesome!", "holy crap!", "garbage", "groceries" and "for sure!".

Only thing is, with all this adapting and altering and acclimatizing, a certain group of not-so subtle people noticed: my friends and family in England. I'd be on the phone and suddenly there'd be a snort at the other end, or someone would actually stop me in my tracks and blurt in my ear "Bloody hell Sarah! You sound SO Canadian!"

So really I can't win, I'm destined to be laughed at whichever way I speak.

My only advice to others in this situation is this: if some Tom, Dick or Harry should give you a bit of Barney Rubble while you're on the dog and bone, don't be a merchant banker, just tell them you're cream crackered so as to avoid everything going a bit Pete Tong. Eh?
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Monday, June 29, 2009

What do you mean we can't have two infants and still have a life?

This weekend we decided we'd no longer let the trepidation of going out with both kids hold us back. You see, for the last few months we've avoided going out at the weekend for fear someone will have an all-out screaming meltdown, or both, or that in the end the destination just might not be worth the hassle.

So we've played in the garden, we've played in the basement, we've watched movies, we've grazed on food, we've taken turns to go out while the other stays with the kids.

But yesterday we remembered that one of the reasons we moved to Calgary was the mountains - the glorious Rockies, only one hour from our house. We remembered the promise of summers rafting, camping, swimming in lakes (albeit very cold glacier-fed ones), and winters skiing. And when, exactly, was the last time we visited these legendary mountains? Err, nope, don't remember.

So, on Sunday, sick of the house, we packed everyone into the car and headed for Kananaskis. We were optimistic and high-spirited as we loaded the kids, dog and various kid/dog-related equipment into the car and drove out for a midday picnic.

It was a beautiful day. Warm with a little breeze. The lake was peaceful and breathtaking, and there were just a few people kicking back with their families and friends, enjoying the weekend.

We managed an hour or so before everyone was safely buckled back into the car, but it was good. Maybe the first successful family outing. We breathed the mountain air, took in the surroundings, strolled leisurely along the footpath and talked about one day owning a place on a lake. And for a few moments felt like we were on vacation.

And the near perfect day was not even distinguished by Matthew running off in every direction - us taking turns to chase and retrieve him, Bongo trying to pull over the picnic bench he was tied to, or Oliver whining loudly because he did NOT want to be in his car seat but held constantly, and oh gawd NOT the hat mom NOT THE HAT! And me trying without nagging to coax everyone to sit and eat lunch.

Lovely, though the outing did give me a premonition of what a camping trip with the kids might be like. Think I won't be doing that for a while.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swear words for parents

When you have kids, certain lifestyle changes are inevitable: your spending habits, career, priorities, even the car you drive - they change. And the way you speak. At some point you realize that the child staring at you is actually beginning to understand the words, or at least the sound of them, and that you can no longer get away with saying whatever you like. And so you begin to watch what you say around them, especially when they're in the repeat-everything phase.

That's where we're at. I have to be really careful about what I say in front of Matthew. He's like a mini echo machine. The other day I caught myself just as I was about to curse at the milk that went flying all over the kitchen floor. "Shh....ooot" I said, realizing my little friend was lurking behind me.

"Shooooo" he repeated, delighted with himself for mimicking the word mommy said.

Every day he's saying new words, learning how to craft the sound and the intonation. Beginning to put little sentences together. So I'm very aware that every syllable that leaves my mouth has the potential to end up in his.

I'm not a big swearer, but there are certain occasions where only a swear word will do. Like when you accidentally shut your finger in a door. Or someone pulls out in front of your car causing you to slam on the breaks. Or when the dog walks mud all through the house.

The thing is, these events still happen when you have kids. So what do you do? Do you have alternatives that you can pull out at the drop of a hat? Like, oh flippedy flip I forgot to call my sister on her birthday..? Or holy cracadoo that's a nice sweater..? Or that guy is a real twazzle..?

Okay I seriously can't do the ridiculous Ned Flanders words, but I do need to find some alternatives. I can't force myself to say things like fratteratterpeggaloomer, which Urban Dictionary threw up when I googled "swear word alternative". Fratterwhat? Yeah... don't see myself using that one somehow. I may be a cautious parent but I don't want to sound like a total %^&#@$^.

What do you do in these circumstances? For $%$# sake please share.
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Birthday My Love

Two years ago today I looked at you for the first time, my love. It was with a mixture of happiness and awe and utter love that I stroked your head and told you that I would always look after you. And it was a feeling of complete, unwavering love for something, someone still so unknown, that took my breath away.

Your beauty amazed me, still does.

You won't understand these words yet, my darling, but one day I'll tell you how much I adore you, and how my love for you will never be anything other than abundant. No matter what.

The two years that you've been alive, though wonderful, have not been without challenges. Remember our old friend, the helmet - or, sorry the "band" as they politely called it?

No, you probably don't... You did look awfully cute in it though. I cried when we first put it on, but you barely noticed.

Because you have this incredible disposition - this way about you. And your cheeky, handsome little smile is killer.

I've marveled in watching your development. Sometimes it's as though I have turned away for just a few seconds and you have moved onto something new.

And as you have begun your learning of the world, your existence has made me see things with new eyes.

And Matthew, dude, you had better still let me hug you so tight that you can barely breathe when you're an adult.

I could never have imagined the absolute realness of the happiness I feel everyday as I watch you grow and change.

Happy Birthday my love.

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How to throw a birthday party for your toddler

Step one: A few months before the event, start imagining the details of a spectacular party that requires transforming your back yard into a secret garden wonderland, with stylish decorations, lavish finger foods, and a homemade birthday cake that will have Martha Stewart calling you for the recipe.

Step two: A few weeks before the party, realize there are too many kidlings clamoring for your attention and not nearly enough time to pull off such a feat. Then readjust your expectations to a more realistic level.

Step three: A few days before the party, become aware that you haven't done a scrap of preparing and that a bunch of adults and kids will soon be arriving for a party with food and drink and cake and loot bags.

Step four: Run like a wild person to the store and fling every possible party-related thing into your cart. Instead of buying a pre-made cake (like a sensible person with very little time would), purchase ingredients for a highly-complicated one. And instead of buying designed loot bags, purchase plain white paper bags and craft materials to decorate them. Because you have lots of time to do all this.

Step five: Assemble the party while always remaining calm and focused and patient with your children, even though they want to "help".

...Okay it wasn't really all that bad (but makes for more interesting reading though heh?). The party was good. And I even managed to pull off the cake. See?

Yes of course it's a Cars cake.

(Rolled fondant is my new BFF.)

I was dreading, dreading making the cake. Because basically I'm a BAD baker. People who like baking are very precise, very detail-oriented. And I'm not. I like to toss ingredients into a pan according to my best guess at the measurements and a splash of wine here and there.

And the loot bags... Please bear in mind I am not a crafty person at all.

Step six: When the party is done, fall in an exhausted heap and relax with the knowledge that as your kids get older, parties are going to get larger and more complex.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The (cat) fight to see who has it the worst

The thing I like about working as a writer, is that I'm doing something I like and I get paid for it. I work from home because it makes sense - my job can be done from my house and we don't have to pay for daycare.

Let me clarify one thing, when I say I'm a writer, I mean that real clients pay me money to write things like web sites, corporate literature, advertising, and so on. I have real deadlines. And I do it from home while also taking care of my children.

Do I like working from home? Not really, I'd rather have an office downtown, where I could devote myself to my work for uninterrupted hours at a time. But for now, I work from home. It's a decision we made because it works for everyone.

It's not easy, working as a writer AND looking after kids at home. When I'm working, I don't get a break. No lunch break, no coffee break, no evening break when the kids are in bed, and sometimes no weekend break either.

So when I read this post by Samantha - the one in which she berates work-at-home-moms for having it "easy" compared to those who work outside the home - my first reaction was, what the hell woman? Are you completely out of your mind?

According to her, the "fluff" that I call my job at home is, in actual fact, nothing compared to her "real" job outside the home.

Some days I long for a job in an office. I've actually suggested swapping - so that J would work from home and I'd take an office job - and he told me not in a million years, would he swap his job for staying at home with the kids AND working freelance.

According to Samantha, it's way more stressful to worry about loosing your 9-5 job, than dealing with the stresses of working from home. Well, I'm self employed. I don't have the security of a 9-5 job with regular pay. I have to work doubly hard to keep my clients happy, deliver a perfect product, on time, in budget, with bells on.

Anyway, I got into a bit of a huff, but then I thought, why enter into a competition about who's busier, who works harder, who's more tired? Because really, what's the point?

One thing that struck me about the post was its aggressive tone. The pinnacle of the speech was "Balancing work life and home life while working from home? It’s a f#$%in’ joke."


I guess in the end I just wonder - why is it important?

We all work to earn money, we all do it in different ways. Some people work during the day. Some work at night. Some do it at home while also watching their kids. Some don't do it at all. We can go on forever comparing all the little details of our day to see who is worse off, but in the end what does it matter?
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Parents of many (more than 2)

I don't know how you do it.
I am in awe. I don't have the energy to even contemplate it.

There was a time, back when (hahahaha) I had no idea what it meant to have kids, when I really truly thought I wanted to have three, or even four children. I (hahahaha) fantasized about a large family with jovial dinners and splashy happy summer days with all the little pixies running merrily around the garden. In this fantasy I was the ultra chic, ultra composed mother, whose figure - by some freakishly lucky exception - had not been not displaced by childbirth. And I always had a plate of cookies and perfect hair. (hahahaha)

If you, dear reader, have more than two - how do you even have the time to be reading this? Isn't someone grabbing the back of your shirt or yelling something incomprehensible at you from another room?

I have two, and most of the time I feel like I'm just about keeping it together. It's true that having them so close together hasn't exactly made things easier, but still. Something is always "up". The endless cries for things that can only be provided by me, are exhausting. By the time I crawl into bed, I'm so tired I could sleep on a dancing camel.

With two, I barely get through the day in one piece. For instance:

-In the morning I attempt to get dressed and make myself vaguely presentable while my five month-old lies on the bed gurgling and trying to roll off the edge, and my toddler tears up and down the bedroom shrieking and driving his cars over everything including the baby.

-I attempt to eat breakfast but usually drink a pot of coffee instead. During the day I graze on food that takes no more than 30 seconds to prepare, does not require a plate, and can be shoveled in, in between shoveling food in to the boys' mouths.

-I don't attempt to get out on my own (except the one morning a week when my sitter watches both kids) and when I do it's usually to run errands, pick up groceries or things for the house / kids.

-Sleep? (hahahaha) No idea what you're talking about. Oh, you mean that thing that used to happen years ago where I would lie down in the evening and wake up eight hours later refreshed and revitalized? Oh yeah. No.

So, add a third child to that and how do you even have the time to breathe? Yeah, I'm in awe. I almost wish I had the energy to want a third child but honestly all I really want is to take a shower without someone wailing and beating their fists on the door.
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hey you, I seen you before somewhere?

It's moments like this when, in the middle of all the noise, you look down and see your kids connecting, figuring each other out, and all the hard stuff - the moments of frustration when you thought about giving them back, just sort of fades away.

I took this yesterday - Matthew had just woken up from his nap and I had gingerly placed Oliver next to him in the crib, hoping they wouldn't attack each other. Watching the two of them lie quietly together sent a wave of happiness through me.

Cheaper Than Therapy

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The strange incident of the body in the road and the impatient soccer mom

Yesterday as I was driving along a street not far from my house at around 9 a.m. I noticed something on the road up ahead - what looked like a pile of black crumpled fabric. As I approached I saw that the pile of fabric was in fact a person... Lying in the road... An SUV was stopped in the middle of the street about two feet from the person... The driver was standing over the person... A bike was sprawled upside down on the bank at the side of the road... Oh shit.

I pulled up, leaving my car in the middle of the road (I never think to do things like pull off to the side in these situations) and ran up to the SUV driver who was standing over the person lying on the ground. I yelled a question at her - did she need an ambulance?

The SUV woman turned to me, flustered, and exclaimed "I don't know what's wrong with her! She's just lying there! And I need to get my son to his field trip!"

Um you need to what? In what world is that an acceptable response to the question I just asked? I had a bad feeling the SUV woman in her deranged state was going to drive off and leave me with the person she had knocked to the floor with her humongous car.

I bent down to look at the person on the ground. She was a middle aged woman. Her eyes were closed and she was squinting and pulling a face.

"Can you hear me? Are you okay?" I asked in my loud, panicky voice. I mean of course clearly she wasn't okay, but what do you say to a person lying face down on the ground?

The woman nodded. And started to move. Okay. She was getting up.

A few more people pulled up and got out of their cars. One woman was already on the phone to 911. A guy approached and asked the woman if she was injured. Someone else asked "ma'am were you hit by a car?" At which point we all looked at the SUV lady and I asked her "What happened?"

She said "I've no idea - I was driving down the road and I just found her lying here."

I felt great relief that the SUV lady was not, in fact, attempting a hit and run. And thankfully I would not have to chase her in my car all the way to her son's field trip, because I totally would have.

The injured woman began to get to her feet.

"I think I'm okay." She said.

The SUV woman repeated "I really need to get my son to his field trip!"

"Yes go!" I said. Bloody hell woman.

The lady speaking to 911 on her cell was talking through the situation somewhat dramatically "Okay I'm going to talk to her to see if she's okay now... Ma'am are you okay? Are you injured? Where does it hurt... Wait... Patricia..? Patricia is that you? Oh my God Patricia it's you! Oh God! Are you okay?"

The two women knew each other.

After about ten minutes of a bunch of us crowding around the woman, asking the same annoying questions repeatedly to confirm she was okay - that she didn't need an ambulance, nothing was broken, she was not concussed - the rest of us left the scene and she and her bike were taken home in the friend's car.

I was enormously relieved the woman was okay. Because I'm useless in incidents like these. I see even a quarter-sized spot of blood or a bone protruding where it shouldn't and I freeze. My mind goes numb and can't even carry out the simplest of instructions. I would really suck as a medical worker. It was all a bit surreal for a Tuesday morning given I hadn't even had my coffee yet.
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Bongo & Me

This is Bongo.

I thought I should introduce him, since he's very much a part of our family.

Four years ago, just after we moved to Calgary, I began persuading J to get a dog. You can't, I explained, move to a house in the suburbs, with a back garden and two parks within minutes walking distance, and not have a dog. It just isn't right. I went on and on protesting and staking my argument for a dog for weeks. J wasn't sure. It seemed like a big responsibility (ha!).

Then one Sunday morning in August I pulled up the SPCA web site and showed J screen shots of cuddly, teary-eyed, rejected puppies needing homes. He agreed to go along to the pound just to have a look. Of course no one can go to a dog pound just for a look at cute puppies and then leave without one.

The first dog we met was Bongo. An 8-month Australian Shepperd cross with two different coloured eyes and a multi-coloured, speckled coat, who was so freaked out from being in the pound that he was practically hysterical when they let us in to meet him. He bounded up and down chasing a ball like an over-eager performing seal. In between, he'd run up to us to plant a lick on our faces or knees. We fell for him right away. A few hours later he was riding home with us in the back of our VW Beetle. I remember the car journey - J and I glancing at each other with the apprehension of two people that have rushed into something on impulse they might later regret.

So Bongo became our baby. We went through the motions like new parents: first, we arrived home, looked at him and then each other, and went into a blind panic because we had no clue what to do. Then we rushed out to the store and purchased every dog accessory we could get our hands on in the hopes that that would make us good dog parents. Then we spent a few weeks fumbling around trying to figure out how to take care of him and how we needed to adjust our lives to make room for him.

He went everywhere with us, even work. He would come with us to the office, and spend his day trying to coax people to play fetch by shoving his stuffed toys on their laps.

Fast forward four years and insert the entire storyline from Marley & Me (minus the third child). I'm not often moved to tears by movies, but I cried all the way through the last hour of this film. It was a little too close to home. The home that once doted on the dog - the only child, now chaotic with screaming kids and a mother at the end of her rope, ripping into the dog for waking the babies up from their nap.

I realized I've been pretty horrible to Bongo lately. So, since watching the film, I've been making an effort to be nicer. Even when he walks backwards in front of me when I'm carrying a mountain of laundry and I almost trip over him, and I have to grit my teeth to not scream. Or when he drops his tennis ball on my foot hoping I'll play, right as I'm trying to calm a crying child.

Because even after a daily dose of yelling, screaming, tail tugging and general chaos he's still there with his big goofy smile, tongue hanging out, tail wagging happily.

And really, who else would still love you after all that?

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Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Saturday, it's June, it's Snowing... what's up with that?

I shouldn't be too surprised. I do live in Calgary after all: land of EIGHT-MONTH WINTERS. Just because it's JUNE doesn't mean we should expect the big yellow orb in the sky to actually provide some WARMTH. Oh no. Let's have some more snow. Please.

I asked J, why couldn't he have been from somewhere warm(er), like Vancouver?

But ANYWAY... in the absence of sunshine there's always YouTube silliness. This ad always makes me laugh. I like it better than most big-budget commercials.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When did I become a sucker for tacky movie merchandise?

I spoke before about Matthew's obsession with the movie Cars. This obsession has turned me into a fervent consumer of all Cars branded products. I never understood why parents got suckered into buying kid's movie crap merchandise. I'd see it - Spiderman pyjamas, Barbie bedspreads, Hannah Montana stationery - and wonder what the appeal was. Now I get it. And now here I am, the biggest sucker of all time. Brainwashed into buying any branded thing like a good consumer, no matter how pointless it is.

But now it's reached a level of silliness. So obsessed have I become, that a few days ago I succumbed to a thing of such ridiculousness it's not even funny: Cars Shapeable Foaming Soap. Made by Disney. Because yeah, that's who you want to buy your toiletries from. Classy. What, in the world, possessed me to put this thing in my basket and take it to the till? All I could think about was the look on Matthew's face when I start creating all kinds of cool foamy car shapes during his next bath.

Alas, my plan did not go accordingly. J was giving Matthew a bath last night, and I hurried in, excitedly blubbering "oh don't forget the shapeable foam!". J looked at me suspiciously, as I pulled out the canister. "No, it's fun, really." I promised.

As soon as J opened the bottle, it struck me - yucky chemicals. Who knows what type of toxic crap is in that container. I'm quite careful about not using too many chemicals in our home and especially around the kids. I grabbed the canister and scanned the ingredients. I had no clue what any of them meant... but then I figured, okay, it's Disney, how bad can it be?

The foam wass oddly rigid and puffy and had a very strong perfumey odour. Matthew looked decidedly unimpressed and went back to his floating plastic boats. Before J could do anything with it, I started with "Um, maybe don't do his hair." I imagined skin rashes and horrible reactions. Okay. "Actually, don't use it all." I was suddenly not liking this product at all. "In fact, would you mind washing it all off your hands in the sink over here?"

So there you have it, the evil marketing geniuses at Disney have got me over a barrel. Me - from a marketing background - who should know better and who is fully aware of the mania created around these kids' brands to get my dollars.

Now what am I going to do with this flipping can of foamy stuff?
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nights like these

When I became pregnant for the second time, even though it was sooner than we'd planned, I was quite complacent about the idea of having two kids under the age of two. I told myself I had managed one just fine, how hard can two really be?

Experienced mothers pointed out that I was going to be "busy" and gave me the all-knowing raised eyebrow that mothers do. And I was all, yeah. I'm sure it will be hard. Ho hum.

And then, along came Oliver and crikey it WAS hard. Bloody hard. Especially the first few months - that period of adjustment in which I was trying to come to terms with the logistics of two children heavily dependent on my attention.

19 months apart means two kids in diapers, two kids that need me for sustenance, cleanliness, safety, development, exercise, love... up, down, in, out, on off. And so it goes around and around in an endless cycle of provision. Night and day. Tiring, yes. Exhausting, absolutely.

J works during the week but when he's home we divvy up the work. And at night we have an agreement of sorts - if Matthew wakes up, J sees to him, and I see to Oliver. Naturally Oliver is the more frequent waker, but I have my routine down to a T. I can do the whole process - stagger from our room to his, prepare and feed him formula, put him down, and come back to bed - all within about 20 minutes and all while remaining in a semi sleep-like state.

Most nights things run smoothly - others not so much. Like last night for instance. Matthew woke first at 2 a.m., which is unusual. He cried for a bit and then fell back asleep. Oliver then woke up needing his feed. 30 minutes later I delicately placed him back into his crib and tip-toed out of the room. Something must have startled him because he woke right back up crying. This in turn woke Matthew up. For the love of... For a second I envisaged the rest of the night unraveling in this domino effect. And I thought, okay, THIS is what happens when there's 19 months between your kids. That's life.

But despite all the hard stuff, there are so many things I LOVE about the age gap between our two boys: the wondrous moments when I watch my sons becoming close. Matthew - who once wanted nothing to do with his brother (the stealer of mommy's attention) - now spontaneously gives Oliver kisses. He picks up Oliver's bottle and feeds it to him - or at least he tries. And Oliver is always the eager recipient of anything his big brother does. And Matthew is the first to let me know when Oliver has woken from a nap. "Mommy! Oli? Oli?" he says, and grabs my hand.

Despite the hard stuff, I know that in a little while I'll be very happy we had our kids so close together. And maybe a little smug as I watch them play together, knowing we're through all these baby stages.
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Speidi in the wildi

Here it is - sleazy reality TV with all the trimmings. I watched the first I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here last night with a combination of amusement and horror. Wow. Spencer Pratt is a piece of work. We've already seen his delightful personality on The Hills (I mean, err, what? No I've never seen it in my life. Okay maybe once.) but now we're seeing his character in all its glory.

And yes, Spencer - I'm afraid whacking something out of someone's hand and then lunging at them and yelling an inch from their face would, in any other situation, be considered abusive behaviour.

But wait, before I get too critical of Man With Psychotic Eyes, let's give him some credit for his one true talent... rapping.


And I had to laugh at Pratt's tussle with Torrie Wilson (what happened was, first she stole his stuff, then he stole hers and ran off and hid it in the jungle. High school? Oh ya). Because really she could snap him in half with those thighs.

And poor Heidi, crying hysterically into her dry shampoo.

Big surprise that within half an hour of the start of the show, the duo decided they wanted out. And then decided to stay... alright then!

Phew, it's exhausting watching these celebs claw for attention (didn't Stephen Baldwin just emerge from Celebrity Apprentice?). And they'll do anything for it. Eat kangaroo testicles, dip their heads into a spider swamp - whatever it takes.

Entertaining though isn't it?

I'm rooting for Lou Diamond Philips to win.

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