Are we there yet?

Aren’t you finished yet?

Words that my children have said to me many, many times.

Words that have driven me crazy many, many times.

And now, words that my dear, darling husband Captain Dumb Dumb has said to me every single day for the past several weeks.

the Captain and I, courtesy iclipart.com

the Captain and I, courtesy iclipart.com

I guess three writers’ conferences in four weeks will do that. Plus the prep beforehand to perfect the pitch and polish the synopsis and rework  the first three chapters. Plus the mad scramble afterwards to incorporate all the words of wisdom and sage advice into the query letter and the synopsis and the first three pages and the whole bloody manuscript.

cartoon courtesy iclipart.com

cartoon courtesy iclipart.com

Then there’s the due diligence to ensure that even if so-and-so and such-and-such loved my pitch, are they really legitimate? I mean, are they really somebody I want to get in bed with? – metaphorically speaking of course. So hours and hours on-line being nosy (so tough for me to do) and hours and hours reading books championed, books trending and  books newly signed. And who should I get to proof-read my work in the meantime – my freelance editor? Captain Dumb Dumb? My mother? (actually all three, although I didn’t get much more than a couple of grunts out of Captain Dumb Dumb)

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I recently became involved with the most amazing not-for profit organization? It’s called the Compassionate Eye Foundation and these folks do some pretty incredible work all over the globe. It really is a creative community for change – be sure to check it out. Of course there’s been a significant learning curve for me – interesting and fascinating and of course, more time-consuming than originally anticipated.

So I emerged just in time to take a breath a couple of days ago and…decorate the tree and the house for Christmas,

courtesy iclipart

courtesy iclipart.com

BoxingDay

courtesy iclipart.com

buy Christmas presents for everyone (including myself – not quite, but I did have to provide a very, very detailed list complete with pictures, prices and store information), mail boxes of Christmas presents to family in Ontario before rates go up (failed there – spent big bucks but don’t tell Captain Dumb Dumb), continue to de-clutter and pack and organize all belongings of our family in case someone one day actually does buy our house (yes our house is for sale, and has been for a couple a few several months now, but it’s not driving me crazy at all). Forget about Christmas cards this year – everyone can read my blog and/or check out my Facebook page. Plus it’s better for the environment to do everything on-line. As for Christmas baking, I’m just doing my family a favour and keeping them healthy – who needs all that sugar anyway? (although I really hope my daughter makes our family’s secret recipe for chocolate fudge when she gets home – I have a humongous craving!)

So hopefully everyone in my family will be happy, more or less…except Captain Dumb Dumb of course. You see, lately I’ve been a little too busy to have dinner on the table the second he steps in the door, a little too swamped to ensure that each and every morning he has sufficient quantities of fresh fruit available for his every whim, and sadly, I haven’t spent hours on the phone with our incredible travel agent organizing our fall 2014 trip of a lifetime. Nope, he had to send her an email all by himself – no people to do it for him. Poor dear, he really is hard-done-by.

courtesy iclipart.com

courtesy iclipart.com

Good thing he has Franklinstein!IMG_0007

Really!

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Ready or not (and I’m not) – it’s 2012

Okay, so I’ve been AWOL for a couple of weeks – the holidays parties, the Obnoxious One’s return from first term at university, the husband’s non-stop working hours at the new firm and the puppy’s destruction of house and home got in the way.

This isn't my dog actually - but it could be!

And a little thing called Christmas.

Yes it's a fake tree - so what?!

And a little family vacation to Mexico for some sun.

You’d think I’d have second  thoughts after the past family vacation this summer (see The Family Vacation: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ), but no, we went… and it was absolutely positively wonderful for a few days…and then it wasn’t. More later. Much more later.

You might have noticed I wrote two entire paragraphs without mentioning my daughter, the Demon Child even once; that’s because she was actually quite angelic during the month of December…for her, of course. I confess that I started to panic.I mean,what if she never did anything crazy or terrible ever again? What would I write about then?

But never fear, dear readers…I’ve got TONS of stories up my sleeves now! Yes, tons.

In the meantime, I’m back and feeling tired and bloated after the holidays. It’s the one time of year when I truly believe we should all indulge in dark chocolate and champagne and dark chocolate and wine and margaritas…and did I mention chocolate?

So today, I made my first trek back to the gym, back to pilates. It went something like this:

Really!

All I want for Christmas…??? part 2

Whoops – yesterday I had my eighth annual Christmas ladies lunch. The six of us have known each other for years but don’t get together very often at this stage. So…lots of good food, good gossip and good prosecco! But no blogging – sorry. 

Anyways, back to the Obnoxious One and his quest for the perfect Christmas present for his girlfriend. After lengthy discussions, I was a good mommy and ordered the necklace on net-a-porter. Even I thought it looked quite pretty – sterling silver with charms signifying Love, Luck and Hope.

As a typical stay at home mom, I of course, have absolutely unlimited amounts of time to humour every SINGLE wish and desire of each of my darling children. Who cares about cleaning the house,

doing the laundry,

walking the dogs,

cleaning up after the dogs,

and cooking dinner every single night?

After all, putting up the tree and decorating the home for Christmas, 

purchasing gifts for ALL members of the family (myself included),

wrapping said gifts,

mailing said gifts to the far corners of Canada, as well as designing, writing and mailing the family Christmas cards

takes no time at all and can EASILY be done in my sleep.  Anyways, my children are FAR too busy with homework and other very important things to worry about such details.



No sarcasm here. Not at all.

Well, before I could blink, the package from net-a-porter arrived.

First time I’ve EVER been annoyed that I received an item too quickly! Wonderful, right? – not so much this time. You see, the necklace the Obnoxious One wanted to give his girl turned out to be the size of my pinky finger – actually the nail of my pinky finger –  but he thought it was going to be the size of my palm.

Oh dear!

So I emailed him a couple of photos of the necklace, and described it with words such as fine, delicate, pretty… His reaction? – lots and lots of f bombs dropped. Ah, the perils of internet shopping. The result? – lots and lots of phone calls back and forth. Lots of conversations involving other websites. Additional negotiations involving budget.

In fact, I spent the ENTIRE weekend on the phone with the Obnoxious One debating the merits of various possibilities. Return the necklace? Purchase another necklace? Buy a scarf instead since Ontario is cold? Consider a cashmere scarf or gloves? A few more websites were added to the mix, like jcrew , bluefly and beyond the rack.

Oh, and did I mention that in the meantime the Obnoxious One was supposed to be studying for exams? His first exam, Economics was Saturday morning. He was pretty nervous going in…and shell shocked going out. A flurry of additional phone calls with mommy and daddy provided words of wisdom and much needed encouragement. Apparently, all the kids thought the exam was brutal, so by Saturday evening the Obnoxious One was feeling a bit better about school – just not about Christmas.

By this time, the girlfriend had informed the Obnoxious One that she had bought him tons and tons of “small” things online. Great, but what does “small” really mean? Under $20? Under $50? Or under $500?

Finally Sunday evening “we” decided to keep the necklace, and purchase a designer scarf to add to it. Yep, call me a sucker. He chose a green one by Missoni (on sale) to match her green eyes.

“Mom, girls love that kind of stuff, you know.”

“Yes darling, but are you sure her eyes are green?”

Well, I guess they are now, no matter what!

When his sister, the Demon Child checked out the photo of the scarf online, her response was, “Ew, that’s SO ugly! Who bought that? Is my brother crazy? Doesn’t he like his girlfriend?”

Let’s hope she keeps her opinion to herself for the benefit of all. I would like to have a NICE Christmas this year with limited to no slamming of doors, screeching of voices or breakage of items.

By the way, my husband, the Original Obnoxious One didn’t understand what the fuss was all about. After all, according to him, “she’s lucky to be receiving any kind of jewellery from her boyfriend.”

Really!

All I want for Christmas is …???

It can be really tough for anyone to buy a holiday present for that special someone, but especially this year for my son, the Obnoxious One. The pressure is on him to choose something wonderful for his girlfriend that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

 Last Christmas they’d just been dating for a couple of months, so he (actually moi) bought her Coach perfume.

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to sign the card. From? With affection and LUST? (He was 17 after all) Or with love?

A huge minefield – in the end he signed it “with affection”, and then she didn’t even give him a card. The smart girl skirted the issue completely! Let me tell you, we teased the Obnoxious One mercilessly over that one.

This year the dilemma is extremely complicated because:

  • she is an only child  who has everything, absolutely everything
  • for Valentine’s day he took her out for a very nice dinner downtown and bought her pink roses
  • for her birthday he gave her a beautiful sterling silver cuff
  • at the end of July the Obnoxious One broke up with her – not because he didn’t like her anymore, but because they were both heading off to university far from home, and he thought they should meet other people – see You did what?!
  • sometime during the past month or two the Obnoxious One and this girl got back together, but obviously they have a history; he can’t just buy her a t-shirt and call it a day
  • the Obnoxious One will have to face her parents when they come home – Ha, there is justice in this world. I can hardly wait!

So, what to do? First step was to call his mommy. He was determined to get her jewellery and in particular a necklace. We had a discussion about various options and price range, etc., etc. As the Obnoxious One is an internet shopper extraordinaire, he directed me to a couple of sites, net-a-porter.com and dealuxe.ca. (Yes, he does have good taste – especially with my money!) His over-riding concern was that he send her the right message – i.e. that he is NOT going to cheat on her during the boys’ trip he’s planned for reading week in February.

So, the plot thickens…Clearly he assumes that they will still be together in February( three months is forever to a teenager after all).  Clearly he cares about her feelings since he wants to placate her (usually he just doesn’t care). It must REALLY be affection/lust/love!

I can hardly wait to see the two of them together again.

But, as these things go, it’s never ALL clear sailing. More tomorrow…

Really.