hospitals, concerts gone wrong, and stockholm

hi. here i am again. caught up on paperwork and reports. surprise file audit? bring it on!

so. let’s talk about the hospital.

it sucks. it smells. the food is something to be desired.

we won’t talk about the specifics but just before christmas kid #1 had to spend a week there being the bravest of brave kid i’ve ever seen. this kid endured 3 spinals, countless needles, iv’s, and peeing in a bottle, or portable urinal. whatever. now this is the kid who was once asked to leave a flu clinic because just the idea of having a shot was enough to propel him into fits of anxiety and there were concerns that he was terrifying the other children. fair enough. similarly we are not allowed to talk about body parts around him, god forbid he might have to envision the sight of blood. but the kid’s obsessed with zombies. go figure.

back to the hospital.

it would be helpful if the dietary staff could please explain to me their reasoning for preparing food in the manner in which it becomes unrecognizable.

also, doctors. what the f***? bedside manners also to be desired. don’t ask my kid which family member he prefers over me (gramma). and i am not an idiot so don’t treat me like one. on the contrary i have several useless degrees and know stuff. and why the comments about how terrible i look? my kid is sick, right? and i have slept here multiple nights without showering in the adjoined bathroom because i am terrified of stepping on germs. also i am plagued with worrying about my kid. so that.

obviously he’s alright now and thankfully was home for christmas. so that was good. but also that meant that he was well enough to show up to his school christmas concert in which i had to endure multiple groups of kids singing holiday songs in french which i failed to understand. and then kid #1’s class came on stage.

let’s back this up.

post that day of school kid #1 began harassing me for a santa hat with bells on it because apparently this had become a thing amongst his classmates. so fine. i piled everyone in the car to go in search of a santa hat with bells on it. because i am the best. also, because i’m the best, i agreed to let him wear a hoodie over his nice shirt so long as he promised to take it off prior to going on stage. what i did not mean was to unzip it and let it hang off his shoulders like a slob on stage. next to all of the other well-dressed children. i glared at him. he glared back at me. my mother tried to remind me that he was alive. as in a ‘pick your battles’ type reminder. i told her that this was not an excuse for looking horrid and disobeying your mother.

and then. oh then.

some horrible nameless child whom i have since come to despise decided to elbow kid #1. which pissed kid #1 the hell off. who then retaliated and elbowed him back. harder. and back and forth and so on. and then the teacher must have gotten wind of this in which case kid #1’s singing came to a halt as he began violently gesturing towards the other kid, clearly attempting to signal that what was going on wasn’t his fault.

i was embarrassed. i was ashamed. i wanted to hang my head and crawl into a hole under my chair. and also the other kid was much better dressed than he was.

the teacher later told me that it looked like i could use a vacation. obviously.

christmas was toy laden but otherwise uneventful.

on new year’s eve we went sledding and i promised the kids they could stay up until midnight.

side note, kid #1 has finally figured out that you do not in fact turn into a pumpkin if you stay awake past midnight. he is mere weeks away from being 8. 

regardless, at 11:40 i gathered everyone into my bed to discuss resolutions for the coming year. which it would appear no one understood.

me: so resolutions are when we make goals, or things we hope to accomplish in the new year.

kid #1: oh. ok. well then i want to have a resolution to get to more levels in minecraft.

me: that’s not really what i was talking about.

kid #2: i want to eat more treats in the new year.

husband: i think your resolution should be to drink less wine.

me: you can’t have a resolution for someone else. that’s not the way it works. and besides, i don’t actually drink that much.

husband: hmmm…

me: well we have 3 kids unless you haven’t noticed. and anyway doesn’t anyone want to know what my resolutions are?

silence.

me: you know what? nevermind. you guys suck.

kid #3: mama! booboo!

right.

and those were basically our holidays.

and now comes the part where i get to share my love of stockholm artist ingela arrhenius with you.

my knowledge of sweden up until reading the girl with the dragon tattoo triology was that it appeared to have a proverbial hot-person factory responsible for pumping out blonde-haired, blue-eyed uber-people. and that it was cold. and that they ate herring and meatballs and lingonberries and designed furniture. and that it’s claim to fame was ikea. and ingela arrhenius as far as i’m concerned because i love art and i love things for children and i love items that combine the two.

and incidentally want to plaster my walls with this parisienne themed poster she’s come up with through omm design.

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and also these similar ones for good measure.

 

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omm products, which can be purchased at stores worldwide, hosts a number of other ingela arrhenius-designed items including adorable melanin plates that my kids won’t manage to be able to break even if they huck them across the room at me.

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and various matryoshka sets. kid #2 is all about these things since she likes arranging EVERYTHING (read: cups, bowls, blueberries, raisins…) into families. and why not a family comprised of randomly chosen animals?

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fern living also carries exclusive ingela arrhenius-designed products out of their european stores, although they ship worldwide. like these pillows.

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and wallpaper (oh how i do love wallpaper…)

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i’ve also discovered la marellea french company who will ship to me, i mean others, and carries ingela arrhenius goodies such as puzzles packed in suitcases

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and notebooks.

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and remember how i went through that whole sewing phase? well if i ever feel inspired to do that again i will head on over to liandlo which carries ingela arrhenius-designed fabric and children’s clothing made from it.

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nice, right?

here she is, hard at work, being much more creative and talented than i will ever be.

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ever. ever. ever. ever.

which is why i just get to write about stuff.

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the return

so i’m back at work. it’s a thing. another thing is my attempt to re-enter the world of blogging after a bit of a hiatus of sorts. the thing is that i started sleeping. which is good although the quality of it sucks. kid #3 has taken to sleeping on my face. true story. the moral of this being that if i can’t blog at night there is no way i can sit uninterrupted at the computer. let alone the toilet. or any activity that requires me to be left alone.

this being said, here i am sitting at my solitary desk, in my solitary office surrounded by office supplies that are not likely to grow feet and walk away.

sidenote: why can no one ever find a pen in our household??

ok. so it’s not that i am unproductively not working. instead i am productively waiting for a new client to arrive. and then i will do some paperwork and consider writing a report and possibly organize something and maybe even empty my overflowing recycling box. and in between all of this i may or may not be able to blog. we’ll see how it goes.

my client has still not arrived. until she does i will make a short list of some stuff that has happened since i last blogged.

the necklace incident.

the hospital incident.

the selling frenzy.

some holidays.

and now i have just viewed what appears to be my client entering the reception area. i shall be back. (hopefully)

and now it is later. a day later actually. yesterday’s borderline personality disordered client later. yesterday’s obsessive compulsive foot phobic teenager later.

basically another crazy-making day come and gone.

whatever.

continuing on.

the necklace incident involving kid #2 began one morning when for the life of me i could not find the pyrrha necklace i wear every single day. kid #1 is not very interested in moving my things unless it involves handfuls of change for him to not necessarily take per se, but sort of borrow for a bit.

me: “my change has disappeared. did you take it?”

kid #3: “yes, but could you at least give me some of it?”

me: “ok fine”.

for her involvement, kid #3 touches nothing unless it’s at ground level or no more than a foot and a half high. i did not leave my necklace at these particular heights which points to kid #2 as the culprit. also, kid #2 is exceptionally naughty.

oh naughty #2. i love the way you grind my red chanel lipstick into oblivion by painting your bedroom walls with it. i love how you refuse to wear pants and more than one shoe at the best of times. how you jump on my bed RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME even though there is a no tolerance rule about this.

me: “i think you took my necklace.”

kid #2: “i’m not sure”

stern look.

kid #2: “don’t see me”.

me: “where did you put it?”

kid #2: “ummmmmm….maybe in the garbage?”

me: (completely exasperated) “which one?”

kid #2: “wellllllll…maybe the bathroom one?”

ok. the bathroom one. totally handle-able. the only things the bathroom garbage contains are used q-tips and toilet paper rolls.

and an orange apparently. a super disgusting rotten orange that i somehow did not know about. gooey and black because now i know that this is the colour of extremely old rotten oranges. total shocker!

also shocker, the necklace was not in fact in the bathroom garbage or anywhere else that kid #2 thought she might have put it.

seriously though. this is the kid who remembers every flavour of candy she’s ever tried. who remembers the most obscure facts about completely random bits of information. and now the little bugger can’t remember where she put my “pirate” necklace!?!?!

and then the kicker.

kid #2 was in the bathtub at this point emptying my entire bottle of expensive body wash when she decided to sing THIS song:

“mommy’s pirate necklace is soooo pretty! i love it! yeah yeah!

yeah yeah yeah! mommy loves it so! yeah yeah yeah!!!”

oh my freakin’ god!!!

and this is life with kid #2 who will pick her nose and eat it and tell you that she’s not doing it as she stands right in front of you with her finger up her nose. and who mysteriously leaves cups of water on the floor throughout the house to be tripped over (someone told me there is a movie where they do this to ward off aliens or something so who knows what she’s up too…). and who is so clumsy that she managed to inhale allspice in her eye while she was “helping” me make dinner and then tried to get it out by rubbing hello ketty soap into it. and who’s first attempt at drawing a person was not me or daddy or anyone else we know, but buddy from cake boss instead.

sigh.

but actually, truth be told, kid #2 is a super awesome little person who proclaimed her 3rd birthday “the best EVER!” even though she spent it in the hospital alongside her fairly comatose big brother (more on the hospital incident later) because she’s that great!

epilogue: my “pirate” necklace was eventually found by mistake in a completely random place unrelated to the bathroom garbage can which has since been scrubbed by (my) hand.

now, let’s talk about something i discovered last night and have added to my personal wishlist. or my son’s. whatever.

so thanks to one of my favourite web destinations brain pickings, i discovered that a new edition of edgar allan poe’s tales of the macabre has been released with stunningly beautiful illustrations by french artist benjamin lacombe. and while i realize that edgar allan poe doesn’t exactly scream appropriate for child consumption, i have decided to feature this book because it is something i would consider buying for my son who is a kid because he would love it. he seems to have inherited some of my darker tendencies, although currently he happens to be reading the captain underpants series, which i can’t help judging as a stupid waste of time. i have been reminded that at least he’s reading.

i am a terrible literary snob of a mother but he’ll thank me for it one day. i think.

so here it is, edgar allan poe’s tales of the macabre, illustrated by my new artist obsession benjamin lacombe.

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nice right?

now let’s look at some stunning illustrations from the book.

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sigh. so good….but also child friendly because the man writes and illustrates books for children too. such as cherry and olive which was completed as his graduation project from art school and named one of time magazine’s best children’s books of 2007.

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it’s about a girl who prefers reading to playing with other kids, particularly because they make fun of her by calling her fat (sounds a bit like my childhood), and so she becomes friends with a stray dog instead.

his other illustrated works are just as gorgeous, such as the pop-up book once upon a time…

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alice

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Picture 5

and the fairy herbrarium written with sebastien perez 

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watch this: http://herbierdesfees.com/video_en.htm

and now for the creme de la creme, i really really really want the memories catalogue but it lists for something like a billion trillion dollars. or 280,00 euros. whatever that equates to. the book took 18 months to put together, is over 200 pages, and according to benjamin lacombe’s blog features iron foil stamping, cold embossing, precious fabrics and papers. flaps, fine art prints, and hand made boxes. this is what it looks like:

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definitely definitely watch the memory box video

as a final comment before my work day is officially over, isn’t benjamin lacombe super good looking? he’s my new artist crush. move over oliver jeffers

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actually, final final note, check out this benjamin lacombe inspired tattoo.

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out.