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.


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.


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.


nice right?

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




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.



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…




Picture 5

and the fairy herbrarium written with sebastien perez 


watch this:

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:



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


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





the perils of not being able to get it together, or if you are an idiot you will probably get eaten by a wolf

one of my biggest fears is that i can’t get it together. this falls behind random violence and in front of ignorantly opinionated individuals. and said people in possession of guns. and being forced to exercise. and washing up on a deserted island without a pair of eye glasses and without my husband there to do everything for me. and terrible things happening to people i love.

i like to try to venture into the outside world looking like i’ve got it together. with red lipstick. and fashionable footwear. and children in clean clothing. and kid #2 not looking as though she was raised by wolves in the forest without a comb.


sometimes you lose the genetic lottery.

moving along.

sunday was a serious ‘i can’t get it together’ day. first off, my beloved iPhone betrayed me. i was not informed that if i pressed snooze 3 times the alarm would turn off. i can happily press the snooze button for 2 hours straight so this was a major failure on the iPhone’s part. clearly the 2 of us had a lack of communication. also i cannot figure out how to change this setting. i am adding it to the list of ‘ridiculous things i do not know how to do’. i’m sure i can look it up online but my desire to do other more interesting things has prevented me from doing so. the benefit to this situation may be the kick in the butt i need to get out of bed earlier because sunday morning sucked.

i don’t know what actually propelled me to open my eyes but when i did i realized that i had exactly 42 minutes to get kid #1 to a bike safety course. and myself and kids #1 and 2 dressed. and red lipstick on. so i freak out. which is exactly the best thing to do in this kind of situation. also i phoned my parents. because also this is the kind of thing i do.

my dad was like “she better not be asking me to drive one of the kids somewhere”, which was totally fair because i had done the same thing 2 weeks ago when i almost slept through kid #2′s dance class.

backing up.

last week kid #1 crashed during gym class and broke the arm off his glasses. i promptly ordered a new arm but before it could arrive he somehow managed to snap the part of the frame that holds the lens in AND lose the lens. the poor kid couldn’t see a thing so i made a paper patch to cover the hole where the lens had been. i figured that mono vision was better than no vision although he looked like a complete moron. luckily, my mom had found the lens and was sending them over with my dad. yup, that’s right. he was coming to “drive one of the kids somewhere” even though he said he wasn’t going to because a) he lies about these things, and b) he also comes to my rescue. a lot. because i. cannot. get. it. together.

so i’m scrambling. my husband saunters in with a quad americano for me (bless his heart!) and is like “hey, you know the bike’s at the school right?”

“uh, what? why the heck would the bike be at the school? it’s sunday! it’s been pouring! why didn’t you tell me?”, i screamed.

“i thought you knew”, he replied.


i failed to mention that he was in uniform at this moment but he made a mad dash to the school in his cruiser to pick up the bike. my apologies to the city for wasting police resources.

so my dad shows up with the lens which i stick on the kitchen counter while i’m searching for tape. i find the tape but now i’ve lost the lens because it is clear and on a dark granite counter and i have no memory of where i’ve put it down. also the kitchen looks like a tornado has blown through it because i was out the night before and NOBODY seems to be able to clean the kitchen without me. minus 10 points for my husband.

i’m still running around the kitchen patting my hands along the counters and watching crumbs fly everywhere, and kid #2 is complaining to me that kid #3 “smells poopy”, and my dad is standing in the kitchen doorway looking shell shocked. because in my ‘i can’t get it together’ world my alarm hasn’t gone off, the bike is at the school soaking wet, kid #1 has broken glasses (in 2 places!), there are bits of scrambled egg on the floor, kid #2 is naked (again), and kid #3 stinks. also i cannot find the lens.

finally the lens is found. but not by me of course. and i’m standing there taping the glasses and wanting to apologize for this whole crazy scenario and also for the fact that he’s stepping on something mushy (a raisin?), and that his very nice car is about to get wet and muddy from the bike that should have been clean and dry in the garage. and also i want to cry.

my dad’s always there for me in a pinch (whether he wants to or not) but my not-always impeccably clean house makes him anxious. during the summer an electrical switch in the playroom caught on fire. it burnt itself out almost immediately but there was black smoke everywhere. i called my husband, who was on duty, instead of the fire department because i am an idiot like that and he was able to contact them directly to attend. it happened on a my-house-is-not-so-tidy day and when my parents came over to hang out with the kids outside while the firemen did their thing, my dad turned to me and said, “the firemen must think your house is a disaster. your husband works in the community and these things get around”. and also my house almost burnt down. but you know, whatever. and then he gave me tips on how to better clean up toys and arrange my pile of books. and tried to mentally calculate where i might fit another bookshelf in my living room.

sigh. and now i needed his help AGAIN. and also i am 30.

i don’t know why i have such a fear of not being able to get it together. i could list off a number of positive credentials to counteract this but it’s not enough. and i don’t know why.

moving forward again.

i love books. this is just a thing about me. also i love the colour red. and fairytales.

i’ve knocked the princess crew quite a bit for their lack of cleverness and inability to be the heroine of their own story. kid #2 and i are in particular disagreement about a certain girl in blue. kid #2 thinks cinderella is perfect, albeit slightly forgetful when it comes to footwear. i, on the other hand, think she is dim-witted and may be suffering from the psychological condition known as learned helplessness. either way, the princesses are not where it’s at for me.

which is weird because i have a thing for the most notably idiotic, can’t get it together, useless fairytale character EVER.

little red riding hood.

oh little red. you are so cute in your red hooded cape. so adorable in fact that i make kid #2 wear a red hooded pea coat instead of the blue one i’m sure she’d prefer.

but dear red, you are an idiot. and i feel you because i too cannot get it together.

the story goes like this:

once upon a time there was a little girl, who was probably not so little since she was allowed to cross an entire forest by herself. her grandmother was sick so she was given exactly one task. to take a basket full of treats straight through the forest to her grandmother’s house without stopping to talk to strangers.

simple, yes? apparently not for little red the space cadet.

“hi. i’m not only a stranger, i’m a wolf. a big wolf. and i’d like to know what’s in your basket and where exactly you’re going…oh, you’re off to your grandmother’s with treats you say? and her house is located where?…”

darling red riding hood, you DESERVE to be eaten by that wolf. you are a failure of a fairytale character.

act 2: grandma’s house

“grandmother, what big ears, eyes, teeth etc you have”

is red categorically trying to remember what her grandmother looks like or does she know it’s the wolf? because every kid in the 2 and older crowd knows it’s not grandma. if my grandmother suddenly sprouted weird facial hair and a wolf-like appearance i’d like to think i’d realize that it wasn’t her.

but not little red riding hood. because she is a class 1 idiot. who doesn’t get eaten only because a randomly wandering-by woodsman happens to save her from a gruesome demise.

poor poor useless red riding hood who could not get it together enough to follow simple directions and tell the difference between a wolf and an old lady.

i feel you red riding hood. i feel you.

and that’s why i’m obsessed with these little red riding hood inspired awesomeness:

1. lil’ red & mr.wolf handstitched cuteness from dollyrocketlondon


2. violastudio red riding hood pocket doll


and reversible capelet


 3. hand-carved stamp from freshbakedpapergoods, because it’s always important to leave your mark


4. mini-friend message dolls from kekekaka



5. little red double-brooch from krize


6. one-of-a-kind made-to-order baby dress and cap from tenderblue


6 great shops; 1 stupid girl.

chomp chomp.