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.





book therapy

friday was a crummy day. completely non-enjoyable. i’m not going to go so far as saying it was a bad day because in comparison to third world issues it was nothing. smooth sailing. but as far as non-significant first world problems are concerned, it was both sucky and inconvenient.

my newish car started buzzing, vibrating, whatever the technical term for ‘my car is acting funny’ is. plus my oil light kept going on. i guess i need more oil, i thought. so i went to the gas station. 

“my car is acting funny and i think my oil needs to be checked” i told a cute teenager.

“ok”, he said. “no problem”

awkward silence.

“so i’m going to need you to pop your hood” he said.

“um”, i replied. “i don’t actually know how to do that”.

“it’s right here”, said my sister who was with me. she neither has a driver’s license or a car.

it turned out that the oil was fine but my car was still acting weird. i called parts and service at the dealership where i had purchased the car and was advised not to drive. a tow truck arrived but i had no way of safely getting to the dealership so i could get a courtesy car since i had kid #2 and #3 with me. this was quite the sucky situation. i asked for the courtesy car to be driven out to me so i could get to the dealership and work out what was going on. after all i was only 20 minutes away.

“no”, i was told. “we’re currently having a sale and are very busy at the moment”. customer service at its best.

luckily my sister was able to get int touch with her boyfriend who piled us all into his van and drove us there.

now for the fun “i can’t believe this actually happened” moment. here i am exiting the van. i’m pushing the stroller with kid #2 on the back. kid #3 has fallen asleep in her car seat so i’m carrying her in it. tucked under my arm is kid #1′s booster seat and my sister is struggling to carry kid #2′s surprisingly large toddler seat.

we must have looked like a disastrous disaster. i can only imagine.

an employee of this particular brand of cars was clearly waiting for me to make my way over to him. i assumed he was the parts and service guy i had been conversing with on the phone.

“are you here to purchase a car” he asked jovially.

i assumed he was joking.

but no. as soon as i said i was not in fact there to buy a car he turned on his heel and walked away. true story.

after signing papers and dealing with the courtesy car situation we were off. but i was in a terribly horrible mood. and we were close to my favourite bookstore. and i decided that i not only needed but actually DESERVED a new book. or four. whatever.

for myself i purchased ‘the rosie project’


and ‘the elegance of the hedgehog’


and then also for myself, i mean my kids, i bought oliver jeffers’ newest picture book ‘the huey’s in it wasn’t me’



as well as his newly illustrated book ‘the day the crayons quit’



and then i felt much better. just like i knew i would.

and then the car dealership called and asked me to bring the courtesy car back to exchange it for another one because they had decided they wanted to sell the one they had loaned me and could i please do that this afternoon. i said no. because i am not a push over.

“can you bring it in tomorrow morning then? we need it as soon as possible” i was told.

“i have a busy day tomorrow” i told them back. “so i think you’ll probably have to bring the new car to me. but i’ll need you to do this no later than 9am because i have a place to be at”. and that was that.

and then 8:55am came and the phone rang and i didn’t recognize the number. so naturally i asked hubby to answer it for me because i am scared of strangers on the phone. but he had a mouth full of granola so i had to tentatively answer it myself. it was the car guy and he was in my drive way.

damn. i had totally forgotten.

proof that once again i cannot get it together. my uselessness exhausts me.

anyway, kid #2 and i have been reading the oliver jeffers books over and over again. she loves the ridiculousness of the hueys. kid #1 just really likes to give the story angry sound effects. they love the crayon book just as much.

oliver jeffers has been a household name in this family ever since i fell madly in love with ‘how to catch a star’ when kid #1 was a year old. he’s been hooked ever since and he’ll tell anyone who asks that ‘the incredible book eating boy’ will always be his favourite. santa splurged for the pop up edition one time.



kid #2 thinks ‘stuck’ is the most hilarious thing that’s ever been read to her. every single time. “he’s such a silly guy! he threw a cat up there? hahahah!” every. single. time.



my husband loves ‘the great paper caper’



because it’s got a criminal/police edge to it of course.

i will also mention that my husband literally jumped with delight when i showed him the new books. he’s as mad about oliver jeffers as we are.

so as you might imagine i was completely delighted when i saw that oliver jeffers‘ website now had a new component called oliver jeffers’ world.


in oliver jeffers’ world kids can print pictures, puppets, and puzzles to make which feature favourite characters like the huey’s, the boy, the penguin, the bear, and others. you can also click on characters and take them for bike rides, space hops, and to the south pole.


it’s a visually stunning website and loads of fun too so get your kids over there.

so, while i was searching out some oliver jeffers related images, i happened to stumble upon one perfect day where a super crafty (ugh!) and eco-friendly mom and her kids have recreated scenes from lost and found with materials they’ve found around their home.



but for the less crafty (ahem) and more intellectual moms (and dads) out there, he co-created the opening film for TED2013 and has been very involved in the process of this year’s conference which features the theme ‘the wise. the young. the undiscovered’




isn’t oliver jeffers fabulous?

i may not know how to check the oil in my car, but i sure can pick my storytellers.