Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Status Snackers

Status Snackers are on the rise. Is one of them yours?

Allow me to reminisce about my own childhood power cravings (read: sugar cravings). Raised in a house of brown rice, peas and potatos, sweets were exotic, bordering on erotic. Junk food had that other-worldly magic aura shared by the Easter Bunny and Santa. So, when I entered the real world of Kindergarton and saw how the other half lived, mega watt bulbs no less than exploded in my head.

I don’t remember her name, I don’t even remember her face, but I will never forget what she looked like from behind sitting in the lunchroom. Two perfectly coifed, ringlet pony tails, parted with razor sharp precision - the kind of perfection that must of hurt like a mofo to install. And beyond the back of her pretty little head, was her sandwich. Nutella… on Wonderbread. (Don’t tell me you’ve never tried Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread. Think Purdy’s hedgehogs.)

Next to this vision of beauty, I would sit and crack my wax paper to reveal a dark husk of a peanut butter sandwich. (Remember when we ate peanut butter at school?) This girl was timid under all other circumstances, but she soon discovered her power, at least over me. I don’t remember Ringlets being mean about it, but for a shy girl, Nutella sandwiches were a way of making friends.

With Halloween still rearing it’s ugly head out of our highest cupboards, Status Snacking is rampant right now. It’s all about who has candy and how they work it. There are those that lord it over others and those that give it over for brownie points (so to speak). There’s even status in being a recipient. After all, there isn’t always enough for everyone.

Should I somehow try to strategize against this? Should I make sure I pack a yummy enough lunch that she isn’t deemed powerless and yet not so yummy that she's corrupted by the power? Do I have too much time on my hands??



Thursday, November 18, 2010


Here's the cachet. All this steel and gunpowder, stashed on top of the fridge.  Well, maybe not stashed.  More like...banished.  Yes, our boys are into weapons.  They're into combat, whether it be with a (plastic) sword, gun, laser, light saber or Wii remote.  They like to blow things up real good.  They like to yell "You'll pay for dis!" and "Fire at Will!!" and "You're going to the Doom Dimension!".  They like the Star Wars movies.  Every last violent detail.

All of this is my nightmare.  Not because I'm a girl, so much, but because I'm a pacifist.  I cry when people are mad at me.  I cry when I think people should be mad at me.  I fight like a feeb and  refuse to play contact sports or anything that might make me fall down.  I want peace and am willing to do pretty much anything to achieve it.  So, to have two screaming small people running around the house (fake) shooting at each other and slashing the air,  rogue jedis on crack's just too much.  I pluck the above weapons out of their hands whenever things get hairy and send them into exile on top of the fridge.  I plop bags of chips on them and forget they exist.  I shrug innocently when the kids can't find their "piece" and their "blaster".  Even their little lego people are packing heat!

I'm a little worried that these two are going to grow up to be maniacal psychos terrorizing the city with pirate pistols from Disneyland (see above) or worse.  Maybe they'll even start hunting fowl and game.  While living in LA, I visited a hypnotherapist to help me deal with some important life issues.  During one session I expressed concern about my son's need to run around pretending he was shooting a gun, which was actually a curved piece of wooden train track.  I felt that this could escalate and he would scare all his little girlfriends right out of his life.  Matt laughed a little.  Patiently, he explained that as a child he'd careen around with his toy guns playing Cops & Robbers, Cowboys & First Nations People with the best of them...and has grown up to do yoga for 2 hours a day and study Transcendental Meditation.  Truly, he's about as gentle as they get. Sigh.  l guess I should give those machines of menace back over to the kids, and surrender all the nerf darts that I've hidden in my sock drawer.  Soon as my welts are gone...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guerilla Soup Kitchen

OK, it was nothing so noble...

Saffron and I needed to take some shots for our upcoming website launch (look out!) and we wanted a group of kids in them. It being November in Vancouver, we built igloos and went seal hunting. I kid you. (Us Canadian folk love to mess with the rest of y’all.) Everyone knows children respond to sugar, so we sent out a few quick emails offering a bribe of hot chocolate at the local playground.

As Saf mentioned on Crackbook, my offerings look like the Fraser River. I just wonder what the Health Board would have to say about the unidentifiable dribble coming down that tail light. That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger?

Friday, November 12, 2010

We Have a Winner!

The firecrackers and bottle rockets are flying far less frequently this week and most of our kids have lost interest in all the crap they filled up on after trick-or-treating. Yay! Thank you for your entries, your emails, your comments and memories...and we have found a winner for our Cheapest Costume Contest! Lurene, your son's $3.00 Snake Charmer takes the prize! Thanks to your mother's hoarding instincts (and the power of parachute pants) you've won our Autumn Basket of Fall Treats to help you weather the season!
Rachael, your kids' 0.00 grocery bag masterpieces made us glad to be alive. They couldn't qualify 'cause of their lack of Hallwe'en-ness but they make the ultimate statement about what kids are capable of without a trip around the Costume Store. The rest of us, who shelled out $ to Toysrus or similar, are skulking behind our very expensive wastes of fabric and hoping we can squeeze another year out of the thing...Thanks again for participating and stay warm and cozy this weekend, all!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hallowe'en & Cheap Costume Contest

So, how was your Hallow's Eve?  Ours was Good Times, considering the boys were recovering from strep throat.  And that Dawk Vader wiped out face first in his helmet right out of the gate in broad daylight.  He spent most of our trick-or-treating time in his stroller, helmet-free.  Cody from StarWarsCloneWars brought home a heavy bag of loot.  And Daddy and I went as lazy pirates.  Camille's girl was a wizard!  Don't call her a witch or a fairy, she hates that!
that is not me in a thong

THANK YOU for your pics for the Cheapest Costume Contest!  Here are a few entries!  TWO DAYS LEFT to win our secret prize, so if you're reading this, use the email button in the sidebar or just email me directly from your address book and attach your pics and prices!  Contest ends Friday November 5th!
From Grace, we have:
The witch was 7.00, hat and dress from the thrift shop. Indiana Jones was: Total $11 , $2 hat at Thrift shop, mint condition GAP boys cowhide jacket Value Village $9 (will be used as a jacket for some years as it’s big! LOL) whip was from Santa last year rest was regular clothes and some brown makeup for 5 o’clock shadow

 Adding to show you my ghost and vampire from about 4 years ago, shredded sheet, cheesecloth, and makeup, regular clothes and $2 thrift shop vest + generic cape from VV did the trick!! Those were my cheapest yet.  And the scariest actually, kids at preschool found them a bit too scary....Grace(yes, Grace, they scare the crap out of me, too!)

From Rachael:
Ha! Well written, that made me laugh both in rememberance of my own Halloween years and also for the irony of your post and how closely it resembles my own sentiments  about our excessive consumption as a population in general. I'm frugal like you, for the most part. Costumes for my kids usually come from Value Village.This kittie costume from a couple years ago cost $4.99, all second hand.  

The picture of the kids wearing shopping bags are not Halloween costumes but they were costumes the kids made for fun, which I realize may me look like I am too cheap to buy toys but the truth is they did this themselves. I do feel that  kids have more fun creating imaginary play than they do playing with painted plastic, that's why they play
 with the box at Christmas time....Rachael

and From Lurene:
Rock Star.  $7 total.  Wig $7 (USA yeeeeeeeeears ago....) / vest $0 (mine, from my closet yeeeeeeeeeears ago..) / pleather pants? $0 (MINE ...from yeeeeeeeeears ago....) / electric guitar? $0.  His Dad’s (from 1983) 
Snake Charmer / Aladdin.  $3 total.  Vest $0 (again,...mine...) / pants $0 my sister Shannon actually WORE these in the 80’s  - God love my Mother “the Hoarder”!  Shoes. $0 They were a gift from James on a recent trip to India.  Turbin. $0 it’s my favorite scarf.  Sword. $3 Value Village (yeeeeeeeeeeears ago).....Lurene

And we've got a surprise posting from our own mama!  I am busted for not remembering my costume correctly--here is the real deal and some perspective from when we did it Old School:
Here’s an archival photo of the blogging sisters (Saf & Camille) dressed up for Hallowe’en the old fashioned way.  Not a sheet but a really nice (but old and stained) tablecloth sacrificed for the occasion and the Christmas tinsel on the end of a chopstick was not to be sneezed at either...  Cost: $0, result: a fairy or an angel?  A bit of makeup to paint a big smile onto our clown, a minor investment for a red bowler hat, a borrowed tie and the cost probably came to $2 on that costume.  Every Hallowe’en there was a scramble to cobble together something.  Imagination was a key ingredient.  It was fun! Mama

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