Hanging with Friends is not enough, I’m coming home

Two days in isolation (except for Facebook and Hanging with Friends) in Whistler can do strange things to a girl. I feel like I’ve taken a vow of silence, leaving my thoughts to have a battle of wits in my head.

In between the fits and bursts of producing 5000 words these last 36 hours, I:

– ate cauliflower steak on the couch in front of the TV
– caught up on this season’s The Bachelor (get rid of Courtney Ben, she’s bad news!)
– drank so much coffee I couldn’t fall asleep for hours
– chain-snacked on gummy bears
– checked Facebook constantly
– got so bored that I cleaned the toilets

Reminding me that the best part of a business trip is coming home.

Love Lucie

Giddy ‘up!

I’m positively giddy today.

My hubby has seen the signs, picked up on my cues, perhaps even read my blog and given me two days of solitude at our cabin in Whistler, BC.

The view from my "office" today

He even called it, a “business” trip since I’m always complaining that he always gets to go on business trips and I have three essays on motherhood to complete by the end of this month. So while I write, he’s going to take care of it all – taking the kids to lessons, feeding them (takeout, I’m sure) and getting them to school on time. And me, well I have two delicious days.

Two days of not yelling at my children to hurry up/remember this/flush the damn toilet/I don’t know where your homework is. And two days of without the grumpy feelings that reverberate in both the yeller and the yell-ee. Two days where I can actually hear a pin drop – if there was anyone here to drop a pin, that is.

Two days of not being a short-order cook. I won’t be making lunches, snacks or dinners – I will not have to referee the best piece of chicken in a tug-of-war nor will I witness the vegetables being scorned and dumped into the trash. I have two days of eating what I want, when I want. In the cabin’s fridge, I have a nearly full bottle of pinot grigio, half a wheel of camembert and a giant head of cauliflower threatening to go bad. I’m actually looking forward to cauliflower steak with cheese sauce tonight and I have no one to complain about the off-gassing this inventive combination will inevitably produce.

For two days, I will not enter the laundry room. I will spend two days living in my pyjamas, taking writing breaks by singing along to all the sappy love songs on my iPod, unperturbed by that canned laugh track that follows the Suite Life of Zack & Cody around.

I have three essays due by the end of the month that could launch my nascent writing career and my husband has taken away all my excuses for not getting them done by giving me these two days.

I’m giddy over this gift of me-time, and I know that the reason I’m giddy is because I get my crazy beautiful life back in just two days. And I know that they’ll miss me, especially when looking for the peanut butter tomorrow, because I took the jar with me.

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, I promise to savour every delicious minute of it!

Love Lucie

I love Tina Fey

I feel that if Tina Fey lived my neighbourhood we’d be great friends – swapping play dates, great shoes, sexy pose ideas(!) and witty sarcasm like nobody’s business.

As reported on People.com (it’s like CNN, only more interesting), the mother/wife/actress/producer/comedienne/writer/multi-tasker Fey admits, “(As a mother) you need a lot of help, and you need not to be afraid to ask for help.” She credits a great nanny and husband Jeff Richmond, musician and 30 Rock co-producer, who is also “a full participant” at home. I too have a great nanny and fully-involved husband (see Tina, so many similarities!)

“But even still,” she says, “every 12 weeks or so, you just kind of lose it. Then you gather it back up.

I love that line. This perky mom who also happens to be the King of the Castle in Hollywood, just normalized the ups and downs of being human for us regular folks. She’s saying that not everything in real life can have a happy Hollywood ending like the Season Finale on this year’s Bachelor. A life that good simply cannot be sustained, it would be exhausting to try. And even if we worked so that 100% pure happiness was possible all the time, it would automatically feel less good by virtue of it being the new normal. Life usually fluctuates somewhere in between “oh my god, I just made the New York Times Bestseller list!” and “You’re the worst mother that ever lived, I hate you!” Instead of chasing those highs with singular focus and/or rushing to your therapist (and forsaking all others) when you’re losing it, it sounds like my girlfriend Tina just takes the good stuff as it comes, acknowledging the inevitability of “losing it” and then “gathering it back up again” happy in knowing that she’ll be on lather, rinse, repeat cycle for some time to come.

I’m on Facebook Tina, poke me!

Love Lucie

Put your own oxygen mask on first

Back in the day when I was an Aeroplan Super Elite flyer, I strolled purposefully through airports, my rolling luggage wheels whirring behind me, trench coat flapping madly in my wake. Fellow passengers travelling with small children were to be avoided at all costs – I would board long after them and sit as far as possible away from them, preferably with a closed business class curtain between us. I flew so much that I knew many of the flight attendants who worked the Calgary – Chicago route by name and if I cared to, I could recite the onboard flight announcements right along with them.

There is a part of the safety briefing that always made me smirk, “If you are traveling with children, make sure that your own mask is on first before helping your children.”

Here I was, newly married living in Calgary but working in Chicago, clawing my way up the corporate ladder, with procreation being the furthest thing from my mind. But I was smirking because I knew when I finally did have kids, I’d be the kind of mother who would gladly take a bullet for them, and I would put their gas masks on first, because it’s more important for them to live than me.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now that I’ve actually had kids, I know I’d still take a bullet for them, but the safety announcement has followed me into my everyday life onto terra firma. I know now, that if I change my crying baby’s diaper before emptying my full bladder, that I will wet my pants (really). I know now that if I don’t grab a bite to eat while I’m zooming around making their breakfast, packing their lunch, making sure they brush their teeth, wash their faces, and wear (semi)clean clothes, that I will drive right to McDonald’s after I drop them off at school and eat a deep-fried something that I will regret for at least a week. I know now, that if I don’t get some exercise and some sunshine on a daily basis, I will get crabby and no one, not even my children will want to be around me, bullets or otherwise. And I now know, that these little miracles won’t die if we (quickly) put our own oxygen masks on first, they’ll probably even thank us (since we’ll both be around and not unconscious) for it.

So Moms, do us all a favour and put your own oxygen mask on first. The world is a much safer and happier place when you do.

Love Lucie