Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Host or Attendee - Which Are You?

I've pretty much decided there's two types of people in this world; The Host or The Attendee. Now while people can be both at times, in truth they are almost always one more than the other. Think about it...when was the last time you invited people over or out to something? OR, when was the last time someone asked you out to an event or over for dinner?

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm most certainly in the Host category. Recently I've decided to try and test out the Attendee seat as the Host position is wearing me down.

For anyone that is a Host by nature I'm sure you know the work that is involved, what I'm not sure of is if the Attendees have any idea what it's like? Can an Attendee truly empathize with a Host in knowing what is all involved with planning an event or having people over?

Over the years I've found much enjoyment out of being the Host but usually there comes a point where I start to get fed up with the job. Usually this comes after many Attendees don't take even a few seconds to respond to an invite with a simple 'yes' or 'no', or even worse you plan a night out and after someone says no, they plan an event the same night as yours.

Now I know that technically there's no rules to the Host/Attendee relationship but I think there should be some simple ettiquete that everyone should adopt:


1. Reply. Really, is there much more that needs to be said to that?

2. Say 'Thank You' for the invite. Unless the person is inviting you to their 10th Tupperware party in the past 4 months there's really no reason to not show some appreciation for the fact that the Host wants to do something, and wants to do that something with you

3. After saying 'no' and listing the reason why as you can't find a babysitter, or you're sick, don't plan another event for the same night and invite the original host. Seriously, that's just bad taste.

4. Don't hijack the original invitation and make it your own. If no one wants to go to the original idea planned then talk to the Host and bring up some suggestions on alternative ideas, then together you can present it to the rest of the group.

5. Once and a while do a self check and realize that the Host has now asked you out for the past four outings you've done together...maybe it's your turn to play Host.


1. Don't plan something on someone else's big day. Be aware of people's birthdays/anniversaries etc. We can't avoid them all but at least try to avoid the big ones like weddings and 1st birthday parties.

2. Don't invite the same people to the same type of event all the time (i.e. Tupperware, Epicure, Pampered Chef, etc). It can get expensive for the guests as they pretty much always feel obligated to buy at least something least I know I do!

3. Be aware that not everyone can afford certain outings. Be polite and invite everyone but also understand that they might not be able to swing that group trip to Mexico or even that dinner at a 4 star restaurant. *side note - Attendee, please realize that it's likely the host knows of your financial situation but would rather send the invite to you than you feel even more left out for not being invited in the first place*

4. Take a hint, if someone is not responding to your invites...stop inviting.

If both Hosts and Attendees can adopt some simple rules like the ones above I think it can lead to a very healthy Host/Attendee relationship. Until then I'm going to try and break in my new Attendee seat...let the invites pour in for my perusal! Oh, who am I kidding - you all know I'll be back to Hosting or else I won't see half the people I consider my friends...that's what you get for selecting mainly Attendee types as friends.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Moments of Joy

Though you hear me talk a lot about how hard it is with two toddlers 14 months apart there are those moments that make your heart soar, tickle your funny bone, or make your eyes water with joy. My little people cause me a few extra gray hairs a day but they also provide me with those moments of joy where I just can't believe this little wonder is part of me.

There are too many moments throughout their 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 years to list them all so I thought I'd share some of the things they do right now that put a smile on my face:

- They ask to visit Auntie Katie and Uncle Chris, & Grandma and Grandpa EVERY SINGLE DAY

- Jocelyn makes up songs about people and things, her latest song was 'Todd is over here, and Shilo is over there

- Cole's mischievous little grin - though you know whatever it is he has planned is probably going to infuriate you, the little grin is the cutest thing

- When they're shy around someone they hold each other around the waist and slowly walk up to the person while trying not to topple over (that moment makes up for so many of the times I have to break up their fights)

- Cole's cheeks. I now know why old ladies pinch the cheeks of kids so much; sometimes they are just so darn adorable!

- Jocelyn's bedtime stores she 'reads' you, they are full of imagination and it reminds you of all the things you made up as a kid

- How EVERY time we pass a new construction site Jocelyn asks if they're building a castle

- It may sound weird but when Mr. Cole was really sick all he wanted to do was sleep in my arms. I wish away the sickness but not that moment of closeness when only mommy could make it better

- How much Mr. Cole loves robots. Robot shirts, talking like a robot, robot toys - it's sort of adorable.

- When my Turkey says 'I luv you mom, you're my BEST friend'. or 'Mom, you're a genius!'

- When Jocelyn says 'Holy Macaroli'

- When Cole says 'ank you mom' or 'I vuv you'

- The look of ecstasy on their faces when they realize we're going to let them get dirty or wet; it's like in their minds they're thinking 'Greatest. Day. EVER'

Anyway, though I have my days where I scour the want-ads looking for an escape from being a stay-at-home mom; these are just a few of the reasons I choose to remain a stay-at-home-mom. I mean come on, people at work don't talk to you about castles and robots, and they never say 'I vuv you'; and if they do I'm pretty sure a harassment lawsuit is involved.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Road Trip - Remember When They Used To Be Fun?

Ahhh, remember the days when a friend would declare 'ROAD TRIP' and you would all scramble to get your stuff together on a couple days notice (or even 1 day notice)? Remember how much fun it was? Someone would think to make up a mix tape (GOD that made me sound old), someone would remember to bring snacks, someone would think of a couple good stops to make on the way. It didn't really seem to be where we were going, getting there was really half the fun.

Now the mention of the word 'road trip' sends shivers up my spine and makes me quietly back away from the conversation like it never came up; kind of hard to do when hubby is the one mentioning it and you're the only other person in the room.

For me road trips now mean multiple healthy snacks, Dora and Diego books, games, planned potty breaks, toys, Doodlebop cds, and Calliou and Barney DVDs. Road trips now mean endless versions of 'How much longer', 'I don't want to listen to Elmo', 'He hit me!'. They also now mean getting from point A to point B in the quickest most efficient manner as to limit the actual time spent sitting in the car. Gopher Hole Museum, who cares?!? We must get to our destination NOW!

All the enjoyment I used to get out of driving has now been removed from the vehicle. I used to love quite time to think to myself, and at times pumping MY music and singing along. Now I sadly know all the words to every childrens cd we own and even worse, find myself singing said songs even when I'm not around the kids. Egads!

Toddlers have sapped all my enjoyment of road trips. I truly hope that one day we can stop to view Pinter MacBean in Bow Island, or Susie - The Largest Softball in Chauvin, or even the World's Largest Piggybank in Coleman. Until then should you ever want to propose a road trip to me it must be presented in the following manner: 'Jody...girls weekend - spa; quiet time; drinks; 4 star restaurants. Want to go?' I'd also probably accept this alternative: 'Jody...couples weekend - wine tour; spa; quiet time; 4 star restaurants. Want to go?' Now THOSE are the types of road trips I can get excited about!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Rant From The Crazy Lady

Did you see that crazy lady in her PJ's getting angry at that construction worker this morning??? Yep, that was me. I've finally reached 'Crazy Lady' status as I just simply can't take it anymore! I think I've quoted the construction bylaw enough times I may just know it all by heart.

I will fully admit that before we started building we knew that it was going to be a pain in the ass, but I just didn't understand how much of a pain in the ass it could really be - I was naive.

Silly me thought I would hear a fair amount of noise from about 8am until 8pm. Little did I know that the City of Edmonton actually allows for construction from 7am-10pm Mon-Sat and 9am-7pm on Sundays and holidays.

I sucked it up and adjusted to the new routine of lots of 'BEEP, BEEP, BEEP' of equipment backing up in the mornings, nails being hammered, construction workers blaring their awful taste in music, but what I will not adjust to is construction starting before that 7am start time.

Call me what you will behind my back (or to my face) Mr. Worker but this is where I LIVE and I WILL have you abide by that 7am start time and 10pm finish time. I am quite sure that if I came into your neighbourhood and made the same level of noise you make, that you would chase me off.

I've been pretty flexible in the past, if you start at 6:45am I won't complain but anything before 6:30am gets me all riled up! And come on, 5:50am??? Use your brain, can you see all the kids toys out behind our undeveloped yard - yep that means there's people that live here with little kids. Seriously, it's not that hard to figure out.

I can totally appreciate that the weather has not cooperated with your building efforts and so you try to fit it in when you can. But then how about instead of starting at 5:50am or finishing at 10:45pm, you cut down that 2 hour lunch break I saw you take? Or the 45 minute smoke break with your friends that came over?

Really, I'm not a bitch but I most certainly can be bitchy about this subject. I've put up with the endless amounts of garbage that ends up in our yard, the nails on the sidewalk my kids pick up, your peeing in front of my kitchen window, your swearing, etc, etc but I've finally drawn my line in the sand when it comes to the 5:50am start time. Now I simply give a fair warning, should you cross that line you will have to deal with the crazy lady in her PJ's, and possibly her rolling pin.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Practical Shopper

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not a HUGE fan of shopping. I think it all stems back to when my brother, cousin and I got dragged around West Edmonton Mall every Friday night while our moms tried on clothes. Store after store after store our only excitement was to fight for the single chair by the change rooms so we at least had somewhere to sit. It was excruciatingly painful!!

People used to be amazed that I would only go shopping 4 times a year (yep that's right, once a quarter!) and were shocked to see how many bags I could carry at one time. People seeing me come out of the mall with my bags would always make oh so witty comments like 'shop much?' which I could easily answer with 'actually, no'.

I'll admit that I have eased up a bit on my dislike of shopping and now only call it an inconvenience. Truly I don't like going unless I have something specific to purchase but now with so many friends getting married and having kids (plus my own kids) means many more trips to the mall.

There's a few things I've learned that help me get what I need in a short period of time so that I don't get turned off shopping again. Here's a few of the things I find help:

1. Plan out your shopping excursion. Park at the end of the mall where you're going to do the majority of your shopping or where you plan on purchasing the larger items.
2. Save buying the larger items until last as you don't want to have to carry them around the whole trip.

3. Leave the kids at home unless you're only going for 1 thing. It's near impossible to push a stroller with 2 kids, plus parcels, plus sippy cups, and a purse, a diaper bag, etc.

4. If you are able to leave the kids at home it means you're likely shopping on a Saturday or Sunday so to avoid the crowds go the moment the stores open. Even at West Edmonton Mall it's relatively quiet first thing in the morning.

5. Bring reusable bags. Many stores are now charging for plastic bags - as they should be! So store a couple reusable bags in your car so you're ready to go.

6. Avoid the food court. Really, can anyone honestly say they've had a great food court experience? It will just make you feel gross and slow you down!

7. And finally, avoid eye contact with the kiosk vendors or you'll end up with some new skin cream on your face or a remote helicopter following you around!

Hope those help, if you have any additional tips feel free to post them :)