22 Apr

It’s another first for Eating Dirt.

I announced a reader giveaway last week and only one person commented (thereby entering into the draw). It was my cousin and she exempts herself from all reader giveaways due to her family connection (she’s so noble).

So nobody won the giveaway; that has never happened before.

Hopefully it won’t happen again!

Nobody gets a copy of The Book of (even more) Awesome by Neil Pasricha.

That is the opposite of awesome.


Easter 2014

21 Apr

The three big tradition-filled holidays in this household are Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.

RJ was two months old for his first Halloween so I stuck him in a costume, brought him to see some neighbours, and took a few pictures.

He was four months old for his first Christmas. I bought a couple green and red sleepers, wrapped a couple presents, and took a few pictures.

He was about eight months old on his First Easter. I put some rabbit ears on his head and took a few pictures.

Simple and sweet.

RJ was a happy baby and never fussed, but the way a baby handles holiday traditions during his first year of life is not a good indication of what holidays will be like in the years to come.

As I wrote here, RJ stopped being a simple baby and grew into a more complicated toddler.

While RJ’s second Halloween was also quite simple, it was the second Christmas when we started noticing some quirks in our formerly complacent child. One thing we noticed was that too much excitement caused a lot of stress.

On his second Christmas morning, RJ opened a gift and looked calmly at it then put it aside. Then he opened another one. Then another one. Then he ran into his room and shut the door and sat in the dark while holding and old stuffed bear. We coaxed him out but it was hours before he would open his other gifts.

Now, at five and a half, RJ definitely loves to get gifts, but through trial and error, we’ve learned to spread out the excitement. Everything simply cannot happen on one day because it’s just too much. RJ gets overloaded and goes into extended meltdown mode. With two kids in the family now, I’ll do anything I can to minimize stress.

So, for example, this Easter, we decorated eggs on Friday:


We did a treasure hunt and found Easter baskets on Saturday:


And we hunted for eggs on Sunday:




The kids had fun and aside from constant squabbling, the meltdowns were minimal. More importantly, I fulfilled my photograph requirements.

Photos of egg decorating: check
Photos of Easter goodies: check
Photos of children in bunny ears: check

And yes, it was a snowy Easter weekend like last year. But this year it was warm enough for bare hands and heads.


Even More Awesome

18 Apr

Last year around this time, I did my very first reader giveaway.

On April 26th 2014, readers had the chance to win a copy of a The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha.

After a year, and in light of our snowy holiday weekend, I thought it was time to revisit awesome.

Yesterday it started snowing. It snowed all day. People are annoyed. Me, Im not really annoyed. I’m not too fond of snow but I would rather have this cooler temperature than summer heat any day. Seriously.

But regardless of how you feel about the weather, I started thinking about how annoying things could be reinterpreted as awesome things.

For me, yucky annoying snow us reinterpreted as, “well, at least it’s not hot…and that’s awesome!”

Or, another example:

A few days ago, the snow was trying to melt. Jason and I noticed something beige and baguette-shaped at the base of our crabapple tree. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was, in fact, a frozen baguette. Actually, there were five frozen baguettes.

After being confused for a few minutes, I remembered back to late fall when I threw away some freezer burnt baguettes. I assumed a giant squirrel or another other animal dug through the garbage and buried them beside the tree for a mid winter snack.

I was pretty grossed out and definitely annoyed.

This morning, it was snowing heavily and JP and I were having a lazy start to the day. We hurt loud twittering and looked out to see the ground around the apple tree full of busy little black birds, going mad for the frozen baguettes. There were a few crows getting in on the action too. JP and I raided the freezer for some more freezer burnt bread (apparently we have a lot of gross bread in our house) and dumped it all over the front steps and just beyond.

We were back and forth to the windows throughout the day just watching the birds. It might sound lame, but my kid was loving the free entertainment. He yelled at the birds, laughed at them, and stared at them. At one point, a giant scruffy raven stopped by. The annoying half thawed baguettes in my front yard became awesome aviary entertainment.

Scruffy looking raven! I could tell it was a raven because all the crows sitting off to the side watching were half the size!

Another example:

I signed JP up for a pre-school gymnastics class. I didn’t expect him to be as attentive as his brother was two years ago, but I was expecting a small modicum of listening skills. I was very wrong. It was bedlam. There were eight kids in the class and four out of the eight were running around like maniacs.

I was extremely annoyed that I couldn’t control my child (though grateful that other parents were in the same predicament), so I had to change my way of thinking.

At the end of the hour, after running after JP almost constantly, I was feeling kind of excited about my free workout. We weren’t actually at an annoying children’s gymnastics class, we were actually at an awesome adult calisthenics class (there just happened to be eight children there with us!).

Thankfully he did stop running a few times, long enough for me to snap a few pictures!

Now, I want you tell ME something awesome!

To make it a bit challenging, can you tell me about something that initially seemed annoying but ended up being awesome?

Everybody who comments will be entered in a draw to win the SECOND book from Neil Pasricha – it’s called The Book of (even more) Awesome!

The contest closes Monday night at midnight (Eastern Standard Time) and the winner will be announced Tuesday morning.

Have a great weekend everybody!


You will still be entered in the contest if you can’t think of something annoying that transformed into something awesome. That’s just an extra challenge. But, if you entered the first awesome giveaway last year, you have to write something different. I will check to make sure!

Also, you can’t just write “possum.” As in, awesome possum. That’s lazy!

Easter 2013

17 Apr


This was last Easter:



Easter Sunday 2014 is three sleeps away. Will The bunny be hiding eggs in the snow again? It’s starting to look that way.

Here is our yard as of today:


Hey, that’s not even a bunny!

Easter 2012 was in April and there was no snow. Last year, Easter was in March and there was lots of snow. I really thought the April Easter this year would be snow free again!

It might be.

Three sleeps people!

Stay tuned to see if we hunt eggs in the snow!

And stay tuned for a reader giveaway announcement tomorrow!

Trying something new…

15 Apr

I can’t remember our exact ages (maybe 7 and 9 or it could have been 10 and 12), but I remember a family friend (one year younger than I am) teaching various swear words to my brother and I.

My mom was in the kitchen, talking on the phone. The door was closed so she couldn’t hear what was happening in the living room.

What was happening was our family friend telling us all about different swear words.

Somehow my brother got it in his head to go into the kitchen and yell “SHIT SHIT SHIT” over and over again, right in front of my mom who was still on the phone.

I have a very vivid and hilarious memory of Jesse dancing around, smiling like mad and yelling shit in my moms face.

She was livid. And it was Jesse’s first taste of soap.

I’ve often wondered if Jesse would have been punished had my mom known that our friend was teaching him those words and that be was strongly encouraged to go show off these new words.

But I can totally understand my mom’s reaction. She was on the phone after all. Plus she was probably shocked.

For the record, I remember that it was the family friend teaching the swear words to Jesse and I. He remembers that it was both us who were teaching my brother. I guess the truth has been lost over the past twenty years.

The point is, I think (generally speaking) all kids will eventually do something or say something to their parents; kids test boundaries.

I remember, as a youngster, looking for some tape. I lamented loudly that I couldn’t find the “dumb damn tape!” My mom gave me a shocked look and I immediately started crying and saying that I didn’t know it was a bad word. In hindsight I obviously overreacted but I was quite worried about tasting soap!

As you can see, my episodes of pushing boundaries were comparably lame compared to those of my brother.

So even though I know it’s normal for young children to push boundaries and test limits, I was still extremely shocked when I caught RJ giving JP the middle finger!

I think I screamed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?”

And my screaming caused RJ to shut down and become unresponsive. He was quite upset because I was upset and his method of self preservation is to emotionally shut down. He just curled into little ball and refused to speak.

We finally convinced him that he wasn’t going to be punished and my strong reaction was out of shock and not anger. After that, we were able to learn that RJ has seen kids hold up their middle fingers at school, knows it’s naughty, and just wanted to try it out.

I understand that all too well. I remember saying a lot of impolite words when I was in grade seven. I’ve never been one to litter my speech with expletives. If I say the word fuck or shit (etc) it sounds forced and quite ridiculous. But at age twelve, I wanted to try out the forbidden words. I never cursed at anybody, it was all experimental swearing. And I’m sure it sounded forced…and ridiculous.

So even though I know my child is just trying things out…

I can’t help feeling like exposing him to outside influences is going to steal his beautiful innocent childhood.

Overreact much?

Have your kids ever said or done anything to shock you?

National Treasure

11 Apr

Do you know who this is?


His name is Rick Mercer and he’s a national treasure!

Well…he might not be a treasure…but he’s very smart.

And funny!

And my five year old son happens to think he’s amazing.

About a year ago, my mom played a clip of The Mercer Report for RJ and he was hooked.

Every Report opens with an amusing talk-show-style monologue about current political events in Canada. For US, readers, he could be compared to John Stewart and The Daily Show.

Then Rick goes on location to various locations across Canada where he will participate in a celebrated event or learn a new skill associated with that particular geographic location.

Rick also does ad spoofs, news desk political humour, and his very famous street rants (I love his rants!). The show, material and style-wise, is similar to This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

RJ isn’t fond or the political stuff though. Maybe he will be when he’s older.

This is what first captured RJ’s heart:


I don’t know what Rick is doing exactly, some sort of fun water sport. RJ was amazed.

RJ loves when Rick goes on location because of all the fun and interesting things he gets to do. For the most part, you couldn’t pay me to do what Rick is doing as most of it looks too dangerous!

I’m boring and lame. But Rick, obviously, is not!








Looking at these pictures, it’s easy to believe that Rick Mercer is a super hero.

At least that is what RJ believes.

For months Rick Mercer was featured in all the games of make-believe. And if we told RJ a bedtime story, Rick Mercer had to be one of the main characters.

When we found out that Rick Mercer would be doing a show in Thunder Bay, I thought it would be cool if RJ got to meet one of his heroes.

I emailed and sent Facebook messages proposing a meet and greet prior to the show. My mom also sent messages, as did Jason. We thought RJ could even interview Rick for LU Radio!

Would that have been a first for Rick, being interviewed by a five year old for a campus and community radio station?

The event drew closer and we never heard back from Rick or anyone associated with him. I can’t say I wasn’t a bit disappointed.

Several months ago I told RJ that we were writing to Rick Mercer to try and arrange a meeting and he was beside himself with excitement. I usually don’t tell him things unless I’m absolutely sure, but I was confident that our request would be granted. I figured it would be hard to pass up an adorable five year old!

But I do realize that adorable children are mostly only adorable to their parents and other adults close to them. I also realize that Rick Mercer is very busy and he can’t say yes to everything.

The show was last night and thankfully, RJ forgot about it. Hopefully Rick will come back to Thunder Bay and we can see him then.

But still, I can’t help feeling that Rick missed out on something…

While watching Mercer Report with his gramma, RJ once said, “I believe everything Rick Mercer tells me.” It’s a good idea to get ‘em while they’re young! Rick could have really taken advantage of this young malleable mind; he could have told RJ to never vote conservative! He could have influenced the state of government for an entire generation!

We’ll never know what could have happened.

But I do know that Rick Mercer cares about this country. If RJ is going to have a hero, I’d say Mr Mercer is a pretty good one.

This is why you have kids, Part Three

10 Apr

Reason number one is here

Reason number two is here

Reason number three is this:

Your child can be your toy; you can pose him like a doll or do stuff to him and it’s very funny!

See what I mean?

You can pretend your tiny infant is helping you get the yard ready for winter!

You can pretend your tiny infant is helping you get the yard ready for winter!

You can pretend your tiny infant is actually playing on the playground equipment!

You can pretend your tiny infant is actually playing on the playground equipment!

Pose your baby with some stuffed toys!

Pose your baby with some stuffed toys!

Pose your baby with your magazine...because really, all babies should have a subscription to Bitch!

Pose your baby with your magazine…because really, all babies should have a subscription to Bitch!

You can pretend your baby is helping you wrap presents!

You can pretend your baby is helping you wrap presents!

You can confuse your baby!

You can confuse your baby!

Some more stuffed toys?  Sure why not!

Some more stuffed toys? Sure why not!

You can pretend your infant is potty trained!

You can pretend your infant is potty trained!

Okay, just a few more stuffed toys....

Okay, just a few more stuffed toys….

You can put your baby on the moving sidewalk at the airport!  Trust me, it's hilarious!

You can put your baby on the moving sidewalk at the airport! Trust me, it’s hilarious!

You can put your baby on a biker's Harley Davidson!  But only if he says it's ok...

You can put your baby on a biker’s Harley Davidson! But only if he says it’s ok…

You can put socks on your baby's hands and watch him be confused for a good ten minutes!

You can put socks on your baby’s hands and watch him be confused for a good ten minutes!

You can put your baby's hair in a pony tail!  He won't get upset at all!

You can put your baby’s hair in a pony tail! He won’t get upset at all!

You can stick a blanket down your baby's pants!

You can stick a blanket down your baby’s pants!

You can put your baby on your uncle's ATV!

You can put your baby on your uncle’s ATV!

See all the fun you can have with your new doll, I mean baby?

What are you waiting for? You better go get yourself knocked up!


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