Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Steam of Consciousness

It's Christmas Day. My house looks like a My Little Pony bomb went off in here. It's the last Christmas where there's only one kid to please. Well that's not true, next year the baby will only be six months old so I guess they'll still be pretty easily amused. I'll just take all the empty boxes from Kid #1's toys and give them to Kid #2 to play with. So very efficient! Right now, for coming up with that plan, some of you are thinking I'm really mean and some are thinking I'm a fucking genius. You're all correct.

I haven't updated here in nearly three weeks. Dudes. The pregnancy fatigue. It's awful! I'm not sure if it's worse this time around of if I just feel it more because I didn't have another kid to look after last time. Never take the opportunity to nap for granted, people! Anyway, because of the long, long silence I've decided to just type whatever pops into my head for 10 minutes. If you're wondering how much of this you're going to have to endure, I started four minutes ago.

The pregnancy books say I can't feel the baby move yet. The pregnancy books lie. At night when things are very quiet and still I feel little bumps, like a goldfish bumping into the side of the bowl as it swims. I've seen this little critter doing backflips on an ultrasound screen, so I know he/she is a live one. I was thrilled. The ultrasound tech, who needed to take precise measurements, was less impressed. Speaking of he/she, the question we're being asked most often is whether or not we're going to find out the sex when we can. The answer is hell yes! Some express disappointment, "Oh, you don't want to wait for a surprise?" 1. I loathe and despise surprises; 2. It's not going to be much of a surprise, I'm expecting to hear boy or girl. If I find out it's a kangaroo THAT will be a surprise.

It occurs to me that I'm no longer a very good typist. That's a human failing I'm going to learn to live with. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Je me souviens

On December 6th, 1989, 14 people were shot and killed at L'Ecole Polytechnique in what is known as the Montreal Massacre. Another 23 were injured before the shooter turned the gun on himself. It was, and is, the largest mass murder in Canadian history.

What heinous crime did the victims commit to deserve such a fate? They were born women. After claiming that he was "fighting feminism," the shooter entered a classroom, separated the men from the women, and opened fire. Room by room, he repeated the process. Men who tried to intervene were also shot, though none of them fatally.

To dismiss his actions as those of a madman trivializes his actions. Random violence, crazy man. Move along, nothing to see here.  

I was 14 years old and became aware for the very first time that I could be hated by a complete stranger for no reason at all. As a Canadian, as a woman and as the mother of a daughter in a world where women still die every day because they were born a girl, it is my duty to remember. May the mothers who lost daughters on that horrible day take some small comfort in knowing that more than two decades later... Je me souviens.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dear Duchess of Cambridge

Ooph, that's mouthful. Mind if I just call you Kate? I mean, I'm from the colonies so we're practically family.

Congratulations on your new addition! You were going to hold off until Christmas to make your announcement to clear the first trimester, so I think we're due around the same time. That's just awesome. That hyperemesis gravidarum is a bitch, eh? I take no joy in your misery but it is small comfort to know that pregnancy is the great leveller. No amount of money can make the physical effects suck less.

You're resting in hospital now so I won't take too much of your time. You know what would be a great idea? A joint baby shower. I know it's a second baby for me, but I think it's important for you to have a mentor in this process so I'm happy to break protocol to make that happen for you.

Could you do me a favour? It's also not customary to invite men to a baby shower, but I feel like these minor etiquette lapses are probably overlooked for you. Can you invite your brother in law? Preferably drunk and shirtless. He can bring a friend if that would make him feel more comfortable. How about his Vegas swimming buddy, Ryan Lochte? Also clothing optional.

I know I'm married and can't touch, but looking would do plenty for my spirits. Please do give the idea some thought. I think we can totally make this work.

Call me anytime to discuss!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Operation Momentum: Mission Abandoned

Some of you may remember that dammit, I had goals! There were plans to improve my physical health through weight loss and exercise, and to improve my mental health by getting help with my needle phobia and taking a break from fertility treatments.

I lost 28 pounds, restored my relationship with The Husband, found ways to incorporate activity into my everyday life and uncovered some joy in the little things like playing outside with my kid. But now, I have to abandon the mission for a little while. Don't chastise me! I have a very good excuse:
Kidlet 2.0: ETA June 2013

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 1872-1918

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Fall of Entrecard

Many of you won't have heard of Etrecard, and that's OK because it's now defunct anyway. Entrecard was a blogger network where you visited other sites in the network and clicked on their ads. Along the way, I found a lot of great reading material. The traffic boost that came from Entrecard was nice, but like any system that rewards for hopping around to different sites there, were a lot of people spending a lot of time accumulating points but not actually reading the posts they were landing on. A predictable increase in bounce rate ensued.

BUT - there was also a lot of bloggers using the system as it was intended, which was to advertise your own blog while finding other great reads. And then the lights went out. Outages were common and a lot of people grumbled but I always thought you get what you pay for, and in this case you paid nothing. This time the outage was for good. I had gotten around to adding some of the blogs I read regularly on Entrecard to my Google Reader, but not all. Shit.

Lucky for us, Grandma's Goulash features a link list of Entrecard bloggers so we can find each other again. Hooray!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Operation Momentum: Week 6 Update

The universe has been working against me! When I started bootcamp in the park, I came the realization that I loved it because I just don't like exercising indoors. Now I've had rain in my house and the straggling bits of a hurricane to work around. I haven't done so hot with the new goals, but life happens. I'm not letting it knock me off the rails. Let's see how things are going, shall we?

  1. Keep up the increased activity: Aquafit was cancelled again this week, but I made it last week. The pool is nearly hot tub temperature. Seriously, it's 90F in there. It's quite pleasant after a long day. I just wish they'd get their shit together on the schedule. Walking most of the way home a couple of times a week works well until pouring rain makes the notion unappealing. Things are clearing up this week and I'm looking forward to the crisp freshness of fall in the air.
  2. Lose another 15 lbs by the end of the year: 44% complete. Yes that SHOULD be 50% at this point, and thanks for noticing. I put the blame squarely on the collision of rainy weather and Halloween candy. 
  3. Do something fun, as a family, outside, at least once a month: Our plan for a day at Whittamore's Farm was thwarted by rain, inside and out. I'm going to have to investigate more indoor alternatives because this kid has entirely too much pent up energy.
Sure, it's mediocre progress, but it's progress!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On being a friendlier blogger

In addition to posting somewhat sporadically, I've also been a pretty lousy reciprocal blogger for months. I don't reply to comments. That's not because I don't value what you have to say. It's because I always mean to, but the stock Blogger comment system doesn't have a reply to thing, I can't reply in my email client when I first get the comment so I have to do the @CommenterName thing, and by the time I get around to that it has probably been weeks since you left the comment in the first place. So then I'm expecting you to remember that you commented here and come back to check it.

Let's face it... You have better things to do.

That's why I have installed a new commenting system. It should allow for more discussion, give you the option to follow replies, and allow me to reply directly from my email, thereby greatly reducing the chances that I'll forget all about it. I'm not saying that will never happen, but baby steps here people! Baby steps. Thanks for sticking with me, even when I'm a horrible blogger friend.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Raining on the inside

Mad MacGuyvering Skillz
It is raining in my house. Wait, what? Yes. It is also raining outside, but for that I can don a raincoat. Inside I have to sacrifice dish towels and rely on The Husband's mad MacGuyvering skillz. I know water torture generally involves dripping water on one's head, but lemme tell you the sound of water dripping in a bucket *near* one's head is pretty maddening.

Everyone calls contractors hoping for the best case scenario. Why do we set ourselves up for disappointment like that? "Oh, look. Here is the insignificant problem that can be addressed very quickly and for very little money," said no contractor ever. The roof, she is shot. Unless I want raining in my house to turn into snowing in my house in a matter of weeks, it's going to need replacement. Sure, I'll just pluck that money out of my trust fund and pay in cash. *sigh*

The leak in our roof is a nuisance. A frustrating, really expensive nuisance, but one that will be resolved in a few days. My thoughts are with those who have much bigger problems on your hands. I hope all returns to normal for you very soon. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stuff my kid says

Kids really do say the darndest things. I'm super busy at work which makes life at home a little extra hectic. Luckily there's kid tidbits like these to crack me up at the end of a long day:
  1. "If you do not sing me a song, I am not going to sleep. Ever!"
  2. Grampa: "You're a smart girl." The Parasite: "I know!"
  3. Me: "Are you done dinner?" The Parasite: "Yes. But my belly says there is room for chocolate."
  4. "Why can't you pause the TV?"
  5. "I'm not a fan of napping."
  6. "That kiss makes my heart so happy."
  7.  "Can I go to <insert name of country she heard in passing> someday?" 
Got little people? How did they melt YOUR heart today?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Operation Momentum: Week 3 Update

I'm three weeks in to the second phase of gearing up to try again. Summer is over and life is back to its usual crazy pace. But lots of people are really busy, and not all of them are really unhealthy so I have to stop using that as an excuse. Here how things are going with the new goals:
  1. Keep up the increased activity: I work on the 25th floor of an office building so I won't be forgoing elevators altogether, however I do use the stairs for meetings on a different floor and to and from the subway platform every day. I've figured out the work/commute issue by running home a couple of times a week. It's a pain in the ass to haul my gear in but two birds, one stone is really the only way for me to do it when a brisk walk at lunch isn't always possible. I joined an aquafit class, missed the first one due to sick kid induced exhaustion, the class was cancelled, and I'm missing the next one because I'll be out of town. So I'm batting 1000% on that one, but I *will* persevere.
  2. Lose another 15 pounds by the end of the year: 33% complete!
  3. Do something fun, as a family, outside, at least once a month. The Toronto Zoo may not be a strenuous activity, but you quickly learn there's A LOT of walking involved when you've got a 3 year old in tow. This is the second year in a row we've gone on Thanksgiving weekend. The weather is cool, the animals are active, the fall colours are magnificent. It's a tradition we hope to keep.
By Jove, I think I *can* manage this lifestyle change thing all the cool kids are talking about!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sleeping like a baby

Whoever coined the phrase "sleeping like a baby" clearly did not have a baby. Babies sleep like shit, and so do their parents. But the parents of three year olds? Other than an earlier than desired wake up time once in a while, we often get to sleep like... I don't know, pick something that sleeps better than babies, i.e., any other creature on the planet. You get spoiled. That wonderful dreamland gives you a false sense of security, like this is how your life is going to be, forever and ever. Amen.

And then one day you go pick up your kid at daycare and she's sitting on the lap of one of the teachers, looking like one sad, sick little girl. You immediately make the call to go straight to the walk-in clinic where an ear infection is diagnosed. The doctor looks at you as though you're neglectful when you mention that said kid said her ear was hurting on Saturday but you decided to take a "wait and see" approach because there was no fever, leading you to believe it was the congestion of a cold leading to her discomfort. This same doctor looked at you like a hypochondriac last time you were there with the child and a sore ear, and scolded you saying you shouldn't bring her in unless there's a fever. There's just no pleasing that bitch. You want to tell her to take her condescension and shove it, but think better of it because you don't have the prescription in hand. What kind of example would that set for the child anyway?

A week goes by, the child recovers but the excitement of a long weekend further disrupts what you now laughingly call the sleep schedule. You look back wistfully at that time, lo one week and a few days ago, when you knew what it was like to have an uninterrupted night's sleep that did not abruptly end at the ass crack of dawn with a plaintive call for mommy. Then someone at work offhandedly mentions that they "slept like a baby" on the weekend, and you launch into a tirade remarkably similar to the one above, leaving them with a rather bewildered expression. "Sleeping like a baby," you mutter as you walk away. "What a crock of shit THAT is."

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ballerina Growl

The Parasite started a ballet class a couple of weeks ago. For the first time in an organized class she has attended, no parents are allowed in the room to minimize distractions. That leaves us out in the hallway, just a bunch of strangers trying to make small talk. We live in the same neighbourhood and have kids about the same age so there is at least a shred of commonality. But once you finish talking about the weather and the trials and tribulations of school registration, there's a lot of awkward silence. While you're not in the room with the kids, you can't go too far away either. So you're stuck there, sitting across a narrow hallway from people you may or may not have any interest in engaging in a conversation.

I'm learning things about myself as I sit in that hallway. Specifically, I'm learning that I'm not very friendly. OK, I already knew that, but I always thought I'd be able to fake it for the good of my offspring. Nope. I don't like most people on the best of days, so you can imagine how chipper I am on a Saturday morning when I had to get up and out the door early with a preschooler who inherited her father's inability to hurry the fuck up. I feel like a better mom would be ensuring her daughter's social status by arranging playdates and exchanging witty banter with the other parents. Alas, my poor kid is going to have to navigate those wilds herself as I busy myself with my phone. Luckily she's very cute and friendly herself, so she's got a pretty good shot at making it on her own.

Life with a Parasite has been nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs. Please vote for me. You can vote once a day until October 11th. Thank you in advance!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Operation Try Again: The Final Recap

As I dug out my sweaters and proper shoes this weekend it became apparent that summer is over. That means Operation: Try Again has come to a close. Let's see how things went:
  1. Take the summer off. Done! The Husband and I reconnected over the summer with weekly date nights at home and a lower-stress sex life environment. I think we're all a lot happier for it.
  2. Lose 20 pounds by the end of the summer. As of this morning, 100% DONE! The official weigh-in day was on Sunday and I didn't make it all the way to the finish line, but I have confirmed today that missed mark was brought to us by the letters P, M and S. 
  3. Acupuncture twice a week. Done. We'll find out soon enough if it has done anything, but I can say the time alone in total silence has been very refreshing.
  4. Professional help with the needle phobia. The clinic requires updates of all blood work at least 30 days in advance of a medicated cycle. 9 - NINE - vials. I didn't even gasp when she accidentally moved the needle switching vials. I go back to the dentist on Saturday for two fillings. I am not nervous about it at all. Now I'm kind of mad at myself for waiting so long to call in the pros.
How has Operation: Try Again changed my life? Everything I adopted as part of this process is for the better. I was overeating and overdrinking, so now I measure portions to keep myself in check and have cut back dramatically on the wine. We still go for family ice cream once in a while, I just have a kids' scoop in a cup. I eat a rainbow just about every day. I've incorporated regular exercise into my daily life, but I've also just become more active in general. I take the stairs to and from the subway for a total of an extra 12 flights of stairs a day on weekdays. I leave the office at lunch time to clear my head and get in a walk, even if it's a short one. When my step count is low, I go for a walk after dinner. I'm working up my run pace a little more every week, and I'm making it all the way through bootcamp without gasping for air.

Yes, there's the positive effect of losing weight (20!) but the real benefit is the boost in energy. I'm healthier, I'm fitter and I just generally feel better. I take The Parasite to the park on the way home from daycare more often than not. Dinner can wait a few more minutes, it's more important to me for her to see physical activity as an important part of daily life.

Now I just need to find a time when The Husband and I will be in the same city at the same time at the moment of truth to start another cycle. Oh, and work up the nerve but I really think I'm going to be OK with it, and I haven't felt like I was going to be OK for quite a while. In the meantime, and since there has been so many positives I'm launching Operation: Momentum.

The goals are:
  1. Keep up the increased everyday activity and participate in regular exercise (running, aquafit, yoga, strength training, etc.) a minimum of three, but preferably four, times a week.
  2. Lose another 15 pounds by the end of the year. I know from experience that things get harder after the initial drop and the holiday season will be a factor, so I want to keep things realistic.
  3. Do something fun, as a family, outside, at least once a month. If the weather doesn't hold, find something indoors that promotes an active lifestyle instead.
Why yes, I will be keeping you updated on the progress in my usual sporadic fashion, and thanks for asking!

Life with a Parasite has been nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs. Please vote for me. You can vote once a day until October 11th. Thank you in advance!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Circle of Moms Top 25 Candian Mom Blogs

Life with a Parasite has once again been nominated for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs. I'm so very flattered, and would be even more so if you could take a moment whenever you think of it to cast your vote for me (currently #9)! You can vote once a day between now and October 11th.

Thanks for reading, and for your support!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The one where she talks about rock bottom

I've never struggled with addiction or mental illness, so I have no personal familiarity with the place known as rock bottom. I hope I never do. But you know who does? Kermit THE Frog. See his story here:

This years old video was brought to you by a desire to participate in GBE2's Week #70 word prompt, Bottom, in spite of a wretched, kid-delivered cold. For more info about GBE2, click here

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Operation Try Again: Week 10

There's two weeks left of Operation: Try Again. I'm pleased to report that at the dentist a couple of weeks ago I didn't flinch or even grip the chair when the needle went in. I didn't enjoy it or anything but it wasn't completely terrifying, so it looks like the EMDR did its thing.

I'm 75% of the way there on the weight loss goal, though last night's salty dinner may be affecting the result a little bit. Even so, five pounds in two weeks is pretty aggressive a couple of months into a program. I was feeling pretty bummed about the possibility of not making it to the finish line in time. And then I realized that if I set out to lose 20 pounds by the end of the summer and only lose 18.3, that's not exactly a failure. Oh noes! I might take until the end of September instead!

Maybe that "Own Worst Critic" thing should make the self-improvement list next time around. Seriously, I'm doing the Ease Into 5K app and it's taking a little longer than the nine weeks the program suggests. OK, a lot longer. At this rate I should be eased into 5K after about 24 weeks. And who gives a shit? I'm running a lot faster and a lot longer than I was a couple of months ago, because zero isn't that hard to beat.

Next up: BootCamp starts tomorrow!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wayback Playback: Life Lessons

I'm being kind of a half-assed blogger these days, sorry! I've got a few weeks left of Operation: Try Again and I'm spending most of my free time running or cooking. Oh, what an exciting life I lead! To keep you interested (Hahaha! Oh, how I flatter myself!) I'm digging through the archives of a now-abandoned journal for some of my old faves. This was originally posted on February 9, 2008 when stick-figure drawings were all the rage. If you watch the X Factor (and I don't, but the promos are unavoidable), when you see Britney, remember this:

*sigh* AGAIN?

(Image from: www.thesuperficial.com)

Look, I know the poor girl has been going through a tough time and all, but for Christ's sake, will someone please buy her sorry ass some fucking pants?

Dear Britney,

It seems that, yet again, you have inflicted your vagina on the unsuspecting public while performing the relatively simple (for most of us) act of getting out of a car. Perhaps I can help. Seriously girl, buy some fucking pants. I know you're running out of money, but there are plenty of retailers that have plenty of pants in plenty of styles and colours to fit every budget. Find some. In the meantime, since you seem opposed to protecting what tiny shred of dignity you might have left by wearing said pants, let's see if we can avoid any more "The World is Your Gynecologist" episodes, shall we?

First, let's examine (pardon the pun) what you're doing wrong. When you exit a car, you're splaying yourself like a sleazy, drunken starfish, which results in this:

Now, I realize that your momma is a piece of trailer trash herself, so she didn't done learned you no better. Fear not, I will be your guide.

1. Before you get IN the car, pull your skirt down so that your Brit-bits are not touching the seat fabric. There should be complete coverage of the ass by the skirt. You are now halfway to a successful exit.
2. When you arrive at the crack house your final destination, before you even open the car door, check to make sure that your skirt is still down. Aim for the knees.
3. Put your knees AND ankles together, and open the door.

You should look like this:

4. With knees and ankles STILL together and legs working as a single, cohesive unit, pivot and lower your feet to the ground outside the car:

5. Stand up.

Congratulations!  You have successfully exited a car without exposing your no-no bits to the hoards of photographers dogging your every move as you spiral downward into total madness. Go celebrate! Not with drugs and alcohol, you've had enough of those for two lifetimes. Have a bucket of fried chicken or something. You're welcome!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Family Vacation

I just got back from a week up at Blue Mountain with The Husband and The Parasite. What an awesome family vacation! Our little water baby has gotten over her fear of jumping into the pool, aided by my friend's slightly older daughter doing it 100 times with gusto while they visited. The Husband and I took a hike up the mountain and felt mighty pleased with ourselves in spite of the soreness and fatigue. The whole time we were thinking it was a good thing The Parasite was in the kid's program for the day because there was no way she'd be able to do it. And then we learned she already had with the rest of the kids. So we accomplished as much as our three year old did... That kid of mine, FEARLESS!

We had one of the resort condos which gave us space to spread out while providing a shitload of savings because we made our own food. Savings we promptly used on things like dinner out one night at the resort's nicest restaurant and a day trip to the Scandinave Spa while we took advantage of the resort-approved sitters and kid's club. It was a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation and now I'm totally chilled and refreshed. And totally not interested in going back to work tomorrow. But back I will go so we can have another family vacation in the winter. Now that traveling with The Parasite is more fun than exhausting, I can't wait!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The one where she talks about moments in time

*Click* Once in a while I make that sound in my mind as I try like hell to freeze a memory. Just a little snapshot in time. I tried a bunch of times when The Parasite was a baby to just capture how that moment made me feel. Like when she was laying beside me sleeping. Or the first time she smiled. The way it felt when she was sleeping on my chest. The way it feels now when she climbs into our bed after a bad night and presses herself into me until she feels safe and warm and drifts off to sleep.

Of course you can't take a picture of a memory. Those snapshots in time are just my way of slowing it down. It hasn't worked yet, but it won't stop me from trying.

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #66 word prompt: Snapshot. For more info about GBE2, click here

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Canada's Wonderland = Fun for the whole family!

I love amusement parks! I have so many happy memories of hanging upside down on roller coasters, I couldn't wait to see how my daughter felt about the big thrill rides. That's why we have kids, right? Guaranteeing someone to sit beside us on roller coasters?

While a day at an amusement park isn't how a lot of moms would choose to spend a Sunday, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be. Lucky for us Canada's Wonderland is just a short drive away from our home on the outskirts of downtown Toronto.

My trips to Canada's Wonderland were, shall we say... a little different pre-kid. I spent all my time running from big coaster to big coaster with some stops for snacks in between. I had no idea how awesome Planet Snoopy and Kidsville would be for the little people. There are several opportunities to interact with Peanuts characters, kid-appropriate games abound, and if the people are REALLY little, there's an air-conditioned family center for feeding, changing and resting. Oh, and there's tons of family-friendly rides too!

This was my first trip to Canada's Wonderland since it was acquired by the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. From my Starbucks latte on the way into the park to my tasty sandwich and my daughter's chicken tenders that were visibly REAL chicken, I was very impressed by the taste and quality of the food. It's a definite upgrade from previous visits.

Highlights of the day include our daughter's first solo ride (Snoopy's Space Race) which made her feel oh-so grown up. Luckily, the park guides parents with a rating system, grading rides on a scale from Low Thrills (1) to Aggressive Thrills (5). I'll have to wait a little longer to take her on Leviathan, but she handled Taxi Jam like a champ. Check out those arms in the air! The force is strong in this one...

Sure sign of a great day!
Genuine expressions of joy were on all of our faces for the whole day. I had no idea how much fun it would be to watch my kid have so much fun. Now that I do, I can't wait for our next trip to Canada's Wonderland. If you need a little happy in your life, a day at your local Cedar Fair park may be just what the doctor ordered. My only question is... What ride will you go on first???

This is a compensated review on behalf of the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in my capacity as a BlogHer reviewer. Park admission, meals and expenses were also provided by the company. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The one where she talks about the morning meltdown

The Threenager

I'm not a baby! Why is she treating me like a baby? I can dry my hands and hang up my towel all by myself. You know what? Screw you, lady. "I DON'T LIKE YOU." What's this? She has dared to step over me to go into my room and get my clothes for the day. Hey, I can do that by myself too! Oh my God! She just stepped over me again and went downstairs to the kitchen. Do you hear me, Mommy? "I DON'T LIKE YOU!" Has she moved on to the making of breakfast? Clearly my protestations are too quiet. I must sit here on the floor and scream louder. "I DON'T LIKE YOU. I DON'T LIKE YOU. I DON'T LIKE YOU." Um, I don't see her. Oh, I think she's in the living room again, time to ratchet up the volume! "I DON'T LIKE YOU. I DON'T LIKE YOU. I DON'T LIKE YOU." Hmmmm. She doesn't seem to be coming to my rescue. And I'm kind of hungry. I guess I should knock this shit off and go downstairs. Her breakfast smoothies are pretty tasty, after all...

The Mean Mommy

Oh for fuck's sake, kid. If you'd hung up your towel one of the first five times I asked you to I wouldn't have done it for you. I don't have time for this today. The rest of my dental cleaning is in 45 minutes, nobody has eaten, and I'm still in my underwear. What do I do with THIS pickle? Deep breath. She's not hurt, she's not sick, she's just three. Tune it out and keep on keeping on. Hey, you know from a floor away at the other end of the house it's... Nope, it's still really loud. Gee, I wonder if the hygienist frowns upon people arriving with boozy mouth for the first appointment of the day? Ahhhh, the blender. Never thought I'd be so glad to hear it. Oh, here she comes. Jesus, with the red cheeks she looks even cuter. "Come here, you. You look like you need a hug and a kiss."

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #65 word prompt: Two Perspectives. For more info about GBE2, click here

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Operation Try Again - Week Six

Oh hey, I was going to provide weekly progress updates on this adventure. Ordinarily I'd make the excuse of laziness but really, it's because I've been busy enacting the plan. When I first set out on this course, I wanted to accomplish four things:
  1. Take the summer off: Done! I haven't had any hormone injections or blood draws or invasive ultrasounds since May. I have peed on no sticks and have only taken my temperature once because I thought I had a fever. I had no idea how much stress it was causing, but it's gone and I'm a much happier person for it. It was a much needed respite and may very well have saved my marriage from some serious turmoil.
  2. Lose 20 pounds by the end of the summer: Summer is (roughly) half over, and I'm 57% of the way there. I signed up for the September session of Bootcamp but in the meantime I found a Groupon for a gym near the office that I've been using over lunch when I'm not at...
  3. Acupuncture: Twice a week, and The Husband is going too. Have no idea what it's doing, but we'll find out in a few more weeks if it has had any effect.
  4. Professional help for the needle phobia: Done! Two sessions of EMDR working through the process. I'll be able to test how well it worked before another round of treatments at the dental appointment I have to replace some old fillings in two weeks.
There you have it. In the coming weeks or months I'll check my nerves to see if the thought of going back to the clinic makes me have another meltdown and we'll see where the chips fall.

Friday, August 3, 2012

BEWARE: @Flickr deletes accounts with no warning!

I started using Flickr for picture storage and sharing in 2005 or 2006. My account had a lovely little archive of my early days with The Husband and the very first pictures of our precious baby too. Comments from friends and family, my comments on the moments in time in which these pictures were taken, all happily stored away in my account. Until last Sunday...

When I got an error message logging in saying the account was deleted, I figured there must be some mistake. I checked the FAQs, and knowing I had done nothing to violate the community guidelines I requested help by email. The first couple of emails were the standard "Have you read the FAQs? What's your login name/email address? Did you violate the community guidelines?" to make sure I'm not an idiot. No problem, I expect that in any dealings with customer service, especially a team that deals with millions of people across all levels of technical aptitude. I was a little annoyed that the same questions were asked several times over in several different emails, but I'm usually very understanding. Until the conversation goes completely sideways.

The following is the (sorry, lengthy) email exchange I had with their incompetent customer service team. The circularity is (unintentionally) hilarious. I like the part towards the end where they delete my deleted account, right after I say don't delete my account. No, seriously - that happened! Read on:
ME on July 30: Thank you for your assistance. As I signed up for my account many years ago (2005 or 2006), there are several options for the answers to some of the questions posed below. I will include all of the possibilities in my response: <WHOLE BUNCH OF REQUESTED INFO TO IDENTIFY ME AS THE ACCOUNT OWNER> Once again, thank you in advance for your assistance. Sincerely, <ME>
Flickr reply on July 31: Thank you for contacting Flickr Customer Care. We appreciate your writing back and responding to our request. Based on your email, I understand that you want to reactivate your deleted "<MY FLICKR ACCOUNT>" Flickr account. I apologize for the inconvenience that this issue has caused you. I am glad to assist you with your concern.

<MY NAME>, please be informed that when an account is deleted, the content including the photos, metadata, comments, and everything else will stay on the servers for 90 days, but is no longer publicly accessible. After that period, we erase it from our servers, ensuring a clean wipe of your information. If an account is reactivated within 90 days of deletion, the content will still be in the account when it is restored.

If you deleted your account yourself, you can write us with the following details: * Your Flickr account Web address * The Yahoo! ID associated to your Flickr account (for confirmation since there are no Flickr account that is associated with the Yahoo! ID you have provided) * The following details associated to your account in order to verify your ownership:  - Date of birth  - Secret question and answer  - Postal code and country  - Alternate email address

However, if your account is deleted/inactive but you didn't delete it, it's likely that it was deleted for violating the Flickr Community Guidelines and/or Yahoo! Terms of Service. Accounts in violation of the Community Guidelines will not be reactivated. However, if you believe that your account was deleted in error you can write to us via the link below: http://www.flickr.com/help/with/accountdel/To learn more about this, please visit our FAQ at this link:    http://www.flickr.com/help/account/#82
I hope I've been a good help today. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reply to this email.Thank you again for contacting us. Regards, <FLICKR>
ME on July 31:  Hi there, If you scroll down a little further you will see that I have already provided the answers to these questions. I read the FAQs, I did not delete my own account, and did not violate any community guidelines or terms of use. This entire email exchange started by following the instructions in the link you have provided below and as I am now answering the same questions for a second or third time, I'm getting a little frustrated. Please restore my account and all of the photos in it. Sincerely, <ME>
Flickr reply on Aug 1 (after I followed up requesting a status update): Hello <MYNAME>, Thank you for contacting Flickr Customer Care. Before I go into addressing your concern, I'd like to apologize for the delay in my responding to your inquiry. We are  committed to answering your questions as quickly and accurately as possible. However, we are currently receiving unusually high volumes which caused the delayed response.
Moving to your concern, I understand that you would like to restore your"<MY ACCOUNT NAME>" Flickr account. I apologize for the inconvenience this has been causing you. I am pleased to be of help. <MYNAME>, I have reviewed the information you included; unfortunately, I am unable to pull up any account matching what you provided. In order to search your account and assist you with your concern, please provide us the following information: * The email addresses you may have associated with your Flickr account (you can provide as many as you can) *The Web address of your Flickr account is possible. Once we have this information, we'll be more than happy to help you in whatever way we can. We appreciate your patience in the meantime, and look forward to your reply. Thank you again for contacting us. Regards, <FLICKR>
ME on Aug 1: As requested, the email addresses which could have been associated with my account are <LIST OF 5 EMAIL ADDRESSES>:  the URL that was associated with the account is: <REQUESTED URL> As you will see upon visiting that URL, you will note it says "This member is no longer active on Flickr"

Here is a link to one of my photosets, which gives the same error message: <ANOTHER URL> As this has been ongoing for quite some time now, anything you can do to provide a speedy resolution will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, <ME>
Flickr reply on Aug 3 (after I followed up requesting a status update): Hello <MY NAME>, Thank you for contacting Flickr. I can see you have requested assistance in restoring your deleted Flickr account. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Our records show the Yahoo! Account affiliated with your Flickr account has been deleted. You will no longer be able to access, edit or delete the associated Flickr account.
We can delete the account for you, however please be aware that the photos and metadata will be permanently deleted as well. If you intend on creating a new Flickr account, you will not be able to re-use the deleted Flickr account screenname. Please reply noting whether you'd like us to delete the Flickr account. Thank you again for contacting Flickr. Regards, <FLICKR>
Now, you'll note that until this point, I had been pretty polite. I did not use the words "Fuck" or "Moron" even once. I believe I showed remarkable restraint. You see how this email states the problem is that I want my deleted account restored, and would I like them to go ahead and delete my account? If you're thinking "What the actual fuck is going on here?" you're not alone.
ME on Aug3: No, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want the account and associated photos deleted. My request all along, for a week and over the course of some TWENTY emails has been to have it restored. What do I need to do to make that happen? Do I need to set up a new Yahoo account and arrange assistance to transfer the files?
Flickr reply on Aug 3: Hello <MYNAME>, Thank you for contacting Flickr.I apologize for the prior miscommunication, as your initial messagerequested login assistance, not deletion. Nevertheless, I've gone ahead and deleted your Flickr account. If you intend on creating a new Flickr account, please note you will not be able to re-use your old Flickr screenname. If you should have any further questions or concerns, please let us know. Regards, <FLICKR>.
I'd like to pause for a moment and and ask you to picture the look of HULK SMASH RAGE that came over me as I read that on the way home from the subway. There may have been actual steam coming from my ears, or maybe that was just the whoosh of skyrocketing blood pressure. Who knows?
ME on Aug 3: My initial email said nothing of the sort. In fact, the subject line reads "deleted account." I do not understand how "No, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want the account and associated photos deleted." could possibly be interpreted to mean that deleting my account altogether would be the desired course of action. Are my irreplaceable pictures and files now irretrievably lost?
Flickr reply on Aug 3: Hello <MY NAME>, Thank you for contacting Flickr. At this time, your issue has been escalated to a Yahoo! Account Services specialist. Unfortunately, we are only able to provide support via email at this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding. I can see there was some miscommunication regarding the action you would like taken with your Flickr account. I see that actually did not want the account deleted as it contains priceless photos. I'm very sorry for the trouble this situation has caused.
As previously noted, it appears the Yahoo! ID associated with this Flickr account has been  deleted. Because of this, we will be unable to restore access to the Flickr account. As such, we deleted the account for you for security and privacy reasons, because that is the only action we can take. Please be aware that the photos and metadata will be permanently deleted as well. However, if you intend on creating a new Flickr account, you will not be able to re-use the deleted Flickr account screenname.
I hope this helps clarify and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.If we can address any other issues for you, please let us know. Thank you again for contacting Flickr. Regards, <FLICKR>.
Ohhhhhh, it's for my own good! Well, thanks and fuck you very much!
ME on Aug 3: Please do not attempt to spin this as something done for my benefit. Deleting the account altogether in the midst of a discourse about RESTORING  it is the worst possible course of action. How is deleting an account that cannot be accessed anyway a protection of my security and/or privacy? I would like a reasonable explanation for this, and not a canned one, please. Are my pictures now irretrievably lost? Please provide a direct answer to that direct question. 
And there you have it... The most staggering incompetence in customer service I have ever seen. Will I get my pictures back? Will the canned responses ever end? Only time will tell!

UPDATE ON AUGUST 6th: My account has been restored!
Reply from Flickr: Hello <MYNAME>, Thank you for writing to Flickr. I apologize for the continued difficulties you are experiencing with accessing your Flickr account, and I hope this hasn't impacted you too much. I appreciate the importance of maintaining family photos. I have good news. Your photos are not lost. The email address you wrote from (THE SAME EMAIL ADDRESS I USED ALL ALONG, FFS!) matches the "<MY FLICKR NAME>" Flickr account. At your request, I have reactivated your Flickr account.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ice, ice baby!

Things were ticketyboo on my renewed quest for physical activity. I was even starting to enjoy it a little bit. Bootcamp ended, but that's OK I found a new one that runs half-hour sessions at lunch time. Getting out of the office AND clear up an evening for some chillaxing? Win-win!

And then last Thursday I was out for a run and something didn't feel right in my foot the next morning. By the afternoon it was pretty clear I had a bout of tendonitis on my hands. Well, on my foot. Fuck. Forces of evil are conspiring against me!

I gave it a week off and went for another run tonight. As I sit here with my foot on an ice pack after said run, I say to hell with you forces of evil! You won't beat me just yet. Tomorrow, Bootcamp - GAME ON!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids are gross

I knew before becoming a parent that I was going to endure snot, vomit, pee and copious amounts of poop when dealing with a small child. I also expected there would be blood from time to time and maybe even a little pus, which we had when The Parasite developed an abscess on her thumb from nail biting. On the plus side, to get her to stop biting her nails and use the terrible tasting nail polish, I had to agree to do it with her. I no longer have bloody stumps at the end of my fingers. Look!

I did not, however, anticipate the notice that went up at daycare last week about the possibility that The Parasite might bring home a few parasites of her own. An outbreak of fucking head lice. I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it. The psychosomatic effects kicked in almost immediately as I used my shiny new nails to claw at my head with the same ferocity a bear uses on its prey. My own encounters with this revolting nuisance were back in grade school. I remember the school nurse checking heads and the shame of the kids that were sent home when live critters were found. I was never one of the disgraced.

As with most things really gross, I was more inclined to approach the problem with a firebomb than a match. I watched a few online tutorials to learn how to check her for critters, decided that frequent shudders of disgust would probably do more harm than good, and called in The Lice Squad for Mom & Baby head checks. The next day, a very nice lady came to our house and gave us a clean bill of... head. The "all in my head" scratching has stopped, but occasional shudders of disgust linger on.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Operation Try Again - Week Three

The last time I lost a significant amount of weight (birthing a 9 lb baby notwithstanding), I was in my late 20s. Oh, I worked hard at it then too - of course I did, I had time to go to the gym five times a week for an hour and a half - and 30 pounds fell off in about four months. Sure, sometimes dinner was a bowl of Cheerios and a glass of wine, but whatever. I looked damn good doing it.

Now, I am in my late 30s. It is decidedly less easy. While my kid would love it, I'd feel pretty bad feeding her Cheerios and wine (or apple juice, if you're the "QUICK! Call Children's Aid" kind) so real dinners are a necessity around here. Wednesday night is soccer night, and Sunday is swim day (neither activity is for me) and that on top of a full time job and general family responsibilities means 5x a week at the gym isn't going to happen... ever. Instead, I do what I can.

I'm keeping up with The Plan and I've reached 37.6% of the weight loss goal. Yes, I prefer to examine percent complete rather than pounds lost. Because I am a dork. Twice a week bootcamp is challenging, but it's getting a lot more fun. I'm a little sad there is only three sessions left. We're away for part next month and there's no way I could work out the logistics to attend three times a week to make up the missed classes so I won't sign up, but I'm looking forward to going back in September. Wait, what? Yes, really.

I've been diligently using the FitBit for over a month now for all my food tracking and setting exercise goals. I've posted a more detailed review over at The Wine Fund, but suffice it to say I love this thing! I did Week #2, Run #2 of the Ease into 5K program last night. Acupuncture continues and even if it does nothing for fertility it gets me out of the office twice a week over lunch to rest in a darkened room for 45 minutes. I can think of worse ways to pass the time.

Some day, if we go through another round and it doesn't work, I'll know I did absolutely everything in my power to make it happen.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

And then there was one...

When The Husband and I met, I had two cats and he had one. When we moved in together we ushered in an unholy mess of hissing and fur. Two years ago, it became clear the kidney issues one of my cats was having were more than he could bear and so we were down to two. Our little old ladies came to accept a kind of quiet disdain for each other and all was well with our menagerie.

A couple of weeks ago, we noticed The Husband's cat had a little limp. As it seemed to go away pretty quickly, we attributed it to a bit of stiffness when she first got up. We also noticed she hadn't been coming upstairs at night much and decided that was due to the heat we've been having lately. On Thursday night the limp was back. I made a mental note to make an appointment with the vet and went to bed. When we got up on Friday, she had lost use of the paw completely. It was heartbreaking to watch her try to make her way to her food bowl, so I moved it closer and waited for the vet's office to open.

They squeezed us in for an 11:30 appointment. I moved her to a favourite chair and went upstairs to brush my teeth and get dressed. And then I heard the thud. She tried to get off the chair on her own, and it became clear she couldn't use the limbs on her left side at all. Right then, in the carrier she went! I was pretty sure she wasn't coming home with me. Tip!: If you're hoping to jump the queue at the vet's office, I highly recommend showing up to the waiting room in tears. They'll move you the hell out of there pretty quickly. My fears were warranted, she had likely suffered a stroke. To confirm she'd have to undergo a battery of tests and the treatment options were scarce. Since she was shaking in terror at even the preliminary exam, I made the call not to put her through more prodding and let her take that trip over the Rainbow Bridge.

At park on the way home from daycare, The Parasite asked why her kitty's "arm was all folded up" and I told her her kitty had died. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much of a reaction. She didn't seem to much care about the cat unless she was sitting on her stuff. When her great-grandmother died last year she took it in stride, likely because she was too young to grasp the finality of death. I thought she still was, and I was caught off guard by her sudden outburst of tears and anger. "I love Cleo! She's my best friend!" It broke my heart a little more. Then she caught me off guard again a little later when she said "When Indy dies, I won't have any kitties at all!" She put that together all by herself. I'm impressed by her intelligence and afraid for us in her teen years at once.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Six years ago today, I put on some lipstick and headed out on yet another date. I had been on a bit of a dating spurt and I was getting pretty cynical about the whole scene. It was a Wednesday night, and a hot and sultry one at that. One just made for beer on a patio. Little did I know that six years later, that guy would be my closest confidante and the father of my child. It's been 2,192 days since that date, and I still like having drinks on a patio with him.

Here's to many more, my love! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Operation: Try Again - Week One

A few weeks ago, we threw in the towel on fertility treatments. I was relieved as the stress I didn't even know was constantly there instantly melted away. I was sleeping like a baby. And then I started to wonder if I would regret that decision immensely 5 or 10 or 20 years from now. As we know, I do my very damndest to make decisions I won't regret later. I decided not giving another shot would be something I would lie awake at night and cry about until I was old(er) and grey(er).

So we came up with a new plan:
  1. Take the summer off. Have a romantic life with The Husband that isn't dictated by the level of luteinizing hormone in my bloodstream. For TWO YEARS we've been having sex (or worse, he's been having alone time and I've been transporting the fruits of his labour IN MY BRA) when a doctor or a pee stick tells us it's time. For the next three months, we will not watch the calendar. It will be a complete break from all things related to trying to conceive. Except, you know, the activity that actually makes babies. But because it's fun and we like each other a lot, not because of some little egg in the window of an ovulation predictor kit.
  2. Lose 20 pounds by the end of the summer. It might help, and it certainly won't hurt. And if our next round of efforts are successful, it will make pregnancy easier and reduce the likelihood of complications. To this end, I've joined a twice a week boot camp in a local park and have gotten back into running with the Ease into 5K App, formerly known as C25K program. I started using a FitBit a couple of weeks ago to track my eating and activity, and I love that thing like crazy.
  3. Twice weekly acupuncture. It might be snake oil, but my benefit plan covers it so why the hell not? There has been some evidence to suggest it helps. I'm doing something, which is better than doing nothing. Surprisingly, the acupuncture needles don't bother me at all. Which brings me to the next and final step in the plan of Operation: Try Again.
  4. Get professional help to deal with my needle phobia. Nobody likes needles, but after the injection training session at the clinic I actually hyperventilated at the thought of daily injections. Full blown anxiety attack. Not fun. I avoid the dentist because when I need to have work done I can't stand the needles. It's a problem I should deal with even if I'm not going to continue with treatments because it affects my life in other areas, so EMDR it is! 
There you have it, the new plan. One last try in the fall before we close the door and move on. If it works, fantastic. We'll be ecstatic. If it doesn't, I will know beyond any shadow of a doubt that I gave it my all. It will still hurt, but I will take some comfort in that. To keep me honest, I'll be recapping the progress here every week.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Not in the nick of time

The Husband and I came to the conclusion a while ago that we no longer enjoy going to the movies. It's expensive, the chairs are uncomfortable and frankly, neither one of us likes people very much. Oh, I like *you* just fine, it's the rest of the people of Earth I can't stand. We do most of our movie watching at home. While we have a ginormous TV (his thing, not mine) there are still some big blockbusters that the home theatre just can't do justice. So we wait until several weeks after the premiere and suck it up to go catch movies like The Avengers on the big screen.

Last night we decided it had been out long enough for the crowds to die down and had our neighbour come babysit so we could catch a 7:40 show. Which we arrived at the theatre to discover was actually a 7:20 show. Shit. Next showing? 10:00. Shit. Since we were all dressed up with no place to go, we looked for something else we could see, and could agree upon nothing. Shit. We made a call to the sitter to see if she could stay later than planned, bought tickets to the 10:00 and went for drinks on a patio. 

Aside: I realize I'm about to sound like an octogenarian, but since when is the second showing at 10:00 or later? I seem to recall there being a 9:00 showing when I was a teenager. You know, back when the wheel was a hot, new thing and harnessing fire was all the rage. Anyway...

We made it through the 10:00 and the plotless movie was highly entertaining. And now I totally regret that entertainment. After I spent a leisurely FIVE HOURS in bed, my kid is raring to go. She doesn't seem to care that Mommy was out late. There's stories to be read and sunscreen to be applied so we can go to the splash pad. Next time I think we'll skip the 10:00. I'm too old for this shit. To those that celebrate it along with me, Happy Canada Day! If you need me, I'll be the one desperately trying to find a quiet corner for a nap.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Letter to the Dentist

Dear Dentist,

We do this silly dance every time I visit. Why do you think I never come to see you? Jesus, you're worse than my grandmother (God rest her soul) with the nagging and the questions. Like "How often do you floss?" Are we talking in the weeks immediately leading up to my appointment, or the rest of the time? Because the answer to that question varies depending on the scenario. The former is every day and twice on Sundays, the latter is whenever there's a piece of popcorn lodged between my teeth. And I don't eat popcorn very often.

Can we skip the lecture, please? I'm really not down with the notion of paying someone to give me grief, especially when you should so clearly see it coming.

Let's get real here... Anyone who tells you they floss every day, twice a day, without fail? Is lying to you. Now I know someone is going to comment that they do floss, every day, without fail, and have since they were a toddler. I'm not going to call them a liar outright, but I'm going to think it and view everything they say from now on with more than a soupcon of suspicion.

You know virtually nobody flosses as often as they're supposed to, and because I just shed a lot of blood at the hands of your hygienist, you know I'm one of the abstainers. The script never varies. You'll tell me I need to floss more often, and I'll lie as best I can through unflossed teeth and promise that I will. We both know nothing is going to change. But please, I'm begging, stifle the condescension in your tone. It was hard enough for me to come here on a beautiful day, let's not make it even more unpleasant. 

a.k.a., The Girl With The Serious Case of Dentophobia Who Does Not Need Your Shit Today

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dear ice cream truck driver

I think we may have gotten off on the wrong foot. Remember that time I called you an asshole for parking outside my kid's daycare at pick up time? You're right, I'm sorry. That was uncalled for, and you could have done something much, much worse... Like park right in front of my house during dinner. Truce?
You win THIS round, ice cream man!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The one where she talks about The Man Cave

Two days ago, it was Father's Day. The Husband and I don't exchange gifts for Christmas, and on birthdays we go out for a nice dinner at the restaurant of the honouree's choosing. But on Mother's Day and Father's Day a gift exchange and a special dinner at home are de rigueur, as is just generally doing everything we can to make the other feel special. This parenting gig is awesome, but it's often thankless. Making a big deal of these occasions is our way of thanking each other for the remaining 364 days of chaos.

I had planned to let him have a nice, long sleep before serving him a breakfast of hot coffee, farmers' market eggs and double-smoked bacon, but that plan was partially thwarted by the telltale *bzzzzt* of every appliance in the house shutting off simultaneously due to a power failure. It woke us both up and he wasn't able to fall back asleep, poor guy. Luckily I wrote the book (OK, blog post) on how to MacGuyver a pot of coffee in the face of adversity. I'm pleased to report that it works just as well for bacon and eggs. Toast? Not so much. We do what we can in these trying times.

This year, his request was for "a nice, big rib eye" that he wanted to cook himself over coals and an open flame. Why would he choose to tame fire rather than use the perfectly good BBQ not 10 feet away? I've learned that when it comes to deep-seated man cave shit, it's best to not ask questions.

Two days ago we celebrated what an awesome job The Husband does of being a dad. And the steaks were pretty damn tasty, too.

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #57 word prompt: Two Days Ago. For more info about GBE2, click here

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The one where she talks about a do-over

I used to spend a lot of time analyzing past "fork in the road" decisions. Good Lord, what a waste of time! The fact is could have, should have and would have all amount to didn't. Unless there is still time to undo a decision, it is pointless to consider the alternatives.

If I had zigged instead of zagged at any number of points in my life, things might have been very different. I might have picked a different university, or a different major. Maybe I would have met a sweet guy at a coffee house in a different town. And then I might not have met The Husband or had The Parasite. What a horrible thought! I can't imagine a life without either one of them. Would I have saved some painful experiences? Maybe. But maybe I needed to learn those lessons to make different choices later.

I made a promise to myself to make decisions I wouldn't regret, and then move on. It has encouraged a lifetime of careful consideration and decisiveness. I don't believe in much, but I do believe things happen for a reason. All of the choices I have made have delivered me to exactly where I needed to be, exactly when I needed to be there. I am right where I'm supposed to be. In other words if I had my life to live over, I wouldn't change a damn thing!

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #56 word prompt: If I had my life to live over... For more info about GBE2, click here

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All else failed

The last round of fertility treatments was unsuccessful. A failed round is easier to take than a successful one that ends in failure, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't disappointing. Successive rounds are more likely to work because with each failed cycle they learn something new. For example, we learned my body doesn't absorb the progesterone suppositories they prescribe in the second half of the cycle to counteract the follicle stimulating drugs they prescribe in the first half. At first I was happy with this news because the more they know, the more they can do to help. But then I realized if we had known this back in February, I might be 5 months pregnant right now. That is a really bitter pill to swallow.

Fixing this means more injections. Intramuscular injections of progesterone every morning, to be specific. For 3 to 6 months. Like most things in life, there are no guarantees that it will work. I went for a teaching session yesterday to learn how to prep the HUGE needles. I'll let you in on a little secret... I am tough as nails, but I am terrified of needles. I held it together until after we got The Parasite to bed, and then I had the mother of all meltdowns. The Husband bore the brunt of it. I have so much hurt and resentment and anger and I have nowhere else to put it.

It has been a year of testing and treatment, poking and prodding, disappointment and heartbreak. I have nothing to show for it but battle scars. Angry expressions of frustration and hurt have taken up residence where love and support should be. This process has put a hole in our little bubble of happiness. Our beautiful little girl deserves an intact family, even if it is a smaller one than we hoped for. If you think that means we're giving up on growing our family, you're absolutely right. It's not worth destroying our marriage and breaking up our daughter's home.

In the immortal words of Marcellus Wallace, I'm pretty fucking far from OK. The uncertainty is over and we can focus on healing our broken hearts and moving on. It's going to be a long, hard road to get to fine, but at least we're determined to get there together.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Domestic Goddess

I had a moment of great shame on Friday. Wait, let me back up... I am not, shall we say... domestically inclined. More accurately I goddamn hate housework. I like to have a clean house, there are just roughly 10,000 things I would rather do than clean it. Up to and including having a root canal without anesthesia. So I cut other areas of my household expenses from the budget to allow us to have someone else come clean it every other week while I'm at work. Indulgent? You betcha. Am I apologetic about it? Nope. Not at all.

Anyway, I was going out to a local haunt with a friend on Friday and I offered to pick her up to save her the cab fare to get here. And as we were passing through the house to head out, I found myself saying "Pardon the mess, Christina (our cleaning lady, who also cleans my friend's house on occasion) has been on vacation." Holy. Fucking. Shit. I actually told someone it's the maid's day off. I have never felt more like an upper class twit in my life.

Today I attacked the gathering of weeds threatening to eat my house. OK fine, the bricks may have stopped the advance but the yard was for sure a goner if I left things unchecked. I weeded and pruned unruly bushes and planted pretty flowers to take the place of the ugly invaders. I also came to the conclusion that my loathing of housework extends to the garden. The Parasite was outside with me in her sundress twirling and halfheartedly taking swipes at dried leaves with her broom once in a while. My plan to have her assume responsibility for all things domestic is hopelessly flawed. I have informed The Husband that getting me a gardener to take vacations along with the maid should form a large part of his career objectives.

He thinks I'm kidding. I'm not.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things I Did Elsewhere: Week 15 Recap

Lousy weather has afforded me the laziest weekend I have had since I brought this kid home. I have mentioned that three is awesome, and it is. You know what you can do when you have a three year old? You can bring them downstairs when they wake up, get them breakfast, give them some quiet toys and turn on the TV, and then you can snooze on the couch. Sure, there will be frequent wakings as they ask you for stuff and climb on to pretend they're sleeping too, but you're dozing! Note: this assumes your living area is generally kept free from things that could harm a small child.


I got back on track with meal planning over at The Facebook Page. This week's plan includes a whole lot of veggies at my disposal now that the warmer weather has finally come out to play.

I haven't done anything over at The Wine Fund because I've been busy giving interviews to reporters for the Globe and Mail. Oh, and speaking of pregnancy (or lack thereof) after 35, I talked about joining Team Infertility at Circle of Moms, because I think a lot of people think it can't happen to them so while it's small comfort to know you're not alone, it's still some comfort.

And now, I will put my kid to bed, fold my laundry and go to bed early. Because an early bedtime is the perfect way to cap off a lazy weekend. Have a great week!

Friday, June 1, 2012

"That sounds like a good Friday night."

Smoothie Tuesday!
Three is the most fun I have ever had. This kid of mine, she's awesome. She's going to move to a daycare that's within walking distance of our home at the beginning of July. To help with the transition, I instituted Smoothie Tuesdays so that when she starts at the new place, I can do something (now) familiar to her to keep some semblance of sameness. I think it's going pretty well so far...

The Husband is out at a former colleague's house. We were all supposed to go, but I decided I didn't want to go home from downtown, pick up the kid, head back downtown to meet The Husband, trek on public transit out to the other end of the city, at rush hour on a Friday, only to turn around and go back home after an hour for a reasonable bedtime. Damn, was I ever glad I declined when our city's transit woes hit this afternoon!

Besides, I like having my little person all to myself once in a while. In the car I asked if she wanted pizza or noodles for dinner. She requested pizza AND noodles. And french fries. She asked if she could have a story and a cuddle. I said yes, because who the hell could say no to that face? I suggested we have a story and some cuddles on the couch watching a Tinkerbell movie. In the rear view mirror I saw the huge grin as she replied, "That sounds like a good Friday night."

And it was.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


See that kid? I know, she's adorable. She's also a bolter. What's a bolter, you ask? Kids that can be at your side peacefully for great lengths of time until "Oh look, something shiny!" and *poof* they're gone. It's terribly inconvenient in a crowd.

See that thing the monkey is trying to get to on her back? It's her ladybug, a.k.a. backpack leash. She loves it because it means she has a freedom to roam the world she doesn't have in a stroller. When your kid is big enough to walk on her own but hasn't yet mastered the fine art of impulse control, I think it's a damn sight better to use a backpack leash than have her, ohidontknow, run headlong into traffic. Many are of the opinion that using a backpack leash is the epitome of lazy parenting. Well, I readily admit to laziness, so THERE! :P

She's gotten a lot better at walking while holding hands, but there's still the problem of "Oh look, something shiny!" And if you don't know she's bending over to look at an ant or something and let go fast enough, she loses her footing and you end up half dragging her for a second. Man, if you thought people judged you harshly for using a backpack leash, you should see the stink eye you get for half dragging your kid across the sidewalk. I feel like a wrist strap with a little give would make this a lot easier until she's old enough to walk on her own. The following conversation took place when I shared this brilliant, multimillion dollar business idea with The Husband:

Me: You know what would be cool? A thing that attached to my wrist and hers but had a little give for when one of us gets distracted.
The Husband: You mean like handcuffs?
Me: No, I don't want to handcuff my kid. I'm thinking like a velcro wrist strap on either end and a cutesy pink string in the middle.
The Husband: So like girly, ineffectual handcuffs?
Me: You know what? You really are an asshole.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doing the Wednesday

Remember Roseanne? In one episode, Roseanne feared for her marriage because she and Dan missed a couple of Wednesdays. Which is the day they had sex, in case you missed the ever so subtle hints. Recalling that episode may bring about a mental image of Roseanne Barr and John Goodman frolicking naked. Sorry!

Anyway, in the spirit of keeping the marital fires burning, The Husband and I have agreed to disconnect from the digital world after The Parasite goes to bed each Wednesday. We may not spend the evening the same way Roseanne and Dan did, but at least we'll spend it together.

Ever found yourself spending too much time with your partner, but not *really* spending time together? What have you done to keep things fresh amidst so many distractions?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dispatches from the clinic

When you spend enough time in a fertility clinic, you'll eventually grow to hate the place. In treatment cycles you start every day in the waiting room, after blood work but before ultrasound. Many of the faces are the same, day after day and month after month. We don't acknowledge this familiarity because it's a shitty club that nobody wants to be in, but we take comfort in other clinic veterans. Oh, you're still here too? Glad I'm not the only one.

The newbies are just adorable. They walk in, usually with their partner, beaming and full of hope. They're giddy until they nearly pass out from the bloodletting that accompanies the first visit. Woozy but still smiling they put on a brave face and take wobbly steps to a chair in the waiting room. They have no idea how many hours their ass is going to spend in one of those chairs in the coming weeks and months. We clinic veterans are too jaded to take them under our wing and let them know what lies ahead. They wouldn't believe us anyway.

I'll see you there tomorrow my friends, old and new. Don't be offended when I don't look up from my book. I'm not much for small talk in the morning anyway.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The one where she talks about little loves

Ahh, guilty pleasures. We all have things we love but would be ashamed to admit to in mixed company. Here are my Top 7 guilty pleasures. Yes, seven. I couldn't think of 10 and as we have established, I'm really quite lazy. Hey, maybe laziness is #8... OK, I'll get on with the list now:
  1. Glee. I'm a bit of a music geek. Admitting that I love the showtunes and high school drama is hard for me, but I do. I actually *like* Rachel too. Oh, and I want to do dirty things with Puck. Don't go calling the police just yet, he's actually going to be 30 later this year. I'm not even in cougar territory here.
  2. True Blood. Yup, more TV, this time pure camp with vampires and werewolves and fairies. Oh my! Also, Alexander Skarsgard, who is currently #1 on my famous five list. I get to see a whole lot of him mostly naked which makes every cringe-worthy bit of dialogue worthwhile.
  3. The Southern Vampire Mysteries, aka the Sookie Stackhouse books that True Blood is based on. Terrible fiction, simply dreadful. I'm glad I use an e-reader so nobody on the subway or in the elevator in the office knows I'm reading them. But still I devour each book in a matter of days and find myself impatiently waiting for more.
  4. Naps. Man, I love naps. When The Parasite was a baby she often had trouble going for her afternoon nap without me laying beside her. A year of mat leave gives you enough time to figure out that the cultures observing siesta are really on to something. Now when I'm napping I feel like I'm neglecting things that are much more important, and yet still I snooze. Because naps are awesome.
  5. Brunch. What a decadent meal! Brunch happens on days you slept too late to make it for breakfast, so you go somewhere that serves eggs at noon and feel very sophisticated about it. I haven't had brunch in... three years. Damn.
  6. The Elmwood. A morning at the spa is about as decadent as it gets. The older I get, the more apt I am to just tell people what I want for Christmas and my birthday. In case you're wondering, it's gift cards for The Elmwood. My benefits plan covers massage, so it's really all about the therapeutic outcome. And feeling rather like a lady who lunches. 
  7. Starbucks. I admit it, I'm a junkie. Nothing fancy, just a non-fat latte in my reusable cup. The other day, they sent me a gold card with my name on it. It occurs to me that I may have a problem, but I'm not ready to do anything about it yet.
There you have it, little things that make my days brighter. What are your guilty pleasures? Are there books or TV shows you're ashamed to admit you love?

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #52 word prompt: Guilty Pleasure. For more info about GBE2, click here

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Things I Did Elsewhere: Week 14 Recap

It's Mother's Day! I spent it at an amusement park. Misguided husband? Hell no! It was awesome. I spent Thanksgiving at the zoo, Easter Sunday at a waterpark and Mother's Day on a roller coaster. The Husband and I have come to the conclusion that doing non-traditional things on major holidays IS our family tradition. I love it!

Over at The Facebook Page, I posted this week's meal plan including my special Mother's Day meal request. Forewarned is forearmed, there is talk of balls. Wait, what?

At Yummy Mummy Club, I made fun of myself and my total lack of interest in fashion since becoming a Mom in "Do I Look Like Somebody's Mother?" No mom jeans were harmed in the writing of this piece, only my pride is wounded.

And now, I will ask The Husband to take a break from making me dinner to make me a mojito so I can sit on my ass drinking while neglecting my child as she plays in the yard. Because that's what Mother's Day means to me. Have a great week!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A new appreciation

The Husband went away on a business trip for most of the week. He handles the morning routine, including wrangling The Parasite into her clothes and on to daycare. I am not a morning person. The Husband is not a morning person. Our kid? Decidedly not a morning person. That he has managed to do this every day since my Mat Leave ended without ever, to my knowledge, snarling "Just put your goddamn shoes on!" should certainly qualify him for beatification, if not canonization.

I am constantly impressed by this kid's ability to take changes in her routine in stride, but even good-natured kids have an off day once in a while. Like Thursday, when I decided I didn't want the planned meal so we went to a local haunt for dinner instead. The Parasite loves this place and is a delight every time we're there. She's usually so good, strangers have approached us to compliment her behaviour in restaurants. That makes me proud. On Thursday, I was reminded why we stay bigger than our children for a long time as I rushed to pay for our meal and chuck her over my shoulder to have the privilege, nay, the joy, of carrying a kicking, screaming child home through a busy street. To those who shot us glares, fuck off. Don't you think my day was going badly enough?

Seems tired was at least part of the problem as she went straight to bed and had to be woken up 12 hours later. The Husband is home now and all is right with the world. If I ever accuse him of "not doing anything around here" I want you to smack me and point me in the direction of this post.

It's Mother's Day tomorrow and a super fun day is planned. I will tell you all about it another time. To all the Moms reading, may you enjoy a very special day with your little people, no matter how big they have gotten. If you're trying to be a Mom and it's just not working, I'm sorry. This day is hard, feel free to spend it under the covers. If you are someone who doesn't have your Mom anymore, I'm sure you'll miss her a little more tomorrow than on other days. I hope someone does something to make you feel extra special.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finally! A use for QR codes!

I work in marketing, which means I am subjected to all the latest gimmicks and trends at a staggering rate. Often there are good ideas that are terribly, terrible executed. QR codes are a good example of an OK idea gone wrong. I see them used most often on subway posters. Great! Oh, wait. There's no signal on the subway. That means I have to be interested enough to delicately balance my book and my coffee cup to dig out my phone, unlock it, snap a picture on a moving vehicle and then remember that I did that later to go check out a website for some contest I might have wanted to enter but probably wouldn't have and anyway it ended three weeks ago. Yes, these are the first world problems I encounter every day, and yet I find the strength to carry on.

The ONE time I did bother to do all that, I got above ground and the fucking link didn't work. FAIL! The one above is another example of heinous QR code abuse. It takes you on a journey... to the blog you're already reading! If you care enough to take me with you wherever you go, I'm very flattered! I also think you probably already have a reading list you're perfectly happy with, thereby rendering the QR code redundant.

But wait! I'm here to help. Ever enjoyed a fantastic bottle of wine at a restaurant and then not, for the life of you, been able to remember what the hell you were drinking last night? Sure, the bottle(s) of wine might have something to do with that, but it's also an invented problem that I hope to solve. What if... wineries used QR codes, allowing you to look up what the hell you were drinking last night in the cold, harsh light of day? Yes, you could also take out your phone and make a memo of the info, but if you're drunk there's a good chance you're going to make a terrible mess of that task. Let's ignore how difficult it is to take a steady shot after copious amounts of wine too. I'm interested in progress, not problems, people!

Excuse me, I'm off to become a zillionaire. I just have to develop a prototype that doesn't look like shit.

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #51 word prompt: Parody. For more info about GBE2, click here

Saturday, May 5, 2012

You just made my list!

Inspired by a Twitter conversation the other day (with Biblomama, who you should visit when you're done here because she's hilarious), I am bringing formal structure to my shit list. After all, how can I wish a scorching case of herpes on everyone on said list if I can't remember who they all are? OK, maybe an incurable disease is a little too much for people who piss me off a little bit. How about an infestation of bed bugs?

Now, there is a long, long list of things that piss me off, so I'll have to limit it to just this week's shit list:
  1. The ice cream truck driver parked in front of my daughter's daycare. At pick-up time, right before dinner. I SO enjoyed explaining why some kids could have ice cream from the truck and she couldn't. Without using the words "because I said so." Asshole. 
  2. The person who invented toy microphones for children. Because you know what I think when I'm with a group of little kids? This needs to be LOUDER.
  3. The woman who knocked me over shoving on to the subway. Lady, I have to get to work too. I was waiting to let the person WITH A WALKER off the train first. So check yourself and your sense of self-importance at the door, OK?
  4. The postman doesn't even ring once. Dude, I was home and waiting for that delivery when you stuck the little "Sorry we missed you" sign on the door. I know it's tremendously inconvenient for you to actually have to *sigh* deliver packages to recipients instead of dropping them all off at the depot, but it's kind of what they pay you to do. It's called a doorbell. Use it.  
Phew! OK, I feel better now. Now I am going to stop watching this terrible movie (New Year's Eve) and go read terrible fiction (Deadlocked) in the comfort of my bed with a nice glass of red. Who made your list this week?