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?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

You Have No Idea: BlogHer Book Club Review

I have a love-hate relationship with Vanessa Williams. I love her because she's talented and warm and so beautiful it almost hurts to look at her. I hate her for the same reasons. OK, maybe that's the jealousy talking. Anyway..."You Have No Idea" is Williams' autobiography which features interjections and observations from her mother, Helen.

I'm Canadian, so while the Miss America pageant is aired here - I think - it certainly isn't the cultural "thing" it is in the U.S. The only Miss America I can name is Vanessa Williams, and that's only because of the scandal. I often wondered how she could be so stupid, so I am glad she explained it right off the bat. As expected, the perfectly plausible explanation is young and dumb. We've all been there, but most of us have had the good fortune making our mistakes away from the prying eyes of the tabloids. Her tales of her reign were fascinating. Fears for her safety in Alabama because she was black? In the 80s? Well, colour me naive! I had no idea it was an issue less than 30 years ago (see earlier point re: Canadian).

Now this is not, for the most part, deep stuff. Williams does touch on serious issues in her life, like her abortion as a teen and recounting a story of molestation by a friend of the family, but without more in-depth discussion about how this affected her life, it seems this information is FYI rather than an integral part of the woman she is today. I'm not sure that's what she was going for or what to do with it in the context of her story. But it was a fun read about an interesting life with insights from TWO moms who can teach us a thing or two about being a supportive parent.

Join the BlogHer Book Club conversation on "You Have No Idea" for lively, thought-provoking discussions every week!

This is a compensated review as part of the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The one where she talks to strangers

Six years ago, in what seems like another lifetime now, I crossed "See the Pyramids" off my bucket list.  Toronto to Cairo isn't a popular enough route to warrant a direct flight, so it required a stopover in Amsterdam both ways. On the way back I booked a few days in Amsterdam, because why not? I met The Stranger on that flight. What a story to tell the grandchildren! "We met on the way from Cairo to Amsterdam." Can you imagine? He was exotic and gorgeous, like one would expect the man you meet on a globetrotting adventure to be.

My flight was delayed. I was still a smoker back then and the only seat left in the airport lounge was the one in a booth across from him. After I sat down we made the idle chit-chat you make when circumstances force you to sit a few feet away from a person you don't know. We learned we were on the same flight. We talked about Amsterdam and things to do while there. When we discovered the plane was half empty, we sat together. It's a long flight, might as well have company to pass the time.

When we landed, he invited me to dinner. I said yes. After all, a stranger is just a friend you haven't met. He was there for work so his days were full, but we spent the evenings together. His mother was Egyptian, he was visiting her family but he was raised in Munich and still lived there. He was ridiculously interesting. When my three days in Amsterdam were up, he invited me to come to Germany for the weekend. Tempting! But I said I couldn't. We didn't exchange contact information. Why bother pretending you're going to keep in touch from half a world away?

I spent a lot of time wondering why I didn't go. It wouldn't have caused undue financial hardship to change my flight or spend a few more days away from home. Yes, he was exotic and gorgeous, but he was also smart and a lot of fun. I still had plenty of vacation time left, an occupational hazard of workaholism. Means. Motive. Opportunity. Was I nuts? A beautiful stranger invited me to a strange land and I said no? What the hell was wrong with me?

I flew home and carried on with my life. I thought about The Stranger once in a while, but only in passing. A few months later I met another stranger, this time one a little closer to home. I think I didn't go because I knew on some level the gorgeous, exotic man half a world away was not THE Stranger I was destined for. Our story isn't quite "We met on the way from Cairo to Amsterdam," but it has a happy ending. I hope the grandchildren will understand.

This post is written as part of GBE2 - Week #50 word prompt: The Stranger. For more info about GBE,  click here.