Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, May 15, 2007



I just realized that I need to change my profile information for this site; it says I'm a new mom. I'm still a mom, but with my life with Simon approaching the 2-year mark, I'm not exactly "new" anymore.

And that's a good thing. Mommies aren't like cars; we don't instantly depreciate the moment you drive us off the lot. I'd say that a Mommy is like a fine wine (just in case that simile hasn't been overused enough lately), but that's not right, either; a fine wine might improve with age, but you can't enjoy it in the meantime. Being a Mommy means being necessary, useful, indispensable from the very beginning.

As ready as I thought I was for my Baby Boy to be born after a long almost-nine-months of pregnancy, I wasn't ready. Fortunately, a newborn doesn't need much from its mom except love and the sheer tenacity to bumble through until her exhausted brain treks up that steep learning curve, gaining experience as she goes. I loved Simon before I ever saw him, but damned if I knew how to give him a sponge bath. Still, I was the best Mommy I could be, and that was good enough for him.

Now? Well, I got the sponge bath thing down just in time for him to switch to the tub; now I have the challenge of keeping an excited, squealing toddler from running around in the "big people" tub. I'm more confident that I was when we started, and waaaaay more experienced. I've survived poops that would turn an elephant-keeper's stomach and smiled through snotty kisses. I've cried over a boy who's growing up way too fast for my liking, even as I cheered on his first steps and marvelled at the brilliance of his first words.

I might have all that experience under my belt, but when you're a parent, the stuff you learned yesterday doesn't necessarily translate to tomorrow's problems. I know so much about Baby Simon, and I'm quickly learning about Toddler Simon, but Little Boy Simon? I can't imagine.

I'm not a new mommy anymore- and I'm glad. I was happy as a new mom, but I'm definitely more relaxed now. I've started to get back to having my own life (even though Simon is part of everything I do). I'm more competent and confident as a Mommy than I was 20-plus months ago.

And that's all I've got. I'm not going to conclude this ramble by saying that I'm a better mom, because I don't know that. I've always been the best one I could be, and I think that it's been pretty good so far. Being a parent isn't like a car; it's not like wine, and it's not like a career where you get promotions for gaining experience. It's like... beng a parent. New or used, we're all just doing the best we can, trying to keep up with the amazing little critters we're mommying or daddying for as long as we've got 'em.

OK, I'm going to change that profile thinger now. "I'm a 26-year old used Mommy..."

Friday, April 27, 2007


I'm taking some posts from Mommyhood Confidential and editing them, lengthening them, updating them, etc. I don't know what I'm going to do with what I end up with just yet, but I think the good posts could be better.

Any comments you could put here re: your favourite posts, editing suggestions, etc. would be greatly appreciated.


OK, ladies, let's come to order. Ladies? Gals? MOMMIES! That's better. Thanks.

Let's get this meeting started. For the written record, this is the first meeting of the proposed Mommy Union- got that, madam secretary? Wha- arrowroot biscuits in the keyboard? Just take notes be hand, then. What was I saying? Oh, meeting. We're here to discuss our position for upcoming negotiations. It's time that our situation improved, time that we were appreciated for the many jobs we do.

OK, whose phone is that? No... A marble in his nose? Yes, you may be excused.

Back to business. I'm handing out a list of proposed points for negotiation- we'll read over them, and discussion will follow.

Point 1: The pay sucks- sloppy kisses and toothless grins aside, of course. When's the last time one of us cashed a paycheque for what we do? I heard that a recent estimate put the value of a Mommy's work at over $130,000 a year. This may be a bit low- we're looking into it.

Point 2: Sick days. We don't get 'em. If anyone else in the family is sick, we're there with acetaminophen, towels and a barf-bowl. When we're out with a bug that we probably caught from the kids, though, we can't call in sick. No one fills in for us- most of the time, anyway. Even if we get to lie down, there's still the soft knock at the door; "Mommy? Mommy, will you play Candyland now? It won't make you frow up..."

Point 3: Working Hours. In the early months of our careers, work is 24/7, with no regularly scheduled lunch or coffee breaks. Even after the kids are sleeping through the night, or when they're off to school, we're on-call every hour, every day. And weekends and holidays off? Fuggedaboudit. Those are a Mommy's busy season! Point 4: Pension. Not only are we not getting paid, we also have a retirement plan that consists of crossing our fingers and praying the kids pick a decent retirement home. At this point it looks like most of us are headed for Barneyville retirement castle, but we're hoping that our prospects will improve in the future.

Point 5: Workplace safety. Yes, a babyproofed home may seem like a safe work environment, but this is true only if you ignore the regular tripping over baby-gates, burns from hot trays of chicken fingers and the inevitable regular exposure to toxic wastes we encounter while on diaper-duty.

Mommies, this is unacceptable. No one else in this country is expected to work under these conditions. Um... there is one teensy little problem, though. See, we seem to have very little of what they call leverage.What are we going to do if they don't give into our demands? Anyone willing to strike? Show of hands... See, there's the problem. Will we quit if our demands are not met, so that our families will have to bring in expensive nannies, chauffeurs, maids, personal shoppers, tutors and accountants? No, no I'm not going to do that. You? No? Right...

Well, we'll discuss this next week. You are all going to be here next week, right? Nancy? Ballet recital, eh? Oh, tell Beatrice I said break a leg. No, not really. Jane? Uh-huh, OK. Well, we'll reschedule. Um... I'll call you. As soon as we figure out where the dog buried the cordless phone.

Meeting adjourned.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Not the end, but...

I know... I'm not posting.

Stuff is happening, I just haven't been writing it here. Why? I don't know. Lack of time is part of it- I'm back at work now, and I'm busy when I'm at home. Being back at work also means that there's (gasp!) stuff going on in my life other than mommying, and I'm writing about that elsewhere. It's weird... I'm still as much a mom as I was before, but there's other stuff again now, too.

If you want to read any of the other stuff, it's on LiveJournal at , but I'll warn you that it might be TMI at times. I like to bitch about customers. A lot. And about money... and the car... but the good stuff is there, too, I promise.

I'll be back to post here when there's time. In fact, I think there's probably a post about teething coming up in the near future... if I have time. :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Even Mr. Gere Can't Pull That One Off...

A few weeks ago Us Weekly "investigated" (i.e.- they did a survey) whether several male celebrities are sexier now than they were when they were younger. Surprise, surprise- almost every one was considered, to varying degrees, to be sexier older than younger. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered what the results would be if this investigation were done with female celebrities, and reached the conclusion that the results would have been very different.

Oh, there are some fortunate (and brave) females out there who have fabulous bone structure and gravity-defying boobs who age beautifully, naturally. There are women out there who are proud of ageing gracefully, and I hope that some day I'll be one of them... but the fact is that this is one thing that men have going for them that we women just don't. They generally get better-looking with age.

I really don't think this is entirely something we've been led to believe by the media or some conspiracy meant to belittle women and keep us insecure. Most of these guys look downright goofy in their "younger" pictures. Of course there's a huge psychological aspect to the whole thing, but it's hard to deny that Patrick Dempsey looks better in his "Dr. McDreamy" years than he did as a gawky 20-something, even if you're not looking at him as a potential provider.

Women? Oh, smile lines make us look old. Getting a more prominent jawline isn't so desirable for us, and while the men get sexier, we get Nice n' Easy.

Isn't that depressing? Still, this might might be changing. As we get used to seeing mature women as people who are strong and successful, and if we learn to admire the character that a woman's face gains as she matures, maybe older women will be judged to be as sexy as older men. Can we reject the pressure to try to hold on to the beauty we were born with and embrace the beauty we cultivate through our life and experiences? I think so, but it won't be easy.

Premiere magazine, in an interview with Richard Gere, credited him with making gray hair sexy (on men, of course, not women). Gray hair is a sign that a man is mature, that he has life experience. What I want to know is, when is somebody going to come along and make stretch-marks sexy? Come on, stretch-marks are a sign not only of life experience, but also of fertility, so they should be very desirable, right? Right? Anyone?

Oh, well. I can dream, right?

(Us Weekly- "Are They Sexier Younger or Older" by Caroline E. Davis; issue 609 October 16, 2006

Premiere Magazine- "Idol Chatter- Richard Gere" by Brantley Bardin; November 2006 )

Friday, October 13, 2006


Forget handy-man; I'm the handy-mom.

OK, so maybe I'm more Red Green than Bob Vila; duct tape is my secret weapon (or not so secret; it's hard to hide the silver stuff when it's in the middle of the room). I swear, I can fix almost anything with it.

For example, Simon has figured out that there's no door knob on our bedroom door. This means that he can just crawl over and push the door open any time he wants to go in and play with Daddy's toys- a BIG no-no. I thought about just leaving the door open and putting a baby gate across the doorway, but that would mean I'd have to go out and buy another one... nah. I tried to tape the door shut, but it didn't work. Now we've got a lasso-type thing made out of duct tape stuck on the back of the door; it comes out of the room and loops around the top of a chair in the living room, keeping the door closed. It looks weird, but it works well, at least until someone gets trapped in the bedroom and has to holler to be let out.

We also have a power bar (the kind that plugs go into, not the semi-edible kind you choke down after a workout) that was resting on a heater in the living room all summer. We reluctantly decided to turn a few heaters on last week, but having electrical cords touching the heater seemed like a little bit of a fire hazard. Duct tape to the rescue! Everything is securely attached to the wall.

I can even do plumbing. A few days ago I turned on the hot water to the bath tub (it has to be off most of the time or it drips), and the pipe started spraying water all over the room, from behind the toilet to the door. A duct tape tourniquet has reduced this to a fast dripping for the moment; we'll have to get that taken care of properly, but at least most of the water's getting to the tub for now.

Ooh, and then there was the luggage strap I made out of ribbon and duct tape... not attractive, but certainly distinctive!

Oh yeah, I'm proud of my skills. Just call me Mrs. Fix-it!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Cupcake Caper

It's been over a month now, and I think I'm ready to share the truth about the birthday cupcakes. There are a few people out there who already know; now this sad story is going to be available to the general public for the first time. (Check local listings)

I'm not very good about nutrition, to say the least. I take my vitamins every day, but my grandmother would have conniptions if she knew how little vegetable matter I actually consume in a week. I start out with the best intentions; A. doesn't like veggies, but I buy them for myself, and then I get to feel guilty when I open the crisper drawer in the fridge a week later and clean out the brown goop that has accumulated. But I take my vitamins every day... I know, it's not the same thing. You don't have to tell me.

I am, however, a bit more careful about what Simon eats. I'm not obsessive about organic stuff, and he has, in fact, tasted ice cream. Still, he and I eat whole-grain bread because I'd rather he get used to that than the white stuff. He eats a lot of veggies; sadly, they're in mush form most of the time, and not real appetizing to me.

Maybe that's why I decided to try to do the SuperMom thing for his birthday and make a carrot-cake for him. Not just any carrot cake, either; the one from "What to Expect the First Year," with wheat germ and whole-grain flour and carrots cooked in apple juice. We went to the bulk barn for most of the ingredients; they've got a good selection of crunchy-granola stuff there, and you don't have to buy a 30 lb. bag of it to get the 3 cups you need. While we were there I also bought apple butter, multigrain pancake mix, wheat germ, dried fruit (for me) and spaghetti.

See where this is going yet?

The thing is, for some reason the Bulk Barn doesn't provide any means of labelling your bags, just little twist-ties to close them with. I got home and found myself completely unable to distinguish between the whole-grain flour, the whole-wheat flour, and the multigrain pancake mix. Oops. In case you're wondering, they all taste the same if you try to do a Lik-M-Aid taste test on them.

I took my best guess and went to work. I figured either flour should work, so I had a 66% chance of the cake turning out just fine. (See, kids? You do use some of that math stuff later in life!)

I boiled the carrots in the apple juice until they were soft. I mixed my dry ingredients, and I pureed my carrots with raisins. It did not look appetizing, but everything was going well, until I mixed the wet and dry ingredients. Um, yeah... my batter bubbled. It was like a sick, brown, witch's birthday-brew. It swelled until it filled the bowl.


As I watched my batter bubble, I thought about what Martha Stewart would do. I quickly realized that Martha would never have found herself in this situation, partly because everything would be neatly organized and labelled, and partly because if anyone let this happen, they'd be fired before the raisins hit the blender. Still, what would she do if, by some great cosmic accident, she did find herself in my situation?

Well obviously she'd toss the batter, make a run back to the store, re-purchase the ingredients and try again, possibly waiting until morning (though I don't think she actually sleeps).

Screw that, Martha I thought as I poured my puffy-looking cake mix into a dozen muffin cups. Either they'll be fine or they won't. I had already decided to buy a backup cake for any grownups who weren't tempted by the very healthy cupcakes, so if things went south, we'd just have that. It was late, I was tired, and the oven was already hot.

Well, they looked OK when they came out of the oven. They smelled fantastic. So they were a bit dense. Nobody complained, especially Simon. He loved them, and he made a nice mess all over is high-chair with them just like a first birthday-boy should.

So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, for one thing, I learned that Betty Crocker is my new best friend, and her reasonably-priced cake kits will be the extent of my adventures in baking for the next little while. More importantly, though, I think I learned that no matter how hard you try to be SuperMom, no matter how hard you try to get it right... stuff's not always going to turn out the way you wanted or expected. I guess you just pray that your best was good enough, and try to enjoy things the way they are... even if the cupcakes are a little heavy!