Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Do you hate fish?

I used to think I hated fish. I've had a revelation, though. Here, fishy fishy fishy!!

kid pics, as promised

Well, I'm back. We had a lovely Christmas, spent part of the time in NYC, and have been home mediating the squabbles of our children for the last three days. But enough of that. I promised kid pics. Here you go!

First, there was Christmas Eve, spent with my brother and his family. The Potato enjoyed his gifts, did the Bee.

On Christmas morning, we woke up to find the exciting surprises that Santa brought (unfortunately, all the pictures of the Bee are blurry). Here, the Potato enjoys one of his many new books.

After breakfast, we packed up and drove to NYC to spend the rest of the day (and the next few) with Grandma. She bought the kids these adorable matching jammies!

The Bee is a declamatory girl (but the wine was for the adults).

We always make a trip to the playground at Union Square, whenever we're in town.

Fortunately, the weather was beautiful while we were there.

Since coming home, we've been spending a lot of time pretending to be butterflies. Or gorillas. So far, not butterfly gorillas yet, but there are still two days of vacation!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


How are you all handling your leftovers? Check out my POST regarding how the more there is, the more ya eat!

Also, here is my Week 6 Challenge. Anyone want to join me in my challenges? :-)

Christmas on Kitchener St

Hi all,

Wow, nearly a week after Christmas and are y'all still swimming in chaos too??? Santa need to bring STORAGE next year!

Anyway, finally got around to uploading some xmas pics to Rian's blog - unfortunately he'd had a rough night xmas eve (v worried about the upcoming federal election, poor little lad) so wasn't very smilely for the all-day photoshoot...

..Could be the 'someone-out-there-hates-me' gifts he got too...

Take care, Kris

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tryptophan should be a controlled substance

So how was/is everyone's holiday?

Ours was quiet and peaceful, per our plans. We didn't get the snow we wished for, but the weather was mild enough that, between torrential downpours, we were able to squeeze in some nice long walks.

I was so caught up in trying to finish Sam's stocking that Christmas Eve kind of snuck up on us before I realized that we'd lamed out on our plan to throw our semi-annual Christmas Eve bash. Fortunately, Kris and her posse trooped over and rescued us from an evening of watching TBS's 24 Hours of A Christmas Story.

We also got to admire how handsome Rian looked in his fetching holiday pyjamas, pictured right. Yes, that is Sam wearing a black t-shirt with a skull on it. Let me explain! We hadn't done laundry and were running on the dregs of our wardrobes. Sam HAD BEEN WEARING the cute red and green plaid shirt we'd saved for this occasion, but then he had a poo-cano (you know, like a volcano, but with poo) and the shirt was toast. And the only clean shirt he had left was his Halloween tee.


As always, Rian and Sam's antics together cracked our collective shit up. Sam developed a fascination with removing Rian's socks. Rian retaliated by gnawing gently on Sam's head. Many photos were taken.

Christmas Day had a pleasant, slow-motion, dream-like quality. Well, for me, anyway. Rusty, who made dinner, may remember it differently. We all slept in because we'd had a restless night due to Sam's top two front teeth coming in. The day passed in a haze of drinking delicious mochas, opening stockings, calling family, napping, taking pictures, changing diapers, opening presents, more napping, eating, more pictures, more diapers, more napping... well, you get the idea.

Let me tell you, in my next life I'm coming back as a baby. Sam cleaned up in the presents department. We officially have to get a bigger toybox. Seriously, though, it's so sweet and touching to see how babies and children bring out people's generosity of spirit. I get a little teary, actually, thinking about all the people -- some of them quite unexpected -- who thought of Sam and took the time and trouble to make or give him a holiday gift.

So now it's -- what? -- two days later, and I'm recovering from my turkey hangover. Time to get back on the vegetarian wagon for another year. Fortunately, I have about 30 lbs of chocolate to ease the transition.

Oh, yes... and I did finish Sam's stocking just in time for Santa. Feast your eyes!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Have a wonderful holiday, BHNers!

I'll be back next week. Possibly with kid pics. Hope you all have a swell time!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A few recent faves

All right, all right - I'll start off with a few of my little man who's recently discovered a pig-like squeal to indicate unhappiness... nice.

Gaining Weight!

I don't have the time or editing powers at my disposal to go into all the particulars, but i'm really happy to report that my little manzini gained weight today at his 2-week weight check. Henry has struggled with his weight practically since he was born (weighing in at a petite 6 lbs. 10 oz.) At his 1 month check-up he had shot up to 10 lbs. and we were beaming jubilant sunbeams from every orifice; that's just how proud we felt.

After that one month appointment things slowed down drastically. Henry had been diagnosed with reflux early on but the volume of his spit-up just wouldn't quit. We were advised to feed him at strict three-hour intervals because an overfull stomach would just make everything worse. Just before H-man turned 8 weeks old he was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis and underwent surgery. Although the voluminous vomiting ceased, the weight gain never really took off. He slowly dropped down towards the 5% percentile for weight. Our first Pediatrician didn't seem concerned and when he just grew a few ounces in between check-ups, he told me that as they get older their growth slows down.

Recently we decided to switch Pediatricians (for his lack of concern as well as many other less grave but irritating issues). We saw our new Pediatrician for the first time at a 7-month flu shot appointment for Henry. At that point Henry had "flatlined" for 3 appointments-- barely gained any weight. We talked about different ways to increase his calories and thank god they paid off. You can read the full-update on today's blog post. Now let's hope he can catch back up and make it back on to one of those growth curves.

Bored Housewives Network

Lately. . . I cannot resist the lure of being a bitch. Also, my kids (erroneously) think I am not cool.

If you insist...

This was just going to be a link to my ode to a cheesy Christmas TV movie, but now it includes a gratuitous baby (and cat!) picture, per Cataclysm's request. Enjoy!

The presents Rian will remember

See! Rian clearly isn't a deprived child! And one of these is actually for him...

I understand my role as a parent is to create good memories and nothing says 'good memory' better than a picture of happy baby with lots of pressies!

... and don't y'all worry, I'm sure the novelty of uploading pics of my child to blogs will wear off soon! Where are all the other babies, bored housewives?!?!? Upload upload upload!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I know, I know - guilt is a useless emotion

Everyone here is so ready for the holidays, and I feel like I'm stuck back in October. If you were following me in my natural habitat today, you'd have observed the following:

1. Actively procrastinating on the research paper that is hanging on my neck like an albatross. By "actively procrastinating", I mean "opening up the Word file and ignoring it to surf the web".

2. Remember today, the last day of school prior to the winter break, that it might be a decent gesture to present the hardworking women who teach my sons basic skills like, oh, READING, with a token of our holiday goodwill.

3. Scramble to obtain and deliver said tokens.

4. Struggle with guilt that I'm not better prepared for the holiday.

5. Bother to clean the kitchen on my lunch hour, because we're having a new sitter tonight.

6. Struggle with guilt that I'm going to dinner/shopping with Poaikots tonight, instead of finishing paper.

7. Return to PlaceIWork to resume active procrastination. And web surfing.

8. Struggle with guilt for not being in "the holiday mode".

9. Decide that the Santa Claus booty has been purchased for the kids, so screw the rest of the "holiday mode".

10. Struggle with guilt for overbuying said Santa Claus booty.

11. Continue to not finish research paper, which I'm convinced is the only thing standing between me and sweet, sweet holiday mode.

12. Struggle with guilt for not just finishing the stupid paper already, dammit. How hard can it be to take 5 pages of notes and a fairly good outline and turn it into A 15-PAGE PAPER so I can get on with my life already?!?!

13. Struggle with guilt for looking to the Bored Housewives for encouragement.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I'm curious what the bored housewives (and not so bored or not so housewifey) among us are presenting to their offspring in honor of holiday goodwill. As Henry will be 8 months old for his first Christmas we figured we had a lot of leeway this year. We encouraged grandparents to gravitate towards wooden, soft, nicely musical toys and away from large, plastic, lights and gyrating music toys. Once the groundwork was laid we just got out of the way. I'm excited for the stuff he's going to get but we put some additional money in his college fund and i bought him the Norton Anthology of Children's Literature. D- i thought you might get a kick out of this. I figure it's a gift to both of us blessed with the anticipation of many future snuggly reading sessions to come.

What's the rest of youse giving?
Kids books are one of my favorite things to blog about. Here's a post including my most recent kid book recommendation.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Rian's Stocking

Yippee! Rian just got his 1st and only stocking in the mail!

Makes me grateful that there are handy and creative people in his life! More pics at Rian's Reminisces

My, we are getting geared up for next weekend...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Eight months

A letter to my girl on her eight-month birthday.

The differences between Canadians and Americans, as evidenced by two packages of Trident gum

My husband C loves strawberry gum. For a long time he couldn't find one he liked, but recently he discovered Trident Splash, which is a Chiclet-like gum with a flavored filling. This week, during a trip to Montreal, he found what he thought was the same gum. Upon closer inspection, however, there were certain differences. We have decided that the differences between the packages of gum from each country can provide some clues about the differences between Canadians and Americans. Here is what we have deduced after carefully examining both packages:

  1. Canadians are more exotic. Proof: In Canada, the flavor of the gum in question is Strawberry with Kiwi. In the U.S., the flavor is Strawberry with Lime. The two gums taste exactly the same.
  2. Canadians don't have to be told something twice. Proof: Both gums contain graphics indicating that the gum package should be thrown away in a trash receptacle. The Canadian version has only the graphic, while the American version has the graphic surrounded by the words "DISPOSE OF PROPERLY."
  3. Canadians don't have to have everything spelled out for them. Proof: Both versions have a warning that the gum contains phenylalanine. On the American version, the warning reads, "PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE." The Canadian version simply reads, "ASPARTAME CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE," leaving it to phenylketonurics to figure out for themselves that the warning is addressed to them.
  4. Canadians don't rely on gum to clean their teeth. Proof: The American version touts that the gum "CLEANS TEETH," while the Canadian version merely states that the gum doesn't cause cavities.
  5. Canadians speak French. Proof: Do you really need proof?

Christmas Traditions with a Twist

Based on the Christmas Tradition post below i have a related but different scenario for which i'd like to solicit input. My family growing up had tons of traditions and many of them i'm happy to interpret for our family. The issue is that Blocker (new codename for my husband) is not a Christmas kind of guy. In fact he's not much on any holidays or celebrations. Not that he's mirthless, it's just that his kind of mirth is dry and snarky rather than joyful and jubilant.

He pooh-poohs the traditions that i choose to keep up, and it's just not as fun maintaining traditions solo. I assume i'll be able to have an ally once Henry is older, but i was wondering if anyone else is in this situation or knows someone that is and what suggestions they have. Reading through all of your traditions made me a little sad. I would love to watch Christmas movies all cuddled up, but that just isn't in Blocker's nature or our relationship.

Two new posts...

I've been quite delinquent with my blog lately. I couldn't think of anything to write about, but maybe that was just being lazy. 'Cause now that I've forced myself to sit down and write SOMETHING, I came up with two new ones. And a big list of stuff for future entries, too. I can't give it all away in one day!

So, read about the pros and cons of eating alone, and my new Weekly Challenge.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas traditions - I need to get me some!

Hi all,

We need help and inspiration!

We don't have any Christmas traditions - I was going to 'google' it but then I thought I should just ask you all and then copy the best ones.

I'm thinking we need some for:
- Xmas Eve (but not big on the whole church thing)
- Christmas day (we have stockings so need to work those in!)
- Boxing day (do sales count??)

I've read that the happiest kids have family traditions so thus my new-found desire to develop some!

Thanks in advance! Rian's happiness is resting with you...

By way of introduction

I’m no longer a bored housewife. But I was one once. I have lots of entries over at my livejournal blog, but it occurs to me that if we’re just meeting for the first time, you won’t have any idea who the people are. That’s because I’m very clever and I gave everyone a pseudonym.

Saskatchewan, Queen of the Harpies – I use both of these. Queen of the Harpies is also my BB secret identity.

Ulysses is my boyfriend. He lives with me and commutes to grad school once or twice a week. My daughter wonders why he has so many P.A. days. (It’s because he’s in grade 20.) “Ulysses” is my boyfriend’s BB secret identity. (I also remember that his super power was “flesh-melting epiphanies”.)

The Boy is my nine-year-old son. I needed to tell some story about him right away and was unable to come up with a clever name. Now he’s stuck with it. I’m sure he’ll hate me for this later.

Mia is my six-year-old daughter. ‘Mia’ is short for ‘Mia Farrow’ which was what Ulysses and I started calling her after she’d given herself a pixie cut soon after she turned three. She really liked the name and called herself ‘Mia Farrow Angel’ for a long time. I’m going to mention that in the future when she brings over teenage love interests.

Evil Corp is the gigantic corporation where I spend most of my days. Evil Corp also used to employ Xman, but he got the axe.

Xman is this guy that I used to be married to. He’s also Mia and The Boy’s father. He’s also the reason I know so very much about divorce laws in Ontario. (Seriously – quiz me!)

The Black Berets, BBs is the name of the writer’s group that both Ulysses and I belong to. We meet at my house every two weeks. More loosely, it’s the term we use for the entire friend group. (To further complicate things, there are also out-of-town BBs, in-town BBs, original BBs, core-member BBs, etc. There is even – I shit you not – a rival group calling themselves the Red Berets. I can only assume they’ve discovered what we’ve known for a long time – giving yourselves a silly name seems to lend you legitimacy.) At one time the BB members were all card-carrying. Not only did we have photos, but secret identities, likes, dislikes, and literary super powers. But the group got too big.

That’s about it! If you have questions – the more probing and personal, the better – I would be happy to answer them. I’m not promising to tell the truth, but I’ll come up with something.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Housewives don't get much more bored than this

So... I'm pretending to be my cat and writing a review of a kids' book. A bad sign?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ode to a friend

I remember when we would listen to Aretha Franklin's 'Soul of 69' on LP, all scratchy and old, but never sounding better. In our 3rd floor walk-up, you're sitting on that old, ugly couch of ours and me, on the brown chair salvaged from my dad's office. The glow of that god-awful orange lamp in the background, candles lighting the living room table. A few bottles of wine and perhaps a joint later (this was Montreal, after all), souls barred, consciences emptied, I'd giggle & laugh, never fully realizing how much I'd miss these moments, years later. I'd never met anyone like you, with whom I clicked so well from the very beginning - that very first sentence exchanged "you like the Hip?" (Oh, how very small-town Ontario of us). Through boys, broken hearts and broken families, moves cross-country and later, across the ocean, we've shared everything and nothing, leaving things unsaid, no need to state the obvious:

"Here's to the losers,
the substance abusers.
To the rejects
and all the imperfects.
To the retarded
and the broken-hearted.
To the storming masses,
and the lower classes.
'cause I think we're beautiful,
no matter what anyone says.

I think we're beautiful."

Blog from the other side

My friend Kirst (Rian's 'Oddmother) just sent me this blog by Jack the baby which is kinda funny...

And I'm doing a totally gratuitous posting of my favorite Rian pics - we've taken some dandies!


No sleep til bedtime

[This is the second entry I'm attempting to get up in the interests of responding to the very nice invitation to join this group. Which I have been remiss about. I'll try to be better.]

So Mia and The Boy turned six and nine at the end of October/beginning of November. The nature of the visitation schedule, plus our general mad-busy life, meant that this past weekend was the first real chance we had to do any celebrating en mass. We decided to do it all in one go and get it finished with on Saturday night with a combined slumber party.

Mia invited four of her friends, and The Boy invited five of his. One of The Boy’s friends couldn’t come at all, an additional friend of The Boy’s could only stay for the evening, and two of Mia’s friends could only come for the evening. I’ll skip you doing the train-leaving-the-station math here and just say that it meant ten kids for dinner, and seven kids for breakfast.

They started arriving around five and began running about the apartment. Children do this. When my friends come over, they tend to head straight for the cold beer, but kids seem to like to warm up with some sprinting. And some yelling. Some yelling and sprinting and general mayhem. Parents arriving with new children (who could hardly wait to get their boots off so they too could join merry band of running, screaming kids) smiled at us goofily before waving goodbye in a barely disguised show of relief that they weren’t required to spend the evening with us. Parents of the two kids that Mia had invited to spend the evening warned us that this was a first sleepover. The mother of one – and I shall call him Paul for his adorable baby face – told me that not only had he not spent the night with a friend, but hadn’t even stayed at a grandparents’ house. This was the big first, for Paul.

Ulysses and I allowed the liberal playing of play station games by The Boy and his crew. “I have never,” said Ulysses as he pressed out pizza dough, “been so happy to hear the sound of one of those stupid games.” The din was definitely lessened. Mia and her friends plotted with one another upstairs. Ulysses had taken the appropriate step of locking the doors to our bedroom and the office.

We ate pizza. Most kids preferred plain cheese (another mystery of childhood!) and I didn’t even bother to make salad. A co-worker had lent me Ice Age which was incredibly popular, if also entirely predictable in both plot and gags. Before the next feature film (The Incredibles – and if you think I was deliberately drugging the kids up with television, you’re right. (And I’d do it again.)) I made popcorn with the help of a little boy (not Paul) who launched himself onto the kitchen counter by taking a leap at it. It was certainly impressive.

Some parents returned for the offspring who could not stay (and those offspring were pretty damned loathe to go, which must have meant party success) and we herded the rest of the kids into pyjamas and sleeping bags. Mia and one of her friends slept on the floor of her room, but Paul took the bed. He wasn’t sure about the height of the pillow, so I gave him his own. Also, he wasn’t sure about turning out the light, so we didn’t. The Boy and his friends announced their intention to stay awake until the sun came up and I said that it would be best not to share those plans with me and also be very quiet.

Ulysses and I got into bed and fell almost immediately asleep. At about two a.m. I rolled over and nearly crushed poor little Paul who opened his eyes and announced he was “too scared to sleep in there, so I’m sleeping with you”. Ha!

The sound of some sort of older kid ruckus woke up Paul an hour later and he demanded “a heating pad” to help his “growing pains”. I have one of those wheat bag things, so I took it downstairs to heat it up and tell the older kids to knock it the heck off with the noise. Paul fell asleep about twenty minutes later.

In the morning, Paul let me know that it was a good thing, these growing pains, because he was going to be big enough to ride the good rides at Canada’s Wonderland this year. Mia and her other friend seemed to think it entirely normal that Paul took off to sleep with me and Ulysses (Mia: “I sleep with them whenever I’m scared.” Which is true, Mia, but we’re not strangers to you.)

The gathering of the belongings went less smoothly than it should have, mostly because every single kid was bleary-eyed and overtired (and Ulysses and I were also less patient than we might have been on a full night’s sleep). Some fights broke out and we broke them up. I made the pancakes and sausages, and we got everyone fed. The parents all arrived (Paul’s mom just laughed when I mentioned the unorthodox sleeping arrangement, so that was good), and then they all left.

Then we all cleaned up. Once the visitors’ stuff was gone, the place wasn’t that bad, and Mia and The Boy pitched in. In a couple of hours, as Mia said, it was like “nobody ever came to the party!” Then we picked up the Christmas tree, ate left-over pizza, and played a couple of kid’s card games. Mia cried. We put everyone to bed early.

And there won’t be a massive kid slumber party again until next year. Hooray!

Christmas tree 101

1. During the heat of summer, buy a flashy new tree-topper at a yard sale for a quarter. Make the nice lady plug it into an outlet because you’re not going to be taken for twenty-five cents. Congratulate yourself on your bargain-hunting savvy.

2. At the end of November call a family meeting and fret about the best time to purchase a tree. Really work yourself into a lather. Try not to feel hurt when the rest of the family wanders away through lack of interest.

3. Two weeks later, suddenly announce the perfect date as though anyone else was interested in getting this scheduled. Beam at them with goofy grin.

4. Morning of “the day” realize that $0.25 tree-topper’s main feature is amazingly ugly coloured lights which will not work with your existing (somewhat tasteful) collection of white miniature lights. Realize you will need to purchase, at full retail price, tacky coloured lights. Try not to have despairing flashbacks to the tables and tables of tacky coloured lights for rock-bottom prices at every garage sale throughout the summer.

5. Swing by giant retail outlet with family in tow. Purchase two boxes of coloured lights for nearly nine bucks a box. Rationalize that when electric Christmas lights were introduced in North America, they cost the equivalent of an average month’s salary and were more often rented than purchased outright.

6. Give into the demands of children and stop off to purchase cocoa powder at bulk food store. Also purchase candy treats for children who are still working through their Halloween candy.

7. Finally get to tree lot. Find tree. Express concern that it looks really, really big. Accept scoffing from partner that the ceilings in the apartment are ten feet high [they’re nine]. Make tree lot guy hack off most of the trunk due to fears that tree will have to bend at the ceiling.

8. Haul tree home and get out boxes of decorations. Set tree in stand with help of partner. Throw some water in there. Realize that removing most of the trunk has made watering almost impossible. Nod approvingly when partner puts on appropriate Elvis Presley Christmas Album.

9. Set partner to work fixing the gloriously ugly tree-topper which now refuses to light up. Begin stringing lights. Realize tree was ‘deal’ because of sharp, stabbing needles.

10. Place tree-topper on tree. At jaunty angle. Because it will not sit straight. Discuss with partner trees propensity to ‘loom’. Wonder aloud if looming strikes the right Christmassy note. Listen to smallest child scream in pain as she attempts to penetrate branches of ‘razor-needles’. Laugh at her because you are a bad, bad parent.

11. Hang million glass ball ornaments and glance at other million ornaments you didn’t get to. Wonder why you spend most summers picking up yet more glass ornaments (that you obviously have plenty of) and never think to pick up those stupid little wire hooks (that you never have enough of).

12. Warn youngest child to be careful with the glass balls because they’re fragile. Drop one and watch shatter on floor. Say “fuck!” because you are a bad, bad parent.

13. Stand back and admire the looming tree. Make hot chocolate with patented “special cocoa sludge” at bottom of every glass.

14. Declare this Christmas tree expedition an immeasurable success! Vacuum broken glass.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Me, me, me, me

A few moments spent pondering the question "what ever happened to "Me-Time?"

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Unconditional Fear

I've been meaning to write this post for almost a week now but i could not remember the word "unconditional" for the life of me and only "remembered" it after spending 20 minutes on google just now. So, now i'm equipped with the title i envisioned and i'm ready to begin...

People talk about a mother's unconditional love and i'm not here to argue. I'm not sure i've been given enough "conditions" by my 7 month old to have this aspect of motherhood tested. I can say i was surprised by the unconditional fear i felt last Friday night.

My in-laws came for a long-weekend visit last Friday. After we all went to bed around 10 we were awoken from a dead-sleep about midnight by ... THUD..., mother-in-law screaming,"Help, I don't know what's happening but call 911." Rationally i couldn't figure out why my mother in-law would know something was happening to Henry but all i could think was that something terrible was in progress-- he fell out of his crib and was having spasms or was choking on his tongue or something-- the thud really threw me. I ran directly into Henry's room where he was sleeping soundly and in the adrenalin of trying to reconcile that clearly there was a crisis with my sleeping cherub, i proceeded to wake Henry up and fill the night with even more shouting. I somehow got Henry back to sleep in just a few minutes and then finally started making my way out to the front of the house.

I wasn't wearing glasses (thankfully) but the first sight i encountered was my naked father-in-law sitting on the toilet with a handtowel over his privates. I just kept walking and heard my husband handing the phone to my MIL who was telling 911 that he had been throwing up and having diarrhea and had passed out. They got there in a few minutes and after a bit of deliberation everyone decided he should be taken to the hospital. I busied myself with getting a bag ready for him and let he and my MIL and husband have some breathing room. They went to the hospital that night and although it took until Monday (the hospital left no stone unturned) he was released with a clean bill of health.

Clearly this was a terrible visit, one my MIL spent shuttling back and forth to the hospital, my FIL spent IN the hospital, and we spent trying to figure out what had happened while getting over our own worsening ailments.

The thing that stuck with me was the fear, the abject terror, the black and deep dread that filled me when i first heard the thud and the scream. As if it wasn't patently obvious already, i realized i'm now a mother and even i (a true optimist, non-worrier) have dark feelings beyond my control now in play. Proceed with caution.

It ain't easy being cheesy

A post about how cheesy I have become in my old age.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Me too!

Okay, since everyone else is posting their Christmas pictures, here is ours. We didn't get very creative, other than the coordinating colors (that was my idea!). We just set up the camera on a tripod in our backyard and took a ton of pictures until we had one we liked. This is one of our few posed family portraits, and it's fun to see how A resembles both of us.

The temperature was in the mid-50s the day we took the picture. I was freezing in my sweater and C was only mildly chilly in his T-shirt. This is what happens when one person is raised in L.A. and the other person is raised on the East Coast.

Crafty Mammas

A post where I share my new-found love of all things felt.

another Christmas card photo

Since everyone else is posting their Christmas card photos, I thought I'd put mine up too.

I had a long internal debate about whether or not to use this picture. It's a weird angle, you can't see either of the kids' faces well, and it's from the early fall. Plus, my son is wearing a necklace in a public place, which is sure to freak out my mom.

But you know what? It's my absolute favorite picture of my kids from this year, and they look so happy together. I had to go for it.

snow day

We had a snow day today, although it really wasn't much snow at all. I was traveling for work on Wednesday and Thursday, and I rushed home last night to beat the snow, but didn't make it home in time to see the kids before bed. I called home en route, to talk to them, and my daughter excitedly told me that she was wearing her pajamas inside-out and backwards, to make sure it snowed. Apparently, her teacher (who is a sub replacing the regular teacher, who's on maternity leave until January) told the class on Monday that at her previous school, the kids always wore their jammies inside out to make it snow. The Bee wore her jammies inside-out on Monday night (when snow was predicted), but it didn't work--this time, she wanted to make sure, so she came up with the backwards adaptation.

Sure enough, it snowed tonight. And at 8:00 this morning, her best friend called to say that she had worn her pajamas inside out too. I think we might be spending a lot of this winter in reversed pajamas.

Secret Christmas Pic

I was avoiding posting our Christmas pic because i thought it was shockingly original and somewhere in my only-child little soul, i didn't want to share. Recently i've seen the same "idea" popping up all over the place so i got over it and decided it was more fun to show off. I had them printed as post-cards which i'm making slow but steady progress addressing.


Hi everyone,
Doppelganger invited me to join - I look forward to meeting all of you. New to blogging, but not to the idea of good fellowship with likeminded souls. There is one disclaimer that I hope does not get me booted out - I'm not a SAH housewife. My husband stays home with our two boys. And please note that if I hear one more time how lucky I am that he does that, I will scream. If it were me at home doing that work, no one would give it a second thought. When people (especially women, for some reason) hear that he stays home and "keeps house" they practically throw their panties on the front steps.
Anyway, know that there's another out here listening to you daily, latte in hand, loving every post.

Checking back in

I fell off the wagon of Project Eat-to-Live since our return from vacation. I'm getting back on, and just checking back in with you ladies, too! I've missed reading your posts!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Got milk?

Now I do! Read about the exciting return of dairy to my diet.


I'm really getting the hang of this blogging thing! Tamra (and Doppelganger) - you've created a monster!

As I was doing the list of things to buy for my Mom's arrival later today (she's not a cheap visitor - good coffee, $4/loaf bread, $10+ wine, etc. and I haven't even started on the xmas presents), I thought I'd write a sentimental note on grandparents... well, specifically Rian's grandparents.

If this is too syrupy for you, watch this space over the next 3 weeks for the *!)(%#@ grandparents!! !%!^($! postings....

CD exchange?

I'm about to burn a couple of (very awesome) kids' music CDs for Anne-Marie and Kris, and I got to thinking that maybe some of you guys would like to do a group CD exchange. Each of us could pick our favourite kids' CD, burn enough copies for everyone who participates, then mail 'em out. What do you think?

If you're interested, just email me at 50books-at-gmail-dot-com and give me your mailing address, say by this Sunday evening? On Monday, I'll send out a group email with everyone's mailing address, so you all know how many discs to burn and send out.*

If you're not interested, because you don't want to give out your mailing address to people you haven't met (no matter how charming they seem online) or because you have ethical issues with burning CDs (I have my own self-serving, long-winded rationale, which I won't bore you with here) or for whatever other reason, that is -- of course -- totally cool. As are you. Heh.

*I just pulled this approach out of my butt. If you guys want to suggest better ways we could do this, please do! We've got a few days to hash this out.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Couldn't Resist

...Sharing the highlights of my own Christmas photo extravaganza...

The Xmas Photoshoot

I'm trying to be a good momma, honest! And I know that every child needs a Xmas photo, right up there with food, shelter and clothing!

And seeing Doppelgangers Xmas pic, I thought, how tough can taking a good Christmas picture be?!?

Splish splash

Okay, y'all, I need bath advice.

I have been bathing A in the kitchen sink since the get-go. I like it because it's at a comfortable working height and I have lots of counter space to work with. I never used a baby bathtub because they just seemed bulky and unnecessary (I have a mesh chair that I put in the sink and could continue to use in the tub).

However, A is outgrowing the sink. To be honest, she outgrew it about two months and several pounds ago. I need to move her to the bathtub, but I'm having all these mental blocks about how to make it work. Right now, I undress A on the counter on one side of the sink, move her into the sink to bathe her, then move her onto a hooded towel on the counter on the other side of the sink to dry her. My questions about transferring her to the bathtub are these:
  1. Where do you undress the baby? If it's far from the bathroom, does the baby ever pee on you en route?
  2. We have a big bathtub, and I have to use a lot of water to fill it up high enough to cover her. Is it necessary to use this much water? Do most people just use a few inches, and if so, doesn't the baby get cold?
  3. Do you use a bath seat of any kind, or do you just let the baby sit up on her own?
  4. While you're bathing the baby, do you sit on a stool or kneel? Doesn't your back kill you?
  5. Where do you dry the baby when you take him/her out of the bathtub? The counters in our bathroom are tiny, so the floor seems like the only real option here. The bathroom floor is not really where I want to put a clean baby, but maybe other people's floors are cleaner than mine?

Upon reflection, these questions sound really dumb. But I don't know the answers, and maybe you guys do, so I don't care. Help!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Blog Anonymously

I started my blog as an update for friends and family on my pregnancy and then the arrival of Henry. Although from time to time i wax poetic about subjects with more depth to them than our nap schedules, i've felt limited by my mommy blog for a little while now. Frankly it's a victim of it's own success. I run reporting software that gives me some idea of who's checking the site and while it's great to see those daily visit stats high, it's also a bit limiting in what i can blog about once i know grandparents, co-workers, etc. are reading up on Henry.

Of course plenty of other people would go forth with their content regardless of audience and feel they were being true to themselves. I feel like i'm being true to my etiquette-loving harming-enriching badass self by keeping things somewhat bland-- but hopefully well-written.

One of the reasons i was psyched to be invited to this blog network is that i feel like i can write about the topics i'm starting to accumulate that just wouldn't really do for the Henry blog. Nothing terribly juicy, just things that i want to deal with really openly in a way that maybe i couldn't knowing my GG was reading.

Of course this is not the night for these terribly controversial posts because i'm way, way sick and having a hard time getting sentences to come out straight. Just consider this an ode to the network that's been banging around in my head for awhile.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sleep-training... ha!

I wax eloquent (read: ranty) on the subject of parenting books over here. Please, please chime in with your thoughts and sage advice. Help!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


A post about what it's like to be in psychoanalysis. It's just like being in a New Yorker cartoon!

My Brilliant Career

Rian is due to wake up any second now but thought I should un-bury the ghost of my careers-past, those that have never seen the light of day on a resume:

- Babysitter
- Samosa maker
- Coffee barrista - until I got sacked for the 1st time
- Cleaner - now I always tip the cleaners at hotels, glad I 'moved on'
- Laundromat attendant - terrible terrible job, having to do other peoples laundry
- Chef at a gay-lesbian cafe - I totally made up a resume for this but was really broke.
- Coffee barrista - 2nd time got fired
- Hostess at a massage parlour - 'spa' as I like to call it now but I got lots of tips!
- Hotel receptionist at a gay hotel - one of the rooms was called the 'dungeon', need I say more
- Telemarketer for Concordia U - sadly, I was really good at it and won all the nightly incentive prizes
- Shop clerk in a ugly sweater store

Wow, colourful, eh? And that doesn't even have my professional jobs working at the UN, with HIV+ pregnant women, fair trade, development in E. Africa and now infectious diseases.

New York Movies

Hey all,

Was watching "Home at the End of the World" last night (started promising with high death count, a fair amount of sex, wanking and weed but skip the last 45 min of 'happy families' when they move out of NYC...) and I was thinking, I don't think I've ever seen a really really bad movie about New York City.

Woody Allen flicks - good. Die Hard with a Vengeance - v good. Usual Suspects - also v good. Even Splash I thought was good.
My big thought for the day...

Who says Bigger is Better?

I've been lamenting the size of my breasts pretty much since I hit puberty - they've always been far too big for my liking. I've just never been comfortable with them. I've always felt like they are getting in between me and every tank top, bathing suit, normal bra, or strapless dress I've ever wanted to wear. I don't mean to whine, but to be honest I've always felt a little bit cursed and limited by my ample bosom.

I'm 5' 2" with a pretty small frame, so, apart from my head, they're the biggest thing one me. I have always gotten alot of (unwanted) attention in that region. If it were up to me, I'd wave a magic wand, give myself a small B Cup and call it a day. For as long as I can remember, I've felt uncomfortable and unproportioned. Anyone who knows me well has no doubt listened to me complain about this topic more than once.

To add to my already battered self-image, my closest girlfriend, Michelle, has tiny boobs, so I spent many formative years observing her wearing anything she wanted, often bra-less. Again, don't mean to whine, but that was hard - It still is sometimes.

And it's not just about not being able to wear stuff. There's a major comfort factor, too. Having large breasts is just plain uncomfortable. Especially in the summertime.

I'm that girl who can't ever seem to find the right bra. I hate wearing a bra, but I'm far too large not to. I'm always tugging and pushing things around in there to re-adjust. And any bra that comes in my size is undoubtedly ugly. When I go to the gym I have to wear 2 sports bras. I have to buy my bathing suit top an bottom separately: S bottom, XL Top. You get the picture, I've got big boobs and they annoy me.

When I was in university I was a large D cup. Which at the time, I thought was huge.

When I was in my 20's I discovered a bra at Marks & Spencer called the "Minimizer", I bought one in every style and color. What a godsend. Thanks to that bra I was able to focus on something other than the size of my boobs for awhile. (By the way, M&S also carry the "Maximizer").

By the time I hit my 30's I'd pretty much made peace with my body.

And then I got pregnant.

At first I was optimistic, I thought, "There's no way that they'll get bigger, they're already big enough to feed 4 babies, why would they get bigger?". But then, against all reason, they began to grow. Just a little bit at first - I went from a D cup to DD. "This is fine," I thought. " I'm pregnant. it's natural. I can handle this". But it didn't stop there. Next, I had to buy a pack of bra extenders in order to squeeze myself into the DD. Then I switched to sports bras. Then I had to buy a big ole Bravado bra that comes in M, M+, and M++, as opposed to normal sizes. It was official, I was off the charts, I'd graduated from the world of conventional bra sizing.

But it wasn't until I gave birth and I found myself busting out of an F cup that I truly hit rock bottom. That's where I am now. I'd really like to trust nature & trust that my body knows what it's doing. But something just doesn't feel right here. There's not a day that goes by that I don't daydream of having smaller boobs. And on my most extreme days, I daydream of plastic surgery. Trouble is, I don't really want to do anything that extreme. Plus I'd like to have more kids and I don't want to do anything to jeopardize being able to nurse them.

These breasts make me feel like the frumpy Queen. I've resigned myself to wearing huge, shapeless tops and strategically places scarves in order to conceal my ailment. I had to go to my husband's formal Christmas work party last night. I wore a poncho.

I know I really should be grateful that they are healthy & bountiful breasts instead of focusing on their size. But that's easier said than done. I'm really bummed out. I spend alot of time wondering what they'll look like when I'm done nursing. Whether they'll get smaller. Whether I'll always feel this deformed.

And perhaps the cruelest irony is that since I'm nursing, each day affords me countless opportunities to gaze upon / gawk at my bigger-than-F cups and think, "What I wouldn't give to have my D cups back".

This is my favorite thing to rant about. Sorry it's so long. But to tell the truth, it could have been much longer.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

how to kill a few hours on the internet

At 8:30 this morning, the phone rang.

It was our teenaged babysitter, telling us she had mono, and couldn't babysit for us tonight. She tried to find a replacement, but couldn't.

That's why I'm blogging at midnight on a Saturday. Well, this Saturday, anyway. It's not like we go out all the other Saturdays, and I just happened to get stuck home tonight.

So I found this nifty extension for Firefox, and I've been playing with it for like three hours now. That can't bode well for my future productivity. Anyway, if you're a Firefox user, check it out--StumbleUpon. Go ahead, I'll wait.

It's sort of like the Amazon recommendation for websites (if you liked The Onion, you're sure to love Television Without Pity!). I may never read an actual book again. (okay, that's an exaggeration)

It ain't no Dirty Dancin'

You know that scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby discovers the staff bar and walks in amidst girating, sweating bodies and meets the lovely Patrick Swayze? I have to admit that when I moved to Lake Louise, I was expecting evening upon evening of gyrating bodies of my own. Alas, not quite. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is a tiny ski town in Alberta, 45 minutes West of Banff - it's the typical tourist town, filled with Japanese tour groups who do the tour between Vancouver to Calgary in 2 days flat and ski bums who smoke too much weed.

Leaving Ontario post-uni, hubby (then mere bfriend) and I backed out of my parents' driveway to begin the drive cross-Canada and never looked back. I remember feeling elated, so freakin' excited to FINALLY get away. Funny, we never even discussed when we would be back. It was just understood that it was just not an option (oddly - we never actually discussed getting married or having kids either. Maybe we need to work on communication?!?).

We both worked at Chateau Lake Louise (yes, the grand one in all the photos) - In the 3 years we were there, I worked Banquets, Front Desk and Concierge. Hubby worked in Food Stores - the warehouse where all the food & liquor arrives for the 5 restaurants. It was funny, the 'boys in food stores' got to all wear black head to toe and everyone was intimidated by them. I used to love sneaking into Food Stores and stealing rasberries from the giant freezers... It also meant I had an 'in' with the Executive Chef - I was the only waitress he didn't make cry on a daily basis. Every day, I would have lunch with the Food Stores boys in the staff caf - it was 5 guys dressed head to toe in black and me, dressed in my heritage uniform - think LARGE burgundy skirt, frilly white top, burgundy vest (always attractive) and a flowered necktie. I was the envy of all - or so I thought...

On days off, we went hiking, skiing, snowshoeing or just hung out with roomates (we had to live in staff accommodation with 4 others). Yes, we did drink quite a bit and yes, there may have been some drugs. Once a week, we would make the trek to Banff (45 minutes drive away) to buy some over-priced groceries, treat ourselves to lunch at St. James' Gate (yummy brie & strawberry sandwiches and potato, leek and ham soup - I can still taste it....Delish!). True fact - if you needed to buy underwear, you had to drive to Calgary - 3 hours away! Banff was filled with Canadiana stores and souvenir shops. After 3 years, driving 3 hours to buy underwear and paying $5 for a bag of chips got old. Hubby and I packed up, and ended up here, in Vancouver (well, there was a 3 month stint in Thailand but that's another post).

Kris - hope this was enough to let your mind wander - your turn!

Battling Bugs - the secret weapons!

Hey all,

Just thought I should post some do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do advice, coming from my favorite 'microbe hunter' Dr. Philip Tierno who discovered toxic shock syndrome. In the battle against bugs, did you know that you can prevent 95% of all sicknesses like colds, flu, meningitis, diarrheal diseases, samonella, hepatitis A, RSV, etc. by proper handwashing? Handwashing! So simple yet none of of us do it properly or often enough. Millions of lives could be saved every year!

1. First wet your hands and apply liquid or clean bar soap.

2. Next rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces.

3. Continue for 10 - 15 seconds. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs. Be sure to rub between fingers, around nailbeds, under figernails, jewelry, and the back of your hands. Repeat. If your taps don't shut off automatically use disposable paper towel to shut off the taps.

4. Rinse well and dry your hands.

Dr. Tierno suggests proper handwashing many many many times a day! The usual after the bathroom, before you make food, after changing the baby, etc. but also like when you first come into your house.

Also, for those of you who get sick a lot, BLEACH should be your best friend! Even a small dilution of bleach will kill all sort of bad deadly bugs (SARS, HIV, e coli, avian flu and more all die in bleach) so use it frequently in the bathroom and kitchen, on door handles, light switches, etc. Bleach should also be part of your emergency kit (a few drops in polluted water, let it stand an hour and presto! Fairly safe drinking water!).

Kids toys (and the kitchen sink) are the dirtiest items in your house! Bleach and rinse well as often as you can! I'm all for kids being exposed to some dirt and germs but totally against knowingly testing Rian's immune system with things that could kill him. E. Coli outbreaks have recently happened here - one child placed on kidney dialysis at BC Children's Hospital - and Ontario so be cautious...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Ask not for whom the nasal bulb tolls...

Sam and I are sick. Again. If you've been counting along with us via my blog, you'll know that this makes it our THIRD cold since Sam was born. And that's not even counting the time he was hospitalized for four days with a viral infection.

Jesus H. Christ. I know the average kid is supposed to get six colds a year, but could we get a little breathing room in between, please? And why do I have to get dragged into things? I thought I left my mucus-encrusted childhood behind me long ago.

Here's how ridiculous it is: We had a cold over a month ago. Sam's went away after a week, mine after two weeks (and WTF is up with that?). But mine turned into a respiratory infection, which I'm still getting over. So now I have symptoms for two different overlapping ailments. That's just not right.

(Wah wah wah. Yes, thank you, I would like some cheese to go with this whine.)

Bad news: Sam seems to have inherited my immune system, which is roughly that of a 92-year-old Victorian invalid.

Good news: I've finally figured out the correct usage of the nasal bulb. I have a feeling this is going to be a handy skill to have.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Don't make me put a hoodie on my baby

My baby is big for her age. Mostly this is a good thing; for instance, when she was a newborn, I never felt like she was particularly fragile (in fact, at 9 pounds, 3 ounces, she was pretty darn sturdy). But there are a few disadvantages, and one of them is that I have a hard time finding clothes for her.

A is 7 1/2 months old, but she's wearing 12-month clothes. This is a problem because the clothing manufacturers seem to assume that 12-month-olds have different clothing needs than younger babies. A spends a lot of time either rolling on the floor or being held. I like to put her in onesies and pants, or overalls, or one-piece rompers--things that are a) easy to get on and off, and b) don't ride up and expose her chubby belly. However, these things are nowhere to be found in her size in the places where I shop. (Mostly Target and the Carter's outlet store, because I'm cheap like that.)

The 12-month clothes are not baby clothes. They are little child clothes. Frankly, some of them look like they were made for miniature teenagers. T-shirts with appliques, hoodies, bootcut corduroy pants. Don't get me wrong, they are cute as all getout, but they are not practical. The pants don't have any crotch snaps; they barely have any elastic at the waist. Am I really supposed to yank these things over my baby's diapered butt several times a day? Am I supposed to wrestle her in and out of a hoodie all day when she barely tolerates getting dressed once in the morning? And what's up with the pajamas? Babies wear footed one-piece pajamas that snap or zip down the front; 12-month old children apparently wear two-piece pajamas with no feet.

So what's a mom to do? I guess I already know the answer: suffer until she's old enough for the 12-month clothes to make sense. But I wish someone would make some big baby clothes.

Ah, Shucks...

Thanks for the warm welcome Tammy, fellow Sam-mom. On that basis alone, you're cool in my books too (blush..). In point form, here's where I'm at:

* Originally from Onterrible (yup, I'm one of THOSE!) who moved out West post-uni. to get away from the parentals (let's be honest now).
* Worked in Lake Louise, AB for 3 years with hubby Neil - living the stereotypical life of ski bum. No responsibility, too much weed and hanging out with the elk...
* Moved to Vancouver 5 years ago and have decided this is far enough out East, we're here to stay.
* Have little one Samuel Arthur, almost 7 months ago after hellish end of pregnancy - 17 days late, 29 hours, emerg. c section - friggin' big head (hence the I love trouble shot). For the first few months, Sam was referred to as 'gangsta sam' 'cause of a distinct 'I'm gonna mess you up if you touch my momma' snarl. Is happy, content boy who laughs lots (except when in public, I find myself saying 'he's usually really happy!) except when teething (can we say 7 teeth in 7 weeks?! With another one on the way; that or happy child has turned into devil child...).

To be honest, WWWAAAYYYYY too much time of my day is spent dickin' around on the computer, which is how I ended up here... spent some time lurking in the background, but was having so much fun thought it was high time i join the party ('cause really, it's the only kind of partying I'm gonna get these days! Except for mom's night out... which is another story...).


Anne-Marie is in da house

(Sorry for the Ali G speak, everybody. A temporary sleep-deprivation-induced lapse of judgment.)

Anne-Marie has just joined us! She's super-cool mom to an equally super-cool baby, and I'm not just saying that because his name happens to be Sam. But I'll step back and let her tell us more about herself.

Welcome, Anne-Marie!

Blog Against Racism Day

Here's a link to my post in honor of Blog Against Racism day (today's the 50th anniversary of Rosa Park's arrest, for you Canadians in the house).