Wednesday, April 28, 2010


We don't have dessert every night. Often it is fruit of some kind, if we do have it. But lately, Xander has decided he has to ask each and every night, "What's for dessert, Mom?"

The first answer I gave him tonight (randomly, off the top of my head was, "Monkey turds."

Which got a big blank face, as we've never used the word turd before. Ray and I translated it to poop and Xander laughed and replied, "No, really???"

So, again, randomly, I said, "Jumping beans!" And Ray and I came up with a story about how they jump in your tummy and in your mouth, and even all over the table, so you have to catch them first.

I could swear Xander actually rolled his eyes at us!

And the crowning glory was when he said, "Besides poop and beans, WHAT are we having for dessert?"

:snickering: Me thinks this boy might be on to us.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's Keeping Me Away

What, you may wonder, has been keeping me away from my blog for 11 days. I want to claim it is all interesting stuff, but some is the mundane results of another flu...and now allergies galore. And some of it is from catching up at work. And the house. Did I mention that I have suspicions that laundry creates itself while we sleep. The towels are having parties at night and making themselves dirty. I swear that is the only reasonable explanation.

And since I don't have enough to do, I have joined Twitter and an online class for magazine writing.

But the biggest reason is reading. I finally managed to get enough time to finish Guy Gavriel Kay's latest book, Under Heaven. If I weren't already married and had my own kids. Plus he is married and has a life. And if it weren't extremely creepy, I might proposition that man. Because really, if the stuff he puts in print is that good (and believe me, it is that good), then imagine what pillow talk would flush out of his brain!

And now I am back to Jacqueline Carey's second Kushiel series (second book in). I have to thank my friend Tara for recommending these books. They are absolutely beautiful and I end up reading far into the night and wishing there was more time to read.

So I have abandoned writing on this blog for stolen moments with my book. Oh, and for the record, I read the Guy Kay book in the traditional dead-tree version and am reading Kushiel's on my e-book reader.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Xander's Favourite Song

Xander loves to listen to Daniel Powter's Bad Day. In fact, he sings along every time. Something about this song appeals to him on a soul level, from what I can tell. My morning started off with Daniel and Xander singing along, so I thought I would share.
(BTW, this is not the version that Xander sings to, but I couldn't get that version on YouTube.)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Clean Out

Liam is a few months past two now. When Xander was two, we knew that we wanted another baby. Liam is two and we are both more towards the no end than the yes end. But Liam has been a hard little nut to crack, in terms of food and sleep and just generally settling life out. I could change my mind, but the more I think about going back to having a tiny one and doing all of that all over again, the less inclined I am to make that journey. Only time will tell in the end, but if you are betting, my recommendation wouldn't be to bet on another child here.

So I am sorting through clothes and getting rid of the ones we are done with. I keep telling myself that they are just clothes. A few I have kept, because the memories are so strong of the moments when the kids wore them. But most of the 12 month to 18 month clothing has now gone to a new home.

The best part about this is that they've gone to our daycare provider, K. She has a little boy, Nick, who is almost a year(and he is the cutest thing...don't tell his mom that I just want to kiss his cheeks all the time!) Plus, Liam thinks that Nick is a combination of his little brother and his best friend. (Funny enough, Xander and Lexi, K's daughter who is only a few months younger than Xman, think the same thing of each other.) What I am driving at is that we are fortunate enough to have K and her family as good friends, who feel a lot like extended family. And it feels good to pass things on to them. Like just passing it through the family.

Even when you know you are over 90% sure you are done, still there are hesitations. But as I am going through and passing clothing on, I find that it feels great too. A little more space. A few less things. Somehow, it seems like clearing things out is giving my brain space to be creative and think and go forward.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Ray and I talk in the car. We always have these deep, meaningful conversations as we drive a distance. The longer the distance, the more time to delve into these thoughts. We love the long-distance drives...and the kids are becoming used to them. Last weekend we went to Stratford and back, which amounts to a total of about 3 hours of chat time.

We talked about identity.

Think back to when you were young: your identity was probably about who your parents were and what they did, to what you liked to do, to the place you lived. When you go to university or college, the first questions people ask are: What's your major? and Where are you from? Which are identity questions. Now, as a mother, I find that there are questions about vaccinating, babywearing, working in and out of the home, and breastfeeding. Which are veiled identity questions (are you a crunchy or main stream momma).

As a mother who works from home part of the time and had the kids home the other part of the time, I am in a weird camp. I breastfed my kids and wore them (Ray wore them too!) and made my own baby food. All of that says crunchy! But then I also use disposable diapers and vaccinate. Which is not so crunchy.

Identity, as it turns out, is not a definitive. It's more an ebb and flow.

But on Saturday night, Ray and I were not talking so much about female identity, but about male identity. Because men tend to identify themselves by jobs first. But what if you hate your job? Does that mean you hate yourself? What if you don't know what your job should be? What if you are between jobs? How do men define themselves in these cases?

Sometimes I think as women we have it a little easier when it comes to identity. I can be anything I want to be. My sisters fought for that for me, and I do not take that for granted. Men, on the other hand, are still defined by their jobs. Some are slowly beginning to define themselves by hobbies (which can be a replacement for the job and essentially be a job without pay in some cases). The odd man has taken on the caregiver roles that have been typically the domain of women...which is a whole other kettle of fish and not an easy path to tread for identity. And some are just meandering. Wandering through the mire of available identity, without being able to choose.

It's not so cut and dried, this identity thing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Visiting

There are always more things to do around the house. Always. But yesterday was bright and sunny and a bit warm. It didn't feel like a day to do things around the house. Despite the chaos. So we made a few phone calls to friends we don't see as often as we like and ended up in Stratford for the afternoon and most of the evening.

We had a really good time.

Ray has known Scott and Carla since he was 14. Which starts to add up. I've known Ray 15 years now, and that's beginning to make me feel like I've known his friends for a long time...and most of them are my friends too now.

One thing I love about visiting with some of our friends and breaking out of our routines is that it makes me think in different ways. Consider new ideas, new projects, and even just new angles. That was what happened for me yesterday. By the end of the evening, it was happening fast and furious, which is part of what took us so long to leave! (And that part we are paying for today with bone deep weariness. Which proves we are no longer in our early 20s. Alas.)

Hopefully we can hang on to these thoughts and the neurons will continue to fire in different directions for a few days. Maybe I will catch a few of them. What makes your brain fire up in different ways?

Also, spring visits have begun and I am tickled to be looking into 6 months of outside time and time with friends near and far. Suddenly, summer vacation seems to be almost on our doorstep.

I guess that makes yesterday's visit a two-for-one!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Out With Kids

I've been reading Her Bad Mother for a while now and today Catherine has a great post up about how babies are people too. Catherine's argument was that within reason, a parent should be able to take his or her children out in public. It's not a stretch, really. But people do discriminate against children in public. As is evidenced by about 1/2 of the comments on Catherine's blog.

Yes, kids are loud. They touch things. Sometimes they throw tantrums.

I am reminded of my friend Sherry, who used to deal with the stares, by saying to her little boy when he threw a tantrum, "Look Morgan, now you've made everyone STARE at us!" Which had a shaming effect on the audience and people would start to turn away.

You know, sometimes it is my kids who are acting badly in a store. I admit it. Xander is particularly fond of touching things or throwing tantrums in public. Most of the tantrums are caused by me thwarting his efforts for mischief. Or, heaven forbid, me disciplining him by not allowing him to have what his heart desires at that moment because he was badly behaved. And sometimes when he is running amok somewhere, it is just because I have fought 100 battles on that day and have chosen to let him run in the grocery store aisle because I really just cannot fight at that exact moment. Because, really, you do have to chose your battles and a nearly empty grocery store at 2 in the afternoon might not be the one worth fighting that day or that particular hour.

I am constantly shocked at finding out that there are so many judgments. Another friend of mine has 5 kids. They are awesome kids and reasonably behaved. And yet she is judged for having "so many kids". And they go places and do things too, so I cannot imagine the double judgment for not only having the guts to have that many children, but to take them in public too. (insert an eyeroll here at the people who think such things)

So, yes, I take my kids out in public. The shop and they dine out. Often in restaurants where people serve you, rather than fast food where we are supposed to all be segregated until our kids are some magical age.

But on the other hand, I have had people in restaurants tell me how well-behaved my kids are (may I add, on that day). And Xander loves to chat people up at the grocery store, despite his monkey business. (And really, who can blame him: the place is a smorgasbord of things to see, rails to climb on, and then there are the buttons to push to make the groceries come down the little conveyor belt!) But of late he has become helpful and sweet. Even if I am still exhausted at the end of our shopping. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

And although taking my kids in public is sometimes not fun -- who likes to have to remove a screaming child from a store??? I assure you, it is not me! -- more times than not they behave and we enjoy each other's company.

About two weeks ago, I had a clerk tell me how well behaved he was in the grocery store. And I told her it was not always so, but that if I didn't take him, he would never learn how to do it.

This is the biggest lesson of all: I take my kids out because otherwise I will have teenagers who don't know to behave and soon enough they will be adults who have no clue. I tell my kids that I trust them. That they are worthy. And that I believe they CAN do it. And on the days when it turns out they can't do it, I promise them we will try again.

It's a learning experience. For all of us.

Some days, when it is not me toting the screaming child...I look at the mother who has that child, smile and say "it's kids do it too." There's a sisterhood in that moment. Others have done it for me and it sticks in my head more than the mean, judgmental people. Because above all, it is our jobs as parents to make sure that our children grow up to be productive and respectful members of society. Mean, judgmental people be damned.

Organization and A New Love

We've been flipping rooms around. Two of them, actually. Our family room had been my office and the kids' playroom (it's a big room) and the living room had been our library and living space. I wanted to go back to having the television in the family room and my office in the library space. When the old television broke, we decided to go for the switch.

Except it isn't as easy as all that. We cleaned and painted a bit. And rearranged some furniture. But the new television goes on the wall and our entertainment unit is outdated. So where to put the DVDs and other stuff that goes along with a television? We have a hutch downstairs that is doing that job now. But when you empty that out and move it, where does the stuff in it go? And then we need a new place to put x, y, and z.

You see how this can go around for days and days, right.

We've made progress. And I am happy, despite the constant shuffle.

And last night Ray and I sat down to watch our first movie on the new television and blue ray player. We choose Sherlock Holmes. I have to say, move over Ray, because I have a new love in my life. I adore our television! It was worth the wait and the money and the hassle to get it up on the wall. All of that. It was worth it!!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


I'm not sure if it is spring, the cold that took over our house the other day, the chaos that has resulted from buying a new television (we're flipping rooms around and doing a bit of painting and a lot of reorganization), or a combination of these things. Maybe it is none of them.

But I am having a hard time getting my thoughts together and organizing them enough to write.

Since I live off my writing, this is not a good thing.

I don't have much to accomplish today: one blog for one of my clients and a resume for a neighbour. And I have been procrastinating on the resume for a while, so it has to be done. I want to do a bit of laundry, work out, do some dinner prep.

And yet, I am just slow and lazy and wandering around with my thoughts. Which may be why I haven't blogged much lately.