Friday, March 30, 2007

I love Maraka

“If Mittens chose to save Baby Penguin based on his beliefs and Mittens’ beliefs are not in his direct control, does Mittens really have free will?”

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Yesterday Julia rolled over for the first time. I was not expecting it at all and am now going to have to be a lot more careful when I lay her on the bed, couch, etc. (don't worry she was on the floor when she figured it out and so far it's only happened once but I'm not going to chance it anyway).

She continues to grow like mad and I'm convinced it's at a faster pace than Hunter (I'll have to compare their height, weight, etc. at her next check up). I could just be imagining it because I want to hang onto the little baby a bit longer but below is a picture of Hunter in the same jammies Julia is wearing above and he was old enough to be using the jumper so he had to be at least three or four months old...Speaking of Hunter, this morning he let me sleep in (well kind of - he did pop in around 6 when he woke up and I sent him to play in his room until a more decent time) and when I woke up not only was he dressed in clothes that didn't clash, he had also already brushed his teeth for the day (wet toothbrush in the living room and bits of blue around his mouth to prove it) - he is definitely growing up.
I can't believe how fast this time at home is passing - I just want to slow the clock down and get better at cherishing every day because before I know it I'll be back at work (I know it's months a way but the first two and a half months have flown by and time seems to go at an inexplicable rate once there are children around to measure it by).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Real Moms Contribution

I've been tagged for the Real Moms meme. Here goes...

  • Real Moms lead fulfilling lives from which they don't need to be rescued by singletons with fabulous social lives (though sometimes real moms peruse the classifieds and fantasize about the lives they would lead in lofts or one bedroom apartments downtown).
  • Real Moms Are horrified to hear themselves saying something their mother used to say that they swore they never would (though real moms have a new found respect and appreciation for their moms).
  • Real Moms Don't need to be judged by anybody else because chances are they are already judging themselves more harshly than anyone else would.
  • Real Moms worry like they never imagined they could pre-momdom - these babies came to me absolutely perfect and I'm only going to screw them up, please God let me not screw them up too bad.
  • Real Moms are incredibly proud of their children but are trying really hard not to be that mother that talks up her children ALL THE TIME.
  • Real Moms love to go for beers after work and don't even feel guilty (most of the time).
  • Real Moms appreciate peace and quiet but when they get it find it really quiet.
  • Real Moms forget what it is like to have any real privacy and completely understand why that place they babysat at when they were a teenager had locks on the outside of the kids doors (even if they wouldn't consider it themselves).
  • Real Moms don't think of themselves as real moms all the time because aren't real moms older than this?
  • Real Moms don't always follow the rules, e.g. no picture below even though the assignment specifically called for a picture.

My next job is to tag other moms for this as well, W., Nancy, you're up. Any lurking moms, it's time to de-lurk and respond to the challenge. Mum, I know you don't have a blog but I'm tagging you to respond via the comments, you too Jenn (if you're reading).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Loving this

A website called Real Mom Truths. Everyone is asked to submit their real mom truth - "Real Moms ...", here are some of the titles: Are still real women; Have Breast Milk Stains on their Couches; Drink at Play Dates; Piss Themselves Laughing; Are Imperfect; Let You Eat Chocolate for Breakfast. I will have to contribute my own but in the meantime I'm reading through them nodding my head and smiling. It's also been great for finding some new blogs to read.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Catch 22 Randomness

Ever since I saw an interview where Valerie Pringle (or was it Pamela Wallin?) went on a rant about how everybody always misuses the phrase catch 22 I've wanted to read Joseph Heller's Catch-22. It's a permanent fixture on my list of books to pick up but always seems to get bumped by something else - something more current, something less about war, something more suited to an afternoon of escapism. I will have to make sure to read it while on maternity leave. Not only will reading Catch-22 likely be enjoyable because people who have bought it from Chapters obviously have good taste since they've also purchased Vonnegut and Salinger, when I finally read the book I'll be in on the joke and will be able to sit back and act superior when others misuse the phrase, or better yet go on my own rant about how people always misuse it. The perk of not having read it? I can still misuse the phrase in blissful ignorance (almost, that interview will gnaw at me a little bit).

Anyway, as it turns out this post has nothing to do with the phrase or the book beyond the first paragraph, but this way I will have to read that book so that I can follow up later. While there is no reason, sometimes there is a method to my madness :)

What I love about blogging is that it's (like W says) like going for coffee with one of your friends when you read their posts and comments. It gives you a little bit of insight into what is going on in their world for that moment and lets you share a little bit of what's going on in yours. I notice when I talk to friends on the phone that read my blog (or those that have one that I read) that we sometimes have a bit less to talk about because we've just gone for coffee (to make further use of the analogy) and already know what's going on. What makes it different from sharing a nice warm cup of coffee (or lemon tea with honey) with a friend, though, is that our conversations might be in completely different places - I might be droning on and on about something trivial like catch-22 (see how it all pulls together?) only to surf over to a friend's blog and see that something life changing is happening in her world. I would never monopolize a conversation whining about how I'm struggling to decide what colour to paint my spare bedroom while my friend sat there with tears running down her cheeks because her sister just lost her baby. But that's exactly what happens sometimes in blog world - I'm sitting here indulging myself while someone else is pouring their heart out. I almost feel like a jerk for my trivial post until I remember that if they are reading it they are probably looking for the distraction - just like at coffee when they ask about what paint colours I'm considering for my spare bedroom. Any suggestions?


Jumped on the scale today since the six week mark is coming fast and I was curious to see how much of the baby weight has come off. I knew none of my pre-pregnancy pants fit yet (not even the fat pants) but I was still hopeful the number would be better. So far I've only lost 15 of the 50 pounds (yes 50) that I put on with this pregnancy. The pregnancy books says those who gained the recommended 25 pounds usually lose it by the end of the second month without dieting but those who overindulged (uh, guilty) won't find that the weight magically disappears (what? weight doesn't magically disappear? I'm shocked). I'm at least hoping the other ten that normal people would gain will come off by the time Julia is two months old.

When I was pregnant with Hunter I gained almost 60 pounds and I'm sure I wore my maternity pants for about two months afterwards. That time I was smart enough not to weigh myself until about three months after he was born so it wasn't as depressing and I know that by about six or seven months post-partum I weighed less (about 15 pounds less) than I did when I got pregnant so I know it can be done, but today the numbers are so daunting.

It is exactly five months until our ten year wedding anniversary (unbelievable) so I figured today would be a good starting point for posting monthly on the progress. While I know I'm not supposed to diet until Julia is eating other foods I can make sure that I'm putting the best fuel possible into my body and I can step up the exercise beyond the daily walks. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


This is Hunter with his best friend Liam. They have known each other since they were 18 months old and have stayed close even though Liam moved across the city last year. Lately, one day out of every weekend has been spent with Hunter either hanging out or going somewhere with Liam's family or Liam hanging out or going somewhere with us. When Liam comes over I know we're in for an afternoon of Thomas the Tank Engine playing and Thomas movie watching - to say the two of them together are obsessed with trains would be an understatement. On Friday, Liam's mom accepted a job that will see their family move to Kamloops; they finalized the sale on their house this afternoon while Liam was here; they move May 15th. It will be a huge loss for Hunter and for us (I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it is to find a great kid that your kid likes and has normal parents - you should see, or worse yet, hear some of the parents at Hunter's gymnastics class). While I'm sure Hunter is too young to grasp the full impact of the move, Jason and I can both clearly remember when our good friend's moved away when we were younger. For Jason, it was Leon who moved to Sylvan Lake (he still talks fondly of his friend and how his family visited Sylvan Lake so Jay could see him after the move). For me, it was my friend Adrienne, who moved to Calgary (I still remember her fondly and we also visited her in Calgary and she came back to visit a few times too). Liam has lots of extended family here so I'm sure Hunter will get to see him when they come back to visit but I'm hoping the upside of this move will be a nice holiday that includes a stop in Kamloops so Hunter can visit his buddy. In the meantime, we'll be making sure Hunter and Liam get as much time as possible to play together before May 15th hits.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Woman makes sweater from cat hair!

Had to post this in case anyone hasn't seen it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


It is finally feeling like spring here, yesterday it was plus ten and it is amazing to me the difference a nice upturn in the weather can make. Why do I always think autumn is my favourite season again? I could understand it when I lived in northern Alberta because there is nothing like the trees and the smell of fall there, but here? I think spring is the winner by far. In celebration of the arrival of spring (I hope) I accomplished the following yesterday:
Nice long walk with the family (twice);
Cookie and muffin baking;
Photo appointment booked;
Hunter's dresser cleaned out (again - the kid is growing like mad);
Julia's change table cleaned out (she's already outgrown stuff, I can't believe it);
Registered in gym classes (Julia and I are doing yoga); and,
Relaxing bath with a good book (Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk - highly recommended if you have a strong stomach and like his stuff - I think it may be his best).
Yesterday was so good, I don't even feel guilty that little to nothing was accomplished today.

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's not the Thought that Counts

It's the action. If it was the thought that counted everyone would be tickled with the fabulous Christmas cards that I wrote for them last year (and the year before) but only thought about sending. Don't worry, they are packed away with my Christmas stuff so that next year I can be reminded not to procrastinate again even though that theory was disproved this past Christmas when I found the 2005 cards as I was packing the 2006 cards away. I know this but it didn't alter my behaviour. Maybe for Christmas in 2007 you'll receive not one but three cards (this way you can be sure to have a wonderful 2006, and know that I was overjoyed to hear about your new child, now two).

I'm thinking about this because I have a stack of thank you cards written out sitting on top of my china cabinet. I've been planning to take Julia and Hunter for pictures so that I can include a professional picture in with each of the thank you cards (especially since I didn't get any pictures sent at Christmas, though trust me next year, you're getting a pile). Clearly, I had forgotten that I am a pathological procrastinator. But I'm starting a list* and I'm putting book photo appointment at the top. Now that it is written down I will get it done, eventually.

I think when major changes happen in our lives there is some opportunity for reinvention, or at least I like to fantasize that there is. When starting a new job you can come in with a persona different than the one you developed at your previous one - at least for a short time. When I was thinking about my maternity leave I was imagining all the things I would do with Hunter and the new babe - how I would have the opportunity to reinvent myself as a mother. How I'd have so much time to do the things that working full time seems to get in the way of. How I could actually be the mother I wish I was. In my mind I had unlimited amounts of time and the weather was perfect - we were at the park everyday and I was baking cookies, making play dough, doing crafts, etc. when we weren't (or when I wasn't at the gym getting fit). What I didn't think about was that without fundamental change, reinvention is short-lived and I'm not sure I'm up for fundamental change, at least now right now.

I had also forgotten that sometimes the weather is terrible and you don't even want to set foot outside for any great length of time let alone take your kid to a park with three feet of snow when it's wet to play on metal play structures. I had forgotten that in the first few months of a new baby's life just getting your basic needs met is an accomplishment. I had forgotten that I had forgotten anything that wasn't absolute bliss from when Hunter was a babe. I can only hope that their memories are as forgiving as mine and that they see that my intentions are good even if my follow through isn't always the greatest.

*For those of you unfamiliar with the procrastinator pathology, list making is huge. Not only does creating a ridiculously long list (with fake deadlines to trick yourself into getting that rush that comes only when you are under the wire) allow you to track just how little you've accomplished (thereby creating the previously mentioned rush), it also serves as an important tool in the whole procrastination process because writing and re-writing lists? that takes time and what better way to start a day that re-writing yesterday's list?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Polka Dot Princess

Blog title courtesy of Jason. Julia is one month old today. That one month has gone by already is unimaginable. We celebrated by doing such fabulous things as filling out the paperwork to get the spelling of her name corrected on her birth certificate and taking her to the Doctor to get poked and prodded. After said poking and prodding, we have confirmation that she is doing fabulous, in case there was any doubt. She now weighs 8lbs 8oz, has started smiling (mostly at Hunter who puts his face right into hers), and watches everything that is going on with seemingly keen interest. It's amazing the impact a little person who sleeps 90% of the time has had on our lives - she captured all of our hearts immediately and I can't imagine our lives without her.

The Family Zombie

We are walking around the house (and work) like a bunch of zombies today and it's not only because collectively we are breathing through one nostril. It's also because Jason made the horrendous mistake of buying me the SIMS2. He obviously forgot that when we had the original SIMS I completely gave my life over to them - ensuring they were showering, eating, getting promotions, keeping their relationships healthy, and just generally leading fulfilling lives. The downstream result (did I just type that)? All of those things were suffering in my own life as I was up for hours manufacturing story lines for my SIMS, searching the web for the most fashionable clothes and accessories for my SIMS, and decoding the SIM language (yes, if you play it enough you begin to understand it). I'm pretty sure we'll be better able to set boundaries this time, though, since we do have two children now. Um, um, uh, I don't have time to get to the point of this blog entry because I've got to see if I can get Cassandra Goth to marry Keith Stevens so that he can have enough money to put a pool in (I haven't found all the cheats for unlimited simoleons this time around) and I have got to get that done before the baby needs to eat.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Keeping the Fire Extinguisher Handy

31 candles go on the birthday cake today and I'm a little worried Hunter is going to insist on putting them all on even though he tells me they are making me a cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Should be fun!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Is it possible to have a blog that is only about writer's block?

Judy Blume was a staple of my pre-teens. For the most part I found it easier to relate to the minor characters in her stories like the friend that didn't tell the other two she already had her period in Just as Long as We're Together (or was it Are You There God It's Me Margaret, they kind of blend together after almost twenty years). I was more inclined to wish that things would slow down unlike her characters who were usually praying for things to speed up. Still, I found her characters to ring true even though I rarely, if ever, discussed any such things so openly with my friends let alone formed a club about it.

Of her three books written for adults, two I read so long ago I don't really remember them, the other one, Summer Sisters, I still pick up and read once in a while when I'm desperate for a quick afternoon read (I am seriously a reading escapist - I've read at least a half dozen novels since starting maternity leave and was actually reading one to keep my mind off contractions when Julia was on her way - books are my drugs). The thing I remember most clearly from when I first read Summer Sisters was this part where one of the main characters, Vix, catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror when she is going through major emotional turmoil and sees that her face betrays nothing. A poker face at the most unhelpful time.

I'm awful at not betraying a terrible or terribly good hand at cards. I have great difficulty not betraying a level of arrogance when in arguments about work, policy, or politics. But when it comes to things that actually matter I think I sometimes conceal myself a little too well. I place an unfair burden on those close to me to be really good at discerning my tells and striking the balance that won't lead to my flight instinct. I think that's why I'm struggling with this blog writing: it has the capacity to expose me. Because of the dooce factor I'm not sure I can stay safely hidden behind cutting and cynicial comments about politics and policy, where I think I'm at my funniest. I think fear of exposure is why when I thought about writing seriously I was attracted to journalism where the job is to lay others bare or report the facts without inserting any part of yourself into the story. I think it's probably why I'm a good policy writer - policy writing is supposed to be emotionless.

Lately, my flight instinct on this blog has been pretty high. I could just drop it: that would be soo much easier and I think I could get away with it too using the new baby as an excuse. Truth is, I don't really want to drop it, though; I like being challenged in this way and even if it remains sub par I think it will help keep the old writing muscle from getting too flabby over the next 10 months (Oh God, I'm already down to ten months).

Working through this has changed the way I read books as well. I'm looking for the patterns in the author's tales - what is it the author is trying to work through as they repeatedly revisit similar characters or plots? All authors do it no matter how talented - they tell the same stories, make the same points, again and again, each time working it out in a different way. I wonder what Judy Blume's body of work says about her? At the end of my maternity leave, what will this blog say about me (other than the fact that I had great difficulty actually writing anything)?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Family Album

As you may or may not notice there is a new link on the right of the page called Family Album. This is where I'll be posting weekly pictures of the family (okay mostly the kids). I figure this will be a lot better for family and friends that come here for the pictures and not the narcissism. I'll still post pics here when it makes sense but the other blog will be the place for ridiculous amounts of pictures that only immediate family can truly appreciate.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Happy International Women's Day

A day to celebrate how far we've come and to contemplate how far we still have to go.

I've been using today to think about some of the amazing women I know (or have known). In Women's Studies 100 (at least mine) one of the assignments is to write about a woman who has influenced you. When my cousin took the course she interviewed a prominent political figure for the assignment. A brilliant idea that I may have stolen had I taken the course after her not before her. For me the assignment was more personal - I had great difficulty narrowing down my subject matter. I could write about family members - my Mum, my Grandma C (who is somewhat of a legend in our family), childhood friends who had shaped and changed me - Jenn with her ability to capture everyone in her realm with her warmth, Nancy for her rebellion and her humour, Adrienne for her incredible strength even as a young girl. Being in my first year of University I hadn't even had the privilege of really knowing any of the amazing women I had met and would meet in University because that would have made the task even harder. Ten years later, it would be a million times harder.

Ultimately, I ended up writing about Jean Stuve, my first boss and one of the most intriguing women I have ever had the good fortune to know. Jean was in her seventies when I knew her and was incredibly giving and open-minded. I think I knew her at the right time in my life, though, because she was also incredibly stubborn and had I known her as an adult we may have butted heads more and I'm afraid that may have meant that I didn't listen or learn as much as I could have. As it was, I learned a lot. I knew Jean for about three years and picked up bits and pieces of her history in that time - it was obvious through her stories that the heartbreaking challenges she faced in her life were the very things that contributed to the tremendous woman she was. I find it reassuring to know that personal tragedies and challenges have the capacity to immeasurably improve who we are but I'm also happy to report that there are less painful ways to sculpt ourselves and that is through the people we meet in our lives. Jean passed away a couple years ago and I have a couple of regrets about the paper I wrote about her: one is that I didn't phone her and interview her because it would have been a great opportunity to learn more about her and when it came right down to it I didn't feel that I knew nearly enough; the other is that I didn't send the paper to her or at least tell her how much knowing her meant to me.

In honour of Jean and of International Women's Day I'm going to lay down my first writing challenge to my fellow bloggers (and myself). Write a blog entry about a woman who has influenced who you are. Better yet, do this more than once.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Neglected like a journal after January 10th

I'm a needy blog reader. When I had more time on my hands I would actually nag my fellow bloggers about why they didn't update more frequently (this was of course when they weren't my fellow bloggers because I didn't have a blog yet). I could totally relate when certain bloggers put others on probation for not updating - I mean really how hard could it be to come up with daily content to assuage my boredom or feed my procrastination? Now I know better. Even though I have enough content floating around in my head for a few weeks of entries (at least) I've been finding it hard to actually sit down and write something that anyone would want to read. As with anything else, the longer I wait the worse it gets - I imagine days turning into weeks and weeks turning into months with no entries any better than a mass email. Pretty soon I'LL end up on probation, or worse yet this blog will end up being like another failed attempt at keeping a journal (I don't know if I should use diary or journal, diary kind of makes me think of an eight year old girl and a pink book with lock and key hiding under a mattress so I'm going to go with journal for now). So to make resuming blogging a little less daunting, this is my small step, my entry that once I get through I'll be back on track.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Amazing Death Predictor

says... Cammy, at age 52 you will die from a lethal overdose of methamphetamines. Figures. Not as cool at Pat's predicted fiery golf cart crash involving alcohol. Find out your own fate at: