Saturday, September 29, 2007

OH What a Beautiful Mornin'

Today was one of those amazing late September days, dawning crisp and cool, but sunny and clear. The sky was an impossible blue, dotted with cotton candy clouds. Although it was cool, the bright sunlight kept the chill at bay. It was one of those days where absolutely everyone was outside, grabbing their chance to enjoy the last good days of summer. The Boy and I struck out early to meet the lovely Metro Mama and Cakes for a playdate in the park. It was a perfect morning.

It's crazy how much playdates have changed for me. They started out basically being a chance to hang out with other moms, enjoy adult conversation and commiseration, and (hopefully) the babies slept. Then they evolved into desperate attempts to keep curious babies out of harm's way, while snatches of dialogue floated meaninglessly over our heads. A little time passed, and we could maybe start a conversation before all hell broke loose, but hey, it was progression, right?

Now, the Boy is old enough that he is actually starting to play with the other kid. It's kind of cool, actually, and really fun to watch. The Boy peppered breakfast with excited comments like "I'm going to the park to see my friend (Cakes)." He was excited. And my normally unenterprising Boy became much more daring with the example of the intrepid Cakes. He climbed and bounced, and just let loose. It was exhilarating to watch. And exhausting. Apparently 8-month pregnant ladies are not meant to be ducking and climbing with such alacritude. But the Boy can get carried away, and ignore the fact that he should "step down" or "hold on". So follow I must.

Still, Cakes and the Boy playing together meant that Metro Mama and I were able to actually carry on a conversation with only some delays or interruptions. Good times. And at the end, after we both had the luck to change some well-timed dirty diapers (with no change table in sight, of course), the Boy leaned over to Cakes with a sneaky smile and a giggle and said "We had poo together!"

My Boy. What a sweet-talker. He's gonna drive them girls crazy one day...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Seeing Red

Many thanks for your all the lovely compliments on my new hairdo. I was hesitant to post a photo of myself in my last post because I am shockingly unphotogenic, unless I pay lots of money for a professional photographer and make-up artist. Then I look pretty good. No really - you should see my actor headshots. I barely recognize myself.

I feel obliged to mention, however, that I am not actually are redhead, I just play one in real life. That lovely titian hue is thanks to a hairstylist with a bottle who is tipped heavily to tell no one my real hair colour. Actually, I don't think he's seen my real hair colour, come to think of it. I haven't seen it in years myself. But, if we're going by the roots, I would say that my hair is actually Dirty Subway Mouse Brown.

I have spent the majority of my life convinced that I should have been born a redhead, and Somebody just messed up when He gave me brown hair. My maternal grandmother was a trueblue redhead, and as far as I'm concerned, I was slated to have those genes passed down to me. Although, I have just recently learnt that redheads with brown eyes are very uncommon due to some gene mixing thing that was was too scientific for me to understand. Or, I just got bored while reading the explanation.

I have all the many of the qualities of redhead. Distressingly fair skin and a multitude of freckles? Yup. Inability to tan, but will burn with very little sun exposure? Check. Unnatural amounts of bruising at the tiniest amount of pressure? Sigh, yes.

Temperament is almost a non-question. Redheads are known for their fiery temperaments, and, like Anne Shirley, my temper matches my hair. Mr Earth will agree that I get angry, sometimes VERY ANGRY, at things that most people would be able to handle with equanimity. Luckily for him (and me, I guess), the anger is very short-lived. I forgive easily.

Redheads are also supposed to be highly-sexed and addicted to sugar. I am most certainly addicted to one of those things. SUGAR! What were you thinking..?? I can't go a day without consuming some sweet goodness, and most days it is consumed in vast quantities. I would like to say that I am highly-sexed, but the truth is that since having kid(s), I am just too tired to think about sex a whole lot. I'd rather sit on the sofa and eat chocolate. But I suspect that if I could just have a few days of uninterrupted rest and relaxation, my libido would return.

Mark Twain said that "While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats". I definitely have many feline qualities. I am person who cherishes her "alone time", and seeks affection sporadically - at which time, I want to be petted and adored until I fall asleep on your lap. I like to view the world from my safe perch at the top of the stairs, an observer instead of an observed. I like balls of yarn, and will do tricks for treats. Wait, this is getting too weird...

Redheads have been commonly associated with witches and vampires. I do carry the mark of a witch - a mole on my left breast - according to Arthur Miller's The Crucible. One of my favourite TV shows of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I am said to resemble Willow (Alyson Hannigan), who plays a witch. Random people approach me and tell me this, actually. Although, they know her as "that band camp girl" from American Pie. My favourite costume for Hallowe'en is just to dress normally (i.e. like a geek), and do American Pie impressions all night. That's the "A" material people.

Still, natural redhead I am not. I just keep on dyeing my hair so that nobody ever knows the truth. Luckily for me, the undeniable proof that I am actually a brunette remains largely unseen by the general public. Since marriage, Mr Earth is the only person that can actually confirm that I am not ginger-by-nature. And he knows better than to let that cat out of the bag. So to speak.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Change is in the air

Whew! After several weekends of doing far more work than I like to do on the weekend (lazy creature that I am), we finally have the Boy's "Big Boy Room" in order. Well mostly, anyways. The Boy has been sleeping on a mattress on the floor à la Skid Row for the past week. The bed frame was finally delivered on Saturday morning. Mr Earth made a run Friday night to the only kids store we found that carries a bed rail meant for a platform beds. Eventhough we technically didn't get a platform bed, it essentially is one because there is no need for a boxspring. The store was all the way in Oakville and the bed rail was not cheap (of course not - don't want to make it easy). He's such a good husband.

We haven't moved all his clothes in yet, because I have to install the shelving in our makeshift "dresser". We re-purposed the old TV stand into a dresser because we're poor from buying the bed. And, we still have to find a new home for our spare TV. I suspect that one of the reasons the Boy likes his new room so much is that he thinks it comes with a TV. Think again, kiddo.

All in all, though, I think it turned out okay:

The Wall Candy. Look Boss, the planes! The planes!!

The Shelves. The re-puporsed ugly gray shelving is almost cheerful. (And yes, that is, in fact, a bear wearing handcuffs. It's a long story. But what kid's room would be complete without a bear in chains?)

The Art Corner. Where masterpieces are created everyday. That blurry spot under the bulletin board is the Boy's name lovingly handpainted by moi. (The truth is, I would always rather do crafts than clean, so I made up some things to do here to avoid work). I tried to blur his name out to maintain anonymity, but I suck at photoshop and that's the best I could do. It's pretty obvious what it says.

The Bed. Who knew such a simple thing could cause so much stress? But here it is finally. Isn't it beautiful? My child now officially has a nicer bed than I do. Life is so unfair.

The Bird. Could Big Bird ask for a better throne? He looks pretty comfy. I can deny him nothing though, he is helping the Boy make the adjustment to the new bed. Erego, what the Bird wants, the Bird gets.

...And, because I worked so hard, I got me a new 'Do. Check it out. Even at 11:30pm it still looks okay. Please ignore the bags under my eyes - I'd been up since since 4:30am. Not working, of course, just not sleeping. Sleep deprivation BEFORE baby is just totally unfair...

The Do. That is the closest I can get to a "sexy, pouty face". Sad, isn't it? Mr Earth is a lucky, lucky man..

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gwyneth Paltrow is my homegirl [MBT]

I was shocked to discover yesterday that Gwyneth Paltrow, the woman who named her child Apple for pete's sake, and I have something in common. We both love and were inspired by the same show, Free to Be...You and Me.

Aw c'mon..if you are a child of the 70's as I (ahem) am, then surely you know this little gem. It's been described as "a sorely needed counterbalance to the casual sexism of American was fired with high ambitions and aggressive optimism. "Free to Be You and Me" was the gentler side of feminism, a funny and sly discussion of sexism, racism, gay rights and other issues disguised as a sort of cabaret show for children.

I must confess, I never got into the whole politics of the thing. I just loved the songs and the stories, and the feeling that everyone - no matter what you looked like, or how you acted - was normal and accepted. As I got older, it also fueled my passion for children's theatre.

Read more at MBT

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I may never need birth control again.

I am trying to have a VBAC with Baby Earth. I've never been a fan of the whole C-section thing, and having gone through it personally, I am even less of one. It was never in my "plan" the first time around. In fact, when they were showing the C-section part of the video in prenatal class, I took the opportunity for for a much needed pee break. The Gods were probably laughing their asses off when I did that.

Nonetheless, squeezing a baby out my pink parts scares the crap out of me. (And it may quite literally scare the crap out of me from what I've read. Yuck.) Not to mention that I have a terrible feeling that doctor(s) are going to push me to have a C-section if the the least little thing doesn't go smoothly or easily. I am indecisive and easy to bully, especially when I'm feeling vulnerable. Naked and spread-eagled is about as vulnerable as I get. So I took some books out of the library in order to prepare myself. Knowledge is good, right?

I've started reading
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. So far, it's a lovely book that really talks about the empowerment that labour and childbirth can give a woman. It starts out with over a 100 pages of natural childbirth stories where women talk about "rushes" instead of "contractions", and some even mention likening labour contractions to orgasms. I'm not so sure about that one. Then, I come across this story about a woman who gives birth to a baby - face first. I thought that was odd and rather interesting until I turned the page and saw that they had photographed the baby coming out. I swear to God that it looked like this:

Only imagine that this face is between a pair of legs. I think I'm scarred for life.

The image keeps floating in and out of my head unbidden, heedless of nausea. I want to share the picture with Mr Earth so the I don't have to bear the burden of this image alone, but I'm pretty sure he would never have sex with me again. Ever. This is a man who is blood-averse and doesn't want to cut the cord.

I'm not sure I would want to have sex with me either. If someone offers me a mirror to see the head crowning, or asks me if I want to touch it, I might scream louder than at any old contraction. Am I being overly squeamish? Is it really all that beautiful when you're in the moment? And, more importantly, do the partners of other women get the full on view of the birth, and still want some Action when the whole ordeal is over??

I'm having a hard time believing it. Then again, many couples get pregnant multiple times so it must not be such a big deal. Or, they're really good at blocking out the image of a spread-eagled Quato.

Monday, September 17, 2007

And the Magic Eight Ball says..

Ask again later..

Reply hazy, try again..

Better not to tell you..

Cannot predict now..

The Magic Eight Ball sucks.

I realize that it was my choice not to find out the sex of the baby, but the suspense is killing me! I think my head might explode. No, really. I'm not exaggerating. I am not handling this well at all.

It's funny, I had no problem last time. I happily plodded along, excited about the Big Surprise at the end of journey. Possibly, it's because I was sure that the baby was a boy. (Hey, I was right.) You could try to tell me that there was a 50/50 chance that the baby would be a girl, and I would calmly agree. And quietly disagree. It was a HE. I knew. I also had a dream that I gave birth to a very swarthy baby with a beard. My biggest dilemma was - how exactly does one shave the face of a newborn baby? Should I be signing him up for the circus?? Still, it was a HE. No doubt about it.

This time, I am just not sure. I thought I would get the same feeling that I did last time. Strong. Certain. Absolute.

I got nothing.

This is not a good time to have just finished reading Middlesex, by the way. As if I didn't have enough to freak out about. I'm not too picky about whether the baby is a boy or a girl, but I will admit to a preference for it to be one sex OR the other, given a choice.

Mr Earth will assure you that this baby is another boy. He claims he only has male sperm. Okaaaayy. Scientifically, I would probably agree with him. The day we conceived Baby Earth, I thought that we were past the magic 3-day Fertile Window. (Apparently, we weren't.) Which means, that Baby Earth was most likely conceived on my Most Fertile day. Boy spermies are the fastest swimmers, erego it's probably a boy. (Is this too much sharing? I never know.)

Still, sometimes I get the strongest feeling that the baby is in fact, a girl. If I was forced to guess right now, that is the guess that I would make. Do I believe this because I want a girl? Maybe, but I don't think so. I honestly don't have a preference. I can see the pros and cons of each. A girl would be easier to name. I have a LOT of boy clothes. I'd like to have one of each. I love saying "my boys" instead of "my kids". I think I have a lot to learn from mothering a girl. I think I would be a better mother to two boys. I don't care!! But I want to know. Or, at least, feel like I know.

People at the office are quick to point out that I am "carrying differently". That I'm rounder (read: fatter) all around, instead of just having a basketball in place of a stomach like last time. I'd like to say that's an indication, but I really think it's just the dreadful Baroness von Fat making her daily appearance.

There was this one time in the doctor's office where Mr Earth made his typical "male sperm only" joke, and the doctor said it "could be the other". I don't think that she was speaking in code or anything, but I got a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. The last time I got that feeling was when Mr Earth drunkenly pointed to a just married couple and said "I want that to be us one day", and I said "I do too". Look what happened there..


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Celebrity Sightings: Mommy-Blogger Style

It's that time of year when veritable celebrities flood the streets of the Big Smoke: The Toronto International Film Festival. Considering my background, this should be the most highly anticipated time of year for me, but no matter what I do, I just can't seem to get my act together to attend a film. Maybe it's because you have to plan months in advance if you want to see any of the good shows, and I have difficulty planning what I'm going to have for dinner. Maybe it's because I refuse to wait in long lines to see some random show, only to be turned away at the door.

I'm using the fact that I have kid(s) as my excuse. (Heck, I use 'em as an excuse for pretty much everything anyways..). I'm also not going to haul ass to the films just to catch a glimpse of Brad Pitt's ass. Although that would excite me, it seems like a lot of work just for one lovely view.

So, I'm going to have to content myself with some celebrity sightings, mommy-blogger style. I gotta say that I love seeing a new post from one of my favourite bloggers that has a picture of their babe(s) in it. It's a little sneak peak into their lives, and my hormonal self just goes mad for the cuteness of it all. Put your momparazzi glasses on and check out the loveliness..

Read more at MBT

Monday, September 10, 2007

Welcome the Baroness

Ah, pregnancy is so glamourous, isn't it?

Before the Boy - back when we were excitedly running home and hitting the sheets (or carpet, or dining table) - I had this idea of what pregancy was going to be like. I would walk around in these super stylish maternity clothes, and look oh so cute and hip. Everyone would comment about how I was glowing, and how pregnancy really suited me. I would gain exactly the amount of weight necessary to grow a baby, and not an ounce more. And once the baby was out, the pounds would magically disappear because everyone knows that when you breastfeed your baby, you lose all your pregnancy weight.

Ha. Sometimes I think that people take delight in keeping the preggo hopefuls in the dark.

The first time around, I looked okay and didn't gain too much weight. I was NOT super stylish or, in fact, anywhere near hip. I took one look at the price tags in the designer stores and skulked out to buy some cotton muumuus from Thyme Maternity. I did have a glow caused by the extreme oiliness of my skin. That "glow", coupled with acne, made me a beautiful sight to behold. Pregnancy would have "suited me" if I was, oh, say, THIRTEEN AND HORMONAL. (But that would be wrong, of course. I am not endorsing teen pregnancy). I might have lost the pregnancy weight while breastfeeding, if I didn't consume large quantities of chocolate to keep me up in the wee hours of the night without screaming.

This time around, it seems that all the symptoms are still there, they're just worse. I started out about 10 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, and everything has just snowballed from there. The cheap maternity muumuus that I so lovingly saved from the first time around DON'T FIT. Good times.

I haven't even gotten to the backaches, the constant peeing, the puffy legs, the number of shoes that I have that no longer fit, the crankiness... Oh yes, I am one big ball of glam.

To add insult to injury, this weekend I broke down and had to go out and buy some new panties: Size Large. I haven't bought large panties since I was an unattractively overweight teen. I even managed to squeak by during the last pregnancy by squeezing into my medium Victoria Secrets. Not so, this time. My "little girl" decided she was getting too much of breeze, and my butt-crack was in danger of being rather overexposed, so shopping I went. And wearing large panties I am. I cut the tag out, though. I'm that vain.

Mr Earth, god bless him, comforts me whenever I complain about how much weight I'm gaining. "You're pregnant!" I know! But it's very possible to be pregnant AND fat. I'm fairly certain that all of the weight I've gained is not strictly necessary. Nor was that 3rd cookie. Or the 10th, for that matter. The 1/2 pound of chocolate probably didn't fulfill any dietary needs either. Or the 50th TimBit. Yes, my friends, I am the Baroness von Fat. You're all invited to my tea party! If you're coming, though, please bring me some pants. I bust the thighs out on the old pair. Oh, and bring a doughnut while you're at it, will you? Why quit now?? Things are just getting good.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I sometimes wonder if, despite my best of intentions, I am encouraging some very bad habits in the Boy.

A week or so ago, at a loss for something to do, and running out of my already-very-short pregnancy patience, I introduced the Boy to the website Peep and The Big Wide World. We tried out a couple of games and it was a nice way to spend some time together. I didn't really thing much about it. Now, it's all the Boy wants to do. I mean ALL he wants to do.

"I wanna play on the pooter!"

"Not till after dinner."

"I want to play on the pooter!!" (various snufflings and whinings)

"We can play on the computer, but not until you've eaten something."

On the bright side, I have gotten him to eat some surprisingly balanced meals simply by withholding computer rights until he eats a mouthful of some vegetable. Ideally, this is not how I would go about encouraging nutritious eating, but I'm not perfect, okay??

Shockingly, at just over 2 1/2 (or 32 months, not that I'm counting..anymore), he's quite good at these games. I work the mouse, but he tells me what to do. He can remember the hiding places of Peep and all his friends. He can remember a random object that Peep saw on his walk. He can choose the coloured fish that fills out the pattern. He has a really good memory, and an eye for colours and patterns! Not worthless skills, those.

I don't know whether to be extremely proud or slightly disturbed. I'm a huge proponent of getting outside and getting fresh air. Eventhough I don't think that screen time is the enemy, I do try to watch that it doesn't get out of control. But these days, more than most, I find myself treading the path of least resistance. If I haven't seen him all day, and this is what he wants to do, is it really so bad? It's not like he watched tv or played on the computer all day at daycare. And when I'm tired, sitting at the computer with the Boy sounds very...nice. I'm tired a lot. Maybe too much.

This feels rather like inadequate parenting. I'm not going for any Parenting Award (although gosh I'd like to win one someday...), but I really am trying to do my best by him. You should see the Boy salivate and bounce up and down when I say we can play one game of "Hide and Peep". You'd question my actions too. I think I've created a monster.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Today was the Boy's first official day of preschool. Or, "poo-school", as the Boy calls it. Nothing I can do to get him to say word properly. Not sure I want to anyways, it's too amusing.

The daycare has been transitioning him from the toddler room for the past couple weeks, and he has been surprisingly resistant. Or, perhaps, not surprisingly. The Boy has never been overly fond of change. But the preschool room is just upstairs from the toddler room. Almost all of the friends that he was used to playing with have gone upstairs already, and downstairs he was surrounded by a gaggle of new faces, cheeks wet with tears from fresh separations. He looked like a giant among beanstalks. A big fish in a pond full of minnows. It was time. But I guess the trip upstairs can seem daunting to a boy who is still little in so many ways. He wanted to stay downstairs where it was safe. As much as I was looking forward to the move, I kind of wish he could stay downstairs too.

This morning I carried his not-so-little body up the two flights of stairs, negotiated two sturdy gates, while simultaneously carrying his little tub of extra clothing and his dinosaur sippy cup. We had to find his new, as yet unmarked, cubby. We had to find his new routine. There is no special place for personal sippy cups upstairs, so I had to shove it in his cubby where it remained unused, unwanted throughout the day. I felt like it was my first day of school, and I didn't know where to go, what to do, how to act. I said goodbye and told him I would be back as soon as work was done, but I left feeling like I'd forgotten something important.

I'd forgotten the wild and rocky path that led to this moment. The sleepless nights, the crying, the earaches. I'd forgotten the sleepy sighs, the belly laughs, the kooky smiles. Instead of seeing someone I knew every inch of, I saw a stranger. A little Boy turned suddenly big. I've been there, but where have I been? Who was this little man calmly taking in his new surroundings? He's my little Boy, finding his way in a big, wide world. May it go slowly, and may I never miss a second of it.