Friday, March 30, 2007

Bill of Lading

So, as promised, here is the follow up on Wo family efficiencies, from yesterday...The dull reality of taking care of kids and home first and peeing my pants; just a little.

In addition to this list note that my post lunch snack was the yam I licked off my son's head at the wrap up to his lunch... because mothers really do eat like goats. Check out that link for sure L. is so frickin' funny!

Here's how it went
1. Prioritize groceries to unload mentally while preparing Infant Lunch
2. Prepare turkey roast as meat handling and baby handling do not mix **
3. Boil kettle for coffee
4. Put away priority 1 groceries
5. Heat pan with fajita
6. Coffee
7. Put away priority 2 groceries while on phone with Granny and drink coffee
8. Pee -- Always!

Baby wakes up. I unload the dishwasher while giving him lunch and making his sister's dinner from the leftover rice, deli meat and cheese stuff in the fridge. Followed up with a quick prep of dinner veggies. I even got a jump on my housecleaning for tomorrow while he cruised the furniture. This new house has a built in vacuum with the cutest knitted hose cover you have ever seen! He loves to chase it around the room.

Mad, got it right that I do like to boast multitasking. P-man is the ultimate unitasker, he'll watch the water drain through the coffee filter and it makes me crazy!

And the sock question... nice one Mimi! you sort of gave yourself away with the inclusion of Bringing up Baby on your favorite movies list. Ha TARGET!

Famous quote from the movie Desk Set...

Bunny Watson: I don't smoke, I only drink champagne when I'm lucky enough to get it, my hair is naturally natural, I live alone... and so do you.
Richard Sumner: How do you know that?
Bunny Watson: Because you're wearing one brown sock and one black sock.

** when my daughter was an infant I was known to make meat loaf using gloves... I was that anal back then.. but tell me have I really improved?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Desk Set

Wo Family Headquarters... 1 pm ish. The toddler is away and infant is sleeping. The nap before us may be 45-100 minutes in length. Here is my to do list.

Groceries to unload from bags in the hall (2% frozen, 25% produce, 5% meat & cheese items, rest cans, crackers, bread, etc.)
Turkey Roast to prepare for dinner
Yam and Squash to prepare for dinner
Toddler dinner
Infant lunch
Dishwasher to unload
Grandmother to call
Housecleaning (optional/perpetual)
2nd cup of coffee for the day to be prepared
My lunch -- reheat fajita

In what order do I do these things? Alright you efficiency experts out there tell the librarian how to do it. I will provide my actual work pattern tomorrow.

Bonus question: What colour socks am I wearing?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Unsolicited Advice to Readers

Of late a certain topic seemed to resonate with me on a number of blogs. Reading and books.

All 5 of you readers know I am a librarian so I don't suppose that my interest getting piqued by such a topic is noteworthy. But you also know that we don't really specialize in noteworthy over here more like huffy and bossy. And it is in that vein that I post today.

I wanted to say a few words about the tension associated with book collections. Working in libraries I have long ago given myself permission to borrow and not buy books. Books, like ideas, are meant to be shared. That's why I so enjoy the book recommendations we make here. Reading is meant to be shared.

I am ashamed I haven't be on the ball enough to get on board with the cool reading goals blogging. I live it vicariously through the ever spot-on Mamacita Tina.

Then there is Mary P's challenge to blog what we adults read? How embarrassing would that be? Uhm, nothing. I have one collegue who will tell you I don't really trust a librarian who doesn't read. Internal dork retort: "Ahem, well I'm in system admin! er do PDFs count?"

In all the banter about how privileged we are to write... fine.. but we write because we can read. urrrch.. Please, take a moment if you can to thank your lucky stars for that privilege among your many others. I noted another reminder in my local library last week for one-on-one reader volunteers. Despite our smugness about education in the Western world we should not underestimate how many have literacy elude them. How many children have parents who linguisically cannot or are economically unavailable to provide a storytime? You know I love my grad school education as much as the next guy.. but when we think of education remember the small college programs that are barely continuing to provide literacy programs for all sorts of folks in the rush to offer 52 kinds of MBA's. Go to your local library and keep it vibrant with a deep community of users and keep them funded! Look to share the reading experience with all you kids and their friends.. not just peers. 100% literacy, not 40%, is what we want. Education has gone far.. but not far enough.. yet.

Now I gotta run Any Which Way You Can is on. Seriously!

ps... A thanks due to Sage for egging me on for this one.

And... HBM, all the men are reading David Mitchell... you might like that.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Bragging Rights?

Among the topics of child-rearing bloggers often tackle seem to be those issues of child development and parental pride for such development. The cherished Mom 101 brought it up this week and Kittenpie reminded me about it on my last post. What follows is sort of a rip off of my comment at Mom 101's post but seemed to bear some second reading.

Firstly, I should explain that I used to keep a lot of my pride in my little girl under a bushel. With the gene pool offered by her father and I better not get her hopes up -- that was pretty much how I started out. But then after a wee bit of blogging I changed my tack. A bit over a year ago a reader commented on a blog (was it mine? I don't remember...) "I am pretty sure my Mom never had nice things to say about me like that." That hit me like a ton of bricks. Me neither I likely thought. I was sold... no more light under a bushel thing for my daughter. I would praise her without hesitation.

But since then (in the differences for an 18 month old versus a 2 and a half year old) I have changed my tune. Now I do hesitate. I have distinct reasons for this. Mostly since my parents push my daughter's bag of tricks I have seen how it might be damaging to her. She is a smart little thing and while I wouldn't hestitate to tell her so, regardless of the banter about the inverse power of praise, I no longer make a habit of it. Take for example one of her major skill -- talking. She a real talker and has been from early on. When daddy comes home she asks, how was the traffic, daddy? She could recite whole books at barely one year old. Last week when we almost lost our cat she surprised me with "Ahh, what a relief!", cute huh? Where does she get this stuff? She tells great stories, just like her dad.

But when her grandmother wants her to turn it on for a crowd or just plain turn it on I get pretty irked. You know how it is... the staging to make a toddler sing their abc's or leading questions to have them spit out precocious terminology like 'ballustrade' or 'absolutely'... they don't always work as a mother knows. But grandparents ... they seem to forget that.

In some ways I don't want to care about milestones anymore... and as I said on Metrodad's blog not too long ago I am as proud of her blowfish impression as anything else. Besides when she's 5 and everyone can do what she does now anyway what will all this rah-rah honey have done besides fucked up her expecations of what an accomplishment is? They're babies.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


You know I don't entirely believe in the terrible twos. I mean I believe that there is bad behaviour after that second birthday but I don't know that it is any sort of syndrome. Generally, I'm a syndrome skeptic, anyway.

Mostly I think that entering the third year with a little person who is out to develop a full range of emotions can prove a bit much. Especially after all the hard labour of raising them to walk and speak and wipe her own ass (ok she is not really onto that one yet, but I can hope.)

P-man and I can barely rub four emotions together between the two of us so living with children and all their icky, sticky feeeelings.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Real Moms

So I got tagged for the real moms meme by a real stunner. How can I keep up.

I had a million and here is what I settled on.

Real moms... don't need yoga.

We just need the pants.

And, yes I have a great shot of me in the pants. But please remember we just moved do you think I know where the usb for my camera is right now? Good luck. Mo-Wo in yoga pants complete with the flab coming soon.

Thanks, Mad. I am so glad I have sunk to this.

All the real moms can be found here. Count me a fan of this one and this one.

Now tag 5?? I'll tag Mary P, although she sort of already covered this. Also dear CC with the carpets of crunch, Mrs. Chicky, Andrea and the nonlinear one. You know L. I would of course ask you but I am afraid you hold a grudge that I owe you a meme from like 1997 or something.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I spent a good part of last week's evenings, of which I had one for surfing, looking for a picture. It was on either the BBC or the Reuters site ... I am pretty sure. I am insane with frustation that I can't find it. (Librarians!)

It was a beautiful picture of a mother and child. They lay in a street where they make their bed. Somewhere in India if memory serves. And, you know what they look secure. That is the word, secure. Together mother and child and that is all; that is enough.

It was in the pictures of the day or the pictures of the year I cruise over there but I couldn't find it to post it. I wanted to post it with the following sentiment.

Every time my daughter doesn't eat her veggies or my son fails to sleep through the night I will stow it! Instead I'll remember this picture and think only of genuine motherhood. If beautiful mothers lay in streets with children safe enough in their arms like that mother I can't give one more moments care to any North American marketing of perfect parenting.

It was over for me when I saw that all that child needed was mother's love. And vice versa.

When the questions are raised about classes of motherhood. Privilege and status... I don't get it. I don't want to get it. The parity of women as humanity's birth source is refutable to me. After a number of years of servitude to a society, distinctly North American, that urges us to stratify and/or partition our 'parenting styles' I will have no more.

Mothers are capable with their children; capable beyond their means.

Birth the ultimate leveller.

And I will rise to the challenge of real mommery tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Don't Post About Yer Job, Asshole

Recent conversation at chez Mo.

P: I haven't posted in a while.

M: Thank God for that.

P: Maybe I will post tonight.

M: ...

P: Ok, maybe not. I went into E's room the other day and there was this brown stuff on the wall. I thought: what the fuck is that? So I ate it. It wasn't shit, or if it was, it was raisin shit. From Post. Two scoops. I ate them both.

M: You should post that, instead of your "I'm a lawyer. Go ahead, hate me." stuff.

P: ...

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Recommended title: Click, Clack, Moo

Click, clack, moo : cows that type / by Doreen Cronin ; pictures by Betsy Lewin.
Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, or Childcraft, 2001, c2000.
Cows -- Fiction
Domestic animals -- Fiction
Typewriters -- Fiction

ISBN: 9780689832130 (Simon) ; 0689832133 (Simon) ; 0439216486 (Scholastic : pbk.) ; 1586690760 (Childcraft : BB)

Caldecott Honor Book

If you like to type.. and you do... this is the book for you and your kids. Bonus points for railing against the man.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

We've Moved!

Oh no hyperlinks involved.... Just real life dirt swapping. I gave up our old house yesterday and we are somewhat settled in our new one.

I am currently signing all my emails ... We remain happy but exhausted!

More to come.

And, in the meanwhile we were named by the wise and radiant Mrs Chicky for a Thinking Blogger Award. blush. Til we can muster some grey matters again check out what she's thinking over here. All our grey matter is currently spent on making little girl's blue/purple bedroom dreams come true and testing the limits of the perfect celery green for a little boys room. We are spoiled.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Bathroom Gothic

In the months before Miss Fancy was born I went through a pretty snotty indignity for a pregnant woman. No bathroom. Oh, we had toliets in the house but no shower, no bath. We renovated the house to within 3 weeks of my due date of late August. It had all the cliched annoyance of most home renos with the special edge of late pregnancy. Oh the joys of an 8 mos. pregnant lady showering at the 'Y.'

Still, all those annoyances were worth it. We have in this house -- our old to be left in two days house -- a really, really, really beautiful bathroom.

We will miss it. I think I will miss it more than anything about this house.

I fought hard and got quite swollen feet for it. Further, it has hosted many significant memories. Labour #1, 6 hours of labouring at home, the cats sitting on the edge of the tub in candlelight with that look like "are you going to die, Mom?" Labour #2, water breaking only slightly on that floor after stepping out of bed so early that July morning. There are many memories of those early baths with our infant daughter and more recently our son. And, I will miss the pleasant cloister in the shower water pleting down on me in those urgent occasional moments when I really must escape my family.DSCN2433.JPG

We are so enamoured of our bath that the year E. was born we used it for our Christmas Card. Water Gothic.

I remember the day p-man let me know he'd take an extra day of holidays one long weekend to finish tiling the countertop. That morning I had located about 4 specks of mildew in the unfinished plywood and freaked out. Since that top is the spot to do diaper changes ... HORRORS! mildew. He worked really hard and made a beautiful pattern out of the glass and ceramic tiles. The artist in him is in that room; I hope to port that spirit and work up another oasis in our next home. Another similar enclosure where our family is happy and CLEAN! No more diaper bags to haul or grandparents to impress. Just us approaching quiet and ready to rest, after some requisite joyous splashing, of course.

It seems funny to expect to miss a bathroom but I will. This was our first house and it has been very good to us. I know I will miss it, even though I'll live next door, it has been a safe and special place where we first raised ourselves up that we may raise these children. We have been lucky to have it, bathroom and all.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Imagination has its limits

In conversation over role-play of Tintin in Tibet last week.

Baby girl -- You are Captain Haddock, Daddy.
Daddy -- Oh yeah.
Baby girl -- Filip is Snowy.
Daddy -- Who is Baby A?
Baby girl -- He's Chang.
Daddy -- Who are you honey? Are you Tintin?

Baby girl -- That's just in the story, Daddy!


I'll add here that my husband does the most amazing Tintin digests imaginable. Knowing the tales from his own youth he boils them down for my two-year old splendidly. I cannot believe how much she loves the stories for such a youngin'.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Mommymatic Dearest

I love giving out awards. Maybe it's the chance to don my best organza gown or maybe it's the heady sips of champagne afterward. Hey I gave out an ROFL!

Yep, last week this mama had me rolling on the floor laughing and next thing I know they got an award for that. So check out all the award winners here. Or, if you want to read what I read for a laugh, come on the kitten line? or the car thing hahahaha, the post is here.

Mommymatic dearest. I mean a lot of us get self-deprecating in blogland but she has the real touch. Self-deprecation with a twist of lime and plenty of wry, I say.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Still life in email

What follows is an actual email from the home account to the work email du papa midday today.

Not cleaning the catboxes for two weeks

Do not laughingly say you haven't
A day when I am killing myself
vis a vis
New home reno
Home cookin'
Home cleanin'
Sleep scheduling
Potty training.

I will
go beserk.

As you know.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Avocado. One of my favourite Slim Gaillard lyrics and a fine fruit/vegetable to boot. Today I refer to three little known facts about avocados.

1. I love avocados. I do not love them in a rude or unnatural way. I just want to eat them. Fact: There are these large organic Hawaiian avocados you can sometimes locate at a local gouger, um, produce store, which are so rich they taste like macadamia nut butter. There was a period in my life when I routinely made a meal from one of these avocados, with a 1/2 lemon. So good it was a sin, it was.

2. One may wonder what could be contemplated in the depths of an avocado grove, in the mottled light, listening to the sussuruss of wind and leaves. What flights of fancy, of change, or spiritual enlightenment may follow? I had the chance to know.

My step-brother, who comes from a fairly well-established line of Winnipeg Jews, decided to become a Buddhist monk of the Thai forest tradition. After many immigration-related travails he obtained his special visa for bald clergy-people and off he went to some mountainside near Ontario California where he dutifully removed his hair and eyebrows, donned the official saffron towel set, and set about contemplating nibbana in the depths of an avocado grove. While at first I thought he was going to great lengths to avoid 1. his family, and 2. employment over the next two years or so I came to admire his dedication to his chosen path. Eventually he became an ordained monk which is to say he went without eyebrows for a long time. I had ill-formed plans of visiting him in his idyll, watching him meditate while I ate avocados fresh from the tree, with a squeeze of lemon. Yum.

Of course, this all came to naught. One night his dad flew down from Winnipeg and convinced him to leave the monastery for the frozen charms of Winnipeg and family. So he did.

Now he is ultra-orthodox and a yoga instructor in fucking Etobicoke or something and I will never know the depths and heights of consciousness he reached in avocadoland because I'd sooner visit Winnipeg than go to Toronto. Asshole.

3. E does not like avocados. We fed her some mashed avocado when she was starting on solids. The first spoonful went down well enough but the second was ejected with force and a facial expression taken from a Buckley's ad.

A, on the other hand, has taken to avocados rather well. He picks up cubes in his chubby little mitts, manouvres them into his mouth, chews them with his 4.5 teeth and gums them into submission. Once he's eaten what he was served he pounds the table (for more, I think, maybe he is having an abreaction). I am pleased he enjoys avocados, obviously. More to the point, as I watch my little guy working intently on something new each day, be it manipulating avocado cubes or launching himself at the knee-areas of unsuspecting passersby, I see my baby becoming a little boy. That's enough to transport me to the shady groves of my mind, where the past is awash in soft warm light, the present is truly where I am, and the future is a brightly lit path, too bright to see in any detail, but inviting, beckoning me forward.

P-man out.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I have a little pet name for p-man. He is known, affectionately, as "my little black cloud". It has been black cloud weekend extraordinnaire and I think we are glad it's over. Despite the fact that we should be elated with the sale of our home on Friday we have been chasing every whiff of disaster and we are worn right out.

I blame him. But of course I am just as bad? Well sometimes as bad.

We have hung our heads over the sadness of strippers. The 'lost' cat (stuck in the garage actually) was GONE. DEAD. DEAD AND GONE. The scheduling nightmares of one of our standard weekends at times seemed nearly fatal to our relationship. For my bad... hands were wrung, tears shed over the loss of the following photo from the iPhoto library. (god bless Flickr.) We went to another birthday party today and withing about 3 minutes of our arrival, my question: Is it over yet? Lots of whimpering, hollering, panicking and stress. Stressstressstress.


Thank god little faces like this are around to urge us to... Snap out of it!

ps... I really hate that phrase 'my bad' do you know what I mean?

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