Saturday, June 09, 2007

Kittens and Cats and Preschoolers ... Oh my!

A couple of weeks ago we got a kitten. You know, I went and got her on a whim and then told my husband after.
I had a feeling it would all work out in the end!
And I was right.
Mike has totally bonded with her. He watched TV and she sleeps in his lap.
Matty loves having a little kitten around. He carries Rosie Rose Petal all over the house. She doesn't seem to mind. He's careful with her, and she loves him entertaining her. The other night he was playing with some foam letters, and Rosie was sitting with him, watching him and occasionally swatting the letters. Adorable!!!
But the funniest thing to watch is Rosie and our older Cat Mojo playing together.
This is the part I was the most worried about. Mojo is a great cat, but she's a bit of a loner. She's quite shy at first. When I first got her she hid for days. She slowly bonded with me to the point where she would eat kibble out of my hand. As she has gotten older she's gotten a lot more comfortable with people. I think part of this has also been because she lived with my sister for a year, so she got acquainted with more and more people.
But she had never been around other cats (except for when she lived at the Humane Society and there were cats around her).
The first couple of days with Rosie Rose Petal were a little challenging. She wasn't quite sure. She would hiss if Rosie came too close. There was the occasional swat. I was pretty sure that they wouldn't kill each other when I went to work.
But over the last week things have really changed. They have become friends!!!!
They are so funny to watch now.
They follow each other everywhere. When I wake up in the morning they both come running upstairs and join me in the bathroom while I shower. they both hover while I eat breakfast. When I go downstairs to get ready for work they follow me there. It's cute.
And they chase each other. All.The.Time!
It could be 2 am (and often is) and we will hear them running around the living room.
Apparently the room is well set up for cats who chase each other. Rosie will sit on the coffee table while mojo runs circles around it. Or, mojo will hide and Rosie will come find her and Mojo will jump out at her. It's hilarious.
I never knew that Mojo had all this excitement and energy in her. I love it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

5k ... or Die

Not to be overly dramatic or anything!!!
Last week I signed up for the Scotiabank Rat Race for the United Way- a 5km run around downtown Toronto.
In January I decided I was going to run a 5k, and here we are 6 months later and I'm ready to go. I've been working hard. I ran one with my friend Lou (who, dontcha know, will be running in the next Boston Marathon!) and I done it on my own as well. I know I can do it.
But the idea of running 5k with tons of other people, my colleagues, dressed in some sort of costume ... Ahhhhhhhhhh!
I have to admit, I'm scared to death.
But, determined.
Very determined in fact.
When I heard that my company was not going to be taking part in the Rat Race this year I was really upset. So, I found out whose mind I had to switch, pled my case, and now we have a corporate team. Yay! However, it's a corporate team made up of runners - and me!!! Oh well, if nothing else I have enough spirit for everyone, and I'm convinced I won't come in dead last.
I have a fundraising goal.
Let me stop for a just a second - this is not a plea for money. I'm working my butt off to get sponsors, and I'm close to my goal of $1000.
Not bad for a week. Not bad. The money I can get. The nerve I'm still working on. (If you do want to sponsor me let me know - I'll send you a link)
We're down to the wire here people. One week to go - and I'm getting nervous.
Any advice on how to get through the jitters? Please share!!!

An Update ... If you do want to sponsor me ... here's the link

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rebecca Eckler Rocks!

I've been reading about the Rebecca Eckler/Judd Apatow lawsuit recently.
Truthfully, lawsuits usually bore me. But, because it involves one of my favourite writers, a new movie and a whole bunch of controversy, I'm fascinated.
I haven't seen the movie. I don't have any plans to in the near future. I hated the movie The 40-Year-old Virgin. Really. I didn't find it funny. I think I fell asleep. (my husband loved it though). But, I'm sure we would have rented it someday because it really is the kind of movie my husband finds funny.
I totally see where Rebecca is coming from on this. The title is exactly the same. The plot is exactly the same. The freaking logo is exactly the same. And, why not pursue it. I would. We all would.
And, it does make me wonder how much research this guy did - because even if he copied her entire book BY ACCIDENT there should be someone doing research to make sure that such a fluke doesn't occur.
But besides all of that, what is making me angry is how some people out there are using this as a platform to start trying to slam her yet again. It's ridiculous.
I understand not agreeing with a lawsuit - but to then start discussing how she sucks is completely childless. And a big time waster.
Today I got an e-mail from someone (hi!) - and she talked about being a fan of Rebecca's as well. And she pointed out the negative attention that Rebecca has gotten lately.
I realized that if this were a friend of mine, for instance, at work, I'd totally be on their side - and supporting them. And, Rebecca is my friend in the blogosphere. So for the record - I totally support her :) And so do a lot of others.
So, I don't care how dorky this sounds ... I think she's great. And I for one am not stooping to the level of annoying anonymous people who feel the need to bash her.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ooops ... I'm sorry

Today I learned a pretty vital lesson. Apologize.
I'm not always good at apologizing. I'll say sorry, but I don't always mean it. I've been trying to teach Matt that if he does something wrong or something that hurts someone you should apologize. It's really hard to teach a 3 year old empathy.
But, today it was my turn to apologize.
Matt and I had been gardening and he was covered in dirt. I went to change and then we were going to go mattress shopping. I left him with the instructions to wash his hands while I got changed.
When I got upstairs he was running around the living room with a tummy covered in soap. I was cleaning him off and trying to get him ready to go.
And then he reached for the soap.
He got a whole bunch on me, and on him. I was pissed.
I was ready to go. He was getting soap everywhere. So, he reached for it again and I said no. Then I shouted it. Then I said "I'm trying to go. Stop playing with the stupid soap."
It's not the worst thing of all Mommy things to say. But it was how I said it. And then he was sobbing. And I was getting more annoyed. And then he'd shout that he wanted the soap and I would shout no.
I had to walk away.
It wasn't that big a deal. We got him dressed. We went to the store. He was tired and I was.
But, in the car I said sorry.
I didn't make a huge deal of it. I just said "Matt, I shouted at you about the soap and I shouldn't have. I know you were just having fun. I'm sorry."
It sounds so simple. But, I'm not usually good at that stuff. I'm not usually the one to apologize first. But, things change when you have a child.
This stuff matters.
He said it was okay.
Part of me thinks that today was about teaching him to say sorry and mean it. But, really I know it was all about me learning to say sorry - when I'm wrong - and mean it.

Groceries + Blogging = Empowered

HBM issued a challenge to her readers - to talk about being empowered.
I struggled with this concept for days. What does it mean and how have I been empowered?
I'm not HBM, or Motherhood Uncensored, or Dad Gone Mad. I don't have a zillion readers and I don't affect a million lives.
I've never made someone cry upon meeting them.
I've never blogged about my life choices, because as a married mother of one, I fit into the "norm".

But tonight I understood why blogging has indeed empowered me.

I was in the grocery store. I had a cart full of cleaning supplies (plus some jelly beans), I had a pissed off husband and a child screaming "bum bum" at the top of his lungs. It was not a shining Mommy moment. It was a typical Monday evening.

And then someone walked up to me and said "are you Laural?"

It turned out that she reads my blog. We'd never met. She recognized me from pictures, and she wanted to say hello. We chatted while I paid for groceries (Mike and Matt had gone to another store). We talked about getting together for wine and card making. It was just a friendly exchange. (Hi Kerry!)

And then it hit me - this is why blogging has empowered me. People accepting me for who I am - with my eccentricities and failures - has made me accept myself. That's something I would never have expected.

Prior to blogging I was struggling. I started blogging because I felt like despite how well all the pieces fit together, I felt out of place. I was too relaxed with my child. I was young(ish) and was tired of people assuming that it was therefore easy for me or that life was perfect.

Probably the worst parenting moment for me was when I was attending a playgroup that I enjoyed. Matt was about 9 months, not sleeping much, and really a difficult child. I was exhausted. We were having major financial struggles. And, I went to this playgroup, and said to someone "I'm just finding it all really hard right now."

Her response? "well, I'm 40. I have a toddler and I'm pregnant with my second. You young people have no clue what this is like."

Do you know what I did? I left that playgroup. Stunned. And I never returned. I felt powerless and immature.

For me, parenting was HARD.
I went through PPD, breastfeeding killed me, I weighed about 50 lbs more than I wanted to, we were broke, our marriage was suffering. And every time I tried to talk about it I got answers like "yeah, but at least you are married." or "your child is beautiful and so many have disabilities".
By the time my son was 18 months I felt like I should shut up and never complain.
Blogging showed me the opposite. Life is difficult. Talk about it. Blog about it. Ask for help. And BE HONEST!!!!

What I've learned - it's honesty that people respond to.

Am I the perfect mother? No. Not at all. But, you know, I like me. I love my son to death, and despite all my quirks and flaws and errors and downfalls, I'm not too bad at this parenting thing!

This is my response to this (though I can't go to Blogher - I just wanted to answer the question)