Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis the Season

It's been a long couple of weeks. Kind of busy. Kind of stressful. I'm exhausted (who isn't) and nowhere near ready for Christmas.
My kids are though.

Matt had his sk Christmas concert. My pictures aren't the best he did so well. He knew every word to every song and poem, and he was so excited and happy to be there.

And Chloe ... is a little in love with Santa.
Everything is "tanta" - it's pretty adorable. We have so far managed one photo in front of the tree. This is it. Chloe is in constant motion right now. Christmas morning should be interesting. And fun.

I should add, Chloe is in love with pictures of Santa, stuffed Santa toys (which she kisses) and Santa books. If you try to brng her near Santa she shouts "no no no" and buries her head in my shoulder.
Oh well. Maybe next year. Matt informed me that as her big brother he took care of telling Santa she's afraid of him an telling him what she wants for Christmas (a baby doll). So... that's covered off.

Monday, December 14, 2009

And so we bake ...

Every year my friend and I have talked about the famous Pioneer Woman Cinnamon buns. This year we decided to put our money where our mouths are and whip some up.

Four and a hours, copious amounts of coffee, lots of butter & cinnamon and of course a couple of Christmas movies later - we accomplished our task!

We were all wearing comfy clothes and not feeling terribly photogenic. But, whatever.

One little lesson we learned - doubling the butter isn't exactly the best idea, but it sure is yummy. (do not ask how much butter we used) Okay, and honestly, this is my idea of an artsy food shot. This may be why I am not the pioneer woman!

So at this point we were a little bit worried. They don't look so so perfect... but, wait! I may not be the best ever cook, but my friend Kerry J is (and she's crafty too)... And she told us to be patient. (my sister by this point had moved on to sewing) . AND LOOK!

Sorry for the caps. But really, yum!
we don't have nearly enough so I may make another batch.

Want the recipe? Here ya go.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A New Day ...

I guess I left that chaos post up a little long because a lot of people were asking if I'm okay. That's not why I posted it, but it was nice to know that people care!
I'm not sure about anyone else, but one of the quirky things I do is keep quotes on hand that say wise stuff. The one I'm currently loving is a Judy Garland quote: "be a first rate version of who you are rather than a second rate version of someone else."
I love that.
How true is it?
So, going back to the whole chaos thing, sometimes I forget that if I just step back, be myself and stop worrying about what others think life is much easier.
Serioulsy, not always easy!
One of the things that was bugging me last week was this whole splitting with my trainer thing. He basically said that we had different priorities and that I wasn't losing enough weight. Fair enough, and let's be honest, I work hard but I eat too much.
But it made me feel like crap. Who wouldn't feel fat when their trainer dumps them for not losing weight? (oversensitive much). Granted, over a few drinks it is ridiculously funny. But still....
So today I went to the gym. It was a weird Monday since I was alone. And, since I know that I have to do a 5k race in June, and I maybe promised a friend we'd train for a half-marathon, I decided to screw the elliptical and go for the treadmill. Did I mention my trainer doesn't like the treadmill? (heh)
So, I ran. my. butt. off.
I didn't do 5 k. I ran for 20 minutes. And I sware the more I ran the better I felt about stuff. And the stronger I felt and the happier I felt.
And when I finished I was catching my breath, and one of the morning guys came over and said hi. As sociable as I am I really don't talk to gym people. It's 5 am. I'm not feeling social.
But, this guy came over, and asked why I wasn't training today. So, I said I was done.
Want to know what he said?
"We were just noticing how much stronger you look lately. You look great and toned, and I was thinking of working out with your trainer."
Of course I told him the truth - that my trainer is great. We needed a break, but he's a nice guy, blahbity blah blah blah.
I meant it.
But, after months of training, getting up early to be at the gym, obsessing over diet and then blowing it, I realized that it's about me.
I can wake up early or sleep in.
I can be thin or fat.
I can have muscles or be weak.
But, who I am isn't going to change.
I'll admit that I've blown off the gym because I want to go for drink, and I know I won't get up. And I've scarfed down poutine. And, I eat too much candy.
But screw it. That's part of me.
I'll never be a model. I'll always fight the demon of wanting to be thin. I have to start training now to do a 5k in June, and a half marathon still seems like a completely impossible goal.
But really.  I refuse to be anyone else. 

Me drinking Princess Power Punch. Photo by my 7 year old niece, Kyla!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Usually I feel like my life is somewhat balanced.
My kids are far enough apart that I can enjoy different stages in their lives.
I have a husband who helps a lot.
We have a nanny which means that a whole lot of weight is lifted off of our shoulders.
And I work full time.
Usually it is all fine.
Usually I balance getting up to go to the gym, coming home and getting myself fed and dressed and the kids up, chatting with the nanny, commuting to work, working all day, taking the train home, doing dinner, getting the kids to bed and spending half an hour or so watching tv.
I usually manage it with a smile on my face.
Sometimes I take a night off to go for drinks with friends or coffee with my sister. I spend time with friends and I do things for myself like get my hair done.
But this weekend I hit a wall.
My kids, who I love dearly, were driving me insane. My husband couldn't do anything right.
I'm stressing about Christmas. I'm stressing about work. I'm stressing about money. I'm stressing about an upcoming Disney trip. I'm stressing about what has to be done to get to Christmas. I'm stressed because I haven't given any thought to Christmas cards. I used to mail my Christmas cards, pictures and letter on November 1. Seriously. I don't even think I'm doing a Christmas letter this year. Will anyone care? Does that mean I need to do extra-long notes on my cards because I don't want to do that either.
I'm stressed because although we got awesome pictures of the 4 cousins this year, I don't have any pictures with Matt and Chloe and I should really do that.
And I've totally hit a wall. TOTALLY.
I'm at that point where I'm so busy being stressed that I'm not getting anything done. I assign myself so many tasks that I don't know where to start. And so I'm getting nowhere. Except I'm fighting with my family, and I may as well not even bother to go to the gym because I'm totally gaining weight. Really, I gained 2 lbs last week. I know it's cause I'm eating crappy. Don't get me started on my trainer who quit on me cuz my heart isn't in it. And he says I haven't made the connection to eating right.
It's like he thinks he's Jillian from Biggest Loser.
I have no balance with this crazy life I'm living. Right now anyway.

When I have balance I'm happy.
I feel like all the decisions we have made are the right ones.
I love my family more than life itself. But seriously.

When I tried to be a good mom and end the evening on a good note by baking with the kids even that didn't work. I freaked at Matt for grabbing a handful of muffin batter and filling his mouth with it (gross ... and then Chloe tried to do that). I got annoyed at Chloe for spilling a bag of raisins. And honestly, I think Mike is cowering in fear when I look in his direction.
And, I know this isn't what Christmas is about.
I know I should be watching the Santa Claus parade with my kids and sipping hot chocolate and trusting that everything will work out.
But, I'm not there yet.
And, I don't really know how to get there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I spent a lot of time with friends this weekend.
I didn't plan it that way, but it's totally refreshing to relax around people, be yourself and just talk.
That's what happened friday night when I dragged my sweatpants clad butt to starbucks to meet one of my close friends.
And we chatted - and chatted - till they told us that they were closing. we thought we'd maybe been there an hour. Try almost 3!
I'm fortunate to have the kind of friend who I can not see in months and can catch up with in minutes. Those friendships are worth more than you ever realize when you are 16 and bonding over boyfriends, work crises and the meaning of love.
Then on Sunday I went out with another group of friends - my wondermommies.
It's funny because developing mom friends is tough.
I love this group.
We go from laughing to seriousness in seconds. One of the women made a comment about relying on everyone for something.
The comment made back "we are your friends. Please use us."
And I realized in that moment how grateful I am for my friends.
We don't agree on everything.
In fact I don't want my friends to always agree with me.
Sometimes we need someone to swap a recipe with. Sometimes we need someone to watch our kids. Sometimes we need a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes we need someone to agree that yes, (fill in the blank) can be a complete asshole. Sometimes we need a shopping buddy, a friend to justify drinking an expensive latte with, someone to watch movies with or just someone to be. To not judge or laugh or talk. Just be there.
Sometimes I suck as a friend. I am self absorbed and more concerned about whether my eyebrows are properly groomed than whether you need me.
But you know ... Deep down those words are true.
I'm your friend - please use me.
Sure I wear my heart on my sleeve, laugh till I cry and sing along to the Hannah Montana soundtrack. But if you need that. Call. (I can also totally bake the starbucks mini mint brownies! But I cannot sew - that is my sister's job)
Yo Wondermommies. Call me. I luvs you. All of you!

Monday, November 02, 2009


This weekend was, of course, Halloween!
I love Halloween. I love that it's the one holiday where there's no pressure to get together with specific people, plan schedules and figure out who is making what dish. Okay, so I do, according to my nieces, have a signature dish, bloody eyeballs (deviled eggs with green egg mix, a pimento olive and red food dye). But, that's easy and fun.
More fun, is enjoying said bloody eyeballs with a bunch of friends.

Oh I'm sorry it realy is about the children ... isn't it?

Well, they are children. Look at the swords.  And do you see the pirate theme happening? Love it.

And the kids. Adorable. Chloe was probably the most excitd of all of them (as you can see) even though she had no real clue what was going on. (Matt is Darth Vader in the back)

The night was great. Matt was thrilled to run from house to house with the boys and Kyla - and I was delighted to play princess with my baby girl.

And eat candy with my friends. Love love love.
Hope everyone had as much fun as we did.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There Be Monsters

Matt is scared of dracula. And Medusa. And all the monsters in our house.
We've never really dealt with fears like this.
Matt is a brave kid. He has never been afraid of stuff. When we go to Disney World he loves "Snow White's Scary Ride" - laughed when the witch pops out (my nieces refused to even line up). That's just how he is.
But recently he's been scared of everything.
Maybe it's Halloween. I don't know.
But I feel bad for him.
I'm also exhasuted.
Last night he freaked out whenever Mike or I went downstairs. So, I ended up staying upstairs with him. And he slept with his light on.
And then at 3:45 he woke up screaming. Terrified. He'd seen Dracula.
So while Mike calmed down the woken up Chloe, I sat with Matt, rubbed his back and helped him fall back to sleep.
This has been going on for a week. He is terrified.
I remember those fears. I was always like that. I used to run into my sister's room and snuggle up in her bed. Honestly, when our husbands are away we still occassionally have sleepovers. I hate going in the basement or upstairs if I'm home alone.
And, I'm totally jumpy when I am outside in the dark.
I don't know how it started. But, I know I don't want Matt to have the stupid fears I do.
I'm hoping part of this is because of Halloween. Otherwise I think we'll have to figure something out.Cuz. Sleep. I need it. And so does he!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life Cycles

A few weeks ago we got a phone call telling us that my husband's grandpa, Opa, was taken to the hospital.
He was admitted to the icu, and he spent about four and a half weeks there.
On Monday he passed away.
Mike is doing okay. As okay as you can do when someone you love dies. We had a few weeks to prepare. Mike made numerous visits to see Opa, though he wasn't coherent. Still, it gave Mike a chance to say goodbye. I went also, though usually I let Mike see him alone. We brought the kids. Matt had a hard time seeing his great grandpa with tubes in him.
We only brought him the one time.
I'm not sure how you teach a 5 year old to say goodbye.
I think it's okay that he didn't.
I sometimes think kids understand things better than adults.
On the weekend, after Mike and I visited Opa I spoke with Matt. I told him Opa was really sick. And, Matt said to me "I think he's coming to the end of his life cycle."
That's how Matt's mind works. He is a very logical child. I'm not sure he really understands the finalness of death. I'm not sure he needs to understand that.
Sometimes he misses my grandma who passed away a couple of years ago (I miss her too). One day he was sobbing because something reminded him of her. I think that's how sadness works for some kids. Especially for Matt. He seems to feel things really strongly for a short period of time.
Mind you that's how I work too.
I'll never figure out the mysteries of grief.
But, what I know?
I know that my kids felt loved by their great opa.
We have always made a point of bringing the kids to see their great grandparents. It's not a duty. It's not always an easy task to bring 2 small children to see their elderly great grandparents. But it's worth it.
I was going to post pictures on this post, but I don't need to. I can easily picture the joy on Opa's face when I handed my babies over. I can picture Matt's huge mischevious smile when grabbing Opa's pipe and playing with it while I looked on horrified and Opa cracked up (it wasn't lit).
we still haven't fully decided if we'll bring the kids to the funeral. I'm leaning toward no. But, to me that doesn't really matter. What matters is what goes on during life, not after death.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Thing I Rarely Mention

I think most parents have something they don't talk about that often - an issue that worries them, but that they can't discuss for fear of judgement.
That topic for me? Soothers.
Here's a secret. I hate them.
Well, I didn't. And I think they are great for screaming babies who need to suck.
But the whole weaning thing. Brutal.
For us it has been particularly awful.
And, no I'm not discussing our 18 month old.
Chloe has some soothers. In fact she has about 25 because when I was pregnant I was oddly obsessed with finding every single available soother style so that if she needed one I'd have the perfect one for her.
I know it's weird.
Also weird, and somewhat predictable? She's never been interested.
She likes to play with them. She likes to steal other babies' soothers. But, really they aren't her thing.

But we also have a 5 1/2 year old. That's like 66 months old. Seriously.
And he loves his soothers.
we have attempted to rid our house of his soothers (and he will only use a specific purple one) and we haven't. His soother is his security blanket.
We have driven long distances to buy these soothers in mass quantities since they were discontinued.
And, when you get to a certain age (i.e. anything over age 2) you become a soother snob. That is what happened to Matt.
He loves them. He smells them. He touches them.
It's weird.

Last year when we met with a psychologist to have Matt assessed we brought up the whole issue of soothers. And, our beloved psychologist told me that he would self-wean, but to let him have them because they are his security blanket.
Our dentist didn't agree.
Our family doctor didn't agree.
The psychiatrist didn't care.
So, we decided that he could have a soother only in his room. At first Matt would go to his room during the day for his fix.
Then he was okay just at night.
Then I convinced him to keep it under his pillow and if he really needed it - it was there. That has been pretty effective.
And ... this week the soother went missing.
How my 5 and a half year old could lose such a beloved object is beyond me. But he did.
And he is okay.
Sure he'll wake up in the middle of the night and ask about it.
But, he doesn't have it.
We've gone days without a soother anywhere to be found.
Thank goodness.

I think we're done.
I also think that I need to go to my hidden stash and throw them out also. Because I'll admit I'm a little terrified what this world holds for us when we don't have that bandaid solution at our fingertips.

But, I think we'll all survive.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Goals and Shoes. Shoes Win!

Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine about goals. Fitness goals, life goals, all of that.
It was an interesting conversation and he pretty much said what I've been thinking lately - I need a goal. A fitness goal.
When I started running I trained for a 5k. It was hard, but I accomplished that, and it was amazing.
And now ... nothing.
I'm still doing personal training, but I'm frustrated with it. My trainer's vision is for me to lose like 35 pounds and be in body-builder shape. I neither want to lose that much weight, nor do I really care if I can press more weight than anyone else. I like strength. I like to see the number go up on the weights, but it's not the be all and end all.
I need something else.
And, then I was browsing some Disney sites and found this:

and this

And it's kind of making me want to train for a half-marathon, simply for the fact that I could wear Princess in Training Clothes.
And, you know, have a fitness goal!
But then ... then last night I was speaking to someone who does halfs, and realized I am TOTALLY out of my mind. That's a lot of hard work. And too much training. So, I think maybe a 10 k is more realistic.

And then. Then we started talking about shoes. And I was distracted.

Because I remembered that I'd just seen the awesomest shoes... Barbie Shoes by Town Shoes (for adults. And they had shoes like this (I love the heart toe)

And like this ...

Do you see the pink sole???? LOVE

And finally like this ...

and I realized that I am okay as I am.
Goals are good. But, who am I kidding? I like my life. I don't want to dedicate hours of training to something I only kind of want to do.
I want to have fun. Be silly. Be me. Talk about cute shoes - not running. And make the gym one part o my life - not my whole life.
Because who doesn't love cute shoes?

(wanna see the whole collection. I LOVE it! Heart toes. LOVE)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sleep ... I need it

Yesterday I had this whole post written on sleep. On how I'm exhasuted and burnt out and OMG, could I please just go away to a remote island (or you know, a quiet hotel with room service and good cable channels) and sleep and relax for at least 3 nights.
And those feelings still persist.
And my husband is still cranky from lack of sleep. As am I.
And this weekend will still be a bustle of activity wherein we try to fit in our kids activities (gymnastics/birthday party), the necessary weekend stuff (like cleaning and grocery shopping) and we will maybe be able to sneak in some other stuff that we should do like going to the gym and buying new clothes for the kids (the nanny made me a list of what we need - that's how disorganized I am).
But last night when I got home from work my perspective kind of changed.
Chloe was sitting on the floor colouring pictures with our nanny.
A little later on, when Chloe fell asleep and we had our "family quiet time" Matt sat reading to me. Let me repeat. He pulled out a book and READ TO ME. Getting all the words.
And I realized that when people tell me that this time will go quickly and that I will miss this time. Maybe they are right.
I will not miss the lack of sleep.
I am really looking forward to the moment when Chloe goes in her own bed, sleeps through the night and wakes up refreshed.
I am looking forward to the moment when Matt can wake up in the morning and pour his own cereal and watch tv while I sleep in.
But I also know that the moments that happen  the rest of the time, Chloe learning new words, Matt reciting the poems he learns at school, both us attempting cartwheels in the front yard, laughing at the silly things we all do ... I will miss those.
Even if the lack of sleep sometimes makes me appreciate them less.
And I'm pretty sure that one day Mike and I won't be so cranky with each other. And we'll stop snapping over the little things.
And I'm confident that one day Matt will be a little calmer and quieter and realize that he does not ALWAYS need to shout to get his point across.
And I know that Chloe will get bigger and not be quite so clingy and I'll be able to close the bathroom door and pee in peace knowing that she will sit still and watch tv for 30 seconds...
I hope.
Because sometimes I feel like my sanity is hanging by a thread over here.
And if I'm being totally honest, I don't really think I'm one of those people who will miss these days. I may look back on them fondly. But miss them? Not so much.
I'm ready to embrace middle school and teenage hood, etc. etc. You know - the days when you get a little bit of sleep.

You do, right????

My Super Kids

Monday, September 28, 2009

I believe

  • that it is perfectly okay to listen to one song on repeat until you know every.single.word and then use lines from that song in conversation
  • that the best times with friends are the ones you don't plan
  •  that it is fun to go to a pub and order a girly drink. Even if you are with a group of guys. Who laugh at you.
  • that saying "I'm sorry" and truly meaning it is the most powerful thing you can do when you are wrong
  •  that when a situation really sucks sometimes the only thing you can do is change your attitude. And sometimes that makes all the difference
  • that sometimes you should go shopping and only try on clothes that you would never normally buy

  • that the phrase 'forgive and forget' is stupid. Forgiveness is a gift, but sometimes you need to remember
  •  that if you are in Disneyworld and your child is whining and cranky, ice cream is a much more effective solution than getting angry.(this is also true in malls, on long car rides and when visiting relatives)
  •  that if you really love a friend, and for some reason you've drifted apart CALL!
  • that sometimes crying is the only solution, and when it is go for it.  Also. Tear fests should be followed by pizza
  • that it is okay to say you believe in God. Or that you don't. And that it is really good to discuss these issues with people who don't feel the same way as you.
  • that if you think someone is amazing tell them. Bonus points if you sit and write a note with a real pen on real paper.
  • that having a messy desk means you are really smart.
  • that you should take the time to talk to kids - and not just your own.

  • that you should try to take your vitamins.
  • that empathy is a gift ... And a curse. If you know someone empathetic (hi!) Understand that it is a weight on your shoulders
  • that everyone should listen to "Good Mother" by Jann Arden, read "the Fifth Business" by Robertson Davies and learn the difference between the words "to, two and too"
  • that mental health is something to be valued, and that if you aren't happy you should ask for help. And if you know someone who isn't happy you should offer a soft shoulder for as long as it is needed.
  • that singing in the car while driving is fun. More fun is rolling the windows down and belting it! (even if you're singing along to Miley)
  • that it's great to know how fast you can run 5 k but even better to not care how fast or far you go, and just enjoy the feeling of being outside and feeling free.
  • that it builds character to take yourself out to dinner alone, have a glass of wine and enjoy your own company. Go ahead. Splurge. Order the delicious dessert that makes you feel like a pig and enjoy not sharing it!
  • that the same goes for movies. People are only losers for going alone if they believe they are one.
  • that every woman should own a great pair of red shoes, sexy underwear that is comfortable should get a professional bra fitting (and spluge on the pretty one!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lord of the Dance (or getting there ...)

I'm Irish.
Want to know who else is Irish?

Michael Flatley. As in Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. The guy who, let's be honest, got made fun of a LOT at the height of his popularity.
Know who else is Irish?
My son.
Who believes he is Michael Flatley.
If we are being honest, I will admit that I have never been to ireland, probably don't have any living Irish relatives, and really don't even know much about being Irish. I just cling to that heritage because I have the colouring (dark hair, pale skin), I have a temper and St.Patrick's Day is an awesome holiday to claim. And, I will even drink Guiness if it's forced on me.
So when Matt came to me asking to take Irish Dance classes with his cousin I thought that it was the perfect fit for us.
Kind of.
Mike doesn't love the idea of Matt being in a dance class.
I'm embracing it but a little scared of the reprucussions of having my boy in dance.
But ...
He's good.
He had his first class yesterday and the child can dance!
He walked right in there and just copied the teacher and went for it.
I won't say he was as well-behaved as the girls.
He didn't listen terribly well and he tended to run around a bit.
But that's Matt - and I can't change that.
What I loved was the excitement.
While some of the little girls were hanging back, not ready for class, Matt was in there showing everyone his stuff. Seriously. He has mastered the arms by his side thing.
And, I'm quite happy that my son's costume expense will be reasonably low.
Chloe even got in on the action. While Matt was in his class I let Chloe watch the older kids rehearse. She was dancing right along with them (and everyone said she was adorable)
But, as my brother in law pointed out - the end of season recital should be very interesting.
And seriously, I'm not sure how much Irish jig music I can really handle.
We'll see.
So, bye-bye karate. hello Irish dance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cartwheels, Among Other Things

I have this list in my head.
I've been reading people who have these things they want to accomplish by 30 lists. Well, I missed that milestone, so I decided I need a list of things to do by the age of 40. That gives me 9 years, so I have awhile. Item #1 - write the list!
But really, one of the things on this mental list of mine includes learning to do a cartwheel.
You may be shocked by the fact that I can't. And that I never learned.
My parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided not to enroll me in gymnastics classes. They say it was cost prohibitive, but I think really it had more to do with my inability to walk in a straight line, and the fact that they wanted me to live past my 8th birthday. Also, I never asked.
I'm okay with that.
I'm living through my adorable children who have both taken gymnastics (Chloe shows a little more talent) and my niece who is also taking classes.
I'm okay with the fact that I will never be able to do a backflip on a balance beam, or swing freely through the air from the low-bar to the high bar.
I did do the gymnastics rotation in gym class, but my 10th grade gym teacher was frightened by the bruises I sustained in my attempts to do the vault. So, she suggested that learning a floor routine may cause too much bodily injury.
But, I still cannot do a cartwheel. And I am determined to learn.
I debated approaching the coach from Chloe's mommy&me class, but I really want to keep the focus on my adorable child, and I'm trying to cut back on the crazy when it comes to other mothers' perceptions of me.
And then I remembered that my friend used to be a gymnastics coach. And I recruited her.
Now, I love Lisa. But, I'll admit my beloved friend thought I was a LITTLE crazy when I approached her. However, she knows me well, and supported my dream ... and off we went to a meeting room (the big one with lots of space) and she showed me some tricks.
So, awesome, in fact, that last night I dragged Mike outside, in the rain, to make a video of my cartwheeling prowess.
As I performed multiple cartwheels I was thrilled to post the video on here, knowing you would all be impressed, and think to yourselves "wow! she missed an opportunity to be an Olympian. She has so much potential."
And, wisely before I posted I watched myself.
OH MY GOD I SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clearly I did not miss my calling.
I have bent legs and I look horrible.
Of course, Matt decided to cartwheel next to me and he wanted it on video also.
So, as we watched the video, and I winced in horror, Matt started jumping up and down.
"Look at me, Mommy. I'm wonderful. You too Mommy. You did great."
Really, I didn't.
And honestly, he isn't a cartwheeling genius either. We both equally suck.
But, man, I wish I had that kid's confidence.
I'm not sure when I hit the point of looking at myself in horror instead of pride. What Matt saw, and what I should have seen, was how much fun we were having.
How, when we tried to do cartwheels at the same time it was kind of awesome - not in the sense of an accomplishment, but more in the sense that we were laughing so hard we couldn't stand up.
So, maybe my cartwheel failed.
But, my mothering last night - PERFECT 10.
I'll take that.
And I'll practice.
And, maybe I'll make another video. If I can manage to at least land on my feet. And, I'll show you my adorable child. But, that's another day. When at least if I can't perform a cartwheel I can at least wear clothes that don't frighten the masses.
Someday ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crazy, Anyone?

We all need a little crazy in our lives. Right? I hope so.
And there's nothing like a crazy neighbour to make life just a little bit interesting.
We've had crazy neighbours before, but the ones we had were more crazy annoying than crazy funny. And, then we thought one of our neighbours was a crazy cat lady (I say this as a cat lover), but then we got to know her and discovered that she is a teeny bit eccentric, but really not crazy at all. Which was all good except Mike nad I had one less neighbour to gossip about.
Until ...
The crazy bird lady moved in.
I'm not sure if it's totally fair to call her that since she really has a menagerie in her house. She has a cat, a dog, some fish and about 7 birds.

One of these birds is Loulou, a Macaw.
So, bird lady likes to take her birds for walks.
An added bonus is that she decided to take a paper route so that she could socialize her birds. I'M NOT KIDDING. We get a paper 3 times per week and each time she has a different bird sitting on her shoulder.
And every time that she delivers the paper she says hit to my family. My kids love her. I kind of do too. But, that does not detract from her wackiness.
Yesterday was insane on a whole bunch of levels. Mike's opa (grandpa) had an aneurysm on the same day that Mike's sister was arriving for a visit from Australia.  So, he did the airport pick-up while i cleaned, cooked and prepared for a house guest.
And then for some reason crazy bird lady was walking by so Matt went out to say hi. Today was socializing Loulou the macaw day.
And, crazy bird lady decided that she would have people feed the bird.
Of course I thought that was an awesome idea.
Except the friggin bird bit me ... AND THEN LAUGHED. 
Which made everyone laugh except that I was in pain.
Of course this led me to tweet about the event.
Except in this case ... twitter FAIL!
What I forgot when tweeting was that not everyone knew that my sister-in-law was visiting and then my parents were watching the kids while we were off to visit Mike and his sister's grandpa in the hospital. And the tweet about the Macaw bite was just really a one-off tweet. Instead the chain of tweets was a little jarring to some people who thought that Loulou, the Macaw who bit me, put me in the hospital (READ FROM THE BOTTOM UP)

So, my finger is fine. My ego, despite being laughed at by a bird, is intact, and the visit to the icu were for Mike's grandpa. (we don't know how he is doing, so that is another post for another day).

And, as I'm actively avoiding the bird lady, I have discovered that I needn't go far from home for the crazy because there is a spazzed-out territorial squirrel living in the tree that shades our home.
And, I am sure that the squirrel is going to attack.
Duck and cover, people. DUCK AND COVER.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In which I Somehow Compare Rebecca Eckler and Mitch Joel

Pictures ... links ... talking about twitter ... Clearly I was at at internet event last night.

I have a mommy blog. I blog about my life and my kids. About my love of shoes and crushes on my hairstylist.
I tweet about that stuff to.
That's not all there is to me. But for me writing about all of that is enjoyable. If a pretty pair of shoes makes me smile, well this is the space for that.
So, while those are things that tend to define my writing, here's a confession that may surprise you.
I am completely fascinated, awed and inspired by a blogger-writer-marketer that I recently discovered.
I will freely admit that I love reading Oprah's magazine, think Rebecca Eckler is the best writer ever and love the movie Bring It On.
So when I say the name Mitch Joel - it should kind of throw you for a loop. Really. It should.
He writes about social media. And about personal brand. And about being an entrepreneur.
And here's a confession - I discovered him at a convention on special event planning, and I almost skipped his keynote speech because I thought it may be boring (sorry!). But, at work I've been really trying to spearhead a social media initiative. So I went. And OMG! This guy is amazing. I was enthralled.
In fact from the moment he started talking I was hooked. As in I stopped checking my blackberry and whispering to my friend and sat for a full hour listening to what he had to say about social media, personal branding and how it is all tied together.
And then I learned he was releasing a book - which I am reading and loving. (and side note, when I went to buy his book there was totally a line-up of 3 of us to buy it. At the same store where there was no line-up for the latest Twilight release ... so, go Mitch)
And he has a blog.
And he's on twitter and facebook. (and bonus points - he has replied to my tweets and friended me on Facebook which may make me an internet stalker, but then he totally told me to comment on his blog, so clearly I do not have the stalker look about me. Thank god.)
And then ... he had a book launch. And I managed to get invited, and brought someone I work with (who has a far greater grasp of social media than I do). And I totally went and introduced myself to Mitch. Who was really quite lovely.
And I had a typical Laural moment of starting to talk, and then realizing halfway through that I could not stop talking. Oops. But, apparently the moment wasn't so bad because then I went home and added him as a friend on facebook, and he friended me back. So clearly I did manage to STOP THE FLOW OF WORDS fairly quickly. Thank goodness.
And then I realized today I needed to blog about all his wonderful goodness.
So. Go get the book. You'll thank me. It's a little slower than say, my favourite book of all time.
And, since I keep comparing the two, here is what goes on in my head.

The Great Rebecca/Mitch Comparison
(like Julia & Julia without the food. or not really, but funny to me)
Rebecca - author of mommy books. Made me laugh. Made me cry. Made me stop panicking about whether I suck at being a mom
Mitch - author of social media books. Made me laugh. Kind of made me panic that I suck at the internet
Rebecca - Is all about her personal brand
Mitch - obsessively talks about personal brand
Rebecca - Went to her book launch. Could not stop talking then burst into tears because I was amazed by her awesomeness.
Mitch - Went to his book launch. Again could not stop talking but wisely did not burst into tears despite his awesomeness
Rebecca - Amazing fashion sense. If I were her friend I would totally ask her to take me shopping (I mean, in my head we are totally friends.).
Mitch - he seems to wear a lot of black. Despite my facebook friend status (one of about 3500 friends) I'm pretty sure I'll stick to listening to his social media advice and skip asking for fashion advice.

So, where does that leave us?
Oh - just go buy the book. It's good. And while you're at it, stock up on Rebecca's books to.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On Being a Drama Queen

I'll admit it. I have a slight tendency toward the dramatic.
Admit it. You know this is the case.
One of my resolutions when I turned 30 was to be less dramatic. (another was to get my hair dyed professionally ... good call on that one).
And, also, somewhere in there I decided that I needed to take a break from my beloved hair stylist Bill, who I will love forever and ever amen, and find a hair stylist that could cut and colour my hair for less than a million dollars.
And, so I found one.
Who, I just realized totally has access to my blog because this goes automatically to facebook (hi!). And I kind of love him.
Let's be honest. I had 17 years with Bill. We have history. I do not have that much time with my new person (I'm not sure if he's cool with me sharing his name - search my friends, you can figure it out). And, honestly, I fell in love with Bill when I was 13, and it's totally different now. But whatever. The point is ...
Wait. I think I lost the point.
Okay - new hair stylist. Building the love. it takes time.
And then something happened. In retrospect it IS kind of funny. But, I got overly dramatic. And went and got my hair cut somewhere else. And kind of liked it (the hair cut - not where I went). But, only 50% of the hair cut is the cut. The other 50% is the person cutting it - and letting you leave feeling FAB-U-LOUS. And, really ...
New guy has the same charm as Bill.
And I leave feeling good about my hair and myself.
So, back to where I was. I totally cheated on new guy. Because I was angry. I do that. (get angry - not cheat). But, then I missed him. So I called and made an appointment. And went back.
Last night.
Guess what?
It went okay.
First of all, he made my hair edgy. (well, I like to think so). he totally didn't get my joke when I said I wanted to look like Kate Gosselin. I think it's a good thing that Kate isn't on his hair radar. Instead he wanted to make me look like someone from 90210. Nice.
I didn't mention that I'm old school 90210 more than new school.
I like that he thinks I'm young. (though he knows my age).
And then after the discussions about being edgy, regular use of my flat iron, and what colour highlights I should go with (deep purple) I did something crazy.
I apologized for being such a drama queen over something so minor.
And ...
And promised me he would never do that again.
And we are cool. Thank goodness. And as proof that we are cool he didn't do something revengeful like shave my head. Or make me look like Kate. Cause he really could have, now that I think about it.
And, as it turns out, the guy is dramatic himself. And, I love drama queens who understand my dramatic tendencies.
And the best part about getting my hair cut. It has to be his wonderful gigantic bear hugs at the end. So, maybe I'm a little smitten. And you know what, I don't think it's a bad thing.
I still have to admit. I miss Bill. Because as much as my hair is lovely ... a big part of me loves my Bill. Even if I can't afford him. But, that's another story for another time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A LONNNNNG weekend

I have a lot to say about this weekend.
About how it started with gymnastics class for my baby (who walked around like she owned the place) and how I almost cried from the joy and pride. I have much to say about that, but I should really bring a camera to show you the cuteness. And oh the pride. I am fully amazed at how my little girl at 18 months takes on the world and shows everyone who is boss with the biggest and most beautiful smile on her face.
I want to talk about the funeral/memorial that I went to . I just don't have the words, or the comprehension, to go into detail, or to explain the sadness over a life ending too soon while at the same time marveling over a group of people who can rise above sadness and anger to celebrate the joy and love this person brought.
There was the surprise party for my dad which was incredible and amazing. And, I realized how proud I am to be his child (well, this I already knew, but I was reminded). And there was catching up with people I love who I don't see often enough.
And then there was yesterday, when I realized that being a mom is damn hard, and I had to deal with a total ass who felt the need to swear at my 5 year old who was having a really rough day. But, despite this man's ridiculous behaviour I was moved to tears by strangers who came to my child's defense (and mine) to help us move beyond idiocy. And they reminded me that for the small amounts of bad and mean there are in the world, there is a lot more good.
But today I am exhausted. Just completely emotionally spent.
So I got up, went to the gym, and started my week like any other.
And life goes on.
Bit by bit I realize that, like Miss Hannah Montana herself sings, "it's all about the climb."
Onwards and upwards, my friends. And on with the week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Senior Kindergarten ... Here we come!

Yesterday Matt went to school.
He's no longer the little jk kid who was excited and frightened about a new adventure. Nope. he's an sk.
he knew he was visiting his classroom for half an hour. He was thrilled he got half an hour with his teacher, his beloved teacher, to tell her about his summer and to show her he could read.
When we left jk in June he could read a couple of site words ("the" was his favourite). He knew his letter sounds. He had no interest in reading or writing.
And his teacher suggested that we try to encourage reading.
We took her advice, but we let him go at his own pace. A word here, a word there. Lots of excitement (genuine) when he sounded out the word Mom (spelled mam) and wrote it everywhere.
And over the summer he started reading more. One day sounds started to make sense. his world exploded. In place of playing lego in his bedroom he started looking through books, shrieking for us to help him with a word.
And we let him go at his own pace. Lots of encouragement. no pushing. Even though it killed me that he didn't love to read like I did, I let it go. And we let him learn the love of language on his own.
And yesterday we went to see his teacher.
And she pulled out her pile of site words.
22 words.
And he read them. Each and every word. By himself. Because he wanted to.
I was sitting in the hall chatting with the special ed teacher.
What I told the special ed teacher, the woman who I wish I didn't know because of her job function, was that over the summer I learned that instead of making Matt fit my mold I learned I have to fit his. I have to meet him where he is at.
And, it's working.
When his teacher came to bring me into the classroom she had tears in her eyes. Because she spent all of jk struggling with me, knowing that my amazing child could be amazing - if we could just figure out how.
"He blew me away."
Me too.
Because my child. The kid who has ADHD. The child who tells me that sometimes his brain just won't work right. My child decided he can.
Being a mom is amazing. Not always. We all know that. The temper tantrums, the anger. That's all part of what goes on in his brain. It's something we are working with and conquering and maybe even embracing. But seeing my child accomplish something that is really really hard amazes me.
it puts me in my place.
And it reminds me that as much as I need to accept that he struggles I can't accept mediocrity for my child.

I didn't post this last year. But, if you want to see how far we've come, here's an e-mail I sent to a few people about the exact same visit last year. We've come a long way, baby!

"Seriously ... worst visit ever!!!!
We were supposed to go for a half hour visit. We got forms to fill out while the teacher showed Matt the classroom.
So, the classroom visit went really well. He had no problem with us staying in the hall and did everything she asked. He drew pictures and even did letters (something he will not do for us). He was happy and laughing, etc.
So then she brought us in. We were talking about behavioural issues and so she let him have a "quick play" with one bucket of toys. So, we talked for quite awhile and he was happily playing away. And then she said it was tidy up time.
He refused.
So she said she would help him tidy and play. (at which point we were baffled as to whether we should let her do her thing or intervene, but we let her do her thing). So he shouted at her. And then started throwing toys. It was awful. By the end of the impromptu tidy up session he was screaming "I hate you Ms. Teacher. I am very angry right now". I was trying not to cry while at the same time relieved he was just shouting not hitting.
And then he turns to her and screams "I am very angry at you Ms.Teacher. Very angry and your tidy up time must change." Then he turned on his heel, grabbed the backpack and very dramatically said "this stupid visit is now over and I'm outta here."
Mike went with him and to my relief his teacher cracked up and told me that kids tend to be a little over-excited and have extreme reactions, and that I don't need to worry too much. And, I hit the point of laughing almost hysterically because otherwise I would have started to cry.
At least she didn't think I was the crazy parent who was trying to diagnose my kid with an issue that was non-existent.
It was horrible and funny all at the same time. Mike was quite glad to be going back to work.

The funny thing is that when we were eating lunch we were talking about it a bit. Matt turned to me and said "that Ms. Teacher seems very nice. Only 2 more sleeps till I go back!" I'm sure Ms.Teacher is counting down the days also."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


A couple of weeks ago my friend and I went to hear a keynote speech at a convention. I have to admit that I tend to listen to people speak, or read books, or watch tv shows, and realize that I may have missed the whole huge message (no matter how good) because I am completely focused on one aspect of what that person said.
Case in point was this speech.
Actually, I was pretty riveted the entire time. To the point that I a going back to hear him speak next week.
But, what really struck me was not the incredible stuff the speaker had to say about social media. What struck me was when he was talking about reputation. The point he made was that sometimes what you think about yourself, and what you think people would say about you is not necessarily what you would say about yourself. And also that some of the most enlightened people in the world (I think like Oprah or Eckhart Tolle or Mother Theresa???) would have personal lists that would match what others would say about them.
And I'm completely obsessed with this thought.
I honestly will be on the elliptical in the morning, totally working out and focused on what I'm doing, and I start wondering about my own personal list. What traits would I say about myself (postive or negative) about myself, and what would others say?
Or I will start thinking about how at the gym in the morning I never talk to people. I walk in completely focused and don't say a word. And, I'm sure that the people there think I'm kind of snotty and shy.
And then I come home and I'm with my kids, and when I'm with them I try to be more authoratative. And when I'm rushing around trying to get out of the house on time I have a tendency to be kind of bitchy to Mike when he's late. And our nanny sees this, and I have to admit that she sees me as a bit of a stress case.
And then there's work. I'm totally different there again. Too chatty. Too noisy. Too messy and a little bit crazy. And I can't help but contrast the person I am from 9-5 with the person I am at my 5 am workout.
And, then take the day at work. I wouldn't say I'm 100% confident all of the time. But in many situations I am. But, the other day at work I was in this meeting and someone said to me "I'm confident you can pull this off, and do this project, but I need to know that you're confident in yourself and I'm not seeing that."
I can't stop questionning if people think I have no confidence.
That's been bugging me for days.
And, it actually does really matter.
And then there's this blog. And, maybe on here I'm a combination of all of those things. Actually, maybe I'm not quite as snarky on here as I am in real life. Who knows.
Which leads me to the point, what do I think of myself? And what positive qualities do I have? And seriously, even if I think I have them do I? And can you make yourself have good qualities just because you want them?
Maybe I'll make a list.
Not now. I still have to think about it.

The Joys of Boys

Matt is my sweet, sweet 5 year old.
If there's one thing he loves it's hugs and cuddles and having stories read to him. There's nothing better to him than waking up in the morning and having Mommy all to himself. We sit in the big chair, watch some Spongebob and cuddle.
I love that about Matt.
Because he also struggles with temper tantrums and meltdowns sometimes, I've discovered (in my vast parenting wisdom ... heh heh) that sometimes the best way to solve a problem is by just giving him a big hug and telling him things are okay.
The other day I came home and the world was falling apart because our nanny had said no ice cream.
As I stood in the kitchen with Matt sobbing I turned to him and said "Maybe a hug will make this better."
And he jumped into my arms and snuggled there for a good 30 seconds. He pulled back a bit and whispered to me that he wanted to tell me something.
Ever the kind, compassionate, mom, I stopped and I said "you can tell me anything."
Matt: "Mommy. Your hugs are the best. You know just how to squish me and make me fart. I love you."

Oh Matt ... I love you too!!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Miss Me? Well I do!

I know.
If you have followed me on my blogs, or know me, or are me, you've probably said (likely to me) "what are you doing with your blogs?"
I know.
It's ridiculous.
I have 3 blogs.
Here's the problem. On this blog my name is everywhere. And it bothered me for awhile when people were searching me. As in people who know me in real life. Like work people. But that died down. And there was that whole "issue" that made me question this whole blogging thing.
And then I was pregnant. And I had to debate whether I wanted to have my kids' lives online. So i started another blog. But it wasn't me. So I started a different blog. But it still wasn't me.
And then ...
And then I realized that it doesn't matter.
I miss writing for who I am.
Misadventures - that's who I am. My life is full of these misadventures. These mis-steps. The mistakes. The moments that make me laugh. The times I wonder why on earth I said what I just did - in front of a room full of people. I'm the person who brought a bawking chicken into work and then had it kidnapped. (really). I'm the person who has a tendency to let everyone know how I feel - and wear my heart on my sleeve. Which causes some problems.
And, Mommy. That's me too. It's something I'm proud of, even if I struggle pretty much every day with that as my identity. Who am I first? Laural? A mom? A working mom. A working woman who has kids?
And, this blog let me do that.
Not as someone with a pseudonym. But as me. Very definitely me.
And I miss that.
The people who know me, who love me (or at least like me or put up with me) they know that what they see is what they get.
I'd wished I'd blogged my adventures in organics here. It would have been much funnier. Maybe I'll revisit that.
But I want to be back. Here. At my blogging home. Cuz I miss it. And I miss you guys. All of you who read (hi Wondermommies! I'm looking at all of you). And I think I'm ready to go back to being me and living on line. And maybe deleting my other blogs. Or importing some of that stuff back here.
So, we're cool?
We're done being "on a break"?
Good? Good.
Welcome back.
Why thank you.
Want to know the real me? Voila.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Since My Grandad is 100

Sometimes I miss this blog. And in honour of my grandad who just turned 100 (and also a couple of friends who bugged me NOT to totally quite this blog) I wanted to share what I said about him last weekend.
100. Wow!

Good afternoon
My name is Laural, and I am art’s second oldest grand child.
I was asked to say a little bit about the experience of being one of his grandchildren.
My granddad is one of a kind! My earliest memories of him are when I was pretty little. I have fond memories of traveling to the apartment in Orillia and playing with Nana and Granddad’s dog Jodi, sliding down piles of snow, and going for special dinners at Swiss Chalet. Of course I’ll never forget stealing mints from their candy bowl and Granddad telling me stories about his railroad days – stories that I now tell my children
One of my most treasured memories of Granddad is from when I was about 9 or 10. Nana was in the hospital for surgery, so our family would visit on the weekend. I would make granddad sandwiches and we’d go for a walk around the hospital. Because Granddad had a hard time hearing me, we would pass notes to each other written on hospital cafeteria napkins. I really treasured some of the messages he sent me.
I learned through those notes how much Grandad loved to hear about my life, and as I grew up I would often jot him a quick letter to tell him about life, school, work and family.
From him I discovered the love of writing, and also the importance of listening (or at least pretending really well).
As I’ve grown up I have had the privilege of not only introducing Grandad to my husband, but also to my 2 children, Matthew and Chloe, two of Art’s 4 great grandchildren.
There’s a saying that goes “it’s great to have children. Better to have grandchildren, but great grandchildren are the icing on the cake.”
For me it’s been such a blessing to watch granddad interact with my kids. I love to see the look of pure joy on his face when my kids give him hugs, or when he gets an extra special cuddle from a baby.
I recently told my 5 year old that his Great Grandad is 100. And I’ll leave you with the words he said to me.
“100 years old means you’ve seen lots of life. It makes you very smart and very special. And I’m lucky that it’s my Great Grandad.”
So, happy birthday, Grandad!
Congratulations on 100 years.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Moving on

I know I’ve neglected this blog for awhile now.
I started it a couple of years ago and it was perfect for me. It was a place to talk about all the stuff going on in my life.
I loved telling stories about Matthew and the crazy life we had. The title of my blog “Misadventures of Mommy Laural” wasn’t a title I thought long and hard about. To me parenting was just a crazy misadventure and I never knew what I was doing right – or wrong.
I always felt like I didn’t quite know what I was doing. And, because I was (fairly) young when I had Matt, it seemed like strangers felt compelled to offer me advice, give suggestions or critique my parenting.
It’s been 5 years now since I became a mother (to Matt) and I’ve been a mother of 2 for just over a year now.
And, what I’m seeing now is that Matt’s story is his now.
He’s five.
And my five year old has a very strong opinion of what he likes and doesn’t like. Since he’s started school I’ve watched him grow from a little boy whose life was dictated by his parents to a child who clearly knows what he wants to do and when he wants to do it.
That’s one of the most amazing things about Matt.
But, it also has led me to believe that this blog, this discussion of my life, his life, my parenting and his being parented isn’t just my story to tell anymore.
It’s OUR story.
And as much as I would love to share it all here I can’t. I would love to sit and write a post about my fears for him. I worry about social stuff, about bullying, about his attention issues among other things.
But, I’m not sure that a blog is the right place to talk about that.
Miss Chloe has her own story too. But, it’s different the second time around. In a way it’s easier.
The great thing I learned from blogging though, is this. Everyone struggles. And when you put yourself out there, and you admit that you are struggling, that you need help, that you need reassurance, that you aren’t perfect … people listen. And they help.
I rely on my friends, on my WonderMommies, on my family. And for now I’m not relying on my blog.
So am I done? Yes and No. This space here will be shut down soon. And my other blog (that many of you know about) will be also.
But, I’m working on something new. Something fun! Something more me. And, bonus points if you can guess what the topic is.
Once I have it up and running I’ll post the link here.
But, for now, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The birthdays are coming

In our household, this time of the year is exciting because we have 2 birthdays to celebrate: Chloe's on March 28th and Matt's on April 6th. So, 2 birthdays in 2 weeks.
Of course I came up with the plan to celebrate Matt's birthday by inviting his entire class (19 kids) and my nieces TO MY HOUSE for a Mad Science birthday party. That party will be held exactly one week after our birthday/open house for Chloe's first birthday. Also at our house. Yes. Crazy.
So, of course, when I got an e-mail telling me I could win Disney party ideas and favours I jumped at the chance to enter.
Really, I didn't get my hopes up. I enter contests all the time. I didn't expect to win.
But, win I did!
So, soon I'm getting a bunch of Disney stuff to help me celebrate! I can't wait.
I'm not sure that this will really help me make a better party, but you never know.
For now, I'm just stressing about what I'm going to do. I still haven't sent out birthday invitations for either party. And I haven't planned.
But, one day at a time.
Any party planners are welcome to help out. I have nothing!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I love Valentine's Day.
I know some people call it a Hallmark holiday, but I love it for that reason. We don't have to travel anywhere. There's no worrying about changing schedules so that everyone is happy. We simply have to be with each other.
And eat chocolate.

And wake up to a table decorated by my loving husband.
We also enjoyed a lovely dinner out - just Mike and I, because our nanny babysat. (she offered). I paid no attention to my diet and enjoyed every bite of my meal down to the chocolate brownie. It was delicious.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Loving Grandma ...

When Grandma says "smile for the camera" ...

Chloe smiles for the camera!

The cuteness kills me.

Can you believe that tomorrow our nanny starts? I can't. These past 10 months have flown by. I can't believe my teeny tiny baby is getting so big (and funny, cute, crazy, active ...). I also can't believe Matthew has started the countdown to his FIFTH birthday.

This weekend we celebrated Mike's birthday. I know we're a bit ahead of things, but instead of spending the weekend stressing about the changes happening in our home I surprised Mike with a trip to Buffalo (Friday night to Saturday) an afternoon at Monster Jam with Matthew tonight and then dinner at my parents. Oh ... and a brand new camera which he seems to love.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Competimommy - the elementary years

I'm not sure who coined the phrase Competimommy, but it's a good one.
I encountered many Matthew was younger. One particular playgroup we went to had the rich moms who compared which Louis Vuitton bag was truly the best to use as a diaper bag (seriously), and encounted the moms who were becoming proficient in ASL so that they could better communicate with their babies. I'm not talking baby sign language (I embraced this). I'm talking moms who paid ASL coaches to made videos for them so they could practice advanced words.
And, I laughed at it. Because I was so far out of their league I couldn't compete. At first I was insecure, but I slowly realized that as a mom I had my flaws, and no designer bag could really make up for the fact that I routinely spilled cheerios, lost soothers and forgot to bring diapers in my diaper bag. And, no matter how many languages I became proficient in, my kid would say his first word when he was ready. (though he did sign "milk" at a very young age!)
And then there was tonight.
Matthew and his cousin Kyla had gymnastics together.
This isn't my first session of gymnastics. In fact, we just finished a session in December. But, the afternoon moms of 3-5 year olds are not nearly as competitive as the moms my sister and I encountered tonight.
First there was the mom who, ironically, is a parent in Matt's class. The thing is, at school I barely notice her. At gymnastics it was a whole other story. It was the FIRST class. We were all trying to get a look through the window at our darlings. I'll admit that. But this mom? She pulled up a chair, stood on it, and when her daughter did something she cheered. At first I thought that this kid was doing backflips. Nope. She was skipping right next to Matt and Kyla. As they progressed through the various activities her mom continued right on, lamenting the kid's body shape (she's 5) and insisiting her husband hoist their son on his shoulder so the whole family could observe.
I was unable to enjoy the moment of snark with my sister, because our conversation (yes, we did get a Starbucks and planned to spend the hour chatting while slightly monitoring our kids) was interrupted constantly by a woman in a peach coloured sweater.
In the one hour session we learned her entire life story.
We learned about the time she sold her house.
We learned about her kids.
And, most importantly, we learned about her daughter who is a brilliant gymnast and was asked to be in this particular evening class. Thrilling.
As she talked Becky and I would casually step back at an appropriate break in conversation only to be interrupted again by the same woman. It was funny.
Now, I know this may sound harsh, but she was a plump woman and about my height. Given the fact that she was wearing a peach sweater and was very round, with a round hairstyle, I have to admit that I kept thinking she looked like a Giant Peach.
And the more she spoke the more I thought it.
But, the clincher of the evening was when we were watching the elite gymnasts doing flips. I was amazed at the ability they had to hop into a flip and do 5 or 6 ina row. It was amazing. And, I said so. And as Beck and I were discussing how many flips these girls could do yet again the Peach interrupted us.
"It's Momentum"
Good to know. I continued what I was saying.
"Momentum. It's momentum. It's the floor and it's momentum. That's how they keep going."
"I know this. I was a highschool gymnast."
At this point all I could picture was a giant peach hurdling across the gym floor. Ironically, my sister had the same thought.
I can't wait to go back next week and hear just how well all the off spring did this week.