Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Date With My Boy

It feels like it's been forever since my son and I have left the world of day-to-day errand running and did something special.

Despite heavy snowfall, we braved slippery driving conditions (I ended up slipping into the street, and my car was stuck for a short period at a 45 degree angle) to go to Gymboree.  He was mesmerized by all of the things to climb, balls to to throw and the slides and parachute.  He didn't particularly care for the other kids, but the opportunity to just go and play made him very happy.  He thought the parachute was particularly fun, and I think that Dad being there made it extra-special.

Daddy and I decided that even though our budget was particularly tight, we would enroll him in a weekly class to help him develop his social skills and give him time to just be a kid.

After the class, T and I went to paint pottery.   I was a little concerned about the roads, but the pottery place wasn't too far away, and I thought he'd enjoy it.  I was right.  He LOVED painting his turtle and pig... and something secret and special for Daddy for Valentine's Day... shhh...

Given the chilly temperatures, we decided to go for hot chocolate, run a few errands (we couldn't get away with not buying a few small grocery items), and head home... where he promptly took a nap.

It felt good to enjoy his company and explore again.  It reminded me how wonderful it is to be a Mom.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today was a day of gremlins...

I thought I packed my Blackberry and cell phone.  No.  They were on the living room table. 

I thought I packed T's boots.  No.  They were left in the kitchen.

I thought T had enough diapers for his day home.  No.  One left.

And, of course, the traffic was particularly brutal on the way to work, so I was late.  Then, the on-line programs I was trying to use weren't working. Yipes!

But, the gremlins faded as the day progressed.  I was able to have an interview with a high-ranking elected official (a hard to get get... media were waiting almost outside his door, but he spoke with us first). Then, I did something I was dreading for about a week... I had a talk with my much-loved day home provider, indicating I had to find something more structured for my son.  She was sweet, lovely and respectful, saying my son was always welcome back. 

So despite little gremlins doing their thing this morning, everything worked out alright. (I'm still a bit sad about the day home provider.  I'm going to miss her).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Question of Ethics

In life, I'm the type of person who likes to feel confident in the outcome - regardless of it is - before I role the dice.

I dot my 'i's and cross my 't's. 

I like to know I'm being ethical and looking after all the details.

I've always considered protecting reputation and maintaining ethical behaviour at an organization to be part of my role - regardless of position on the totem pole.

But, what happens when you have a boss who doesn't value this trait?  The type of boss who says, 'get it done, regardless of consequence'.

There is an inherent, underlying tension between get it done and get it done right.  Often, there is a degree of compromise.  But not always.  I have a need to do the right thing - even if it causes delay.

The only practical solution seems to be to recognise the different needs and the roles being played... and to try not to mentally kill each other.  Embracing differences might be the key to survival.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Journalist Peggy Orenstein wrote a book called, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, criticising marketing towards little girls that encourages early sexualization and focus on appearance.

This has me thinking... The feminist movement is taking a giant step backwards with the burgeoning 'pink culture' targeted at little girls. What are we teaching our daughters - the future generation of women?  Through the propagation of 'pink culture' we're teaching our 'princesses' that beauty equates with personal value. 

The fairy tale mentality that we fought to overcome may be losing ground with this princess movement.  Will little girls start to internalise the myths? Women need to be rescued by men; we can change a man from a 'beast' to loving prince through our love; and beauty is equated with all that is good and 'ugly' is equated with all that is evil.

It's scary to think all of this marketing to youth will shape how they see themselves and ultimately the world and shape generations to come.  Hopefully, strong parenting, the willingness to discuss and defy stereotypes and encouragement to explore all facets of life will overcome the challenges of being a little girl in today's society.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Something that makes me smile...

Here are some things that make me smile as T's Mommy:
  • I've been wearing contact lenses lately, and he keeps asking, "Where are Mommy's glasses?"
  • When we order a "kid's" hot chocolate at Second Cup or Starbucks, he corrects me, saying "T [full name]'s hot chocolate."
  • Daddy and T have taken to morning pillow fights.  So, he'll toss a pillow at me and say, "pillow fight."
  • He loves "scary dinosaurs" and will growl every time he says it.
  • T likes to play hide and seek.  He'll crawl under the covers, saying "Where's T [full name]?" then pull them off exclaiming "Here I am?"

So Tired...

After a super-busy week, I am so tired.  Normally, Saturday's mean running errands, having adventures with my son and taking care of about a million things.  Today, I am so tired... very tired. I just want to take a nap.  Sigh.

Friday, January 21, 2011

They Cancelled Medium...


Okay, that's pretty hard language.  But, I really enjoyed the show; it was part of my must-see-TV.  I'd look forward to it every week, and I own several of the seasons.

There are very few shows that I have to see... and Medium was one.  I guess I have lots of memories of watching the program with my man.  We'd have lost weekends and watch episodes on DVD back-to-back. 

The program was about love. The relationship between Joe and Allison DuBois was always so supportive, and they survived tough times together... They were focused on each other and their girls as a family.

Now it's done.  I am sad. 

The Mommy Guilt

I found an article that makes me feel much less guilty about my 'Mommy Guilt'.

Okay, I still feel guilty about not being the perfect mother/wife/employee/daughter etc... But at least there's a method to my madness...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Today, I found myself in the strangest position.  I found myself envious of someone who had nothing... well very little... but she had the one thing I wanted: to stay home and focus on raising her kids for a while.

Yup... I have a secure, interesting job where I meet various folks - some well known, others not so much - but I'm always learning from them.  I have a gorgeous home, and a loving man and the perfect child...  But she has the one thing that's weighing on my heart the most: the ability to be a stay-at-home mom for a while.  Or at least - the ideal plan - to work much fewer hours and spend real time - quality time with my child.

I've worked hard all of my life to develop a career, but now that I have this little person, I want to be with him.  And, lately my job has involved long, long hours, and limited quality time with my child.  It breaks my heart.

The corporate environment where I'm work values long hours.  Before I had the little man, I didn't mind this sort of thing.  I was often the first person in my office and the last to leave.  Now, I don't want to do it anymore. I just want to put in my hours and rush home to be with him. (and no... I'm no longer the first to arrive/last to leave... but I still put in an astronomical number of hours).

The only solution I can think of is to figure out a way to work fewer hours and get paid the same/more.  How cliche!  But, it's true.  It would be a great way to balance life and work.  I'm tired of living to work... Been there done that. I want to work to live.  Really live and enjoy life.  Is there something wrong with that?


I've always played by the rules... I studied hard, did well in school, got good-ish jobs with pension and health care plans.  I met the love of my life, and now we have this gorgeous little man together.   I don't usually take risks without weighing my options very carefully.  (Case in point: I researched my most recent car purchase for months, then bought the most popular/award winning car I could afford... How's that for playing it safe?) Lately I wonder if playing it safe is really not getting me anywhere and if I should be taking more risks.

Would taking more risks lead to a more fulfilling life?

Life has gone by pretty fast, and I don't want to have regrets.  But, I have to ask myself.  What do I want?  And, what risks do I need to take to get there?

I have no answers... Just a thought... A hope... that the right idea will come to me when I need it to.  Then, I would be able to make the change and take the risk...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's amazing how much of a difference liking someone can make when you hit a snag.  Today the woman (formerly known as 'Ice Princess?') admitted to a technical error, requiring a re-shoot.  Normally, given the cost, tight timelines, expectations etc, I would have freaked.  Instead, I said that these things happen, and we'd try to re-shoot the footage.  And, it worked out.  We were able to get the 'hard to gets' to shoot again.

Liking made the difference.  I might have reacted very differently if she wasn't someone who I didn't like.  Odd, huh?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ice Princess?

A week and a half ago, I was assigned the task on developing a video to promote our organization.  My role? Be the 'go to girl', working with the production crew.

My first meeting with the creative director didn't give me the warm fuzzies.  She was one of these really stylish, bohemian types... You know, with long dark hair that just emotes smugness.  She had a slight cockiness - like she was the expert, and ideas shouldn't be imposed upon her.

I was a bit concerned... Perhaps very concerned... that the creativity was going to over-ride the objectives of this little film.

The little film isn't complete yet, but after working with her on the shoots for a couple of days, I've learned a bit more about her. Things like she bites her lips when she gets nervous, and she has the skills to make a great video.  And, the ice princess suddenly isn't the ice princess after all.  I now suspect my initial impression of her was of someone trying to project herself as confident, rather than to portray a sense of smugness.

Believe it or not... she's actually fun to work with (not the pee your pants laughter kind, but more of an intense adventure/sense of accomplishment kind)... and, yes... I think she'll do a great job.  Looking forward to seeing the final cut.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Breastfeeding 'Rules'

I was one of the lucky ones who was able to nurse my child for as long as I could.  I followed the generally accepted rules at the time, and he didn't start eating solid foods until he was about six months old.  However, it seems the advice has changed now.  Apparently, there is new research out to suggest that children may develop better if they are exposed to solid foods earlier than that. Check out this story for details.

Reading new 'expert' advice seems to prove - once again - that no matter what we do as parents that we think is in the best interest of our child will have some research to prove it wrong. 

But, what is right?  How long should you breastfeed your child?

According to, you should nurse your child for as long as it makes sense for each of you.  And, it's not unheard of for cultures to nurse their kids for more than two years. 

When is it inappropriate to be nursing your child?  In a recent article, it noted that one woman was breastfeeding both her five month old and her six year old. The article generated more than 160 comments - many of them negative.

I don't know the right answer to when a child should stop nursing; all I know is what was right for our family.  Initially, I hoped to stop when he was one, but he became very ill, and the doctors said that breastfeeding him was the best was to keep him nourished and comforted.  He continued to nurse in the evenings before he fell asleep until he was a little older than two. It seemed the right time for both of us - my son and me.

The controversy over breastfeeding will continue - how long before introducing solid foods and when to stop.  My thoughts are: you know your kid better than anyone else... you have to do what you think is right.

My Funny and Fabulous Kid

Being a Mom, I sometimes stop and marvel at the big kid my little baby is becoming.

Here's a little about him:
  • T is almost three
  • He's an only child
  • He likes to have one sippy cup filled with apple juice and one with hot chocolate in each hand, so he can alternate sips
  • He loves Toy Story and re-enacts the scenes in the movie
  • He still isn't potty trained, likely because of Mommy and Daddy's laziness
  • T loves to play... with toys, outside... everywhere
  • He is fascinated by dinosaurs, cars and trains
  • He wants to drive Mommy's car
  • He's been swatting and hitting people lately (gasp... not quite sure how to stop that behaviour)
  • His cousins - G, one year older and X, one and a half years younger - are his best friends
  • He likes to sleep with Sid, a stuffed monkey I picked up years before he was born to accompany me on long road trips
  • Sometimes I think he's 100% his Dad, but every once in a while, I'll see a little bit of me in him
  • As a working Mom, I worry about spending enough time with him - I don't want to miss a thing, and I want him to be the best person he can be
  • He loves going to the zoo and knows the animals there
  • He's like a teenager... he always wants to stay up late and sleep in (groan)
  • He's a flirt... knows how to blow kisses and wink (Daddy taught him the latter)
  • Tuesday is library day, and he knows it
  • I love him, and his Dad, with all my heart
My little man is growing up so fast... I know that's a bit of a cliche, but it's true.  I treasure all the time we share together.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So tired...

With the cold, windy, snowy weather, I am feeling particularly lazy, tired and apathetic.  Is this normal?  I ran out for about an hour to get milk and bread while the boys stayed at home, lounging in their pjs, but beyond that, I've been lazing on the couch, eating snacks and basically doing nothing. 

When I wasn't a Mom, I was okay with these kinds of days. I'd spend much of the day in bed, watching movies, reading books, eating whatever I felt like picking on and sleeping... lots of sleeping.  I'd take long bubble baths, write and do very little of anything productive.  I would enjoy these lost weekends.  They were infrequent, but I loved them.

Now, I feel guilty.  Guilty for not spending enough time with my boy.  Guilty for eating too much (I eat to try to stay awake and get energised... not working).  Guilty for not cleaning. And, guilty for wanting to declare tomorrow a sick day, even though I'm not sick (despite the temptation, I won't do that...).

I know I need to re-charge.  But, I'm not sure how.