Monday, 11 August 2014

I've Moved!

I've been talking an awful lot about moving lately, and I have.

Well, kind of. I'm still in my same, old, kind of crappy apartment BUT my blog has moved.

If you're really attached to the old blog here, well, you can visit my old posts any time! But head this-a-way and stay up-to-date on my antics and all kinds of other stuff.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

PRO TIP: Don't try to wipe my kid's face

Dear Random Lady Who Tried To Wipe F's Face Today,

Wow! What a great day out there, today. I'm glad that you decided to spend your afternoon soaking up some of the Haligonian beauty and enjoying the warm weather. We were really happy to get outside, too.

I'm sorry that you seemed to think I wasn't doing an adequate job of keeping F's face clean while we were enjoying our ice cream cones on the sidewalk. What you obviously don't know is that ice cream tastes infinitely better when you have it smeared all over your face. You also clearly missed the pile of chocolate ice cream-stained napkins from the thirty times I'd already wiped his face. It's hot. Ice cream melts. Perhaps you can see how that was an uphill battle.

I am not sorry that I asked you to please not touch my child. I don't know what planet you live on, but I live in a world where you don't lay a finger on another human being without asking their permission. I also live in a world where people have this crazy thing called "personal boundaries", and when you walked up to us at the table and reached across with a napkin to wipe my kid's face, you're lucky I didn't throw my ice cream cone at you. Of course, that would have been a waste of a perfectly good ice cream.

I know that you (probably?) meant well and that you (hopefully?) meant no harm, but get your shit together, lady. Would you like it if I stood up and fixed your hair? Probably not. 

I hope you remembered your sunscreen and that the next mother of the kid whose face you try to wipe is as patient as I was. If not, you kind of deserve to get smacked.



Wednesday, 9 July 2014


I took an enormous leap yesterday when I sat in a beautiful conference room in Dartmouth that looked across Halifax Harbour and filled out about 30 forms to start my petition for divorce. It was a big step for me. Gargantuan, even.


It's a word I never wanted to use to describe my actions. I could never have anticipated that I'd be a divorced, single-mum by the time I was 26 but here we are. Congratulations, Universe: you got me good. It knocked the wind out of my sails for the day yesterday, and I'm like a wobbly-legged foal this morning but I'll get there. But I'll admit that I'm a little nervous about what the future holds.

Life probably won't be much different, really. I'll have closure. I'll really be able to move on. I'll be able to be truly happy, and finally put my fears and doubts and "what ifs" to rest. And I hope that it will mean that my ex will be able to move on and have happiness, too.

During this journey, just as I always have I find myself returning to a quote I heard when I was in my early teens. It's a quote that describes my approach to life. It's the quote next to my photo in my yearbook. The quote I share with students who are worried about what will happen after graduation.

You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. -- E.L. Doctorow

But just for fun, every now and again, I like to turn off my headlights and imagine what's out there in the dark.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day.

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay. Not.

I'm not a huge fan of the parent-themed holidays, to be honest.  Mother's Day makes me feel almost as miserable as Father's Day and misery isn't exactly a fun state to find oneself in. 

This will be the third Father's Day that F's father hasn't been around. He's missed seventy five per cent of Father's Days in his son's life. It's a thought that should make me furious, but it doesn't. It makes me really, really sad. F doesn't deserve that.

This will be the third Father's Day in F's little life that I've worried about my son not having a man to look up to. I worry that he doesn't have a man to walk with him through the ups and downs of life, and while I try my best I know I can't replace that male influence. 

He once asked me to show him how to stand up to pee and that just ain't gonna happen.

As F and Little play out in the living room, I hear Little talk about how his Dad will be back in a few days and F says "Well, *my* Dad will be back in a few days, too!" and I know that we'll have to have that conversation again.

The one where F asks when his Dad is coming home.

The one where I explain that he might never come back. The one where I have to tell F that I just don't know. The one that leaves us both in tears, with an aching heart. The one I never wanted to have, and yet the one that I have regularly now. The one that I will have more and more as he grows up and realizes that our family doesn't look like his friends' families. 

And for all the sadness I feel, I feel so much love and joy and appreciation that both F and I have my Dad. We have Uncle Allan and Uncle Buddy. There's Uncle Nelson and Uncle Johnny, Uncle Gordon and Uncle George. We have Uncle David and Uncle Edwin. We have my brother, Devin, and my friend Evan. 

Although we lost F's Dad, we have many strong, wonderful men in our lives and I hope they all feel a little bit of our love tomorrow. XO

Thursday, 12 June 2014


I lost my words for the past few weeks.

I'm not really sure what happened - perhaps I was just too tired, or maybe it was all the stress I've been feeling lately. Whatever the cause, I think it's finally gone. And that makes me really, really happy.

Know what else makes me really, really happy? This guy.

Last night, after a great walk and play date with new friends and after I had finished writing the first blog post I've written in weeks, F and I curled up together with a soft blanket well past our bedtime to chat. The nights of just F and I are on hold for a while, you see, as Little is coming to stay with us once again. 

F suddenly sat up, very concerned, and asked if we had remembered to put the chocolate milk back in the fridge and I couldn't help but laugh out. It was so unusual.

F is rarely concerned about issues like whether the milk is in the fridge or the light was turned off before we walked out the door. He probably couldn't care less most of the time. So, after reassuring him that the chocolate milk was, in fact, safely stored away in the refrigerator, I snuggled him a little closer and told him I loved him.

But why, Mama?

And then it hit me: I tell him all the time how smart he is. I tell him I love him. I tell F all kinds of nice things, but I never back it up - which is pretty silly, because there are millions upon millions of reasons why I love him, why he's smart and how he's a great guy. So I started telling him.

And it turned into a little game.

"I love you because you are thoughtful and funny. I like the way you think about things and ask questions so you can learn. That's why I think you're so smart."

"Mama, I love you because you do fun things with me and take care of me. And I like that you play with me a lot and we go for walks and you buy me toys all the time!"

I got a little teary-eyed hearing F say some of the things he said, and it made me realize how grown up my little boy has become. In a lot of ways, he's much older than four - he regularly helps me get dinner ready (as in, he MAKES the salad) and we have grown up conversations more often than not. It was the perfect end to a day that had gotten off to a poor start.

And the next time he's acting his own age, throwing a toy at me or trying to pull the cat by the tail, I'll savour that moment and try to wrestle him into the pants he doesn't want to put on, just the same.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Corn Flakes

Papa loved Corn Flakes.

As a kid, I never understood their appeal but I would proudly sit next to him at the old kitchen table and dig into my bowl as he did, while he sipped his tea, knowing full well that he'd soon put on his boots and cover-alls and walk up the hill to feed the animals. I can still see his worn plaid shirts and Dickies and hear him singing funny Gaelic songs when I close my eyes.

We ate lobster together. We laughed together. We restored the horse harness he'd built with his father and grandfather together. We daydreamed and picked berries and sat on the step watching lightning together. He was everything a grandfather was supposed to be, and then some. My favourite memory of all is seeing him hold F for the first time. His great-grandson. His Dandy Boy.

I'd lost people I loved before, but nothing compared to the loss I felt when Mom woke me on May 3, 2010. I knew before she spoke and the pain and emptiness has stayed in my heart since then. To know Papa was to love him, and his funeral proved that: it was standing room only. He was buried on the Saturday before Mother's Day, and so it's a holiday that brings mixed emotions each year. I spent my first Mother's Day with a broken heart. 

While picking up groceries last night, I spied Corn Flakes - the Family Size box - and memories of Papa flooded my memory. F was too young to remember him, but it's never too late for him to know the man that shaped our lives and loved us so much. I couldn't help but smile as I put the box of bland cereal into my cart and pushed on.

And after eating my breakfast this morning, I can safely say that I share Papa's love for lobster, coconut cream pie and Corn Flakes. 

Monday, 5 May 2014


"I feel bad saying I'm tired, I can't believe I'm complaining to you."

"I shouldn't say anything, I know I'm lucky to have her Dad with me."

"Do you ever sleep? Seriously, when do you sleep? When do you have time?"

Yep. I'm busy. I work full-time. I write part-time. I have a preschooler, who I raise alone. I volunteer. I'm on an advisory council. I might be picking up another part-time job. It's called life and while it might not look just like yours, I'm not comparing because it's really apples to oranges, isn't it? Let's just stop comparing.

When Mr Hockey Coach exclaims that he's tired and I nod empathetically, he immediately retracts his statement because he "can't be tired" because he's not me, he's not raising a kid. Wait, what? No, honey, you can be tired.

When my girlfriend vents about how hard it is to be a working parent, she suddenly bites her tongue and says how lucky she is to have her partner with her - someone to share the load. But it's still hard. Parenting is hard. Juggling your workload is hard. Maintaining a social life is hard. It's all hard.

I'm one "try being a single parent" meme away from my head exploding because we're all comparing apples to pineapples and watermelon to walnuts and it's gotta stop. It's useless. It's tiresome. It's time consuming. And we single parents aren't superior to the stay-at-home moms or the work-at-home moms or the parents who have a partner to help raise the kids. (Sorry, single parents. Our shit stinks, too.)

I have friends who are stay-at-home moms, and their lives are busy and rewarding and they are no easier and no harder than mine. They're different. Same goes for my work-at-home mom friends. Shit, I've got friends who don't have kids whose lives are as busy and hectic and stressful and awesome as mine. 

We all have routines and when they are interrupted, it throws us off. 

We all have challenges. We all have needs. We all have ups and downs.

I'm not invincible. I just have different priorities. Not bad. Not better.

 Just different.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Little Change

Although I wasn't totally sure we would, Little, F and I survived our three-week sleepover and I'm confident in saying that none of us were too much worse for the wear. It was a long three weeks at best, but between hiccups and tears I think we had a pretty great time. But something strange happened - F really changed.

Even when F's sperm donor father was in the picture, it was usually just F and I. Even when we lived at Mom and Dad's, it was F and I. Just the two of us and our own whacky, little dynamic. You probably didn't know this, but F and I can be home for hours at a time and not even notice one and other. We can also spend hours snuggling and so focused on one and other that we miss everything around us. It's pretty special - and while our dynamic is unique, I think it's safe to say most parents share a similar bond with their kids. They're the centre of our universe while simultaneously being an enormous pain in our asses. Amazing, no?

Needless to say, the addition of Little to our routine was a real switcheroo.

And it was hard. On all of us.

Because he wanted any attention at all, F misbehaved to make sure he got it. Because he was lonesome, Little often came into the middle of the few stolen moments F and I tried to share. Because I work 40 hours a week in an office, plus write my Frenzied Fashionista posts, plus I work out every evening, plus I try to have a social life and see Mr. Hockey Coach, I found myself getting short with both boys and my patience was pretty thin at the end.

But then, F just changed. His temperament was different - he listened better. He got himself ready for bed. He asked to go to bed at a reasonable hour. He ate his dinner at the table, put his plate in the sink and he was more helpful than ever. I said thank you more, I was angry and frustrated less... wait, did I change?

The differences between Little and F were stark, and I found myself appreciating some of F's quirks more than ever before. Perhaps my appreciation sparked the change. But more on that later. I've got one last night of child-free bliss to thoroughly enjoy...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Cookie Dough and Merlot

You may already know this, but F and I have recently had an enormous change in our lives.

A few, actually, such as Mr Hockey Coach finally meeting him and my new job throwing a real curveball into our schedules. But the biggest adjustment we've recently made comes in the form of a sweet little boy from preschool. And lemme tell you, it's an adventure.

Little and F became fast friends when we switched preschools in November 2013 and, as they say, the rest is history. It didn't take long before we had "double dates" to the Discovery Centre and dinners out, and the friendship and support that I've found in Little's dad has been great. He picked F up from school for a few days while I was navigating through rush hour traffic. F spent the night one night so I could go out with Mr Hockey Coach. You get the drift. So it was a no-brainer for me when Little's dad was in a pickle for child care.

We're on day five of 18 right now, and I'd be telling you the biggest lie if I said it's been easy. It hasn't. The boys - though friends - are as different as night and day. They've been bickering and tattling and whining. And we already know how I feel about my parenting skills. Little has been (understandably) lonesome without his dad and F has struggled with the change in schedule, too. 

When Little was especially sad last night upon getting home from preschool, I searched for the right words. The right activities. And then it hit me. Like all sadness, the pain of heartache can be cured by chocolate chip cookies and I just so happen to love baking. Slightly frazzled and with a list as long as my arm of things I needed to do, I marched to the kitchen without even changing out of my work clothes and we whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies as a team: Little, F and I.

And then, after the cookies were eaten and I'd finished my yoga practice, and (almost) all of the tears were wiped, little teeth were brushed and pajamas put on, I found myself standing alone in my kitchen with a glass of red wine eating the ball of cookie dough I'd saved in the fridge.

Because that is parenting. It's Cookie Dough and Merlot. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

an imperfect saturdate

I am not a perfect parent.

Actually, at least half of the time, I don't even think I'm a "good" parent. It's not for lack of want or effort, but I'm often tired and my tiredness translates to a short temper, a sharp tongue and little to no desire to go to the park and play when the day comes to an end. And weekends just don't seem to last long enough.

Last night, I let F watch a movie while we snuggled in bed together. When I awoke at 6 am this morning, I was immediately frustrated. It's a Saturday, and I just wanted to sleep in. So I tried to fall back asleep. And I couldn't. Then F woke up. Then there was just no getting back to sleep. So I started thinking about the million and one things I wanted to do today but about halfway through the list I realized that the day was early and I was already being a shitty parent. Why? Because not a single thing I was planning to do involved F. And that's pretty shitty.

So I plopped my laptop down on the bed and I turned on Frozen. And then, I went to the kitchen and made pancakes. And then I took those pancakes, dropped 'em on plates and took them to bed where I watched the entirety of Frozen with F as we ate our chocolate chip pancakes and drank chocolate milk and just enjoyed him. And then we went to Starbucks to meet a friend before walking to a playground for an hour.

And then we walked home, ate macaroni and cheese (his request), and we went to the Frog Pond for a walk. And then we ate popcorn for supper because it's a Saturday. Even though the day was pretty great, F had two timeouts and Mama has a headache now.

Absolutely nothing runs smoothly with F. He's a great little boy but he's got too much of his mother in him. We butt heads. He's stubborn and testy at the best of times, and positively stabby when things don't go his way. But he's also sweet and sensitive and intelligent, and each day is a lesson in patience for both of us. We argued at the park about whether it was time to go. I negotiated with him at the playground when the time had come to leave. It's never easy, but it's wonderful.

And that's parenting, isn't it? 

It's not about perfect outings and the cleanest home, having the most obedient child or a car without a layer of grime and Cheerios. It's about the hiccups. The arguments. The tears and the frustration and the love and the pride that makes your heart feel like it could burst. And of course, chocolate chip pancakes on Saturday mornings.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Just over two weeks ago, I made the decision to leave my job.

After a few months of looking, a handful of interviews and a lot of time spent wringing my hands an offer landed in my lap and I leaped at the opportunity. It was different. New. It would be a challenge. And then, ten days after accepting the position, ten days after feeling a weird mix of happy and sad, excitement and terror, ten days after making up my mind another offer came in. 

When it rains it pours.

So I contemplated. And I cried. I looked at Mr. Hockey Coach and asked what I should do. I called my prof. I called my parents. I spoke to friends and colleagues and I wrote pros and cons lists and I felt sick because it was too tempting. I could go home, but I was miserable just contemplating it. So I said fuck it and I turned down that second opportunity. And a weight was lifted. But then I wondered - and I knew I would - whether it was the right decision.

I sat at a coffee shop waiting for the office to open on Monday morning, giving me time to think. I sat in the corner of the shop and watched as people shuffled past the window in the cold, as the traffic lights changed and I pondered my choice. What if I hated it? What if it wasn't the right fit for me? But what if it was?

After leaving my second day of work today, I had the answer. 

I made the right decision. I'm the kind of happy and excited that I haven't been in a long time. I can see the challenges before me and I can hardly make my brain shut up for long enough for me to think about anything else.  There's something amazing about realizing that you've found something that fits - and yet still needs to be broken in.

Like the perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, 10 March 2014


Apparently, I am stunned today.

Hence, Stunday.

I'd like to take this time to sheepishly retract any statements made about "not minding" the time change, or that Mondays "aren't so bad" and will gingerly place my right foot in my mouth. I knew I should have gone for that pedicure


The whole shitstorm of this morning really began yesterday around 4:25 pm when I glanced into the backseat and saw F leaning back in his carseat, half-eaten bag of Lays ketchup chips in his hand, mouth wide open, fast asleep. It was just too cute to disturb, so I decided I'd let him have an hour. Which turned into two. And a half.

Then it came bedtime, at 8:30. Four hours after he'd drifted off to sleep in the car, there wasn't an ounce of sleepiness in my child. He bounced and rolled and tossed and turned and giggled and talked and pretended to snore and yelled at the cat and OH MY GOSH MAMA WHERE IS MY LEGO until I finally put a pillow over my head and rolled over. At 10:45 pm.

And then my alarm went off at 5:30 am and I muttered a few four-letter-words before hitting snooze and declaring it a "bad hair Monday". But then, without warning, it was 6 am and I really needed to get moving. Bright-eyed and bushy tailed, F sat up and asked if the game I'd told him I'd download but didn't really (thanks Mom!) was ready to play with. So then, I had to buy the app because HE NEEDED IT OH MY GOODNESS MAMA. And I would like to teach him that keeping our promises is a thing, too. 

So I made coffee, and without looking at it before I started making out with the cup (staring is rude, you guys), I missed the fact that the cream had curdled and you can pretty well guess how that ended. Related: I need to scrub my kitchen cupboards when I get home today.

And then, at 7:20 - undercaffeinated but wearing clothes - I was so sure that I had everything we could possibly need for my first day of my last week of work, and F even had his pants pulled up and boots on the right feet. Out the door ten minutes late, and yet at preschool on time because Mama went rogue and made a U-turn on Herring Cove Road because it's Monday and I'm crazy like that... and I realized we had no snow pants.

If anyone needs me, I'm setting up an IV Keurig drip. And then going home to find those cursed snow pants so my kid doesn't have to sit inside by himself. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


I accepted a new job last week.

I'll never deny that I always keep an eye open and an ear out for new opportunities in everything, from my writing to apartments. Once upon a time I was quite content to be static, until my life began to feel stagnant. Perhaps it is the fear of staleness in my life that lights the proverbial fire under my ass that keeps me looking for new adventures, but whatever it is, I found myself at a crossroads and decided to take the unbeaten path.

And so, with some trepidation, I said yes.

And then, with much sadness, I wrote my letter of resignation.

And then I almost threw up.

Moving on to this new position is both exciting and terrifying. While I am thrilled to have this opportunity, I can't help but feel a pang of sadness as I know I'll desperately miss my friends in the office. I'll miss the sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing that the work I do every day helps better the lives of others. 

But I'll meet new people. I'll do new things. And the opportunities ahead of me are endless.

It's nothing shy of bittersweet, as I look forward to my first day at my new job and dread my last day with the office. 

Until then...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The C-Word

Somehow, I managed to not realize how exhausting worry is.

As I lay on an exam table - feet in stirrups and stripped from the waist down - I writhed my hands together and listened to the reproductive endocrinologist talk me through the procedures she was preparing for, the C-word continued to dance in my head. Her nurse had gone to search for the results from my Pap test two weeks ago that would give us an idea of what the heck was going on with me. 

You see, two weeks ago my doctor prepared me for a possible cancer diagnosis and I was freaking RIGHT out. And by no fault but my own,  I've skipped every Pap smear I was supposed to be having because I was terrified of hearing I had another abnormal result. Hearing once that I had an abnormal result was scary enough.  I don't know why I thought not having another test was the answer, but there ya go.

This is about the perfect time for me to tell you: get your Pap tests done. Seriously. I will never miss another one.

Then the Pap result arrived and it was normal. Perfect even. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing one possible problem was gone and then felt my breath catch in my chest because the list of possible problems was endless. 

The doctor sat on her stool and wheeled over to the end of the table and I couldn't help but wonder what exactly motivates one to spend their career looking at people's vaginas. She flipped on the light, patted me on the leg and launched into an explanation of what was about to go down (no pun intended).

Swab. Colposcopy. Vinegar test. You passed. Swab. OH! I think we found the problem - you've got a cutesy little polyp hanging out there. Sorry polyp, we're getting rid of you.

Then she likened my cervix to a donut, told me we wouldn't be doing any freezing, counted backwards from ten before "snipping" and then asked how my sex life was. I'm pretty sure I'd befriend this woman under other circumstances, because she was the coolest lady ever. And then she showed me the "cutesy" polyp, which was roughly the size of the top of my pinky. I didn't think it was cute. That polyp is an asshole.

After losing a little part of myself that's (hopefully) been the reason I've been in big pain for weeks, I walked out of the exam room feeling 100 pounds lighter. And about an hour later, I barely had the energy to stand.

It's shocking the way your body reacts to stress. I would have expected to have felt so alive - so energized - by this good news, but instead I was zonked. Some coffee and a new outfit were a good start to re-energizing, but all I wanted to do was nap. And hug F. And call Mr. Hockey Coach and then hug him. And just bask in the awesomeness of knowing I don't have cervical cancer.

Before saying goodbye, my doc looked at me and took my hand, explaining how things would be playing out. In 2 days, she'll have results back from the swabs. The polyp she removed will take 6 weeks to be analyzed, but she's confident it's just a blob of nothingness. No news is good news, and she thinks I'm great but hopes she won't have to call. She gave me her card and told me to call if I had any questions and then assured me I'd be OK, that I was young and healthy. I'm OK. I'm OK. I'm OK.

And apparently my cervix is beautiful. So there's that.

Saturday, 25 January 2014


A few weeks ago I picked F up from preschool as always and we drove home.

It's exactly a six-minute drive from preschool/work to home. We usually listen to the same 2 songs during that drive. We were waiting to make a left-hand turn when F piped up in the backseat with a simple - yet strong - question.

How was your day, Mama?

It's a question we expect of our colleagues and spouses, friends and acquaintances but I would never expect those words to come from the mouth of my preschooler. It's so... grown up. And so, it became a thing. Every day from that day on, F would ask how my day was and I would ask him about his. During our six-minute drive, he would tell me about his favourite and least favourBite parts of the day and I would generally just tell him my day was good or bad because there's only so much you can say to a four-year-old. 

We have a lot of little things we do, like our weekly Starbucks date (every Friday), and F's bath schedule. One night a week we have pizza and one night a week we have nachos. We watch Octonauts every night before bed. I realized not so long ago that F and I spend a lot of time together without really spending anything actually together and I vowed to change that. 

Tonight, we had our weekly Saturdate - aka our "Saturday date". We do something different every Saturday, whether it's going to the park or going for a walk, grabbing "coffee" together, seeing a movie at the theatres, baking cookies, whatever. We always do something, just the two of us. Sometimes, we don't even leave the house. 

Busy with 10,000 things to do, I bunked down with my laptop to try to get ahead of my list when F came over - smiling as wide as can be - and asked what my "best part" of our date had been. It was a pretty easy answer - the best part of my date was hanging out with him, without anything else to do. But what was his? 

I got to go to McDonald's and have a nice supper, with nice chicken nuggets, and fries and yoooooooooooooogurt and there was a drink and a straw and I got to see Grampy! And then we watched a movie and remember how funny The Croods were?

He said all of this in about 11 seconds, not taking a breath from start to finish and it was pretty much the cutest thing I've ever heard.

It's easy to get completely wrapped up in work and writing and chores and trying to maintain something resembling a social life and squeeze in time for the handsome Hockey Coach, but hearing how much F enjoyed a simple, 30-minute trip to McDonald's is more than enough proof that Saturdate is the most important day of the week. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Every now and again, I venture into the world of my blog analytics and learn something new.

For example: 33 per cent of my daily audience is reading me via Safari browsers, and Apple products make up the vast majority of the Operating Systems clicking in with iPhones coming a close second at 24 per cent to Macintosh at 25 per cent. 

Why am I telling you this? Because I learned something terrifying the last time I decided to find out who's reading me and how they found me.

Most people make it to my blog by typing in the web address or my new domain (which, by the way, just redirects you here) or by typing my blog address into Google. But as you know, sometimes when you Google something you come across some interesting stuff. And alarmingly, a lot of people are landing on my blog lately by searching "how to be anorexic". 

That makes me incredibly sad. My Accidentally Anorexic post is in my top-five most viewed. 

I'll be the first person to tell you that I've got body image issues. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out that I've got some disordered eating habits. Between stress and work and the stress of work and raising a kid, I often don't have time to realize I'm hungry and with that totally unhealthy habit, I find myself suddenly 11 pounds lighter and feeling like shit. I call it "accidentally anorexic" because I don't mean to let myself go hungry, it just happens and it's unhealthy and I know that. So I often force myself to eat, even if it's just a salad and half a sandwich, a handful of granola or an egg on toast. And we all know about my habit of calling myself this F-word

It pains me to think that someone has turned to Google and typed the words "how to be anorexic". I mean, why would they? Are they looking for tips, motivation, support? Are they just trying to understand how someone can be anorexic? I typed it. The first three results broke my heart and I wondered how many beautiful, young girls and boys have typed those words and read those results and become lost in a disease that has the highest death rate of any known mental illness. 

If you're reading this post today because your Google search directed you here, please go back to Google and search Eating Disorder Help and follow those results. Take care of yourself, and be well. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Fashionably Frenzied

I own like, 60 pairs of shoes. 

It's appalling and awesome at the exact.same.time. There are enough outfits in my closet that I could safely go weeks without wearing the same time twice (aka I could probably survive for 30 days or so without doing laundry which is basically bliss except that's a lot of clothes to wash at once).  If you know me at all you know that I've got a mean interest in style from hairstyles to stylish pants and everything in between.

You also probably know that I'm pretty frenetic - even frantic at times. Most of my days feel like a frenzy of shoes and scarves and Lightning McQueen. So, I guess it only makes sense that I've newly been dubbed "The Frenzied Fashionista". 

Say what? you say?


I thought I was excited to be a part of the #YMCCommunity but this is the bigtimes you guys. I'm now a real, live, honest-to-goodness Yummy Mummy Club blogger. And you can read me right here.

And I will totally go shopping with you and call it "research" any time. You know what's up.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014



It's a word I found myself repeating over and over to myself on Saturday morning as I stood in my kitchen. I was being irrational. Completely and utterly irrational. Ridiculous even, and it's made me realize exactly how detrimental self-talk can be. You see, while I was making myself a piece of toast and a cup of coffee before I got ready to work out, I almost called myself that f-word that I promised I wouldn't.

You are not fat. You are being irrational. I shouldn't be eating this bread. Carbs are bad.

Just because you are eating something does not make you fat. Tell that to my squishy stomach. I can't believe I wasn't working out all last month.

You are not fat because you haven't been working out. You were busy. You can work out today and tomorrow. You just need your routine. Hmm, I was pretty busy... 

Working out today is not going to make you instantly skinny. It is going to help you be strong, and it will make you feel good. Working out today will make me feel good... and I need to eat in order to have energy and be strong.

You are not fat. You are being irrational. I am being irrational.

This, my friends, was the internal dialogue that went down in a pair of neon shorts while standing in a half-assed tree pose (otherwise known as my cookin' pose) in the kitchen. It's a conversation that once upon a time, I would have had out loud, in front of a mirror - until the day F asked me if he was "fat". It's a conversation lots of us have with ourselves and it's a conversation that needs to stopI'd dump the friend or the boyfriend who made me feel bad about my body, so it's time I dump my own habit of doing it. 

It might sound silly, but self-talk is important. It's the stuff we do in the minutes before a date or an interview or while we're trying to keep ourselves together standing in the longest line-up known to humanity at Starbucks when we just really need that coffee. But as much as we make it through hard times by telling ourselves to breathe, we also tear ourselves down unnecessarily. Or at least, I do. 

Tell yourself how awesome you are today. Made it to work on time? Go you! YOU SHOWERED? Fantastic - go eat a cookie! Seriously, eat the cookie. Don't put yourself in a state of detriment. You're better than that.


They say that life is what happens when you're not watching.

It's a thought that fills my mind today as I try to figure out where the last 4 years have gone. As F shoveled his Cheerios into his mouth this morning while sitting on my bed, I thought of the many mornings I laid in the dark nursing him in the comfort and quiet of bed. When we walked across the preschool parking lot holding hands, I remembered the first time he wrapped his fingers around one of mine. Or the many, many, many times he fell asleep in my arms or on my lap/chest/stomach/leg and I was itching to move but couldn't bring myself risk waking him. But life, as it does, just happened and I woke up today to see that my baby really is a little boy.  

Sometimes the days feel endless but the years slip by before you know it and the nights are just never long enough...

Happy Birthday to you, F. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Toddler Love

There is nothing as fierce as a toddler's love.

Whether it's his cars, the cat or apple juice if F loves something, he loves it big.  There's something so magical about his innocence right now. He can just love everything and anybody and he doesn't have a care in the world. His preschool teachers? He loves them. His friends at preschool? You better believe he loves them. Pancakes? OH MY GOD THE LOVE. It's refreshing and it's entertaining and I have to admit that I am totally jealous because I wish I could be as excited for anything as that boy is about eating one of those shitty toaster pancakes in the morning. 

I couldn't help myself but to laugh last week when I caught F "cuddling" with the cat, and since my phone was handy I managed to snap this photo. With that super cute voice and big eyes, F declared his love for Duncan - his very own cat - and then kissed the furball a few times before I had to intervene. As much as Duncan loves F, Duncan did not love F's I-love-you-deathgrip-headlock. 

Because one look at that cat's face will tell you all you need to know: Sometimes love scares the shit out of you. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Technology Time Out

Just a quick glance at my Twitter feed will tell you all you need to know: I spend a lot of time on social media. It's as much as personal choice as a professional necessity that HootSuite runs in the background at all times, no matter what I'm doing. From 7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday I run not one, not two, but six social media accounts and yet I go home and stay connected because it's part of my life. But it's not just Twitter and Facebook. I come home from work, throw F the iPad so he can play Angry Birds and we turn on the TV and zone out.

If it was for an hour that'd be one thing. But it's not.

So yesterday, I turned it all off. The phone. The iPad. The TV and the computer and even the radio and I declared it an 8-hour challenge for F and I. And a challenge it was, believe me. By noon, F was begging for the iPad and my fingers were twitching with the absence of my phone and that's exactly why I did it. 

But it turned out to be easily one of the best days I've had in a long time.

F's first request for the TV came about a nanosecond after he spotted it upon arriving in the living room this morning. I probably explained that it was a "no TV" or a "no iThing" day two thousand times, repeating over and over that I felt we were spending too much time in front of the various screens in our house. So I pulled out the crayons and brought F's easel into the middle of the room and we drew shapes and wrote letters and then he got tired of that. So he played with his trucks and I arm-knitted a scarf. We ate breakfast and lunch together and for a long time, I just sat and watched him play.

And then I got more cleaning done in an hour or two than I ordinarily would in a week because there was nothing to distract me. You would never know that this if you saw the apartment before I left this morning, though. Life without technology is real messy. 

And then we dug out the window crayons and decorated the window in the living room. And then we read a story. And then we bundled up as warmly as we could and we shuffled down the stairs and into the car and we drove to the Frog Pond for two hours of fun in the sun and the snow. Somewhere between setting the head on our snowman and breaking off twigs for his arms I realized how busy I've been lately and I felt ashamed of myself for sitting next to him while we each stare at our own screen and calling it "together" time. 

One day without technology doesn't make it all okay, but it inspired me in more ways than one. From now on, we'll observe a technology time out for a little while every day - even if it's just me putting my phone away for a few hours at work and letting my laptop sit undisturbed on the table until after the dinner dishes have been cleared. What seems like a small, harmless habit proved to have a big effect yesterday and I know both F and I will be reaping the benefits of our technology-free day all week.

And then I think we'll do it all again!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Tough Questions

Finding the right words is hard.

Yes, that's a pretty big, generalized statement but I think it rings true to most situations we find ourselves in. It's easy to say the wrong thing, isn't it? Being diplomatic, professional, kind, understanding, whatever can be difficult and when you add emotions and a toddler to the mix, it becomes nearly impossible. I know this because F has a tendency to ask questions about things that I can't always find the words to answer with. At least not totally truthfully. 

But I can't lie to him.

A couple of months ago, F overheard me speaking to someone over the phone about the passing of my great-uncle. It piqued his interest. Who died, Mommy? he asked, innocently. Death is a big thing for a little guy to grasp. I explained who had died and asked if he remembered the man whom my family will miss so much. He didn't, and I wasn't totally surprised. Has he gone to be with my fishies? F asked a few minutes later. I figured telling him that no, we won't be flushing great-uncle AJ down the toilet might not be the right response, so I said yes. He's with the 4 fish we successfully managed to keep alive for a very short time. The idea of Heaven was much easier for him to understand. Heaven is so magical. Death is so final. So big.

His tough questions are coming more frequently as he grows up, and while I'm glad to see that he's taking things in and he's curious, I'm not always happy with the line of questioning. And I can only use "God made it that way," or "God put that there" so often, and even then he tends to follow up with the number-one toddler favourite: WHY?

The toughest question hasn't come flat out yet, but F dances around it regularly. Dad. 

Is Grampie my dad? he'll sometimes ask, hearing me refer to my father that way. He's your grand-dad, we all respond. No, F often responds, He's my fah-ver and in a lot of ways, Dad has been. It was doubly hard when Red left, after telling F that he would be his dad and it will continue to be hard because kids sometimes don't know better but often are mean. Explaining that Red loved him, but wasn't his dad was excruciating. How do I tell him that the man who should have been there wasn't? That he won't be? 

My parents never lied to me about my adoption. I always knew I was adopted, but I always lived with the pain of not really knowing. It pains me to think that F might feel that way forever, because even knowing hasn't helped. Even holding them hasn't helped - the hurt remains. And, in the time between now and the day F asks me the question I dread, I'll work on how to tell him the truth in a way that a little boy can understand.

So, if you need me, I'll be drinking coffee and contemplating that. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

Confessions of a (recovering) Sun Worshiper

It has been snowing all day long.

I've spent most of the day on the couch with F, watching movies and occasionally glancing out the window and wistfully dreaming of summer. And tanning. Laying in the sun, basking in the glow and the warmth and the awesome. It won't be summer for a long time. That's why there's tanning beds though, right? You lay in the bed and feel the warmth and you just soak it all up and have 15 minutes of summertime anytime.

Except that I forced myself to give up tanning. 

And it hasn't been easy. I'm beginning to tire juuuuuust a little bit from the Oh my gosh, you're so pale comments because then I have to be all Sorry, I naturally look like a vampire and was willingly subjecting myself to premature aging and skin cancer so that I looked normal and then shit gets awkward, yo. 

But seriously. Tanning was kind of like cigarettes to me (and there's a habit I really don't need to kick again). I loved laying in the bed for my 15 minutes of warmth and seeing my tan lines form. Until I started noticing that my bronzed skin was getting a little, ahem, speckle-y to the point that my beloved freckles were becoming rather large spots and I was seeing laugh lines even when I'm not laughing. And that's about the time I realized that I was fast-fowarding my skin to being 60 before I hit 30, and ain't nobody got time for that.

So I quit. Cold turkey. I marched my bronzed self to a Shopper's Drug Mart around the corner and I bought sunscreen, and a Retin-A cream and I vowed to take better care of my skin. The same way I vowed to put out that last cigarette. The same way I make the decision to eat well and exercise. And kind of like my efforts to stay thin-ish and (almost) in shape, it was my vanity that led me both in and out of that tanning bed.I decided I needed to take it one step further though, and I put all of my self-tanner in a box and put it away because I think the root of my problem lies in that I didn't feel pretty without a tan. 

And I still kind of don't. But I will.

And I will continue to miss the summertime sun and the warmth. But in just a few months, my sunscreen and I will hit the beach again. And I'll enjoy my book in the grass, and build castles in the sand and protect my skin the way I should have in the first place.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The other F-Word

I have a potty mouth. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. I swear like a sailor in my daily conversations. Fuck is pretty well-used in my vocabulary. It's kind of like smoking - it's a dirty habit, but I can't help myself and I firmly believe that letting a handful of four-letter words fly from time to time actually keeps me sane so BITE ME.

But, as any parent will tell you, there's a handful of words you just cannot say around the wee ones (and by handful, I really mean truckload). I try really hard to watch my mouth around F because I don't need him dropping F-bombs and other four-letter words around the preschool class he attends. Except, at the top of my list of "bad" words isn't a four-letter word at all. I call it the other F word and it is a three-letter word. 

It's fat and this year, I want to work to erase it from my vocabulary.

Fat itself isn't a bad word, but we've made it a bad word. It's a word I use to berate myself. It's a word I use when I'm displeased with myself, and in the words of a very handsome hockey coach I know, "that's absurd". I am not fat, and if I was it wouldn't make me "bad". But I let it become a bad word, and I watched it rub off on F a few times last year. It's held me back from doing things I want to do. It feeds my self-doubt, but only because I let it. 

I'm not much of one for New Year's Resolutions. I think I used to be but by mid-February, I usually had let go of whatever it was I had decided I'd be doing that year. And that's OK. A year is a long time, which is why I'd be absolutely full of shit to say that I'm going to stop using the word "fat" for a whole year. That's not my goal. My goal is to stop telling myself I'm fat. 

For one month. Starting today. 

And in 30 days, I'll tell you how it went, and maybe (just maybe), if I've got another goal lined up for February. 

Happy New Year friends!