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!