Category Archives: Canada

Bastard blood

Sadly I am not allergic to any food.

While for some people this might be a wonderful thing to hear, for me? Not so great… I was totally expecting to find out that I had a wheat allergy too (just like V) and possibly some other hidden allergies lurking around in my system.

Bastard blood of mine!! I was expecting a lot out of you!

You were supposed to be the answer… I am looking for intel into V’s allergies. Any insight into the allergy situation would be awesome and currently I am focusing on me. As soon as I have made myself run the gamut, I’ll be putting M through his paces. Only fair!!

And so today I went through the intradermal allergy testing. Another interesting process. Small amounts of the allergen are injected just under the skin. In my case, 64 times. We then wait for everything to cook for 15 minutes and then measure the reaction on my skin.

Ding! 15 minutes later, we had our results. And they weren’t anything that exciting. Nothing earth-shattering or anything.

Funnily enough I am allergic to Maple tree pollen. And am Canadian. How disappointing. And so I now live in Florida and apparently am allergic to Orange tree pollen as well. What. The. Hell.

It make me kind of laugh though. From the land of the Maple tree to the land of the Orange tree, she is allergic to it all.

And allergic to dust-mites, a few other trees and 7 different types of mold. 7 for gods sake. Which, in hind sight, isn’t that surprising since I have a childhood allergy to penicillin that I apparently have passed on to V.

So while I didn’t learn that much about V’s particular food allergies and where they might have originated from, I did learn some interesting things about my own. Especially considering that I wasn’t aware of any of them.

So it looks like 2010 is going to start off, for me anyways, with an exciting ‘mold elimination’ diet. 3 months of a diet which basically has me eating nothing, as apparently all food is on this list, most condiments, all things pickled and vinegared  and lots of tomatoes. Oh, and cheese. And most heartbreakingly of all….. wine….

Oh lord how will I survive without cheese and wine.

I am totally f’d in the a.

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Yoga

Finally over my nasty cold, I headed back to the YMCA tonight with firm intentions to become a regular. All of this is part of my plan of  ‘Atlantic rejuvenation’.

Mumma needs a boost, a jolt, a kick in the ass. Something to shake up my life, push me over the edge a bit. As if my husband doesn’t push me over the edge enough…those damn socks of his (I found one in the street this evening), and 2 litres of gravy?! Well, I won’t get into further details about THAT. Let’s just say its 5 days later and is still residing in my fridge. Feeling a little frightened about what it has become. 3 days ago, the last time I lifted the wrap and scooped some out, it was jello-like. Lord know where we are now…

I digress.

Yoga tonight was different than yoga previously. There is no Bikram over on this side of town, its just plain ol’ regular yoga. Something I haven’t done since around 2005. With my Mum. In Canada.

The class was low-lit, candles on the floor, kinda romantic and relaxing. With ‘hippie’ music playing (that’s what M calls it). There was no sweating. There was no barked orders and sharp clapping to signify position change. And also , she didn’t talk that much.

It was an adjustment for me. I guess I had become used to my Bikram instructors and their style of class. This new gentle style was certainly different.

I enjoyed it though and I feel so long and tall. And my back feels supple and relaxed.

Now that I have broken the ice with the Y, spinning class will be next. Never done it, but walked past a class this evening and was entranced by the sweating and barked orders. Um, clearly I need to be shouted at and to sweat my face off.

Care to hazard a guess about what this says about me? Need to be in a controlled environment. The only thing that would make it better would be for the class to come with a handbook and maybe some tedious paperwork to fill out.

Then I’d be in heaven.

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Filed under atlantic, Bikram, Canada, Florida, health, yoga

Yesterday

autumn-blog

Yesterday I had a ‘1994’ experience.

Gluten-free blueberry pancakes and MacGyver (oh how I love you and your clever ways) were how V and I started the morning. I made itty-bitty  sized ones (mix by Pamela’s, best Gluten-free mix I have tried so far). Babies and pancakes are a good thing. Babies and blueberries are not. Did you know if Blueberry pancakes hit the (beige) carpet at a Toddler-throw velocity, there will be  a stain? Perfect illustration as to why one should get hard-wood flooring. (This has nothing to do with 1994)

Post-pancake and MacGyver-fest (I felt like V was significantly impressed with MacGyver), we were off to Grandma’s house.They were planning on hitting up SeaWorld with the Little Man, leaving me and the Big Man at loose ends.

We need a new coffee table. Our weenie wicker one just was not doing the job in our HUGE new house. We had things picked out to check out at American Signature furniture. We happened to drive past World Market. Well, it just happens that its one of my favorite shops. So we thought we’d stop in and check out their furniture.(Again, 1994 this is not)

Suddenly, mission accomplished. Coffee table spotted and purchased. With a discount as we purchased the floor model. Anyways, it is huge. HUGE. We borrowed the stores tape measure and went off to measure the trunk of my hatchback. Pretty much we had no idea what we were actually measuring. We were pressured by the sales staff to make sure it would fit as they said they would hate for us to buy it and then find out it didn’t fit. Like they really care. And like we care as well!

We were determined to make it fit.

It didn’t.

We tried harder.

It still didn’t.

Regardless, it was coming home with us. Precariously balanced in the back of my hatchback, I climbed in the back of the car, braced my legs and held onto that table with all of my strength. As I was getting situated in the back, a woman walking by said “Oh, I have so been there so many times!” and smiled.

I smiled back.

So have I.

And then I had a flashback to sometime in 1994 when an ungodly amount of girls climbed into my friend R’s little red car. I think it was a Hyundai. Or a Rabbit. Regardless, it fit 8 that day, several of us were in the trunk and that car was a low rider.

Not sure where we were going, but damn we had fun getting there.

Oh 1994, how I loved your fishnet stocking, plaid flannel shirt/jacket wearing, hand-painted combat boots stomping, always angry, black lipstick (1 week only) clad, Pearl Jam thrashing ways.

As I clung to that table, laughing and smiling while M drove down the expressway and that cool Autumn air blew in the back of my little red car, I was suddenly transported back to the Island. High School. My lady R. Oh friend, I miss those silly times.

Clutching that table, suddenly that simple little table shopping trip turned into so much more. A High School mini-flashback. A 10 year deduction from my birthday (leaving me in my 20’s). A big ol’ smile. Some slightly cold fingertips. A trunk filled with dried leaves. And one cheap blanket from Ross that only cost $5 was it was sold bundled up in packing tape that took me about 15 minutes to removed.

Trunk packing. Didn’t care.

Autumn and Fall,  you are the same but slightly different and I love you both…

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Fever times 2

sick-blog

16 months in and my first experience with a really, really sick little boy started yesterday…

All in all, not too shabby. All we’ve had to deal with prior has been food allergies, allergic reactions, mild asthma and lots of poop. Ok, looking at that list, let me revise that  ‘all we’ve had to deal with’ comment, that kind of made it sound like parenthood has been a cake-walk over here.

Really what I mean is that this is my first experience with scary high temperatures, scary lethargy and projectile vomit (Exorcist-style).

V woke up yesterday a wee bit warm. Babies are warm in the morning, so I didn’t think too much of it. He ate all of his breakfast, drank his bottle and just was a little quiet. I took his temp, it was 99 degrees…a little ‘ping’ of concern hit me, but again, he’s been warm like this before so I figured that it would go away once he was more active…

I WAS going to make Canadian Thanksgiving dinner Sunday for all my peeps in Orlando. We were also supposed to be going to see Elmo at UCF Arena in the afternoon. So we had things to do and so off we went to do them. Whole Foods (that I might leave M for and marry in a legal, binding ceremony) and Ikea. Done and done.

On our way there and back, he dozed the whole time. That ‘ping’ of concern started to ping a little louder. As I unbuckled him from his car seat and picked him up, he was really really warm. So warm, in fact, that when I handed him to M once entering the house, he immediately said to me “Wow, hes really hot, you aren’t going to Elmo, are you?”, to which I replied “No. Not at all” (although secretly I really wanted to).

I gave him some infants Tylenol and took his temperature.

103.2

What. The. Fuck. (Pardon my dirty mouth, but seriously, what the fuck!)

That is one high mothering-fucking temperature! So high that I remember using temperatures like that as bragging tools when I was in Elementary School to illustrate how sick I had been. “Ya? Well, my temperature was 103.4 and my Mummy said I might die. DIE!!” (I tend towards the dramatic). I tried not to remember that as I calmly said to M “We are going to the walk-in clinic”.

He calmly replied “OK, I think that’s a good idea”.

In reality both of us had cartoon steam-whistles on our head and steam was shooting from our ears. And my body might have become an ambulance. At least that’s what I told myself as I did 75- 1.000.000  (miles per hour, folks) down the expressway to the Pediatric clinic.

An hour later, I emerged with V and my awesome in-laws. Who are awesome and met me there, at the clinic (M called them) and stayed with me the whole time. Again. Awesome.

Influenza type A. And an ear infection. Antibiotics and Tamaflu (which makes me think of Tama-chan, that seal that swam into the Tokyo Harbour and became a national icon [I have a Tama-chan doll somewhere]).

The rest of my evening was not awesome. I went and got the meds filled, drove home, medicated V up. He remained hot. In-laws returned with food (M was at work). The rest of the evening was a blur of trying to force food and fluids on Little Man. Mostly fluids.

He cried non-stop and was so hot I swear I could have cooked something on his forehead. At about 9 pm he projectile vomited all over the place and as I went to pick him up, he threw up down the front of my tank-top. Wonderful. Hot and shivering at the same time, I stripped him down and washed him down in the tub… the rest of the evening was a blur.

We finally got him settled down with some fluids in him and he went right to sleep. Poor baby was so exhausted.

I went to bed too. Poor me, so exhausted….

Actually, I went to bed on the floor of V’s room. He made so many little noises and I woke up and trekked into his room with every one that finally I made a make-shift bed from a duvet and the pad on an Ikea chair and slept with my hand on the edge of his mattress.

Fever all night long. It finally seemed to break around 2 am… and we both slept.

And did I mention that M came home from work with the stomach flu?

Our home is a bubonic plague zone right now. DO NOT COME OVER.

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Jacket

jacket-blog

With an Internet blackout, I am typing this away on my desktop…. The blog-gods will be appeased with this… right?

Anyways I was thinking tonight about the amount of jackets I used to own when I lived back in Canada.

Oh the times of Talia and Jaime, those 2 cousins that lived together and had a huge hall-closet and between them had many a jacket. It was packed full of jackets….

In particular, I believed that Talia had a very nice woolen Pea-Coat that I adored. I think it came from L.L. Bean. I might have worn it every chance I could.

For some reason tonight while I was watching Big Brother, one of the contestants was wearing a jacket that not only reminded me of Talia, but also of University in general.

The jacket that Brendan was wearing was exceptionally cheap looking. Total faux-leather with faux-sheepskin on the collars. Awful. Reminded me of a jacket I owned in the ’90’s.

Faux leather…. Naugahyde to be exact.. Like my Gramp’s couch.

I thought that jacket was awesome. It cost $20, that I clearly remember. It was total faux-everything, and buttoned up like a suit-jacket. I wore it everywhere. I thought it made me look professional. Or cool. Or a combination of both. And then a friend of mine bought the same one…. Unprompted and without knowing that I had it. That must have meant that I had good taste, right?

And in retrospect, it was the most awful jacket you have ever seen. But it was the nineties, so that…well, that was the way it went, eh?

Again, that jacket-cupboard was full of lovely jackety things. All sorts of grey, black and dark brown. Several types of navy coats. An old smoking jacket. One or two coats made of synthetic materials… it was a glorious array of coats…and scarves and gloves… good times….

And then on a completely different topic, I just found this lovely blog which is full of pretty things to look at. And interesting things to read…. probably you want to go and check it out. For reals.

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Filed under Canada, cousin, faux, jacket, Uncategorized, University

Badassicalness

Celine-blog

A new feature I am thinking about adding to my blog as either a weekly or bi-monthly event. By event, I really mean ‘post’.

I am looking to feature interesting people and/or interesting blogs/websites. If this works the way I hope it will, I eventually want to add a give-away element to it too.

But for now, it will just be a feature….

Tonight’s Sunday Night Featurette will be….

~Celine B.~

Queen of cakes and sarcasm.

And a family member, so you know this is going to be flattering….. (she’s so purdy)

Brief history:

Celine hails from the West Coast of Canada. Or Wet Coast. Or however you like to call it. She migrated South, as all people tend to do, a few years ago and settled on the West Coast of Florida for a few years. She joined Publix and immediately began her meteoric rise. Quickly moving her way from associate (clerk) to Assistant Bakery Manager, mostly by sheer skill. And charm. She quickly moved inland to the Orlando area, where she is currently residing and plotting her take-over of all things bakery…

That Canadian work ethic is no match at all for… well…. anything. For real.

Especially considering the pure lack of ethic that appears to be so common these days…..

Skills:

That girl can bake a mean cake/pie/muffin/cupcake

That woman can tease a mean rock-a-billy poof (pending pictures).

That sister from another mister can decorate like you wouldn’t believe. And even if you do believe, if you saw it you still wouldn’t believe it could be that amazing.

She is amazingly creative, something which she has always had a flare for…. She shows it so clearly in her creations, especially the way her fingers delicately tease that fondant into the most interesting shapes.

Illustrated here:

cake-blog

cake2-blogcake-3

For her cake-skillz in the Orlando area… please email me @ atlanticmama@gmail.com


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Filed under amazing!, art, cake, Canada, cousin, family, fancy, health, Mad skills, Orlando, random, tattoos, The South, West Coast

2nd

2nd-blog

I just made a bet with myself…and the internet…..

I bet that I can blog everyday. And if  I win, I get a massage from M (he is shouting in the background “Hey! I didn’t agree to that!!!!”….. doesn’t matter, my bet, not his) every night as well! It is shaping up to be an interesting month. My birthday month too.

In a week or so, I hit 33.

33. Man.

This year I am celebrating with tattoos. It is a Cousin-Love date. And by that, I mean that C and I are hitting up Ocala as I have been dying for an introduction to her favorite artist. Who just happens to be from BC as well, which is as random as you can get. A Canadian? In Ocala? Probably there are more of them there, but this is the first I’ve heard of it. As far as I know he is the only one there. Poor lonely Canadian. It’s so hard to befriend the natives….

I think he will make the 3rd Canadian that I know in Florida. I know there are more of you around, sometimes us Canadians are a little shy… we can’t be found at the outlet malls like the British and other Europeans. We are more likely to be found down in the Everglades or at some State Park swimming with Manatees than hitting up the cheap shoe sales…. (although, we totally will check out those sales after we check out the Manatees). Manatees totally come first, especially before a good sale at Premium Outlet Malls…

So how about it, eh? Do you think I can? Every day for a whole month….

Prepare for both riveting, epic posts and mundane boring poop. Oh, and actual poop. Both domestic and canine…

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Filed under art, awkward, birthday, bits, busy, Canada, cousin, family, fancy, happy, health, holy mother, Love, Mad skills, manatee, patience, poo, tattoos, Uncategorized

Banana (genius!)

banana-blog

I thought a lot about flying with V before our actual trip. A lot.

I MIGHT have over-thought everything, just a bit. I was really trying to think about things to do with him on the plane, but with a one year old that is a little tricky. Things that would work on older and younger children I didn’t think would work with him.

He doesn’t sit still ever.

And hates being held quietly and rocked like a younger child possibly would. Oh, and screams when falls asleep.

So a lot of thought went into what to take in that diaper bag of mine.

Snacks, toys, bottles and juice. That is pretty much what I had. Oh, and a banana.

The Banana, or  the herbaceous plants of the genus Musa, is cultivated primarily for its fruit.

Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries. In  popular culture and commerce, “banana” usually refers to soft, sweet “dessert” bananas. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Bananas may also be cut and dried and eaten as a type of chip. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

Although the wild species have fruits with numerous large, hard seeds, virtually all culinary bananas have seedless. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas.

V loves them, which was why I brought one. And spur of the moment, I decided to give the whole thing to him, skin and all to eat.

Holy burst of motherhood genius!!

That banana kept him occupied for about 25 minutes. I peeled the the skin back and let him hold the whole fruit, the skin draping down over those plump little fingers.

He was enchanted.

That little mouth didn’t know exactly what to do with it though. He tried to bite it with those 8 little teeth, but didn’t have much of an effect on the banana. He tried again, and managed to get some of the fruit in his mouth. With each bite he grew braver and braver, finally managing to take a whole mouthful of the fruit in one bite.

Banana was everywhere. How nice that I decided to save this moment for his first airplane ride, eh? It was on the airplane phone, the window, me, the seat in front of us, me again, him, all over him and his seatbelt and also my hands. I actually had a collection of banana pieces in my hand, the ones he didn’t feel like keeping in his mouth and spat out. Now normally I would just drop them on the floor and shout “Chewie!!! What’s this!!!” and our dog would come running and eat it.

That doesn’t quite fly on an airplane (harhar). So I just collected those little soggy bits in the palm of my hand and waited patiently for M to finish his diet soda so I could deposit them.

So word to the mothers out there. Bananas are genius for domestic flights!

Don’t, however, try and take one through customs entering the USA without declaring it, or you will be subjected to the excitement that we were (bag searches, flagged for the ‘short’ customs lineup (aka longest line ever with super strict scanning people) and having your bag swabbed for bomb residue). If you do bring any fruit through from Canada to the USA, make sure that it has the sticker on it. Apparently Canada imports from some countries that the USA doesn’t, and this is a huge issue.

Apart from that whole kerfuffle, I am a wellspring of motherhood genius! Banana! Genius!

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Filed under banana, Canada, flying with children, genious, holy mother, Mad skills, Mummy, parenting, patience, sanity, traveling, Uncategorized, Vancouver, West Coast

Pox

kitty-blog

M is allergic to cats.

When he first told me this years ago, I thought he was lying. I really thought that he didn’t want to get a kitten/cat, anything of the feline persuasion as a pet. His family is more of a ‘dog’ family. And so years ago when he visited me in Canada and stayed at my parent’s house and started sneezing and rubbing his eyes repeatedly, I finally got the point. He was, in fact, not lying. Surprise!

My dear kitty that I had during University moved in with my parents when I moved to Japan. And when I moved back she continued to stay with them. They love her (as do I, she really is so sweet). On our recent trip to Canada, we slept in their bedroom with V, while my parents stayed in the guest house. There was much talk about making sure to keep the bedroom door closed as Molly-cat loves to sneak in there. Not only is M allergic, but my Step-dad is too so this was doubly important.

Despite all of these precautions (and leaving the bedroom window open all day and night), M still had bouts of sneezing and watery eyes…. it just couldn’t be helped.

One night we were all out on the patio. We had just finished a lovely visit with some family and friends, and were finishing off a quickly put-together smorgasbord of savory treats. There was a nice chill in the air, wine on the table and my sister and I got up to get hoodies and slippers so we could stay cozy while we all chatted on the deck.

I guess M and C must have looked a little cold, as my mum dashed back in and came out carrying 2 woolen blankets which she proceeded to toss on both of them. Satisfied that everyone was cosy and warm, we all continued laughing and joking for another hour or so before heading off to bed.

…….hours later…….. early morning…….

M woke up with his eyes practically stuck shut, sneezing like a mother-f’er, tears running down his face from how itchy his eyes are and totally congested.

“Don’t tell your mother, but I think that blanket has the pox,” he said, “It is my Kryptonite.” Apparently it was covered in cat hair.

I started laughing and thinking of course that I will have to write about this in my blog. M looked at me and I knew he was reading my mind. As soon as he started to say “Jame…..” I said “I will really try to not mention this….really. For real.” I am pretty sure he didn’t believe me. It might have been a little lie on my part…

Downstairs we trudged with V (M trying to hide his sneezes and red eyes). The pox blankets lay on an end table and V was reaching for them. “No honey,” I said, “Don’t touch the cat blankets.” (M evil eyed me in the background for uttering this outloud).

“Cat blanket?” someone piped up…

And then the story unfolded from my Stepdad.

“Ah, yes,” he said, “The cat used to sleep on it. I think we’ve had them for about 30 years and they’ve never been washed. Missy used to sleep on them too.” (Missy was a cat we had when I was in middle/high school)

This history of the pox blanket is revealed! I struggled to not look at M, for fear that the giggle in me would erupt and run totally out-of-control.

I just saved it all up for here instead….

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Filed under awkward, Canada, cold, Kitty, random, Uncategorized, West Coast, what the?

Flirt

Flower V-blog

Traveling with anyone gives you a great sense of how you relate to them…

When M and I traveled together for the first time, I knew immediately we were destined for marriage…

(ha! Just kidding!! I think I was all annoyed at him for something. So nothing has really changed since then. However, we travel really well together)

When Mum and I went to Kyoto for a wee trip (and actually the whole time she stayed with me in Japan, it was the same deal. We had no problems that we couldn’t resolve) We travel well together too.

We had never traveled seriously with Little Man before and, as we were soon to discover, traveling with children is interesting.

Our flight to Vancouver was a 2-parter, Orlando to Chicago/Chicago to Vancouver.

Part One: Disaster

Involving screaming, screaming, screaming. Break. (Involving eating). Screaming, screaming, screaming. Deplane.

It. Was. AWFUL.

Part Two: Tsunami

Waves and waves of screaming/quiet, screaming/quiet. AWFUL. This went on for 3 hours.

In the Customs lineup, someone from our flight leaned over the railing in front of us and said “He didn’t really sleep that much, did he?”. Um, no. No he didn’t. Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn’t noticed at all.

In between the bouts of screaming and sleep were these rather interesting moments, where V was assessing the cabin. He likes to make eyecontact with everyone and when he does he breaks out into the hugest, most flirtatious smile you have ever seen. Those big brown eyes of his are so engaging…

So full of charm, in fact, that one Flight Attendant declared that we might be related as V apparently looked just like her brother, and she doted on him the entire flight. Her co-worker declared him to be “The Cutest Baby I have Ever Seen” (and, she also said, ‘I have seen a lot’). Of course M and I soaked this all up… (and might have preened a little as well).

And it went on and on… People…. well, women really, peering around corners and stating that he was gorgeous. That he was flirting with them. And just giggling inanely and waving like idiots….

And this is when I got the first inkling that I might have given birth to a future heart-throb…..

Right now it is adorable. Charming. Makes my heart burst… 15 years from now? It will probably make my heart break.

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Filed under busy, Canada, family, happy, Love, parenting, patience, Uncategorized, West Coast