Category Archives: The South

Breasts

breasts-blog

Recently V started something new.

Pointing at my chest, more like poking me in the breasts (gawd, I hate writing ‘breast’, makes me feel like I am a guidance counselor and have a group of teens giggling at me)…anyways, he pokes me in the ‘breasts’ and exclaims ‘Mumma!’. And then he pulls my shirt out and takes a peek down it. And after he’s done that, he looks up at me and grins in the hugest way…

My first reaction? Laughter… Because FOR REAL, how else do you react to something like that?!

That is followed by… ummm…not sure what…blank? Awkward grin? A wtf face?

One of those….

It WAS rather funny. And now it’s moved into a pattern of, say, all the time. Which I guess, in hindsight, is not really a pattern at all. More of a regular event. A daily event actually.

Hm.

As are the other things, and you parents of boys know exactly what I mean. And I can sum it all up with the phrase “It starts early and never ends”. And I mean it. And then, for you non-boy parents, I will throw in the phrase ‘bits’, ‘adjusting’ and ”touching’. Is it clear? Have you ever met a man? Talked with one? Perhaps lived with one?

Then it’s clear…

It is the beginning of man. With each day passing, I understand my husband of almost 5 years just a little bit more. Watching a baby grow into a toddler and into a boy and then into a man…. well it’s basically the evolution of ‘man’ itself.

The breast obsession/hype, followed by the penis obsession.

Oh son of mine, you will not read this for many, many a year. Thank you for the  inspiration…

(and stop poking my breasts like that!)

xoxo a.m.

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Hallo-Weenie!

IMG_7133

Post-Halloween over here, and the dog and I are chilling…

V was a marathon runner this year. Costume choice was decided last year and at that time was based on the fact that babies look cute in shoes. About one month ago, V learned to walk and so the costume suddenly became a way better one. How funny to see little man dressed up as if he is about to do a runner and then it watch him do one down the sidewalk!

I thought it would be hilarious…

It was. When I ever thought a headband would stay on his little head, lord only knew… But for the 30 seconds it was on, it looked awesome.

7 pm and little man was in bed. Tuckered out from the excitement of the evening. He got 5 pieces of candy (that I will eat for him).

I feel weird about giving my child candy. Apparently, I have no problem giving other peoples kids treats (as illustrated by the way I thrust it upon those trick-or-treaters), but I had a hard time even giving V a lollipop. It just seems wrong… Cupcake (that I have made for him), yes. Laffy taffy, no….

I proceeded to get knocks on the door until 9:30, despite an apparent strict policy  regarding front porch lights being on (indicating that you are participating). I turned mine off at 7:15, when I was about to run out of candy. Just as my mother-in-law left and I let the dog loose again.

Poor Chewie, barking his face off upstairs, locked in a room. The second I let him out, he became uber guard dog.

He is a chihuahua. And rather self-important.

Thank you Chewie for providing me with an excuse to not answer the door after 7:30.

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Slap it hard

slap-blog

Boys can be very exhausting.

Riding on the end of an influenza, ear infection, projectile vomiting, high fever, nebulizer, late night crying and screaming, wheezy, asthmatic, some-one-bit-my-child-at-school month of October, I have had enough.

Enough October!! Give it a rest! Bring on November in all of it’s sweet turkey finery. Mummy needs a break.

I will not get one though, such is the life of Mummy.

Little Man is going through a ‘Mummy’ phase. Everything is ‘Mumma’ and ‘No’. Mostly ‘no’ to people who aren’t Mumma. And also ‘no’ when it is Mumma as well. He is alternately extremely delighted by everything that involves me and clingy as well. He just can’t get enough of me.

Secretly I am delighted. And secretly I am a little scared of my reaction. And then publicly terrified that I will be one of ‘those’ mum’s. Since I have called his Doctor every week for about a month now (and am really restraining myself from calling this week), I feel like I am edging there. They might know who I am. Hopefully they think I am nice (nervous laughter) and not a total psychopath-slash-first time mother.

This is a hard line to tread for me. Especially for a person such as myself, who tends to be rather concerned with what people think of her.

On one hand, I don’t care at all. I will happily babble nonsense at V down the aisle of any store and say the most ridiculous things to him. Random stories about the fruits and vegetables we are passing by…promises to make him yummy dinners, more delicious than he has ever eaten. Descriptions of things we are going to do on the weekend.

Confronted with people actually paying attention to me, it’s another thing altogether. Suddenly I do care very much about what I am saying and how I am coming across to them.

Basically I will kiss Little Man’s chubby cheeks to the point of rawness, and then afterwords wonder if anyone thinks I am too doting of a mother. But at the same time, I don’t give a shit. Because he is the cutest, sweetest Little Man in the world, way cuter than yours, by the way… Just in case you wanted to hear that. WAY cuter. And most handsome. And best personality. See? See what I mean? (My personality makes this rather conflicting…)

And I will call the pediatrician non-stop and use that overly friendly voice that annoys me so much at the office that I work at. You know, that voice you use when you want a favor? Except, I am not a bitch, like so many of the mothers I speak to (except for that one time…. but it was perfectly excusable…)

So this whole ‘biting’ thing at daycare really, well, bites. And super sucks. And bites even more…

I am unsure how to proceed with this. I called the director of the school, informed her and the teacher and now (apart from tossing the mother of the biter out into the parking lot and having a proper slap-down) I am not too sure what the next step is…

No slapping, right? And I must be sure to teach V about the no slapping rule as well….

*sigh*

xoxo a.m.

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Well, shit.

Just a few things that I have noticed that V brings home from daycare.

Bruises

This is a major one. Now probably this is because he has been walking for about 1 month (1 MONTH!) and falls down all of the time. Tonight during bath-time I noticed that his calves were literally littered with little bruises. It looks like someone whacked those little legs with a stick. And there were even a couple on the side of his little tush. My eyebrows raised a little when I saw those little bruises. What on earth is going on at DayCare that results in bum bruises?

Unexplained marks

Yesterday I picked him up from school and he was crying. He wasn’t crying when I was peeking at him from outside, but between me peeking and entering the building, something had happened. Something, and nobody seemed to clear on what had made him cry.

Well, regardless, off we went. We stopped for some french-fries on the way home. Just a little treat for my wee man. About 2 hours later I happened to notice a mark on his arm. With a closer look, I realized that it looked a lot like someone’s small mouth. As in someone bit him. Nice. And so there you go. Someone bit my child. And I learned about it by accident.

I mentioned it this morning when I dropped him off and apparently the class has a biter. During bath-time tonight, while I was noticing his cane-marks on those calves, I saw a faded mark on his other arm. The more I looked at it, the more I became convinced that it was another bite-mark. It was suspiciously rounded and mouth-like.

Shit.

Well, shit.

Shit.

Art Projects

Now these are delightful.

Yesterday I received 3 little things that he had done, little things he had painted and glued things on to. I just love this.

Tonight when I came home, V had ‘homework’. Oh, I even loved this! We had to send 5 different leaves to school tomorrow for a ‘project’. Off we went as a family to get some leaves. How lovely to have a little family project.

So biting, bruising and art work. That is what school has brought us so far. Oh, and the flu. And also a constant cold for 3 weeks. And some added emotional stress for all of us. And the word ‘No’.

So far school is kicking our ass. Damn it!! I was trying for a win!

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Mundane ass

ass-blog

As I attempt to make more of an effort with my blog posting, please do not be discouraged with the possible mundaneness of some of my posts.

I know you all want to know about V pooping, what I ate for dinner and how M annoyed me this week… Right? Right!!

Thank the Heavens Above (I am so thank that it is capitalized) that it is Thursday night. I swear the weeks are getting longer. And clearly also shorter AND faster since it is almost American Thanksgiving down here. Which means that it almost Christmas, which means that it is almost New Years, which means that V is almost 2, which means that I am almost thirty-****, which means that probably I need to have another baby, which means that I am pregnant.

See where I can go when I get going?

I am not pregnant.

In fact, I am hoping to look less pregnant as we joined the YMCA and I actually went twice this week. A beginners twice, which means it was 2 “I haven’t been to the gym in a coon’s age” workouts.

And holy mother do my legs hurt today from Tuesday’s workout. I ran for 30 minutes. Ignoring that fact that I haven’t been to the gym or ran since sometime in the beginning of September. I have faith in myself. I can run.

And so I did. And not only that, but I marveled at my speed and fluidity. I was flying man!! It felt awesome! I totally had a flash forward (see above ramble) and was instantly super fit and feeling awesome.

Tonight I went again, same thing. But with more pain, as my legs are stiff from all of the fluid running I did the other night. It still felt good. And then I went home and ate a sub. Nice. Clearly my diet of FOOD and excercise is really going to help me get in better shape. Oh, and carrying V up the stairs to bed. By the way my muscles are aching when I reach the top, I must be on the path to a rock hard ass.

Yup. That’s right. Rock hard ass. I am all over this gym thing, even if it kills small parts of me.

I’ll keep you posted…

xoxo a.m.

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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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Thanks

thanks-blog

by Paige Pooler

Good lord, too many things are going on over here right now…

First things first, it is Canadian Thanksgiving this coming weekend and I am throwing dinner for 10 at my house a mere 2 weeks after we’ve moved in. The house is still in slight disarray. I hung up one picture last weekend (a very small one) and practically high-fived myself with excitement.

Americans are always baffled at the thought of Thanksgiving not being in November and are constantly asking me at  random moments what exactly we are celebrating.

“We are giving thanks” is generally my response.

Sounds goofy to say “I am celebrating the Harvest with my family”, which kind of sounds like, well, I am a giant hippie. Which is certainly possible, since I am West Coast to the bone.

Leading up to our fantastical Thanksgiving event, there have been some interesting things going on.

First week at proper day-care for Little Man. Which equals crying-jags times 5. Every morning. For me, I mean. Oh, and him. As in, he cries when I try to leave… and then while I am leaving (and he’s crying) I cry too. As I am driving to work, I mean. I am a highly emotional mess this week.

And every morning seems to start out the same way with me turning my back on Little Man for ONE MINUTE, when I turning back he was actually drinking from the dog’s water bowl. Before he drinks though, he first spills it all over his school uniform. After 3/4 of it is on the floor, then he lifts it to his mouth to drink.

Emotional mess.

Dog water.

Crying tears of sadness as Little Man is a big boy.

Crying tears of disgust as he and the dog slurp water together.

Apparently, mostly crying down here in the South.

Happy Thanksgiving?!

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No

scold-blog

Last week I watched V stand in the living room, shake his hand at the dog and shout (actually shout!) “Da! Daaaaaa! DAAAAA!!!” at him. The first time it was funny, as was the second time actually. Quite funny too. The third time he did it, I realized it was a little familiar.

Familiar as in it was something I did all the time.

“Chewie. No. CHEWIE!. NO!” I shout. All the time. And then, when that doesn’t work, I say in my most calm of voices “Chewie. No, buddy. GET. DOWN” (Please visualize  him frantically barking and jumping back and forth on top of my arm-chair near the window, freaking out at everyone and their dog (literally) who walks by. Or walks near. Or near-ish.

Pain. In. My. Ass.

Apparently I shout at him a lot. AND shake my finger, just like V was showing me. I do it often enough that V is now an expert at it as well. And I am not sure that I like the image that is being displayed.

So that made me think about things. About how much we pick up from our parents, what kind of lessons we learn as children that shape our world today. It really made me examine my own actions… and then look at my personality and see if I could see my parents actions reflected in that.

It was very insightful. I saw interesting reflections of both parents in my temperament and actions. I’ll just keep those thoughts to myself for now.

How much of this is genetic and how much of it is learned actions? I swear I feel some of my beloved Gran in me, especially these last few weeks when I am rather a lot ‘flighty’. More so than usual. Yikes! There might be more Gran in me than I thought! Not that that is a bad thing. I just wish it was accompanied with a bigger chest and more glamour. Like Gran.

I digress…

Oh, how I am like my mother. Might as well just have cloned her. And then made me. But added more sarcasm, made her slightly more high-maintenance (here, M would chime in with ‘a lot’) and added about 40% of Father Gilbert. And then you have me.

Higher on the maintenance level than I would like to think I am (I think I am pretty low… M disagrees A LOT), cleanliness obsessed, no patience for crap, bullsh*t or any of that crap, hard to know. Mostly because am not interested in knowing you that much. Unless you show interest in knowing me. Then I am interested. And that is because of the shyness and poor self-confidence issues.

Oh internet, how you bear and handle my confidences…. You are like the ultimate secret diary.

V is on the path to becoming an interesting combination of M and I.

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Confidence

confidence-blog

We are in crunch mode this week.

Moving into our new house in approx 5 days and 6 hours…. give or take. Things are feeling a little hectic and surreal over here on this side of town.

Yesterday our new appliances were delivered, turning our gaping hole of a kitchen into a sleek, awesome room of efficiency, filtered water and cool poses at the automatic ice-maker (in-door of course). Installation of our new washer and dryer turned empty upstairs cupboard with slightly dirty floor into cupboard of high-tech cleaning devices clearly made on another planet. Some kind of crazy Dr Who-like planet. With Darleks.

It transformed our house. It is freaking me out. I can’t stop freaking out.

On the freak out horizon is V’s latest efforts to walk . He is trying so hard. He will take the odd few steps by himself, but clearly is more comfortable on the floor crawling like a mad man. We are currently encouraging him to walk at every opportunity. And he welcomes it. He will happily cling to your finger and walk like a seasoned pro. Let go of that finger though…? And he will topple right over.

He is just not that confident yet on his feet.

How confident is he opening doors? He is the King of Confidence-town.

Yesterday we walked upstairs, went into Mummy and Daddy’s new bedroom and shut the door. Mummy wanted to take a good look at the bathroom off the master suite. She put V down and walked 2 steps away from him and turned her back for 15 seconds.

In that 15 seconds, V crawled over to the door, opened it and made it half way down the stairs by himself.

Mummy just about had a heart attack. Holy crap.

Must lock all doors. For Ever.

We went from a handle to a knob on both the front door and back because of this. Then we installed baby gates. Oh the blood and sweat of Pop-Pop that went into the installation (and keeping V away from the installation). Thank god though… now all we have to worry about is the taps on the tub.

The taps that he can apparently also turn on. I have these awful images of him closing the bathroom door and turning on the taps and falling in.

Now is the time in my life where I become MOTHER. The super all-seeing, all-observing and all-knowing mother that can hear a tap turned on 3 miles away. Or a door opened and closed. Or a window opened. Or anything.

No sleep for me ever again…

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Toast

toast-blog

Today I bought a sandwich for a homeless kid.

I wasn’t going to. To be honest, I usually avoid anything to do with people asking for money. It’s pretty much inherent. Part of living on the West Coast I think. I am immune to begging…

On the West Coast, homeless people have cats and dogs that they guilt you into feeling sorry for. Who, seriously, can resist giving money to help someone feed their dog. That is the hardest thing in the world for me. Poor animals.

West Coast homeless people also try to ‘jolly’ you out of spare change. Or insult you…. one or the other…

Case in point:

Once, my mother and I were ‘accosted’ by a young man who swore we were so beautiful that he had immediately, on the spot, made up a poem, just for us. He was so charming, that of course we said yes. And then he charged us a dollar. And my Mum, being the lovely person she was, gave it to him.

And then we watched him do the same thing to someone else.

It was funny though. $1 equals funny experience that I remember 10 years later. I guess it was worth the price…

There is a well known man who sits outside a church in downtown Victoria that chimes “Spaaaaaare a little chaaaaange…” He is elderly, white-bearded. Practically has become part of the landscape. I hardly notice him when I am back home.

One day, walking past the Eaton’s Center (that would be ‘The Bay Center’ to all of you young ones in Victoria), I was yelled at for ignoring a request for change. I am sorry. But, to be honest, I can only handle that request so many times… Once I hit 4 or 5, I have reached my limit. It is hard for me to avoid the pleading eyes, but after years of experience I have become a skilled professional.

Living in the South is a little bit different.

There is no real downtown core, so you are not slammed with the exposure that you would be in my hometown of Victoria, or even Vancouver.

M and I were checking out Orlando’s ‘downtown’ area one day, back when I had first moved here when we were approached by the skinniest, dirtiest black man you have ever seen.

He proclaimed “You are in LOVE. I can feel it”.

“I can feel you love, it’s so strong. I know you love this gorgeous woman. You love her. I can feel it…. let me dedicate a song to her beauty…”

And then he proceeded to sing, with a glorious smokey voice, an amazing, jazzy, 1920’s made-up song about my beauty and how it had M wrapped around my finger. For surely no man had ever resisted a woman such as I…

Oh god, how I was both embarrassed and flattered. We gave him $5 and he went on his way, down the deserted street that he had crossed to reach us.

This young man that I saw today was the skinniest boy you have ever seen. Clad in dirty jeans and a black tank top… those shoulders of his popped right out of his torso, they were so sharp and narrow. He asked me very politely “Ma’am, spare any change?” And unfortunately I had none….

So I bought him a turkey sandwich and a bottle of water instead. And apologized to him on my way out of the restaurant for not having any money to give him. I hoped he would like this sandwich instead. He thanked me, and gave me a shy happy smile.

Just look what motherhood has done to me….

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