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A few days ago, I was driving  through the parking lot at Publix and I braked and waved a mum and her 2 kids across the traffic. Her hand lifted in a ‘thank you’ wave and then practically leapt down and latched on to her 4 year old’s hand. Her younger child had a pained look on her face and her little fingers twisted and turned and fought the grip her mum had on her.

I literally had an epiphany.

Oh my gosh. It’s not just me. My son is not the only child in the whole world that hates having his hand held. It is, in fact, all children everywhere in the whole entire.

Funnily enough, this was really a kind of shocking epiphany. I think as you are parenting, it is very hard to remember that what you are doing is what all parents are doing everywhere. Even though it very well may be the most frustrating thing ever, or the grossest thing ever. Or the sweetest thing ever. Whatever those things are, they are being repeated endlessly everywhere.

So two days of really awful diarrhea? Yup, that’s going on somewhere.

A 3 year old, running carelessly around the YMCA pool deck with his father shouting at him? Yup, that too.

Asking for a hug before bedtime and getting “No, maybe later Mummy” as a response. Most likely this is happening in every single home around the world simultaneously.

And just to complain for a second, I had to force a hug from my child tonight. First time. Every night I usually get joyous hugs and smooches, without  even asking for them.

Tonight, Edward picked up Vince, handed him to me and then placed his arms around my neck, mimicking a hug. Half a second later, V wiggled out of my arms and proclaimed it was Daddy’s night and essentially banished me to the living room.

Hm. It appears as if my years of overly loving on my son might be approaching their end.

Nothing like a little Angry Birds to relax...

But, at the same time, it really does help to have these epiphanies. Because honestly it is really easy to forget that you are not the only one going through all of this ridiculous, dramatic, wailing, flailing, smart-mouthed, talking back, pooping everywhere (or nowhere) life.

Everyone else is too. Don’t forget.

xoxo a.m.

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So last week I turned 35…

Damn you Weather Gods!

I can no longer say I’m in my early thirties. I now have to use a term that I admit I am not too enamored with.



So there I was, mid-thirties and all, having a birthday. Helping to make it better, Vince proclaimed it was also his birthday. Repeatedly. Like this.

V: “Mummy? It’s your birthday! Happy Birthday. And it’s my birthday too! I made you a cake (he didn’t). I’m gonna eat it, in my tummy!”

That certainly took the sting out of the big 35.

Last year we hit up Disney World and stayed at one of the resorts for a few nights, having a sort of mini-holiday for my birthday. It was so amazing that we did it again this year. We checked in to the Caribbean Beach resort Friday afternoon, hitting up Epcot as soon as we were unpacked. It poured.

And by ‘pour’, I mean dumped. Yup. The weather gods took a huge poop on my Friday night. So big, we had to get ponchos. We looked properly idiotic and therefore blended in with all the other rejects we appeared to be surrounded by. It was a glorious parade of food-babies in wet white tee-shirts.

But I digress… We had a perfectly pleasant evening. Well, I did independently of my son while I was watching CAPTAIN EO!!!!!!!!

Yes, that’s right. I took a solo-trip back to 1991 and watched Michael Jackson crotch-whip an alien plant back  to life (or the 80’s, however you want to look at it).

And then I went and met up with E and V. And let me tell you, not only am I officially 35, but Vince is officially 3. And firmly in the middle of what is clearly ‘The Year of the Whine’. This holiday summed it up for me, if I was having any previous doubts of it.

Oh my lord. Last year, Vince was SO good during our mini-vacay. And this year, well… He was ‘good’ and holy mother was he ever whiny. I mean, I had heard this about that wonderful age of three, but this was my first full 3 day experience with it. And wow. WOW. We just constantly fought. About everything. Everything we said, he wanted to do the opposite of. And if we wanted to do what he wanted? He then wanted to do whatever was the opposite of that. But what was the most frustrating was how much he wanted to push his stroller around the parks.

Usually, not an issue. At Disney? Huge issue. He can’t see over the handles. He doesn’t care where he’s pushing it. And if you help him steer, he throws an enormous fit.

So please, picture us trying to cruise Epcot. Vince, pushing the stroller through the bag check, ramming it into posts. The girls at the gate, declaring him adorable because he told them “I’m just pushing dis ober there”. And then, every three steps, the stroller being rammed into something, occasionally people among other things. We ditched it in France and Vince cried for 10 minutes. And then was so poorly behaved I was just appalled.

He finally passed out hard. Apparently, bad behavior was a combo of exhaustion and being three. And post-nap he was angelic, proclaimed repeatedly “Mummy!!! I give you a kiss and hug!!!!

I can’t decide if it’s The Year of the Whine or The Year of the Bipolar Three Year Old.

Hopefully, its also The Year of the Extra-Patient Mummy. But, I think, isn’t it always that year?

xoxo a.m.



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I’m one busy beast

Maybe, might just possibly have overdone it today. Just maybe.

Woke up at 7, V up at 7:30, made breakfast, went to playdate at the park with V’s little girlfriend.

It was hot as a m-f’er at Moss Park, and humid. And we all sweated so damn much. V to the point where 3/4 of his hair was completely soaked with sweat, little sweat droplets swaying at the end of every damp curl.

Headed back to the house, cleaned the garage, measured all closets for shelf additions with father-in-law. Potted roses. Pulled weeds.

Went to YMCA and did 5 miles on the elliptical (600 calories, not too shabby!)

Headed back home, rearranged plants some more, filled pool for V, splashed a little. Showered, cleaned up. Walked with Vince to nearby park for another playdate with his new little friend Nate.

Now let me say, I did mostly sit during this little ‘mandate’, but it was hot as hades and my girlfriend and I sat, sweating away, next to each other while we watched our boys tear that playground the m-f up.

And then we had had enough, Edward came and picked me up and we went straight to Costco, got a membership, shopped and then finally headed home.

And then? Bathed and fed a small beast, bbq’d and settled down for some Big Brother and True Blood.

And while watching telly, I apparently realized how freaking tired I am.

I CANNOT wait until next weekend when Edward whisks me away to Disney for my birthday mini-holiday. I SHALL lounge endlessly poolside, I promise.

xoxo a.m.

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Please try to not pull all your hair out, ok?

Cheerfully polishing a fry-pan, I prepared to beat myself over the head with it...

Or at least that’s what I tried not to do yesterday with Vince.

Check out my sweet parenting logic:

In order to get ones child to eat more veggies, buy more veggies. With this in mind, yesterday Vince and I hit Pubes (aka Publix) for some healthy lunch things for me. As I picked out my veggies, Vince asked “What doing, Mummy?”

Mummy: “Buying some veggies, honey.”

Vince: *curiously* “Oh! I like veggies too!!”

Mummy: “You do? Do you like broccoli?”

Vince: “No, I no like broccoli. I like veggies.”

Mummy: “I like broccoli, it’s yummy. AND it makes you strong!”

Vince: “I’m stronger! I like broccoli! I want to eat it! In my mouth!”

Ok, I can handle this. I went and bought one of those Amy’s Organic kids meals (did I mention I was about falling over from exhaustion? And that is why I bought a microwave meal for my child. The End.) Anyways, it had broccoli in it and Vince promised to eat it and the macaroni that came with.

So home we went and I ‘cooked’ dinner for him. He sort of dragged his feet at eating and I sort of ended up ‘encouraging’ him to do it. Scooping up a little spoonful of noodles, I handed it to him. “No Mummy! NOOOOOOO! I can’t eat it! It’s too much!:

?? Too much? There were precisely 3 noodles on that spoon.

“No Mummy, like dis,” he proclaimed solemnly as he proceeded to flick off two of the noodles from the spoon. “And dats enough,” he said. And then he ate ONE noodle.

And then he ate ONE more noodle. And then he ate individual noodles for 5 minutes. I swear I was almost bald by the time dinner was over. It was the only way I could remain patient. And sane. I might have moaned out-loud repeatedly.

And then? He refused to eat broccoli.

“No Mummy, YOU like veggies. You eat it.”

Alright FINE.

I will baldly eat YOUR broccoli and enjoy it, dammit. DAMMIT!

xoxo a.m.


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Licking the butter off the waffle… What a surprise..


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Brendels Bagels on Long Island, NY. Currently in pastry bliss…


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Techical error

So that post I thought I posted on Father’s Day? Um, technical error. Didn’t post. Most likely because I forgot to hit the ‘publish’ button. But that’s OK. You didn’t really want to read another blather about fathers and dads and sons and everyone all doing super things together, right??

We ate pizza and went swimming. Vince painted Daddy a picture. It was extremely sweet. So that was Father’s Day, and then Edward went to work and I went to sleep. Party.

We are gearing up for our trip to New York this weekend. I should clarify that we are not actually going to the Big Apple. We are hitting up Long Island. You know, where Lindsay Lohan is from? There.

So unfortunately Tracy, I will not be going handbag shopping. As much as I long to be ushered up staircases and behind black sheet-draped enclosures, I will not be. Vince and his cousin Chloe are getting christened together on Sunday instead.

I guess it’s a good trade-off…

Maybe someone wants to just pick me up a handbag as a christening gift to Vince? Right. I thought not.

I am pretty excited to head up North to see the family. The last time we were up there was when Edward’s other little cousin Anna was christened in 2006. Which was just a few weeks after I moved to Florida from Canada. It was a bit of a culture shock for this Canadian, which is funny to look back at.

What a transformation a polite Canadian has when confronted by 70 or so Italians who mostly are eating things that Canadians are not accustom to devouring. And I say devour because that’s what I did. Pretty much the whole time. At Edward’s Grandparents house. At that really awesome restaurant we all ate at. At Edward’s aunts house, the one with the chocolate fountain?

It’s been 5 years and I am now a corrupt Anglo-Italian. Of sorts. Or at least my son is, being as he is actually of Italian and Canadian descent. And says ‘Mummy’ and ‘holiday’ and yet, also, eats mortadella by choice and has requested salami. And is three years old.

And who’s Mummy is an epic rambler. What was I talking about? Why am I not in bed? Happy Father’s Day! Belated!

Heading to Long Island in 3 days and am terrifically excited… Don’t worry, I’ll ramble again  before then…

xoxo a.m.

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Words that, perhaps, you shouldn’t call your son

This afternoon as I was getting ready for my lady date, Vince came running down the hallway and threw open my bedroom door.
Leaning against it, he started shouting at me…

I was shaving my legs. You know, that one time a week when I have someone to impress? That are ladies?
So in he runs, shouting something that frankly was rather hard to understand. By the third time he shouted it, I understood and then started to inwardly laugh…

Vincent: “Sweetie! Sweetie sweetie! Sweetie! SWEETIE!!!”

Mummy: “Ah…. Yes?”

Vince: “I did a big poo.”

Who knew that this was a ‘sweetie’ worthy conversation topic?

And guess what? That is totally all my fault.

‘Sweetie’ and ‘Babe and ‘Honey’ are all things that I regularly call Vince instead of his actual name. And clearly he thinks this is just things that people call one another. Which, technically, is true if you actually, physically live in my house.

Everyone has some other name, or no name, or a name plus an additional name. Like how the dog is “Chewie McBitersonton”. Or how Edward is, well, ‘Edward’. He’s just too formal. And a huge pain in my ass. And Vince, of course, has too many names to list.

About 2 weeks ago, Vince shouted “Honey!! HONEY!! HONEY!!!!!!”

Mummy: “WHAT!!!!!!!”

Vince: “Mummy, your my best fwen. I wuve you.”

Mummy: *heart melt* “Love you too baby…”

xoxo a.m.

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Things I think my child will like (that he hates)

Currently I am winning the war on the poo over here. It’s been 2 days of NO accidents and 2 whole days of pooing on the potty. And peeing in it too. Kind of a ‘hallelujah’ moment in the Melvin household. There is, to be honest, rather a lot of high-fiving going on as a result.

And with one problem disappearing, of course a new one rears its head. The always fun eating issue. You know, that one where they don’t want to? Ya. That one.

My household is currently on a vegetable strike. 2 1/2 years ago, I never thought V would make such a big deal about veggies. But when he was 6 months old, he was considerably weaker than he is now. Also less vocal. And also I could just make him.

I am pretending it’s a non-issue. No forcing going on. He eats the occasional piece of corn.

Today on the way home he announced “I no want nothing for dinner”.

“Oh? No macaroni? What about a sandwich? Chicken nuggets?”

Yes, yes, I know, why am I giving him a choice. Just make the m-f-ing dinner and he will eat it.

Well, actually he won’t. Not right now.

Tonight I was as desperate as I have ever been. Desperate enough to bring out this secret weapon.

“Would you like me to make you a frog sandwich?! It’s SO YUMMY!”

Edward (sotto voce) asked “What’s a frog sandwich?”

I whispered back “I don’t know. We’ll find out in a few moments”.

A frog sandwich is as follows:

Almond butter (if you are peanut free like we currently are) or peanut butter

Jelly (type red)

Sandwich rounds (but use bread too)

2 raisins

half a cheese stick.

And so you assemble. I cut the bottom off the sandwich round in a sort of half moon and put it on top like a 3-d mouth. And cut the top of the round and divided it into sections, creating 2 eyes and with a little leftover nub for a nose.

I toothpicked the eyes with a  raisin on top of each piece. I took my half cheese stick, cut that in half and then split them to look like legs.

Vince was delighted. He ate the nose. Then refused to eat anything else of it.

*Le sigh*

I le suck and making le gourmet designer meals.

Please pump my ego up and tell me it looks awesome… (or laugh at me, either one)

xoxo a.m.

Probably I need to take an art class...



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Gardening with a three year old

Woke up. Went grocery shopping. Had caffeine with child in tow at public location. Dropped groceries off at home. Took child to HomeDepot again. Bought rocks etc. Gardened with a three year old for 90 minutes until I was rescued by Daddy.

I like gardening. It is terribly enjoyable to me. And sometimes it’s even fun with my son. Ok, I lie. It’s 50% enjoyable with my son.

I am in the process of renovating our courtyard, such a cute litte area between our garage and townhouse. A really pretty, curvy garden bed with a lovely little bricked courtyard surrounding it. It looked like crap when we moved in 2 years ago. Overgrown rockpit with 4 foot tall weeds.

Since then it has been a vegetable garden (of which we ate nothing) and then a decorative mulch ‘pit’. After the mulch experience and then the discovery of mulch forming some sort of substance that is no longer mulch after its been on the ground for too long, I elected to remove the mulch.

And so I’ve been renovating it. With some help from my son.

At first, he was totally on board. He carried rocks for me and put them in buckets, he dug with his little shovel and carried wee buckets of dirt here and there. He ‘hop hop hop’ ‘d like a frog on the pavers that I put in the garden bed like a path.

And then when I put more in, they turned into train tracks and his many vehicles made some incredible voyages. And then as more and more rocks joined the garden, V’s tricycle started venturing into the garden bed. Then it slowly, bit by bit, ended up in the dirt.

“Mummy! I’m making a choo-choo train!”

“Baby, please get out of the dirt.” I was in the middle of laying down landscaping cloth and smoothing a layer of soil over it.

“No Mummy, I just go der.”

“Honey, please stay out of the dirt. Please!”

“No, I just going der.”


“It’s Ok Mummy, I just go ober der.”

I am sure you can guess that ‘ober der’ and ‘der’ was exactly where I didn’t want him to be.

And so was the dog. And so was a fire truck. And so were several dinosaurs.


Edward interrupted us deliberately and swept V away to the library/book store/PopPop’s pool/ice cream shoppe/etc.

And then I went running. And then I felt better. Running makes everything better. And then I came home and gardened by myself. In my sweaty gym clothes. And then I took a shower and it was delicious.

And by the time the boys came home, I was ready.

Mummys need breaks sometimes. Or they go crazy. Really.

Please, love on the Mummys or they will hurt you…  Either with spades or wine glasses…

xoxo  a.m.


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