metro mama

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Giddy Up

I had to send this cuteness off to school this morning while I work on a paper about Roughing It in the Bush. Not a good deal.

I get home tonight just in time for dusk. Cakes is all set to hit a half dozen of the neighbours’ (a few of them have even asked ahead what she is allowed to have—isn’t that awesome!).

Once we get Cakes to bed and give out candy to the eight children that venture to our street, we are going to join the neighbours for cocktails and candy on the front lawn. ‘Cause Halloween’s all about the adults, don’t you know.

What are y’all up to tonight?


Friday, October 26, 2007

Membership Has Its Privileges

I’ve been doing some whining about grad school around here, but I haven’t talked much about the good stuff. Well, there is good stuff, and when I’m stressed and feeling insecure I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to be doing this, and tell myself to enjoy it while it lasts. Because really, it many ways it’s pretty sweet and I can see why people spend years getting a PhD they’re not sure what they want to do with (I am just a little tempted to do just that). But that’s another post. For now, here are a few of the things I’m liking:

A big portion of my “work” is to lounge around in my pyjamas in my comfy big blue chair, drinking coffee, reading books for hours at a time. Then I put on pants, and travel to the university where I sit in an uncomfortable chair, drinking coffee, chatting about books (or just nodding, cocking my head, squinting my eyes, and murmuring, “oh, that’s interesting” while other people talk about books).

I’ve finally found the graduate reading room at York. It’s pretty fucking sweet. It’s actually rather hidden and there’s a code on the door that changes each week, so it took me this long to find it and locate the code to access its riches. And riches they are! Windows!!! Sunlight!!! Clean, comfy chairs!!! Quiet!!! (grad students don’t chat on their phones in the library like undergrads). It’s too bad campus is so far away--the grad reading lounge could compete with my comfy blue chair.

I like the pub nights. I’m on the social committee, so my “job” is to make sure we have frequent social events (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it). Seriously though, with a commuter campus like York, it is easy to feel isolated, and it’s so helpful to unwind with a few pints and compare notes with your peers. My self-confidence is always a little boosted after a pub. Once we’ve had a couple of drinks, we ‘fess up to feeling like impostors, and finding the workload hard. It’s actually very helpful.

Finally, I am loving feeling challenged. I think I’ve underestimated my ambition, and need to be challenged. It’s coming to the surface now—what I’ll do with it, I’ve yet to figure out. And I’m still not sure how Number Two fits in all of this. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Toddler Fashion Sense

From the fall collection...

Pants are so 2006.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Parentbloggers Review: Printakid

We’re enjoying our latest review products from the The Parent Bloggers--personalized books for children from Printakid.

With a very user-friendly website, ordering is easy. Choose from six stories, provide a few details describing your child and some names of friends and family. Our end product is a charming adventure tale, with a curly blonde-haired protagonist named Princess Cakes, a mommy named Queen Julie (I like this) and friends who help her on her quest to save the land of Nevernight.

Cakes really loves the personal touches. And I like the personalized dedication--great for gifts.

Printakid--pretty cool!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Busy with mothering and studying for the last couple years, I’ve let a lot of stuff go. I’m trying to get on top of it all, but it’s not easy.

My finances were terribly disorganized. McHotty was very irritated with me about that. I had three different RRSP accounts (performing poorly), and couldn’t remember the last time I’d actually read a bank statement. But when he sorted and filed all my documents and made me an appointment at the bank, and even went so far as to buy me coffee and walk with me to the appointment, I had no choice but to sort it all out.

I’m still way behind on personal chores. I haven’t had a haircut in three months, and nothing’s been professionally waxed, polished or plucked since Cakes’ birth. And no, I still haven’t made it to the dentist. Honestly, I really am afraid to go. Plus it’s going to be pretty fucking embarrassing telling them how long it’s been now. I could lie, but they can probably tell.

But I was really sobered when I went for an eye exam this week, my first in three years (yes, shame, SHAME on me). My eyes have been sore and I chalked it up to all the reading and time in front of the computer screen. Plus, my glasses are broken and I’ve been wearing my contacts for about sixteen hours a day (yes, stupid, I know). The eye doc was not happy with what she saw. I have a condition (I can’t even pronounce it let alone spell it) where the cornea isn’t getting enough oxygen. Whatever it’s called, it’s not good and I’m supposed to give contact lenses a break at least for a month. So I splurged on these:

Scholarly looking, no?

But seriously, I’m sure I’m not the only mama too busy getting the kiddies to various appointments to look after herself. Don’t let it get out of hand. At the very least, get your eyes checked and your breasts examined, my friends. Even better—get yourself a pedicure while you’re at it.

Anyone else suffering from neglect?


Sunday, October 14, 2007

On the Mend

As those of you on Facebook know, Cakes is just recovering from pneumonia. McHotty deserves some snaps for catching this one. She had a cold last weekend, but when he picked her up from school on Wednesday she had a nasty cough, so he immediately got on the phone with our doctor’s office and got her an appointment the next morning. He was able to take her Thursday and stay home the rest of the day with her while I went to class. They put her on antibiotics and she is so much better already. But it broke our hearts hearing her pitiful coughs and seeing her so uncharacteristically listless.

I must say, however, it wasn’t all bad. The weather’s been shite, so it was very pleasant to curl up with a snugly mellow babe on the couch, under a blanket. It sure is nice feeling free to indulge your child as much as you want because she’s not feeling well. Cakes, who never watches any TV, was allowed to watch Dora for hours this week. I let her eat cookies on the couch and have porridge for dinner. I must confess, I got a helluva lot of reading done.

Now, tomorrow, back to the real world. Wish me luck.


You've heard me talk about my local drop-in before--it's been such a lifesaver for me, and many other moms. When I was home full-time with Cakes we were usually there a few times a week. There was always a pot of coffee on, someone to talk to, and wonderful staff to answer my (many) questions (far more helpful than those didactic baby books).

Here is a little info about them:

The South Riverdale Child-Parent Centre is a charitable, non-profit organization, which has been developing and implementing programs for families in the Riverdale area for more than 25 years. The core program is the daily Drop-in, which allows parents and caregivers to join other adults and their children for much-needed social interaction, emotional support and friendship. In an average month, 100 families depend on the facility’s safe environment to offer their children playtime, crafts, singing, and nutritious snacks. Although the Centre does receive government funding for its operating budget, fundraising is essential in order to maintain the current quality of daily programming.

Come on out to our upcoming fundraising event “Sin City on the South Side”, a Vegas-themed charity auction. Have a fun time (it's licensed!) and get your Christmas shopping done early.

Here's the deets:

Saturday, November 10, 2007
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Ralph Thornton Building (2nd Floor)
765 Queen Street East (Queen and Saulter)

Click here to add this event to Facebook. Hope you can make it!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Art of Negotiation

My daughter is no dummy. Lately every transaction with her is a complex negotiation. Take dinner time for example. I always try to put on her plate: a green thing, a protein thing, and something she likes, like pasta. So a typical conversation during dinner goes like this:

Cakes: Pasta!

Me: Do you mean more pasta please, mommy?

Cakes: Buddy! Pasta!

Me: If you eat two carrots you can have some more pasta.

Cakes: [holds up two fingers]

Me: Yes, two!

Cakes: [eats precisely two carrots]

Cakes: (with mouth full and carrots falling out on floor) Buddy, more pasta!

It’s like this all the time lately. Clean-up negotiations are intense. Teeth brushing talks are exhausting. We have many debates over the number of stories at night. I start out by offering two and let her barter up to three. But I always get suckered into at least four, sometimes five. McHotty is even less an opponent for our calculating Cakes. He’s usually good for at least seven stories.

Anyone other suckers out there?


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Thanksgiving at the Beach

We’ve conquered another holiday weekend. Cakes had a blast with her cousin. She shared her toys (even Dirty Simon!) She taught him how to colour:

The dinner turned out well. Cakes’ 11-month-old cousin sat patiently and ate everything on his plate, while Cakes ate her cranberries then chucked everything else.

Everyone was gone by Monday morning and we had a nice quiet day alone. It was 32 degrees in Toronto yesterday! We took Cakes to the beach. I can’t believe we spent Thanksgiving day at the beach. Last night we had Mexican and beers in the backyard and then joined the neighbours for cocktails. This is my kind of October.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Easy Peasy Holiday Celebrations

Frozen pre-stuffed 12-pound turkey. Check.

Can of jellied cranberries. Check.

2 packages of gravy. Check.

Bag of potatoes. Check.

McHotty at work doing make-ahead cheesy vegetable casserole. Check.

Parents reminded to bring pie. Check.

House ostensibly clean. Check.

Fridge and pantry stocked with all varieties of beer, wine and spirits. Ha, as if I’d miss this one.

Bring it on.

Friday, October 05, 2007

September Shat on my Keyboard Awards*

Sept '07 ROFL

* aka the Roll on Floor Laughing Awards
It's time, once again, to have some laughs. Grab some coffee and a donut. If you're at home, pop in Dora for awhile, or if you're at work, remember alt-tab is your best friend. Enjoy!

Mad Hatter awarded Julie Pippert

Sober Briquette awarded Ewe Are Here

Red Stapler awarded Kevin Charnas

Elizabeth awarded I am Bossy

Ali Martell awarded Sarah and the Goon Squad

Redsy awarded Madeline Holler

Oh, The Joys awarded Where’s My Cape

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Preschool Blues

Remember how smoothly Cakes’ first couple of days at preschool went? Well, I spoke a little too soon. The last several mornings, when we’re on our way, she starts saying “No school!” and when we get there the tears start and I have to leave her there, bawling at the top of her lungs. They tell me she settles down quickly, and she has a good time. She cries sometimes when I pick her up, but when we get home I ask her if she likes school and she says yes. So, I hope the morning drama will end soon. It’s a pretty shitty way to start the day.

The good news is she’s picking up some lovely new habits at school. She’s singing a lot more (I don’t know why, I spent endless mindless hours at circle time with her during her first two years). When she finishes an activity she sings her “clean up” song (music to my ears!) and puts things away. She’s getting more words and using more sentences.

I’m feeling a little more in control this week. I’m actually on top of my reading and I got through my first presentation this week.

So, things are looking up. Except for the fact I offered to host Thanksgiving this weekend. What was I thinking? Luckily, my family is pretty meat-and-potatoes, so we won’t be preparing anything fancy. There’s a Butterball at Loblaws with my name on it.

What do y’all have planned for Thanksgiving?

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