Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's Be Friends, We'll Do Things Together...

Things like, oh I don't know, knock each other over, pull each others' hair and grab big handfuls of face. Ouch.

But really though, Bella and Olivia are true buds and it's an amazing thing to watch a friendship develop from the very, very beginning. Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Have you ever had one of those days? Wait. Don't answer that. I already know that, yes, of course you have had one (hundred) of them. But still, would you mind indulging me for a few minutes to listen to mine?

I'm trying to be careful these days about complaining about silly, superficial "problems" like, "my baby woke up four times last night and then by way of thanks for comforting her with boob at 4 a.m. decided to bite my nipple off." In light of some recent tragedies I really do understand that these things are part of life and I should suck it up and deal. And I do. Really, I think I do deal with these little things with as much grace and humour as my tired body and mind will allow.

But today? Oh, please. Let me complain about today! I promise I will end the rant on a light note and bring it all back to the silver lining, cool?

It all started with a trip to Bella's doctor. He is located in a swanky part of town, so I took extra care to put myself together, wearing not only my favourite jeans but also a cute pair of shoes with a little heel and everything. I even put on lip gloss. I managed to get myself and my baby ready, out of the house and all the way to the parking lot behind the office before things started to fall apart.

The parking lot was under major construction, but I took it all in stride. I couldn't park in the underground lot because according to signs that I actually managed to read, the elevator was not working and I wouldn't be able to hoist Bella in her stroller up all those flights of stairs. So I waited patiently for a coveted outdoor, street level spot. And I got one! And I was on time! I loaded her into her stroller, bundled her up (it was a cold and very windy day in Toronto today and she was a little under-dressed for it I'm afraid) into the stroller and detoured the long way around to avoid the dangers of the construction site.

I made it to the office just on time and unbundled her, carried her in to the office and proceeded to take off her sweater and hat and shoes. We are all ready. The nice nurse was working and looked at me weird but I thought nothing of it. After a while I realized I wasn't getting called so I went up to the desk and said, "Hi. Anabella is here, just so you know. No rush." She glanced at the charts in front of her and then gave me what would be the first of the oh-you-poor-frazzled-over-worked-under-rested-woman looks of the day. If you are a mom, you know the look that I mean.

"I'm glad that you made it," she said to me with a sympathetic little smile, "but your appointment was yesterday."

Then I died a little bit from sheer humiliation.

Then I realized that all the other moms in the waiting room were giving me the oh-you-poor-woman look too. I guffawed some awkward laugh and stammered something about how I must have written down wrong on my calendar and asked (begged) that she squeeze us in anyway. She did. Thank you kind nurse, karma will be kind to you. But full disclosure? I hadn't written down the wrong day at all, I had simply fucked it up.

Bella did great at the unscheduled appointment which was thankfully needle-free and once we made it out of there I decided to reward my own stupidity with a quick trip to Baby Gap (oh, living it up, I know). I got half way there when I realized that the gale force winds were so bad that they were actually making my baby cry but I pushed on. We did a little shopping and warmed up but I had to pee so that was the end of the fun.

On the way back to the car the wind was in our faces. Great. Now the baby was crying AND losing her blanket which was the only real shelter from the wind that she had. It blew out of her stroller and into a busy intersection at one point but thankfully an elderly lady with a cane bent down to grab it for me before it was lost forever. As she handed it back to me and glanced at my red-cheeked crying baby, you guessed it, she gave me the look. "It's cold today," was all she said. Sigh. Yes, indeed it is.

Once we got back to the parking lot the wind was so bad that I was struggling to control my stroller and pushing it into the wind was like butting up against a brick wall. I got to the car and was faced with a dilemma. I couldn't take my hand off the stroller or it would blow away but I had to somehow get the baby out and into her car seat and this is next to impossible with only one hand. I somehow rigged up a solution where I held the stroller with one foot, lifted out the baby, put her in her seat and I almost did it. I came so close. But the wind got the better of me and off went my stroller like Mary Poppins and her umbrella, flying into the middle of the parking lot. I ran out after it and grabbed it just as a woman drove slowly past me, her children all bundled and warm in the back of her BMW SUV and she shook her head sadly and flashed me the look.

I should have quit there. I should have packed it in and went straight home. But, oh no. No, no. I had dry-cleaning to drop off and a pumpkin to purchase! And I was going to accomplish those feats, oh yes I was. So off to the grocery store. A fatal error. Dry cleaning got dropped off and I moved the car to a family parking spot in front of the grocery store. I loaded Bella, car seat and all, into a grocery cart and stood outside in the freezing wind trying to find a NORMAL SIZED PUMPKIN that would fit in my cart, along with my infant and her car seat. BUT OH NO. All the pumpkins this year are apparently jacked full of pumpkin steroids. There was not one single GOD DAMNED pumpkin that was small enough that I could a) lift it and b) FIT IT IN THE SHOPPING CART. Who wants these giant pumpkins? Who are you people?!

Pumpkin mission abandoned. I headed into the store instead for comfort food. I would eat my way out of this day. A half-dozen bagels, bag of Sun Chips, carton chocolate milk and pint of frozen yogurt later and we were finally going home. So I get out to the parking lot, Bella and my groceries in the shopping cart. I should have learned something when my stroller went flying earlier, but surely a shopping cart is sturdier than my umbrella stroller, right? WRONG.

Just as I lifted Bella's car seat out of the cart the wind caught it and sent it careening across the lot, full speed, toward someone's shiny silver Audi. I had the baby in car seat, in my arms. I tossed her, and I mean tossed, into the back seat of my car, and took off running after the cart. Had I been in normal, mom-friendly shoes, I would have made it too. But oh no. My shoes were not mom-friendly at all and they let me down. My feet literally just slid out from under me and I did a full-on face plant onto the ground, peeling my face off the asphalt just in time to watch my cart crash full speed into the shiny pretty car.

I'm sorry person who owns that Audi. I really am. But this time there was nobody around to give me the look. I hope you take some comfort in the knowledge that I've already paid the karmic price for jumping into my car and speeding off without waiting to find you and tell you how I scratched your car. My good jeans are ripped. My knee is scraped and my thumb is still throbbing and bleeding. But mostly, my ego is bruised. Because just when you think you've got it all together, there's always a face-plant waiting in the wings to put you back into your place.

So where's the silver lining in this dreadful day? Well here it is. I got home and because my baby had missed her morning nap and had to wait until almost 2 p.m. to have her lunch, she was exhausted and went down for a three-hour nap. This allowed me to drink a hot cup of tea and curl up on the couch to nurse my wounds with Oprah and soap operas.

Oh, and also? I had an awesome celebrity sighting! As Gossip Girl would say, "Spotted: This fabulous fellow and his own flirty Entourage, skipping their way down Bloor Street all suited up for a special occasion and having a gay ol' time."

Oh Lloyd, how I love thee. Thank you for walking past as I struggled in the whipping wind to try and stop my baby from balling and save her blanket from blowing out again into traffic. I'm the one that you looked at. And I forgive you because you made me smile.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Lonely Goatherd

Went to go see the stage performance of Sound of Music at the Princess of Wales theater last week. Awesome. Loved it. It was a truly fun night spent with two of my favourite moms (Scarb and her BFF) and my number one favourite wing-man, formerly known as Weirdo, but these days we're calling him Uncle Daddy. Heh.

The night started off with cosmos at Peter Pan on Queen West. So hip, I know. Then we saw the show and tried not to piss off the earnest audience members around us by laughing too loudly at some of the cheesier moments. There were many, but I still loved it. Great sets, nuns who could sing their asses off, and yes the VonTrapp kids were super, super cute and not in a way that made me want to vomit at all. Must be the new-found mother in me?

After the show Uncle Daddy and I went for more drinks and met up with an old friend who I hadn't seen in a couple of years. It was "almost" an old-school, out on the town, BB (before Bella) kind of night with cocktails and ciggies and adult conversation. I was just getting into the groove when all of a sudden the clock struck midnight and I suddenly turned back into a pumpkin.

That is, I received a desperate and (dare I say angry? True, I'd missed the first two calls because my phone was on vibrate) phone call from Crown. Baby was screaming. Daddy was panicking. Mommy was in a cab and at home in about 5 minutes flat. So much for letting loose. Ah well. It was a super fun night while it lasted. I'm beginning to finally get it now. As "the mom" I don't really ever get to go out "strings-free" or stress-free pretty much ever again. Or at least for the next, what? 18 years. Sigh.

Anyway, in an ever-so fitting development, this week Bella has learned how to yodel. Seriously. I'm not sure if it's because of all the, "High on a hill was a lonely goatherd. Lay ee odl ay ee odl ay hee hoo," I've been singing since the show, but I'm telling you, it's the cutest thing ever. She has also suddenly discovered how to do that "burble burble burble" thingy where she runs her finger over her lips to make a buzzing kind of noise. Ever since she's discovered these new tricks (about three days ago) she's pretty much been doing a combo of the two non-stop and therefore keeping her father and I in constant hysterics.

But why try to tell you, when I can show you. So here you go, for your viewing pleasure, the yodeling, burbling baby:

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Birthday To You: 8 Months Old

Dear Anabella,

8 months, eh? Way to go, Kid. Lots to report on this month, for sure, but I'm going to make it brief because of the kind of week it has been for all of us. I'd prefer to reflect on some bigger issues today, instead.

You are fully sitting up by yourself now and you are so proud to be able to do it. It's not too far away before you'll be pulling yourself right forward and starting to crawl. You remain pretty chill about it all, though, and we can tell you are in no rush. Baby Girl, there are so many years ahead of you for rushing. Take it slow for now and enjoy.

You continue to expand your ever growing culinary tastes. This month we started to feed you some chunkier bits and just today you realized what the heck to do with them! You chew! Can't tell you how relieved I am to see it. This has been a tough, tough week and Mommy is on edge about your health and your safety. To see you chew those chunks like a pro and swallow them safely instead of spitting them at me or choking them down is the best gift. We'll be taking it slow here too, but what a great start you have made.

We had our first "all girls'' trip this month with Auntie Dings and baby Liv. The four days that we spent together at the cottage were incredibly precious to me and something that I will remember fondly forever. You seemed to really notice your friend for the first time and to watch you two girls interact in your own baby-way made your Auntie Dings and I swell up with joy. I hope that one day you will have the same relationship with Liv that I am privileged enough have with her mom.

As mentioned, despite the many gifts and joys that you bring to me every day, this has been an incredibly sad week for your father and I, and for many of our friends. I believe that out of great tragedy must come great learning and so I am working very hard to find some perspective and to hold it tight. I've spent some hours sitting in your room and watching you sleep this week. Something that I haven't done since you were tiny and sleeping close beside me. I'm finding that have to let you go a little bit more every day. Every day you get a tiny bit more independent and you need me a tiny bit less. But Anabella, one day you will read this and when you do I want you to know something important.

The fulfillment, love, pleasure and joy that you have brought into our lives in these eight short months is already worth more than any pain or sorrow that we will have to survive as a family. I know that this is not the last difficult week that we will go though together. There will always be more tears and more fears and more challenges. Here's the thing though. As long as we have each other, we can get though it all. All I need, all I need, is Daddy and you.

Another thing that you learned to do very well this month? Give hugs. And wow. I can't imagine a more precious development. Your hugs? They are the best therapy, the best medicine, the only drug that I'll ever need, ever again. As long as those hugs keep coming, we'll keep going. Together, us three.

I love you so much.