Someone actually read my blog!

I’m feeling quite validated these days. Someone actually read my blog. Someone actually commented on my blog. S omeone looked at this self-indulgent little reflection on life, the universe and everything and took the time to say something about it. And it was a really nice something, too!

What, you say? You looked at all the comment tags, and there is a lovely fat “O” beside every one? Well, yes, but I can explain. The comment is on my other blog. The one that looks just like this one, but has a different URL. No, really, it exists, it really does!

You see, when I first started, I appropriated the term “SnackMommy” from my wickedly funny friend Ashley in Winnipeg, who regales us lucky few with the ongoing adventures of SnackMommy and the Hot Nanny. I love these epistles so much that I want to write a book of short stories some time, pilfering not only her content but her razor-sharp humour as well. So when I started a blog, SnackMommy was just the tone I wanted to set. Then, after a few days, I got a case of the guilties and started wondering if Ashley might want to keep that URL for herself, since she did come up with it and all. However, Ashley was incommunicado, being a good little Snowbird and touring the happiest place on earth with her three-year-old. All this to say, after a weekend of reflection I decided that both “momm-eh” and “postcards from the mothership” were close seconds and good enough for me.

After trolling the help section of blogger for not very long, I decided the easiest way to move my blog from SnackMommy to momm-eh was to basically cut and paste, entry by entry. Took a while, but by manipulating the time stamp I got the whole thing pretty much exactly as it was on the first site. Smug and thinking myself quite the little techie, I figured I was ahead of the game. I hadn’t told anybody about my old blog, let alone my new blog, and SnackMommy could retire in peace. I took one final scan to make sure I hadn’t missed anything – and noticed a comment!!! I had commented on someone’s blog, and she dropped by and left a comment on my blog – but alas, the wrong blog.

So, I have my first official comment, and yet I do not. Typical for me, who never manages to do anything the easy way. So, if you are feeling kind, please leave me a little comment so I can at least get back to where I started from. And if you are feeling unkind, feel free to move along!

Back to work blues

My first day back to work after my 13-month maternity leave was Monday January 24. Did you happen to catch the headlines that day? January 24 is apparently the most depressing day of the year. No guff, like I needed the international media to spell that one out for me.

As if the “most depressing day of the year” thing weren’t enough salt in my wound, there’s been a lot of talk about a national system of funded day care in Canada lately. Not so bad in itself, but it gets all the crackpots writing their letters to the editor about the evils of child care, and how government funding for child care is, according to one letter-writer in the print version of yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen “nothing more than a publicly funded child abandonment program.” Sigh. Not that I give any credence to what strangers generalize about my personal experiences, but it still stings.

You know how you never notice how many people drive white cars until you buy a white car? Maybe its because I’m a little bristly on the subject of day care these days, but I keep finding these things. I’m not looking for them, I swear. This is actually a bit out of the Citizen’s science blog (of all things) – another set of rants that I really shouldn’t let under my skin. He says in 27 years of journalism he never got so much hate mail as the day he defended the idea of mothers in the workforce. What decade is this, anyway? And a Globe and Mail article from yesterday says more kids are in day care now than ever before.

All this to say, I’m already feeling crappy about being back at work and the media seems to be inordinately interested in making me feel even more crappy than I already do. All things being equal, of course I would prefer to stay home with my kids. Actually, in a perfect world, I’d work three days a week, get paid for double that, and have the metabolism of a hamster. Sigh.

Time travel

I saw this on Ann Douglas’ blog (the Mother of All Blogs) and thought it was a nice way to introduce myself.

15 years ago today I would have been:
… in year one of my “practice” marriage
… living with my (now ex) in-laws, looking for an apartment
… just about to start my first job with the government (yikes, just realized that would have made me basically unemployed and homeless!)

10 years ago today I would have been:
… happily single and living in a rented room in a house with two other women
… in year 3 of my 6 year quest to get my degree in Communications by studying part-time
… planning my solo tour of Europe for later that summer
… about one month shy of meeting Beloved for the first time
… working for the government, resolving client enquiries and complaints

5 years ago today I would have been:
… just about to get my referral to the fertility clinic after 10 months of unsucessful TTC
… working in headquarters of the same government department managing a national program
… taking a night course in woodworking at the local college

1 year ago today I would have been:
… mommy to a two year old boy (thanks to IVF) and a one-week old boy (a wonderful surprise)
… a hormonal, sleep-deprived, post-partum disaster
… looking forward to a year of paid ‘vacation’ – being a mom in Canada rocks!

This year I am:
… blissfully happy mommy to a three year old and a one year old
… a communications advisor for the same department
… a little overwhelmed by being a working mommy

Today I:
… am at work and will get to it shortly
… will have a long evening with the boys as Beloved teaches tonight
… will probably order pizza for dinner

Next year I hope:
… to be a senior communications advisor
… to be registering my eldest for school
… to be thinking about what to do with my little “frosty” (frozen embryo)

In five years I hope:
… to have both boys in school full time
… that maybe there is a little girl in the picture somewhere
… to be independently wealthy — where is that lottery ticket of mine?


You are one!

Happy Birthday, beautiful boy!! A year ago you joined us. You did not want to come out. You were ten days late and still you defied 24 hours of medical inducements before you changed your mind. After days and hours of stubborn resistance, however, once you set your mind to coming out, you wanted to come out NOW and there was no slowing you down. You are truly your mother’s boy, you know. You fired yourself down the birth canal so quickly that despite the fact I was in labour for an entire day, your head was as round as a cherub’s. Just three, maybe four, pushes and out you came with your little fist clenched and held over your head in victory. Ouch.

Frankie, do you know how much you have changed my life? Do you have any idea of the gifts that you and your brother make of every single day? The transition from no baby to one baby in life is obviously a huge change, but who would have guessed that the change from one to two would be just as, perhaps even more, traumatic – and eventually, jubilant.

Every day with you has been a lesson that two siblings are not two of the same child. Just when I thought I had at least the basics of mothering a baby down pat, you came along and showed me I still had a lot to learn. You were easier to nurse but a terrible sleeper. You did not want to sleep through the night, and you especially did not want to sleep alone. You vocally and even tearfully preferred me to any other human being for the first few months, and I was secretly flattered and pleased, although it wore a little thin after a while. You were hungry, hungry, hungry and you pulled milk out of me like you were drawing it not from me but through me, as if I were a straw that dowsed the milk from the very air. And you grew, my little baby. You started out a whopper at ten pounds, and you were off the charts from the word go. Mama don’t raise no tiny babies in this house.

You have the most wonderful way of scrunching up your face when you smile. We call it your “scary baby” face, and it is so adorable my heart soars just thinking about it. You are a mischievous soul, and I call you “pesky baby” as you move from one source of trouble to another. No coffee cup may rest on a table, no stray piece of paper may remain within reach, no heat register shall remain unexamined in your quest to discover all the universe’s secrets. You love to remove things from containers. I have given up on refolding the tea towels, aprons and oven mitts before I put them back into the drawer you empty four, five and six times a day. You love to put things into containers, and you do not take kindly to me preventing you from putting bits of food from your high-chair tray back into the bowl I am feeding you from. You love to hold something in your hand with your arm outstretched and flex your wrist back and forth, and I love to watch you do it.

You don’t really speak yet. You have mimicked the musical sound of “uh oh”, but I haven’t heard the words pronounced. You don’t quite walk yet, although you do “cruise” the furniture, and just last Sunday you decided to walk across the living room while holding on to your little walker toy. And you even did it while Daddy had a video camera near at hand, you clever boy! You can crawl like nobody’s business, and you can get to the top of the stairs so quickly that you’ve nearly given me several heart attacks.

You are incredibly tolerant of your older brother as he snatches things from you, pokes, pulls and shoves you and even rides you like a pony. We tell him to be careful, because we bet that one day you will be the ‘bigger’ brother and he’ll be sorry. Just this weekend, you both set your sights on the same truck and for the first time you would not relinquish it to him. We’re in trouble now! It makes me giddy with joy to think that I get to spend the rest of my life watching you two grow up together, to think that I have created brothers.

There are simply not enough words to tell you how much I love you, to tell you how happy you make me, to tell you what a difference you make in the world.

Happy birthday, beautiful boy!


Your invitation to a party in my head

So now that I’ve committed to this, I find myself wondering why. As in, why am I compelled to do this?

Do you remember that scene in The Breakfast Club, where Ally Sheedy’s character dumps her purse on the couch? Well, this is my invitation to you to see all the crap that I carry around inside my heart and head. I’m an exhibitionist, I admit it. I love to complete those e-mail questionnaire thingees that everyone claims to hate but everyone seems to forward anyway. (What did you have for dinner? What is under your bed? What is your favourite inane question?) For goodness sake, I dragged Beloved onto the flippin’ CBC to discuss our infertility issues on national television. So when the opportunity arises to have a soap-box in my own little corner of cyberspace, how could I resist?

But ya gotta be careful. Frankie is not really the name of my darling one-year old son, neither is Luigi the name of my gorgeous and brilliant almost-three year old. Just about any name you come across here could be real or fictitious, although I do promise not to make stuff up just to entertain you. Well, if I do make it up, I’ll be sure to let you know – fair enough?

Today’s parental angst:

What to do about birthday parties? With one just past and one in less than a month, I’m agonizing on whether to spend what I don’t have to entertain a bunch of kids I don’t necessarily like for a party that my kids probably won’t remember once they are in grade school. So why do I care? Why do I feel so guilty about having a relatively big party for Luigi’s first birthday, and a small but still lovely family gathering for Frankie? Why am I worried about a party for a bunch of three year olds? Poor Luigi, last year he spent his birthday yakking his guts out with a day-long stomach flu – he’d probably be happy with a birthday that doesn’t involve barfing. I don’t have the time, the brain cells or the cash to do it like I want to, so should I do it at all?

OMG, I’m a blogger!

Okay, so I’ve been reading about blogs for quite some time now. At first, the idea was quaintly geeky, which of course immediately appealed to me. But aside from generally knowing what they were, and stumbling across a few here and there, I never really realized what a universe unto themselves blogs have become.

So I started really thinking about it. To blog or not to blog? Note the insecurity in each of the questions I pondered: Am I funny enough to blog? (because if I don’t have humour then I don’t really have anything at all.) Does anyone really care what I have to say? What would I talk about? What if nobody reads my blog? What if somebody reads my blog? And the real biggie: do I have the resources to commit to a blog right now? Well, the last one is the only one I can answer right now. Since I’m back at work for the first time in a year, I can at least probably find an hour or so a week (on my lunch hour, bien sûr!) For the record, it took me about 15 alt+ combinations before I could get that û accent right.

If I could just type instead of editing and playing and getting lost in the friggin’ thesaurus I could probably do this in about half the time. If I only had an attention span…

So what would I blog about? Well, my kids of course. What else is there of significance in my universe? So does the world really need another soccer-mom wanna-be sending dispatches from suburbia, trying to strike a voice somewhere between Erma Bombeck, Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby, but in the 21st century, not Jewish, not male and not black? And potentially not really funny?

Well, why the hell not?

So here we go. I’m so self-conscious as I type away, wondering if you are rolling your eyes at me or thinking cruel thoughts about my writing skills or (worst of all) have completely lost interest and have not even made it this far. What if I install a hit counter and I have to spend all my free time hitting refresh so it looks like somebody is reading my blog?

So if you really want to know what floats my boat, here’s some cool stuff I found this week:

The first blog I ever found worthy of bookmarking: Canadian and funny – what more do you want?

BAD COMMA A wonderfully snobby and pretentious New Yorker article that picks out all the grammatical errors in the hot bestseller on grammatical errors, Eats Shoots and Leaves. (Yes, I am just the kind of geek who loves that stuff.)

So, are you still reading? Should I publish this, or banish it to bad-idea heaven?

Ah, what the hell. Here we go!