February 2005

I got Googled!

by DaniGirl on February 28, 2005 · 11 comments

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I was playing around in the referral logs (another exciting Friday night – who needs a date when there is technology to while away the hours?) and I noticed one of the referrals was a Google query. (Tangent: My blog is Google-able — I had no idea! I’m almost as excited about this as I was about seeing my name in the phone book for the first time. It gives me such a feeling of legitimacy. I’m an official denizen of cyberland now – my blog is on Google!)

So anyway, I clicked on the link, and it shows the Google search return, including the keywords. Someone had keyed in “lonely mommies ottawa ontario.” This really struck a chord with me, and I’ve been thinking about it all weekend. Isn’t the Internet truly amazing? You’re having a rough night, you really just want someone to talk to, so you key a few words into the search engine and see what comes up. (Beloved, realist that he is, suggested that perhaps the person was looking for lonely mommies for scurrilous reasons, but I chose to eschew that possibility.)

I’ve met some of my very best friends through the Internet. A few of us going through IVF treatments met on a messageboard, and decided to go out for dinner one night. I remember being so nervous – meeting people I met on the the Web seemed risky and impetuous. Fast forward four years and there are more than 20 of us in a loose online playgroup stretching through four provinces and two states, all of us having travelled the infertility highway and come out the other side, whether by assisted reproductive technology, adoption or surprise. Aside from exchanging e-mails, laughs and parenting tips, those of us who live in the same city get together regularly with and without the kids. These women have completely changed my life and I can’t imagine a day going by without reaching out to them, or being touched by them.

Who would have guessed your life could be changed by what pops out of a search engine one night, when you are overwhelmed and alone and needing a friend?



A few thousand words in pictures

by DaniGirl on February 26, 2005 · 4 comments

in Simon

Thought I’d be a little lazy today. Besides, I wanted to show everybody why I have so much trouble keeping my house clean!

(Isn’t he just adorable, though?)


When moms attack

by DaniGirl on February 25, 2005 · 15 comments

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The topic of the day on the blogosphere seems to be moms attacking other moms. Probably, it’s a result of that whole Mommy Madness thing in Newsweek (Newsweek makes you pay for articles and I am cheap, so I refer you instead to the very good review of the article in question at Half Changed World) Personally, I suspect the demise of hockey has somehow caused a massive leak of testosterone into the Internet and that is at least partially to blame.

We’ve got a long incredibly funny (as always) examination of mothers criticising mothers over at Chez Miscarriage (go read her post right now – it should be required reading for anybody who is a parent, wants to be a parent or knows a parent. Really, go now, I’ll wait here until you get back. You’ll thank me later.) At Finslippy there is more required reading for not just the parenting manual, but the how to be a nice human manual. Since I have a full coffee and it’s Friday, I’ll even be patient enough to wait while you wander over there and read that post, too, as long as you promise to come right back.

It’s not just blogs. Before I discovered blogging (there was a before blogging?) I used to spend my spare time hanging around the parenting after IVF message boards at IVF Connections. Even among a group of women who had been through a lot together, in a cyber-y kind of way, it never failed to amaze me how quickly they would turn on each other when topics strayed to personal debates like circumcise or no, breast versus bottle, WOHM versus SAHM, and the one that really blew me away, to crockpot or not. I wish I were kidding.

To mitigate all this, over at Been There we have what I think should be a new national holiday — they’ve declared a Parenting Appreciation Festival. I’m packing my lawn chair and my cooler and joining the party, and I’m inviting you along for the ride. What, ya got something better to do? C’mon, join the fun – just take a minute to say one nice thing to a parent today. If you’re feeling particularly magnanimous, DO something nice for a parent today.

Conveniently, today is also my mom’s birthday, so let me tell you a tiny story about how wonderful she is: yesterday afternoon, our only car broke down and is in the shop overnight. (Another long story, don’t get me started.) But I was going to do groceries last night, and we were out of milk. Not only did my mom pick up the kids from daycare and shuttle them home, not only did she go to the store and pick up some milk to get us through, and not only did she add in a little snacky treat for the kids and for Beloved and I, but she also bought a little bag of biscuits for the DOG! How amazing is that?

Go on, go buy somebody a little baggie of karmic dog biscuits. It’ll do you good!


Potty denial

by DaniGirl on February 24, 2005 · 7 comments

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My son will never forgive me for this. I am about to open a discussion of his potty habits on the Internet. I’m sorry Tristan, I truly am.

I’ve been doing my best to avoid the whole potty-training angst thing. Yes, I know he will probably have his bladder well under control by the time he heads off to college. And yet, despite my best efforts to the contrary, I find myself succumbing to potty peer pressure by proxy. His little girl playmates have long since made the move to underwear, and even most of his little boy playmates can now write their names in the snow or at least play a good game of “shoot the Cheerios in the bowl.” (No, not that kind of bowl. Ewwww!) It’s not like he hasn’t used the potty yet – he’s even managed the oft-elusive poop in the potty on more than one occasion. But we are nowhere near moving to pull-ups and (imagine the day!) regular underwear.

Truth be told, I’m afraid parental denial over the whole potty thing is what has derailed us. I’m beginning to suspect that Tristan has long been ready to make the transition, but lacking any real guidance from management he has been content with the status quo. It falls upon our shoulders, Beloved and I, to take the lead and hurl us forward into life beyond diapers.

It’s just that a world without diapers is so – so – so dreadfully messy and inconvenient. On top of having to remember to feed the boys and dress them and not leave them behind when we go places, now we have to remember to ask every half hour or so if Tristan needs to go (let alone having to trust his judgement.) The punishment for not remembering to ask is pretty effective, granted, but I know me, and I am nothing if not forgetful. Before it gets better it must get messy, and even after all these years, I still have not gotten over my aversion to bodily fluids, especially when not neatly contained by several layers of plastic and absorbent paper.

Do you think if I just ignored the whole thing he will eventually train himself? If I just wait him out, surely one day Tristan will wander into the bathroom, discard his diaper, hop up on the toilet seat and VOILA be trained. Just like that! Don’t laugh, it could happen. (pouting) It could!



From the drawer – the sweater story

by DaniGirl on February 23, 2005 · 5 comments

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A while ago I introduced the concept of “from the drawer,” stories that are not new to those who know me, but are new to my blog. Thanks to Nancy for reminding me about this one from when I had just started back to work after my maternity leave with Tristan, about two years ago.

I’ve been back at work for about three weeks now, and I think I’m finally into the rhythm of the office again. I’ve been working on some pretty high-profile stuff around here, so I get lots of face time with senior management, which is nice for a new employee although some days I really feel like I’m in over my head.

Today was an especially busy day. We had our usual all-staff morning meeting, where I gave an update on my project to the group, and I had a couple of drop-by-my-cube meetings with colleagues. I also spent about 30 minutes on a conference call in my director’s office, sitting across the desk from her while we talked to some of the folks down in Southern Ontario region.

It was about 10:30 by the time I finally made it to the bathroom. I was washing my hands when I caught sight of myself in the mirror and noticed it. IT. In that moment, I became truly cognizant of the definition of mortified. On my sleeve – my creamy white sleeve, no less – smeared from mid-bicep to near my wrist, was a painfully obvious, incredibly nasty two inch wide smear of baby shit. Suddenly I flashed back to the pre-dawn gloaming of Tristan’s room, where I rushed in to grab a little cuddle before running for the bus. I picked him up out of his crib and slung him onto my hip to deliver him to Beloved, blissfully unaware of the toxic ooze seeping out of his Pampers and ingratiating itself with my arm.

As I gazed at my sullied reflection in the mirror, I tried to console myself: “They won’t notice. It’s not that obvious.” It WAS that obvious. THEY NOTICED! You would have to make a Herculean effort of avoidance to miss it, and I just knew my colleagues weren’t up to the task.

I tried to at least mitigate the damage. First, I tried to rub it off. Have you ever tried to rub dried baby shit off cotton ribbed knit? Then thought maybe a little water might do it. Which worked, inasmuch as it diluted the stain by about 20 per cent and spread it over an area about 300 per cent of the original stain. So I rolled up the sleeve as much as I could, which did a great job of drawing attention to the goodly part of the stain still visible, left the other sleeve down, and tried valiantly not to make eye contact with anyone in my office for three months.


My preschooler the junkie

by DaniGirl on February 22, 2005 · 3 comments

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I was wandering around on Mimilou, which BTW, is a smart and funny blog worth reading, and she was talking about how her son has discovered Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. It got me thinking about how we’re just about at the one year anniversary of our own indoctrination into the cult of Thomas and Bob (or, as Tristan called Bob way back then – for reasons that were never clear – “dat dat chh”.) Was there really life before them? Surely it was an empty existence.

I’m not sure who is more addicted to Bob and Thomas, Tristan or Beloved. Tristan has the habit, but Beloved is his dealer. We actually spent an entire day last summer scouring the toy departments of four separate Winners stores when we found out that they had received shipments of the Bob the Builder Brio train characters and were selling them at about 1/3 the price of the big chain toy stores. Just a little bit obsessive, eh? I have to say, though, I’m impressed with the guarantee on the toys – we noticed the paint chipping on Lofty, and Beloved called to find out if they market a touch-up paint for the truly neurotic fans. Turns out they will replace any of the pieces, free of charge, no questions asked. So now we have two entire sets, one for each boy, albeit one a little more worn than the other. I’m not sure whether to be proud or ashamed of ourselves.

Tristan worships “all the guys”, as he calls his growing collection of Bob and Thomas artefacts. He carries them around in a thermal lunch bag that originally contained all the medications we received from the clinic for the in vitro fertilization process that ultimately resulted in Tristan. I find the irony of this simply delicious.

He really is learning something aside from rampant consumerism, though. It awes me to watch him pore over the little catalogues that come from the toy store and name each and every engine – there must be dozens of them. If he can memorize those at three, surely he will be able to memorize long passages from Shakespeare by the time he’s in the first grade, right? He started using the word “splendid” in context at two and a half, as in “Mommy, it’s a splendid day today,” and it was only weeks later that I realized he got it from the Thomas show, where they refer to James as a splendid engine. Hey, my mother credits my twice a day Sesame Street habit in the 1970s with my graduation magna cum laude from university, so I won’t knock it!

But is it just me, or is the Thomas and Friends TV show kind of disturbing? It’s like they just set up a big train table with cameras on it and raided the local community access cable channel for cheap special effects to go with it. Maybe some of Beloved’s elitist attitudes about animation are wearing off on me (he is an animator by training and a teacher by economy) but I’d rather watch the colourful claymation of Bob’s world than Thomas’ eerie rolling eyeballs any day.



An identity crisis

21 February 2005 Uncategorized

I can’t do it anymore. I can no longer go on referring to my sons as Luigi and Frankie in this blog. I’ve tried to get used to it, but it feels just plain wrong. May the god of Internet privacy and safety help me, I must come clean and start referring to them by […]

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Milk for your coffee?

18 February 2005 Uncategorized

It’s been almost a month since I’ve started back to work, and today is the first day my littlest one didn’t wake up in time for a morning milk before I left for work. Continuing to nurse him twice a day (once around 5 am and once before bed) has been surprisingly easy since I’ve […]

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We need more words for tired

16 February 2005 Uncategorized

You know that old myth about how the Inuit have more than 50 words for snow? (My apologies, BTW, for the less than politically correct link, but Uncle Cecil has long held a soft spot in my heart.) Well, I think it’s about time we came up with some new words to express the idea […]

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I came out this weekend

14 February 2005 Uncategorized

True confessions time… I came out this weekend! Well, not that kind of coming out (not that there is anything wrong with that!) but I outed myself as a blogger to a few close friends and family members. I tell ya, what a relief to have my little closet obsession out in the open. Not […]

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