March 2009

So now that we’ve established that March is officially breast month here, let’s end the month with a flourish, shall we? And then we’ll have to find something else to talk about in April, lest I be compelled to change the blog name to “Postcards from my Bra”. Penises, perhaps?

Ahem, anyway, here’s a little secret I never told you. (I *know*!! Who would have guessed that I was capable of keeping a secret from the Interwebs? Not me, and certainly not Beloved!!)

So anyway, about breasts. Right. Last summer, I did some research and asked my GP for a referral to have breast reduction surgery. This is something I’ve toyed with, pondered over, and secretly desired for most of my adult life. I was completely fed up with trying to find bras that fit; at the time, my measurements were in the 35-36 range for band size and an F or G in cup size — the land of cup sizes beyond DD gets a little sketchy in the consistency department. More than the ill-fitting bras and puckered buttons on my shirt-fronts, though, I was sick to death of constantly being damp and itchy under my breasts and from having to reach under me and tuck the damn things out of the way every time I rolled over in bed. (Pencil test – ha! I could keep an entire stationery store hidden under there.)

The final injustice, though, was the sheer number of times my nipples were knelt on or stepped on while a toddler or child moved anywhere near me in bed. After a lifetime of being vexed by my breasts at every opportunity, I was more than happy to chop them down to a more manageable size. The idea of being a C cup seemed like winning the lottery… and if they would throw in a wee bit of a lift to get my nipples up and out of risk of being tucked into my waistband, so much the better.

After screwing up my courage for a couple of weeks, at my annual physical I asked my GP to make the referral for me. I wasn’t sure what kind of wait list I’d be facing, and I wasn’t ready to actually go through with the surgery until some time this summer or later, but I wanted to get in and see someone and explore my options. To my great consternation, a couple of weeks later my GP called to say that the surgeon wouldn’t even see me until my body mass index (BMI) was below 22, which would be at around 176 lbs for me. I’d just started the week before with Dr Bishop’s weight loss plan, and at the time I weighed 191 lbs.

I was furious. Furious! Not so much because I’d been thwarted — I wasn’t exactly convinced that I wanted the reduction in the first place. I was angry, though, that someone shaped like me could be denied this surgery sight-unseen, based solely on what are increasingly questionable calculations. No doubt I was overweight, but I was far from obese. I felt like the doctor should have at least seen me and assessed me in person.

By the time I was down below 170 lbs and within the surgeon’s “acceptable” weight range for a consult, I had lost my courage again. I haven’t called back to make the appointment. Part of that is, of course, because when you lose 30+ lbs, you do lose inches everywhere, breasts included. Part of that is the fact that we’re likely within weeks if not days of weaning Lucas — or, more specifically, of Lucas weaning himself. My band size is back down to a 32 or 33, and my cup size is somewhere just above a DD. To paraphrase an old favourite quote of mine, I used to be a 34DD, now I’m a 34 long. I’d still like to get it done, but I’m just not sure if the annoyance factor of dealing with my breasts as they are outweighs the annoyance factor of going through with the surgery.

I may yet screw up my courage enough to follow through on this, but for now I’ll wait it out and see how the ‘chafe’ factor plays out this summer. In the interim, though, I really do have to get myself a couple of quality bras. None of my old pre-pregnancy ones fit anymore — that in itself is enough to keep me happy for the time being!


Mama Mio winner!

by DaniGirl on March 30, 2009 · 1 comment

in Reviews, promotions and giveaways

Congratulations to Julie of Thoughts of a Smother Mother, winner of the Mama Mio Boobs, Bellies and Bottoms gift pack!

Thank you to everyone who found at least one part of their body to love and share!!

(I am home sick today, hiding from the nanny and my kids, and am definitely not in love with my sinuses. Sigh.)

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The best thing and the worst thing about taking a picture every single day is that your glory and your defeat are only locked in for 24 hours; after that, the slate is clean and you start all over again. That seems to be the theme of this week, where I took a couple of great pictures and a couple of “meh” pictures, and now I foist them all upon you.

I loved my four-part series of these paintbrushes and the palette. (All bought by our wonderful nanny at the dollar store of all places, to keep the boys busy during March Break. I just loved how the colours of the brushes reflect the colours in the palette, though.)

61:365 Paintbrushes

This experiment was less successful. The idea is that you put a shaped filter over your lens so that the out-of-focus areas (called bokeh) take on the shape of the filter. The points of light are just ordinary Christmas LEDs, and I made the filter with a craft punch. It didn’t turn out great, but I think I at least understand why now.

60:365  Happy Spring!

Some opportunities presented themselves to me on the way to or from work:

57:365 Chucks up

59:365 Bike shadow

64:365 Bongo dude

63:365 Please play again

(This was for a theme on “secrets”. A bit of a stretch, I know.)

66:365 vanishing point

I really liked this old abadoned barn. I found it on Sunday morning, driving around with Lucas sleeping in the back seat of the van.

62:365 Deserted barn

It’s within plain sight of the grocery store I’ve been shopping at for six years, and yet somehow I never noticed it before. I spent quite a while poking around here, and will likely return. That’s one thing I truly love about this photo-a-day project — the things you find when you simply open your eyes!

And this is my other favourite from the week. The other day, a friend lamented on Twitter that she was facing a Sisyphean day, and I had one of those “Aha!” moments. Not the first adjective I’d go to, but one that *perfectly* describes this low-level ennui that has been plaguing me for a week or so. Poor old Sisyphus, who pushed a boulder up a hill every single day only to have to start over again the next day. Sigh.

65:365 Sisyphus

(Don’t you love the expression? And yes, that’s Princess Leia’s hair. It’s the only girl hair we have in our surprisingly extensive Lego mini-fig collection. As I noted in the caption to this photo, didn’t every little girl who grew up in the 70s and 80s want to be Princess Leia at some point? And no that’s not a mustache, it’s a shadow!)

When I look at these and compare them objectively to the photos I was taking and posting just a couple of months ago, I know there is an appreciable improvement. But Flickr has opened my eyes to a world of photographers who are creating some stunning images, and my confidence in my own work falters as a result. I have to keep reminding myself to compare myself to me, and not to them. It’s hard!


I’m not sure why March’s post seem to be predominately themed around breasts and breastfeeding and bras and boobs, but here we go again! (Hey, whatever works, right?)

Not too long ago, I was offered the chance to review some mom and baby products. Being a mom and having a baby, I was open to the idea in general, but when I heard one of the product lines was Burt’s Bees, I was all over that. I swear by those little tins of Burts Bees lip balm (I keep one in my winter jacket pocket and one on my bedside table – I really love them!), and I like their shimmery lip gloss, too.

I got a great little care package that included one container of Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo and Wash, which I really like and use every time I bathe Lucas. The rest of the care package comprised a nice little collection of products from a line that I’d not heard of before: Mama Mio Skincare.

They sent me a moisturizing shower gel, a body buff exfoliating cream, and a (snicker) Boob Tube bust-firming cream. More on that in a second.

First, I love love love the Body Buff cream. I noticed on the website that Milla Jovovich apparently uses it in the shower, but I like to use it on dry (literally, dry and flaking) skin. It’s perfect for that bit on the back of your arms that always seems kind of chicken-skinish. I rub it on my winter-weary arms when I’m going to wear short sleeves, and between the buff and my new addiction to the rowing machine, my pipes are looking pretty damn good these days!

And about that Boob Tube… okay, nothing short of a breast reduction is going to give me any lift, but I have to admit that I’ve been holding off on really giving this one a test drive until turtleneck season is done. Here’s what the Mama Mio people say about it:

Mama Mio Boob Tube is designed to help avoid the classic lifecycle of every boob – gorgeous young boob (perky), pregnant boob (big), a nursing boob (bigger) and finally no-longer-nursing or slightly older boob (saggy). You want smaller but pert right? (Ok actually you want big and pert – but alas we can’t help with that!).

Who loves it? It seems EVERYBODY! Already winning 5 industry awards, Boob Tube is even recommended by plastic surgeons to help skin cope and heal with bust surgery. We have a following of 18 year olds whose moms have told them that they should start to fight gravity now. Women of all ages are loving Boob Tube as a daily skin mantenance. Some women start using it as a pre-bikini booster (nothing like stripping to your bikini on a beach to focus the mind on skin care!). The list goes on and on… and if you happen to find us in stock of Boob Tube you are lucky because we sell out regularly.

Which brings me back to the first point: Got boobs? Then Boob Tube is for you.

So not only did I enjoy the products, I was impressed by Mama Mio’s cheeky and clever marketing. I’m always impressed when decent products and irreverent marketing meet!

And now, because I love you all so much, I’ve once again agreed to do a product review on the condition that I be allowed to share some of the booty (or, ahem, is that boobie?) with you. I’m happy to offer you a chance to win a Mama Mio BBB (that’s boobs, butt and bellies) kit. Here’s the fine print:

  1. In order to win, you (sorry!) must be a Canadian.
  2. You must leave a comment on this post before the end of day Sunday March 29, 2009.
  3. In your comment you must tell me about (at least) one of your favourite body parts. Got great legs? Glowing complexion? Brilliant eyes? Perfect earlobes? What physical feature do you love about yourself? (I’m partial to my own dimples, and my legs seem to be holding up well through the years — thanks Mom!)

That’s it! Winner will be chosen at random on Monday March 30.


I’ve got a column up today at TechLifePost, where I talk about Postcrossing, Photochaining and other new and obscure ways to waste time spend quality time on the Internet. If you’ve ever wanted to receive postcards from exotic locales, or leave a photographic memory card lying around for a random stranger to find (!!) check it out!


My friend Barbara, also a social media junkie and mom-blogger, sent me a link yesterday to an article about a contest sponsored by Scholastic to find the “best Mommy Blogs on the Web.”

No wait, don’t leave just yet, I promise I’m not out to whore any votes for this one! The voting is over – apparently, more than 10,000 unique votes were cast – and the winners revealed. And between us, neither Barbara nor I have heard of a single one of the winning blogs. No Dooce, no Amalah, no Rocks in my Dryer, no Finslippy. (Ah, I can’t be bothered to make the links. Google ’em if you’re curious.) None of the winners were any of the big names you’d normally associate with mom blogs, in fact. Or maybe they are the big names now, and I am just too far from the epicenter to know it. Maybe once again I’m a vinyl girl living in a CD world.

I don’t think so, though. I think the blogosphere has just gone through one of those fundamental shifts in the last year or two, leaving the landscape irrevocably changed. I’ve been noodling ways to express this idea in a couple of posts that will likely never escape the vortex that is my drafts folder, but I can’t quite seem to get it to come out right.

What I’m trying to express, with virtually no success, is how different things are in the blogosphere than they were back when I started bloggin in early 2005. Back then, the parenting blogosphere was like a big high school; there were cliques and clans, and there were a few genuinely popular blogs that everyone seemed to link to, but we all kinda-sorta knew each other — or at least of each other. If a blog had been around a while, you’d likely at least have heard of it, if not visited it once or twice. Now, the blogosphere is like a country the size of Canada, and the chances of you knowing even the bloggers in your own city are as remote as the chances of you knowing Phil from Saskatchewan when you live in Corner Brook.

Along the same lines, I was nodding my head in agreement the entire time I read a recent article and post written by Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil (another old-skooler from back in the day) about how mommy blogging is lately less about story-telling and sharing perspectives and more about SEO optimization and branding. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am completely NOT opposed to the idea of people making a profit from their blogs — far from. But it seems to me that the essential charm of the mommy blog, what drew me in to the medium in the first place, is getting lost in all the noise from the product hawking and advertising deals.

So what’s my point? I dunno. I’m just sitting here on my porch rocker, waving my cane at those young whipper-snappers with their review blogs and revenue generating opportunites. Back in my day, I tell ya…


In which we talk about Lucas’s other favourite boob

23 March 2009 Lucas

Baby’s first smile, first laugh. The first time baby slept through the night. Baby’s first food, and the first meal baby feeds to himself. Baby’s first tentative steps, and baby’s first words. All milestones worthy of marking on the calendar, of noting, of celebrating. And now, finally, after a YEAR of waiting — baby’s first […]

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The case against The Case Against Breastfeeding

20 March 2009 Working and mothering

I was absolutely tickled when Kate over at One Tired Ema asked me to bring my posse of lactating Canucks into the conversation about an article in this month’s Atlantic called “The Case Against Breast Feeding.” You can go read the Atlantic piece if you like, or you can skip on over to Kate’s place […]

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My mom wants to know about your bra

19 March 2009 Life, the Universe and Everything

(Heh, catchy title, eh? Made you look!) It’s true, though. For more than four years, she’s been one of my most loyal readers, but only rarely comments. (I do occasionally get an offline earful, but that’s another story!) Now, though, for the first time, my mother has actually proposed a topic and asked me to […]

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Project 365 update: In which she capitulates to post-processing

18 March 2009 Photo of the Day

Once upon a time (okay, last week) I was skeptical of photos that had been manipulated in Photoshop or other post-processing software applications. I was a bit of a purist and, let’s call it, a snob. If I really liked a photo, I’d like it a little bit less if I noticed it had been […]

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