A Hot Commodity and a Hot Head
by Karla ° Tuesday, February 27, 2007
It’s a done deal. Mark has accepted the job offer that will find us picking up and moving our life to Ottawa – in a few months.

Mr. Hot Commodity has managed to negotiate doing his three month probation period in their Toronto offices and when it is established that both the company and him find the position to be a good fit, we will be on our way to the Nation’s Capital, moving expenses paid for on their dime.

I can’t begin to say how relieved I am right now. The idea of trying to sell our home and pick up our lives and move across the province in three weeks felt so entirely overwhelming, especially considering that at the moment I am one hot headed, bedridden and wiped out momma. On Sunday I managed to come down with the flu and now my body is feverish, achy and randomly overtaken with chills. Add nausea to the mix, and I am feeling like one pretty useless mother to Nate.

Speaking of my little ray of sunshine, this weekend my house was also crammed with family all here to see him. He loved meeting his four year old cousin who has offered to sell her brother to us in exchange for ownwership of Nate, and his Uncle is already teaching him how to be a little rapscallion badass.

The many faces of my little man


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Smiles for Mommy
by Karla ° Friday, February 23, 2007
He just melts my heart.

And if the following 28 seconds of baby joy don’t melt your heart too, then I don’t know what will.

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Change, like cheese, is good
by Karla ° Thursday, February 22, 2007
The past few days have been totally bananas.

At the moment, Mark is entertaining two very different job offers, one in Toronto, and one in Ottawa. I haven’t slept, like at all, because I’ve been getting my home ready to list and sell it. I am so wishing that some of that supposed nesting instinct would have kicked in when I was pregnant because this whole cleaning, painting and windexing dog snot off every surface in the house while taking care of a newborn is tiring. It has also been a valuable learning experience. I have learned that I am not cut out to clean ovens because spraying chemicals that are strong enough to eat away at the lining of your esophagus so you can stick your head in an orifice that looks a diarrhea holding tank is just plain wrong. I have made a mental note to invest in an oven that is self cleaning so I never have to embark on that dark cleaning journey ever again.

Which job Mark will take isn't a decision he is taking lightly. One is a brilliant career move that involves selling our home and moving across the province, and the other is somewhat of a step back career wise as there would be no room for advancement and he wouldn’t be in a leadership role anymore, but it’s a good stable job with a good pension (that would be HOOPP for all you Ontarians) and all the important things that someone who needs a cane and Depends cares about, or someone with a family.

The catch is, the one that’s doesn’t require a big move isn’t in an environment that Mark could be happy long term. It’s a government job, and with that comes a lot of stability, but the pace of everything moves like that of a snail on sleep aids, and that annoying thing called red tape and bureaucracy would keep things about as fast paced and lively as measuring the rate at which you produce ear wax. However, it would be very personally rewarding because he would be building software to help treat Cancer patients, and there is something very satisfying in that.

The position in Ottawa requires selling our home. Since we’ve only lived here a short time we’re probably looking at just breaking even after the real estate fees cut into our bottom line, but the opportunity is one where Mark can shine. It’s riskier, because he doesn’t have the same sort of protection as that of a Government job, but the rewards are also much higher. Also, the money is more, and they have offered a generous signing bonus to help us move.

It’s not an easy decision, especially now with a baby in tow. Ottawa is about 4 hours from Toronto, and 6 hours away from family. Right now, we live about 2 hours from our family. We have no family, roots or ties of any kind (except a mortgage) where we live now.

We’ve been talking about moving away and starting over since the second Ava took her last breath, and now is our chance. Mark’s family is hugely supportive of whatever decision we make and his dad has offered to take care of whatever we need done around the house because he is just so happy that we are finally beaming with excitement about life again and wants to help ease the stress of getting our home ready to list.

My heart is pounding. There really is no clear winner because both jobs are good ones. This is worse than trying to compare cell phone plans to find the best rate because I think at the end of the day, no matter what one you pick, you can’t have the best of both worlds.

We're still trying to figure out what is best for us. In the meantime, two real estate agents are coming over to appraise our home today and I have more dog snot to Windex and tile grout to scrub and baby cheeks to kiss.

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Math
by Karla ° Saturday, February 17, 2007
It’s kind of amazing when you consider that both Mark and I chose career paths that involved knowledge of math when neither of us is particularly good at it.

In high school, while Mark bumbled around in OAC Calculus and Finite math, I could be found hiding out in the forest behind the school pounding back tequila shots and smoking king sized cigarettes. Even though he didn’t do so well at math, he thought the concepts were fascinating, and even though tequila made me puke, the buzz made me feel special.

We did enjoy our advanced physics class together though. Our teacher liked to challenge our minds by making sound effects that would entertain those with the brain capacity of a toddler while demonstrating the effects of gravity by letting objects of various sizes and weights fall down slopes of various angles.


Weeeeee indeed dude!

Even to this day I can’t do my taxes without the help of online software. My creative mathematical abilities are limited to how many fingers and toes are attached to my body, so if Nate is ever as witty as the kids who answered the math questions below, I swear I will double his allowance and crack open beers to celebrate because it takes a special kind of smarts to come up with these:









Other reasons to celebrate include finally fitting into my size 26 pants with minimal muffin top and a kidlet who did swimmingly swell at his two month well baby checkup. He now weighs 10lbs 2oz and is 23 inches tall. According the numbers he is a very tall and thin little munchkin plotting on the 75th percentile for height, and 25th percentile for weight. Neither Mark nor I are tall people, so maybe he will be tall like my brother, whose towering height is a running joke in the family as being a direct result of genes from the mailman.

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My Heart = Luminous Happiness
by Karla ° Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Sweet Valentine

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Octopus
by Karla ° Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Have I ever mentioned how much I love you, and you and YOU?

Baby Bums are CuteI have a tendency to overanalyze and scrutinize every minute detail about Nate from more angles than the wandering tentacle arms of an octopus, so thank you so much for all your feedback and advice. It's all so helpful and much appreciated.

I really hope that Nate doesn’t have some sort of a dairy protein allergy because I am a vegetarian and cutting dairy out of my diet would be hard since it’s one of my main sources of protein.

So then why don’t I just eat a hunk of meat you ask?

Yes, that does sound like a logical conclusion doesn't it? But I haven’t eaten meat in over 16 years. Mark on the other hand, hasn’t eaten vegetables in probably just as long. We are both stubborn and persistent when it comes to our food aversions.

In other news, Samson’s best friend is dead.

When it came time to break the news to my poor dog that our neighbour had to put his dog down, I put on a brave face and brought along some dog cheese for good measure, you know, in case he was suddenly struck with overwhelming sadness and needed something to take the edge off. For a brief moment a flicker of remorse flashed in front of his eyes, but then he caught a whiff of the cheese and his tail started wagging and the fleeting moment of grief was instantly lifted along with any memory that he ever had any friends.

The Face of Grief

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Worry Wedgie
by Karla ° Sunday, February 11, 2007
Weekends around are here wonderful because for two nights in a row Mark and I get to be bed buddies again (until he requires sleep to function like a coherent human being at work and returns to bunking on the futon), and Samson has someone to hump and lay on while I am busy at 4:00 am feeding Nate.

Weekends also mean that I get to hand off Mr. Mugaloon to his dad for bath time. It entertains me greatly to watch as Mark’s brows furrow in deep concentration while he scrubs away all the neck and armpit cheese hiding under the many mounds of chunky baby rolls.



Weekends also mean that I have more time to myself, which I need these days because I have an article deadline looming over my head and it eats away at me every single day that it doesn’t get done. I just can’t find it in me to focus during the day with so many other things going on, like trying to get the house in order in case we have to list and sell, like yesterday, and treading through all my worry about Nate’s red scaly face (which the doctor now thinks is seborrheic dermatitis – an extension of the crusty cradle cap flakes on his scalp - and not baby acne) and green poppy diapers that now exhibit traces of blood. No one but me seems worried about the state of his health, but it’s stressing me out with a fierce worry wedgie that I cannot shake loose because a) after digging deep into the maze of health information online, one website stated that seborrheic dermatitis is linked to Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy and b) I feel like I am somehow failing him as a mother.

We now have to consider the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is not the only answer to his pooping problem and that he might actually have a sensitivity to the protein found in cow dairy, which is transferred to my breast milk.

Has anyone ever had a baby with a cow protein allergy, either while breastfeeding or on formula? Did eliminating dairy from your diet or switching to a hypoallergenic or soy based formula help?

And if the doctor prescribed a steroid cream for your baby’s face for something that should eventually, given time, heal on its own, and a pharmacist later said that steroid creams are not usually given to infants because their skin is so thin and the steroids get absorbed into their blood, which can do things like stunt their growth – would you put it on your kid’s face even if the dosage was the lowest available?

This mothering thing – it’s not easy.

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Mirrorface and Places to Live and Play in Canada
by Karla ° Thursday, February 8, 2007
Munchkin Magoo has recently discovered what a handsome little devil he is and beams with the most guffaw-inducing toothless grin anytime a mirror is placed in front of his face, despite a recent development of cradle cap crustiness on his scalp and an outbreak of hormonal baby acne on his cheeks. Even more entertaining is watching him perfect his mirrorface lip pucker for future encounters with the ladies or a spread in GQ.

Speaking of new developments, for those of you who live in Vancouver or Ottawa, I could really use your help. The balls are definitely in motion for a big move in the near future if a kick ass opportunity doesn’t happen upon our Toronto doorstep anytime soon, and Mark has gotten quite a few hits of interest on his skill set for jobs in the Nation’s Capital or Vancouver. If we take the plunge, what area’s do you most recommend that we explore setting down some roots in that are within a two hour (round trip) commute of the downtown core where one can afford to live in a house with a backyard – because my big yellow dog told me he likes to potty too much and the buttons on the condo elevators are too hard to work without an opposable thumb.


Millions of thanks!

Signed,

Mom to a burgeoning ladies man.

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Cheese
by Karla ° Tuesday, February 6, 2007
When the bleary haze in front of my eyes finally cleared and I was able to actually focus on the words written in my last post, I promptly served myself a platter of cheese cubes to go with my whine fest.

Now that I have gotten the whole lack of sleep thing and how trying it is - blah blah blah - off my chest, this blog can now return to its regularly scheduled programming, except this time with a template update because what better way is there to spend your time at 2:45am while your baby insists cooing at the shadows on the wall than playing with a blog template?

Plenty, I’m sure, like sleeping, or at least closing my eyes and pretending to sleep, but there are pictures to be shared of my precious little munchkin magoo.

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Too Much of a Good Thing
by Karla ° Monday, February 5, 2007
I keep meaning to find time to finally write about my birth story and Nate’s experience in the NICU and the part where I ended up with a spinal headache that felt like I had been shot in the head with a bazooka and that I took codeine while breastfeeding because that seemed a lot safer than digging another hole into my spine to fix the first hole that was left behind from the spinal medicine with a patch of my own blood, but just when I think life with baby is starting to settle down and I can share the gory details of spinal fluid leaking into my head, I find out that I have an oversupply of milk.

Considering most women worry about not making enough, you would think this is a non issue, but of course, nothing can be that simple. Because milk changes throughout a feed from sugary to fatty, when there is too much stored in the breast, the baby can’t drink it all and he fills up on the thin, high-sugar milk and never gets to the more filling and satisfying higher fat milk. The high-sugar milk empties quickly from a baby’s stomach and all the excess lactose irritates their poor little digestive systems, which results is a very fussy and gassy baby with explosive green poo and an unbalanced diet.

All of this because I upset the delicate cycle of supply and demand when I started pumping so Mark could feed the kid and I could get more than 3 hours of sleep in a row.

At least someone is getting use out of this lonely king sized bed now that I officially don’t sleep anymore and Mark is bunking on the futon in the office.


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So Tired
by Karla ° Thursday, February 1, 2007
In an effort to stay alert so he doesn't start asking his clients if their bum made a stinky, Mark has officially jumped ship to sleep in another room. Thankfully, no one can fire me when sleep deprived delusions kick in and I wake up in the middle of the night frantically digging in my bed sheets looking for a baby. Eventually I realized that he was asleep in his bassinet, but that wasn’t until my heart was flung from the protective cavity of my chest and left dangling on the edge of hysteria and cardiac arrest.

I need to sleep more. I know that. But when the baby sleeps and Mark is gone during the day, I can’t.

Instead I do crazy things like eat, and bathe and empty my bladder. And I worry about Nate. Still.

And just when the tears of painful tiredness start to well in my eyes, my perennial cutie will do something like this and make the fog I'm currently living in all worthwhile.

First smile caught on film.

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