Kids are so darn cute
by Karla ° Wednesday, May 30, 2007
My cousin’s nephew is perhaps one of the cutest and sweetest little boys to grace this planet. He is also very smart and is already learning about the power of compounding interest and investing and I swear, if I knew then what that boy already knows, I probably could have bought out the Ikea franchise by now. And I would have so replaced all of their furniture with adult sized Bumbo’s because, dude, the college kids would go crazy for easy wipe furniture that you can spill beer all over and still comfortably pass out in it.

The other day my cousin wrote me an email and told me about how her nephew’s school was having a bake sale to raise money for a special needs child and how he asked his mom if he could bring extra money to give to his classmates in case they didn’t have any. I was all like, ahhh, what a thoughtful and compassionate kid. And then I almost fell on the floor laughing when she went on to say that he wants to be rich and work at the dollar store when he grows up. It wasn’t the irony in that oxymoron that made me laugh so hard though, it was the part about when he asked his mom where you buy thrones because, oh my god, can you imagine shopping at the dollar store knowing the dude behind the cash register goes home at night to sit on his throne?

And then there is my cousin’s niece. She is just starting to discover the wonders of receiving surprises via snail mail and not one to be left out, has started sending off her own surprises in the mail, including sending her Aunt an envelop stuffed with a red mitten that belongs to my mother.

Hi mom! Word is that your mitten arrived safe and sound and Teena said that she'll return it next time she's in town.

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The back seat of my car
by Karla ° Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Last week I had one of those WORST! MOTHER! EVER! moments while I was reading everyones’s car seat/high chair/jogging stroller feedback. All of a sudden it occurred to me that although I knew the weight limitations for Nate’s car seat, I had no idea what the height restrictions were and, yup, worst mother ever because he was officially too tall for his car seat like, several weeks ago.

We first looked at Babies R Us for a seat after your awesome recommendations that they let you try before you buy and for the love of hugified things, you may as well have been trying to shove a Wooly Mammoth in the backseat of my little Pontiac Sunfire. Car seats are positively ginormous compared to those little infant carriers. So ginormous in fact, that almost every single seat we tried to cram into our car was rammed up against the front seat.

I even tried to pull the front seats up closer to the dash board, but all of a sudden that meant I would need to learn to drive with my knees, and although I think that might be fun, especially the whole part about giving bad drivers the finger because then I would be giving them the toe and I bet the look on their faces would be priceless when they saw me driving with my feet all up in the air like that, I’m not about to play hero to find out.

So because our car is so small and car seats are so big and because we now know that in addition to safety ratings and functionality, part of finding the best car seat for a car is to find one that fits the vehicle tightly and properly and your child nicely, we decided to talk to a car seat technician about what they would recommend so the car seat wasn’t mashed up against the front seat.

I was really surprised to learn how limited our options were because we drive a car that barely accommodates two adults and a cup of coffee, but we finally did find a seat that fits both the car and Nate nicely and now I can breathe a sigh of relief that Nate is safe once again – until he learns that my nose is not the only hole to shove his fingers in and discovers the totally not baby proofed electrical sockets.

And to the car seat technician man, I am sorry that you were wearing black and now have yellow Samson fur all over your nice clothes, but thank you for all your time and for playing car seat safety in the back seat of my car. I'm not sure if I should feel sad or all grown up to admit that was the most excitement the back seat of my car has ever seen.

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1 + 1 = 3
by Karla ° Monday, May 28, 2007

It’s hard to believe that Mark + me + one night of a special
kind of love =’s THIS.

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Herpes
by Karla ° Friday, May 25, 2007

Hi!

Meet Simon and Sebastian. They have Herpes.


When Sebastian, our black cat, was a kitten, I decided he needed a friend. So I called the local pet shelter and it just so happened that a kitten was recently left in a box by the shelter door because, oh, how can I put this nicely, his eye was rotting in its own socket. We were told that he had an infection that had been left untreated for too long and the only option left was to remove his eye. At the time we didn’t know it was herpes, we just fell in love with him and wanted to take him home and love him. Besides, it was Christmas and who was going to bring home the cyclops cat for Christmas?

So after his eye was removed, we nursed him back to health and watched as his friendship with his new brother blossomed and laughed at him whenever he walked into a wall. Simon and Sebastian became inseparable. So inseparable in fact, that even Simon’s herpes didn’t want to be apart from Sebastian, and despite the fact that he received all his vaccines, he still got infected.

For the past seven years they have been passing their herpes back and forth between each other and taking turns getting pus filled eyes that need medical attention so they don’t disintegrate - or something like that anyways.

And because herpes is viral, it never goes away. As in, like, ever. The herpes bugs sit dormant in their bodies until a stressful event happens. So our cat’s life lines have looked something like this:

Travel – the herpes all come out for a picnic.
Move – the herpes invite all the other herpes in the neighbourhood over for drinks to get to know each other better.
Appearance of a dog – the herpes get jealous and start competing for our attention.
Appearance of a baby – the herpes call their friends who then call all their friends and all of a sudden it’s a wild out of control herpes party.

So we are in the midst of battling another bout of herpes (or conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye.) This time however, the herpes have evolved and after so many years of fighting the infection with the same antibiotics, they don't work anymore. The cats now require stronger and stupidly more expensive medicine to make them better.

I guess if there's a silver lining to the thousands of dollars the herpes have cost us, it’s that at least it’s a special kind of herpes that only loves cats.

Because the last thing I need right now is a big crazy dog with even bigger and more crazy herpes.

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Frazzled Mom Seeking Sound Advice
by Karla ° Tuesday, May 22, 2007
We are currently in the market for:

1. A car seat
2. A hight chair
3. A jogging stroller
4. A life that involves more than 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep

I have been checking out reviews and safety information online for our next car seat and keep reading over and over again how great the Britax Marathon is, but is it worth the money?

Or do you have any other recommendations? Nate’s current seat is only good to 20lbs.

And what is with the billion different types of high chairs to choose from? Besides lame patterns that match nothing I own or ever plan to own because my house is not modelled after a Scotsman's kilt, they all look the same. Are there any features in particular that I should be looking for?

Because of the two items above, that leaves the budget for a jogging stroller a little tight. So no Bob Ironman for me. But seriously, will a Walmart cheapy do? Or is a more high end jogging stroller really worth the investment?

And finally, Samson has offered a big slobbery dog kiss to anyone who has a solution to number 4 because he is finding his lack of beauty rest seriously distressing.



See those big blue eyes? They remain open like that all night long too!

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Dessert not necessary
by Karla ° Saturday, May 19, 2007

Heather and Nate

No dessert was needed with all the sweetness Nate was dishing out (before he turned sour and teary-eyed of course.)

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Our big day out
by Karla ° Friday, May 18, 2007
Yesterday was a big day for Nate and me. It was the first time in his entire five months of existence that I ventured out of the house with him in tow for an entire day.

Nate had his first train ride, and I had my first experience breastfeeding in public on a train filled with people. Would it sound weird if I called it liberating? Because it was.

Nate got to stroll along Bay Street and see his first sky scrappers while I reminisced over my former life working in a skyscraper. I do not miss it one bit.

Nate got to people watch and I got to spend an entire day shopping even though I did not spend one penny because so is the life of being a hypocrite cheapskate that can justify $110 for a pair of lululemon pants but not the purchase of a new pair of sandals to replace the only bedraggled pair that I own that are now five years old.

Nate got to meet Heather. Heather and I met a few months back when her business travels brought her to Toronto and I’m so glad she was able to find the time to meet up again so I could introduce her to Nate.

She also came bearing a gift for Nate. Seeing that we plan on putting our house fixer upper skills to work, she brought him a plush toy hammer that makes a big crashing sound when you bang it. Which is exactly what we predict will happen to our wide screen when Nate starts walking.

I would post a photo of her snuggling with Nate, but I forgot to ask permission if I can plaster her picture on my website. So instead I will post the family photo she took for us.

Nate was a perfect angel all day until we got the restaurant and he realized that he forgot his horns and pitchfork at home.

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The Beaver is a Noble Animal
by Karla ° Thursday, May 17, 2007
You may have heard that Canadians are a friendly bunch. We like to say our pleases and thank you's and often times apologize excessively for no reason whatsoever.

Take yesterday for example. I was carrying Nate in a store and as I walked up an aisle I noticed there was a guy stocking shelves ahead of me, so I veered to left. Suddenly an aisle display jumped right in front of me and because it was not there a second ago, I crashed into it. And the guy – the one stocking the shelves – turned around and apologized for his brief existence in my life and for taking up too much of my personal space.

Mark told me the other day he was running down University Avenue to catch his train after work, because that is what commuters do, they run – a lot, and he rammed right into a lady, who then apologized to him for her brief existence in his life and for going too slow.

And last week Mark and I were out shopping and as we were heading into the mall, Mark opened the doors for me so I could push Nate’s stroller through. On the other side of the door stood a little girl and her mother and I was just going to wheel Nate around them when suddenly the mother apologized for their brief existence in our life and for being in our way.

So yes, Canadians tend to be a rather polite bunch and because I am having a BBQ this weekend, I feel the need to apologize for not inviting everyone. It’ll be fun. Joe’s bringing the beer and we are going to get very drunk and spend lots of time apologizing to one another for being shit faced while we snicker excessively over the fact that our national animal is also a slang word for a vagina.

Even if you aren’t Canadian, feel free to stop by. Just finish every sentence with “eh”, randomly apologize for your existence, pronounce the last letter of the alphabet as “Zed” and talk about hockey and beavers a lot and you’ll fit in just fine.

And if you are the motherfucker that broke into my car last night, I’m sorry to say that you are not invited. Instead, let me offer my most polite and sincere Canadian apology for your sorry existence on this planet.

And thank you for not stealing my blue yoga jacket.

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So much for that
by Karla ° Wednesday, May 16, 2007
All of your responses from my post below are what makes the Web 2.0 so awesome. Thank you for your insight and advice.

While Mark and I hemmed and hawed over the decision last night we decided to take a drive by the house.

This big house came on the market last Tuesday and in an effort to create bidding wars, the sellers were not accepting offers until yesterday, allowing a full week of showings to generate some interest.

I was skeptical that plan would work, but apparently, there are lots and lots of people out there who were also dreaming big and the house sold in a bidding war, the instant offers were accepted.

So for now, I think we are done house shopping. It’s not fun anymore. We’re frustrated and we’re wasting valuable time that could be better spent introducing Nate to the wonders of a one eyed cat.


And while house hunting sits on the backburner, we might just put our handy man skills to work and use this house as a practice run and find out just how handy we really are.

How hard can it really be to tile in a straight line?

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Should we do it?
by Karla ° Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We came thisclose to putting an offer in on a house the other day, but we decided against it because there is also another house on the market right now that is so huge it could swallow my current home in one big gulp and still have room for dessert.

To give you an idea of how big it is, I put my engineering skills to work and architected a floor plan of my current home in comparison to the big home.


It’s so huge in fact, that I almost need a map to find my way around the master bedroom and I swear one of the closets is bigger than Nate's entire bedroom.

By far and large, a home of this size doesn’t even make a blip on our affordability radar, but this home is priced well below market value because it needs a lot of work and a lot of time and a shit load of money to fix it up. But the potential is definitely there. In fact, there is so much potential that it is oozing out of the walls and ceilings right along with all the water from the leaky plumbing.

We never really considered a fixer-upper before because, well, we aren’t the fixer-upper kind of people, especially when it comes to gutting kitchens and bathrooms and fixing leaky ceilings and rewiring electrical outlets, but a home of that size in our price range doesn’t come along very often. More like never.

So right now we are watching that home and thinking about that home and slapping ourselves in the face over and over trying to see if that knocks any sense into our heads and helps us realize what we might be getting ourselves into, but while we are doing all that slapping and thinking, we are also deciding if we should totally lowball an offer to leave us with enough money to fix everything that needs fixing and just take a giant leap of faith and go for it.

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Mother's Day
by Karla ° Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today is Mother’s Day. A tradition filled with heartfelt Hallmark moments wrapped in the sweet scent of flowers to love and honour the role of Motherhood.

For me, it’s such a bittersweet day. Although my heart is bursting at the seams with joy as I watch Nathan’s tiny chest rise and fall in a peaceful sleep beside me, it is also filled echo’s of numbness as I remember the child that is no longer with me.

For the longest time after Ava died I felt like the victim of a wretched identity theft. Sure I was still a mom, except there were no sticky fingers to clean or tiny bodies to rock to sleep. I felt like I was part of some sort of invisible mom club filled with shadowy corridors and fake plastic smiles to hide the emptiness.

But this mother’s day I have Nate. My Son. A living, breathing baby. A beacon on the horizon of hope. A promise of a happiness. A bucket filled to the brim with bliss. A new rhythm for the beat of my soul and the calm of the storm of anguish that persistently lingers and follows me wherever I go.

On this Mother’s Day I will try not to cling to the past. I will embrace the sting of my reality, shed a tear for Ava and cherish my baby and the season of joy he brought with him when he entered this world.

Wishing all mother's, expecting mom's and struggling-to-be-mom’s a wonderful day filled with fierce love and hugs a plenty.

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Zoolander
by Karla ° Friday, May 11, 2007
baby Nate - 19 WeeksNate had his five month well baby check up yesterday and he now weighs 13lbs 3oz and is 26 inches tall and the most handsome spitty talker that I know.

His most recent development is trying to mimic facial expressions and an interest in the TV. The other night he smiled and squealed his way through the entire episode of America’s Next Top Model and if he wasn’t just an innocent little baby, I swear it almost looked like he was totally digging the ladies. I made a mental note to make sure that he enters puberty knowing full well that those girls are not what real women look like because real woman are not afraid of Pizza and French Fries.

But then the next day he surprised me and as it turns out, I don’t think he was crushing on the ladies whatsosever. I think he was taking notes on how to perfect his mirror face.


Zoolander Face

Eat your heart out Ben Stiller.

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Headache
by Karla ° Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I think we may have found a home. It has everything we are looking for, including a fridge – with pickles!


And I would love to write more, but right now I need to think. And it is very hard to think now that Nate has a new favorite hobby.

Screaming.

Lots and lots of screaming! And just when you think he is done screaming, he screams more - only LOUDER, you know, just in case I didn’t hear him scream the first time, the second time, or for the last hour or seven.



Warning: Earplugs may be necessary to avoid possibly feeling like ripping your hair out at the temples or a temporary relapse of sanity.

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Putting the Ass Back in Class
by Karla ° Monday, May 7, 2007
My wonderful blog friend Heather recently wrote a post about some of the strange things people have googled that landed them on her site. Her post reminded me that Untangling Knots has had it's fair share of guffaw-inducing searches too.

Such as:

Proof that mermaids exist

I told you so! Right along with fairies and dirty leprechauns.
i'am searching for a girlfriend that will put me in diapers and spank me
Do you prefer Pampers or Huggies?

naughty pregnant women

I was naughty alright. I ate Feta cheese and had sex! Like twice! In 10 months! With my husband!
Church woman who wants a white picket fence

I’m thinking I’ll just wait around for the Rapture. That way, when God beams up all the non-sinners into Heaven and leaves me behind (see above), I won't need to bother with a fence for privacy anymore.
What does it mean when I wash between my toes

Why it means that your toes are clean. Congratulations! Please remember to wash your genitals too.
funny cows with bladder infections

Just because my breasts make milk does make me a cow.
fat asshole

Do you feel the love? I know I do.

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We're a Punk Rock Kind of Family
by Karla ° Saturday, May 5, 2007

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Mrs. Fun Bags
by Karla ° Friday, May 4, 2007
I need to come forward with some candid honesty about my concern for teensy tiny Nate. First and foremost, I know deep down that he is doing just fine, but after going through the horror of taking Ava off of life support and watching her die, the definition of what constitutes fine leaves me with a lot to come to terms with because even after the scare we had with her heart, Ava was supposed to be just fine. So now, fine doesn’t cut it and when things are supposed to be fine, I still question just how fine they are, which leads to a lot of guilt, which eats away at my self confidence.

Nate is exclusively breastfed. Even when he was in the NICU, I did not allow them to supplement him with formula and hooked my nipples up to a pump every three hours and brought whatever I could squeeze out of them to the nurses to feed him via the feeding tube in his stomach. And when he was allowed out of his incubator, I still got up every three hours to try and breastfeed him, and while I was trying to teach Nate how to latch on properly, I continued to hook my nipples up to a pump to keep working on getting my milk to come in. That meant my days were divided into three hour windows, half of that time was spent trying to feed him and get my milk supply established, and the other half was spent trying to sleep and not rip off my head because I had a postdural headache and spinal fluid was leaking into my brain and I could barely focus my eyes and stand on my own two feet without vomiting. And somewhere in there we opened Christmas presents.

If there is one thing about me that I know for certain it is that I am a tenacious motherfucker and when I want something bad enough, you could rip my toenails off with pliers and shoot out both of my knee caps, and I would still find a means to soldier on. And since my mind was set on breastfeeding, I was going to breastfeed dammit! Brain full of spinal fluid and toenails firmly intact or not.

It's not that I have anything against formula, because geez, it’s nourishment for babies and you can’t argue with that, it’s more like I am stubborn as a mule on speed and have had my heart set on breastfeeding since before my first child was conceived. And right now, I am having a lot of self doubt that I am 100% successful with it. Stupid things run through my head like “Oh shit, I didn’t eat my banana today – there goes meeting my fruit quota. Nate will for sure have trouble learning his multiplication tables now.” And, please no bitch slapping, but I am now thinner than before I got pregnant with Ava, Bubs or Nate and part of me wonders whose side my body is on – the making milk for Nate side, or wearing ass-fabulous jeans side. Even upping my food intake and stuffing my face with truck loads of pizza isn’t helping. Maybe I have a tapeworm.

So although Nate is showing all the signs of being a totally normal little boy and all appears to be just fine, I am a narcissistic whore and it’s really all about me. Walking the fine line between what I believe is right for our family and what is actually right is a very gray landscape. I want to feel like I am winning and like I am doing a bang up job at this whole having kids thing because carrying the weight of infant death and miscarriage on my shoulders is a real mind fuck when it comes to having self confidence and believing in my body and nature and the nutritional value of my boobs. And if their nursing days are done, I’m sure Mark would love to be reintroduced to Mrs. Fun Bags.

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Planet Dad Cheese
by Karla ° Thursday, May 3, 2007
I am tired. So very tired these days. Nate has been waking up 2 or 3 times a night for the past two weeks and after a good long stretch of him sleeping through the night, I thought the days of floating between islands of sleep and sleep deprived hallucinations were a thing of the past. But the purple saddle bags under my eyes say otherwise.

He is waking up to eat. So maybe he is finally going through a growth spurt and will start to beef up a little so I can stop worrying about how skinny he (apparently) is. And I say apparently because the chubba chub chub on his chunky baby thighs and the roundness and glow of his adorable little face doesn’t seem cadaverous to me at all, but you know, the charts. The stupid charts say that an 11.5 lb four month old is small.

The nice thing about my tiny tot’s weightlessness is that he is easy to carry. And swing through the air. Which he loves, so we spend a lot of time pretending he can fly.

Last night, we were all hanging out in bed and because I was so tired, I shoved my face in a pillow, noted the fact that I don’t have a beach ball-like appendage stopping me from lying on my stomach anymore and sort of dozed while Mark kept Nate entertained. I listened to him whoosh Nate back and forth above his head while they pretended to travel around the solar system. Every time Nate blasted off into space he would squeal with delight and every time he landed he burst into fits of giggles as they explored places like Planet Dog Cheese and Planet Dad Cheese. After exploring everything on the bed except me, Mark landed Nate smack dab on my ass and said “Look Mom, I just landed on URANUS.”

It would be nice to blame being sleep deprived on how funny that was to me, but the truth is I have yet to figure out when I will grow up so that word will stop making me giggle like a little school girl.

****

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Spitty
by Karla ° Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Recently, my little Naterbug has been getting his drool on. (Thanks for my new favorite nickname Misguided Mommy.)

At first it was kind of cute and it made me feel all motherly and June Clever like to gently dab spittle off his chin with a Kleenex, but then it got worse and now he makes enough slobber to house a small ecosystem of fish and marshy wildlife and sometimes after napping on my chest he leaves a small puddle of drool between the crease of my boobs and it looks like I am a wet T-shirt contestant.

I don’t mind so much mopping up kid spit, but when he shoves plush toys in his mouth, they get all wet and slimy and it reminds me of how Samson’s tennis balls feel like after a game of fetch. Oh, and the laundry. The endless laundry. On Sunday he went through nine outfits after factoring in all the drool and other forms of wetness from various bodily locations.

So to save on all the laundry that his drooliness is making me do, starting today, we will now equip the kid with a bib. Or, more precisely, a perma bib, as in, he must wear a bib 24/7, except for the hours that he is asleep, which are like never anymore.

And for fun, here is yet another video. I know what you’re thinking. “Karla – enough with the baby videos already! Don’t you have anything better to do?”

The long answer has something to do with having a baby and being tired all the time and being too lazy to do laundry, but the short answer is No.



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