Pesky
by Karla ° Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mark was running late for work this morning and just as he was about to walk out the front door I noticed a spot on his shirt.

After pointing it out to him, he dashed up the stairs to change mumbling something about how the stain must have gotten there from going through the washer and dryer so often.

Because we all know how notorious those pesky washer and dryers are for
depositing mysterious stains on our clothes.

Personally, I think it was that pesky pizza he ate for lunch last week.

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Branching Out
by Karla ° Monday, July 30, 2007

Nate’s personality is really starting to take on a life of its own. Which, you know, makes sense because he is a person. It’s just that I still dress him in footsie pyjamas and sing silly songs to him and the fact that he is starting to show an interest in growing up and doing the stuff that babies do makes me feel all nostalgic for those days where he just sort of sat there. And did nothing. Because my job as a mother was much less complicated when all I had to do was make faces and offer him my boobs every now and then to keep him happy.

His new thing these days is exploring. Apparently, my face is no longer that interesting. I guess the entertainment he found in shoving his fingers up my nose has run its course. I think it’s great that he's starting to show an interest in stuff besides me and my breasts because my little dude needs to branch out eventually and discover stuff like Samson's kibble dish, but for the love of not having to pay attention, this whole exploring and testing his boundaries thing is trying because everything he touches goes into his mouth.

And there are just something things that he should not eat.

Like diapers.

Or my nipples.

And then if I take what he wants away, or yelp in pain, depending on whether or not he has chomped on a sensitive body part, the baby drama ensues and he interjects with exaggerated screeches of baby frustration.

Exhibit A:



Sweet Bethlehem of mercy, I have no idea what to do. It’s not like I can reason with him. But he needs to start learning what he can and cannot shove in his mouth/yoink/pull/chomp on because there might come a day that I will want to wear my hair down again and last time I checked, having my nipples chomped on was not on my list of things to experience before I die.

Also, totally unrelated, but don’t you just love chubby baby legs?

Exhibit B:
Nate's Chubby Baby Legs


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Ripple in Time
by Karla ° Friday, July 27, 2007

It is moments like this - when a ripple in time captures a look on my son’s face of sheer wonderment and sublime innocence - that I am overcome with whispers of victorious pride and overwhelming happiness, despite the heavy losses I have faced.

And maybe, just maybe, Ava is nearby, sent down from a starry firmament to hover over her baby brother on white wings of seraphim and a delicate gossamer prayer.

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Colour Blindness
by Karla ° Thursday, July 26, 2007
Mark is for real colour blind. Red-green colour blind actually. Which basically means that he couldn’t tell you the difference between a green and a red traffic light. I guess it’s a good thing that he can count to three and remember what number means STOP!

Even though he claims he is only red-green colour blind, that doesn’t explain why he failed colouring class in kindergarten for insisting the sky was purple. And even though colour blindess is usually genetic in nature, it can also be caused from brain damage, which might explain why he failed scissors class as well.

He has totally redeemed himself though. That man now makes the best damn paper snowflakes ever.

When I met Mark, all of his clothes we black. But really, one can only handle so much black in their life (me), so now instead of having a depressingly drab wardrobe, we have come up with a creative system for naming and identifying his clothes.

First and foremost, all of his dress pants must mix and match with every single dress shirt that he owns because there might be a morning that I am not awake to tell him that he shouldn’t leave the house looking like a colourful clown.

And secondly, because it was my bright idea that he should add a little colour in his life, it also became my responsibility to know that when he asks for his tough guy shirt, it means he is looking for an army green t-shirt. Which is entirely different than his cool guy shirt, which is blue. But he thinks it’s gray.

I do use his reliance on my colour judgement to my advantage however, because he looks really good in shades of blue, especially powder blue, which he would be mortified to wear. So I just tell him that it’s a manly shade of light gray.

Anyhow, he was looking for the BBQ lighter the other day and I told him to look in the blue box. He looked at me like I had just asked him what the square root of pi was because he didn't know we had a blue box. And I could see him trying to rack his brain to remember if he was supposed to be organizing different stuff in a different box because the only box he knew about was light gray.

And then it occurred to me that the box is exactly the same colour as his pretty powder blue shirt and that maybe part of his colour blindness is all my fault.

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Teaching an old dog new tricks
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 25, 2007
We’re trying to teach the dog a new trick called “go get me a beer Samson.”

So far we've taught Samson how to open the fridge. Teaching him to reach his big dog head inside and grab a bottle of beer without devouring all of the cheese is a whole different story.

This might turn out to be a total disaster. And I'm quite certain that this will result in entire bricks of cheese mysteriously vanishing into the nether regions of my dog’s stomach (that’s got to be a constipation nightmare), but then again, it also might solve the perpetual problem of rotting leftovers.

In any case, this is so going to be a big hit when company comes to visit. That is, as long as they don’t mind drinking from a bottle of beer covered in frothy dog drool.

:::

This is the new colour of my kitchen:


Note the big giant dog crate that takes up all of the space where a table should be.

Also note Samson’s tug towel – to open the fridge that is.

Also also note the applicances. My stove and dishwasher have been around since before the dawn of civilization. They have an external combustion engine that runs off of gunpowder and steam. My fridge was replaced a few years ago when it suddenly blew up. Probably from the gunpowder.

Mark is colour blind and thinks the kitchen looks pink. He also thinks that dogs and their owners tend to look alike and told me that our dog is a nice mix between the two of us because Samson is muscly like him and has a nice ass and boobs like me.

The romance around here makes my spine tingle.

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A Very Nipply Winter's Silence
by Karla ° Tuesday, July 24, 2007
We finally got around to painting our kitchen last weekend.

Again.

I should probably stop living with my head inside of a paint can. I also probably need therapy, but at least I’m a good painter. Actually, make that a good paint supervisor because Mark is the one who actually does all of the rolling. I had the very fatiguing tasks of running errands for missing supplies and lifting my exhausted fingers to wipe the sweat off of Mark’s brow.

I also may have strained my neck trying to check out the pecs of a shirtless hunky adonis while I was out on a coffee run.

But we did it. The paint job I mean.

And now my entire main floor is painted in colours that sound like Mother Nature sneezed and wiped my walls with a tissue full of Autumn Haze and Winter’s Silence.

Paint colour names is the one thing about painting that Mark and I do not see eye to eye on.

I like the girly names because they sound dramatic and impressive.

He thinks they sound too girly and lame and should instead be given number codes, like green 4569, because going to the store and asking for a can of Winter’s Silence is no different than walking up to the person behind the counter and asking them to rub his nipples.

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My Box
by Karla ° Monday, July 23, 2007
A few weeks ago I bought a box.

The purpose of this box is to serve as a place where Mark can empty the contents of his pockets at the end of the day in one neat and tidy spot so that we can stop running around like we have firecrackers up our ass every morning trying to find his wallet and his keys.

I knew I would need to find a creative spin on selling the idea of using this box to Mark because keeping things organized is not how his brain operates. So instead of explaining to him how much easier it would be to find stuff and how much time it would save him from running around trying to find things while his eyes glazed over like lifeless orbs from how dull that all sounds, I just told him how fun it is to put stuff in my box.

And as soon as undertones of sex were brought into the conversation, that damn box became the most important box in the whole wide world and he has been storing all of his man stuff inside of it every since.


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The Learning Curve
by Karla ° Friday, July 20, 2007

I find it hard not to get so wrapped up in the enigma of mothering. And whether its about breastfeeding today or discipline or my parenting philosophy tomorrow, it still all boils down to the idea of being responsible for the well being of an entire human. With arms and legs and a head and a face capable of adorable little expressions that transcend the boundaries of anything I ever thought possible before life with a child.

The moment I brought my baby home from the florescent tomb where he was born and took those first steps into the unchartered microcosm of parenting, a huge portion of my self-confidence suddenly dissipated into nothing more than a sodium vapour mist of particles and atoms so small and random that it was nearly impossible to find any remnants of the fallout to grab hold of.

The newness of it all, the possibilities, the mistakes that I was bound to make, the uncertainties, the memory of the child that was no longer with me and the gossamer innocence of the baby I was holding in my arms felt so entirely overwhelming. And while I floundered around like a lowly bottom feeder, it felt like the rest of the parenting pool were swimming around like proud pufferfish way above the depths of my knowledge.

But I’m learning. The curve just feels so steep sometimes.

And yet despite the learning curve, my son continues to thrive like a deeply rooted seedling under the steady guidance of a morning sunrise.

Sure, he’s super tiny – but he is not even 7 months old and already 1/7th of my body weight.

Sure, he’s not a classic textbook baby – but that is because he is a perfectly normal human baby.

Sure, there are days that I leave him idling in his rainforest jumperoo while he talks to a blue bee with polka dot wings while I take a much needed break to do other things - like taking a step back to really see the forest through the trees.

Because let's face it, the blue bee never gets bored.

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New Challenges
by Karla ° Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nate and I have recently overcome something that I find very difficult to put into words.

A few weeks ago, my son suddenly refused to breastfeed.

For days and days, nursing was a constant battle. Whenever I tried to put him in the nursing position, tears would fill his eyes and he would scream out in distress. I didn’t understand what was wrong and all I could do was cry along with him while my confidence tumbled on a downward spiral of frustrated guilt faster than the fall of a skilfully crafted house of cards.

This, I suspect, is the same way that mothers who wanted to breastfeed, but were unable to, feel. Like they are living in a shadow guilt over their perceived failure.

I think that is the operative word though – perceived - because at the end of the day, we parents are all just trying to do what is best for our children and our family in the best way that we know how, and by definition that simply does not translate into failure.

I just need to remember that.

If you would like to read more about my breastfeeding challenges, please come and visit me over at Durham Region Baby today.

I look forward to hearing about the challenges that you have had with breastfeeding, and how they have personally impacted you.

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On Guilt
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I subscribe to a local news feed and over the past couple of weeks I have been receiving far too many emails about children plunging to their death off of a high rise balcony or an open window. This is so sad, and yet it happens every year when the weather gets warm and people yearn to flush away the staleness of winter and feel the freshness of a summer breeze twist through their hair.

And yet that simple act of opening a window has had the most dire of consequences. A child is gone forever, and the guilt the parents are feeling right now must be so entirely overwhelming. It is something that will loom over them, forever trembling in the branches of the trees above their heads and following them wherever they go.

I understand this guilt. My daughter died in a different way, but not a day goes by that I don’t play the What If game. I will never know if we could have done something differently to change the outcome of her birth and now I have to live with that each and every day. It takes the might of an elephant to to keep my thoughts from swirling like a tornado in my head.

It’s like being at war with your own mind on an island of flat concrete and not being able to see the flag of truce waving over the hills across the horizon.

I shudder to think how shattered those poor families are at the moment and I wish them much strength for the long battle ahead of them.

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Eye hate it when he's right
by Karla ° Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This morning when Nathan woke up, his left eye was all bloodshot. Kind of like he had spent the night boozing it up, but I know he didn’t leave his crib last night because you cannot lower the rails on that thing without creating enough clamor and ruckus to disturb the slumber of Satan himself in the vaults of hell. The crib annoys me that much.

Anyhow, his left eye. The white has been replaced with a murderous shade of red. Mark took one look at it and said, “Oh, he burst a blood vessel.” And I didn’t believe him because the last time I burst a vessel in my eye like that was after a night of violently emptying the contents of a stomach full of daiquiri mix and rum. And for the record, I am not a light weight. It was the sugar.

Ignoring Mark, I turned to the all knowing omnipotent powers of Dr. Google. After a quick scan, the bastard diagnosed my son with pink eye and said that he needed to go and see a real doctor with a real degree right away because his eye might fall out. Also for the record, I thoroughly enjoy reading websites that put the fear of God into me over totally harmless bacteria.

So upon the advice of Dr. Google, I went to see a real doctor with a fancy degree and everything on their wall and as it turns out, Mark was right. Nate's eye has a bursted blood vessel. Probably due to coughing from all of the cigarettes he smokes.

Anyhow, don’t tell Mark that he was right ok? Because I hate it when he’s right.

Instead I’m going to tell him that the cats infected his son with their big crazy herpes.

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Party
by Karla ° Sunday, July 15, 2007
Nate went to his first little kid birthday party yesterday.

Considering there were many new faces that he had never seen before, he only cried once when we got there and saw all the people and that is when I decided to break out the almost fool-proof method of cracking a smile on his face through even the most bescreechingly foul of moods.

Getting him to stop crying in the way that I did is not something I love doing publicly because it involves me looking like a total idiot, but I would publicly humiliate myself any day to stop baby tears from streaming.

The reason I feel a bit self conscious doing it in public is not because I have to lift him up in the air and make a face so alarmingly funny looking that only my very own child could love, it has more to do with the very high pitched Boink! Boink! Boink! that he loves to hear when he is up above my head because you must say it very loudly and you must say it like you really mean it.

I was well into exclaiming how much I really meant those Boink! Boink! Boinks! when I realized that Mark was pointing in my direction and introducing me as his wife, which probably translated into a first impression somewhere along the lines of mild insanity, but at least Nate stopped crying and I could walk over and pump their hand with (hopefully) enough firmness and vigour to confirm my identity as an adult.

The party was positively the largest celebration I have ever seen for a two year old. There were balloons and presents and enough food and juice to feed an entire brigade of ankle-biters. There was even a huge pool for them to burn off all their energy in, which is very clever because although it is bucket loads of fun to watch your body move in slow motion under water, operating under those perplexing laws of physics is very fatiguing.

So while the kids enjoyed their sugar-induced buzzes, the grown-ups enjoyed their adult beverage-induced buzzes and I must admit, the idea of sipping a grown-up drink by the poolside sounded oh so heavenly, but this pesky breastfeeding gig keeps getting in the way of catching an afternoon summer buzz these days.

I kid! I kid!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sipping sugary fruit punch and eating your entire body weight twice over in strawberries and pineapples and birthday cake to compensate.

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Naugthy Naughty!
by Karla ° Thursday, July 12, 2007

I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure how I feel about being the number two search result on google for “naughty pregnant women.”

I mean, as far as my mom is concerned, all three of my pregnancies were the result of Immaculate Conception, so how the hell do I un-explain that?

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Making Daddy Proud
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nate shocked everyone when he was born with a wildly haphazard punk rock faux-hawk and a totally dated baby mullet. I mean, I am a child of the 80’s, but I never expected to birth a kid stuck in that era.

He also was born with red stork bite splotches between his eyes and on his eye lids that have since faded from a deep shade of crimson to a barely noticeable rosy hue that deepens only into a mean shade of red when subjected to the screams of duress from an angry baby.

Around the time Nate was three months old, he started to lose all of his dark tresses and that is when we noticed a big red splotchy mark covering a large portion of the back of his head and neck. And then a few weeks later we noticed even stranger purply-reddish splotches magically appearing all over his back.

It took multiple visits to our family doctor, a visit to paediatric dermatologist and then a visit to a dermatology research institute to figure out that my son has birthmarks. Only these birthmarks are a distant cousin of a cousin of a birthmark who once slept with a birthmark half-cousin. But still, just birthmarks.

So instead of Mark spending his Friday off work lifting my skirt and placing cold beer bottles on my ass (that was on - not up people), we spent hours upon hours in waiting rooms full of hormonally depressed teenagers and Botox ads. And because we didn’t anticipate being out so long, we were not prepared in the least with things to keep Nate entertained and spent a great deal of time reading to him about recurrent genital herpes.

Once it was determined that our child is perfectly normal, we went to pick up the family portraits that we had taken a few weeks ago. While I was in line waiting to get the photos, Nate started up a conversation with a woman standing nearby. And by conversation, I mean he reached out to try and grab her while flashing his expansive toothless grin and batting his big baby blues in a flirtatious way that only an innocent child could get away with because if he was 70, he would have been arrested by now.

This woman was, oh how can I put this, mammiferously gifted beyond belief and apparently I was not the only one who noticed her burgeoning bosom because for the love of parental awkwardness, Nate would not stop staring and reaching at her chest as if to say, "Dude, I have so hit the motherload of boob banquets and you need to loosen my diaper straps Right! This! Second! because I am so going to feast on those milk jugs."

He makes his father proud.



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Sweet Potato
by Karla ° Monday, July 9, 2007


Curly hair thanks to Mom’s genes.

Remnants of sweet potato in nostrils, eyebrows, hair and on the face thanks to Dad’s face wiping genes.

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Sad to be a Human
by Karla ° Sunday, July 8, 2007
Have you seen this site yet?

http://www.helpmybabylive.com/

I used to think that I would need to make an appearance in hell to get my blood boiling with the same ferocity that it did when I saw that site – and I’m (kinda sorta in certain circumstances) pro choice – even after experiencing infant loss and a miscarriage. What I am not however, is keen on a child growing up in an environment where its parents have obviously given their brains a one way ticket to the moon if they will only proceed with a pregnancy if there is financial gain.

The fact that they won’t consider adoption because the mother is afraid she will love the child too much to give it away means that deep down she already loves her baby. And then she goes ahead and holds her unborn child for ransom and threatens abortion if she does not receive money to raise it? Dear God the insanity in that logic makes me sad to be a human.

Since attempting any sane communication with those people would obviously be futile, my husband wrote this nice letter to the people at PayPal.

Policy regarding human trafficking and ransom

It appears that you currently have no acceptable use policy concerning using the PayPal system for the purposes of ransom and/or human trafficking. I would sincerely encourage that you add a statement as such so that websites such as this are not allowed to operate in conjunction with your service in the future.

Unfortunately by allowing your service to be used for this purpose you are, by virtue, condoning it and encouraging others to use your service in a similar manner. Also, by profiting from the credit card transactions PayPal is clearly willing to choose financial gain through morally reprehensible actions over being a good corporate citizen.

I would strongly encourage you to reconsider this particular PayPal account as well as your policy governing use of your service.

Sincerely,

Mark

If those people cannot be reasoned with, hopefully Corporate America can put aside its harrowing pursuit of profit and do the right thing and shut them down.

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Pancake Syndrome
by Karla ° Friday, July 6, 2007
Since Nate has been sleeping through the night, I have been sleeping through the night. Which means that I have been feeling much less tired. Invigorated in fact. So invigorated, that the old familiar itch to get out and run (as in, run more often than when the moon is blue) has been yearning to get scratched.

I’ve been thinking about when I started training for my first 10km run after Ava died. Having never run before in my life, I embarked on a training mission like nothing I had ever done before. Me - Mrs. Wimpy Wimp of all Unathletic and Sedentary Wimps - started running almost every single day. Truthfully, I think that is how I coped. I ran to chase away my anger. I ran so that I could feel life pulsating through my deadened spirit once again. I ran because it felt good to be pounding away at something, even if it was only my feet against the concrete. And I ran to escape the overwhelming feeling that the Universe was collapsing and I was falling into a black hole of claustrophobic grief.

I also ran because I wanted Ava to know that her mom was capable of anything. It was truly a victorious moment for me when I crossed the finish line, alive and in one piece, on the day of the 10km charity run in her honour. I felt vibrantly alive. More complete. Strong. The precious memories of my baby girl had inspired me to push the limits of my strength and test the boundaries of my will and it awoke in me an inner vitality that I never knew I had.

I miss those feelings of abounding exuberance. And although I am slowly starting to feel that familiar zest once again, some days I have to literally carry my own two legs out of the door and spend a good part of the run grudgingly putting one foot in front of the other while I persevere through laboured breathing and will my body to delve deep for the inner tenacity that I once had. But once I get going and my feet find a comfortable rhythm with the pavement and the beat of the music in my ears, I can’t stop thinking about how darn good it feels to be fit and healthy for my family.

Because my health is one of the greatest gifts I can give to Nate.

And for Mark, he gets an ass that is not half bad after two full term pregnancies. No warranty is being made however, expressed or implied, about the state of my breasts once I’m done nursing. Last I heard, even cardio couldn’t save them from the inevitable post-nursing pancake syndrome.

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Fro-hawk
by Karla ° Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Once upon a time I used to live in a land of make believe where I vowed to never be one of those moms who let their kid walk around with messy bed head hair.

But then I birthed a son with a bad ass faux-hawk that has since thinned out and lengthened into a crazy looking fro-hawk, and all bets for primping and preening a tiny human full of testosterone and wiggle worms were off.

And besides, the look of being freshly electrocuted is in these days right?

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New Shade of Boring
by Karla ° Monday, July 2, 2007
We are done painting. Well, except for the part about starting off with great intentions of painting the entire main floor of the house and then becoming very bored with the whole process about 7 minutes into taping so we never actually got around to painting the kitchen. I’m hoping that whatever it was that sparked the fire under my butt to paint in the first place returns very soon so I can stop complaining about how tired I am with the colour in there and just be done with this whole project.

I tend to prefer dark and bold colours, but we don't get alot of light in this room so I wanted something a little lighter to brighten it up. This was taken mid-afternoon.


And this is how it looks in the morning light.

And this is how Mark looks with a big ball of tape on his head.


We originally were going to coincide our painting with the installation of new hardwood floors, but my Father-in-Law sort of talked us out of that idea because our carpets are relatively new and still look like they are in pretty good shape and also, we have an amply-clawed dog that is keen on running at mach speed in concentric circles inside the house. But after reading about Amalah and the heebie jeebies she found in her carpet with a black light, I’m seriously thinking we need to re-evaluate the hardwood idea because there is a certain someone in this house who likes to shove stuff in his mouth and is co-existing with our very own carpet beasties.


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