Gentle Giant
by Karla ° Sunday, September 30, 2007

He most certainly is not the neighbourhoods most graceful or debonair brown nosing pooch prodigy, but he is a gentle giant that endures endless ear pulling and ceaseless tail tugging from a pint sized human who also enjoys expressing himself through the flatulent squawk of his butt trumpet.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Karla ° Friday, September 28, 2007
If I owned a recipe book, it would include recipes with directions like:

Remove from box. Heat. Serve. Worry about dishes tomorrow.

But I don’t own a recipe book because only knowing how to create two things that are actually edible from scratch isn't exactly taxing on the long term memory center of my brain.

Below is my self proclaimed Best Cookies Ever recipe. Cookies this simple and this tasty should not be kept a secret.

We like our cookies big for the simple fact that putting three giant cookies on your plate makes you feel way less gluttonous than eating six regular size cookies.

This recipe makes about 35 large-ish cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1½ cups of butter (or margarine), softened
½ cup of firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup of sugar
3 eggs
3 ¾ cups of pastry flour
2 tsp of baking soda
2 packages of (300g) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

I have tried the el cheapo route on this recipe with no name chocolate chips and may I suggest if you are going to try these cookies to spring for the good stuff, like Hershey’s. The difference is notable.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the sugars and butter and mix with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until well blended.

Add the flour and baking soda to the butter mixture and stir until blended. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop a tablespoon of batter for each cookie on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, barely touch your dinner, and eat cookies instead.

Mark has a particularly soft spot for cookies. If you have a great recipe, I would love for you to share it with me.

Please bear in mind that I am severely culinarily challenged and am absolutely not capable of following a recipe with more ingredients than the number of fingers on my hands.
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Whole Wheat Pizza
by Karla ° Thursday, September 27, 2007
I have gotten a lot of letters asking me for my pizza recipe.

There are only two things in the whole entire world that I can prepare with my own two hands completely from scratch and have it actually turn out well - homemade pizza and chocolate chip cookies.

I am probably the last person on the planet that should be tooting her own horn when it comes to cooking, but I am quite confident that my cookie dough bakes up the most deliciously moist, melt in your mouth cookies ever.

Ask me to bake a casserole though, and there may be an uncomfortable silence between us while I try to find the words to express that I actually do not even know what exactly a casserole is.

We have been making our pizza recipe for a couple of years now and it has become a weekly tradition in our household. I wish could remember where this recipe came from, but I lost the original and it has since been tweaked and edited it to perfect it to our liking. If I remember correctly, the original recipe included both whole wheat and all-purpose flour, but we changed it to hard whole wheat flour because we try not to eat refined carbs.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:

1 cup of warm water
½ tsp of salt
2 Tbsp of yeast
2 Tbsp of honey
3 ½ cups of hard whole wheat flour
¼ cup of olive oil
A handful of wheat germ
1 Tbsp of baking soda
A pinch of garlic

It took quite a bit of encouragement to convince Mark that wheat germ is not wheat made of germs. Not only is this stuff jammed packed with several essential nutrients, it is also very high in protein, which I like because I am a vegetarian and Mark likes because it helps him build his man muscles.

Feel free to pretend like I didn’t just totally ruin all the fun in eating pizza. Also feel free to omit the wheat germ.

Pour the water in a large mixing bowl. The water should be very warm. Add the salt and honey and stir until well blended. Add the yeast and let this mixture sit for about five minutes.

Add 1 cup of flour, olive oil, (maybe) wheat germ, baking soda and garlic to the mixture and stir until well blended. If you have a hand mixer, it would come in handy now. Add the remaining flour and mix well. The dough should turn into a ball. If it doesn’t, add a bit more water until it does. If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more flour until it is the right consistency.

Once you have a lovely ball of dough, place it on a floured surface and knead it for about a minute.

This is where Mark likes to pretend that his hands slipped off the counter and landed directly on my ass, which he proceeds to knead instead.

Place the dough in a plastic grocery bag (or in a covered bowl) and store it in a warm place to let it rise. After about 45 minutes, your charming little ball of dough will have doubled in size. Now is the time to punch it. Smack it up a little and let it sit for another hour before rolling it out.

We make two pizza crusts from this batch, but we like our crust on the thin side.

Once it is rolled out, place it on a pizza pan or a pizza stone (which is what we use) and take a fork and puncture holes in the dough to keep it from bubbling up while cooking.

Top with sauce, cheese and your toppings of choice and bake in the over at 400oF or until the crust is toasted (about 20 minutes).

And voila!

Tasty tasty pizza.

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Little Body, Big Heart
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Nate had his nine month well baby check up last week and he is barely tipping the scales at 15lbs, 12oz.

As far as head circumference and height goes, he’s chugging along just fine and continuing to plot the curve in the 50th percentile range, but when it comes to weight, not only is he no longer plotting the curve, but his tiny frame does not even register on the chart.

This bothers me because if you plot him on a chart for breastfed babies from the World Health Organization, this is not the case.

Even so, it’s hard not to feel like I am doing something wrong when the doctor marks that little dot on his chart completely outside the range of “normal”. I just wish doctors would stop using those dated charts from the 70’s that reflect the weight gain patterns of formula fed babies that started solids before the current recommended age of 6 months.

Because on paper, it looks like my baby is starving.

But I know he isn’t. He eats to his little heart's content, and when we breastfeed, he comes off my breast in a tender haze of milk-infused breastatic glory.

Nate was exclusively breastfed until just before the 6 month range when we introduced him to cereal, followed by vegetables and fruits.

When we took him to see a paediatrician shortly afterwards, she reaffirmed for us that solid foods in the first year of life are more for socialization and introducing babies to different textures. She recommended keeping the focus on breastfeeding and infant cereal with breast milk because breast milk has more bang for your buck nutritionally speaking than say, applesauce or peas.

So we worked hard at trying to find a balance between breastfeeding and solids and just a few weeks ago, we introduced him to meat.

All in all, he eats fairly well, as long as the food is his mouth is not made of carrots or squash.

At nine months old, Nate is still breastfed on demand, and this averages about 3 to 4 times a day now.

He doesn’t always feed from both breasts because I can’t get my milk to let down with my manual Avent Isis breast pump. Nate, and only Nate, can initiate a let down. So while he drinks from one breast, I pump the other and try and keep a rolling supply of about 8 ounces in the fridge.

He eats three meals a day and I let him eat to his heart's content, or until he starts spitting his food back at me, which ever comes first. His total daily food intake consists of between 2½ to 3 jars of food. He also eats cereal mixed with 3 – 4 ounces of breast milk twice a day, for an average daily total of about 21 tbsp of cereal mixed with 7 ounces of breast milk.

I usually offer him a baby cookie, like a Farley’s biscuit, for a mid-afternoon snack, which he always tries to share with Samson, who gladly obliges to take it off his hands if I am not looking.

We have tried offering him small pieces of well cooked noodles, but he just sort of stares at them like, dude, where’s the alfredo sauce made with breast milk?

Overall, I would say that he is a very happy baby. Except on the days that he isn’t. But there are more good days than bad days.

He is meeting his development milestones and although we frequent the doctor’s office more than normal to monitor his weight, she is not worried.

So why then, am I?

And even though I know every child is different, I am going to ask this anyways because I have nothing to benchmark his food intake with.

If you don’t mind sharing, how much food does or did your baby eat in a day?


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Bits and Pieces
by Karla ° Tuesday, September 25, 2007
My nephew’s birthday party was fabulous. Everything was perfect. Except for the tiny part where Nate missed his afternoon nap.

Before the party we took him to visit some of my family that he has either never met or met only once in his life.

Shortly into the visit he started crying and wailing and his overtiredness quickly became a self perpetuating disaster of yawning, screaming and tear stained cheeks coupled with a pair of glassy eyes that followed us all the way to the birthday party where he refused to surrender to dreamland amidst all the excitement.

:::


This is my parent's dog, Little Bear.


According to Little Bear, I am her Mother and my Brother is her Father.

This makes my Mom her Grandmother and my Dad her Grandfather.

This also makes our family sound very abnormal.

:::


Speaking of abnormalities, I don’t like cake.

So instead of cake for my birthday, I opted for a Starbucks coffee.

I ordered a grande, non-fat, no foam, vanilla latte.

Mark went all out and ordered a coffee.

When the Barista asked what kind of coffee he wanted, he said he wanted the kind of coffee that tastes like coffee.

Mark also bought me a new curve hugging Lululemon Igloo Zip Up sweater for my birthday.

Apparently, we need to get our priorities in order when an article of clothing costs as much as a fucking vacuum cleaner.

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A Birthday Song from Mark
by Karla ° Monday, September 24, 2007
Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby

Happy Birthday to you

(Now blow me and make a wish)


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Back to School
by Karla ° Sunday, September 23, 2007
This is a regular scene in front of a house that we pass on the highway when driving to Penetanguishene.

Every time we drive by, the animals are doing something different.

Today's theme: Back to School



Also, I am thinking we should buy a construction truck.

Look at all that cargo space!
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Penetanguishene
by Karla ° Saturday, September 22, 2007
Mark has been extremely busy with work over the past couple of weeks preparing for a very important software release.

Due to the nature of the software, updates must be scheduled over the weekend to ensure there is no downtime during business hours, but he can’t work this weekend because a) our nephew is celebrating his first birthday in our hometown of Penetanguishene and b) it’s my birthday weekend.

We were both raised in Penetanguishene and I never realized how small the town was until I started this website and realized that it gets more traffic than the population of the whole entire town.

That, and the time when one of my city friends asked if Penetang had any paved roads or street lights.

So because he needed a very clever excuse as to why he would not be available to work or answer his phone this weekend, Mark told his colleagues that his cell phone will not get reception in Penetanguishene because Bessy, the cow that turns the turbine for electricity there, died last week and no one had time to install the new windmill yet.

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The Day After
by Karla ° Friday, September 21, 2007
I meant to write something more lovey dovey and meaningful yesterday to mark our four year anniversary, but the night before our anniversary Nate decided he did not want to sleep and then on the morning of our anniversary, there were bodies to drop off at the train station for their morning commute and the offering of the breasts to a black hole of need and the endless pumping so that his Majesty can dine on cereal with milk straight from the jug, so to speak.

And since it was our anniversary, I wanted to prepare a nice dinner for Mark that did not come out of a frozen box. That in and of itself is an accomplishment of enormous proportions. Also, things that involve pots and pans and appliances and electricity require my full attention span so that I do not burn down our home.

So that is why I could not focus on writing something lovey dovey yesterday.

I also may have wanted to go shopping for new clothes. Which I did, only to be disappointed that the clothes at my most favourite clothing store in the whole wide world no longer look the same on a body that has given birth to a couple of a babies and a new set of hips.

Anyhow, after spending the afternoon shopping and chopping peppers and zucchini and adding milk to some instant Jell-O chocolate pudding mix, Mark called to let me know that all trains out of the city were cancelled until further notice (translation: all night long) due to a massive five-alarm fire at an auto wreckers in Toronto.

The only other option for him to get home was to hop on a subway and head as far out of the city as it would take him so that I could pick him up.

Now, I have taken the cut off from the highway where I was supposed to meet Mark many times before because it is the exact same cut off for the mall where I have become intimately acquainted with the new Lululemon store that recently opened there.

But bozo me, was driving along, la-la-la, and missed the cut off. And by now rush hour was in full force.

Long story short, we finally made it home in what was remarkably only a two hour commute for Mark. Considering the chaos that public transit was in, this was record timing.

So while Mark fed Nate his dinner, I went to work on my special anniversary dinner masterpiece. On the menu was a homemade fettuccini alfredo sauce that ended up looking like melted plastic, followed Tiramisu for dessert, which although heavenly looking, tasted hellish.

Today is a new day though, and I am ready to profess my undying love.

:::

My Dearest Mark,

I’m sorry dinner was awful.

But you did marry me knowing that the stove is my enemy.

I love you.

Thank you for the back rub.

And I’m sorry I fell asleep before the sex part.

Love always,

Karla
xo

:::


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Wedding Anniversary
by Karla ° Thursday, September 20, 2007
Four years ago I said “I Do”, and it was the best thing I ever did.

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Bologna Sandwich
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I was a pretty typical eater as a kid. I hated all food that wasn’t made of chocolate or fruit loops or peanut butter and jelly.

My mom was very strict about including healthy stuff in my packed school lunches and this bothered me deeply because how can you expect a child to believe that her family loves her when all her friends are eating Twinkies and she is stuck with a bag of carrots?

Even worse than carrots was the never ending bologna sandwiches.

So, like the typical kid that I was, I often didn't eat my lunch. This never went over very well when I returned home from school and my mom found my uneaten bologna sandwich at the bottom of my Barbie lunch pail. She always gave me a lecture about all the starving children all over the world and how grateful I should be for the food we have, but I had a very hard time listening to her over the rumble of my stomach and the voices in my head trying to mastermind a plan to sneak a reach into the cookie jar.

There was one day in particular that I remember coming home from school and because it had been a very long and exhausting day of playing house and colouring inside the lines, I just didn’t have any energy left to have to deal with my mother and her starving kids lecture. So after I got off the bus, my lunch pail and me made a mad dash for the house and hid behind the door to our front entrance.

Now, a clever kid might decide to toss the left over evidence of unconsumed lunch products in the garbage before returning home and handing their lunch pail over to the discerning eye of their mother, but I was not clever. I was stubborn. And dammit, enough was enough with the bologna already

I didn’t exactly have much of a plan other than to just sit behind the door and hide indefinitely. I had yet to work out the logistics of how long one must remain hidden when on a bologna strike or how one even goes about re-entering society again after god only knows how long I would need to remain in hiding.

After sitting there for a while, I heard my mom walk outside and call my name.

I remained silent.

Concerned, my mom returned inside and I heard her call the bus company to find out where I was. After learning that I had already been dropped off at home, my mom panicked and called the police.

This worried me greatly because I thought that she was going to have me arrested for not eating bologna.

There was no way I was coming out of hiding now.

After several hours of listening to the mayhem unravel outside my house over the search for me and my bologna sandwich, I grew very weary. So while my mother was having a panic attack trying to find me, I decided to take a nap.

Several hours later my mom finally found me curled up in a ball behind the door, sound asleep, clutching my lunch pail.

When she asked me why I hid behind the door while she was out of her mind with worry trying to find me, I confessed that there was a bologna sandwich in my lunchbox.

And as the story goes, me and my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches lived happily ever after.

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The Family Vehicle
by Karla ° Monday, September 17, 2007

We need a new car. More specifically, a bigger car.

Currently, we drive a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire GT. The GT stands for Ginormously Tiny.

After cramming it with two adults, luggage, a baby and a dog that is basically the size of a human, it feels about as big as a Go Cart. And with Nate still in the rear-facing position, the front passenger seat (where I usually sit) has to be pulled up very close the front dash to give the proper amount of spacing between Nate’s car seat and the front seat. This means that all five feet and four inches of my body must be folded in half to fit in the car. Between that and bending over backwards all day to keep Nate entertained, I am now ready to make my Cirque du Soleil debut.

We went to look at cars last weekend with the mindset that a minivan or an SUV was in our near future.

Neither of us was excited about the idea of a minivan. Let’s face it, they aren’t sexy. They just sort of become a necessity because they have space, which is what we need because we have to travel to visit family.

SUV’s are also more spacious than what we drive, and from some of the comparisons we did, many of them are actually better on gas than the minivans, but we aren’t convinced they have enough space. The (compact) SUV’s that we looked at are still 5 passenger vehicles and unless we’re missing something, the only extra space you gain is in trunk height. Which may or may not be enough space for us, depending on how well everything we pack, plus the kitchen sink, fits back there.

We also need a car that will grow with us if we add another kid into the mix.

If you don’t sharing, what would you recommend for a family vehicle?

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Jam-Packed September
by Karla ° Saturday, September 15, 2007
September is a busy month for our family. My mom, dad and I all celebrate our birthdays in September. My dad just turned 50 and my mom is turning 40 again for the eleventh year in a row. The first time she turned 40 my dad threw a birthday bash for her and put a giant sign on the front lawn that wished her a Happy 40th Birthday and said she was passed her expiry date so he was trading her in for two 20’s.

My mom's age must be starting to catching up with her though. It’s been weeks since she has danced on top of a table.

Next week my nephew will be celebrating his first birthday, Mark and I will be celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary and then the week after that, I turn 28. I am approaching 30 and I still love cereal just as much as when I was five.

When it comes to birthdays around here, we celebrate a "birthday week" and last night mine started extra early.

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Projectile Plush Toy
by Karla ° Friday, September 14, 2007
My brother is and his fiancée recently welcomed a new addition to their family.

Meet Seven.


She fits perfectly inside Samson’s big giant dog mouth.

I remember a time when Samson used to be that little. But then he averaged a growth of 2 lbs a week for almost the entire first year of his life and now he is 85 lbs of part canine and part crazy that is afraid of the oven.


:::

In other news, my kid likes it when you throw stuff at him.

I have no idea where he learned that having stuff thrown at you is funny because the only time something gets thrown around here is when Mark tosses his underwear at my head and I do not find that funny in the least.


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The Language of Love
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mark can speak French. I can’t.

The first few years of my schooling career began at a French school, but my mom switched me to an English speaking school when I started grade three. The only memories I have of being at a French speaking school are 1) getting in trouble for running around yelling FUCK FUCK FUCK because someone told me that is how you say the word seal in French and because I was five, I thought I had found the most clever loophole ever for swearing and 2) painting a rock for my Dad for Father’s Day. I painted it bright pink and that man must really love me because the pink rock has sat on top of his dresser since 1984.

I never spoke French again until I started High School and it was mandatory to get at least one French credit to graduate. I took French in grade nine and it was the easiest course I have ever taken. We did very little work and I think the biggest project that I accomplished over the semester was writing a menu for a French restaurant called Le Dindon Maison, which in English translates to The Turkey House. Clever. I know.

When our teacher tried to make us work, we did stuff to get out of work, like colour a Kleenex with a red marker and then fake a nose bleed, didn’t we Mandi?! And then to reward us for all of our non-hard work at the end of the week, we got to watch Mr. Bean. Because nothing teaches French quite like the antics of a slow-witted, non-speaking man in a skinny red tie.

Needless to day, I didn't take much away with me in terms of French speaking skills from school because several years later, while trying to be all smart and sexy with Mark, I looked him right in the eye and instead of saying notre amour est spécial, which means our love is special, I said notre armoire est spécial, which means our closet is special.

Last night Mark was teaching me words in French. When it comes to learning new things, my attention span is short. And since I haven’t owned a textbook in years, we turned to the next best social learning tool - celebrity tabloids.

The thing that always confuses me with the French language is how to know if something is masculine or feminine. Everything is either a he or a she, like le livre (the book) or la table (the table).

That being said, what article do you suppose would go in front of the word transvestite?

Would it be Le? La? Lela Transvestite?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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The Permanence of Forever
by Karla ° Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Today is September 11th. Six years ago, an enormously violent tragedy took place that remains beyond categorization.

While driving Mark to the train station this morning we were listening to the radio and something that resonated with me was hearing people say that they refuse to let an act of terror make them live their lives in fear.

I really can’t relate to these sentiments. Dying scares me. The thought of losing Nate scares me. The thought of losing Mark scares me. Every morning before we part ways, I tell Mark that I love him and to be safe.

Before Ava died, I used to work for a Government Lobby group in the heart of the financial district downtown Toronto in one of the tallest buildings in the city. I still remember very clearly being paralyzed with fear to take the elevator up to my 30th floor office on the one year anniversary of 9/11.

Shortly after the twin tower attacks, the anthrax scares began. I remember one day I was sitting in my office when all of a sudden everything went silent. And I don’t mean like everyone stopped talking, because holy crap, that place was so quiet that a morgue would probably be a more vibrant place to work. I mean all the background white noise that you never really notice, like the air blowing through the vents, stopped. The silence echoed into the hollow of an empty void as all the air to the building was shut off because there was an anthrax scare.

The silence reminded of what it sounds like when a massive power source shuts down and it takes a few seconds for the momentum of the energy to dissipate. Like in the movies when the aliens land their space ship and everything is loud and whirling and chaotic and then the engine turns off and as the motor slowly stops spinning, everyone stands around staring and waiting for something bad to happen while the bone chilling silence deepens. It was the eeriest non-noise I have ever heard and we had to evacuate the building.

It’s not exactly a timely endeavour to walk down 30 flights of stairs. So much could happen during that time. And there are so many people 30 floors above you and 30 floors below you with the exact same agenda. GET OUT!

One time when Mark was riding the subway to work the entire line was shut down because someone got on, set a brown paper bag down beside them on the floor, and then got off at the next stop without the paper bag. The bag contained their lunch.

Mark and I used to ride a train into the city together every morning. After getting off the train at Union Station, Toronto’s transportation hub, you have to work your way through a crowd of people to get anywhere. To put it into perspective, Union Station is busier than all three terminals of our nation’s biggest airport, Pearson International.

Millions and millions of people filter through this station every year and on this particular morning, all of the exits were blocked. We were trapped inside the building with thousands of other people and it didn’t take long for the panicked whispers to start. Someone told us that a biological agent has been released and we were being held inside to die a horrible and painful death due to bioterrorism.

I was pregnant with Ava at the time and I can’t remember when I had felt so scared in my whole entire life. I was trapped with thousands of people and helpless to protect her. Eventually we learned that there was one exit open and the rest were being blocked due to a hostage situation.

After 9/11, companies went crazy with their emergency preparedness plans. The company I worked for decided that if an emergency situation where to occur, everyone was required to a)evacuate and b)relocate to another location, which happened to be a very famous landmark in Toronto called the Royal York Hotel.

I did not like this idea one bit because as far as I was concerned, in the midst of a disaster, my first priority is my family. Not checking in for a head count. Especially not at a famous landmark that claims to be at the center of it all.

Is that selfish of me? To put my family first?

The thought of my family dying scares me immensely. I can't relate to the notion of not living my life in fear of something that is out of my control.

I feel the exact opposite and it is the sense of helplessness and lack of control that frightens me. Tragedy can strike in blink of an eye. It can be lurking behind the next corner and there is nothing I can do to protect my family and keep them safe.

Forever is far too permanent and today, perhaps more than any other day, I really meant it when I kissed Mark goodbye, told him I loved him and to be safe.

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Putting the Ass Back in Class - September 2007 Edition
by Karla ° Monday, September 10, 2007
Something that I find extremely amusing is the type of searches that land people on my website. And sometimes I have no idea how they end up here. Like, I do not have the slightest clue what to do if there is a squished a bug in your vagina, but apparently google considers me knowledgable on this matter.

And also on other topics like:

"why the fuck are car seats so huge?"
It never occurred to me curse at a search engine. Because this is exactly what I said to Mark when we were trying to find a car seat to fit our car. If I had known you could cuss at Google, we probably would have saved a ton of time.

"pretending to be blind on weekends"
At first I was like, who does that? But then I started thinking about how funny it would be to pretend Samson is my Seeing Eye dog and watch all the surprised looks on people’s faces as he bulldozed his way through a crowded market and then led me into oncoming traffic.

"freakiest women nipples"
You should see them now that my son has teeth.

"pink eye caused by farts"
I knew there was a better explanation than herpes.

I am now officially blaming Mark for that pesky virus that keeps giving my cats pink eye.

"waking up in unexplained wet clothes at canadian hotels"
It’s hard to keep our igloos from melting this time of year. Many of us find wearing rubber pants helpful.

"bondage balloons"
Sometimes I put on a clown suit and then and make Mark wear one. We are normal like that.

"are those your balls on my face"
Why yes! I put them there especially for you. And it kind of tickles.

"inflated my uterus with an air pump - bizarre"
That might be bizarre, but have you ever sprained your uterus?

:::

Humour me some more.

What sort of strange searches have you had?

:::

PS - I added a new menu at the top of this page. Would you be so kind as to let me know if anything has exploded on your end? I am notoriously anal about these things and will not sleep until I know that it works in every damn browser ever invented over all time. Except maybe netscape. What ever happened to them anways?

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The Controversy of the Curl
by Karla ° Saturday, September 8, 2007
Growing from both sides of Nate head are two perfectly formed spiral curls. I love his ringlets and am very attached to them. They give him a certain je ne sais quoi of total cuteness that for reasons beyond my understanding does not follow through into the adult years.

My curls are not cute anymore and resemble something more along the lines of mangy lion hair head. This is why I have a very involved and passionate love affair with my blow dryer to smooth out the pandemonium of frizz sprouting from my head.

But this isn’t about me. This is about Nate.

Mark does not love Nate’s ringlets. He thinks they bug him and make his ears itchy and wants to cut them off. I’m all like, but I love his curls! Life will never be the same without them! And what’s the harm in a little bit itchiness when you have all that cuteness to contend with?

Then I warned him that if he cut his curls off he could consider access to my lady parts also cut off. Because I’m a big cry baby masquerading as an adult.

I swear this has nothing to do with me though.

A few weeks ago Nate had blood in his ear. Mark insisted that it was finally time to cut the damn curls already because they were driving Nate so batty that he scratched himself until he drew blood. I decided instead to take him to the doctors because, Oh My God, Exploding Ears! Infection!

It turns out that he didn’t have an infection, and also, I am doing a fine job cleaning his earwax.

Hurray me.

Speaking of me, I finally got the results of my blood work from all the mysterious bruises on my legs. Officially, there is no medical reason for my bruising. Unofficially, my doctor may have suggested that I am a blundering klutz that should stop walking into things. I disagree with this and think Mark needs to stop placing those invisible tables in my way.

The doctor also suggested that maybe the blood in Nate’s ear was from him poking his fingers inside newly discovered orifices on his body. This is the explanation that I gave Mark after hiding all the scissors in the house. Not to make this all about me again, but did I mention I don’t want to cut off his curls?

This morning we found Nate with his thumb and a pool of blood in his ear and I think it’s finally time to admit that maybe his adorable little ringlets do the bug the shit out of him.

Or maybe I should do a better job at keeping his finger nails cut.

Or maybe it’s time I introduce him to the wonderful world of hair products.

Or maybe I need to stop making this all about me and give the kid some relief already.


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The Curse of the Kibble
by Karla ° Thursday, September 6, 2007
Every couple of months we make a trip to the pet store to stock up on kibble and kitty litter. Considering we only have two cats and one dog, the combined weight of the above is 140 pounds. That’s like the weight of one entire human in the form of nourishment and a place for my cats to bury their landmines.

Unfortunately, Samson poops in the backyard because he is shy and will not do his business in public. His introversion however, does not extend to sticking his nose in the loins of a complete stranger.

Anyhow, we went to the pet store the other day to buy supplies for the animals. A bag of Samson’s dog food weighs 50 lbs, so when it comes to the heavy lifting, I leave it for Mark. Not because I am a wuss, but because trying to lift that much weight breaches the contract we signed when we got married stating that after spending nine months carrying the weight of his offspring on my person, I was absolved from any further heavy lifting not excluding taking out the trash and random instructions to rearrange the furniture to my liking.

We keep the pet food and kitty litter in the basement beside our chest freezer, which serves as a convenient place to house boxes of frozen pizza for all the gourmet cooking that I don’t do. The freezer sits next to our hot water tank.

When we got home, Mark brought the bag of dog food downstairs and set it on top of the freezer before heading back upstairs to get the cat food and kitty litter.

He made it part way back up the stairs when we heard a very loud BOOM. It sounded exactly like what you would expect 50 lbs worth of dog kibble to make as it pile drives into a hot water tank.

Rushing over to evaluate the damage, we discovered the enormously heavy bag of dog food had not only fallen over onto the ground, hitting the hot water tank along the way, but it had also knocked a valve. The exact same valve that will spray water spray everywhere if it gets knocked by 50 lbs of dog kibble.

Reacting, Mark grabbed the bag of dog food (which was now soaking wet) and when he picked it up, the bottom broke loose and Samson’s breakfast and dinner for the next two months poured out onto the floor. The very wet floor.

How much volume of water does 23% crude protein hold anyways? Two, three, maybe ten times it’s original weight? I guess that depends how fast we were able to shut the water off. I can assure you it was not fast enough.

We didn’t know what else to do with all the waterlogged kibble besides throw it out. I don’t know if I can adequately explain how foul wet dog food is to scoop up, arm full by mushy arm full. Even Samson turned his nose up at the soggy feast and opted instead to lick puddles on the concrete floor.

When we finished cleaning up, we put the garbage bag of sopping dog food in the garage, which is where it has been sitting until today, garbage day.

When Mark lifted the bag this morning to put it at the road, the bottom broke and a giant mass of chicken by-product and mush landed on his feet.

Hello, meet my family. We exists solely for your comic relief.

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No Hard Feelings
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 5, 2007
To show me that he had no hard feelings for leaving him the other night, Nate brought me a flower with my breakfast the next morning.


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Monkeying Around
by Karla ° Tuesday, September 4, 2007
We made a spur of the moment decision on Sunday to go and visit our families. It’s only a two hour drive to get there, but we seem to have forgotten that having a kid in tow means there is no such thing as spur of the moment anything anymore.

The amount of gear that one must pack to accommodate the needs of a baby for an overnight trip is out of this world. It’s not just the essentials either, it’s all the backup stuff that must get packed just in case.

You never know when an extra jar of peas will come in handy because, oh, I don’t know, maybe the first eight jars of food might explode under the pressure of all the baby equipment in our trunk. And maybe Nate really will need four extra sleepers just in case he decides to have the mother of all assplosions not once, but four times.

And you never know, frozen breast milk might come in handy just in case my breasts decide to shrivel up and fall off while were out of town. It could happen.

Once we finally arrived at my parent’s house, Mark and I decided to leave Nate with them for a few hours and go out for dinner. Alone. Without a kid in tow. As a husband and a wife.

After putting Nate to bed, I changed into some clothes that were not made of yoga pants, reminded my parents what the number for 9-1-1 was just in case they forgot, and got in the car with Mark and left. As in, drove away without Nate. And honestly, it felt kind of good.

After dinner we took a drive to our old teenage stomping ground. It is a very scenic drive along a lake and there are a lot of spots where you can pull off the road and park your car to sit and gaze out at the water. Or, if you are a teenager, have sex in the back seat of your parent’s car. Which Mark and I may have done once or twice or whenever my mom let me drive her Cadillac. Because we are classy like that.

We found a quiet spot to park and sat and watched the sun set into the night behind a romantic sky of orange and purple. After a few moments of silence, Mark shifted his gave over to me and clasped his hand around mine. My heart instantly started to beat faster because I recognized the sly mantis gleam in his eye and knew exactly what he was thinking.

Playground!


It was the best carefree night of monkeying around we've had in ages.

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A Billboard for Abstinence
by Karla ° Monday, September 3, 2007
Nate has seemed a bit constipated lately, so on our way home from visiting our family today we made an emergency poop inducing puréed prune run to the local drugstore.

Nate had fallen asleep in the car and we woke him up to bring him into the store with us. This made him very angry. And also very loud.

While we waited in line to pay for the prunes, there was a young-ish looking guy behind us. He looked like he was getting ready to go away to college. The giveaway was the bottle of aspirin and the three boxes of condoms in his hands.

Seizing the opportunity, Mark turned the guy, and over the roar of our shrieking baby said, “Geez dude, they don’t work.”

:::

We take the role of parenting very seriously.


And to the mother of the boy having all that ribbed for her pleasure premarital sex.

You’re welcome.

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When Time Doesn't Make Sense
by Karla ° Saturday, September 1, 2007
Nate is 36 weeks old.

That is almost exactly the same number of weeks that I was pregnant with him and oh my swollen uterus, that pregnancy felt more like nine years.

And the time that has gone by since he was born?

It feels more like nine minutes.

If even.

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