Thinking about growing a mustache
by Karla ° Thursday, January 31, 2008
So what kind of person drops a bomb about her child being kicked out of daycare and then doesn’t finish telling the rest of the story?

Most likely the kind of person that feels like a pair of testicles would come in handy right about now to give her a leg up on negotiating a deal for a used minivan already.


If I tell you that I am interested in THIS minivan, don’t show me THAT minivan and tell me it’s the same thing. I know it isn’t because me and Google are so close we're practicaly sleeping together and he is like, all-knowing and all-seeing and he thinks you’re lying.


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It's Nothing Personal
by Karla ° Wednesday, January 30, 2008
My Friday without Nate last week, my day to pursue personal interests, my day to think, bathe and breathe air, toddler free, was totally wonderful, thank you very much.

That is, until the bomb dropped.

I spent the morning working on an article, and then since it was too cold and windy in the afternoon to go running outside, and because I am not a fan of the treadmill, I did some much needed cleaning instead, followed by a little bit of shopping, which included a trip to the beer store - where I got ID’d.

That totally made my day because I am almost ten years over the legal drinking age here in Ontario. It’s always the small things in life, eh? I was trying to be all nonchalant about it too, but I haven’t been to a beer store in ages and my ID was lost in the vast andromeda that is my bottleless mom purse, which is actually a woman’s business case with no less than 18 secret compartments that have slowly, over time, become the holder of goldfish crackers, wipes, diapers and a mountainous pile of Wal-Mart receipts to prove the perpetual need of said items. And do you think I could find my driver's license in all of that?

“I’m sorry, I know it’s in here somewhere”, I said as I began unloading the contents of my purse to speed up the search.

I'm thinking that unloading a stack of diapers at the beer store probably doesn't count as a shinning moment in motherhood greatness.

But then again, neither does finding out that after only one day, Nate was kicked out of daycare.

I am so not even kidding.

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by Karla ° Monday, January 28, 2008
Back when I got my new Canon Rebel XTi camera in December, a phenomenally awesome professional photojournalist and photographer left an email address where I could contact her if I had any questions.

And because I was all thumbs and found myself just staring at all the buttons and gizmos until my eyes crossed and the camera became a giant black blur of confusion, I sent her email.

From weddings to babies, her professional photography business, Milestone Images, showcases her wickedly talented work. Not to be missed is the 'Trash the Dress' section. After I got over the intial shock of brides frolicking in the ocean in a wedding dress, I have decided that I love this idea. Because seriously, my wedding dress is sitting in a box somewhere, sepia-tinged with age, and I’m quite certain that I will never, ever, fit in it again.

The idea of lying on a white-sand beach, in a flowy white wedding dress, while the dynamic energy of the ocean brushes against your toes sounds whimsically romantic and passionate, no?

Do tell, would you, or have you done this?

I also recommend that you read her guest answer to a question on for Amalah’s Advice Smackdown on Photo-Friendly Cosmetics, because raise your hand if you have ever been the victim of mysterious forehead grease or a blown-out ghost face in photographs?

That's what I thought.

In the article, she also addresses how to avoid being photographed with a double chin and assures us that our chins are lovely.

Angie is hilariously entertaining, engaging and super witty. She is also a fountain of professional knowledge and talent. Her feedback has been invaluable*, and while I have barely scratched the tip of the photography iceberg, she has definitely given me lots of stuff to run with and it no longer feels so lonely and cold out here in my birthday suit.

If she hadn't already pledged her love to someone else, and I wasn’t already married with a kid in tow, I would totally ask her to marry me.


Thanks Angie!

* No warranties are being made, expressed or implied, that Angie's help means I am any good at taking pictures. Just like having kids, in theory it all makes sense, but in practice, it’s a lot harder than it looks.


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Barely Legal
by Karla ° Friday, January 25, 2008
There was a change in plans, and this morning I dropped Nate off at daycare.

It’s only been three hours, but this is the longest we have been apart, ever.

This feeling of total freedom feels barely legal. And a bit lonely.

Nate says, “Woman, go seek ye some peace in the form of a non-fat vanilla flavoured beverage.”

And who am I to argue with a pint-sized preacher of the caffeine gospel?

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A Choose Your Own Adventure in Bedroom Decor Story
by Karla ° Thursday, January 24, 2008
Long long ago, in a faraway place known as Karla’s head, she had this brilliant idea to decorate her bedroom with fabrics and a bazillion throw pillows that were absolutely, not even remotely, pet or kid friendly. And the upkeep was horrendous, because who has time to make their bed, let alone position throw cushions?

After welcoming a cute as a bug’s ear six pound glutton of snuggles puppy into her home, which later became a goliath-sized plunderer of pillows/cow, and then welcoming an ever cuter six pound maker of poop, which later became a maker of even more poop AND a drinker from leaky sippy cups, Karla has essentially given up on the idea of swanky, and decided it was time to give her bedroom a much needed functional makeover lest she go crazy from the never ending spillage of milk and wiping of boggers from dry clean only bedding.

What exactly WAS she thinking buying bedding that was not easily washable anyways? If you ever figure this out, please let her know.

After searching high and low for some cheap bedding that had not started to fray while still sitting on the store shelf, she finally found something in the shade of dirty dog masking chocolate brown. And sheets that are not black, because again, what WAS she thinking buying all black sheets? She lives in a zoo house for crying out loud, where her light coloured pets enjoy shedding every last piece of fur on their body onto her bed everyday. And then, miracle of miracles, while the house is still and everyone sleeps, her pets regrow all of their fur, at which point they immediately return to the bed and repeat the entire full-body fur shedding process.

So now, because Karla is obviously not good with making sound decorating decisions on her own, she is seeking your advice about possible curtain colours and shades of paint. She tried to seek council from her husband, but this was a totally useless endeavour because a) he is colour-blind and b) he cares very little about curtains. Like, as if!

Because Karla is good at spending money, she feels like it is her duty to choose a curtain colour that not only coordinates, but also camouflages potential random food particles from the tugging fingers of a small child, if for no other reason than the fact that Samson destroyed her old curtains, and she believes it is common courtesy not to flash her naked bits in front of distraught neighbours.

But now she is left wondering; would brown curtains be too matchy-matchy? And would beige walls be too beige?

The one thing she does know, is that the art must stay. She loves it, and so too, does her husband, because that is about as much womanly nakedness the man gets to see after Karla puts on her snow suit to go to bed because she is a freeze cat.

Your superb insight on coordinating curtain and paint colours with the new bedding so that Mark and Karla can live happily ever after in a bedroom full of animal fur and unreliable sippy cups would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

The End.


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Finding balance in the chaos of motherhood
by Karla ° Monday, January 21, 2008
Ok, apparently I failed common dentistry knowledge 101, because grinding your teeth is normal? For serious? And also, I thought a root canal meant the violent yanking of teeth from your mouth, because that’s what we’re having done to my kitty, but you know, after knocking him unconscious first with some anesthesia, despite how tempting breaking out the pliers seemed after we realized how much this is going to cost.

Another thing I have failed at, and this is something that I struggle with sometimes when it comes to blogging, is effectively communicating where I am coming from, and where I am going in a post, because the post about grinding my teeth? I think I failed to mention that I have been struggling with a myriad of anxiety issues for a while now, which, I have basically been in denial about, or ignoring.

The feelings of anxiety have been plaguing me for years. But I mean, I lost a child, so these feelings, I figured, must be totally normal. Right? But then, when I became pregnant with Nate, I started experiencing full blown panic attacks. Like, freak out in the grocery store, drop everything and leave because omigod, I can’t breath, panic attacks.

That’s when I finally agreed to talk therapy.

I was sent to see a psychologist who specializes in issues of maternal health. Her office overlooked a busy downtown Toronto street filled with bustling traffic and a sea of pedestrians. This quickly became a welcoming diversion, and natural place to shift my gaze when asked difficult questions. I didn’t like being there, and I also didn't like that her espresso-brown eyes seemed void of empathy and understanding. I think our eyes reveal so much more about us than we can ever communicate verbally, and her gaze gave me a heavy feeling of unease as she studied me, and then my body language; shifting her focus from my hands, to my face, back to my hands, and then to her notepad to scribble down secret notes about me.

I never felt like she really heard me. I would open up about something personal, or something that troubled me deeply, and then, like a broken record, just in case I didn’t hear her the first eleven times, she would tell me that I need to get out of bed, shower and get dressed every day. This was her answer to everything. Which, makes sense, except then she had to go and say that spending the day in the same yoga pants that I slept in the night before didn’t count. Ok, seriously folks, if you gave up your career to stay home and gestate a child, and had nowhere special to be, or nothing special to do, except maybe to spend an intimate afternoon on the couch with a some Rice Krispies, would you bother busting out the blow dryer and mascara everyday? I mean seriously, the Rice Krispies loved me no matter what, and true, unconditional love like that is hard to find. So why ruin it with a fancy blowout?

That’s when I knew we weren’t connecting because how can you expect me to build a rapport with someone who does not share my core philosophies about maternal comfort and the art of tying your unwashed, unbrushed hair into a knot on your head?

Welcome to the perpetual state of non-upkeep that has become my Stay-at-Home Mom reality.

Also, she referred to Ava as ‘the fetus’, which was bothersome. It’s one thing to sit through a medical discussion reducing your child to nothing more than a brain tissue specimen in a Petri dish, but it’s another thing when a psychologist, the person who is supposed to be helping you, won’t use her name. God, she wasn’t just a fetus, she was a full term baby, and she was born, to a person with feelings, and teetering hopes and crushed dreams. She was, she IS, my child.

Needless to say, after Nate was born, I cancelled all my appointments with her and told her that I was leaving the country.

Oh my god, I can’t believe I just admitted that.

Seriously though, I just figured my panic attacks and anxiety throughout my pregnancy was normal, considering I had lost two pregnancies prior. I convinced myself that I was fine. But then the anxiety never really went away after Nate was born, and it’s been growing steadily. If I had to describe it, I would say that my days are spent with a heightened state of anxiety-fuelled anxiousness. Almost like feeling overwhelmed, but that’s not quite right, because god, I am a Stay-at Home Mom to a very easy going child and a wife to a very loving husband. It’s definitely more of a feeling of nervous unease. Restlessness maybe?

Over the years, doctors have called it: Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The solution to all of these is medication. Which is fine if you really have any of those conditions, but I don’t believe I do. I just think that I have had some pretty shitty things happen to me in life, and sometimes it's hard to cope with it all, especially now that I have a child and essentially no time to myself.

I know medication is a life saver for many people, and I would never, ever, discount its usefulness and purpose in the medical community. There was a dark time in my life when I truly needed medication and was on various antidepressants as a teenager after trying to take my own life. They literally gave me a new lease on life. They work. But I am better now. And I know I am better now, because I have been on the other side of not better.

Truthfully, I think all that’s wrong with me is that I need some me time. Some time to unplug. Some time to figure out how to feel like my old self again.

That being said, I want to start running more. Running used to be my escape. And I know saying that I should exercise more sounds like such a cliché, but it’s totally a mood-boosting feeling of exhilaration for me. It makes me feel healthier, stronger. And while I totally recognize it’s not a fix-all, it’s a start, and at least that’s something. Samson and I went for a three mile run Friday night and I instantly felt better, you know, after I got home and my fingers unthawed and I was able to pick myself up off the kitchen floor.

Next – daycare. This one has been hard to come to terms with, because being a Stay-at-Home Mom was a choice that I made, that Mark and I both made. It was something we talked about all the way back in high school actually, and while I have absolutely no regrets, I don’t think I ever could have anticipated how hard the whole being ‘on’ seven days a week, 24 hours a day can be. And by the time the weekend arrives; between alternating weeks for the Grandparents to visit, squeezing in some time for Mark and I to reconnect, and the intense demands of Mark’s bustling career, which often requires him to be at work on the weekends too, which means no diaper duty breaks for me, I feel drained.

Starting next week, Nate will be in daycare one day a week. And I am done feeling like, because I am a Stay-at-Home Mom, I should be ashamed about that.

Deep down, I think all I really need is to find a tiny piece of the me I used to be before I became the me I am today, with a past shadowed by the death of a child and a miscarriage and a present littered with never ending diapers and the perpetual filling of sippy cups.

The highs are really high, but lows can be really low, and finding a way to balance it all, this thing called life, this thing called motherhood, for now, is a work in progress.

I know that I am not alone when it comes to having those days where it's a struggle to keep your head above water, so thank you for listening. And thank you also, for your open and accepting arms, and for making my little home in this small corner of the Internet feel oh so cozy and warm.


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Kitty Root Canal
by Karla ° Friday, January 18, 2008
My cat, Simon, has terrible breath. It’s so terrible in fact, that when he opened his mouth to hiss at Samson the other night, Mark blamed me for farting.

After consulting with Dr. Google, I took him to vet to make sure the offensive smell wasn’t an underlying cause for something more serious. Upon examining Simon, the Vet noted a heart murmur and unusually small kidneys, which may or may not mean anything. More tests are needed before he can draw any conclusions.

He also noted that Simon has some pretty gnarly dental issues, which is most likely the cause of the foul odour. So while we still need to rule out heart and kidney disease, in the meantime, my cat needs a kitty root canal.

And I need someone to pick me up off the floor because I can’t believe how much this is going to cost.


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by Karla ° Thursday, January 17, 2008
For his 30th birthday dinner tonight, he wants homemade mac 'n cheese and chicken fingers.

This was probably what he requested when was 10, and also probably a good indication that he totally knows he married a woman who cannot cook.


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by Karla ° Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I finally couldn’t stand the random, yet fleeting knife-like pain in my tooth, so I made a pleading call to my dentist’s office to see if they could see me on short notice.

I really dislike going to the dentist. It’s been over a year since I’ve been; tsk! tsk!, I know, but I have this issue with personal space, and lying still with a gaping mouth while a stranger hovers less than two millimetres from my pores and inspects my teeth with a white, latex-covered finger is not exactly my idea of a good time. That, and I’m sort of guilty about not flossing as much as I should.

But this achy tooth has been bugging me since mid-December, sometime after the incident when I tried to tend to Samson’s paw and his great big giant dog head knocked me upside the face, causing my bottom teeth to smash up against my top teeth, and also, a small yellow bruise to form next to my right eye. And because Samson’s head is made of one part crazy, one part lead, and one part hardened cement, I had Mark inspect my mouth for a chipped tooth. Since he didn't see any missing teeth, I just figured it was a bit sensitive, or whatever, and bought some sensodyne. This seemed to work for a couple of weeks, but all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the throbbing came back and it kept getting worse.

After some poking, prodding, tapping and x-rays, the dentist, much to my surprise, said that I have a serious issue with grinding my teeth?


“Your teeth, you’re wearing them down from grinding them so much. Probably in your sleep.”

He then proceeded to point out the developed muscles along my jawline, and the uncharacteristic front and back movement that my jaw has been making, slowly wearing down my teeth. And then, when I felt the burn of tears welling from deep in the back of my eyes, he noted the tension in my temples, and gently urged me to find a means to cope with whatever is bothering me.

I'm speechless.

I am speechless, because all of these feelings of unsettledness that have been growing and festering, these feelings that I have been fighting to cope with and keep buried, these feelings that I never believed were serious enough to medicate myself over, these feelings that I wholeheartedly believed would go away once I found the energy to begin running again, because god, being tired all the time cannot possibly last forever, have given up on me and found their own method of release while my conscious mind sleeps.

This is the part where I take a deep breath and realize that maybe I'm really not OK.


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Self-adhesive Brilliance
by Karla ° Friday, January 11, 2008
Thank you so much everyone, for your wicked advice on embracing/enhancing my non-boobs with my deep plunging, backless dress. I was tempted to go braless, I really was, but this is going to be a family event where alcohol will be served, and because I have not been able to drink in what feels like a million zillion years, I have absolutely no faith in my ability to pay attention to things like keeping random body parts from flailing around on the dance floors - boobs and lanky legs included.

I ended up buying a self-adhesive bra, which is sheer brilliance by the way, and while I was trying on my new stick-on boobs, Samson asked what he was going to wear the wedding. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that ebay is flat out of doggy tuxedos, so I dug around in my closet and found this little black number for him.

I think the red necklace sets off the dress rather nicely, no?

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The post in which I do not wear a bra
by Karla ° Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I bought a dress yesterday to wear to my brother’s wedding. It was my third attempt to find one and I have pretty much resigned to the fact that they just do not design dresses to fit a woman whose body has less curves than a twelve year old boy.

I ended up settling on a flowy black halter style dress because it was on sale and because I was out of cookies to keep Nate occupied in the change rooms.

Now that I am nearing the end of the breastfeeding road, I can say with 100% certainty that my breasts are smaller than ever. And by smaller than ever, I mean practically gone. I have never exactly been a chesty woman, but once upon a time, I used a fill out a B cup rather nicely. What gives?

Anyways, when I got home after buying the dress, I realized that I don't have a bra to wear with it. The dress has a deep plunging neckline that dips down just past where the band on a bra would sit against your chest, and I’m not sure what that leaves in terms of options for, um… er… creating some much needed oomph.

Except for three nursing bras, I haven't bought a new bra in years and years. I know there are many brands out there that make bold cleavage-enhancing promises, but I have no idea what works, and what doesn’t.

So in summary, I no longer have boobs, I bought a dress that requires boobs, and I am now looking for a miracle bra that can be worn with a plunging neckline that will make me look more a woman, and less like a 12 year old boy.

Any suggestions you may have are greatly appreciated.


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Cookie Face
by Karla ° Monday, January 7, 2008
Enjoying some ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven.

The chocolate covered face is supposed to be a clever distraction from the fact that I still have not brought my kid to get his hair cut.

Did it work?


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by Karla ° Friday, January 4, 2008
My brother and his fiancee are getting married in February, and Nate is going to be their ring bearer. If my child is anything like the baby version of me though, chances are, he still won’t be walking by then. I was a gibber jabbering mouth-piece that took her sweet old time learning to walk. Instead, I focused on things like pointing and exercising my vocal cords excessively to ask my mom the same questions, over and over and over.

History, apparently, does repeat itself, because Nate enjoys nothing more than pointing at stuff, and with a brow raising inquisitiveness, exclaiming, “Ah?” Over, and over and over again.


Nate had his one year well baby check up yesterday. He weighs 17lbs, 12oz. Small, yes, but still plotting along a healthy weight gain curve. He pretty much entirely feeds himself now; sippy cup included, and has developed a deep affection for chicken breast. He can’t shovel the stuff in his mouth fast enough.

Speaking of breasts, I'm still breastfeeding, but just this week we’ve gone from twice to once a day. This has been a bit of an emotional tug-of-war for me. Part of me is sad to see him grow up and move onto other things besides wanting to snuggle in close with me, and part of me wants to hold on to that special time we share just a little while longer, but another part of me is ready to be finished.

I am also extremely proud of what my body has been able to accomplish this past year. Except for a few bottles of expressed breast milk during those early days of sleep deprivation, Nate was exclusively breastfed for his first year of life. Even his cereal was enriched with the goodness of breastmilk.

And now, my little boy has almost fully transitioned to whole milk. This is exactly how I hoped it would be when I started the process of weaning him; a deliberate transition, but slow enough to allow him to easily adjust to the change. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t missed it. For the past couple of months, he's been very clear that there is absolutely no room in his busy daytime play schedule for breastfeeding, and now, at night, we have compensated for not breastfeeding by spending lots of time snuggling in bed under the protective layer of his blankie, and the intrigue of a colourful story.

When we put him to sleep, he is down for the night within minutes. No fuss. No crying. Nothing but sweet dreams and the comfort of a knitted blanket to rub across his nose and a thumb to press against his lips. Honestly, I think it’s been harder on me. It’s hard to let go of something that has been such a huge part of me over this past year. But deep down, I am ready for both personal and health reasons.

And truthfully, a small part of me is looking forward to having my body back.

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