Old stomping grounds
by Karla ° Thursday, May 29, 2008
My parent’s live footsteps away from a heavily tree-lined portion of the Trans Canada Trail and directly across from a soul-quenching waterfront pathway that winds around the peacefully calm southerly tip of Georgian Bay.

I spent my childhood exploring meandering rivers, rickety old bridges, abandoned train tracks and a haunted British naval base and if there is one thing that I miss about living in Penetang, it’s the historic charisma of this town. Well that and all the juicy small town gossip, like knowing who ate what for lunch yesterday and whether or not they had a pickle on the side.

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The self proclaimed World Famous Dock Lunch. In the distance is Saint Ann's Roman Catholic Church, also known as the The Cathedral of the North. The bells on this romanesque style church are rung daily at 8:00 am., noon and 6:00 pm., and if I was religious, this is where I would go to confess my sins, like shopping on Sundays and the time I coveted my neighbour’s manservant.

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44.5 hours
by Karla ° Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I’m not sure how to say this, so I am just going to come right out and say it.

Our first weekend without toddler-centric responsibilities was fabulous.

And for the first time since, oh, I don’t know, our alcohol-fuelled pub frequenting days of the past, Mark and I slept a gloriously uplifting 11 hours Friday night. Without the eager squeals of a raring-to-go toddler in the morning, that’s almost an entire two nights sleep all rolled into one giant slumber fest. And when I rolled out of bed at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, I felt so rejuvenated that I bet I could have survived the day without coffee. But then I thought, "Why risk a perfectly healthy feeling head?" And downed several cups of body-jolting java just to keep the onset of a caffeine deficiency headache at bay.

I also went for a long run Saturday to try and clear away the full body weariness coursing through my bones from this never-ending cold. Not even Samson came along because even though one would think an energetic dog like him would be a great running companion, he has some serious issues with endurance.

His energy seems to come in fits and spurts, which is probably why he seems to enjoy unleashing pent up energy by running in vigorously fast figure eight circles all over the back yard, tearing up the grass under his feet as he goes. This speed-crazed, tongue-dangling sprinting only lasts for about two minutes though before he gets tired, and then he spends the next hour recuperating by drinking all the water from our toilets and chasing the cats.

And then there's keeping pace with a human. Our runs usually start out fine with Samson dutifully heeling at my left side, but after about 20 minutes of pounding the pavement, his giant dog body becomes fatigued, and then I spend the rest of the run tugging a 90 pound yellow anchor home.

To say it was entirely liberating being out on my own without a people-watching toddler being pushed in front of me or a tuckered out dead weight of a dog dragging behind me would be an understatement.

But no matter how rejuvenating it was to hang up my hat of responsibility for exactly 44.5 hours, I missed my boy something fierce. The house felt eerily quiet without the squeals of his contagious laughter and the pitter patter of little scampering feet.

And as much as I’m looking forward to a vacation and spending some electrifying passion-sparked one-on-one time with Mark, I’m already looking forward to coming home and being reunited as a family again.

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Rationality, now bundled in a chill pill
by Karla ° Thursday, May 22, 2008
It never occurred to me that my last post about my cat scratching Nate’s face would stir up so many heated emotions. I had to delete several comments from fly-by animal loving hooligans who, clearly in need of a chill pill and a sense of humour, said some rather nasty things about me.

I don’t know about you, but cutting the cats legs off sounded perfectly rational to me.

Clearly, the past 17 years of my life not eating meat, fish or eggs has all been because I hate animals. In fact, I think I should blame all the grief in my life on the cows. That sounds about right. It’s so not fair that they get to spend their entire existence eating grass, farting and mooing all day. Deep down, I'm teeming with envy.

But deeper thoughts on this will have to wait because tomorrow Nate is supposed to go to my Mom’s house and spend the weekend there as a trial run before we go on vacation in a couple of weeks. He has never woken up to another face besides mine or Mark’s, and as luck would have it, we’re all snot-nosed bedraggled carriers of colds in this house. It's all Samson's fault.

Maybe tomorrow after a good night's rest I'll be able to think more clearly and stop blaming Samson for this cold. Last night for his punishment we spooned in a king-sized bed and tonight I plan to force him to spend the night lying perfectly still as my doggy pillow.


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Should have bought a Chia Pet
by Karla ° Friday, May 16, 2008
Last Sunday began in a typical weekend morning fashion with Mark and I sipping fresh brewed coffee to enliven our heavy and bleary eyes while Nate, wide awake and raring to go, guzzled his morning sippy of thirst-quenching milk. Samson, not much of a morning dog, was curled up by my feet still trying to catch up on his beauty rest. Simon, sickly and cadaverous from his failing kidneys, was perched in his usual resting spot near my head along the back of the couch, and Sebastian, gluttonous and fat, sat distanced from the family on a dining room chair, strategically positioned to swat the dog should he walk past his majesty’s obese resting zone.

Samson and the cats have never exactly learned to be friends. When Samson entered our family, the cats were approaching their senior years and his riotous puppy antics did nothing but annoy them. The scars on Samson’s nose are a forever reminder of their enemy status.

Sometimes, life with a kid, two cats and a lunging lunatic of a dog can be a bit zoo-ish because Samson has this very annoying penchant for chasing our aging cats and this often results in him knocking things over, like say, Nate. But shoviness aside, he is generally very well behaved, especially considering all of the ear pulling, tail tugging and countless bonks on the head he’s received from a boundary-testing toddler.

That being said, I still don’t trust him. I’ve heard far too many stories of even the most perfectly behaved dogs suddenly turning into vicious skin-shredding monsters, and for that reason, Samson and Nate are never left together unsupervised. The cats however, are so nonchalant and disinterested in having anything to do with the human or canine population that I’ve never really worried about Nate being around them. Never in a million years would I have thought that Sebastian would be the animal to cause Nate harm, especially with me right there.

While encouraging my body to perk up under the influence of caffeine, Nate, slightly unsteady in his gait, Frankenstein lurched his away over to see Sebastian on the dining chair. Although we’re working on the whole being ‘nice nice’ thing, authority tends to cause a colossal meltdown of a tantrum these days, and by meltdown, I mean total annihilation of any new behavioural instructions that were written to his brain. And because all the work we’d done on not hitting had been lost in a previous meltdown from, oh, 10 minutes prior, he went ahead and hit the cat with a giant yellow lego, and Sebastian retaliated by shredding the skin on Nate’s face dangerously close to his eye and all down his left cheek.

Before getting scratched by the cat, I have never really had to deal with anything alarming happening to Nate. All things considered, my role as a Mother has been rather uneventful in terms of accidents or illness so far, thank god/knock on wood. I mean, sure, Nate’s had a few colds, and one pneumonia scare when he was two months old that warranted exposing him to x-rays for the second time in his life (the first time was shortly after being born), but as he approaches 18 months, the kid has never really been ill yet, including no fevers, ear infections, and (unless you count occasional spit up as a tiny baby), he’s never even vomited.

Something terrible was bound to happen at some point, and hearing his screams and seeing the blood dripping down his cheeks made my heart palpitate. We called the free medical advice hotline here in Ontario to find out if there was anything specific we needed to do to prevent infection and treat his wounds, and they advised us to have Nate seen by a doctor within a couple of hours.

It turns out that the scratches weren’t overly deep, and the angry red welts were actually just superficial wounds that only required a topical antibiotic, but I’m still upset about this because how do you correct unwanted behaviour in a cat? Because seriously, the only thing in the whole wide world that fatty cares about is when the human with the opposable thumbs will dispense more kibble in his dish.

At this point, I’m seriously contemplating cutting his hazardous feline claws and legs off, and locking him and his stumps in the basement to eat and grow like a fat demented Chia Pet.

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Mother's Day Sentiments
by Karla ° Sunday, May 11, 2008
My gift, wrapped in the promise of a new day and the rhythm of our ever-evolving hearts.

Wishing all women whose souls have been imprinted with the gift of life a Mother’s Day filled with the things that matter.


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Anaerobic dementia and writer's block
by Karla ° Friday, May 9, 2008
I have some serious issues with writer’s block lately. Armed with a head full of words and raring-to-go fingers, I’ll sit down at my laptop only to find myself aimlessly wandering the Internet; motivation and inspiration sucked into the nebulous abyss of directionless surfing.

I'm going to blame this sudden lack of focus on anaerobic dementia. In the last four weeks, I have run the equivalent of three and half marathons, which is the equivalent of over 147 adrenaline-fuelled kilometers under my belt, each heart-pounding step taken behind the behemoth girth of a fixed-wheel jogging stroller.

Running for the soul is transformative, rejuvenating, and tiring all at the same time.

So while uncovering the mysterious potential of my body, I’m stuck with this uncomfortable inability to find the creative focus to write.

Maybe I need a more balanced approach when it comes to releasing all of this physical and creative energy.

Or maybe I just need more carbs. More creativity-sparking, alcohol-loaded carbs.


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BPA-laden Avent products refund
by Karla ° Tuesday, May 6, 2008
When it comes to discussion about politics, religion or the latest news about the hazards of Bisphenol A, I tend to hover along the sidelines, quietly listening, observing and soaking in this often frightening world around me. It’s not that I don’t want to have a voice on matters of importance; it’s just that there are so many more people who can speak on these subjects much more eloquently than I ever could.

That being said, there is something that I just have to share. Canadian retailer Zellers is offering a full refund in exchange for returning your BPA-laden Avent products.

I just returned my Avent ISIS breast pump and all of my bottle attachments and received $115 dollars in HBC store credit. That is seriously awesome considering I didn’t even buy my Avent baby products at that store.

I heard that Toys R Us is also offering a refund, but only at 50% of the most recent sales price, which totally isn't worth it when you consider all that extra toilet paper you can now stock up on at Zellers.


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