Pumpkin massacre
by Karla ° Friday, October 31, 2008
Nate had a mini-meltdown watching me carve his “heaby” pumpkin.

Punkin! Hurt! PUNNNNNNKIN!

And while Mark and I tried to reassure him that his pumpkin was OK, Samson made a mad dash gluttonous nose dive into a massive pile of pumpkin guts, which totally perpetuated Nate’s meltdown over our wholesome family pumpkin massacre.

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Miracle Departure
by Karla ° Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Before leaving to visit B, there were a few things around the house that I wanted to take care of, so I made a small list so that I wouldn’t forget anything. Any by small list, I mean it’s a freaking miracle I was out the door by 8:00am.

I like to call this miracle caffeine.

To Do:
• Grill chicken breasts for Mark's lunches
• Wash Mark’s work clothes
• Empty dishwasher
• Reload dishwasher
• Break the news to Mark that there are no more home made chocolate chip cookies left
• Bathe Nate
• Bathe myself
• Sweep the floors
• Wash the floors
• Pay the bills
• Balance the budget
• Clean the bathrooms
• Windex
• Polish wood furniture
• Clean kitty litter
• Pick up Samson’s shit in the backyard
• Charge cell phone battery
• Charge camera battery
• Charge flash batteries
• Bake muffins for Mark’s mid-morning snack
• Shop for groceries
• Make sure there is plenty of frozen pizza for Mark to eat
• Wash produce
• Pack overnight bags
• Empty diaper genie shit snake
• Fill van with gas
• Fill Mark’s car with gas
• Take out garbage
• Iron Mark’s shirts
• Leave a new pair of Aussie Bum underwear on Mark’s pillow for him to add to his collection with a goal of distracting him from the fact, in my absence, he will have no one to have sex with and the dog totally knows it and will insist on some man on man cuddling and spooning in our king-sized bed
• Feed the cats
• Feed the dog
• Give cats and dog fresh water
• Chop celery into bite-sized pieces for Mark’s mid-afternoon snack
• Remind Mark to make sure to let Samson out for his morning dump
• Pack toothbrush
• Burn music CD to drown out the inevitable whining of a toddler who, in toddler terms, will argue that this upcoming road trip requires being strapped into a carseat for ETERNITY.
• Map out every single McDonald's on the way to help cope with the relentless whining and chanting from the back seat of an unnamed toddler keen on a FRY! A FRY! A FRY! A FRY! SCREEEEEEECH! A FRY!

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Road trip
by Karla ° Sunday, October 26, 2008
I remember the day the Instant Message appeared on my computer screen. My girlfriend, sole holder of my deepest secrets and past soul-haunting mistakes, was pregnant. But before I could even offer my congratulations, the screen flashed with another IM explaining that there was an unexpected other man in the picture, and that she didn’t know what was going to happen to her marriage and that her world had officially flipped upside down. As we spoke I felt like a useless asshat not knowing what to do or say. So I just listened. At least that’s what I wanted to do, you know, in between sticking my foot in my mouth and saying all the wrong things.

B and I met in college. We were roommates; I was in second year Geology and she was in her first. We bonded over a common interest in the Big Bang Theory, evolution, carbon dating of four billion year old rocks and tequila.

From the outside, we’re polar opposites. B knows how to cook, has a smoking hot figure and a face so stunning she does not even need a speck of makeup. Me? I spent my college years relying on microwavable food parcels from home while simultaneously starving myself to be thin and never left my suite, not even for a cigarette, without mascara and lip gloss.

Over the years, despite the incredible distance between us, we’ve kept in touch. We both married our high school sweethearts and although we visit each other when we can, it’s not often enough.

B delivered her baby, a gorgeous, healthy son, in the most beautiful and natural home birth imaginable. Her son is adorable and strong and a child that knows nothing but the intensity of a mother’s and a father’s love, and tomorrow morning, Nate and I are going on a very lengthy road trip to visit my long time friend.

I imagine this long overdue gathering will include extended soul-quenching walks through her deeply-wooded property and plenty of soul-opening conversations over abundantly free flowing wine. It's a girls only sleepover, except for the two young men who'll be in attendance. But until they learn to stop pooping their pants and to pick up after themselves, then, as far as I’m concerned, naptime is a perfectly reasonable opportunity to crack open that wine.

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Etsy
by Karla ° Thursday, October 23, 2008
There is one very big difference between Mark and Me.

Every morning, he wakes up, showers and gets dressed in nice clothes and then he spends his day dealing with grown-up people doing very important grown up things in the very important field of health care.

Me? Every morning I wake up and change a pee-soaked diaper and then proceed to spend my day with a pint sized dictator who couldn’t care less if I even brushed my hair as long as we can play hide and seek and colour and waddle and quack like ducks together. And when Nate goes down for that oh so precious nap every day, that’s when I perch myself behind the glow of a notebook screen which, incidentally, makes strange rattling noises from being tossed on the floor by an unnamed tiny human one too many times, and do things like write, blog, twitter, or process photos.

So because Mark’s all OUT THERE and I’m all IN HERE, he doesn’t always get me. And by doesn’t always get me, I mean, he teases me. Like the time I finally got on board with the whole twitter thing and Mark thought that meant past tweets were twats.

And then yesterday, I opened up an Etsy store, and when Mark came home from work and I told him about it, he was all, “a what?” And I was all, “Etsy! You know, Etsy!” You’ve never heard of Etsy?

And he was all, “Is an Etsy like a Twitter? Because OH BABY, I’m all over twittering with your Etsy’s.”

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An affair with Autumn
by Karla ° Friday, October 17, 2008
I went for a solo hike through the conservation area up the road this morning. And while the tip of my nose turned salmon pink and nature painted a sun-kissed glow over my cheeks with a brush dipped in the vibrant freshness of crisp Autumn air, I think, for the first time in a very long time, I felt myself breathing deeply and breathing with purpose.

Autumn has officially arrived this year on the seasonal fashion runway and initial reports seem to indicate she's wearing her most vibrant copper-hued harvest dress yet.

And while girlfriend struts her stuff, she’s so kicking the warmth of Summer’s sunny yellow ass to the curb and leaving him to hibernate in the dust of her befrosted fallen leaves.

As much as I want to cling to Summer, Autumn sure does smell nice. So nice, in fact, that I spent the morning inhaling her sweet scent and frolicking in her leaves.

When Mark gets home from work, I’m so going to have to explain all of the remnant red and orange bits on my collar.



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Lucky
by Karla ° Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sometimes I catch myself wondering where I would be today if I hadn't walked away from a career in the corporate world. I left my job as a Database Analyst/Web Developer on the 30th floor of a downtown Toronto corporate high-rise after Ava died and I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss it all just a tiny bit. The adult interaction, tailored clothes, the annoying co-worker who put all his self worth in Gucci pants and his Mercedes, the money, oh how could I not miss that extra cash flow.

But then I try and imagine going back to that life and spending three hours a day commuting to and from this suburban bedroom community while managing life with a toddler at the same time. And I can’t. I can’t even fathom that. Seriously, props to all of the career Moms out there. I don’t know how you manage it all, I really don’t.

But you know that old adage that says necessity is the mother of invention? It’s so true. Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom has not only let me to be at home with my son, it has also allowed me to pursue other creative endeavors to help pay the bills.

In addition the occasional freelance writing gig, I started Karla Cadeau Photography, a new photography business this summer and I can't even begin to explain how thrilling and fulfilling it is to run two small businesses doing the things that I am passionate about while staying home with my son the majority of the week. This is an absolute dream and man, I kind of hate to call myself lucky knowing what this family has endured, but you know? I am. I really am. I may not be sipping $11 glasses of wine anymore, but I’m doing what I love, I’m home with my son, and I have a tremendously supportive husband. I’d say that’s pretty lucky, right?

If I wasn’t already married and in love, then I’d so totally want to hook up with the woman who has helped make this new photography venture a possibility. Angie, a photojournalist and professional photographer, took me under her wing and where I once just sort of chirped around and clicked my camera buttons aimlessly, she taught me how to fly. Figurative speaking, I mean. Not that I wouldn’t put it past her to actually know how to fly because this woman has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me, and she did it all with a wicked sense of humour while keeping it all super straightforward, entertaining, fun, and most importantly, simple.

And the best part? Angie is here to share her expertise so that you too can totally take your pictures to that next level of WOW. And who can argue with wanting to forever still and illuminate your most cherished memories from behind the time-freezing optics of a digital lens?

I’ve added her brand spanking new website to the Untangled by Others menu at the top of this site. Feel free to wander over and say Hi! I hope you enjoy her writing and find as much inspiration from her photos as I do. Oh, and you so need to keep an eye out for her upcoming contest giveaway. It's going to be a lot of fun.

No warranties are being made however, that her professional knowledge won’t totally convince you to sell both of your kidneys to afford new camera gear. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.


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Update: Oops. I forgot to shamelessly self promote the prints I have for sale. Anyone interested in feeding my shameless ego can view and purchase prints in the size of your choice from the Gallery section called Art Prints on Karla Cadeau Photography. I picked a handful of my personal favourites. Most of these are framed throughout my home.
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The Dictator
by Karla ° Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We began our day at the local Nuclear Power park, because where else can one ponder the state of the economy, the crumbling stock market and the Canadian Election than directly next to a mammoth-sized nuclear reactor?

Oh! The irony.


I thought a fun day at the park would be a good time to explain to Nate about the importance of exercising our right to vote, and how today is the Canadian Federal Election and that the Liberal sign on our front lawn that he loves to push and hit and poke is the Government party I'm voting for.

And then I took him to our local voting station, and he totally had the mother of all tantrums and threw himself on the floor after I cast my ballot and told him that we were done colouring and had to leave the pencil for the next person to vote.

Apparently, my toddler favours a dictatorship. But only if he can wear his Mommy's fuzzy red slippers.

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Bridge over water
by Karla ° Monday, October 13, 2008
Sometimes the best place to be is where no one else is.

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While we’re on the topic of hair
by Karla ° Thursday, October 9, 2008
Even though we weren’t, but if The Universe wore shoes, then it just spent the past week kicking Karla’s ass to Saturn and back and it would please her brain greatly if we could all just humour her and pretend like the fact that she's talking in the third person is all normal and stuff and that we all know exactly what she’s talking about.

Hair, right? We were talking about hair!

Awesome. Because while were on the topic of hair, my kid got a haircut. I’ve been dying to tell you about it. So glad you brought it up.

Last year, after much tormenting, and then an almost unanimous Internet poll, I gave in and finally sent Nate for a hair cut.



I loved the shaggy locks, I really did, and I tried to make the long hair thing work, but that kid required more product and styling time than I regularly commit to my own hair, and there was no way I was going to let a pint-sized humans styling needs interfere with my morning coffee ritual. If I had to choose between bed-head and caffeine, I’d pick the brain-perking drug any day.


Nate’s had several haircuts since, and he’s ever so slowly getting used to them. I bring him to this fabulous kid-focused salon with fire trucks and race cars for chairs and a really fun room filled with like a million balls for kids to play in, but despite all of that, getting his hair cut can be, well, challenging. To help Nate through it, I sit with him perched on my knee, sporting an identical frog-pattered smock in a fire engine red chair and sing god only knows how many Wiggles songs over and over and over until it's all finished. I’m not sure what’s worse; the fact that I know practically all of the the wiggles songs by heart, or that I actually sing them in public.

But on our last visit he was totally a big boy and sat on his chair all by himself. And because he was being so cooperative, I had them cut his hair shorter this time because a) the tears were minimal and b) man! his hair grows fast! And, well, I’m just throwing this out there, but I'm kinda sorta regretting the shortness. I mean, I miss the curls. I really do. He looks so much like a big boy all of a sudden. I miss the little boy with the cute little curls who napped twice a day. The one who didn't thrown a tantrum if it's time to stop playing cars and eat FOOD! OMG! The horror!


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The Good Old Days
by Karla ° Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out how I've gone from there to here. And by there, I mean a carefree twenty something woman with nothing better to do then spend an hour on her hair every morning before stuffing her feet into uncomfortable pointy toed shoes and going to work and then spending $500 on clothes over lunch hour and drinking and partying away the weekend.

And by here, I mean a haggard housewife who only sometimes brushes her hair and lives in hoodies and yoga pants and fuzzy red slippers.

I just turned 29. Mark is 30. We’ve been together as a couple for over half of our lives. Every night, I sleep beside my best friend. We’re thisclose to a lot of things in life, but having more kids isn’t on the list. We’ve talked about it, but we’ve both pretty much agreed that right now isn’t the right time. Actually, to be honest, I don’t know if I have it in me to go through with another pregnancy. After Ava died, and then the subsequent miscarriage, all I could think about was getting pregnant again, but after Nate was born, that unrelenting voice went away. The nag is gone. Totally gone. My body has been pregnant three times, and I just don't know if I have it in me to do it again. I finally feel complete. I feel comfortable.

But then, it started. I began to feel ill all day all the time. And tired. And as those days wore into weeks, I started to feel phantom movements in my stomach. “When was my last period anyway?” I asked Mark the other day. I used to track my cycles in an excel spreadsheet, but promised Mark that I would never do that again after the stress it caused our marriage trying to conceive Ava. And besides, my cycles are so predictable that after over ten years of living together, Mark totally figured out that during those unstable periods of FEMALE PMS, I could so totally just unleash my inner dinosaur named BIOTCH and eat him for dinner.

My very good friends just announced they’re expecting again. I’ve known Rich and Ang for, like, ever. If you haven’t checkout out Rich’s blog yet, you so need to because his daughter Malaia is perhaps one of the most adorable kids on the planet. And Rich is a super awesome guy. And his wife, Ang, lends me her clothes and if wasn’t for her, my wardrobe would be helpless. Ang and I get together every couple of weeks to gossip and eat pizza and laugh at my shrinking mom cleavage. I still don’t get how I’ve went from an average B-cup to a nursing C-cup to a post-breastfeeding ultra mini A-cup, but at least I can drown my sorrows with Ang every other week over chocolate-chip loaded fresh baked banana bread and coffee.

I still laugh whenever I remember the time the four of us, Mark, Rich, Ang and me, went on an evening boat cruise together back in my hometown of Penetanguishene. It was totally a spur on the moment decision made after we all got piss drunk and wasted on a godforsaken number of beer pitchers (observe the bevy of beer just yonder, in the bottom quadrants on this photo, just below me sucking face with my husband-to-be.)


The boat cruise had two options: tickets with dinner and tickets without. And because we were all drunk anyway, we bought the tickets that did not include dinner so we could afford to keep drinking. But then we all got hungry as we watched the wait staff bringing out plates with piping hot grilled steaks. So Ang and I stumbled our way down the kitchen section and told them that they forgot to bring our party one plate of dinner. They apologized profusely and gave us a plate filled with steak and potatoes and salad and then handed us one fork and one knife.

Ang and I returned to our men and there we sat, the four us, drunk and having the time of our lives, passing around ONE fork and sharing our free plate of food. And when it was done, and we were all still hungry, we drew straws, and it was me who picked the short one to go back the kitchen and tell them that I was still hungry.

People. I am 5’ 4” and barely tip the scales in the three digit range. But I followed through, and was then informed to keep my "party" inline because the two mile swim back to shore in the dark would not be fun.


Oh, good timea. And even more good times! But also? Times have changed. Here we are, all grown up, apparently, with kids and mortgages and real life responsibilities. When Ang was pregnant with Malaia, it was the first baby shower I’ve attended since Ava died. I spent the entire time holding back tears but I wanted to go because Ang’s friendship means the world to me and I didn’t want to let her down. And now her and Rich are expecting their second child and I couldn’t be happier for them.

I just wish this recent pregnancy test didn’t make my uterus ache. I thought I'd made up my mind? Not that I wouldn't have been happy, just, you know, I’m not 100% ready. I’m unsure. At least for the time being. For now. I think?

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NOT EVEN FUNNY!
by Karla ° Monday, October 6, 2008
I get that making your life openly public online opens up the floodgates to unwanted negativity, I do.

I mean, I’ve been called a whore, obviously retarded and an anorexic waif. I’ve been told that I need to stop smoking crack and killing babies and that the world is better off now that there is one less white baby to pollute it.

I’ve been told that no one gives a fuck that Ava is dead and to just stop my whining a pop out a new one already. I’ve been told Ava deserved to die, and that if she wasn’t dead, I was probably too dumb not to throw her out of a window anyway.

I’ve even been told that I deserve to die for being such a bad mother and killing my own child.

I don’t talk about these things because the second you even call someone out, you’ve fuelled the fire, know what I mean? And besides, there’s an obvious level of detachment from a fly-by comment or unwelcome letters in my inbox. Why dwell on something when the easy way to fix it is to grow a thicker skin and just hit the delete key?

But things have become personal and I need to draw the line.

Whoever is sending unmarked mail to my home address needs to stop right now. It’s not funny, and this behaviour is totally unacceptable.

You win, ok? You’re scaring the fuck out of me, and you need to stop right NOW!

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Thanksgiving Dinner: Karla Style
by Karla ° Saturday, October 4, 2008
“Hi Mom. I’m thinking of doing Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year. Can you make the drive to the city?”

“Of course. Do you have a turkey?”

“Um, no...”

“Ok, I'll bring a turkey. Do you need me to cook it for you, too?

“Well...if you don’t mind?”

“What about potatoes. Do you have potatoes?”

“I have sweet potatoes! And a mystery box of instant potatoes! Does that stuff ever expire?”

“Sigh. Ok, I’ll bring the potatoes. Do you need me to bring the stuffing, too?”

“Oh, uh, yeah.”

“And what about the ingredients for gravy?”

“I only have wheat germ, gluten and hard whole wheat flour.”

“I’ll bring flour. Oh, and for dessert, how does lemon meringue pie sound? Do you want me to bring a lemon meringue pie?”

“Sure, Mark loves it. But I don’t eat it, remember? The meringue is too is egg-y”

“So what will you eat?”

“Food without eggs or meat. Mostly wine, probably. How about I handle the wine?”

“Can you buy the buns?”

“Can they be whole grain?”

“Karla!”

“Ok! Ok! I’ll buy the buns and wine. But don’t expect much more from me unless you bring a self-cooking turkey made of soy and basted with an Australian Shiraz!”

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Back
by Karla ° Wednesday, October 1, 2008
A certain someone has his appetite back.


And with it came his food throwing defiance. Observe the face of a kid who just chucked a muffin at the dog's head.


And some things, well, they never change. Meet the milkaholic in our family.

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