Sunday, June 29, 2008

La petite winner est...


The winner of our Petite Anglaise contest is up over at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews. Find out if you've won a hard-cover copy of Catherine Sanderson's book by clicking over...

(Hope you're having a fabulous weekend, BTW!)

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

They enjoy the present

Children have neither a past nor a future.
Thus they enjoy the present - which seldom happens to us.

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Friday, June 27, 2008


I left work on Wednesday with a million and one things on my mind.

On my way to pick up Graham at his babysitter’s I mentally itemized how I could spend the next several hours as efficiently as possible.

Pick up cat nip on the way home - Horace has a terrible addiction – then return a library book. At home strip Graham’s sheets and throw in wash. Play with him, offer a snack, return phone calls, pay bills on-line and prep dinner. Throw sheets in dryer. Hit the park for an hour.

Home. Late dinner, bath, stories and bed for Graham. Later dinner for Rob and I during which we would discuss child care for Graham while I am at BlogHer.

When did life get so busy, so regimented? I wondered.

When I arrived at the babysitter’s house and rushed to greet Graham, I caught my breath at the sight of his face. His eye, which had been slightly red that morning, was now turning purple and had swollen dramatically.

He was bright, chipper and not in pain so I wasn’t overly worried about his immediate health.

But there was no question of what would we do next.

We rushed home, collected his health card plus a book and a snack and headed back out in rush hour traffic to an after hours clinic where I knew we would wait God knows how long before Graham saw a doctor.


No thoughts of bills or errands or plans.

No cat nip for Horace. No escaping library fines. No clean sheets or home-cooked dinner.

Just a surprising sense of peace and clarity, born, I suppose, of knowing, for once, exactly how to prioritize.

Funny how one little person can make things so complicated and yet so simple.

*We still don't know what happened to Graham's eye. The doctor thought an allergic reaction, Rob says a bug bite and I suspect he banged it on our coffee table while roughhousing with his dad the night before. At any rate it has improved dramatically since this picture was taken Wednesday night.*

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Photography by design

I have always gotten by with a little help from my friends.

I admit my photography skills leave something to be desired, but I know they are improving thanks to two of my very talented friends.

There is OHMommy of course who is running periodic photography challenges, complete with her best tips.

And then there’s the friend I met in the local mom’s group I was almost too cool (or too scared?) to join waaay back when our sons were both mere infants. (That's her second son Theo pictured)

I noticed Kelly MacDonald right away and quickly sought her friendship. And why not? She was engaging and stylish, with a quick wit and an intriguing background in the arts.

One day, I figured, she could probably teach me a thing or two.

Well that day has arrived, my friends.

Kelly has just started her own photography business, with a twist. She has married her photography skills to her visual arts background to produce stylized children’s photos featuring saturated colors and labor intensive post production work.

AND she’s offering a discount and her best tips to all my friends, including YOU.

**Learn more about Kelly, her photography and her suggestions over at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews***

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I wonder if he notices

I don’t like how people look at Graham these days.

They used to smile indulgently, but now I see trepidation in their eyes. They used to coo over his baby fat, but now they look him up and down, silently assessing the potential for disruption contained in his strong limbs.

Their affection used to be unconditional, now they have their reservations.

My son is growing up. He’s not a baby anymore: he’s a little boy.

And that changes everything.

Graham is extremely tall and he looks older than his two and a half years. People have always assumed he should be just a little more capable than he actually is.

When he was 11 months old I was approached by someone who assumed he was at least two and asked in a hushed tone, “Why isn’t he walking yet?” Just last month someone else asked if I were having “problems” potty training: she thought he was around four.

These cloaked admonishments, I now realize, are just a taste of what is to come. Because while people coo over babies, they have expectations for children. They expect Graham to act and react in a certain way. They expect him to be well-behaved. They expect that he will not infringe on their right to privacy or silence or serenity in general.

I know this is inevitable. I know it is just the very first step for Graham as he embarks on a life where he will most certainly have responsibilities to fulfill and expectations to meet: I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But it still breaks my heart just a little every time I notice people narrow their eyes ever so slightly when he enters a room. It pains me to see apprehension, or worse, exasperation, in their eyes. They are wary of his energy and his strength: I get that. When he charges through the door of the grocery store, crackling with vigor and vitality, I can’t really blame them for bracing themselves for a disturbance.

But I wish so badly that I could reassure them there is nothing to fear. I want to explain to them how sweet and good-natured he is: how much he loves kisses and his favorite feline friend. I want to make them look at him, really look at him, and see that he is just a little boy for whom the world is still a giant playground.

But I don’t, of course. I just smile as politely and reassuringly as possible, and hope that I am striking the right balance between their need for order and Graham’s compulsive enthusiasm.

Oh how I miss seeing people light up at the sight of my son.

I wonder if he misses it too and if he notices that every day his beautiful, innocent heart is surely growing heavier under the weight of the world’s expectations.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Say hello to my little excuse

I don’t have to eat my vegetables anymore.

Before I had Graham I was justifiably proud of, and perhaps even a little smug about, my healthy eating habits. I loaded up on fresh vegetables and fruit, chomping away with gusto, all the while relishing not so much the taste, I now realize, as the sweet feeling of virtue that accompanied every bite.

Today my refrigerator boasts more fresh fruits and vegetables than ever and I rarely eat any of it: I figure I don’t have to because, as it turns out, watching Graham eat them (albeit not without his favorite accompaniment) gives me the same smugly virtuous high I once got from eating them myself.

Oh how I love my little excuse.

It’s a given that I took way better care of myself before I had Graham: if you’re a parent you probably don’t consider this an earth-shattering revelation.

But the upside to having less time to lavish on my personal appearance is that I also have an excuse to skip all the healthy habits that are a bit of a chore.

I mean, why do I need to work out when he runs circles around me at the park? I feel exhausted just watching him, so I’m sure that counts for something.

And who cares how long it’s been since my last medical check-up as long as he’s visiting the doctor and getting his regularly -scheduled clean bill of health?

The more I think about it, the more I realize there are a million and one virtuous habits from which I really deserve a break.

Graham’s crib sheets (yes crib sheets) are changed at least every 10 days or so: by my calculations that means his parents’ bed sheets can stay filthy for at least twice as long.

Graham’s teeth are brushed nightly. This is an ordeal that surely buys me a free pass from flossing my own.

Graham always has a sweater when he’s cold and appropriate footwear. I am therefore allowed to wear stilettos in rainstorms and cute sleeveless tops in sub-zero temperatures.

Graham’s clothes are always clean and fresh…so mine don’t have to be.

Once I get started on the excuses I could go on for hours, really.

Who knew parenthood could be so liberating?

**Seriously though - I've got a recipe for cookies that are virtuous AND yummy up over at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews. Check it out - no excuses necessary!**

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Summertime and the dressing is easy...

Oh how I love sun dress season.

Maybe I'm not a sexy, young Bohemian anymore but there's something about breezy, cotton sun dresses that make me long for the days when a tan, a loose bun and a yard or two of colorful fabric was all I needed to take me from an afternoon at the lake to an evening at the club.

Funky, colorful sun dresses are everywhere this year and after the winter we just endured, we deserve a trip down memory lane.

I've already snapped up three (including the one at left for 24.99 at Urban Planet) and as much as I'm enjoying them I've realized that nothing is quite the same the second (or 20th) time around.

Let me tell you what I've learned...
Click on over to my Shooting for Hip column at Better Than A Playdate to read how to wear sun dresses with style and to check out my other finds...

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Putting my best head forward

I'm not one who likes to admit weakness.

But I'm sure regular visitors to this site have noticed that photography is not my strong suit.

I wish it were - I'm in awe of the talent I see out there on a daily basis and I have recently resolved to try and step my photo quality up a notch. I will even be interviewing a photographer over at my review blog next week and she'll have some great tips.

And then, of course, there's the fabulous OHMommy. She recently issued a photography challenge over at Classy Chaos, asking photographers to "think outside the box" and spend some time taking pictures of heads.

Yes, that's right, heads.

Lucky for me I have a very cute head upon which to sharpen my photography skills. I took some overhead shots in the park last night and here's the best of them.

Yup, photography is still my weakness, but I'm working on it.

And I do have the cutest subject ever - so there is that.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The blog as veil: a cautionary tale

How well do you know me?

And is it Kelly you know or is it the Don Mills Diva?

Are they the same person or is one an alter-ego, a character, constructed to appeal to, or provoke a reaction from, my readers?

Would it surprise you to hear me confess that the latter question is one I have asked myself on more than one occasion?

There are so many, many things about blogging that fascinate me and foremost among them is the notion that a blog might provide a space in which a person can construct an alternate identity.

That’s probably why I have spent the last several days obsessively reading Catherine Sanderson’s book Petite Anglaise to the detriment of pretty much everything else in my life.

Petite Anglaise is also the name of a blog that Sanderson has written since 2005 to document her life as an English ex-pat working and raising her toddler daughter in Paris. In Petite Anglaise the book, she provides an unflinching account of the events that lead her to leave her child’s father for one of her blog’s commenters and how the increasing popularity of her blog started to inform the way she viewed herself and ultimately conducted her life.

Read more about Petite Anglaise and my musing on the blog as veil over at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews. You can also leave a comment over there and enter to win your very own copy of the book. I'll even ship it to you - now git!

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eddie Haskell in the house

"Damnit!" Graham blurted out last night when he spilled his orange juice.

I'd never heard him say that before and I was startled. It's pretty minor as far as swear words go, but not exactly what you expect to hear come out of your two-year-old's mouth.

"That's not really the nicest thing to say," I cautioned him, mopping up the mess. "It's better to just say something like shoot or darn."

"Sorry Mama, " Graham said. "I say shoot Mama."

"That's better sweetie," I said just a little smugly, feeling never more like June Cleaver. "Would you like some more juice?"

"No thank you Mama."

Could he BE any more polite? I smiled serenely and tousled his hair.


"Yes Graham?"

"How 'bout a glass of wine?"


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My true companion

An old friend called the other day and revealed a happy secret: she’s six and a half weeks pregnant!

And understandably, after years of yearning, months of trying and a recent miscarriage, she’s nervous.

She has her seven-week ultrasound on Friday. “Once I get through that I think I’ll feel a lot less worried about everything,” she confided.

Bless her dear, wee naïve soul.

She doesn’t yet know, of course, that the worry she feels now won’t go away at the seven week ultrasound, or at the end of the first trimester, and certainly not with the arrival of a beautiful, healthy baby. She doesn’t yet know that worry, an occasional visitor for most people without children, becomes a constant companion once you become a parent.

If there is one single aspect of parenthood that I was completely unprepared for, that I simply could not fathom, it is, hands down, the constant worry.

The early days of my pregnancy were a blur of anxiety. Every trip to the washroom was an ordeal involving baited breath and prayers. I counted down the days until I finished my first trimester so I could “stop worrying.”

Three months into my pregnancy I started counting the days until I figured my growing baby would be viable if worse came to worse. Twenty-six weeks? Twenty-seven? Thirty?

When Graham finally arrived, in addition to being stricken by thoughts of SIDS and RSV, I faced the very real prospect that he was disabled. The worry I lived with during those early days was so intense and so pervasive that even now my heart constricts and my eyes well at the mere thought of it.

That particular fear was unfounded, praise God. Graham is happy, healthy and full of beans. A more gorgeous, blessed child has never been born. He eats and sleeps like a champ, rarely gets so much as a cold and appears to be, in my humble opinion, a bone fide genius.

And yet I still worry.

I worry about childhood illness and predators and things that go bump in the night. I worry about him being bullied and crossing the street and swimming at the lake and getting his driver’s license. I worry that I never should have taken him for his first flight. I worry about him marrying the wrong person and never finding a job he enjoys and having to face the depression that tends to run in my family.

I lie awake at night sometimes and as sleep eludes me, a sense of unease about my good fortune creeps into my bones. I have done nothing to deserve the abundance who sleeps, so heavily and damp and peaceably, in the next room. Can I really be allowed to enjoy his continued robust health? Surely there will be a reckoning, won’t there?

Just please let it be mine and not his.

Things look different in the light of day, of course. I do not spend my days fussing and fretting. My friends and family would never characterize me as a worrier.

But I am.

It’s been more than three years since I first saw two pink lines on a pregnancy test and since then my worry has become just like an old shoe, worn and comfortable and so much a part of my life that, just like my son, I can’t remember when it wasn’t there.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Food fight

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like
and let the food fight it out inside."

And speaking of food you like - don't forget June is super foods month
over at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews.
Check out our latest and greatest recipe by clicking here

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Your kid is not a punch line

You know, I wasn’t planning on blogging tonight. I was going to just take the day off, relax and kick back.

But then, while perusing my local paper on-line, I came across this article about something so bizarre that it became clear the universe was asking, nay begging, me to take to the internets and deliver a very special DMD slap-down.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present: stilettos for babies.

This is not a joke. These shoes, made for infants up to six months of age, are being marketed as “Her First High Heels” by two mothers who have co-founded a company called Heelarious.

At first I was fixing to go on a proper rant about how dressing a baby up as a mini adult like this sexualizes them and robs them of their childhood, blah, blah, blah…

But then I read this quote from one of the company’s co-founders:

"I've always been a shoe freak and I thought, `Omigawd, what if you could take a baby to a party wearing high heels? It would be hilarious.’”

And I realized that these ladies are not courting sexual predators, they’re courting the cool kids.

And that’s almost as bad.

Because wannabe hipster parents who think it's trendy to dress their babies up in funny, ironic little accessories are just plain lame.

I am sorry if you were not popular in high school. But that does not give you the right to try and make up for it by exploiting your child’s natural cuteness. It does not give you the right to insist on giving them some ridiculous hair style or to dress them in clothing designed for the sole purpose of eliciting chuckles and showcasing what you imagine to be your edgy, streetwise style.

Bottom line: if you want to bust out and crack wise, YOU wear the punch line.

Thank you. That is all.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soon he'll have his own blog

I’ve always been somewhat irritated by the term Slacker Mom being used to describe mothers who are loathe to enroll their children in a plethora of enriching activities.

But I can’t deny that I am loathe to enroll my child in a plethora of enriching activities.

I’ve never managed to get my butt to a mommy-and-me music class, I don’t own any flashcards and I never bothered with baby sign language because it just sounded like too much effort.

And so it was guilt, truthfully, that had me agreeing to try out the Early Start Active Reading Method when a representative contacted me a few weeks back.

Because while I may not always be ahead of the game when it comes to creating my very own toddler genius, I have always been passionate about reading and writing and I am committed to passing that passion along to Graham.

Does a - gulp - slacker mom need to pull out the flash cards to help instill a love of reading in her child? Click on over to Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews to read about our experience with the Early Start Active Reading Method.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

All the things he doesn't know

I have been trying out a new early-reading program with Graham the last few days, teaching him language skills that I hope will one day benefit him.

Teaching is what parents do, after all. Every day, every hour, we teach our children.

We teach them to read and to count and to identify colors. We teach them to tell time and do up their shoes and button their coats. We teach them about their body and their family and their history. We teach them to be gentle with animals and respectful of people and that manners and social skills make life easier and more pleasant.

But tonight it occurred to me that as Graham grows, he’ll be better off if I can prevent him from learning certain things: his intellectual and emotional life will develop in a more healthy fashion if I can, at the very least, delay his knowledge of certain truths that discourage and demoralize, that call into question our faith in the inherent goodness of humankind.

Strange, isn’t it, to think that sometimes a parent must work to ensure their child does not learn things? To think that thoughtful parenting is often a balancing act between revealing to our children some realities and shielding them from others.

There are certain things that I hope will dawn on Graham gradually, well after he has the maturity to deal with them: there are certain things I wish he didn't have to learn.

I wish he didn't have to learn that a lot of medical breakthroughs are really just press releases for big drug companies and that a lot of people cheat on their taxes because they think the government is corrupt.

I wish he didn't have to learn that where a person is born, the color of their skin, the language they speak and the way they worship often determines their access to basic nutrition and medical care.

I wish he didn't have to learn that some people don’t care for children or animals or worse, see them merely as commodities. I wish he didn't have to learn that newspapers are in the business of selling ads and that lending institutions want to see him indebted.

I wish he didn't have to learn that a lot of the time the runt of the litter will die, the person dating the boss’s son will get promoted, the nice guy will finish last and the jerk will walk away with the girl.

I wish he didn't have to learn that the world isn’t fair and that bad things happen to good people and that some folks out there will never, ever change their minds, so it’s probably better not to waste your energy trying to make them.

But most of all, I wish to be successful in teaching him that wisdom, knowledge and compassion are always the best weapons in the fight against the world’s ugly truths.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To everything a season

I was 20 years old the summer my nephew was born so it was inevitable that I would become the cool Aunt.

And so I did.

He’s a small-town kid just like I was, but ever since he’s been old enough to realize it, I’ve lived in big cities and worked in the film and television business.

When he was 12 years old he and a friend spent an entire day on the set of the short film Rob and I produced, observing with wide-eyed wonder and stuffing their faces with food from the craft service table.

After that he came at least once or twice a year to stay with us for a few days at a time. He watched Rob’s old music videos, dabbled on the drums and practiced his guitar in our music room and watched cable television late into the night in our basement.

Three years ago I took him on the set of a feature film Rob was working on. He caught a nod from one of his favorite actors and was delighted when the grips and special effects technicians gave him a special tour of their extremely impressive work.

Two summers ago Rob wrapped up production on this movie and brought him home a crew shirt and hat which, he assured me, was certain to help score chicks.

And just last year he confided with a sly smile, “Yup, I do a lot of bragging about my Uncle Rob to the kids at school.”

Well now it’s my turn.

I wasn’t sure if he would have time for his Aunt Kelly last Friday night when I first saw him, surrounded by all his friends, in my old hometown in a rented arena that smelled like teen spirit and possibility.

But he did.

He even hugged me. “I’m so glad you came and you’re gonna hear me play!”

And I did hear him play. My nephew’s band – Quarter Mile Line – was the second one on stage in a five-act concert line up that he organized himself and dubbed Toucapalooza (don’t ask!) after his charismatic bass player.

The music was incredible. The night went off without a hitch. My nephew and his band mates raised more than $1,000 for the music program at their high school and cemented their status as local rock stars.

As for me? I cemented my status as a dork by pushing my way through the sweating throngs to snap countless pictures of him during the performance.

But I didn’t care. As the music blared in my tender ears and the girls stuck behind me snickered and rolled their heavily-made-up eyes, it occurred to me that, like everything else in life, there is a season for being cool.

Enjoy your spring Grasshopper.

I couldn’t be more proud of you.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Have you started dinner yet?

Whether you have or you haven't, there's a great new recipe up at Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews that you're gonna wanna try. June is Super Foods month over there - check it out!

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Let's talk about Sex baby

Sex and the City that is.

And I do apologize if that headline makes you wince, referencing as it does, a cheesy and dated song that hasn't been hip for a very long time.

But in this case? It's kind of appropriate.

Because, as much as it breaks my heart to say it, the much-anticipated Sex and The City movie feels just a little dated, a little cheesy and not very darn hip.

Wanna know why the Carrie and Miranda and Charlotte and Samantha aren't my BFF anymore? Click on over to my Shooting for Hip column at Better Than A Playdate for all the deets!

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The whole art of teaching

The whole art of teaching is only
the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds
for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spanking gone wild

The debate on spanking can get pretty heated sometimes, can’t it?

Some people think spanking is an acceptable way to discipline a child; some people think spanking is pretty much child abuse.

I have struggled with my own urge to spank, but I otherwise try not to get too worked up over the whole debate. I don’t think it’s a great way to teach a child about good behavior or respect, but neither do I think an occasional, judiciously-applied swat by a loving parent is the worst thing in the world.

But I definitely think that it’s valuable for people who embrace very different philosophies regarding spanking to realize there is always common ground.

And so, in the spirit of solidarity, I invite each and every one of you out there to rally together and be equally gob-smacked at the courtroom antics of this crazy bastard.

You’re welcome.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Let's just call this the week of living gratefully, shall we?

I'm grateful that my boy loves me even if I don't deserve it. I'm grateful that you guys seem to think I'm worthy of your affection. And I'm grateful that you're not too mad that it has taken me sooo long to acknowledge all your lovely awards. (You're not tooo mad, are you?)

First up, I am ever-so-honored that the lovely Kami over at Kami's Khlopchyk bestowed this lovely award on me.

I just discovered Kami a few months ago and she has swiftly become one of my favorite reads. I would like to pass this little beauty on to Janice at Mom on The Run who inspires me with her commitment to her two beautiful girls and her commitment to fitness and to Lunanik over at Secrets of A Black Heart who has me hooked with her mysterious edge...

Next up I want to say a big thanks to Brittany over at Mommee and Her Boys and Elaine at The Miss Elaine-Ous Life for bestowing upon me this You Make My Day Award - isn't it a beaut?

I think Brittany - who is too adorable for words, really! - was one of my first-ever regular readers and I have always appreciated her loyalty. Elaine is another new find - and one of those ladies you just know you would click with if you had a chance to meet.

I'd like to pass this award along to Mandy at The Gratton Grapevine, who I can't wait to meet at Blogher, and to Urban Daddy, because, well, I have met him and he's lovely and daddy bloggers need love too.

Moving along, I need to send a shout-out to Melissa over at Hope for the Hopeless. As per the award below, she has declared me a Tiara-wearing Blogger - to which I say, "Does she ever have me pegged!" Thanks Melissa - I think you'd look pretty great in a tiara yourself.

I pass this diva-ish award along to the one and only McMommy who, truthfully, is so fabulous she probably wakes up in the morning wearing a tiara and to April over at It's All About Balance who handles single motherhood with style and class.

Next I need to say a big thank you to The Reluctant Housewife and to Sass-E Mom who both were kind enough to give me the Award of Excellence below. Both these ladies are regular reads for me and if you check them out you'll know why.

I'd like to pass it along to Tootsie Farklepants - one of the funniest ladies on the internets - and Stomper Girl, who is undoubtedly one of the best dancers.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to say a big thank you to the always thought-provoking David over at Authorblog who recently cited this post of mine as his "the best of the day" pick. David runs a great that site that is "totally committed to encouraging excellence in others".

Isn't that an incredible sentiment? Thank you David, I am honored to call you neighbor in this community we call the internets.

I apologize to those of you who have tagged me for memes over the last few months - I'm just not great at memes, sorry! Please know that I do appreciate you thinking of me and I am truly grateful - this week and always - to call you all friends.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stealing devotion

Graham is quite the lover boy these days.

Almost overnight it seems my boy understands the power inherent in hugs and kisses and loving coos and as a result showers me with them at every possible opportunity.

But even though, God knows, I’ve spent nearly every day of his short life teasing and coaxing out of him various expressions of affection, I feel like a bit of a fraud, gobbling up this new found goodwill as if it were my due.

How is it possible that he doesn’t sense how flawed his mother is?

Because I do have flaws, tons of them, and in those moments when he lifts his innocent, rapturous face to mine I can’t help but cringe with shame and run through them in my mind.

I have been impatient with him on countless occasions.

I remember endless nights during his infanthood when I paced the floor, rhythmically jostling him and singing lullabies with a clenched jaw and seething resentment in my heart. And just tonight I caught myself huffing with annoyance when his screaming and sniffling nose summoned me into his bedroom a half dozen times in the hours after his bedtime.

I have been selfish.

I have often taken exception to the demands he makes on my time. I have longed for the days when my evenings were my own. I have caught myself looking at the clock and counting the hours, the minutes, until I can put him to sleep. I have woken at night to his crying and bitten my tongue while I tended to him lest I shout what was in my heart: GODDAMNIT! CAN YOU NOT JUST GO TO SLEEP?!”

I have been ungrateful.

I have sometimes begrudged, rather than celebrated, his robust health and his boundless energy, willing him to just sit quietly, slow down a little, wishing he wouldn't force me to move so quickly or to work so hard at exploring the world alongside him.

This is not to say that I think I am a bad mother: I know that I am not. I love Graham with all my heart and I care for him to the absolute best of my ability. I am not fishing for reassurance: I am merely trying to articulate how small I feel, how humbled I am, how very inadequate my absolute best seems in the face of his recent adulation.

This new phase, this sweet, sweet loving phase, has me wanting to redouble my efforts, to work harder, to be better and to earn the love and the trust I see reflected in his eyes.

But no matter how hard I may try, I can’t imagine feeling entitled to bask in my pride when he throws his chubby little arms around me and plasters my legs with sloppy kisses all the while exclaiming, "Oh mama, you beautiful. Oh mama, I love you!”

Because there is a tiny corner of my brain that registers how truly unworthy I am of such adoration and a tiny part of my heart that breaks just thinking about the day when Graham has the maturity to discern that for himself.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Cleaning without chemicals

I have always thought that cleaning products were a necessary evil.

And when I say evil I mean exactly that because I, more than most people, know how dangerous they can be.

My adult niece was a young toddler when another baby around her age pulled a common household disinfectant out from under the kitchen sink at her babysitter’s house and sprayed it in her eye.

Both of them were too young to understand or explain what happened and by the time my niece got proper medical attention it was too late. Her eye was so badly damaged it had to be removed.

Read the rest over at
Don Mills Diva Recipes and Reviews. Yes, you read that right - I've started a new blog with my sister-in-law who is an honest-to-goodness recipe developer! The new site is gonna feature cool reviews and contest giveaways as well as unique and original recipes. June is superfoods month, BTW - check it out!

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sound advice

"My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither,
but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate. "

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