Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Christmas Wish List for a 15-month-old

In case anyone needs Christmas gift ideas for Remy, I had him compile a list of his most-desired items:

  1. A box of Kleenex
  2. Mommy's cosmetics case
  3. Daddy's glasses
  4. The remote control for the television
  5. The remote control for the TiVo
  6. The remote control for the VCR
  7. Chips of drywall from the baseboard in the nursery
  8. Anything from a garbage can
  9. Toilet water
  10. Whatever you're holding right now
  11. The thing you just took away from me
  12. An empty diaper box
  13. Mommy's cell phone
  14. Daddy's cell phone
  15. Anything that is in a cupboard
  16. Autonomy

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pregnancy Part II or A Really Long Time To Go Without Red Wine

I am 28 weeks into my second pregnancy.  I am irritable and emotional and highly sensitive and forgetful and klutzy and tired and I would like a bottle of bold red wine, please.  The first time around had its charm because it was new! Exciting! Look what my body can do! This time around just feels long...and I haven't even hit the hard part yet.  

I have broken a lot of things recently, due to my general clumsiness and lack of spatial awareness: our glass coffee table, a teapot, a glass, some salad tongs, and the coffee pot - before I had made coffee that morning.  There were tears.  It is very frustrating not to be able to trust yourself to keep things unbroken.  Almost as frustrating as it is to try to explain why you're crying when you just are.  Just because.  Hormones.  Whatever.  

It makes sense that pregnancy number two would be harder.  As a friend of mine said, "Your body had 33 years to prepare for the first pregnancy and seven months for the second."  Things I'm doing differently this time: 

  1. Drinking coffee.  The first time around, I felt guilty having a steeped tea once every three days; this time I can't function without my two cups of coffee in the morning.  Judge away.
  2. Reading nothing.  I don't feel the need to know when exactly the baby is the size of an avocado this time. 
  3. Caring for a one-year-old.  This means a few things: lifting 30 lbs about a hundred times a day, having to bend over a lot (oh, that pesky food-throwing stage), and on a positive note, having a constant reminder that pregnancy is totally worth the prize you get at the end.
  4. Trying not to gain too much weight.  I know how hard it is to lose the pregnancy weight, so I'm trying to be more careful.
  5. Totally failing at not gaining too much weight.  Meh.  I wasn't really trying that hard.
  6. Punching people in the neck.  Okay, I haven't literally done this, but I've wanted to.  I wasn't this moody last time, was I?  WELL, I AM THIS TIME SO YOU'D BETTER SHUT UP.
  7. Referencing my last pregnancy journal.  Yeah, I journal.  And I'm not doing it to make you feel bad that you don't.  I find comfort in reading entries from last time like, "I feel fat and exhausted.  Please make this be over."  I say, "I hear you, sister" and enjoy the bonding moment with my former self.  But then there are also entries like, "Oh, it's so exciting to prepare the nursery!" and I'm like, "Oh, shut up" but then I realize it's just the hormones talking, and I really needn't begrudge Alison from the past for enjoying nesting.  I am such a cow sometimes.
  8. Eating a lot of apples.  That's my pregnancy craving this time.  At least it's healthy.  If only I weren't having equally strong cravings for chocolate bars and danishes.
12 more weeks...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Of Subway Cars and Tupperware

There are two ways to store your Tupperware (by which I of course mean Zellers-brand plastic containers and old margarine tubs): 

  1. Separate the bowls and lids, and stack them in such a way that maximizes the space available, so that you have as little air as possible taking up room in your Tupperware drawer;
  2. Keep the lids on and stack them one on top of the other.
The first way seems like the smart way, which is why most people choose it.  "I'm being efficient with space!  Look how much stuff I can fit in here when I use my mad Tetris skills!" and that's all fine and dandy, until you actually need to put away the leftover pasta and then you're all, "Where is the effing lid?  Why can't I find the effing lid?  STOP TELLING ME TO CALM DOWN"

I choose the second option because I don't need to be able to fit millions of plastic containers into one spot; I just need about 10 of them, and I need to not have to sift through 18 lids trying to figure out which one fits.  

Riding the Rocket, the new subway that the TTC built last year, I often think of Tupperware.  It seems that in their designing of the cars, they thought a whole lot about how they could make as much space available as possible - indeed they apparently increased capacity by 8-10% - but they didn't think about, oh, how these bodies would stay upright on a moving vehicle with nothing to hold onto.  Yes, there's more space, but is it usable?  I like to imagine they had a little Rocket on a boardroom table, chugging along like a model train, and they glued miniature blue and pink people inside and congratulated themselves on how many glued-down miniature people could fit into their brilliant invention.  I wonder if those people had ever ridden on a subway before?  And if they had - did they do it at rush hour? 

Check out this photo, which I borrowed from this article about the new trains:

Imagine this train totally packed at rush hour.  There are those horribly-useless rings to hold onto on much of the middle-part of the train's ceiling (these are the worst because they are so uncomfortable to use, short people can't reach them, and they MOVE so they don't exactly keep you stable), but then there are sections, like the one above, where there are huge areas in the middle with NOTHING to hold onto.  You know what people do?  If they're tall enough, they clasp their hand against the flat ceiling, hoping to stay steady enough not to fall into the little old lady standing next to them. 

And it makes me mad.

Apparently they're trying to fix this problem, by adding bars and straps to the air conditioning units (see below), but I have yet to ride a subway car which has this addition. Grrr, TTC. Grrr.

We are people. We are not units of space. We need poles to hang onto; not the ability to walk the entire length of a train while it's moving. WHO DOES THAT ANYWAY? Next time spend some more time getting to know the thing you're trying to improve. And always, always do it at rush hour.

Food Lion commercial - 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Review: "The Back-Up Plan" starring Jennifer Lopez

3 minutes in: Really, Jennifer Lopez? You're being artificially inseminated and you're concerned that the doctor is going to be offended by your chipped nail polish? Is that really how you feel? Also, really? You wore fake eyelashes to this appointment?
4 minutes: Really? I'm hearing a voice inside your head saying, "Oh, I hope this works. I've wanted this for so long. Maybe this isn't how I pictured it, exactly." Really? Did that need to be written? Can't we just assume it?
4 minutes: Oh good, you have a quirky best friend who squawks at you about how horrible her four kids are, and how damaged her goods are and how that should therefore mean you shouldn't have kids of your own. This is getting worse by the second.
5 minutes: Ugh, did we just do a flashback to your male friend doing a spit-take when you asked him to be your baby-daddy? And then did he ask if you were out of your mind, and screech about how he's in his sexual prime, instead of doing what a real friend would do and listen and be supportive?
6 minutes: Oh God, why? Why are you leaving the doctor's office holding your legs tightly together? Why does the doctor have to tell you you don't have to do that? Why are you a moron? Oh good, the doctor just told you about a moms' support group. Maybe something funny will happen there.
8 minutes: Wow, what a twist. You just got in the same cab as an attractive dude, and oh wait - you don't like him right away! What will happen? Oh wait, ha ha, it's so funny, the two of you are fighting over who gets to take the cab and then you both get out and the cab drives off! Hahahahaha! And THEN? You both get on the subway because that was the only cab left in the whole city! Ahahahahahaha!!!
10 minutes: Oh lovely, you own a pet store. And your two quirky employees want to hear everything about the insemination and they're really badgering you about it and not being delicate at all. They are the best!
11 minutes: Oh good, Melissa McCarthy! Finally this movie is going to get tolerable. Oh wait, nope. The script is still horrible. There's nothing Melissa can do to rescue this sinking ship. And now it's getting offensive. Single mothers are weird and flaky and breast feed their kids for a long time (and that's baaaad, did you know?)
18 minutes: And now your best friend is again trying to convince you that kids aren't worth it. Hey, lady with four kids, why don't you shut up and let the lady with no kids have a baby already? Where did you find this best friend, Jennifer Lopez? She is the worst!
19 minutes: Wait, wait...are you randomly running into that guy from the cab incident at the farmers' market? That is so crazy! I didn't think we would ever see that guy again! LIFE IS SO CRAZY!

Okay, so I couldn't continue, by which I mean I couldn't continue the review.  Oh, I watched the whole movie.  Why?  I can't explain it.  Sometimes the couch just sucks you in.  I will summarize by saying that you should definitely check this movie out if you're super dumb and easy to please and think awful things are actually great and even then, you probably just shouldn't watch this movie.  You have 200 television channels, there must be something better on.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

McCain Pizza spot

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I suck, I suck, I suuuuuuuck.

Ten years ago (ten of them!) Renée Strasfeld and I were sharing a dressing room at the St. Lawrence Centre, getting ready for a performance of Free to Be...You and Me directed by Michael Rubinoff, and she said I just had to listen to this awesome song from The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, which includes a woman singing her subtext while doing a musical theatre audition. I loved the song, then loved the show, then desperately wanted to do the show, and last year the wonderful Kate Stevenson gave me that opportunity.  My castmate, John Boag, who's voice is like butter but even better (so maybe like butter mixed with brown sugar and then Tina Fey serves it to you in a chocolate bowl?) made an audio recording of one of our performances, and I've posted a few of the numbers on my website. Here is a link to my performance of "Climbing Uphill", the number that Renée played for me that day in 2003.  As much as I loved it then, it really resonates with me now.  

Hey look, I did a non-baby post!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Mommy Secrets

I'm a mom. These are my secrets.

1. I am afraid all the time. I have so much to lose now.

2. For awhile, in an attempt to lose my remaining pregnancy weight, I was eating Lean Cuisine and trying to stick to 1200 calories a day (no, not while breast-feeding, you don't have to report me to the authorities). If you can't picture what 1200 calories a day looks like, here is a sample menu:

Breakfast: 1 rice cake.
Lunch: Air soup with dust sprinkled on top, and if you're really hungry you can throw in a mint leaf, but just a small one (THINK OF THE CALORIES).
Dinner: One frozen chicken breast with a garnish of boiled broccoli (the low-fat kind).

So that was great for awhile and I really saw results, but mostly those results were me being really hungry all the time. Now I am okay with taking the weight loss reeeeally slowly. Food is delicious.

3. Phil has started his parental leave and I'm back at work. I am enjoying this far more than I thought I would.  Beforehand I was feeling anxious about the prospect of not seeing Remy all day, but I am making the most of the time I do have with him.  The hard part is coming home at the end of the day and feeling out of the loop. "I don't know what his poops looked like today - HOW CAN I BE A GOOD MOTHER?"

4. Most moms think their baby is the cutest and smartest, but I know mine is. We're not just talking about my opinion here, we're talking about hard facts. I love science.

5. I have a mantra: "Work hard, don't complain, and take really good care of yourself."  It has served me well.  And the "don't complain" thing isn't a hard and fast rule. I still reserve the right to engage in bitch sessions when necessary.

6. On occasion I feel like I want to punch a wall.  I find this is usually remedied by my calling Phil and saying, "CAN YOU PLEASE COME HOME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE?", eating something delicious, and calling friends so we can all have a laugh about my mental state.

7. I now find it hilarious that I wanted to use reusable diapers in our apartment building with the communal laundry room.  Haaaaaaahahahaha!  I was so young.

8. It breaks my heart that Remy won't want me to cuddle him and rock him to sleep one day.  It breaks my heart like the first 10 minutes of "Up" did.  Ouchie.