Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who Else is Sick of the Olympics?

I am ready for the Olympics to be over and done with. Truth be told, I was already sick of them before they started. And though I didn't think it possible, I hate them more each day.
  • I don't care about how many medals Canada has won.
  • I care even less if our hockey team beats the Americans.
  • If figure skating is a sport, then ballet should be in the summer games.
  • Anyone who catapults themselves down a track made of ice at 140km an hour shouldn't be too surprised if they die doing it.
Most of all, I find the amount of money spent on this event to be completely disgusting. My girl Julie Cole had it right 2 years ago. When I think about the cash thrown at the opening ceremonies alone (pegged at over $38 million) I want to invite the entire VANOC committee to go have sex with themselves. The cost of hosting the 2010 Olympics is already coming in at over $2.5 billion dollars (what with having to truck in snow at $1000 a truck from the interior of BC and all). Don't even get me started about the whole Own the Podium fiasco, I might go into orbit.

Families with children with Autism are bankrupting themselves to get their kids the treatment they need just so they can have a semblance of a normal life. Even worse are the kids who will get no treatment because their families don't have resources to deplete to get them crucial ABA treatment between the key ages of 2 and 5 years old. So pardon me if I don't give a shit about the fact that we didn't medal in downhill. Max is a bigger hero in my eyes than any Olympian could ever be. It's time to start valuing what is truly important, and it isn't an event that has essentially turned into yet another mass marketing vehicle for huge companies to pedal their wares. For shame.

Max Update: My Home Depot Buddy!

First we conquered the grocery store. Next on my list of places I like to go (a lot) was Home Depot. We all know that Home Depot can be a busy place, so I decided to make our inaugural visit on a weekday morning, bright and early. Turns out the only people at Home Depot at this time are contractors, so we pretty much had the store to ourselves. Being the super geeky mom that I am, I decided to shoot a video of our trip for all the world to see. Thank dog it went well, or I would have had egg on my face. Actually, I just wouldn't have posted it (wink).

What I found really interesting about this experience, is that upon entering the store (an overwhelming wide open space) Max immediately figured out how to self-regulate by squishing himself into the cart. He has been finding ways to self-regulate more and more, often by placing pillows or blankets on his legs (the deep pressure is soothing). This is a really important step for Max as it means he is finding ways to cope with his world on his own. Yay Max!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Not At My Best.

Max's sleep has been all over the place lately, which is code for Scott and I have not been getting much rest at night. Looking back over other posts where I am bitching about Max's nighttime antics, I know that paired with sleepless nights and increased head banging, are bursts of progress. But truth me told, at 3:30a.m., the fact that he has mastered the phrases "OH NO!!" and "All Done Sleep!!" is not all that charming.

Max's therapy team has given us a game plan to follow when he wakes up at night. When he bangs his head on his bedroom door, we need to teach him that this is not an appropriate way to get our attention and that he needs to knock on his door with his hand and say "help me". But he doesn't get off the hook that easily, because getting up at 3:30a.m. is also not okay. The theory is that he is banging his head not only to get our attention, but to fulfill his sensory needs. So, after showing him that he needs to knock on the door, and giving him the choice of going to the toilet or getting a squish, I have to get him back into bed (because he inevitably tells me "No Toilet!") and apply deep pressure to his head, core, arms and legs, for about 10 minutes. Then I tell him "Night, night Max, time for sleep" and I leave. At least, in the foggy haze of 3:30a.m., I think that's what I did.

Max and I repeated this dance every 15 minutes until 6a.m., when I deemed it appropriate to great him with "Good Morning Max!" and I begrudgingly let him come downstairs so we could "start" our day. Here's hoping he's as tired as me and we both sleep through the night.

Friday, February 19, 2010

For the Love of Quilts.

I started making quilts in 2001. My friend Cathy and I took a quilting class together at Quilter's Quarters in North Toronto. I think our favourite part was picking out the fabric and the weekly gossip sessions that ensued over the 8 week course. After that I was hooked. I started out simply, making a quilt for my friend Dave who had moved to Japan, and then one for our new (to us) house.

My mom and Jennifer are also quilters. We each have our own distinct style and I love this. While I enjoy the piecing of the quilts (sewing the actual blocks of the quilts), Jennifer prefers the quilting part (when the quilt is sewn together with it's inner padding and back). I've joked with her in the past that I should just send her my quilt tops once I finish them and have her quilt them for me as that is my least favourite part. My mom is a quilting superstar and she is much more adventurous than me. Most of the quilts in these pictures are made by her.

This is a quilt I made when we bought our house. In this picture I'm asleep with Max and our cat Samba. I believe he is under a week old in this picture (which is why I'm so tired):

I made this tulip quilt for Maya, our friends Brad and Jen's first baby:

The most complex quilt I've made is this heart quilt. It was a Christmas gift for my mom. If you look closely you can see that the pink hearts have 4 different fabrics, and the red hearts also have 4 different fabrics:
My mom has made Max many quilts. I believe this one was started before we knew I was going to have a boy (that's how excited my mom was about her first grand baby):

Once my mom found out she was going to have a grandson, she of course had to make a blue quilt as well!: Max's Aunt Jennifer also made him a quilt (and trust me, you can never have enough baby quilts!). I think this picture was taken the day he came home from the hospital:
When Max was having trouble sleeping at daycare, his Occupational Therapists recommended a weighted quilt. Grandma stepped in and made him the perfect quilt, exactly 10% of his body weight and soft flannel material:
For Christmas this year she made him a bigger, slightly heavier one. It has become a favourite of everyone in our house:Somewhere along the line, my mom also made the two quilts on the back of the couch (that's me and my bro Daniel with Max). I believe the first one was for Scott and my first apartment together, and the red heart one was for my birthday a few years ago:Not to worry, Cameron has gotten her fair share of quilt love. This is the quilt that Aunt Jennifer made for her. Cameron celebrated being sick this month by barfing all over it. This is the true sign of a loved quilt:
Grandma made Cameron 2 quilts - one to decorate her nursery wall:
And one for her to sleep with and play on:
These quilts have been there for the most important parts of our lives (and there are at least three more that I have made that I don't have pictures of!). I love that every quilt has a story, and when you snuggle under one, you can feel the love that went into making it. I need to start quilting again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Need a Boost.

If you work in the field of marketing, you know that there are two ways to get a job. One is through your contacts, the other is through recruiters. The whole affair is a balancing act. You want to work your contacts without being pushy or seeming desperate (look man, I really need a job!!). It really is true that the best jobs are never posted. If you're lucky, they are created just for you. But that's when the economy is jumping and companies are throwing cash around for sexy campaigns. That's not the reality right now. While the economy may be turning around (at least in Canada), marketing budgets are still tight and there is a long line of super talented and qualified candidates for every job. Trying to find a new job is a daunting task and it's easy to feel defeated before you even put a foot on the floor in the morning.

Despite all that, today I met with a recruiter. It's hard to get excited about the thought of a "potential" interview with a "real live person" at an (omg!!) "company". Recruiters are often the holders of the golden keys to the position you want. Like everyone else, they are doing a job. But they don't work for you - they get paid by the company they are finding candidates for and don't you dare forget it. So you trot your ass in to the recruiter's office and sell seLL SELL yourself. You have to muster up your confidence, swagger, and energy to portray the perfect candidate for them to put in front of their client. It's sort of like qualifying for the Olympics. Once you are in, then the real interviews start. If you add them all up, you may have to go through 3 or 4 interviews to get the gold medal. Assuming you are the chosen one.

So, forgive me if I don't get super stoked anymore when I go for interviews. Every interview is just another iron in the fire, and you need A LOT of irons to get one job. This will all work out, but damn, this process is something else. I think tomorrow I'll go party with my friends and see if I can get a job that way (more fun, for sure!). But hey, in the meantime, if you have any leads on potential gigs, hook a sista up! Max's therapy isn't going to pay for itself...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sexual Napalm.

My friend Christopherr and I went to see John Mayer on Sunday night (that's us on the jumbotron). Yes, that's right - I went out with a man other than my husband on Valentine's Day. I think the fact that I didn't drag Scott out to this concert was my v-day gift to him (he doesn't dig @johncmayer).

Seeing John Mayer confirmed a few things for me:

1. Buddy may say some really dumb things, but damn he can play the hell out of his guitar (all 20 of them...I think he had a different guitar for each song).

2. The ladies love him and put up with his kiss-and-tell-tweeting-self because when he sings (and he sings really well), he is sexy. Super sexy. Throw your panties on the stage sexy.

3. He has found the balance between being an incredible musician and a top notch entertainer. In a world of lip syncing and autotune contrasted with inaccessible highbrow jazz, this is refreshing.

Thumbs up John Mayer. You may be a bit of a jerk, but you put on a great show (and your band kicks ass).

I Dreamed a Dream.

Max and I went on a walk this morning to the local plaza to buy bread. As we started on our way home, I saw a new store called Cupid's Gourmet Cupcakes. There was a woman inside, putting out fresh cupcakes in the display case. I remember meeting this woman when she was selling her tasty cupcakes out of the local gourmet shop in the same plaza this past fall. Seeing her in her own shop, it made me really happy for her. She found something that she's good at, that she loves to do, and she's making her dream a reality. Isn't that we are all striving for?

As I walked home, hand in hand with Max, I started to ask myself "what do you really want to do?" and just as important "what are you doing to move towards that goal?". The answer to the first question came easily. I want to write. The answer to the second question is harder. How do I make a living at writing? I write every day for free, basically to entertain my friends. But how do I get enough paid work on a consistent basis that my job could actually be writing. To be determined, I guess. But it's something I want to keep working towards for sure. Until then, maybe I can pick up a few shifts a week baking cupcakes...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

(Early) Morning Smile.

Happy Valentine's Day! I'm up super early today because...because Max is up super early! Oof.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

20 Times Around the Block, Twice on Every Speed I've Got.

This has been one helluva week. The ups were tremendous, the downs had me sleeping on the bathroom floor. We no sooner got one kid healthy and the other one got sick again (and again). I have cabin fever, I can't get the smell of sick out of my house and I am wicked edgy. Today I even went to the gym to exercise instead of resting with the hope that it would help make me feel less anxious and tightly wound. It helped. I need to remember to exercise when I feel like I'm going to jump out of my skin.

The other thing I do to help me relax is listen to music on headphones. It blocks out the sounds in my house - the toilet with the phantom flush that I need to fix, the neighbourhood kids yelling across the street, the hum of the dishwasher. I feel like I'm in my own little world for a few minutes (a world where I don't have to worry about filing taxes, paying bills and finding a new job).

Tomorrow I get a night out of the house - I'm escaping the 'burbs to go see John Mayer in concert with my friend Christopherr (talk about a hot date on Valentine's Day!). Props to Lulu and Scott for being cool about this. Let's hope John shuts up and plays the guitar.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Part 2: From Bed-ruin to Bedroom.

My bedroom is a mess and I hate it. At least, it was and I did. After chipping away at the clutter all week (despite being super sick) I have managed to take back our bedroom and return it to its previous Love Den glory. Or, at least, I hope I have (wink). Try not to judge me too harshly as you look at the before pictures. We don't spend much time in our bedroom except to get dressed and sleep, and this room definitely fell victim to our crazy-constantly-on-the-run lifestyle. I'm hoping a clean slate will help us stay motivated to keep it nice and organized moving forward.

The Dresser Before:
Yes, we have fallen prey to the unused exercise equipment that has been converted into "that thing we put crap on". My favourite part of this picture is not the cluttered dresser, but the luggage sitting in the corner, begging to be used. The garbage bag is actually filled with clothes that need to be donated. The steamer? I can't remember the last time it was used.

The Dresser After:
While the wires to the tv still need to be tucked away, and there are still a few boxes between the dressers, this is much better. In a perfect world I'd get rid of that tall dresser altogether. The laundry basket? Well, it has to live somewhere, right?
The Entryway Before:
There is really no excuse for this. Yeah, that's Christmas wrap (and yeah, it's mid-February). The boxes are leftover shipping boxes from gifts that got delivered to the house. Laptop bag, CD binders, and big box of CDs from my big iTunes import project. What can I say? Things tend to stay where they are left...

The Entryway After:
Not much to say here. I cleaned up all the crap. Makes it a lot easier to get into the bedroom.
The Bed Before:
This isn't actually that bad. The bedside tables are piled high with books, which is typical for us. What you can't see is that they are very dusty and need a good wipe down. The decorative pillows are piled in the corner, because, who are we kidding? Nobody actually sleeps with those on the bed.
The Bed After:
I couldn't resist putting a red blanket on the bed for Valentine's Day. Much sexier than the quilt. Bedside tables are cleared of books (this will last until we go to bed tonight and need a place to rest our books).The first thing Scott asked me when he saw the bedroom in its new form was "What am I supposed to do with my clothes?". I suggested that if they required washing, they should be put in the laundry basket, and if they were still clean, they should be hung up in the closet. We'll see how long that lasts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Max Update: Pure Joy.

Despite being sick this past week, Max has had an explosion of progress. Yesterday he requested to go to the bathroom and then had a BM in the toilet! And then he peed (also in the toilet!). Imagine that! He has also mastered stringing beads, something we have been working on for months.
A few days ago he was playing with one of his car/ramp toys, and when Cameron came and sat down with him and started playing with the same toy, he took turns with her instead of pushing her away. We joked that the only reason they were playing nicely together is that they were both sick, but I'll take it!
I also got a report today that Max actually drank water from a straw this afternoon in therapy! He has also mastered blowing horns in his speech therapy sessions (this is a picture of me learning how to work on this with him). A few months ago he wouldn't even tolerate having the horn touch his lips. The ups and downs of this journey are exhilarating and exhausting. We celebrate the ups - the successes are what keep us going.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wiggle Less Wednesday: How to Lose 6 Pounds the Hard Way.

I lost 6 pounds this week. I can only really take credit for one of those pounds. Cameron gets credit for the last 5 pounds. She's the one who brought the Norwalk Virus into our house. Yes, that's right - those last 5 pounds were lost in the most painful way possible. The kicker? They don't even count because we all know any weight lost through being sick comes back the minute you eat your first meal.

Since I obviously haven't been to the gym since the plague stomped all over our house, I have been trying to find ways to keep myself motivated for when I am feeling well enough to resume working out. My main diversion has been making workout playlists for myself. I like music I can groove to, that is upbeat, and most importantly helps me push through those moments when I feel tired and ready to quit.

My top workout tunes include:

99 Problems - Jay-z
Work It - Missy Elliot & Ciara
The Way You Move - Outkast & Sleepy Brown
The Jump Off - Lil' Kim
We Fight/We Love - Q-Tip & Raphael Sasdiq
Lose Yourself - Eminem
SOS - Rihanna
Love Sex Magic - Ciara
Bouncin' Back - Mystikal
Give It to Me - Timbaland
Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake
Beautiful - Snoop & Pharrell
I'm Real - J-Lo & Ja-Rule
One Mic - Nas
Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
I'll Be - Foxy Brown & Jay-z
What's It Gonna Be - Busta Rhymes & Janet Jackson
#1 - Nelly

While that's a pretty good list, I need some more recommendations. What are your top workout tunes? What gets your rump shakin'? Helps you push through the wall of fatigue? Please share! Really...I need something to get me back into the gym once barf-fest 2010 ends.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

TMI Tuesday: From Bed-ruin to Boudoir in 1 Week.

With Valentine's Day under a week away, I am willing to bet that plans for romantic evenings abound. Those who dig the holiday are excited about their loved ones being forced into buying cheesy cards, overpriced flowers, and chocolate that your derriere probably doesn't need. I actually have no problem with Valentine's Day (or flowers or chocolate). I just wish that instead of spending a tonne of money on it, people would write their own poem (or love song!), buy an oregano plant , bake a cake, or get busy to express how they feel.

I have figured out a way that will truly express my love: I am going to give our bedroom a makeover and transform it from its current bed-ruin state into a boudoir that will make my intentions for Valentine's Day crystal clear. The bonus, this will cost me no money!

We have a big bedroom. We have way too much stuff in our bedroom, making it cluttered and tough to find things when you need them. And yes, we have a tv in our bedroom (apparently this is a sexlife killer). I think kids are the real sex life killers and you should all leave my tv out of it. The tv stays. The bike gathering dust in the corner? It's a goner.

In order to clean up our bedroom so that I can turn it into The Love Den, I figured the first thing I needed to do was make room in the closets. The only way to do this was to get rid of some clothes. After it was all said and done, I turfed 5 garbage bags worth. Jennifer was my main motivation for this. Not only did her kitchen makeover inspire me, but we also had a lengthy discussion about clothes. Why do I keep clothes I haven't worn in years? Clothes that don't fit? Clothes that aren't flattering? Clothes with stains? Tears? Aren't in style anymore? The biggest offender - clothes that don't make me feel like a million bucks. And don't even start about the shoes...

I found this mass purge fulfilling. I tossed the "goal" jeans that I have been saving in hopes of shimmying my way back into them. Realistically, when I do wiggle a little less, I'm going to reward myself with a new pair of jeans, I'm not going to want to wear my ratty old CKs. I also don't need 15 pairs of pajama pants, old concert tshirts or sweaters with less shape than potato sacks. I am letting a few items that I just couldn't bear to part with audition for a place in my new wardrobe. If I don't wear them by the end of February they will be joining their brethren for donation.

The end result was very pleasing. Now that I have gotten rid of the clothes I don't wear, don't like, and that do nothing for me, I can easily find the garments that make me walk tall (all 5'4 of me). I have kindly suggested to Scott that I would be happy to help him sort through his wardrobe (we'll see if he bites).

Next up? The dresser and night tables (hey! don't look in there...that's private...).

Monday, February 08, 2010

We Be Illin', Chillin'.

As it turns out, it wasn't only Cameron who got sick last night. After I got Cam to bed, I checked in on Max and he had also thrown up all over his bed. Ugh. This was the beginning of a very long night for all of us. Within a couple of hours I joined the ranks of the ill and succumbed to pukedom (and other wonderful blessings I will not share with you here but I'm sure you can guess).We called Nana & Bumpa to see if they were sick and sure enough, Nana was down for the count. Bumpa followed shortly thereafter and Scott (our last man standing), fell this morning. The kids slept on and off all day, Scott and I rotated between them trying to keep it together as best we could. Cam and I seem to be on the mend, Max and Scott not so much. I'm hoping we're all back to normal in a few days (or else I'm going to need another night off with Christine!).

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Great Food, Great Friend, Great Music.

I had a terrific night in Toronto with my friend Christine. She made me dinner, we went to hear The Bad Plus, and we pseudo watched SNL, but mostly chatted and played with her dog Max (I know...). Then this morning, I slept in, she made me breakfast, and sent me on my way back home. As I write this, Cam is laying next to me on the bed, still sick (she just barfed all over both of us). Everyone else is watching Super Bowl and we are self-quarantined in my bedroom. It's okay, looks like the Colts are going to win anyway (boo....).

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

It was, of course, too good to be true.

  • Tickets purchased weeks in advance to see The Bad Plus tonight.
  • Nana & Bumpa lined up to have Cameron sleep over.
  • Plans for pedicures and dinner made.
  • My bag packed (in my head) to stay at my friend Christine's place.
  • Wine chilled.

And as I opened the door to Cameron's room this morning, the smell hit me, and all those plans crumbled to the ground. There is no mistaking it, the smell of vomit. It's especially nasty when it is someone else's vomit. Cameron had apparently thrown up at some point in the night and inexplicably decided to sleep in her barf instead of summon us to come get her. She looked a little confused as I picked her up, keeping her at arm's length and brought her into the washroom to give her a bath. Scott headed for the hills (he's the poop whisperer, I deal with the barf - a fair trade from a frequency perspective).

Cameron howled as I scrubbed her down, and I mentally started scratching items off my list and adding new ones:

  • strip crib sheets
  • get pedialyte
  • wait and see if Cam is indeed terribly ill and all plans must be cancelled or if this is a little bug and maybe I can still go to the concert
  • laundry

At this point, it looks like dinner and the show can be salvaged, pedicures are probably not an option. Crossing my fingers that I can crash at Christine's (or else I might as well leave the wine here). Wish me luck. (Cam has now eaten toast, had a half bottle of milk and is walking around with a plastic strainer on her head, so I'm thinking she's on the mend).

Friday, February 05, 2010

Baby Got Mac.

I want a macbook. And I want to shed some pounds. I want these things equally. The only way I can reconcile this is by merging these two desires. So, I need to save money for a macbook, and I need to eat less and exercise to lose weight. The cheapest macbook is $1100, let's say $1250 all-in, give or take, when you add in the tax.

I have no extra money. What I do have is extra pounds. So, I figure if I cut down on some of my edible indulgences, which let's face it, ain't helping me towards my weight loss goal, and put $5 per workout into my mac-savings-account (the envelope in my underwear drawer), I'll be a) super motivated to work out and b) eventually save enough money for a macbook. This week I worked out 4 times. Yay! $20 saved towards my macbook. Hmmm...this might take a while. How about if I add another $5 for the weeks I lose weight (I won't deduct money if I don't lose, because that's a super downer and completely cruel). For weeks I really kill it in the gym (go 7 for 7) I could save as much as $40!!

Realistically, I'll work out 4 times a week. I won't need to lose weight forever, but once I hit my goal weight, I'll reward myself that $5 for maintaining (yeah, I know, a bit of a scam...). So, at $25 per week, I should have my macbook in time for...2011. Boo. Ah well, maybe they'll go on sale for Christmas 2010 and I'll be able to get it early?!

Morning Smile.

Mac and cheese is always a sure winner with Cam. This is her blowing on it because she has deemed it too "hot hot".

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Countdown to Super Bowl XLIV.

If you live in Indianapolis or New Orleans, Sunday will either be the best day of the year for you, or it will turn you into one of those bitter sports fans who falls asleep thinking "if only..." for years to come. For the rest of us, Super Bowl will be about the food. Going on record, I am rooting for the Saints, because they are the ones who knocked that pain-in-the-ass-needs-to-retire-already-can't-spell-his-name Brett Favre out of the playoffs. And that is by no means meant to insult Vikings fans. I have nothing against your team. I wish you well, I wish you bluebirds, I wish you love, just not with Favre as your QB.

For the past five or so years, we have watch Super Bowl with our friends Shane & Stephanie. Make that Shane, Stephanie, Charlotte and Ronan. Man we're a bunch of breeders (where did all these ankle biters come from?)! And how did a simple gathering of four adults double in only four short years? Thank goodness the NFL has hired such family friendly acts like The Who for the halftime show. I would be quite upset if my children (both of whom were breastfed) were exposed to another nipple.

Menu planning has been in full swing for a few weeks now. Do we make the same chili as we did last year? Or perhaps try something new like pulled pork sandwiches? How about that killer guacamole? But for that we need tomatillos and I have no clue where to find those. We'll need a veggie tray for Max, other kid friendly snacks for Cam and Charlotte, assorted beverages for the adults, and some gluten free stuff for Stephanie. Damn - how I long for the days when a 2-4 of beer and a frozen pizza would have sufficed.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wiggle Less Wednesday: Kitchen Dancing is Exercise, Right?

There comes a point in every woman's life when she must choose between her face and her fanny. I do not wish to make this choice. Can I not have a beautiful face and a bodacious back end? Perhaps having both is possible - so long as I set reasonable goals and keep an eye on my booty as I make a concerted effort make my face a little less round while I firm things up.

I am tired of boot camps and extreme diets that force you to work out until you can't walk and cut out your favourite foods. They work for a short period of time and then when you inevitably can't maintain these rigorous standards, everything falls by the wayside and you are left back at square one, or worse. So, this time I'm going to go about things differently. This time I am going with the mantra "slow and steady wins the race".

I am exercising again - moderately. Instead of running I am walking. I am starting out with a 50 minute walk at a 4% incline at level 4, 5-6 times a week. It is just about as fast as I am able to walk without running. Once I have this under control I'll add in a yoga class or two. I am drinking water again - all recommended 8 glasses. I find this particular task challenging, and I continue to wonder why I would have absolutely no problem drinking 8 glasses of wine, but water? That's hard! I am writing down what I eat, down to the single glass of red wine I enjoyed tonight and the square of dark chocolate. And, last but not least, I am weighing myself (gasp!). I don't love the number, and I will admit to setting a goal of losing 17 pounds. Now, if I get to a point where I feel great, and I like the looks of my face AND my booty, I may decide that I don't need to lose 17 pounds. Or, I may lose 17 pounds and think, hmmm...maybe a few more (but I doubt it).

So, wish me luck. I plan on kitchen dancing my way to a fitter, more confident self. I'll keep you posted on how it all works out!

Morning Smile.

Max has recently started eating with a fork. This is pretty big time for us as we have been working towards this for a while. Yay Max! And yes, he is giving me the "Mom, let me eat my breakfast in peace you crazy lady" look.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

You Look Just Like...

There is a meme going around on Facebook this week asking folks to post a picture to their profile of their Celebrity Doppelgänger. First things first, while I understand the word has come to mean "double" or "look-alike", what it really means is "the ghostly double of a living person, a sinister form of bilocation". For the purposes of this post, I'm just going to say "look-alike".

I have been told countless times that I look like Drew Barrymore (that's the person on the left if you are unfamiliar with her visage). While I think Drew Barrymore is very pretty and attractive, I always wonder why people feel the need to compare others' appearances to that of celebrities. Don't get me wrong, I do it too. But when you tell someone he or she "looks just like so-and-so" what you are really saying is "you look like so-and-so when they get their picture taken in the grocery store parking lot by paparazzi". Because, I know for a fact that even on my best day, I would not actually be mistaken for Drew Barrymore.

My friend Jennifer has been compared to Audrey Hepburn, and Scott gets compared to Matt Dillon and Jim Carey. Those are very flattering comparisons. But what if someone said "you look just like Bea Arthur" or "is Dick Cheney your dad, because man, you look JUST LIKE him!"? That would probably hurt your feelings and piss you off. In reality, you should already be hurt and pissed off, for being told you look like someone when they were caught on laundry day in their old sweats by a shutterbug. Hey, I'm just sayin' is all!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mental Health Monday: 42GB & Counting.

When my life is up in the air, I create projects for myself. These projects anchor me, make me feel like I have something to do, that I am actually contributing something (even if it isn't a pay cheque). Sometimes these projects benefit everyone in my house - like the kitchen makeover. But most often, the only one who really gives a crap about the list of things I want to accomplish is me. That doesn't mean these little projects aren't equally important. In fact, as most wise men will tell you, a happy wife/mom means a happy household.

Instead of tackling the rest of my house (which as it turns out, also needs a makeover), I have been working on moving my cd collection into iTunes. For many this wouldn't take all that long to complete. For me, this will probably take a while (even if I continue to diligently slug it out on a daily basis). I have a large cd collection. Not large by a lot of my musician friends' standards, but huge by what the vast majority of you would consider reasonable.

42 gigabytes is pretty impressive considering I've only been at this round of uploading for 10 days. Sad story - this is the 2nd time I have started this project. 20 gigs into the 1st attempt, my brand new iomega hard drive died on me. After a bit of research, I decided to go with the LaCie Rugged 500GB External Hard Drive. It has a terrific rep, and it comes with a funky orange case protector. I probably have about 100GB of music left to import, and yes, the task is daunting.

I started buying cds when I was in high school, and I have kept almost every one. That's 20+ years of music to relive. I wonder what I was thinking when I bought some of it (Vanessa Williams??) and I laugh as I play Notorious B.I.G. and dance in my kitchen, enjoying is as much today as the first time I listened to it. My collection ranges from local Toronto musicians to Arthur Rubinstein playing Chopin's Mazurkas. There are some cds that I know so well, I can hear the next song start before the current one ends, and there are others that I bought only for the sake of checking out one tune and never bothered with the rest of the recording.

It's fun making play lists of songs to drive to, workout to, kitchen dance to, get busy to. And it's interesting taking a look at the past 20 years as it relates to my developing musical tastes. I'd like to say I've come a long way, but the last song I bought off iTunes was "No Air" by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown (hey, I'm not proud). Sure I own a fair bit of Keith Jarret, Bill Evans and Shirley Horn, but in my heart, my favourite music is stuff I probably shouldn't play in front of my kids. Sorry Snoop, Foxy, B.I.G., and Lil' Kim - you and me, we're going to have to keep it on the DL for a bit - but you'll always have my heart.