Motherless on Mother’s Day

Funny how Mother’s Day, when you are at once a mom and motherless, takes on a whole new meaning.IMG_20160508_104230 (1)This isn’t the first Mother’s Day without my mom (in fact it’s the fifth) but her absence is still palpable. And yet she is still with me. In my expressions (“you attract more flies with honey”), in her recipes (Greek Easter bread–yum!) and her friends (who I still go to the casino with every year on her birthday). Though I’m sure my mom had a few secrets she kept with her to the very end, here’s what I know about my mom…

My mom was an adventurer–coming to Canada when she was just 17 to escape the poverty of post-civil war Greece to carve out a better life.

My mom was tough–she came out of a hard marriage to my dad with grace and never spoke ill of him despite his obvious shortcomings. She worked extra hard at her job as a waitress to ensure she could hang on to the house. Even though she only had a Grade 5 (?) education, all three of her kids managed to make it to university. Continue reading

What you learn travelling with kids…

I’m back!  I could rail off 200 excuses, but suffice it to say it all started with a little trip to Japan with 3 kids! Here’s what I learned along the way:

  1. Travelling is all about the kids. Screw the nice romantic dinners out, the cultural experience of plays and “high culture” when you can hit the amusement grounds, parks and indoor playgrounds!
  2. Forget eating where you want. Fortunately, my kids aren’t really into chicken fingers and fries. We had to go to rotating sushi pretty much every other day and this is one of the reasons why…

    yes that is a “mini bullet train” delivering a custom sushi order to our crew…okay, I understand why they wanted to eat at these places every day and frankly I didn’t mind.
  3. Prepare for your kids to be instant models…especially if you happen to be travelling through Japan with mixed race kids. I was hoping to score a million dollkhar modelling contract for the boys. Instead it seemed like a lot of Chinese tourists enjoyed snapping pictures of the brood (look for Higuchi brother dolls at a dollar store near you soon).
  4. The stress is in the line-ups, not the travel.  Try going through humourless customs with three bored and exhausted kids. Invariably it’s a horror show, even if they were perfect angels on the plane!
  5. Forget the sex, no seriously–it ain’t going to happen. And if it does, chances are, one of your kids is going to be traumatized for life!

 

Oops, I did it again. My love-hate relationship with Costco…

man-909049_1280 (1)There I am on Saturday AGAIN. Every time I go, I swear “this is the last time!” More importantly, every time I go there is someone cursing the exact same thing.  Costco is one of those places I abhor, and yet, as if it had a magnetic field around it (and I’m somehow wearing a metallic suit), I keep going back.

Why? I much rather imagine myself as a “farmer’s market” kind of girl–thoughtfully perusing quaint little baskets of slightly imperfect, but 100% local, organic produce from a Mennonite farmer with an overgrown beard straw hat and horse and buggy parked out back… Continue reading

Boys and books…

drinking-724223_640 (1)

“Why won’t they read Anne of Green Gables?”

It’s family literacy day today. And while I must confess my kids have too much screen time in general, the older boys have finally gotten into the groove of reading chapter books. I was an insatiable reader from a young age (though these days books are more like Nyquil to me) so I was a little worried when they didn’t want to pick up Anne of Green Gables (go figure–stupid boys). Fortunately I’ve found some alternatives…some that still bore me to tears (but the boys love) and some that I would read with my own friends, glass of wine in hand… Continue reading

Why drinking til you drop sucks as a mom…

eye-743409_640There I found myself on Saturday face hovering perilously close to the edge of the toilet bowl. Let me tell you, red wine may be a more sophisticated choice going down, but coming up, you’re much better off with beer! All this to celebrate my good friend’s 40th (from all accounts she was in worse shape than me which is as it should be). And here is why moms everywhere regret the day they had one vino too many: Continue reading

Progressing With Difficulty

Sorry son, you're never going to make it as a pop star. (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Sorry son, you’re never going to make it as a pop star. (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

‘Tis the season to receive first term report cards! But sanitized, I mean “standardized” report cards are almost as ridiculous as the “conceptual” math kids are taught these days (forget times tables and flashcards people, it’s all about sorting and patterning–a great concept if you’re doing laundry).

The report card is basically filled with stock sentences that never reveal a speck of personal commentary or, God forbid, an opinion on your child’s development or progress.

In fact you’ll probably never read, “Jane curtailed her talking to more appropriate times until her Florida trip.” Continue reading

Top 5 reasons I’m keeping the baby weight…

DSC_0012-1

Never mind that my baby is 3 1/2…I’m keeping the “baby” in those 10lbs! Photo by deadbeat mom copyright 2015.

Okay, I’ll admit it, I was one of those people that bounced back pretty fast after childbirth (sorry). But then I went back to work and something happened, I somehow managed to gain 10 lbs of “flashback” baby weight. Call it a sad rationalization for slowly becoming part of the obesity movement (I mean epidemic), but I’m going to embrace those 10lbs dammit and here’s why…

  1. “I rather be fat than bitchy,” notes my sage friend Crystal. Yup, me too. Both of us recognize that the soothing, emotion-numbing impact of a glass of wine (or two or three) when all you want to do is scream, “would you stop singing that f*%$#@$ song over and over again.” Wine and accompanying snacks might be bad for the waistline but, in the long run good for your own (and kids’) emotional well-being. True yoga may have the same effect, but you can’t really do yoga while chatting with your friend over the phone. And my downward dog always seems to turn into a paddywhack machine for a rambunctious toddler.
  2. I’ll stay warmer in the winter. Living in Canada, the extra padding comes in handy.
  3. If 40 is the new 30, so it goes that a size 8 is the new 6!
  4. It beats Botox injections. Gaining 10 lbs means less need for fillers and cosmetic procedures. If I have to choose between looking thinner or looking younger, I’ll go with that youthful glow only a muffin top can bring.
  5. Great excuse for a new wardrobe! I’ve started to realize that my “skinny clothes” might have to go to Syrian refugees–all for a good cause of course!

Jesus Wouldn’t Approve

I admit it. I’m a political junkie. Which is probably why I’m obsessed with the Syrian refugee crisis.

Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.

Maybe it’s because I’m a bleeding heart, maybe it’s because my parents were practically refugees who came to Canada after a brutal civil war in Greece (a war, I might add, where my grandfather was accused of being a “communist” and shot into a ditch with half his village. My mom was 7 at the time, the same age as my middle son). Okay, so kind of heavy for a “deadbeat mom” I know, but the load of crap I’ve seen on Facebook since the Paris bombings has made my blood boil.

Continue reading

#realtalks with deadbeatmom

Woot! Iprofileprincess‘m now the topic of study by bright young twenty-somethings (cue removal of false teeth and the “I remember when…” grandma voice).

Listen to Source: #realtalks with deadbeatmom

Still, it was great to talk to the uber talented blogger CatDavid about life being DOUBLE her age (yes, it’s true). I’ve come to terms with the fact that Cat isn’t 10. A fun 5 minutes of reminiscing which probably spawned my previous blog about life before kids.

Top five memories about life before kids…

So it’s Remembrance Day in Canada (and my husband’s birthday). But since the closest I’ve been to combat is a relative that dropped out of Royal Military College, I’m turning this into a memorial about “the time before.” As in “the timbaby memee before I had kids.” Don’t get me wrong, I love
my kids and would never, ever wish to “undo” this. But there are certain elements of my life I do look back on fondly…sigh. I spent 6 days this summer entirely kid-free (the first time in 8 years), and it was truly a revelation…Here’s my top 5 list: Continue reading

Prison from the eyes of a 3-year-old

chair prison

So clearly the youngest gets the acting gene from me! He put on this face as I took pics of him though the chair. Despite my deadbeatmom name, this guy is remarkably well-adjusted and happy. In fact, at the moment, he’s the most rational of the bunch. Guess he’s just making the face to try to live up to the persona I’ve created for myself!

ADHD or Mommy Overload?

A while back, I happened to catch a Dr. Oz show. Don’t worry, I’m not a regular viewer–I tend only to watch shows that go well with wine like Madmen, or the Daily Show or the Muppets… But by the end of the show I was hurling my wine glass at the TV and cursing like a trucker.


Why?  Well, you see, Dr. Oz did an entire show on adult onset ADHD. “ADHD can cause forgetfulness, irritability and procrastination, all of which can put a healthy marriage at risk. In fact, adults with ADHD are twice as likely to get divorced.”
Dr. Oz Website

Continue reading

Why the Conservative Party needs to go back to primary school…

TDSB TRAITSI don’t normally write about politics, but given the stunning overthrow of the Conservative Party in Canada two days ago, I thought this might be a good day to offer up some advice to my truly “blue” friends today.

Why did they lose?

Well I’m no political pundit, but I say it came down to something my boys are learning all about in grade school: character. In fact, character is officially part of the curriculum of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

“Character development at the TDSB is about helping students learn and practice positive character attributes. When we build good character, we build strong communities.” –TDSB website

Continue reading

Remember me: Why I make my kids insane Halloween costumes and cakes.

Vegimal costume and R2D2 cake

All-nighter and wine efforts…

October is a month like none other in my world. It’s the month I got married in, and the month that two of my three boys were born. Add to this Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween (and now the American League playoffs) and you’ve got an action-packed “adventure” every weekend. And by “adventure” I mean an insane, self-inflicted schedule of party planning, cake making and costume creation that usually includes wine, at least one all-nighter and a few intense moments of panic when I think I’m not going to have something ready in time. Continue reading