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

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Deadbeatmom Resolutions

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Another year passed, another opportunity to try and erase or at least contain the damage. Hysterically, I started drafting this blog at the end of 2008…so much for the resolution to become an Uber blogger! But hey, this is officially my 50th post–woot!! Anyway, here are my top 5 Resolutions (whose got time or energy for 10)? Continue reading

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.

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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

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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

Baby surfing…

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I spy with my sunglassed eye…

So while taking baby K to his first year appointment last week, I noticed a new parenting phenom–pushing iPhones to kids as a way to offload actual parenting duties.

Now, before you think I’m getting all high and mighty, let me preface this entry by saying I’m not against technology. Nor am I against kids using it from time to time. In fact when juggling three kids alone at the local fish and chip restaurant (what the f$%k was I thinking?) I did cave and put Thomas on for the older kids so that I could finish my meal in relative peace. And for a last resort, I readily admit the iPhone has been a pure and utter Godsend.

What freaked me out about last week though was hearing this: “Honey do you want me to read a book? Or play a game on the iPad?” She might as well have been asking “Do you want to go to Grandma’s in Hamilton or jet off to Disneyworld and meet Belle and Snow White?” Continue reading

The deadbeat is back!

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Please be a girl or a fussy, neat gay boy!

Yup. Preggars for a third time!  Just when I thought I’d seen the last of dirty diapers, sleepless nights and a line-backer like body I up and got knocked up!

 
Trying to pitch “40 and Pregnant” to MTV about the struggles of a 40-year-old pregnant woman who must live with the burden of pregnancy all WITHOUT the use of Botox or Retin-A.
 
Stay tuned!  If I can get over my “elderly mom” fatigue, I’ll write more soon!

Why Tiger why?

Okay, I must admit it. Being married to an Asian guy, and somewhat identifying with Kate in her sad attempts to maintain control when clearly control was nowhere to be found, I was more than a little bummed about Jon and Kate’s breakup. It was sad for the kids, yes. But more importantly, it left all those people who say “yeah, we’re dysfunctional, but isn’t everyone?” a little more uncertain. Continue reading

Why clean the house when you can watch home improvement shows??

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. And for good reason:  we went from not even having cable to getting satellite. Which means hours previously spent surfing the web and writing once Noa’s asleep, have now been replaced with every home improvement show imaginable.

 While You Were Out, Trading Spaces, Flip That House, Moving Up…the list goes on. What I’ve realized is that these shows kind of make me feel the way most women do after flipping through Glamour or People magazine: fat, unkempt and just, well, not put together.

Is my house fat?? I wish. But the stuff crammed in our little 1300 square foot semi makes sometimes leaves me feeling like someone who’s 200 pounds trying to squeeze into a size 2. We started out as minimalists, but then we went and had a baby. It was like suddenly POOF out of nowhere an eighteen wheeler packed with JUNK fell out of the sky and randomly landed in our house.

I know these shows are supposed to offer inspiration–I mean with a $1000, a can of paint, some cardboard tubing and a glue gun it seems like just about anyone can convert their den into an urban oasis.  But when I watch them, I just feel kind of depressed. ‘Cause the reality is, no matter how much clutter I clear or how funky an idea I have the only way it would get done in the first place (and stay looking perfect) is to ship Noa (now 16 months old) off to toddler boot camp or a nursery school that takes baby boarders.

 The only light, within this pit of home improvement self-hatred I find myself trapped in, is How Clean is Your House? For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s about human sloth. More specifically, people who typically live in a fantastical blend of bacteria and shit. So much so, in fact, that the hosts are always marvelling at how the home owners have managed not to succumb to some deadly bacterial infection.

Now those people make me feel good!

10 Ways Springer is Better than Dr. Phil

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Okay, so I must admit. I actually used to kinda like Dr. Phil. But that slowly started to chip away when he a) brought anti-Iraq war activists on (at the start of the war) and told them they were unpatriotic and b) apparently threatened to walk away from a sold out live presentation because (or so the story goes), he was not provided with a hair dryer (how ironic is this) as stipulated in his contract. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the “I slept with your sister” episode. Anyway, Jerry Springer is starting to look a whole lot better these days for a bunch of reasons…

  1. Dr. Phil berates his trashy guests for their horrible deeds–e.g. sleeping with their wife’s sister or stuffing a 200 pound baby with Ho Hos…Springer celebrates the shortcomings of his guests, giving a bleeped out voice to the socially and economically disenfranchised inbred citizens of the world. 
  2. Dr. Phil brazenly hounds Britney Spears to publicly humiliate her into sanity…Springer offers anonymous and infamous trailer trash everywhere the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their insanity.  
  3. Any chance he gets, Dr. Phil is shamelessly promoting a crap book by his obnoxious son or annoyingly helium-filled wife who are both authorities on nothing…while…Springer’s only request of his charming, hearing-impaired daughter is that they waltz together on “Dancing with the Stars.” 
  4.  Dr. Phil is a media slut in a psychiatrist’s clothes…Springer is a circus-freak shrink, disguised as a self-proclaimed media whore. 
  5.  Dr. Phil thinks he’s God…Springer recognizes that even God has a sense of humour. 
  6. Dr. Phil often hosts ridiculous shows about makeovers and helping people ‘transform’ their look…Jerry accepts his lovely guests just the way they are. 
  7. Dr. Phil’s annoying son Jay has been known to put on a ‘fat suit’ to show how America’s obese underbelly is treated…Springer guests often expose just how big that underbelly (amongst other private parts) really is. 
  8.  Dr. Phil loves the sound of his own voice…Jerry loves the sound of continuous bleeping when his guests get riled up…. 
  9. Dr. Phil is notorious for sucking up to George and Laura Bush on his broadcasts…Rather than sucking up to politicians, Jerry is one: he was named Ohio Democrat of the year in 2004 and has been mayor of Cincinnati not once, but twice! 
  10. The Dr. Phil show just plain sucks…So does the Jerry Springer show, but Jerry celebrates it! 

Deadbeat New Year’s Resolutions

Well I know it’s a little late for resolutions, but I swear, I’ve been thinking about writing them since December 26th!  Anyway, I’ll skip the lame excuses and get down to business. My resolutions for 2008:

  1.  I will watch less TV (truth be told: I’m currently typing this while watching American Idol and think I may have just witnessed the next Courtney Love).
  2. I will NOT compare Noa’s good looks and charm with other toddlers (though clearly he is the cutest, smartest and funniest baby in the universe).
  3. I will attempt to take showers that last longer than three minutes.
  4. I vow to make a weekly contribution to my blog even if Noa is teething and I’m living on 2 hours of sleep a night.
  5. I will write a children’s novel about Chloe–my insanely jealous cat with bladder control issues–to toilet train children everywhere.
  6. I promise to stop breastfeeding Noa before his 26th birthday (and this coming from the woman who thought she wouldn’t last six months).
  7. I will not blast my husband or be bitchy when he attempts to be ‘helpful’ (why the f%$k would anyone one think an unneeded diaper change at 2am would make things better–are your f8$^&#ng kidding me????)
  8. I will NOT use cosmetic tools such as botox despite the fact that the first year of motherhood has added 10 years (note: excluding microdermabrasion and eye lifts).
  9. I will be on time for Noa’s play dates and Gymboree classes no matter how much he poops before he gets there.
  10. I will replace cursing in front of Noa–especially when some goddamn bastard motherf*^%er cuts me off while driving–with a much more dignified and silent middle finger.  

10 Ways Studying Theatre Prepared Me for Motherhood

Was watching ‘Little Mosque on the Prarie’ this evening after putting the baby down and spotted a couple of actors I worked with on a show. You see before I became a blogger extraordinaire and a communications ‘guru’ (I’m being ironic here folks), I studied and, upon graduation, temporarily worked in theatre (as an actor, director and stage manager). Needless to say, I got really tired of the poor life and being a brutal waitress, decided to get out.

But that little TV show got me thinking about the four years of training/studying I did and how I still use these skills in relation to motherhood:

  1. All those strange breathing/finding your inner voice exercises I did in acting class really came in handy during labour for those low primal grunts.
  2. I’m able to ‘feign’ excitement when Noa puts the puzzle piece in the box for the hundreth despite the fact that I’m actually sleeping with my eyes open.
  3. I do a mean puppet show.
  4. Endless improvisation exercises have allowed me to develop new lyrics to lullabyes including extensive revisions to ‘Hush little baby…’ Examples: “and if that diamond ring don’t shine, Papa’s gonna buy you a bottle of wine. And if that bottle of wine is sour, Mama’s gonna take you to happy hour. ”
  5. Animal impersonations are my middle name.
  6. I’m prepared to make a complete ass of myself for a couple of laughs from my ‘audience’ of one.
  7. The pay is crap.
  8. Just like with the Actor’s Equity Union, once you’ve joined the motherhood gang, like it or not, you’re in it for life.
  9. Not showering for several days is truly a form of artistic expression.
  10. Motherhood is a lot like being a stage manager: you’re there to make sure everyone’s needs are catered to, the set dishes are washed, floor mopped and that everything runs on schedule and NOBODY thanks you.

If breastfeeding is obscene…Ten things to ban now!

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Heard about the whole facebook and breastfeeding kafuffle http://www.thestar.com/article/255628and and have got to say–bravo to the uptight right! You’ve now made eating a sin! In the spirit of this wise and well-thought-out decision, I believe pictures of the following should also be banned:

1) All 50-something, overweight hairy European men wearing Speedo racers–I mean seriously, doesn’t this make every woman want to slather themselves in anti-bacterial gel?

2) Shots of Toronto’s CN Tower–it is after all, the world’s largest phallic symbol.

3) A woman sipping a $5 coffee from that famous American chain–otherwise known as the “mother’s milk” of a generation.

4) Ultimate fighting on YouTube: I know my husband’s addicted and the homo-eroticism of all those sweaty men rolling around is simply blasphemous.

5) Donuts coated in icing sugar–as children exposed to this kind of lurid food may, later in life develop a cocaine addiction.

6) Milk in general: I mean really, doesn’t it just take you back to that obscene breast of mama?

7) Hot, cheap designer shoes on eBay–which may cause women to orgasmically cry out, “oh yeah baby!”

8) Super baggy rap star pants belted low to reveal boxers–okay, I really believe these should be banned. Why? The part I find offensive is that this rapper “trend” has lasted at least 15 years. Boys, it’s time to move on to another ridiculous look please. Perhaps, walking around with one shoe or pairing these pants with a Speedo…

9) All retractable, domed stadiums–naturally, this conjures up images of the cervix dilating during that horrible, pornographic process known as childbirth.

10) Any photos or info regarding Britney Spears (okay, she’s one mama I actually hope is NOT still breastfeeding. Think of what that milk must contain…) 

Bizarre Search Terms

“Boobs jiggling while walking.” That’s the most recent search term someone used to find my blog. Which leads me to wonder–what the hell are people writing about and what kind of eccentric, fetish-freaks are reading it?

 Of course there could be a logical explanation–perhaps the only thing the searcher could remember about a friend’s blog was that there was a hysterical story about a delusional studmuffin (i.e. a stud in his own mind). Maybe said delusional man went to the same  nightclub every week and always made a point of wearing  tight white shirts to  emphasize his highly developed pecs. Of course since Rico Suave was obviously on steroids which added to his visions of grandeur, he was completely unaware that his “boobs were jiggling while he walked.”

 This is a perfectly logical explanation for the search term. More likely than not though, there’s some 45 year old guy holed up in his mom’s basement who has a penchant for braless, marshmallow-soft breasts that flap in the breeze. Come to think of it, my 60-year old next door neighbour is single, fits the latter description and enjoys strolling around the neighbourhood in a strapless and sadly unsupported bikini top. To the person who inputted this search: send me a message. I’ll hook you up!

Your baby is so cute! And other lies new moms utter…

 Okay, I’ve got to admit it: saying another baby is cute is like a Nike ad–you just do it. You HAVE to say the obligatory “what a cutie” and “how many months?” even if you think the baby looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid on acid. Truth be told, most of us are thinking “cute baby, but not as cute as my baby.” It’s nature’s way of making sure you don’t pitch the kid out the window when he has a complete and utter meltdown at 3am.

9 Other Lies:

2) “I don’t know why he’s crying when he’s usually so good.”
Read: the only time the baby shuts up is when he’s chomping down on a boob or in the bath.

3) “I’ll just have half a glass of wine since I’m breastfeeding”
Truth: okay, so maybe you end up drinking 8 half glasses–so what?

4) Yeah, my husband took the baby last night to give me a break.
Reality: I screeched at my man to “take the damn baby now or else I’m jumping out the bedroom window!”

5) I think the little guy is teething
Read: the neighbours called the police because they thought we were operating a poultry slaughterhouse out of our apartment.

6) Wow, he’s got a really unique cry.
Read: thank God my baby doesn’t sound like a chicken being slaughtered.

7) You know the pediatric society now recommends breastfeeding until at least 2 years old ?
Truth: you know if you stop breastfeeding, those french fries and chocolate cake you scarfed down at breakfast will go straight to your hips.

8) I religiously give my baby Vitamin D.
Fact: your baby is 10 months old and is still on the first 5ml bottle of the stuff.

9) “She just flung herself off of the bed!”
Truth: You were “resting your eyes” while your little gymnast decided to try out pillow vaulting as a new hobby.

10) “Our sex life has never been better.”

No explanation required.