Link Me Up

Leave a comment

Oh man. Another week has blasted by again! And it’s February! 2016 is just whipping along at warp speed, isn’t it? This is the first week where I’ve had trouble sticking to my goals. I injured my back being an utter nutter and carrying Soren down (and then back up) a rock bank at the seaside last weekend, AND it’s been very very rainy so I’ve been cautious and not as keen about walking so much. I have been taking on some freelance projects, and I have been less focused on my posting schedule here…! I need to reconnect with my goals a bit, so I am going to take the time today to spend some one-on-one with my planner and get re-focused. What about you, dear readers? How do you reconnect with your goals, if you find yourself falling by the wayside?

As a all-the-time lover of patterns (and some-time maker of patterns), I am finding myself smitten with the work of Leah Goren. I am currently working on a water colour logo for a friend, and I have been itching to get my paints back out again to muck around for some personal projects, and Leah’s work is lighting a fire under my bum. I absolutely love her playful subject matter and expert colour combos.

This week’s list-o-links is brief but great:

• I loved this article about the science behind prophetic dreaming
• A class where teens aid in end-of-life care at a hospice centre. Beautiful idea!
• Loved these photos, evocative of my mid-90s youth
• Would you live in America’s oldest Mall? I might…
• These original concept sketches for The Thing (one of my favourite horror movies!) are great

Link Me Up

Leave a comment


“You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for your own pleasure.” – John Berger, Ways of Seeing



Hello. It’s a very dreary Wednesday, and I must admit I am writing this in a rush, while my toddler uses my body as a human jungle gym, before we scramble out for our daily walk.
I have been thinking about “selfies-as-self-care” lately. I have been taking photos of myself since I first got my hands on a camera. I remember the rush of power in having a roll of film developed, and finding photos of myself where I felt I looked beautiful. My family criticized me as vain and self-absorbed, but I felt having control over my image, and seeing myself as I wanted to be seen, to be a very healing thing. I maintain that if you’re mad at someone for liking their own face (or *trying* to like their own face), your priorities are out of whack. I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks for body image. Whenever I’m PMSing, I invariably go through a period of thinking “That’s it, I’ve finally lost my looks FOR GOOD!!” and wallowing in the despair of it all. Last night I even cut myself a set of “mentally unhinged” super short baby bangs, as I’m wont to do from time to time. I am going to try to take a selfie I like today and post it on insta, and I hope you will do the same. What about you guys, what do you think about “selfies-as-self-care”? If you get a minute, please post a selfie today, and tag me in it. I want to see all of your faces !

On to the Links!

• A man’s fitbit captured the exact minute his heart was broken
• From Romper, Parenting Expectations vs. Reality
• I am (obviously) a huge fan of 80s/90s PoMo & am all over this new line of Ettore Sotsass furniture from Kartell
• I loved this piece from Nubby Twiglet, about pursuing your dreams when you’re no Spring Chicken
• Just look at this INSANELY AMAZING early 70s time-capsule of an apartment. Not a hair out of place. Want it!!
• Or this much more expensive, gorgeous, West Coast Modern mansion on the sea, in North Van
• The Late Aaron Swartz, on School
• One of my side-dreams is to get into pottery, and I found this video mesmerizing.

On Surviving Two Years as a Stay-at-Home Mother

comment 1

When you’re pregnant, one thing you hear and read everywhere, but are seemingly incapable of taking to heart, is how difficult parenting is.

“My children cause me the most exquisite suffering of which I have any experience. It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness.” Audre Lorde



Perhaps there are those of us who are blessed with either a keen predilection for mothering, or a perfect support system/village and a wealth of resources already intact. But, for those of us deficient in those categories, parenting (and especially mothering) a baby is brutal and gruelling at times. I have never slept so little or worked so hard at anything in my entire life. That isn’t to say it isn’t also sublime, beautiful, perfect, rewarding, and like touching the face of god… but there is just no real way to prepare yourself for how much you will sacrifice for your children… not the least of which; your bank account, your sleep, your earthly body, your sanity.



The frustrating part of this whole shebang is the fact that that knowledge is out there, but is impossible to truly learn until you are actually (literally and figuratively) in the shit yourself.

If we’re to believe the media, there is a war being waged through the back alleys of internet forums and social media, between opposing factions of mothers. The classic battle of Breast vs. Formula, Attachment vs. Contemporary Parenting, of Stepford Moms vs Momz Keepin’ it Rill. There’s Young Hip Moms vs. Old-ass Tired Moms, there’s Christian Moms vs. Atheist Moms, there’s “please, not another baby! I can’t do this!” Moms vs. Moms Who Struggle For Years with Infertility and Loss. But perhaps one of the most onerous battles is that between the Working Mother, and She Who Stays at Home (SAHM).

SAHM_EarlyPPNo matter which side of this equation you fall on, you will sacrifice something. Whether it’s time with your family and control over the way your children are raised, or your career and identity as an autonomous human being; something is on the chopping block. There is no “having it all”. The only thing many of us find ourselves “leaning into” is the poverty line and sleep deprivation. Between a lack of reliable, affordable childcare for working mothers, and a lack of resources for mothers who stay at home, we all lose, at least a little bit. And I don’t believe anything’s going to change, unless we revert back to multiple generations of women, many of them lactating, living under one roof, or free, quality, in-work childcare for every possible vocation. Like it or not, we continue to live our lives under the thumb of The Capitalist Patriarchy, and in many ways society sets women, mothers in particular (and by extension, their children), up to fail.

I, myself, was raised by a hard-working feminist mother. I was shuttled off to a nanny/daycare at the age of 6 months, and there I stayed days, mornings, afternoons, until I was a preteen. My mother is my hero. Her hustle was strong, and her work ethic (coupled with my status as an only child, I suppose) provided our family with a dual income and the privileges and freedoms that come along with that (travel, brand new clothing, a nice warm big home on the lake etc). It also provided me with the notion that I could do whatever I wanted career-wise and it just never occurred to me that I would find myself in the predicament that I currently occupy.


I spent my 20s as a free-wheeling, neurotic, self-indulgent bon-vivant. I dropped out of my degree program at Art School when I was around 25, managed to complete my community college education in graphic design the year I turned 30, and filled the interim with shiftless stints in retail and food service. When it came around to being time for us to start a family, I was jobless and had not established myself in my career. Given that, I always knew that I would stay home with my baby for at least the first six months, but I honestly never imagined that I would be two years deep in a different “career” — Extreme Full Time Baby Mother. And I never imagined how difficult it would be.

It is often framed as the “privileged” way to mother a child. The assumption is that your partner makes enough money that you have the option of staying at home. And in a sense this is true. We certainly have it better than most people in the world. But for us, myself especially, it has also meant that I’ve sacrificed my burgeoning career and my sense of identity. We do with quite a bit less and a blow to our quality of life, because we only have a single income and the cost of living here is astronomically high. I cook all of our meals at home, we’ve done away with everything but the necessities, we purchase many of Soren’s baby items second hand, and we only travel if the bill is footed by grandparents waiting with baited breath to see their grandson.

These sacrifices and financial realities have been sobering to say the least. With both of our families living thousands of miles away, and a lack of a budget to go towards childcare, the onus has been on me to provide our son with round the clock care, with few breaks or opportunities to “Do me”. The option for help only existing during the brief periods in which we’re visiting – or being visited by – family. To say this has been a challenging “season” in my life would be an understatement in the extreme.

SAHM_MeSoseWalkI was very fortunate to have Andrew around for 9 months of parental leave. While there are many problems with our system here in Canada, and the way it serves families, I am forever grateful for the government-sanctioned healthcare that allowed me to give birth without going into debt, and the parental leave that allowed my husband to be home with us in what is arguably the most important period of parenting. I feel like his presence saved our breastfeeding relationship, and saved me from slipping over the edge into extreme PPA/PPD territory. I honestly do not know how I would have made it without him.

Any way you slice it, having to subjugate all or most of your needs to a second, more helpless person (for whom you are also responsible in heaping piles of often unrequited love upon) is difficult. Spending your days in the company of someone who speaks in 3 word sentences (and sometimes not at all, choosing instead to communicate in a variety of loud and jarring noises) is difficult. Squeezing your adult existence in the three hours between your child going to bed and you joining them (only, of course, to spend the night with a small foot threatening to kick you in the face at any moment) is difficult. No-date-nights-ever is difficult. Never being apart from this little person for longer than a few scant hours here or there is difficult. Trying to maintain an even-keel of pleasantness at all times, when you want nothing more than to scream “FUCK OFF FOREVER!!!!” at the top of your lungs is very difficult.

But this isn’t really about how hard I have it, and it certainly isn’t a list of complaints – just a no-holds-barred, honest description of how it is. Being a SAHM has also, for the record, made me the happiest person I have ever been. I have never felt more enriched, of service and satisfied in my entire life. It has taught me so much about life, work, love and what I am capable of as a human being (lots, as it turns out) and that nothing worth having is easy.

I have had the privilege of nursing a child well into toddlerhood (the global norm, and the recommendation of the World Health Organization, and a goal that is made infinitely more challenging for mothers who return to work), of being present for every milestone, of having complete freedom and control when it comes to parenting style/philosophy/ethos, and of being able to hug my son whenever I G.D want to.

Despite all the challenges, I have zero regrets, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I am not an expert by any means, and depending on your definition of it, I might not even be a “good” mother. But the important takeaway here is that I have survived; happy and ok, with my baby and sanity relatively intact. I recommend it heartily to anyone is able, and if you’re curious about it, or new to being a Stay at Home Mom, read on for a bunch of survival tips that you will more than likely forget until it’s too late.


Tips for surviving two years of Stay at Home Motherhood


#1 Breastfeed I  am a firm believer in choice when it comes to baby-feeding. For the very reason that bodies and the boobs that live on them are an extremely personal thing, and no one has the right to tell you what to do with them. To insist that every baby has the right to breastfeed (insinuating that to not breastfeed is a violation of a baby’s human rights) veers into body-essentialist territory, and I’m of the opinion that we mothers have the right not to be defined by and limited to our (potential) biological functions. Not everyone can or wants to use their bodies to feed their babies, and that is totally okay. Beyond a month, I wasn’t really breastfed and I happen to believe I turned out fine. This is anecdotal, of course, but “not being breastfed” doesn’t even register on my list of grievances, and certainly hasn’t hindered my relationship with my own mother (at least to my knowledge). I know plenty of formula-feeding moms who are amazing mothers, probably better, happier, more productive mothers than me. And saving yourself from the crazy-making experience of trying to sort out breastfeeding has its perks, I’m sure. I’m not going to get into any “breast is best” rhetoric, because as far as I’m concerned fed is best.

SAHM_KissSoseThat said, I also believe in the power of the boob. This is all about how much easier breastfeeding can make your life. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t absolutely the cornerstone of my early mothering experience. I have written extensively of this in the past, but in the context of this post, breastfeeding has certainly been crucial to my survival.

After you get over the hump of troubleshooting early feeding issues (or maybe you’ll be lucky and it will come easy to you — I hear that happens from time to time), breastfeeding is the easiest mothering tool in the world. I have a friend who said “put a boob in it” was the solution to every baby problem, and she’s not wrong. Virtually everything that could make a (healthy) little baby cry, can be assuaged by the almighty boob.

Breastfeeding is also (usually) a foolproof way of putting babies and toddlers to sleep. Learn how to breastfeed lying down, and you’ve just bought yourself a one way ticket to nap-ville, or a chance to read a book and rest in close proximity of your baby, which in turn helps them sleep better and longer and helps you worry less.

Breastfeeding is free – after any initial requirements such as breast pump, SNS, bottles, nipple shields, lanolin creme, tongue and upper lip tie revision etc… Haha! I lied! Just kidding! No such thing as a free titty lunch. But, once the initial investment is out of the way,  you can use the money you don’t spend on formula to get out of the house and buy yourself a coffee.

Feeding with bewbz is also extremely portable and requires NO preparation. Meaning, you don’t have to worry about lugging anything around with you, and you’ve got just what your baby needs at the right temperature, on tap, at the drop of a hat. You can learn how to nurse in a baby carrier and nurse (quite covertly, if modesty is a concern) while you walk down the street. You can quickly nurse before and after trips to the store, which will ensure a much more calm and carefree errand-running experience.

And it’s not that a mother who bottle feeds cannot chill TF out or bond with their baby – that is absurd, and I bristle when lactivists suggest this -but the extra bonding and calming hormones that come along with a nursing relationship help you keep your cool and increase the warm/fuzzy feelings that make Stay at Home Mumming easier.

Breastfed babies also get sick less often and for shorter durations, and trust me; there is nothing more heartbreaking and difficult than a sick baby.

SAHM_SoseSleep#2 Bed-Share (or room-share) Lots of childless people probably look at me with side-eyes when I talk about having a family bed. To be honest, while I knew Sose would be in our room with us as a newborn, I could never picture myself sharing a bed with my husband and a toddler. But babies are shit at sleeping. Just utter shit (unless you lucked out and got what the internet moms call a “magical unicorn baby”). Having your little guy in bed with you means you can Put A Boob In It all night long, and if you master side-laying nursing, you barely even have to wake up (and in fact I have probably drifted back to sleep this way hundreds of times). It sure beats being woken by your crying baby, getting up out of bed, stumbling into another room, picking up baby and trying to stay awake while nursing in a chair. Most babies sleep better and longer when they can sense your presence, and you will sleep better too, once you get used to it. I am absolutely convinced it’s the best way to: maintain a breastfeeding relationship, bond with your family, and get the most amount of sleep possible. Being a human mattress for naps (+iPad/e-reader) really worked for us, too. If you decide that the family bed is for you, be sure to research safe co-sleeping guidelines.

#3 Find Your Comrades You will never be more lonely and more in need of friends than during early motherhood. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself increasingly alienated by your existing non-parent friends (who will not, despite every effort, be able to understand what you’re going through) and desperate to reach out to others who can relate. Despite this, finding mom friends is like moving to a new school. It’s hard and moms are clique-y AF.

Find moms with a similar parenting style, or this will cause you troubles. You want a mom bud who won’t bat an eyelash if you whip out a boob to feed your 2 year old, or who doesn’t think your family bed is weird, cuz she’s got one at home too. It isn’t to say that you won’t make friends with moms who parent in an entirely different way than you do, but to have someone in your court who really gets and supports what you’re doing is crucial. You will suddenly be thrust into this bizarre social world, where you won’t have anything in common with your peers other than the fact that you both popped out babies. I have found this particular aspect especially frustrating, since many of my pre-child peers have chosen not to have babies; It’s tough slugging being a weirdo in a sea of normie moms. So find your people. Bonus that your kids can play together and you get a minute to chat.


#4 Baby-led Weaning Like every other choice in parenting, how you choose to introduce solids is often a point of contention. We chose to forgo the cereal/puree stage and go right to normal food after Sose was around 6 months old. The mushy stuff isn’t a necessary step, and babies are capable of self-feeding as soon as they master sitting up, hand-to-mouth/grasping, and have surpassed the age of 6 months (when current research shows the readiness of the gut in handling food other than breast milk/formula). Baby-led weaning saves you a lot of time and energy, because you can feed baby the same healthy foods that your family already eats. Whole, unprocessed foods, like fruit, veggies, meat and so on. You can spend your mealtimes eating alongside your baby instead of spooning food into them. It is a great deal of fun to watch as your kiddo explores food on his own terms. And you can chill about how much/how often they eat because they’re still getting the bulk of their calories and nutrition through breast milk/formula until the age of one. We started around 6 months, but after a few unsuccessful attempts (perhaps owing to the fact that he came into our lives 3 weeks early), held back until 7 months or so, when Sose became really interested and ready to eat. It’s just a more relaxed, easier way of managing food that requires no extra effort or preparation on your part. If you’re curious, read more of the finer points on the Baby-led Weaning website.

#5 Screen time (and Letting Go of “Perfect”) Again, a very contentious issue. And there is research to suggest it isn’t the greatest of ideas. However, as parents, we will sacrifice our ideals in the first year (and forever after). If you asked me while I was still pregnant, I probably would have told you that my son would get no screen time of any kind for at least the first 2 years. We lasted 10 months. When he was about 15 months, we loaded the iPad with educational apps and let’er rip. If it weren’t for the iPad (and Treehouse TV, and Netflix for kids), I wouldn’t get a minute to myself. But it’s also been really fascinating to watch my son learn how to use a tablet all by himself, and he’s constantly surprising me with what he teaches himself (the entire alphabet by the age of 18 months, for one) all of his own volition.

Sometimes, you just have to make choices that are more about your needs than your child’s. A SAHM cannot do all jobs at once, no matter how we might try, and I do not believe it is wrong to rely on some things that make your job easier. Trying to strive for perfection in any given style of parenting is a fast-track to disappointment, because very few of us can always live up to our own expectations. Have a good idea of your parenting ideals, and then manage those expectations. Adjust them to your needs. Put on your own oxygen mask first from time to time.

Another example? Cloth diapering. I had every intention of using only cloth diapers, and in fact picked up quite a stash of expensive, brightly coloured micro-fibre dipes. But Sose was born premie-sized, so initially he couldn’t fit them, and when it came down to brass tacks I just didn’t want to spend my free-time rinsing shit off of fleece diaper liners and doing pre-soaks and multiple laundering cycles. Cloth diapers are clearly the better choice for the environment (and ostensibly for babies’ skin), but I sacrificed that so I didn’t have to live the diaper years haemorrhaging loonies like a backwards Uncle Scrooge and being a slave to the laundry room.

Back to screen time: Regardless of what research may say, nothing changes the fact that we exist in a world of screens, and people used to say the same things about the fast-moving imagery seen from a train window when that type of travel was a novelty. They said it about the invention of the radio. You never know which little screamer’s going to be the next programming genius, so have heart and lighten up.

SAHM_EarlyWalk#6 Leaving room in the budget for buying coffee at shops sometimes I sacrifice on other perks (maybe a monthly manicure, or more frequent haircuts, or a new superfluous article of clothing or makeup every now and then) so that I can do this. Many “budget experts” will say it’s the first thing you should ditch when you’re trying to save money, but for me it often feels like the difference between life and death (I am that dramatic about coffee, yes). It is self care. There have been and will continue to be days where I feel less than human. When you’re in the business of continually subjugating your own needs, you can feel like you don’t even matter. Nothing resets this like getting outside, walking a couple of blocks, and grabbing a fresh cup of coffee that someone else made just for you. Sometimes they even write your name on the cup. Often they smile at you while serving it. It just hits the “play again” button, and it’s often the difference between a mum-meltdown, and keeping your shit together. In the early days, it was the act of going out for a coffee that lifted the oppressive veil of postpartum miasma and allowed me to gradually start to feel like myself again. The whole production is good for you, and in turn, good for your baby. This should almost be #1

#7 Encourage independent play from an early age Every child is certainly different, but with our son, I’ve found that limiting the amount of “parent as entertainer” play from early-on has made for an infant and toddler who became very good at self-initiated independent play, and allowed us to gradually hang back while he did his own thing.

SAHM_trixieProponents of the parenting philosophy RIE (Resources for Infant Educators – which in my estimation, is a “take what you can and leave the rest” type of deal, since some of the ideas are also sheer lunacy to me, so…) suggest creating a “YES” space, where a baby’s exploration doesn’t have to be limited. Once our son became mobile, we partitioned off our hallway with two baby gates and filled it with interesting toys and kitchen tools etc. There was nothing in this area that I had to say “no” to, and it allowed for free-exploration without the need for a playpen. As his independence grew, we would leave the bedroom (which is reasonably kid-safe and opened to that section of hallway) open, so he could have that much more space to roam freely. An arrangement such as this gives you the freedom to do chores, or read or have a cup of coffee while your kid can explore safely, seemingly without limits. We experimented with a playpen, an exersaucer and a jolly jumper, but I wasn’t fully comfortable with the inhibited range of motion and possible uncomfortable hip positioning (physio therapists hate those things for a reason), and ultimately Soren was happier with some real space to explore.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t play with your baby. Yes, by all means spend time every day playing with your child! But, I believe it promotes a more intuitive and natural type of learning, and leads to greater independence later on (which is great for them, but will also allow you the freedom to get work done or take care of your own needs).

SAHM_Babywear02#8 Babywear (As much/for as long as possible) This was a real boon for us from about 3-12 months. And I still whip out my ring sling or SSC (soft structured carrier) at the airport because it makes things that much easier. I have sacroiliac joint dysfunction, though, and my son is a big guy, so we had to cut down on our baby-wearing time drastically after I put my back out from overdoing it. But most younger babies seem to prefer it to the stroller, and it really facilitates both attachment AND freedom for the mother (win/win). Be sure to research fastidiously and avoid most outward-facing carriers (aka “crotch danglers”) unless they support baby’s legs in an “M” shape, because like the aforementioned baby-holding devices, they can cause undue strain on the hip flexors (imagine being suspended by your groin for hours at a time). If you can figure out how to nurse in a carrier (for what it’s worth, I never got the hang of it!), you’re truly laughing. If you have cheddar to spend, there are some really beautiful options out there for woven wraps and carriers.

#9 Get Over Yourself and Ask for Help This is a real “don’t do what I did” piece of advice. I am a fiercely independent (to a fault) person, and beyond even an extreme distaste for unsolicited advice, I have a BIG problem asking for help. I had plenty of people offer help in the early days, and I was too prideful – and self-conscious of the “letting it all hang out” part of early motherhood – to take them up on it. But looking back, I needed it, and it really would have benefited all of us. Sometimes help is just company, or someone to walk with, or talk to. But it doesn’t happen unless you reach out for it. And you know that if you were in the opposite position, you would LOVE to help your friends.

SAHM_Babywear01#10 Make An Effort With Your Appearance (if you want) In my two years of SAHM, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve left the house without makeup and proper clothing. I’m definitely not a heels-wearing girly girl (my style skews heavily in the “vaguely tomboyish best friend from an 80s movie” direction), but I am not over here in athletic-wear-as-outerwear either. Your mileage may vary, but when you’re feeling sub-human, as I say; knowing that you’re put together goes a long way. I hate to be bolstering the beauty-industrial complex, but I don’t feel like myself without a beat face and an outfit.

(bonus tip) #11 But Shower Less (again, if you want to) We don’t really have to shower as much as we think we do. I probably sound like a stanky hippie, but it’s true. The whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” thing is a bullshit, puritanical Victorian ideal that carries on so Johnson & Johnson can sell more body wash. Unless you’re a coal miner, or an olympic athlete, or a fishmonger, you can get away with it. Trust me. It’s called spraying perfume in your hair, deoderant, and doing the odd “bird bath” with a baby wipe (you’ll have lots of those around). My free time is so scant, that I’m not really interested in spending it in the shower, or waiting for my hair to dry afterwards. I wash my hair once a week (it’s very thick hair, so I can easily get away with that) and shower every 2 days or so. You can call me gross all you want, but I have no regrets and I get a lot more reading or TVing done this way.

The most important thing for you to remember is that you matter. You may feel as though you suddenly don’t, but trust me, you do. And people are idiots and no one is going to remind you of that, so you need to fight to assert your own importance. You are now a part of this mystical, otherworldly, inseparable mama-bb dyad, but you are the mothership and they are the satellite. You run this town. Put on your own oxygen mask first. Keep a piece of you hidden away somewhere. Feed it, cultivate it, and look forward to meeting the strongest, fiercest version of yourself that you will ever know. 



Leave a comment
Foto Friday

This has got to be one of my favourite weird old pre-war apartment buildings in the city. My friend Lori says it reminds her of a boat. I am such a big fan of those inset balconies (known as “sleeping porches“) that are prevalent in the Edwardian and Vancouver Craftsman style homes here in the city (in fact, Andrew and I used to live in one several years ago, and we loved having breakfast, coffee, or evening drinks on our little covered porch), and it’s so satisfying to see FIVE of them on the same building!

The Aviary is a unique new business here, located in that cute lil strip of shops and restaurants on the east side of the Fraser/Kingsway/e 18th Avenue intersection. It’s a stylish, contemporary “co-working” space for designers, architects etc., where you can rent out a desk or workspace in a calm, pristine environment.


Sose’s sleep has been ALL over the place lately… So most of his naps have been happening in the stroller. A handful of times, he’s passed out for the night during evening jaunts to the store, and to be honest, I kind of love it because it takes the chaos out of bed time.


I wound up coming back and getting the little bear planter for Sose, as a “my first plant” type dealie. I guess I just can’t resist planters with faces.



Soooo cliché, but another thing I can’t resist is taking photos of produce stands. These didn’t exist where I grew up, and their cheerful presence here is one of the things I’m most grateful for, living in Vancouver. At least for the here and now, there’s so much good, fresh stuff for us to eat.



Canada Place! I love this giant weird PoMo masterpiece, which was built in time for Expo 86. I love all the white, the curvy lines and the grids. Another building that looks like a boat!

I’d be curious to know what type of bird these little guys are. They were snacking on barnacles in Coal Harbour. A friend points out that they are “Black Oystercatchers”. So cute!


The Play-Doh era has begun over here, and so begins the never-ending process of picking little bits of it off of every surface.



This city has looked amazingly green during our rainy early Spring season. A welcome departure from last Summer’s endless drought.

Camellia blossoms already! Can you believe it?

My favourite neighbourhood boutique is Zebraclub. It’s been a perennial favourite, in fact, even during my last stint as a South Granville resident (10 years ago!!! My god, time flies). There’s also a really cool location in Seattle (with more of a teen sk8 shop vibe), and apparently one in Berlin as well. I love everything on display here, but sadly it’s not my season (ha ha), so I’ll just take that amazing Baggu 80s cahier-print knapsack! Thanks!

Much to the chagrin of my mother, I’ve been just letting Sose’s hair grow (he’s never had a haircut – but he was bald until last summer, basically). His bangs aren’t quite long enough to tuck behind his ears, and he’s inherited a combo of Andrew’s and my own uniquely bizarre hair growth patterns, so I’ve taken to pinning it back with a bobby pin when it’s bugging him, and he’s really into it. I love little boys with long hair. And smashing gender expectations!

This week’s dream house. Just peep that curved, pink brick. It’s too much! As an Instagrammer pointed out, it’s totally the Republic of Newfoundland colours, so of course I should live here with my Newfoundlander husband, right?



That’s it for now! Stay tuned for more camera-dump madness next week!

Link Me Up

Leave a comment
Link Me Up


What’s up! How has your week been? If you’re like me and you’ve made yourself an exhaustive list of resolutions, how are you finding the changes you’ve made now that we’re a little over halfway through January?


Illustration by Jeff Ostberg!

Myself, I’ve hit a wall this week. I haven’t reneged on anything (YET), but boy am I afflicted with a case of *ahem* monthly malaise, and it’s sure throwing a wrench in things. Between extreme lethargy, wanting to eat All Of The Bread (despite a good two week reprieve from any and all starch/sugar cravings!), and my patience for my (beautiful, angelic, brilliant, “challenging”) toddler running thin – it’s all I can do not to just throw in the towel and barricade myself alone in the bedroom for a week with just my laptop, a pack of Belmont Milds, some Prince MP3s and a gigantic bag of All-Dressed chips (Oh how I miss the days where that would be a legitimate option). I have really been battling my latent imposter syndrome, and mean-as-a-snake inner critic, too. Yikes.

But, I am sticking with it, and I’m so, so glad. If anything, carrying on business as usual, and not allowing myself the luxury of wallowing, is making things easier to bear. And having a full roster just makes the gap between wake-up and bed-time (aka “life” HAHA) go by that much more quickly.

I am also finding it to be a lesson in managing expectations and being flexible (as I had hoped!). I believe I wrote earlier about how I had intended to synch up Sose’s schedule with my own (ie. finish the bulk of my 10k walk before he falls asleep, so I could spend the rest of his nap time working), and that just isn’t panning out. He has his own ideas, and because I have no interest in sleep-training, I just gotta roll with it. On the days where it has worked out, I have actually found myself too mentally foggy to get any work done during nap time (which could just be my hormones calling the shots for the moment, IDK). Today, I actually took a nap with him, after a floundering period where it became clear that my brain was too peaced-out to do anything. I am not a napper, but that’s just how fried I have been. It’s cool, though… I have been finding it easier to get work done at other times scattered throughout the day (a little during breakfast, lunch and dinner, a little before I go to sleep, and when my husband comes home – like right now). And maybe I even work better this way, if we’re talking about continuous output and not just the rare manic fevered obsession jag where I can work uninterrupted all day. I’ve had no luck forcing myself to go out and write in coffee shops, because by the time that’s an option I’ve already taken my pants off for the day. Don’t tell me to put them back on again, though; I do what I want.

Since I first started doing daily walks (which fitbit tells me is december 31st), I haven’t missed a day. I have had a few days where I’ve cut the walk short because I needed a rest, but most days I’ve walked over 10k (wanting to feel the satisfaction all of turning my fitbit goal bars green), with my best day being almost 20k (which is too crazy, really, I was basically perma hunched and exhausted for the rest of the day, and it took me over 3 hours). I truly feel as though this is one of the best things I could do for myself. I find if I am struggling with Soren, it chills us both the fuck out, and it really gets my brain working in the best way. I love taking slightly different routes every day, walking out in every possible direction from our place, and noticing all the details along the way – new birds, new trees, different houses, twee little alley ways. It always shifts my perspective and perception in a better, more positive direction. I just cannot state it emphatically enough; it’s the all-around best thing for my tortured soul and bedraggled body. ANYWAY.

Here’s the links for this week:

• Apparently, Canada is KEWL now? Canadians have known this for years, now. Glad to see the rest of the world catching up!
• Good news for all the former goths and morbid teens out there, as it turns out, thinking about death makes you happier
• One of my pals has me hooked on the idea of buying coastal land and throwing down a hippie, geodesic dome house
• Learn all about the Mother Sauces of Thailand & The Mother Sauces of France on The Lucky Peach
• The last remaining member of the Siberian family who lived in isolation for decades was just airlifted in to a modern hospital
• A little bit of inspiration for those struggling, as we all do.
• If you’re like me and wearied by the endless cycles of gentrification in our cities, here’s some levity from The Guardian
• As a designer & thing-obsesser, I find minimalism super challenging, but making a list of what you don’t need might help
• Here’s some of my reading for tonight, a topic after my own heart; On ADHD & Women

To finish off, here’s a trailer for the current season of my current favourite show, Catastrophe. LOVE Rob Delaney, and LOVE Sharon Horgan (was a huge fan of Pulling!!). It’s so funny, and a little too real in terms of the impact of children on the marriage of a couple’a grumps (much like my husband and I, haha).

And, if you’re so inclined… I’ve set it up so that you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


Leave a comment
Foto Friday


Some seagulls hanging out on frozen Kits Pool last Sunday.

Had some handsome walking buddies on the weekend ! 

Any other snap-happy moms feel me on not being in many photos? I feel like I’m always behind the camera, so it’s nice to demand a portrait every now and then.


Since I’ve been on a ketogenic diet, it can be difficult to find snacks on the go. Sometimes I take a handful of cashews or a pepperoni stick or two from home, but I am a huge fan of these delicious parm crisps from Loblaws City Market. Easy to make, but sometimes it’s nice when someone else prepares your snack!


Our neighbourhood looks lovely in the rain.

Link Me Up

Leave a comment
Link Me Up

“I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anaïs Nin

Hello & welcome to a new weekly feature, where I hold my breath, plumb the depths of the internet for you, and swim up to the surface with my net full of gleaming link-pearls. OR, more like I just skim the cream off the surface of the endless stream of articles I read to distract myself from unimportant things like “feeling feelings” or “talking to my family” or “finding gainful employment”. JK. Kinda?

The quote from Anaïs Nin reminded me of my childhood love of mermaids. I know mermaids have basically been the personal sigil for the tumblr youths of today for the past, oh, 5 years or so. Always one to buck trends, maybe that is why I have kept my latent mermaid-loving  ways on the D/L. But it’s true. I am a dyed-in-the-wool pisces, a water baby till the casket drops, and I totally love mermaids.

My frenzied obsession with the titular Disney film actually brought two pieces of art into my life (or my mom did, in an effort to appease my mermaid-crazy 8-year-old self in the pre-internet days where you had to wait essentially a full year for a movie to be released on VHS) which would wound up being pretty influential to me. One being a book of the original Hans Christian Andersen story, beautifully illustrated by Laszlo Gal (see the lovely illustration above!), and the other was a very 70s (complete with baroque pop soundtrack) anime film version (you can watch it in its entirety, here!), which also stayed “true to canon”. Of course I was horrified by the violence and cruelty, but also deeply drawn to the beauty and the horror and the tragedy. What is more tragic than the idea of a mermaid, really? What is more sublime than spending the rest of infinity as foam floating on the surface of the sea?

Anyway, without further ado, here are the links for this week!

Incandescent bulbs are back!!! Hopefully this means we can stop trying to make LEDs work. PHEW.

• Parenthood sure challenges the boundaries of cleanliness. Who wants to spend what little free time they have left in the shower? This article seems to think us hygenically-challenged parents might be on to something. To a point, anyway, haha.

• From Lucky Peach, a history of my most missed carbohydrate.

• I wear some variation of red (or purple, or hot pink) lipstick every day. If you’ve ever wondered how you arrived at this point, here’s a history of my most favourite kind of makeup.

• If red lips aren’t your thing, maybe you’d be into painting your teeth black, like some in Japan are wont to do.

• How much cheddar is the most expensive home in Vancouver worth? Dispatches from the most wildly overpriced city in the world, outside of Hong Kong.

• What happens to a Mother’s brain? (a: we level the fuck up. ALTERED BEASTS!!!)

• Some levity, after the bleak series of exposés about the state of the Nail Salon industry in NY (and an answer to the question “Why are there so many Vietnamese nail salons on the West Coast?”)

• Design alone can’t change the world, as evidenced by this beautiful, failed housing complex in Winnipeg.

• Beautiful, folksy PoMo architecture and design in the LA area, by Jeff Shelton.

• Vancouver has a Cat Cafe now, and it helps our kitty friends find homes!

• We should listen to the defiant, not diagnose &  medicate them.

• 101 career tips you can learn in 3 seconds !

• Two of my favourite things: Feminism, and the movies of Hayao Miyazaki.

• Finland is changing the idea of schooling as we know it (and I sure wish they’d bring it over here!),

• If your kiddo is being defiant and uncooperative, maybe connection is the key!

• Swan Lake x Joy Division

• Kodak has announced a Super 8 camera for the thumb-tapping generation.

• Hey! Check out the modern-day witches of Poland.

• Part of me deeply wants an early 90s new money monstrosity home, like this one.

• This woman has reduced her waste to the point where 2 years of garbage fits in a single mason jar. While this brings up some questions and criticism, I would really love to find ways to increasingly limit the amount of garbage we throw out in our home.

• The New Andean style of architecture in Bolivia is pretty damn amazing!

• This is a project after my own heart (and one of my former houses, the filigree Queen Anne I lived in during the early oughts, is featured!). Kevin Lanthier creates eerie dreamlike Vancouver streetscapes and documents the disappearing character in our rapidly changing city.


I was awake and watching TV the other night when Andrew turned to me and asked, confused, “Bowie’s dead?!”. Immediately I assumed it was a hoax, and must have been mixed up with the news of his birthday and his album release, and I told him as much. But, alas.

Maybe I’m a sociopath, haha, but I am not one to be impacted by celebrity deaths. Loyal dogs, abandoned babies, and stories of overcoming adversity, YES. But I am rather indifferent to celebrities, for the most part, regardless of how I feel about their work. Mainly because I find it very difficult to canonize people who can be so egregiously human in their personal lives (I think we don’t have to dig too far in our recent past to find examples of that). David Bowie was a human man who did great things with music and quite possibly some horrible things to other people. Our faves are all problematic because our world is all problematic.

However, I believe the above resonates – he was one of – if not the – single most influential people in popular culture in my lifetime. He truly felt immortal and otherworldly, and I have been feeling guilty that I took for granted that he could just up and die at any minute, like any one of us. I do feel very fortunate to have come of age surrounded by a popular culture absolutely steeped in Bowie.

I didn’t really turn to his music until I was into my 20s, but his songs provided a soundtrack to many of my nights. Alone, chain smoking, putting on lipstick and getting ready to see where the night would take me, or together with friends at an after after after party, sloppy dancing, drinks sloshing and singing along. His absence will be felt.

That’s it for now! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday. If you’re in Vancouver, I hope you’re staying dry and warm, and if you’re elsewhere… Well, I’m jealous. 

On Fight Club & New Years Resolutions

comment 1


About a week before the holidays creeped up on us, I was laying around after putting Sose down for the night, and I found myself hate-watching Fight Club.

Let me back up a little bit. As a teen, there was little else cooler and more evocative of a certain type of nihilistic late-90s romance, than watching the scene in Fight Club where the financial towers implode, with Tyler Durden and his fucked up face, and Marla Singer, the OG Manic Pixie Dream Girl, holding hands and overlooking his masterpiece while the opening strains of ‘Where is My Mind’ swell in the background. I mean… Listen. I read Ad Busters, ok? I fully drank the gen-ex/millenial-cusp disaffected libertarian/anrarchist kool-aid, and I had the ironic 70s t-shirt collection to show for it!

As my feminism grew, so did my disdain for the inherent sexism in this particular movement and movie (Like… call me crazy, but with all his babbling about how “we’re a generation of men raised by women”, don’t you think Tyler Durden was the proto-fuckboi/MRA doucher?).  And so soon, quippy Fight Club sound bites, like “self-improvement is masturbation”, and “you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake” became a hilarious joke to me.

Myself, I have long sort of straddled the fence between “that mean sarcastic girl in your math class” and “plucky hopeful daydreamer seeing beauty and promise in unexpected places”. I really fight my inner hater. A lot. And I fight and quell a propensity for wanting to believe in impossible things. It’s a bonafide inner dichotomy that I really struggle with! I think most often though, that the inner hater wins out. I hate a lot. I hate all day. I call it “critical discourse”, but really it’s just me hating and trying to be right about things.


I’ve written before, recently, about how these past few years of motherhood have truly wrung me out. I haven’t felt like myself in a long time. I find myself envious of other mothers who can manage to maintain their sense of identity WHILE hitting parenting home runs, because for me it’s been an either or type of deal! I have been feeling really old, and like the types of interests that I had before were somehow inappropriate for an old-ass mother. Woof. I was a weepy mess of a person going through some kind of identity crisis of some variety.


But you know what, inner monologue? You know what, patriarchy??? I’m not old. 33 is not old, no matter what anyone says. We live in the future, we generally live a long time, and 33 is not fucking old. It’s just not !! I can wear ostentatious lipstick colours (in fact I practically HAVE to), I can (AND DO) swear like a box car hobo, I can keep my septum jewelry in, I can tie one on and have a few too many, I can f*ck my husband, I can feel like a sexy person… It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I can’t believe that ME of all people was internalizing all of that madonna/whore BULLSHIT and letting it ruin my life.

I am getting to a point, I promise!

Tyler Durden had it all wrong. Self improvement ISN’T masturbation. And in real life (as opposed to a stylized dystopiate bizarro world), only a nihilistic hater jerk would say something like that. Having come to this conclusion, I have decided that my existence is too infinitesimal and brief to live in the shackles of a hater’s brain (a nasty type of bondage for people who actually kind of hate themselves, as only a true hater, such as myself could tell you, in confidence), too infinitesimal and brief to do anything but strive for the existence I want from myself, be anything other than exactly who I aim to be.

And to arrive at that destination. I am going to need some changes. And that’s where the New Years Rezzies fit in.


#1 Live more, hate less
This one’s a no-brainer. I spend so much time being critical under the guise that being critical is a positive, crucial component of progress. That’s not false, but it would be disingenuous for me to say that it wasn’t mostly about the fact that hating is like a temporary bandage for my shitty self-esteem. I feel briefly alleviated to buy into the illusion that I’m better (better dressed, possessing better taste in stuff, more “right”, a better mother, whatever) than another person, but it’s a diseased way of thinking and it doesn’t propel me forward at all, like cultivating a PMA does. And really it just kinda makes me a jerk, tbh.

My biggest dose of haterade comes from reading my Facebook feed as soon as I get up in the morning. On one hand, I really enjoy the ritual of drinking coffee and reading stuff while Soren eats his breakfast, but on the other, I am not filtering what I read, and there’s a certain type of content that fuels criticism and encourages me to get into pointless, draining debates with other people I don’t know over things that don’t matter. What a stupid waste of time and energy!

I have been experimenting with just closing my FB tab and keeping the app closed on my phone until I’m finished doing other things (writing, walking, playing with Soren or reading more salient stuff elsewhere online), and it’s actually kind of crazy how much that improves my frame of mind. I also would like to look into figuring out what the best way to filter my feed would be to avoid a lot of my common mistakes.

We are privileged enough to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. As much as I hate on the grotesquely inflated cost of living, the unmitigated development, and our city and provinces’ current crooked, money-hungry government, all you really have to do is look to the north to remember why you live here.  Vancouver is a jewel of a city, nestled in a crest of mountains (the snowy peaks of which, at this time of year, glow pink in the evening sun) and set beside a gleaming, idyllic ocean straight. It doesn’t get much better than this. There is no reason to be inside when you live here. This is a concept I need to hammer into my brain until it stays put.

My goal has been to sssllooowwly shift Sose’s schedule so that both he and I are up earlier, so I can have coffee + social media (minus Facebook) + breakfast out of the way faster, and we can leave earlier, so we can have our long, meandering walk and we can both get out in the world so we can get home and he can nap at a sane time and I can work! Which is a nice segue to goal #2…


#2 Walk every day, go to the gym 3x a week, track progress with fitbit
I almost can’t believe it myself  because it’s so embarrassing, but towards the end of last year, I got into a horrible holding pattern where I wouldn’t leave the house until the sun had already set. It had an extremely demotivating impact on me, and in turn changed the type of parent I was, to a blobby couch hangout parent that I wasn’t particularly happy with.

It’s straight up UNCANNY! How taking a really long walk every day can change everything for you. Vitamin D, endorphins, fresh air, a change of scenery… I find that when I return from a long walk in a nice place, I am inspired, refreshed, and practically bursting at the seams with positivity. The added bonus of increasing my physical fitness and enjoying the benefits of cardio exercise doesn’t hurt either. I have long thought I should run, but walking allows me the freedom to stop, photograph, take notes, take a playground break with Sose, and notice the world around me. It lets me have truly rewarding conversations with my husband. It’s just an all around great idea for anyone able.

I’ve been using my long-neglected fitbit to track my walks, and I’ve found it’s not hard to take a ~5 mile walk every day with the stroller, and Soren will happily pass out and snooze for the duration. I am trying to shift his schedule so that we can start our walk earlier, and he can fall asleep closer to the end of the walk, so I can transfer him to bed. That worked a little too well today, and he took a marathon 3 hour snooze (which means a super late bed time, argh!). 5 miles usually amounts to 60ish minutes of true exercise, which is a perfectly lovely amount of cardio!

As for the gym, I had made it my goal to go 3x starting this week, but I’ve postponed that goal for now. This leads me to this important point; that I am learning about this goal process as I go, and trying not to be too inflexible. I believe in the past that making too many goals at once and holding myself to too high a standard set me up for failure. Not because I was being lazy, but because I wasn’t being realistic. I am aiming to be adaptive and flexible this time, so that I can ease into things and really make them a part of my routine. Because of some dietary changes I made this week that were a bit of a shock to my system, I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish, and a strength circuit at the gym on top of my daily walk was a bit much at this juncture. And it might be that when I introduce the gym, I have to cut back on my walking so that I am not taxing myself to death for no good reason. I’m not over here trying to be one of those #gains people (although who knows what the future brings!!), so going easy on myself isn’t much of a pratfall, in my opinion.

#3 Make keto/paleo a permanent change
Ah yes!! This is why I have been feeling sluggish this week. I have a nasty case of the keto flu!

Bordering on 2 years ago now, I (and then, by extension Andrew and Sose) started eating a primarily paleo diet. I also did periodic stints of keto to sort of turbo charge things for me. Our longest haul was a period of about 6 months, and all 3 of us were doing AMAZINGLY. I noticed a drastic reduction in tummy issuez, acne, achey joints, and I felt overall elated and awesome (especially while I was on Keto, after the 2 week adaption process). I don’t really give a FUCK whether I sound like a pseudo-scientific, new-age jerk prostelyzing about this stuff. For us, it works, for whatever reason.

The difference this year is that I want to be more strict and “cheat” less. Any dalliances with the SAD (standard american diet) in the past couple of years have only lead to misery and stomach/heartache!! And are best avoided altogether. It was a bit of a struggle to continue the lifestyle once we introduced a stricter food budget, but now that we have a costco membership and I’ve loosened up on my hardline organic-or-GTFO attitude, we’re laughing.

#4 Make blogging a part of my life again/launch the special project I’ve been planning
I have been really shitty at it lately, but believe it or not, I have been blogging in some form or another since the mid 90s (pre even livejournal! I was on diaryland! And! And before that, I was making weblogs on personal websites before weblog software or blogging platforms existed!!).

Looking back on my old secret journals, I was a pretty unhappy, and in fact fairly well miserable, girl. But I really got a lot out of the community and expository nature of sharing in this way, I’ve made some true blue, lifelong friends, and every time I’ve gone on an extended hiatus, I’ve felt like something was missing. I may not have much of an audience these days, but I can assure you that I really enjoy nearly every aspect of sharing my life with other people and interacting with and learning from others doing the same thing.

I am hoping that with a weekly posting schedule, I can build a following again, and try to figure out a way to gain some kind of supplemental income this way! I also have been planning and starting to build a home business since September, and I aim to launch it this year, and somehow combine it with my blog! I would like to also take on some freelance projects and write about them a little bit, hehe.

#5 Use my planner every day
I tried to get this off the ground this past July, but excuses (aka “life”) got in the way, and it fell by the wayside after one single, solitary week! A guilty pleasure of mine is following planner groups on FB, and seeing what those moms are up to. But truth be told, no chevron stickers and zany fonts for me — I am most comfortable with a bare bones Moleskine. I really like this hack for a Moleskine weekly planner.

Using a planner helps me being accountable, and the act of writing things down helps keep them from falling through the holes in my pasta-strainer brain. It’s basically a must for any ADHD-er.

I have been starting each week by filling out my schedule, to-do list and goals, but I also like to adjust and re-adjust my lists as I go, crossing off and adding stuff as needed. A common theme with all of these resolutions is that flexibility is important.

#6 Let the results of these efforts determine our path
Even one week in to this process, and I’m already noticing how one change causes a domino effect and impacts other areas. I am happy with this list of goals, because I think they’re interconnected and they help inform each other. Likewise I feel as though the results of these efforts (and the efforts my husband makes, and the changing needs of our family), will help determine our future path.

We have sort of found ourselves stalled at a crossroads for the past couple of years, trying to determine whether we want to stay in Vancouver. Rising cost of living, deep, DEEEEEP talent pool and other factors are making our ability to stay here and thrive tenuous, but I strongly feel that the next year, and what we are able to accomplish, will help us figure out where we need to be.

#7 Get out and enjoy the world with Sose
Pretty much self-explanitory! And helped along SIGNIFICANTLY by making sure we get a long walk during daylight. It’s depressing how quickly I feel into that pattern of keeping inside with him, but these little guy years are SO precious and so important, and over so quickly. I have more or less decided to stay at home with him as much as possible until he’s school-aged, so I really want to make an effort to be present with him, as cheesy as that sounds, and to show him all the stuff, and to try to see as much of the world through his eyes as I can.


#8 Put thought into how I feed my family
Of course this ties in with #3, but it also pertains to planning ahead and making conscious grocery lists, which is something that I REALLY have a hard time with, despite the fact that I’ve managed to cook about 99.9999% of all meals at home for the past two years! Sunday meal prep is something I’ve briefly experimented with, and it really cuts down on the time I spend in the kitchen (which, with our shitty little galley kitchen, is kind of a nightmare) and makes sure that we have healthy ingredients through the week and don’t make poor, impetuous, hungry choices when we’re starving and desperate.

When we were eating paleo, Sose was eating paleo. He didn’t have any grains at all for his first 4 months of being an eating guy, and while I kind of believe in not being so hardline about diet for him, I think the introduction of squeeze pouches and grains (in the form of sushi rice) at 10 months were a bit of a slippery slope. I was actually able to somehow wean this dyed-in-the-wool squeezer addict from his pouch habit this week, and while he’s been having A LOT of homemade smoothies, he’s also been more adventurous with the other foods he eats. Also, I’ve managed to get him to eat a lot of smoked salmon by calling it “sushi”, and he actually ate two pieces of delicious roasted broccoli last night. I’m going to go ahead and call those victories.

#9 Spend more time alone
I am no helicopter parent, by any stretch of the imagination. Sose gets lots of independent play, and I’m the kind of mom that believes in benign neglect and looks at her phone while her kid runs amok on the playground. But! we do work on securing a strong attachment around here (ie. we do a family bed, and I’m still breastfeeding my two year old!), and in the past two years, I have taken on more than the lion’s share of parenting, and I’ve had very few breaks or time to myself at all. The stark reality is that I could have worked towards more independence a year ago, but I’m a bit of a control freak, and stuck in my ways, and so I didn’t and here we are. So between going to the gym, and writing in coffee shops, and maybe finally looking at part time childcare if it’s in the cards, I am going to get a bit more of me back this year, by hook or by crook!


#10 Give way, way, way, WAY less of a fuck
And this is the one that brings it on home. I spend too much time hating and being critical, and way too much time caring about how other people perceive me. While I still believe I’m practically a teenager (HEE HEE JK), I am also way too old to let my idea of what other people think (who quite frankly do not even care!!!! Which is the crazy part!!) determine how much fun I have, how I present myself, and what I accomplish. I really enjoyed this article about winning at your own life, by Paul Jervis, which was very timely for me.

So! What about you guys? Do you have any goals for this year, or are you just going to throw yourself into the chaotic fray and see where it takes you? I would love to hear alllllllll about it!

On breastfeeding

Leave a comment
Soren, at the age of 20 months, has been slowly weaning himself. We are down to two nursing sessions (three tops) a day, one before each sleep, nap and bed time, and sometimes one in the morning if he asks for it. He has shown me that he is ready to receive alternative measures of comfort when he has trouble settling back to sleep, and I no longer need to breastfeed him during the night. He always lets me know when he’s ready to sleep by saying “Mel-K, mel-K!!”. Somewhat to my surprise, this is a bitter-sweet experience.nursing04Before we even conceived Soren, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. It was maybe the part of having a baby that I was most excited about. Even though it is quite obviously the normal, default feeding method for mammals and their babies, I grew up rather detached from it, having not been breastfed myself, and being cared for by a nanny, where all the other babies were bottle-fed. I don’t think I even knew about breastfeeding as a thing until well into my childhood, when local restaurants were putting up signs indicating their breastfeeding-friendliness. This disconnect and the recent sort of surge towards breastfeeding-positivity made it an exciting, even revolutionary, concept. I just assumed I would breastfeed and that would be that.

nursing07BUT, to nurse, for us, was to battle a bunch of external factors conspiring to make us fail. The violation I felt while having my breasts manhandled by a seemingly endless stream of nurses, midwives and lactation consultants, was a rude awakening. The pressure to nurse, in the wake of my absolutely horrific labour and very-much unwanted c-section and the resultant trauma, from these caregiving professionals (not to mention extended family) felt mean and cold, and in the end it was a very hard-won victory that took 3 months of round-the-clock pumping and repeatedly trying before it worked. We fought the after-affects of an emergency c-section, anatomical mismatch (huge boobs, very tiny baby), tongue and upper lip tie, extreme pain (vasospasms and milk blisters), feeling completely subhuman while hooked up to a breast pump at all hours of the day while I watched my husband feed him his bottles, look upon his sweet little face and hold his little body as he would drift off to sleep, and of course, the extreme emotional duress that comes along with the difficulties surrounding breastfeeding and the external and internal pressure to “do what is right”. I can remember standing in the formula aisle at the drug store, crying over my failure and having to feed it to him during a brief growth spurt where his input surpassed my output in our early pumping days. But we persevered and we won, and I have been breastfeeding for 20 months in spite of it all.

nursing01For us, nursing has always been about sleep and comfort. We were also positive that we wouldn’t sleep-train, that he would sleep in our room, or even our bed with us, and we would slowly teach him how to sleep independently through the knowledge that sleep was safe and we would always help him if he needed us. I have always nursed him to sleep, laying with his small form curled into me, safely and contentedly drinking himself off into a deep slumber. But to say it has been just that would be a misrepresentation of our reality. There were also the nights where he insisted on staying latched all night. The nights where I screamed out of frustration and felt like my own bodily autonomy and need for sleep didn’t matter as he gnawed my nipples raw. Where I didn’t feel like a person at all. There was the cement wall I punched during a bad night on our family vacation to Palm Springs. The times where my shifting hormones and his little hands on my body and incessant suckling made my skin crawl and all I wanted to do was get the hell away as fast as possible and retreat to my former life where I wasn’t so completely needed.


But overall, it has been my absolute pleasure to nurse this little boy. And I’ve decided I will continue to nurse, in whatever capacity, until he decides that he doesn’t need it anymore.

(Note: it is thanks to medical science and the ability to receive an emergency c-section in a baby-friendly hospital that I even have a beautiful, brilliant 2 year old son at all, it is thanks to medical science and the advancement of artificial baby milk that I have been able to nurse my healthy boy well into toddlerhood. It is thanks, too, to living in a country which offers a generous length of parental leave, that my husband was able to support us through our nursing difficulties. This is not a war waged in a vacuum.)