I get it. I get why this commuter life can suck the life right out of you. This right here happens regularly. The dreaded signal problems on Line 1. Childcare pick-up doesn’t give a damn about your signal problems TTC. Last night I ran from the train all the way to my truck and then spent the next 20 minutes in my truck feeling like I was going to throw up. Might be because I am out of shape but really it was because of the feeling that I am failing. I am failing at the one thing my husband asked me to do this week. One night he needed me to grab the kids so he could take his mom to a medical appointment and have dinner with her. One night a week my husband makes sure his senior mum doesn’t eat alone and I am struggling to get my girls on time. I left at 4 and made it to pick-up with 3 minutes to spare. Two hours to get from downtown Toronto to Richmond Hill. I get why people say enough. I get why women give up on economic independence but and here it is. My kids were laughing when I got there. They bowled me over an played hide and seek when I got there. They didn’t notice I was so very late. They are so good with me doing a job I love. My back-up last night, thank DOG (and yes I mean dog) I had one, was my niece’s boyfriend. When you’re desperate you bring in the whole damn village and don’t make a single apology.
Let the shaming begin. My almost 3 year old is hard to parent. Her outbursts can and do last for hours. She has left me feeling completely inadequate and failing miserably at this thing called motherhood. Two nights ago she wakes up around 2 am screaming for bubbles. Yes, “I WANT BUBBLES” reverberating around my halls at 2 am. I try to be reasonable and tell her ‘the sun’s not up and coyotes are still outside’ (which they are) but she does not care. Really she is my ‘honey badger don’t care‘ child. I left, shut her door and hubby stepped in and dealt with it like the champion daddy that he is.
Fast forward 3 hours later and she wakes up screaming “I WANT ICE CREAM”. My head is pounding feck me at this point. And you know what I did? I went into her room and said “Are you hot sweetie, is that why you need ice cream?” She said ‘yes’. I told her to have some water, handed her a water bottle and then I carried her down stairs. And yes she had ice cream with sprinkles for breakfast. Smartie ice cream at that. An espresso cup size followed by latte cafe and S-cookies. She is half Italian after all. But don’t get me going on that crap they call Smartie ice cream. There are actually no whole pieces of Smarties in the damn tub. Really they need to call it Smartie Pieces because it’s just a way for Nestle to use the broken crap they can’t sell otherwise. And seriously, I have to use sprinkles to hide the fact that there are no whole pieces of Smarties in the damn thing. Nestle, you need to care about the kind of drama you create in the homes of parents with children in the midst of sibling rivalry that draws you into hell on a daily basis. Nestle you owe me an apology and a box of Smarties, unbroken in that tub of ice cream.
Moral is, sometimes they get crap for breakfast because I gotta get to work. You’re welcome daycare teachers everywhere.
I am looking at the blog and realize it’s not particularly engaging and my ‘about’ section indicates I like beer but I haven’t written a damn thing about my love of beer. I am actually on a bit of dry spell these days. Momma wasn’t fitting into her fat jeans so things are changing a bit. Mostly not drinking every night and no junk food in the evening. This spell will be broken this weekend when I check out Kingsville, Ontario for the first time. I am hitting up Jack’s Gastropub for sure. Check out their Instagram feed. It’s a thing of beauty. This right here will be mine by Friday night. You’re a wee bit jealous aren’t you?
My absolute favourite ale at present and likely for always is Side Launch Wheat. This marvel makes me feel as though summer should and could last forever if I just try hard enough. Cheers.
I come from a family where one side of it loves to camp. When I was a kid I enjoyed it. There were these long weekends with extended family that everyone went to. I got cramped in the back of my family station wagon with all the camping gear and could barely breathe. I was stuck for the 6 hour drive to the campsite. When we got there the discomfort of the travel was forgotten. We played, we ate, we swam and we ate some more. The parents got ripped. Mostly on beer and rum. There was one time in particular when a cousin got himself wedged headfirst onto a covered slide made of metal that was ultimately so dangerous that it’s a wonder any of us survived childhood. But we did survive and we laughed a lot. Ultimately now though I hate camping and won’t do it. I felt bad not giving my kids the experience so I offered. I had suggested to my 6-year-old that we go camping for her birthday and the exchange went like this:
Me: “Hey baby, there is a festival going on during your birthday weekend. Would you like to go camping for your birthday?”
6yo : “Camping? I am not camping. Ever. I will camp in my house.”
So we’re not camping but we will cottage at the beach. Get sticky with sand, eat freezies and play all day long. But I don’t sleep on the ground. And I can’t wait for it. Saugeen Shores is my happiest place on Earth.
Apparently I am in the category of Super Commuter and it’s a club I never thought that I would be part of. A Super Commuter is anyone who commutes over three hours a day for work and uses more than one means of transport. I moved from East York in Toronto to a northern suburb. I work downtown Toronto. I am not sure this is healthy for me at all. I have gained more weight than I ever thought possible. The time I have lost in my commute is the time I would use for fitness. I really don’t even know how I got here. Well I do but it’s a personal story that I don’t own completely so don’t feel as though I can share it publicly. I came to the realization I love my work but it’s costing me. I am left to wonder if it’s worth it. This is what I have gained with my move:
- House value increase that is greater than the value of my old East York home.
- Affordable and awesome childcare. Like ridiculously awesome childcare with great programming and wholesome food.
- Wonderfully intimate school for my girls.
- Time to read, and it’s absolute smut most days.
- Space for a vegetable garden, if not destroyed by rabbits. They may look cute but they are assholes.
- Some great new mommy friends that got my back. I had them in the old hood too.
- Closer to family that help when that ‘sick’ call comes. And it always does when I don’t have time for it.
I am hoping those things are enough. Yes the home is bigger but I really don’t care about that stuff. Seriously when the family is together we occupy the same 20 square feet anyway. Right now our girls like being with us so I’ll take all the snuggles I can get. Let’s see what the next three months brings while I figure out if this move was worth it. The Super Power I would want instead of Super Commuter would be eating without consequence but this is the one I got. Let’s work with it. Or change it.
I made a top 40 list of things to do this year. I couldn’t stop at 40 so it’s actually 41 things on the list. Some of them are quite simple to help me keep it real. I won’t share all 40 because frankly some are intimate and are not meant for anyone but me and my guy. I told you he won a prize when he picked me. Here are few:
- Hold an owl. Check. This is big kid but I did it too.
- Lay down in the grass with my girls. Once we get rid of the bunny crap in the back yard I may get this done.
- Eat really expensive chocolate in bed. Can’t wait for this one.
- Learn how to use digital analytics. I am on it and this blog is part of the learning process for me.
- Drink a $250 bottle of wine. I just may share, depends how good it is. Really I am fine with being a cheap wine girl. It keeps it real.
- Get a new cell phone. I am still rocking the 4s. It’s almost vintage, right? But really it’s to go with point 4 above. Need the right tools to be great at something.
- Go somewhere I have never been before. I am heading to Kingsville ON in June and I am so excited for this. It will be without kids so maybe I can get to some of the private stuff on the list that’s not fit for public viewing.
Hope everyone had some family time that required much cookie eating last weekend. Greek Easter meant I got all the stuff I have loved since I was a little girl and my brother, God love him, brought doughnuts that dreams are made of.
I woke up this morning ridiculously excited. Walked the kids to school and am getting ready for work and I am bubbly. For those who know me bubbly is not a word to describe me. I am witty, love to laugh and am a bit too honest at times. But I am almost 40 years old so my sense of filtering has shifted. I don’t have time to beat around the bush. I realized walking back from dropping the kids off that I am going to play today. I get to spend my time this morning with a group of women who decided to take a career break and are trying to navigate going back to work. This is my favourite thing about my job. I get to help these women re-invent and re-emerge in their careers in a beautiful way. Our success rate sits at 68% and growing. These are the women who make our communities run. They are usually off for childcare reasons but they do so much and they have forgotten. Committee work, volunteering and supporting the next generation. Getting them pack to the paid workforce when they are ready and able is a privilege. Check box one for an amazing start to my day. I love running the Back to Work Program.
Check box two, I am hanging with best friend tonight listening to the band that shaped my teenage years and into my early 20’s. Crash Vegas is back and I am so excited. There will be Smoke in my eye tonight folks. And my cookies tonight will be of the barley or grape variety.
I said I’d start this blog to keep it real but I should qualify, real to me. If you are one of those mums who can get it all done congrats. I don’t know you and I really think you are a fiction but heck, mermaids are fiction too but it’s fun to believe in them. Here’s what I have done so far this week that most likely wouldn’t admit to:
- I had to steal money from my big kid’s wallet to pay the cleaning lady. I couldn’t get my act together to make sure I had the exact amount on hand, $113.00. Really who has that perfect amount of cash together in the age of debit and credit? Thankfully my big kid hoards all her cash so the $8.00 I needed to top up the fee to get the house cleaned I had to steal from her. I did replace it with $10 so really she did come out ahead.
- I have a pair of navy velvet tights that I love. They are a size too small but I look fabulous in them when they stay done up. I wear a shirt long enough to cover the zipper so when it ‘pops’ open no one can see. But again, I am vain and they look great.
- I ate the last chocolate fudge cookie and likely 2/3 of the box. Double frosting. Might be why those pants in point 2 don’t fit. Yes packaged cookies, I don’t bake. I hate it. I hate the mess and the time it takes.
- To get my youngest to move into a gear I can work worth, I tell her the coyotes will get her. She will likely speak to a therapist about this and hate me but you know what, I am getting my stuff done.
There are likely more things that I have done but frankly I can’t even remember the drive to work in the morning so that’s enough for this ‘Keeping it Real Recall’.
Enjoy a cookie folks, it’s Wednesday. Good enough reason as any.
I posted a photo on Instagram over the weekend. It was one where let’s face it, I didn’t look “photo ready”. In a culture where everyone over shares pictures of an ideal beauty that took 20 shots to get right, we all know it’s not real. But the pressure to be beautiful in a socially acceptable way in every image is strong. Even for a woman like me that regularly says screw the patriarchy. I wear what I want, I say what I want and frankly I am Greek and few hairs grow where I don’t want them to but it doesn’t stop me from wearing bright read lipstick. When I get around to removing said hairs I do, but I am in no rush to do it. My arms look soft in this picture, and I am laughing at the antics of my fearless Silvie. Silvie is obsessed with my arms. She is constantly stroking them and she gets upset when I am not wearing a t-shirt. She has been this way since the day she was born. The joy of feeling someone love you unconditionally and is compelled to cuddle with you is all I need. The photo isn’t pretty but it’s real. And real is so important because honestly no one looks like perfectly curated posts of beauty. I’ll try not to cringe at the photo but I am not perfect and a moment of self-loathing catches in my mind. I look at the arms and think wow, how the f@#!% did that happen. But then I remember I am almost 40 and I am here and I own all of my shit.
I just bought my Georgia O’Keeffe tickets at the AGO. Or really I should say one ticket. I had this romantic idea that I could share my favourite artist with my girls. Then my husband reminded me; “They’re going to ruin it for you. Buy one ticket and go by yourself.” But I am a feminist, and I have two strong-willed girls, they need to know Georgia! The thought is burning in my brain. The colours, the flowers the magnitude of scale. How can someone not love Georgia and be on their best behaviour? Then I pause and remember they are 6 and 2. They can be jerks and I am selfish. If they ruin my chance to appreciate Georgia I will never forgive them. So I am going alone. I am going to have an awesome brunch. I am going to buy the poster. I am going to hang it above my couch and I am going to tell my girls they need to get themselves to Georgia O’Keeffe when they are old enough to not piss me off and to love her the way that I do. They can look at the poster until then. Thank you to the world’s best husband who reminded me that I need this for me and not necessarily share the exact moment with my girls.