Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Conversations with my Monster: Parts 15 & 16


MW: Oh, shoot.

LM: Shoot!

MW: Yes, shoot.

LM: Oh, shit!

MW: Shoot.

LM: Oh, shit!

Me: No, Baby, we say "Oh, shoot."

LM: I say oh shit.


LM: Want another one.

Me: Another what?

LM: Another milk.

Me: OK. *reaches for cup*

LM: Dad can fill it! *takes cup to Mr. Wolfman*

MW: *on phone*: I'm reading now.

LM: *pressing power button* Goodnight, telephone.

Monday, December 26, 2016

I Hate Everything

Ok, not everything. But I need to bitch about Xmas.

I LOVE Christmas. I all-caps, italics LOVE it. Way more than halloween, which I used to think of as my holiday. This being the monster's last Christmas as an only child, and the first one where he had any idea what was going on, I was of course looking forward to it.

I mentioned in a previous post that I would likely have to work and that I had a small glimmer of hope to switch a shift with a coworker. Well, as predicted, dick coworkers will be dicks, so while he did agree to work my shift, he wouldn't switch with me. Which would have meant that despite still having to work Christmas day, I'd lose out on over $100. Not something a pregnant Mummy of a toddler and baking Hobgoblin can afford - especially when I only work 16 hours per week.

So Mr. Wolfman and I decided we'd do his traditional Xmas on Xmas eve, then I would go to work and we would move Christmas day entirely (we're doing that later this week). I thought I was going to be ok with this, but I spent last night fighting back tears, realizing that Christmas was over, that I'd missed out on the one Christmas eve tradition I've been following my entire life, that this was going to be the Monster's last only child Christmas, etc., etc.

Then a giant toner cartridge exploded at work causing all sorts of trouble, because why the Hell not?

So, since Christmas morning is later this week, I'd arranged with my brother and sister to get our families together tomorrow for dinner and presents (my parents sent presents for everyone, too, that we were going to open then). I checked with my brother like 10 times that he was definitely free. He messaged me on the 24th to tell me he works tomorrow. Of course I was on a work-sleep-zombie schedule. I went to check with him today to find out about another day, and it turns out he works every day this week. Except Saturday, when, of course, I work. My presents for both my brother and sister are homemade cookies. Which really can't sit out for another week. So, yeah.

None of which really matters, since my brother still hasn't gotten back to me with his schedule for next week, so I don't even know if it's possible to have it next week anyway. And honestly, I just don't feel like bothering if it goes past New Year's. I don't even understand why this is all on me to arrange. I tried a group message and no one responded with anything concrete, so I've been messaging my brother and sister individually, and it's just getting stupid. Last year, my brother in law was over 2 hours late (an hour of which was after he finished work, but apparently he needed to go home and shower for an hour) and we waited for him, so after spending all day cooking (not to mention babysitting my sister's kids because even though she was right there, she doesn't watch them), we ate cold food, tried to take family pics, the kids got overwhelmed by presents and they left without helping clean up (to be fair, my sister did offer, but she often half-asses cleaning and then gets offended if you say anything).

Oh, and the camera we got for the monster, which he absolutely loves, refuses to connect to the computer. So there's no way to get his pictures off it and when the battery dies, the pictures (the first he ever took on his own camera) will be erased. So, yay.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


My monster just used the word "finally" correctly. He's already got a handle on colours, numbers, shapes, letters and comparative sizes and various computer terms, and now he's coming out with finallys and possiblys and correcting himself with I means when he uses the wrong word.

He wasn't even with me yesterday and Dr. Ginger commented on how smart he is and how developed his language skills are.

How is this kid only 2? And what on Earth is he going to be coming up with when he's 4 or 5? It blows me away.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, Part 14: Eggos

LM: Want Eggo.

Me: You need to finish the bread on your plate first.

LM: Oh, those breads are all gone! Want Eggo.

Me: They're not all gone, they're right there on your plate.

LM: *swipes the bread off the plate onto the floor* Want Eggo.

sometime later...

LM: Want Eggo!

Me: *puts bread back on his plate* You need to eat your bread first.

LM: Ooooh, no want bread! Those breads are yucky *throws bread back on floor* Want Eggo!

Saturday, December 3, 2016


That little ticker on the side of my blog there → has me freaked out. That stork is getting pretty close to my imaginary cottage.

I did fill out a lot of stuff in my planner and get a few things checked off my list today (including finally making a chore chart), so I feel a little better, but generally, I'm pretty overwhelmed.

On the brightest of sides, Mr. Wolfman and I took another look at our budget and it turns out I can take a year off when the Hobgoblin gets here. So no more night shift insanity for me, at least not the kind you get paid for. I'm hoping I can take that year to make a really solid plan and then actually launch into (the beginnings of) a new career when I do go back to work. If daycare still isn't an option for us, I'll just have to find something I can do from home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can I Just Bitch for a Minute?

Yesterday left me so tired and stressed, I'm still very much feeling it today. I'm in an absolute funk and don't seem to be able to claw my way out of it.

So Saturday and Sunday nights, I worked graveyards, as per usual. Sunday before work, I was talking with Mr. Wolfman about the monster and how advanced he is, and how we need to figure out what we're going to do for extra academic stimulation in our tiny town. I made some comment about how we may not even be here by the time he starts school in a couple of years and if we move somewhere bigger, they may have more options for special classes*.

Mr. Wolfman then starts asking me what I'm talking about, and come to find out, what I thought was our very solid, agreed upon plan of finding out in the spring if there's any more room for advancement in his current job - and if not, looking for work outside of this town - was actually not our plan, and that the earliest we will likely move is the end of summer, 2018. 18. We will have been in this shit village for 5 years. I DON'T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE. It's not really a shit village. It's nice, if you're an outdoors person (I'd like to be, but I can't take the monster out hiking alone, because there's a reasonable chance we'd be eaten by wild animals - not an exaggeration. There are wolves, bears, mountain lions and coyotes around here). It's also nice if you're into winter sports (I'm not. And anyway, I'm pregnant this winter, next winter I will have a toddler and an infant, the next winter I'll have a preschooler and a toddler). Property here is prohibitively expensive, daycare here is prohibitively expensive. So basically, I'm going to remain a mostly SAHM until 2018, whether I want to or not (not that there's anything approaching a fulfilling job for me here, even if I had the education and experience, which I don't). At which point, I'll still have no education, and I'll have been out of the workforce for 4 years. I'm sure that'll look great on my resume.

So I went to bed, woke up to none of the food DH had said he was going to cook, went work at 11pm in a shit mood, got home around 8am, Mr. Wolfman let me sleep until almost 11, so nearly 3 hours, yay. I wanted to go out, Mr. Wolfman said he needed to shower before doing anything else. Two hours of sitting on the couch  later, he finally has his shower, comes out saying I should be ready to go (even though he hadn't said whether he wanted to go anywhere), because he thought he was driving me to the store to buy a plunger (oh yeah, I clogged the toilet on Saturday). I said I could walk to the store, so he says ok and sits back down on the couch and reads until it's time to go to work.

My plan was to work on cleaning the new glider (I got it for free from a buy&sell site. One of the things about our small village is that people leave frequently, and big, ugly furniture tends to get given away, so it being free was not suspicious at all. She said it was smoke and pet free. The lady's house smelled a little funky, but I didn't want to sniff this thing right in front of her. I should have. It smelled awful, but I didn't realize that until I got home and started to clean it. I had already gone out on Sunday afternoon to buy pet odour and urine stain remover). The cleaning solution seemed to bring whatever locked-in stench to the surface, so I was going to spray it, open all the windows, then go out to buy the plunger. I also needed to go grocery shopping because DH had decided that he didn't want the meal he didn't cook on Sunday night, he wanted something else that we needed more supplies for.

It took over 2 hours to leave the house, mostly due to the monster getting a tiny bit dressed, then needing to pee. So I've been smelling this stupid cleaner/random chair stink this whole time and starting to get a headache.

We finally got out of the house, walked about 15-20 minutes, then the monster has to pee. I tell him hang on, we run to the nearest bathroom (about 3 mins away) and he's had his first accident in over 2 weeks, soaked through his underwear, pants, shirt and sweater and wetted his coat and stroller. Get him cleaned up. But it hadn't occurred to me to bring an extra shirt or sweater and it was cold outside, so I put him in my hoodie ("Monster will have no sweater. Too long!") and go to the store to find a shirt for him that doesn't leave half his chest exposed. No luck there. He needs to pee again, so we end up using the staff bathroom in the back of the store. Grab plunger.

Go to an outdoor store and buy him an expensive base layer shirt. He has to pee again. Rush him to the nearest toilet.

Go to go to another store because I just got invited to my sister's baby shower (3rd in 4 years) and I need to find a reasonably cheap present for her.

Go to the bank. He needs to pee again. Bank is closed, so the nearest one is about 7-10 mins away. I tell him to hold it, finish at the ATM and bloody run to the grocery store. He's already had another accident. Change him, get him cleaned up (thank God I had a ridiculous stash of clean underwear and pants with me). Put him in a random diaper I found in the stroller, because fuck. Finish grocery shopping.

Go to visit Mr. Wolfman at work to drop off the apple he'd requested (at this point I'd been out for some 3.5 hours, on food, dealing with all of this).  The monster fell asleep on the way there, so after dropping off the apple and a snack for Mr. Wolfman, I go home, leave the monster in the stroller and collapse for a bit (maybe an hour and a half).

At the monster's bedtime, he was still asleep so I carefully transferred him to his own bed, go to cook food, and of course he wakes up. Wants food, wants stories, wants EVERYTHING.  Mr. Wolfman gets home and immediately starts complaining about various things that I haven't done around the house. He hangs up laundry - after complaining, because he works - then sits on the computer, because apparently getting the monster ready for bed is 100% my responsibility, for no fucking reason. I said I could cook and he could put the monster to bed, or he could cook and I could put the monster to bed. He is really resistant to doing bedtime.

Oh, and during this time, I discover massive haemorrhoids. I've been insisting I need that stupid damn glider for ages and telling Mr. Wolfman that if he keeps making me do bedtime (I usually have to sit on a step stool, because the monster's bed is so little), I'm going to get them. DH didn't see the point of buying a glider or any comfortable furniture and thought it was a waste of money/space. I only got the one I got because it was free. So yay for fire ass for the next 15 weeks.

So I finally get the monster ready for bed, get him to pee again (his diaper, after all that, was miraculously dry). Finally drag him to bed, read him his stories and try to get him to sleep. He won't sleep. After nearly an hour, he's asleep, I try to sneak out of the room, he wakes up and starts crying. I have to lie in his toddler bed with him and hug him until he's asleep, apparently. So I do this. He drifts off.  I'm about to sneak out when Mr. Wolfman opens the door, letting in light, then comes and stands over the bed, waking the monster up, then goes back out of the room (... thanks?). So I lie there some more and eventually both the monster and I drift off. Mr. Wolfman comes back in to go to bed. I get up to take my pill and find some food (Wolfman didn't cook anything, big surprise), monster wakes up and starts crying. I take my pill and hurry back to bed without even brushing my teeth.

Eventually I bring the monster to my bed, because, remember, I'm doing all this on 3 hours of sleep and I don't have the energy to enforce him sleeping in his own bed. By now it's well after midnight. He squirms around and fusses and takes probably another hour to fall asleep. Then he tosses and turns all night, waking me up repeatedly, but, of course, not Mr. Wolfman, who sleeps through anything.

Monster is up before 8am, because why the fuck not?

aaand, that's been my week so far. I'm starving and now have to cook dinner for lunch because Wolfman's insistence we get ingredients for a meal he apparently didn't even want (he ate at work, so he was fine) screwed up our budget for today.

Fuck. I'm so exhausted and so bitter and so at a loose end. All I want to do is curl into a ball and sleep for the next 10 years.  And this is supposed to be the relaxing time, before number two gets here.


*Maybe jumping the gun a bit here, but the monster has surpassed every non-motor-related milestone (as well as a few motor ones) incredibly early, so far. He already knows the alphabet, his shapes, colours, how to count to 10 in two languages and can count in his head. He can name all 30(!) of his toy cars (just make and/or model, not year). Generally, I think a lot of the stuff he knows is stuff that they go over in JK, two years from now, so we're a little concerned.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Conversations with my Monster: Part 13

After the monster insisted for a bit, then took my hand and physically dragged me out of my chair, I relented and went to play cars with him.

Me: *picks up a car*

LM: Maybe Monster will drive the Renault.

Me: *picks up another car*

LM: Maybe Monster will drive Alfa Romeo.

Me: *picks up third car* Can I drive the BMW?

LM: Maybe Monster will drive the BMW Z4 *tries to take car out of my hands while refusing to let go of other 2 cars*

Me: *Stands up to return to my chair*

LM: *Maybe Mama will sit on the ground and play with cars!*

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Toddler Insults

The monster keeps calling me a Teddybear Bum. No idea what it is, but I get the impression that he thinks he's getting away with something every time he says it.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Great Potty Training Saga, Part 5: Amazed :)

About 6ish days ago, the monster decided to toilet train himself. 

He just started telling us when he needed to use the toilet, every single time. We were usually a couple of seconds late, so his diaper was still getting damp, but mostly everything ended up where it was supposed to.

We switched his diapers out for underwear, and had a day where he would start to pee, then run through the house to his toilet, desperate not to pee in his underwear (combined with asking in time. So we went through 5-6 pairs of underwear in a day). There were a couple of unfortunate poops.

Since then, he's had 3 accidents in 4 days, all of which were the same sort of Oh God, I'm peeing moments, followed by him running right away to the toilet. He hasn't had another poop accident during those days, and has woken up dry every morning (twice he woke us up in the night to use the toilet, twice we've been out of the house when he's said he had to go, he didn't like the public toilet available and he held it until we got home).

I'm flabbergasted. It was really like a switch flipped and he decided he was going to use the toilet from now on. He doesn't have an issue wearing diapers (he still wears them to bed and when we go out), just prefers to use the toilet. Would that the hobgoblin will do as well.

Of course, the latest accident - which happened just as I was thinking to myself that I could start to refer to the monster as toilet trained - happened all over my feet, a few minutes ago. So I guess I shouldn't get too far ahead of myself.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Xmas Woes

Can I just whine for a minute?

So, last night, with daylight savings time, my shift went from 8 hours to 9 hours. Ok, that sucks, but it's an extra hour of pay, so whatever. I only got two hours of sleep yesterday afternoon because pregnancy heartburn has set in and it's kicking my ass. Luckily, it was a pretty quiet night, no extra work for me, so other than extreme tiredness, it was pretty good.

Until my manager showed up. Not that I have anything against her, but I'd asked her for Christmas eve off (not Christmas, just the one day) because my schedule has me working Xmas eve, Xmas, New Years Eve and New Years. So, I thought, hell, maybe she'll see that it's insane and wildly unfair for me to have to work every single important holiday (oh yeah, Thanksgiving, too) in the fall/winter, and I offered to work any other shift that week, or the next week, or whenever the guy who would be taking over for me wanted, if I could just have Xmas eve off. No dice. Apparently it wouldn't be fair because he has to work New Year's Eve, because everyone in my department has to work that day, because we're supposedly insanely busy. So... it's fair for me to work NYE and Xmas eve and Xmas and NYD, but not for him.

She said I can talk to him and if he's happy to switch with me, then she doesn't mind. This guy (the only other person trained in my role) is the biggest asshole. I fully intend to ask him, to be as sweet as pie, to keep my original offer to work literally any other night he wants me to. I'll bake him cookies, I'll bring him dinner, whatever he wants - but I fully expect him to say no. He has no family in town and I'm pretty sure he never leaves his house except for work (we live in a very small town and I have literally never seen him outside of work, ever). Other colleagues have told me he hates Christmas and thinks it's stupid, but he just seems like the type of person to get a kick out of making people's lives miserable. He's rude to our customers, to our coworkers, to everyone. When he trained me, I would ask questions and he would go on 25 minute tirades designed to make me feel stupid (none of which ever answered what I'd asked). Management seems to see him as a loveable grump. If he was my employee, he'd have been fired long ago.

And this is who I have to hope has a little compassion so that I can actually enjoy Christmas with my kid. I don't think I should get special treatment because of the monster, but I'd like to think that if I had a business and one of my employee's regular schedule had them working on every single winter holiday, that I'd move things around so that everyone at least had the chance to celebrate.

Mr. Wolfman and I combine our cultures' Christmases, so we celebrate his way on the 24th (traditional meal, one gift each) and my way on the 25th (stockings, one more small gift, turkey dinner).
Except this year, it will look like:

I go to bed when Mr. Wolfman gets home from work on the 24th (3:30pm). Mr. Wolfman cooks the entire meal alone while watching DS because I need to sleep. 7-8pm, I wake up and we have dinner and one present, then I go to work. Come home at 7:30am. Maybe DS can squeeze his stocking in there, because Mr. Wolfman starts work at 8. Then Mr. Wolfman gets home at 3:30 and I go to bed. No turkey dinner because I have to sleep and I'm not going to ask Mr. Wolfman to cook a way more complicated meal that I won't even have time to eat. And then I work all night and come home on boxing day... which I guess is when we get our Xmas day presents.


I am well aware that this falls squarely in the realm of a first world problem. I know it's just a date. I know that there are people who are starving, people who can't even spend one day of the holidays with their families, people who would balk at 6 presents and a stocking (and an advent calendar) for a family of 3, who would never waste money on two big, elaborate meals in as many days. But it still sucks. And I still ugly cried the entire 15 minute walk home this morning. And yeah, I'm crying right now.

I'm really afraid this will ruin the whole season for me, that I'll lose it every time I look at Christmas lights or someone asks me about my holiday plans. This is the first year that the monster is going to be interested in anything going on around Christmas and his last year as an only child. I wanted it to be really special for him. And part of me knows it still can be, if I stop being a weepy mess, but at the moment, that seems impossible.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Halloween was fun. Nothing exceptional, but fun. It started snowing around 4:00pm, but that was fine for me, I had no intention of taking the monster trick-or-treating anyway.

I took the monster to a community event for preschoolers in the morning. Basically, it's a big indoor playgroup. It'll happen every week all winter. I kind of hated it, it was very loud, but I was impressed by the monster. Even though he's not very social and doesn't spend a lot of time around kids, he was considerate, didn't knock the smaller kids over (so weird that, at 2, there were a lot of kids smaller than him; he's a big fella), didn't fuss when other kids took the toys he was interested in. So, even though it wasn't my favourite, I plan on taking him once a week.

This one was Halloween themed, so all the kids were dressed up. The monster was a garden gnome (although he refused to wear his beard). I felt pretty smug that he was one of maybe 3 kids with a homemade costume. Don't get me wrong, some of them were really cute, but the sheer commercialism gets to me sometimes. I didn't take him to do any crafts, but he played with the toys they had out, and I was really impressed that they weren't giving out candy.

The highlight was probably when Time Warp came on and I just stood there wondering if the people putting on the event had ever actually listened to it. Then, the moment of truth came and they sang magic dance in place of pelvic thrust. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The last thing I need is my monster chanting "pelvic thrust" everywhere he goes.*

I did later get the monster to wear his hat and gnome beard, but then he wouldn't sit still for a picture, so boo to that.

And I think that's it. I had a doctor's appointment today and everything is looking good. I'm starting to lose confidence in Dr. Ginger, a bit. She just seems really forgetful and all over the place. Which I get, I'm a bit like that, too, but I'm not a Dr. dealing with someone else's pregnancy, so I think I get a bit of a pass. I don't know, she asked if I'd had my ultrasound results yet (literally the reason for my last appointment with her). Last visit, she asked me if this was my first pregnancy while looking right at the monster - and I'm pretty sure that the she was the reason the lab who didn't run my genetic screening thought my due date was different than it is. Anyway, Dr. Illegible should be back soon, and I think I'm going to switch back for him for the rest of my pregnancy.

Oh, but I did, finally get the genetic screening results, and everything is negative, so yay for that!

*Today at my prenatal appointment, the nurse dropped my (empty) pee sample cup. The monster threw his arms in the air and exclaimed, "Oh, Jesus!" I was too tired to even be that embarrassed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Conversations with the Monster: Part 12

Me, muttering to myself while looking at a what appears to be the debris from a curry rice-bomb in my living room: Oh, what the hell?

*Several hours pass*

LM: You said what the hell but we don't say what the hell we say what the heck but you said what the hell. Say what the heck.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Now That I'm Calmer...

I can write a less explitive-laden post than I would have initially.

I mentioned that we'd been to get the results from my anatomy scan. Everything, apparently, looks good. I was measuring 4 days ahead of where I thought I was (I was one day ahead at 12 weeks. Maybe I'm having a giant?), organs and everything look good, so great.

(Dr. Illegible is on vacation for the next month or so, and has been since the beginning of July, so I've been seeing Dr. Ginger, who was on call in the emergency room when I took the monster in a while back.)

So after telling us that everything with the ultrasound looked good, Dr. Ginger tells us there was something weird with the genetic screening blood work. Of course, my heart jumped into my throat. Then she proceeds to tell us that the weird thing is, they didn't run the labs.  Apparently, they lab (not the one in the hospital here, the one they send blood to) somehow got the impression that my due date was a full month earlier than it actually is. The screening has to be done between 16 and 21 weeks. I was 17 weeks when I got my blood drawn, but they thought I was 21. They didn't bother to call my doctor or the lab here to find out why they'd be requesting those tests, or to clarify what was going on. They just didn't do it.

Of course, I didn't find this out until I went back in for the anatomy scan results, so at that point, I was actually 20 weeks + 4 days. On a Friday. They won't even draw the blood here past 20+6, so I had to go straight to the hospital lab to get the blood drawn again. The lab tech was very nice (and annoyed on my behalf) and told me that honestly there's a chance that the lab won't run the tests now, since I actually was so close to the cut off. They will only send the results to Dr. Ginger, not to the lab, so I have no way to know if they did it, or what the results are, until November 1st.


I'll be 23W1D. Of course it's not something I ever even want to think about, but if there was something severe (I mean like incompatible with life type severe), they basically would have forced me into either a late term abortion, or carrying a baby to term and watching it die in the hospital. Because they can't fucking read paperwork.


I also had thyroid blood work done, or it should have been done, at the same time, which I completely forgot to ask the doctor about, 'cause my head was still swimming from the unexpected news that this little goblin is a boy, plus being pissed about the genetic screening. I'm supposed to have my thyroid checked every 3 months, especially since they've recently changed the dose on my medication. So if they didn't bother to run those tests, I'm going to be even more pissed. Actually, I'm going to call the clinic on Monday and find out if they bothered with that or not, because otherwise, I need to get my blood done again.

I kind of suspect that the issue lies with Dr. Ginger, because of a couple of things: one, when she was filling out my paperwork for the second set of tests, she asked if this was my first pregnancy - while my 2 year old played a couple feet away - after we'd discussed my pregnancy with him earlier in the appointment. And two, when I went to get said blood work, I noticed she'd written on the requisition that this isn't a singleton pregnancy, which it definitely is. I like her, she's nice, she actually explains stuff when you ask her, rather than assuming that you couldn't possibly understand without a medical degree. But she is absent minded. I wouldn't be all that surprised if she wrote a date down wrong, somewhere.

So, that's where we are with all that. Just counting down the days, waiting for them to tell me that the goblin is good and healthy and that he's negative for any of the markers that indicate a genetic issue. Fingers and toes crossed.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Survey Says...

It's a boy!

I don't know why I put that in blue, it's a bit gendery, but whatever, it looks nice.

I was absolutely sure I was having a girl - and absolutely shocked to feel actual disappointment when the doctor told us otherwise. I honestly and truly believe the only difference is what's between the legs, and since I already know how to change boy diapers, I've no idea why I was suddenly overcome with what I felt, which was grief.

It's not that I wanted this baby to be a girl. I was sure he was a girl. Like, deep down in my soul, sure. I think I'd built up this fictional daughter in my mind, I knew her name, I had dreams about her being born - I knew what her face looked like. So I think it was more that I was mourning a child who never existed. Part of it is knowing that number two is our last, so I know now that I'll never have a daughter. It's not that I think I'm going to miss out on mother-daughter bonding, or tea parties or dress up, either. None of that has anything to do with the sex of my baby.

The worst part was the doctor, suddenly going from saying they were really quite sure to maybe you'll be surprised in the delivery room - not because it was so fake, which it was, but because I could tell it was a reaction to my reaction - that I had utterly failed to hide my totally irrational feelings.

I cried pretty much all day. Mostly because I was so mad at myself for being anything other than over the moon with excitement. Because I know that my son is who he is and will be who we raise him to be, and that his genitals have nothing to do with any of it. Because Mr. Wolfman kept trying to comfort me by saying we could have a 3rd child, like this one is somehow insufficient.

Anyway, it only took me a day to get comfortable with it. One more day to get over my initial reaction completely, and now I can say I'm really excited about boy #2, our little Hobgoblin. Mr. Wolfman and I have been talking over names, and I feel like we're almost decided. We're leaving room for the possibility we'll see him and rethink our choice, but I'm pretty happy with our current selection, and I feel like it'll stick.

We don't stress sex and gender, so I don't think the monster has any idea what a brother is, vs. a sister. He's excited about the fact that the baby will have a bed, and he has his own bed, which has blankets and a pillow. Also, he knows that the play kitchen in fact belongs to both of them, but that he doesn't have to share with the baby until he can walk, which won't be for a long time. And, as the monster is fond of pointing out, he can already walk, and no one is stopping him from playing with the play kitchen.

Also, the monster knows that the baby is in my belly, that we went to the hospital in [town] and the lady pushed buttons and we saw the baby on the computer screen - but none of that is anywhere near as exciting as the fact that the lady pushed some other buttons and the bed came up. That was clearly the highlight of the trip for him.

I have a rant coming, about Dr. Ginger and the absolute clusterfuck that was my genetic screening blood work - and possibly one about yesterday, the horror show that wouldn't end,  but I'll save those for another day. Right now, the monster has (yet again) ransacked the entire apartment and between that and trying to get stuff ready for Mr. Hobgoblin,  I have a lot of cleaning to do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stealth Veg Salmon Patties for Picky Eaters

I've written before about the horrible stomach flu of '15, the one that resulted in the monster refusing pretty much all solid food from about a week after we introduced it at 6 months until he was over a year old. When he started to accept puffs and mum mums and other flavoured starch, we fed it to him gladly. And now we have a monkey who basically only wants starch and/or sugar.

We're not a sit at the table until your plate is clean kind of family. We don't bribe with treats, we don't ever force the monster to eat an arbitrary number of bites to say that he is "done". But, while I don't doubt our food-related philosophies, it can't be said that I'm happy with the monster's diet.

So, without further ado, here's a recipe for salmon patties that I made/stole/heavily modified in order to get some green stuff in his stomach. The monster LOVES these things, despite them being full of veggies that he wouldn't normally touch with a ten foot pole.

This recipe probably makes 12-14 patties, which should theoretically be enough to freeze leftovers. But I wasn't exaggerating when I said the monster LOVES them, so I've only managed to freeze some once, and they were gone by the end of the following day.


  • 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetables*
  • 1 can of boneless, skinless salmon (in water, not oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of bread crumbs
  • Some butter (unsalted)
  • Black pepper to taste

Also, a piece or two of paper towel.

*With regards to the vegetables: I don't have a specific list, and you can put whatever you want in there. As long as your little one doesn't hate it, I feel like onion is a must. If you're going to be eating these things too, as long as you don't hate it, celery. Celery and salmon were made to go together. It's practically criminal not to include it. I've never tried it, but I would avoid really distinct flavours like broccoli; you don't want to overwhelm the salmon.

Despite being picky, the monster loves strong, somewhat spicy flavours, so our usual mix includes 1/2 a white onion and a clove of garlic,  as well as 2 sticks of celery and a small parsnip. Today, I also snuck in a carrot, some green onion and an extra celery stick.

  1. Finely grate vegetables. I like the graters that are kind of like pyramids, so the veggies are contained when you're finished. Also, I'm paranoid about celery being a choking hazard because it's so stringy, but with these things, the stringy bits get left on the outside of the grater, so they can be thrown out. Also, you can grate green onions to a point, but the actual green parts, you'll need to mince, if that's something you decide to include.
    • Handy tip: don't cut off the bit of the veg that you plan to throw away (the carrot top, celery bottom, etc); it makes a great handle so you can grate more of the usable part without hurting your fingers.
  2. While the veggies are still inside the grater, tilt the plate or bowl or whatever you're grating them onto so that all the liquid pools and soak it up with the paper towel. Onions and celery are especially watery, so this bit is important.
  3. Drain the salmon. You don't need the water, so it can go down the drain, unless you have a purpose for keeping it.
  4. Add salmon to the veg mixture and flake it with a fork, while stirring it into the vegetables. Add black pepper to taste. Make sure the mixture is pretty consistent. I feel like I should throw in the word heterogeneous, which is accurate, if a little pompous. 
  5. Beat/whisk eggs in a separate bowl, then add to the veggie/salmon mixture. This bit looks gross, just FYI. Mix well.
  6. Add some bread crumbs. Not all. I find that if I dust the top of the mixture, stir it, dust it again, etc. That works best. You want to get it to the consistency that you can form it into patties. They should be uncomfortably sticky, but not gluey. Basically when you remove your hand from a patty, you can expect some residue, but you shouldn't have big chunks of stuff sticking to your hands.
  7. Once you form a patty, place it in your remaining dry breadcrumbs, then flip it over. It should be nicely coated. It helps to pour some of your remaining breadcrumbs into a bowl first, and keep some in the measuring cup. That way, if you don't use them all, you can keep them, rather than worry about raw egg/fish contamination.
  8. Fry in a small amount of butter on medium-high heat (reduce if your butter starts to burn, but keep in mind, you need to make sure the eggs get cooked) until brown & crispy.

Possible substitutions: I'm assuming you can replace the eggs with whatever you would normally replace eggs with, if you're vegan or allergic or whatever. The purpose of the eggs is basically to hold everything together, so if you have something else that will do so, go for it. I'm certain you can switch out the butter for a little bit of olive oil, because I've done so with very little change to the taste/texture. And I'm pretty sure that you could remove the salmon altogether, though keep in mind that the breadcrumbs kind of dull the flavour a bit, so a small amount of salt or maybe other spices wouldn't go amiss.

Freezing: You can freeze these (once they're cooked) and then just bring them out and fry them from frozen. I like to cut little squares of wax paper to put between them, to stop them from sticking together.

Some non-food-related posts will be along in a bit.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Regarding the Monster

I feel like, with everything, I haven't been a very good Monster Mummy the past few months. I can blame that on morning sickness and fatigue and everything else, but I feel like I could be doing better. We have barely done any drawings, hardly any outings together to anywhere other than the store. I was too sick to take him to the park without another adult to chase him, we haven't drawn pictures or read a story together in like a thousand years...

Despite all that, this monster is amazing. I mentioned in my last post he's speaking in sentences. He's also telling jokes and making plays on words. He repeats and learns the meanings of words after hearing them once, and he keeps telling me the story of his visit to the hospital (it was in mid-July), in past tense.

He is crazy tall. I'm sure he's still in the 90th percentile for height (though a mis-measuring nurse had Dr. Illegible convinced he was in the 98th for a bit); for pants he can still get away with 2 T, but for shirts, he generally needs a 4T for length and for his arms (but he swims it it width-wise, the skinny Minnie). He's just starting to get cramped in size 6 shoes.

His coordination is pretty much dead-on for his age, which looks kind of funny, with a 3yo+ sized kid doing the tiny toddler run :)

I could seriously ramble on endlessly about how smart this kid is. Like, it's mind-blowing. I'm actually a little worried about what will happen if #2 is normal. Apart from knowing most of the alphabet (phonetically and on sight, not just remembering a song), being able to count to 13, knowing all the basic colours (including teal!) and shapes, he just absorbs knowledge. He now speaks his other language better than I do, and I frequently have to ask him to tell me in English. Which he immediately does, with no problem. It's mind boggling to me that he understands that different languages exist and how to apply them.

Aaaand, he's going to be 2 in 10 days. 2. 2! I'm really not sure how I feel about this. I mean, it's exciting, but I think mostly I'm just sad that he's growing up so fast. I know 2 isn't really old, but he's not a baby anymore, for sure. He does keep getting better, and I'm sure that will continue, but I do sort of miss when he was a little squishy face. Ahhh!

Well, that's the update on him. Hopefully I'll have an update for his actual birthday. We're having a party for him this year. Well, we're having the family we have in town and our friends who live next door (once I get around to inviting everyone) over for make-your-own pizza and some sort of desert. It should be fun, anyway.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Kind of Big Update

I haven't posted for a while. For once, that's been intentional. I have one IRL friend who knows about this blog and I wanted to talk to him IRL before having him read it on here. I didn't think I could post about the monster and my day-to-day without spilling the beans, as it were.

So yes, as you've likely guessed from my none-too-subtle introduction, I'm pregnant again :) Mr. Wolfman and I are very, very excited. The Monster likes babies as a general rule, but I'm thinking he still doesn't really get what's going on.

It's actually been really difficult not to post anything about this. We found out pretty well right away (I knew right away, but didn't officially confirm it until a few days before my period was due), but I had a sudden feeling of superstition and didn't want to tell anyone until at least 12 weeks. We still haven't been able to reach Mr. Wolfman's parents, except for a couple of brief phone calls to make sure they're still alive, so they still don't know, which means we haven't really told friends, because it feels weird for the grandparents to find out last.

So, to play catch up:

  • The first trimester is done. Hooray. I didn't get daily vomiting like I did with the monster. Instead, I just had this pervasive nausea that would not leave me alone. I spent about a month and a half of it on my couch, barely able to move, getting up only to change the monster (toilet training came to a screeching halt), go to the bathroom and take care of food (for the monster). I lost a chunk of weight, though not as much as at the beginning of my first pregnancy. Baby will be along in early March.
  • I started showing way earlier this time. I was right around this point when I first started to show with the monster. This time, I'm already in maternity clothes. I can't even do the hair-elastic trick to hold up non-maternity pants. Basically now, I could probably lie my way out of it, but without question, the first assumption people will make is pregnancy. Not complaining about my body, though, I love that I'm all bump again.
  • I told work this morning; it was getting awkward to pretend like nothing was up. My manager was super happy (maybe a little too happy).
  • Once again, my sister is pregnant at the same time as me. This time she's due about a month and a half earlier.
  • We already have most of the necessary baby gear, so we bought an expensive baby carrier, a "winter" (early fall. Not warm. Damn) maternity coat for me, and we'll buy a toddler skateboard stroller attachment thing* and that's pretty much all we need. The kids'** closet is bursting with clothes, so other than special occasions, we're all set there.
  • The monster is an absolute little chatter box, he's speaking entirely in sentences and is fully bilingual, to the point where you can ask him to repeat something in the other language, and he will. I'm a little worried about how he'll handle no longer being the centre of the universe, but I think when it comes to it, he's going to be an amazing big brother.
  • Everything non-baby related is same-old, same old. I'm still working nights on weekends, still perma-tired, still trying to make longterm plans with not enough money or information. But it's all good. We're getting there.

I think that covers everything for the moment. Now that the cat's out of the bag, I suspect I'll be updating quite a lot more. We don't get our anatomy scan until early October, so hopefully everything stays uneventful until then and we can look forward to learning the sex (not sure why I'm so concerned about it, to be honest. We're not pink for girls, blue for boys people).

That's it. More to follow, I'm sure :)

*I'm up on all the latest terms. Look how lit I am, fam. Lit is a thing, right? And fam? Those are things.
**Such a weird concept for me. I'm still not quite used to it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Bodily Atomably"

is the monster's new favourite phrase.  I told him he doesn't have to have kisses if he doesn't want because of bodily autonomy. He thinks it's just the best. I'm inclined to agree :)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, part 11: Bossy Pants

LM: monster will have monster water.

Me: okay, go get your cup.

LM: Mama will find it.

Me: You find it.

LM: Mama, get off couch. Get me purple biscuits.

Me: You're cute. And bossy.

LM: No bossy!

Me: hahaha

LM: Mama, get purple biscuit.

Me: ok, I'll get you a biscuit.

LM: Two purple biscuits!

Disclaimer: this is just the monster making up sentences in his special monster way, not how Mr. Wolfman and I talk to him or each other.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Conversations with my Monster: Part 10 - Musical Taste

Radio: If I could catch time in a bottle...

LM *as if being murdered*: Oh, God! Oh! God! Lord! Oh Lord. Oh. GAWD!!

a few minutes later...

Radio: ... Whoa, Almost Paradise

LM: Turn off song!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Conversations with my Monster: Part 9.

LM: Lazy bones. Lay-zee-bones!"

Me: I'm not a lazy bones, you're a lazy bones."

LM: *Sigh* Oh, Mama.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Genius Toddler, Part 2: Umm...

So, the other day, we were colouring, and the monster starts pointing to the page saying "Ah, ah!" He's learning letters phonetically*, so he was saying he wanted me to draw an A for him. I guess he got tired of waiting, because then he drew his own. Like seriously, my 21 month old drew the letter A, on purpose, without help. What the what?

*anyone else think it's weird that this word is spelled with a PH instead of an F?

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Great Potty Training Saga, Part: I don't even know anymore

So, it seems like we've been at this for ages, but the truth is, I haven't really started potty training. Not really. We were doing great with it, and then, I don't know, life and laziness got in the way, Mr. Wolfman and I were inconsistent, the monster mostly lost interest (although he did ask to go in the middle of going to sleep and then emptied his entire bladder - and then some - into the potty chair). And then all my attempts to start over and go hardcore have fallen flat.

So, since I tend to flake out most of the way through one day, I bought Oh Crap! Potty Training for motivation. I read the first half of it in a day, expecting to start this week. I was all geared up, full of resolve - and I was explaining, once more, to Mr. Wolfman that the monster and I won't be able to leave the house at first and then only tiny outings for a bit, he says, "Does that mean we're not going to [fun family event that would normally be prohibitively expensive but is free for one day only this summer]?" So now we're starting this week.

Yesterday, we bought our last pack of diapers. We'll use them until P Day and then for overnights until we run out, and then, that's it. I actually cried when we put them in the shopping cart. I tried to argue that we needed ones with fun characters, because they're the last diapers he'll ever wear. I'm so not ready for him to stop being a baby.

But, the thing is, he is ready. He is done being a baby, and is well on his way to being a rambunctious little gentleman. Today, while he was on the toilet and I was in the other room, he had the opportunity to live out the cliche of the toddler who spreads his poop all over the walls when the Mum (somewhat naively) leaves him alone with no diaper. Instead, I heard a somewhat distressed call of "Wipe, wipe," and went in to find him with poop on his fingers, looking utterly disgusted and holding the offending hand as far away from himself (and everything else) as possible.

So, once again, I'm beginning the countdown. Tuesday, the diapers go away. For good.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Genius Toddler, Part 1: Drawing Things, Counting & Knowing Stuff

So, I was going to do another Genius Baby post, but it occurs to me that my little monster isn't really a baby anymore. He's growing up so damned fast. Maybe a little too fast. Slow down, kid.

It was actually a few months ago that he drew his first thing. Which was the sun. Which I know only because he told me. Since then, he's been content just to scribble. Until yesterday, when he drew a plane. To be clear, this plane is also a big scribble. But one which, to him, represents a plane. I have no idea when kids are "supposed" to be able to draw actual things, He may be right on track, hell, he might even be behind. But, biased as I am, I'm still super impressed.

Also, he can recite numbers up to 6, read numbers up to 7 and count actual objects up to 3. I read that the actual understanding of what numbers represent comes between age two and three, so I guess he's a little ahead of the game there.

With letters, he can read a bunch phonetically, although to be fair, he does get P and B mixed up, especially when they're lowercase. F is by far the easiest to recognize, but 9 times out of 10, he gets U, O, R, C, M & N right, too.  A few weeks ago, he read a sign that says "fox" out loud, but I'm pretty certain he recognized the shape of the word, rather than reading it; it was in a similar font to one of his books. Mr. Wolfman has asked me why I'm teaching him this stuff so young, but honestly, it's because he wants to learn. The monster points out every letter he sees and when we sit to colour, he asks me to draw letters (sometimes specific ones, sometimes he points to the paper and says "Lett-er!") over and over.

Probably my favourite accomplishment of his in the past little while: he now uses the word "Me". Like when he wants something "Me! Me!" I know that one is right on par for his age, but for him to have such a clear understanding of himself and how he's separate from others is so super cool.

It's astounding to me how fast he's learning and growing.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, Part 8.

LM: What the hell? What the heh-ell?Whatthehell? Heh-ell. What the heh-ell?

Me: Monster, don't say that. That's a silly thing to say.

LM: Fuck!

Yep, mother of the year, me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Conversations with my Husband

Mr. Wolfman *shows me the monster's bunny, which has been missing for weeks and I thought was lost forever *

Me: You found it?! Where was it?

WM: Next to a half-eaten waffle.

Me: It was in the bathroom?

WM: There's a half-eaten waffle in the bathroom?!

Me: ... Yay, you found the bunny!

Clearly, I have some cleaning to do.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Great Potty Training Saga & a Book Review

It's been slower going than I thought it would, mostly because of a lack of discipline on my an Mr. Wolfman's part. But! The Monster now tells us when he pees. Not when he has to pee, mind you, but when he's in the process of doing so. I'm good with it; it's a start.

I have to give some credit to the horrible potty training book I got him a while back. I ordered it on Amazon, sight unseen, with only a bunch of positive reviews to guide me. It's called Potty Superhero: Get Ready for Big Boy Pants.  I figured, it has a dog and a superhero, It will be perfect. Let me just say, I hate this book. I hate it a lot. Even more so now that the Monster insists on reading it every single time we visit the bathroom.

Firstly, I don't like to buy gender-specific books or toys, but I assumed that as a potty training book, it might have a reason for being aimed only at boys. It doesn't. Girls just aren't superhero material, I guess.

The story, which isn't explained in the online synopsis, doesn't apply to my son at all. Basically, this kid gets tired of sitting on the potty, waiting for the pee that never comes, so he goes out to play, only to have an accident. He learns to be patient, actually pees in the potty and then graduates to big boy underwear. Patience is not our issue. The Monster will happily sit on the toilet for 20 minutes or more, reading this goddamn book. There is a bit of an explanation that the kid knows it's time to sit on the potty because his tummy feels funny... maybe it's different for boys, but personally, I've never felt the urge to urinate emanating from my stomach. Since the only issue the Monster seems to be having is figuring out he needs to go before he needs to go, the vague, anatomically incorrect approach isn't likely to help much.

So, when I tell the story, there's no accident, and both times the kid sits on the "toilet" (we don't use a potty), he pees or poops or farts.

Now, in fairness, I should say that the Monster loves the pictures in this book, and he is the target audience, so I guess the artist gets points there. But holy hell. You can actually see where the artist just said "Fuck it, no one will notice," and gave up.  Like when the kid's boxing gloves change to regular gloves, or when, for one picture only, the underside of his cape is light blue instead of orange.  Or, when he takes off his diaper and his entire lower torso disappears. Like, his legs just come out of his T shirt, which still only comes to his waist.

I guess overall, the book is doing what it's supposed to, which is making toilet time fun, and letting the monster know that people outside our family do, in fact, use the bathroom.  But I will be so glad to see it gone. Just one more reason to keep on keeping on.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

My Chatty Monster

Occasionally - well, fairly frequently, someone will post on my birth board, asking how many words everyone's LO (little one) is saying. Full disclosure - I love to brag about the monster, so I'm always a little excited for the opportunity to do so without looking like a self-centred nutcase.

But, inevitably, the person is asking because they're concerned about their child's (usually totally normal and fine) language development and I don't want to be the crazy bitch piling on their concerns by talking about how amazing my monster's vocabulary is.

But, this is my own space. So I get to brag. And going for his 18 month checkup and seeing that on the questionnaire, the question for evaluating expressive language is "Is your child saying at least 8 words, on top of mama and dada?" made me realize just how wonderfully my little bilingual monkey is doing.

So, yeah, I'm going to list all the words he says (that we've actually written down). I'm a proud Mummy. Sue me.

Magenta, he says in English, Blue in Mr. Wolfman's language, Green in both. Orange, he combines the two languages into a single word. These are mostly in order (and no, he does't pronounce all of them super clearly).

Mum, Dad, Duck, Diaper,  [his name], No, Yeah, Boob, Give it, That, This, What is it?, Down, Biscuit, Tickle, Door, Flag, Book, Dog, Moo, Stairs, Grandma, Grandpa, Broth, Bra, Where'd it go?, Joker, Rabbit, Bunny, Gone, Locked, Broken, Blanket, Google, Velcro, Magazine, Magnet, Breakfast, Apple, Let go!, Go, Chair, Block, Button, Truck, Car, Van, Close, Hat, Cold, Cheek, Hand, Elephant, Sun, Stinky, Ball, Bowl, Circle, Clothes, Sprinkler, Sit, Lid, Open, Pen, Penis, Eye, Nose, Navel, Letter, Monkey, Light, Sneaky, Ramp, Whee!, Boot, Wolf, Banana, Superman, Red, Blue, Green, Octopus, Belt, Kitten, Kitchen, Dinosaur, iPod, Ferrari, Mitten, Airplane, Train, Pig, Read, Butterfly, Bug, Camera, Tragedy, Stairs, Key, Post Office, Bank, Cereal, Bum, Nostril, Cookie, Spoon, Record Player*, Click, Closet, Stroller, Walk Dance, Pee, Frog**, Bear, Picture, Crayon, Tray, Pink, Egg, Boat, Tiger, Bus, Finger, More, Jam, Socks

Counting both languages, that's 160 words. And yeah, I know, no one (except me and Mr. Wolfman) is going to care in 20 years how many words he said at 18 months. But damn. He's such a clever little elf, and I really am one proud Mummy.

*His word for this is totally made up, but he uses it consistently.
**Also in Italian???

Edit: I forgot Hair, Water, Giraffe, Chair, Lion, Mouth, Heart, Devil, Zebra, Owl and Goat. So we're actually at 172.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Great Potty Training Saga: Part 4 - Countdown

Potty training begins tomorrow. My week off technically starts today, but since I finished work at 7am, fuckkit.

I had a couple of things I wanted to post before I venture into town for supplies, but I got waylaid by an email I had to write my mom (may post about that later), and now I'm kind of in a hurry.

Nonetheless, supplies! I'm really getting excited about this.

I've been cleaning up our main bathroom (Windex doesn't really count as a potty training supply, I guess), and I'm going to deck it out to make it as fun of a room for him as I can. Mr. Wolfman isn't keen on those removable wall decals (possibly because he saw what happened to our friends' wall when their toddlers removed them) so I'm going to look for stuff I can suctioncup to the side of the tub, and maybe some window clings for the mirror (the monster has butterflies, but those are going on the balcony door, as soon as we get the lock installed).

The next step is bathroom-only books.  I'm thinking just a bunch of those laminated brochures with different plants/animals/animal tracks. Our grocery store sells them, which is good , because I've just realized it's Good Friday and everywhere else is probably closed.

I've already got Pull-ups for him to wear over his underwear if we need to go out. On my way home from work, I stopped at a convenience store and got a (n extremely overpriced) folding toilet insert that will fit in the diaper bag. I was delighted to see that it has his favourite Sesame Street character on it (we don't have TV, but he has a couple of the toys), which should make him happy.

And, of course, there's underwear. After my (likely short, given the date) shopping trip, it'll be time to sew some PUL fabric on the outside of each pair, then we're all systems go.

I'm a bit nervous.  The "don't train before age 3" crowd has got me wondering if I'm starting too early,  but my monster seems pretty advanced overall, and even we regular folk were potty training before 2, 20-30 years ago. I guess only time will tell.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, Part 7

Me: Do you want applesauce for breakfast?

LM: Cereal!

Me: Ok, cereal. *prepares cereal* Time to hop in your chair.

LM: Chair! *goes to chair*

Me: *does up lap belt*

LM: Click!

Me: Time for the tray. *goes to attach tray to chair*

LM: Noooooooooo! *pushes tray away with hands and feet.*

Me: Yes.

LM: Noooooooo!

Me: Monster, how are you going to eat your cereal if you don't have a tray?

LM *smiling at his tray like it's a long-lost friend, and lifting his arms out of the way*: TRAY!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

More about "Boy" stuff.

I mentioned in my last post that we got the monster underwear with little tools all over them. I wanted to get him ones with monsters, but those are only available in 4T and he's not quite there. I also mentioned that the ones with "boy stuff" on them, were cheaper than the ones that were just solid colours. Because apparently we have to be financially motivated to enforce gender stereotypes (I'm poor, so this worked on me). I like building stuff, I want the monster to like building stuff; tools are cool - but since the girl equivalent underwear were a) more expensive again, b) covered in flowers, and c) had little, less comfortable lacy bands around the legs and waste instead of thick flat, comfy bands, this grated.

 Anywho, after a walk to the fabric aisle for PUL fabric for the outside of said underwear (girls'  available in pink, white and leopard print; boys' in monkey, owls and orange), we went to the toy section so that Mr. Wolfman could pick out a car for the monster (I think this is his favourite part of going shopping - Mr. Wolfman's, I mean). He took a while to choose the best possible car for the monster*, so I wandered the aisles and found, in 2016, this:

The "girl" aisle, which was a veritable sea of pink and purple, contained, big-eyed, alien looking animals, baby dolls and accessories (all the baby dolls were white, all of their accessories were pink), Barbie dolls, toy housewares and "girl" Lego. Just the Lego Friends and Disney Princess sets.

A couple aisles over, the "boy" aisle contained Ninja Turtles, superheros, various modes of transportation, Star Wars, video game characters, dinosaurs, astronauts, Playmobile and ALL THE FUCKING OTHER LEGO. Including the sets of just plain blocks. The First Builder Mega Bloks  that come in "boy" (primary) and "girl" (pink, purple and neon green) colours were both there, as well, just to drive home the message that if you want to be creative and build something from your imagination, rather than Elsa's ice castle, you need the girl version of a toy that's actually for boys.

Oh, just to double up on that message, the one thing in the girl aisle that wasn't pink or purple was a blue and green toy vacuum. It was next to the pink and purple one, so if you're a boy and you want to play house, you need the boy version of a toy that's actually for girls.

The one seeming place of refuge, the baby aisle, is ostensibly just for babies. No genders in there. Until you look closer and realize that one small section of the aisle has princesses and ponies and pink and rest has everything else. The educational toys, the animals, the cars for littler hands, everything. This teaches kids that for boys is the default, and for girls is the exception. Also, it teaches them that for boys and for girls are things that exist. And they're not, other than in our brainwashed, apathetic minds.

I don't have a problem with the toys themselves, for the most part. I like tools and cars and dinosaurs and the rest, and my monster does, too. So while they're not promoting violence or animal cruelty or something, I'm happy to get them for him. I also like baby dolls and barbies and ponies, and I'd be happy to by those for the monster as well.  But the colourcoding and weird segregation gets to me. I mean, wouldn't it make more sense to have a Lego aisle, organized by age appropriateness? or a playing house section with all the little irons and dishes and lawnmowers and barbecues in one spot?

I really think it is up to us as parents to combat this, actively. I've said before, I think it's especially incumbent on the parents of boys to teach our sons that there's nothing inherently feminine in playing with baby dolls or toy irons or whatever - and also that there's nothing wrong with being feminine. Because while Tomboy at least sometimes has some positive connotations, Tomina Girl probably never will. Our society, in 2016, still values boys and men above girls and women - no matter how much we collectively try to deny, ignore or avoid the fact. And it starts from the time they're born.

I'm beginning to think that all this isn't just a matter of corporations wanting profits and not caring about the possible negative effects they're having on kids; I'm honestly starting to think that they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and they're intentionally planting these stereotypical ideas in the minds of very young children.

*I love my husband. He is such an awesome Dad.

The Great Potty Training Saga: Part 3 - Starting Over

We're not exactly starting over. We've kept up with keeping the monster used to the toilet - but we've been kind of lax with the frequency of putting him up there, since he seems to like it less and less. Not that I want to be strict. Just... firm.

But, I have a week off work coming up, so today we went and bought toddler underwear with little tools* on, a couple of way more expensive (and absorbent) training pants and some PUL fabric to add to the outside of both, to avoid puddles all over our house. On Monday, I'll be able to pick up his book about a potty-training superhero and his dog, so I can start reading it to him a few days before my time off starts. We'll have to put up his marshmallow chair for a bit, because that cover is not waterproof and the last thing I want is pee-soaked foam sitting in my living room.

I'm going to devote the entire week just to getting him toilet trained. I'm pretty excited, because a) I think he's ready and b) NO MORE DIAPERS.

So that's where we are. Hopefully I'll have a good update in a couple of weeks :) (*knock wood*)

*Cheaper than the plain colours, just to make sure there's a financial imperative to buy "boy stuff" for boys.  More on that later.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Genius Baby, Part 8: Reading, WHAT?

So, my monster just brought me his alphabet book to look at, along with his now-common "Book. Read" demand. 

So I was going through the letters with him and he got bored and closed it. Then he pointed to the letters on the front and told me "letters". Not terribly uncommon, he loves letters.

There's A B & C on the front, so I told him the sounds each makes.  He stared for a minute, then pointed at the C and told me "Cookie".  This kid. He did this once before with a V when we were out walking; when I told him the sound, he said his made up word for record player (which starts with V).  I thought it was just a freak thing, but it looks like he actually understands the relationship between (some) letters and the sound they make.

What the what? He'll be 18 months in a week.


  • Day 2 of work was pretty ok. 
  • Mr. Wolfman got the monster to sleep without me (yay!); the monster woke up to nurse when I got home and went right back to bed.
  • I bought the monster a toy dinosaur today, assuming he'd love it. He hates it. That was the last of my cash from selling his bouncer chair.  Booo. I hope I haven't turned him off dinosaurs, because he's getting a dino colouring book for Easter.
  • I sold something online for a friend for $200 more than he paid for it, so that was cool.
  • I met the guy who will be training me for work next week. He's a dick.
  • There's a potty training plan and explanation in my head, but I'll save that post for another day.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


I'm heading back to work, after over a year and a half.

It's only part time, and once I'm done my training, it'll be overnight.  So I'll get to spend my days with the monster.  But still.  Tomorrow will be the longest I've ever spent away from him.

Tomorrow is also the start of 2 weeks of training, wherein I'll be working in the daytime 6 days one week, then 4 nights the following week (and, while my body gets used to this, that means sleeping most of the day, while Mr. Wolfman is home).

I know it needs to be done, and a little part of me is excited to get out of the house. A much bigger part of me is excited to have a little bit of money, to clear the debt that's been mounting the last couple of months, to save for school, to think about buying stuff that I want, rather than only stuff I need.

But, damn.  When the monster was maybe 4/5 months, I would have jumped at a full time job. Not that I didn't love spending time with him, just that I was likely suffering PPD and PPA and needed to get the Hell out of the house. Now? I just want to snuggle him and play with him and watch him grow and bask in the wonder that is witnessing him learn new words and concepts and develop his personality.

I'm scared I'm going to miss stuff. I'm scared Mr. Wolfman won't remember to message me every time the monster does something new or cute or silly. And, of course, even if he does, I'm not going to be playing on my phone or Facebook or whatever while I'm at work.

I know this is kind of a whiny post, which is silly, considering my last whiny post was about how badly I needed/wanted a job.  I am grateful that I found something, especially something that fits with Mr. Wolfman's schedule and doesn't require outside childcare. It's just that I miss him already.

Conversations with my Monster, Part 6: Jokes

LM *looking at pictures of planes*: Truck!

Me: That's not a truck, Baby, that's a plane.

LM: Haha, truck.

Me: It's a plane.

LM: Brrrm, brrm.

He's also taken to pointing at pictures of barnyard animals he knows the names of, exclaiming "Mama!" and then laughing evilly.

Friday, March 11, 2016

My Son, the Crossdresser


Yesterday, we bought the monster some long-sleeved T-shirts from the sale rack. One shriek-of-joy inducing Superman shirt and one plain white one. The actual mall was a bit colder than the store, so we decided to put the white one on over the shirt he was already wearing. Whereupon, I discovered that it's a girl's shirt.

Whatever. I don't really care. But when I offhandedly pointed it out to Mr. Wolfman, he asked a question which really made me think: How did I know?

He wasn't being glib. In the logical, less jaded mind of my husband, a plain white shirt for a toddler is without gender.  I mean, how could something so basic, for children who will be essentially the same shape until puberty, be for one gender or the other? And what made it suddenly obvious to me that this was a little girl's shirt, instead of a little boy's?

The answer, which I gave while all of these thoughts were still forming in my head, was this: It's skin-tight (even a 3T, a full size bigger than what we usually buy for the monster, hugged his torso to the point it was actually a bit difficult to get on) - on closer examination, it's actually made out of a different, stretchier fabric - and it has a swooped neck.

Apparently, even 2-3 year old girls need to wear skin-tight, low(er) cut tops.  Because... well, I can't think of a because. To show off their curves (aka baby fat)?

I actually find this kind of thing way more worrisome than fluffy skirts or cap sleeves or other 'girly' fare - because it's so insidious. Parents could easily buy a shirt like this for their daughter (or son), without even realizing what it is.  And in so doing, they could be propagating stereotypes, or getting their child accustomed, from a painfully early age, to the type of clothing that some people will expect her to wear for the rest of her life.

My monster will go on wearing this shirt until he outgrows it. Probably as an undershirt, because that stupid swooped neck means it's not very snug for this time of year (toddler girls should sacrifice warmth for style, apparently). Part of me kind of hopes that someone will see it, notice it's "for girls" and ask themselves why that is.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

When I Grow Up...

Firstly, I guess Whine in your blog and you shall receive is now a thing. The job I interviewed for where the manager was surprised to hear from me after not calling me back - I got it. My new boss said she knew she wanted me right away, but her bosses wanted her to interview more than one person, so she did that, then hired me :) It's not my dream job, but it's one I've done before and it's part time graveyards, so Mr. Wolfman doesn't have to bugger up his schedule except for my training, and I still get to be home with the Monster.

That kind of works as a segue into what I want to talk about, which is what I want to be when I grow up (aka, now).  When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist and a writer. Maybe a jewelry maker or a carpenter, basically, I wanted to do something creative and work with my hands.

By the time I was 9, I wanted to have a highly technical engineering job, the title of which I didn't understand, even a little, and which no person I had ever heard of (real or imaginary) held. Translation: my mother convinced me that this mystery job would be the perfect thing for me, because, I assume, she thought it made her look good to have a kid who wanted to be a _______. When I told people that's what I wanted to be, they were always amazed or incredulous, and either one fed into my ego quite nicely. When they would ask what that job was, I would act like they were dumb, and tell them it was probably a little difficult to understand.

When, as a teenager, I stopped painting, because my hands shook too much when I tried to do detail, my parents just accepted it. They didn't, you know, try to find out why the fuck a teenage girl's hands shook uncontrollably (knowing what I do now, I'm guessing extreme anxiety, but unlike my parents, I'm not big on self-diagnosis). No, they just kind of collectively shrugged while I gave up something I had always loved and was kinda good at.

By the end of high school, one specific class with one fantastic teacher had me wanting to write again. But when I told my parents that I didn't think an English degree was going to help me in terms of becoming a published author, my mother convinced me to major in something totally different. Neither of us had any comprehension of what kind of jobs you could get with that major (spoiler: one other than teaching - and I didn't want to do it or teach), but she talked me into it, nonetheless.

Anyway, all this ranting and woe is me stuff aside, I started thinking a couple of days ago about joining the local artists' guild; about doing some paintings and possibly, when I've gotten good enough, selling them. I've been seriously wanting to make jewelry again since 2012. I've written and illustrated one children's book and I'm working on another... and today, walking home from the store, it hit me: I should just effing do it.

I grew up. Now it's time to be who and what I want. I want to write. I want to paint - and I'm going to.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Can Someone Please Just Hire Me?

The job search continues.

Honestly, I didn't think it would be this hard to find something after the monster was born. I've bounced from menial job to menial job most of my life, but I'm good at writing resumes, and at finding things to help me get by.

This time, when I actually have a plan - namely work some crap job until I can save enough for further qualifications, then get a slightly less crap job - everything falls apart. I keep having all these promising things come up and then at the last minute, kabloohey. I was all but promised a bookkeeping job, only to have the guy flake on me at the last minute, then offer me a serving(??) job at a cafe for "slightly less" (the commute would have made this useless financially). I got most of the way through the interview and training process for an online job, only to fail the final test because their results were totally arbitrary and they refused to acknowledge bugs within the tests. I had an interview and was told I'd hear back on Wednesday; crickets. Called Thursday and was told I'd definitely hear something within the week... so here's hoping that that's true, because the lady seemed really surprised to hear from me on Thursday.  Of course the job market sucks right now. It doesn't help that I live in a town that does whatever it can to avoid paying people a living wage.  I have to look for part time work, because I won't be able to afford childcare, with my (lack of) education.

Mr. Wolfman decided to work two jobs last summer, despite my protests. He earned more than the cap for individual earnings for our subsidized housing, and now, even though I don't work and we have zero money, we're probably going to have to move somewhere less nice and more expensive. I have been telling him for 5 years that he needs to figure out where he wants to be and what he wants to do, so we can go there and work toward him doing it - and so that I can finally put some serious work into doing what I want to do, without having an impending move / start everything over / whatever hanging over my head.  I've been begging him for over a year to sit down and make a 5 year plan with me.  I guess it's a four year plan now? He doesn't seem to get that I don't want to be starting a tide us over career at 30. I want to actually have a fucking plan of what I'm going to do with my life. Because right now, I'm very well on my way to being that mum whose whole world implodes the minute her kids move away, because she doesn't have any kind of life of her own. His plan, right now, is to wait and see where we are in Summer 2017 and then make a plan - and apparently I'm nuts for thinking that waiting ANOTHER FUCKING YEAR before starting to make a plan is a really dumb idea.

So that is my rant for this evening.  I've spent today trying desperately to find something that fits with Mr. Wolfman's schedule, and applying for everything I find. If I don't get something soon, I'm pretty sure he's going to start making noise about how he has to work two jobs again... 'cause, you know, ruining my last two summers just wasn't enough.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On Being Poor & "Must Be Nice"

Possibly I'm extra emotional about this today because my kitchen is a disgusting mess*. I grew up with a kitchen that was a perpetual disgusting mess, and this is dredging up all sorts of childhood unpleasantness. But I don't want to talk about messy kitchens, I want to talk about being poor (and yes, I recognize that there are plenty of poor people with clean, not disgusting kitchens).

This post was sparked by a couple of threads on my birth board, but I already know it's going to be waaaay too long for Babycenter, which is why I'm putting it here - that, and I'm not really looking for advice.

The first thing, was the assertion that poor people don't home school - and by extension, poor kids don't get home schooled (and have better access to post secondary, more opportunities, etc, etc.).  The second was a comment basically saying that parents who advocate no screen time for toddlers must have hired help to prepare their meals and clean their house.

To both opinions, let me just say, Fuck you.

I hate this attitude that if you make decisions for the benefit of your family (and I have no intention here to wax poetic on the joys** of being homeschooled, or the evils of watching TV - not what I'm getting at right now), if you make sacrifices and take what you believe to be the high road / better path / worthwhile detour / what the hell ever - then, somehow, you must have had the cards stacked in your favour. You must be some sheltered, middle class, lucky bastard, because how else would you avoid handing your toddler a tablet? How else could you make decisions regarding your kids' education on anything other than convenience?

I was raised poor. Dirt fucking poor (and yet, still nowhere near as poor as a lot of kids elsewhere in the world. This isn't a pity party). So poor that Mr. Wolfman, after being with me for 5 years, is still shocked by stories from my childhood. We were frequently without food, hot water and heat. I took out massive student loans to go to university, loans which, 10 years and no degree later, still haunt me.

So the it must be nice attitude really gets to me.  Because everything I have (not a lot, materially speaking), I worked for. We have a nice, modest apartment, nicer than anywhere I've ever lived before. We have heat, hot water and food on the table - and honestly, those things alone make this the best living situation I've ever had. Mr. Wolfman and I have worked hard for this, and we work hard to raise the Monster the best way we can.

So yeah, it is nice that we have a child who can entertain himself (usually) long enough for us to cook dinner, but then, we raised him that way. And yes, it is nice that I've been able to spend as much time home with him as I have, but I worked and saved and budgeted to be able to do that, and now that that option is no longer financially viable, I'm looking for work.

I'm sure it's nice for those parents who want to home school to do that, but I'm equally sure that it's not without sacrifice. It's not an option that's just magically available to them; they have to work for it. Just like I'll work to get the monster into extra curriculars, just like Mr. Wolfman and I will always work, as hard as we need to, to do what we feel is best for our child(ren).

So you can take your hired help and well-off theories and shove them up your ass. If you want something in this world, you have to be willing to work for it. At least that's how it's always been for me.

*My dishwasher broke and sprayed dirty food all over the load that was in there. I thought it was a freak thing, and tried again... so now there are 3 loads worth of dishes piled on the counter, 1 that came out dirty and 2 that built up during attempts to get the first load clean.  And yeah, I could wash them by hand, but I actually feel an anxiety attack coming on every time I go in the kitchen, right now.

**in my opinion, all but nonexistent

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, Part 5

LM: *rips a wipe in half* Broken.

Me: Yes, it is broken.

LM: Fix it.

Me: I can't.

LM: *trying to smush the two pieces together* Fix it!

Me: I can't, it's broken forever.

LM: Noooooo.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Nos are Coming

Overnight, No! has become the monster's favourite word. Or, more accurately,  Noooooooo! has become his favourite word. Said with the saddest, most forlorn voice imaginable.

He's picked up a tonne of other words recently.  We counted yesterday, and we've written down 60 words (across 2 languages) that he says fairly frequently. I estimate he actually has about 70, because I keep remembering ones I haven't put in.

He's said a few 2 word sentences in his life, one today, which was "go door" after he saw a door that he wanted to explore. Kinda wish I could have rewarded that by going to the door, but he literally pointed out every door on a building or car for a 20 minute walk, before I had to put him in his stroller (not because he was pointing out doors; he kept trying to wander away).

Also, he apparently hates being tickled. He always used to laugh hysterically at it.  Last night, he told me, "tickle no" and pushed my hand away. Obviously I respect that, but it kinda bums me out, 'cause his neck and ribs are just so tickleable. He tickles me, though, oddly.  Well, he rubs/hits/pinches/slobbers on/headbutts my back while announcing loudly that he's tickling me.  In fact, he is doing this right now, and it's making typing kinda hard.

I was going to leave this as it was, but the monster just said his first 3 word sentence! "Dog go google." Meaning that he wants to look at image search results of dogs, of course. Because why wouldn't a 17 month old know what google is?

Conversations with my Monster, part 3

Me: Are you going to put your shirt on?

LM: Noooo.

Me: No? But then you'll be naked.

LM: *throwing his arms in the air* Naken!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Great Potty Training Saga: Part 2

So, things have gotten a bit derailed.

Monster was doing great, and had peed in the toilet first thing in the morning, two days in a row. Then I had to fly to my parents' place for a funeral, and while I brought the monster (and his toilet insert), that meant no opportunity to use the toilet at either airport, for the drive back to my parents' house, or for the two days spent at the funeral home for the visitation and funeral.

And then, at the cemetery, the gut pain started.  And by that evening, I was suffering from explosive diarrhea and bouts of vomiting.  I was about 100 x worse the next day and days after, and ended up having to reschedule my flight - the end result being that, while my family was really helpful, the monster only got to sit on the toilet maaaaybe twice, for the entire week I was there. He also only got one bath, and I'm pretty sure his teeth got neglected, too.   I was too sick to even give them instructions, and to be honest, I still feel guilty about this, a month later :(

It took a bit to get back into the swing of things, but I did - for a while, at least.  I made a dry erase board (see below) with check lists of things to do for morning, afternoon and evening. Basically, Toilet, breakfast, make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, toilet, snack, toilet, lunch, etc.  I set up a scheduled toilet break for before every meal and snack, plus first thing in the morning, and right before bed.  Plus, if he asks to go we take him.

He was actually peeing in the toilet a lot for the first little while.  Once he peed pretty much every time we put him up there (plus in between, but as I said, we don't want him to hold it yet). He even pooped in the toilet once, after asking to use it.

I don't know exactly what happened since then, but somehow we fell out of the routine, and fell out of using the dry erase board.  The past week or so, when I've put him on the toilet, he hasn't gone, and he always wants to get down sooner. He does still like to sit up there to read a "manko" (magazine), but he's not doing the excited dash to the bathroom, or grabbing his insert and putting it on the toilet anymore.

So that's where we are.  Today was kind of a nothing day, as I still feel pretty gross and I really don't have the energy or firm stomach needed to be bending over repeatedly to put him on and take him off the toilet.  He is newly interested in his potty chair, though, so maybe I'll go that route.

On a positive note, when I use the toilet, he'll point at the toilet paper, and once I'm done, he reminds me to flush, points to the sink so I'll wash my hands, and tells me "Towel!" once my hands are washed.  He also occasionally grabs a piece of toilet paper and shoves it at my legs while shouting "Bum!"... I'm not really sure how to get him to stop doing this. It's super awkward, but then it's kind of good that he already knows that step.

I kind of lied.  I didn't make a dry erase board.

I took a matted 11 x 13 picture frame we already had and decorated the mat with pages from a mid-nineties comic book (Superman is known as "Man!" around here).  Then I put a piece of cool-looking scrapbook paper with daily check lists where the picture would go.

Then I put the glass back in the frame, because apparently, glass is already a surface you can use dry erase on.  I already had a dry erase marker kicking around.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, part 2

*Get to the grocery store and notice the monster's hat is MIA*

Me: Where is your hat?

LM: *exaggerated shrug* 'sgone!

Me: I can see that it's gone.  Where did it go?

LM: *Mimes dropping something out of his stroller*

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Conversations with my Monster, part 1

*While eating applesauce, the monster inserts the spoon at 90 degrees, and it comes out empty*

LM: All gone.

Me: It's not all gone, baby, there's lots left.

LM: Where'd it go?

Me: There's lots left.

LM: Gone.

Me: There's lots.

LM: Noooo.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year (resolutions and so forth)

Wow.  So it's 2016.  The year I turn 30.  And the third year the little monster will live in.

I tend to waffle back and forth on the idea of resolutions.  In 2009 I made 52, one for every week... I think I've done most of them, now.  This year, I went ahead and made some.  Only 3, but they're kinda complicated.

  1. Take better care of myself (body and mind)
    • Get into and stick with therapy.
    • Eat less crap
    • Exercise regularly
  2. Work on my writing
    • Finish writing, editing and illustrating 2 children's books & publish both
    • Create from scratch at least one additional children's book & publish it
    • Edit first draft of existing novel; get it professionally edited & published. 
    • (Ideally, get at least 3 of these published before my birthday.  I want 5 published books before I'm 30)
  3. Work on my education
    • Complete at least one of 2 auxiliary courses and figure out and implement a long term plan to complete my university degree.

I also have some Monster-related resolutions, but they include effort from both Mr. Wolfman and the Monster, so they're not 100% up to me.  But what I'd like to see:

  1. Potty train the monster before the end of the year.
  2. Wean the monster before the end of the year (or, you know, right now would be good)
  3. Get the monster in his own room
  4. Not really a resolution, but I would really love it if the monster would be sleeping through the night before 2017.
So, that's me.  Step one, call for a therapy appointment and a regular Dr. appointment* first thing on Monday.  I've already finished my last Dr. Pepper (from last night) and only put one of my normal 2 sugars in my latte this morning.

I think I'll go fold up the playpen so I can get going on MonsterResolution #3.

PS, I'll probably post a decent amount about the resolutions in the coming months, just to keep myself accountable.

*The symptoms I was experiencing were a false alarm (kinda bummed), but obviously something's up, so I need to see the doc and find out what (maybe thyroid?).  Dr. Illegible is away, and I got stuck seeing Dr. Condescension (and will have to see him again for the results of my bloodwork).