Monthly Archives: January 2015

A Day In The Life

A Day6:30 – Family Cuddle Time! It’s an early wake up today. Often C will go back to sleep, but we’ve been playing around with her bedtime, and I guess she’s just slept out.

8:00 – Coffee!! C is down for her first of 5-6 naps, so I take advantage of the mere 25 minutes she allows me to get dressed and make myself breakfast. Once she’s awake, we’ll have “play time” in the crib, so she can get used to rolling while awake so hopefully it won’t freak her out so much in her sleep.

8:45 – Outfit #1!! C stays in her pjs until after crib play time (or until she has a massive blowout… sometimes those things coincide), but the first outfit of the day is often the cutest. By the end of the day, I have been known to just throw her into a sleeved sleepsack until bedtime.

9:00 – It’s play time! Now that she’s rolling like a river, she needs me to be close at hand for when she gets stuck but is getting pretty good at playing by herself, so I set up my laptop on her playmats. After that, it’s nap time. Again. Every 90 minutes she’ll bless me with 25 minutes of “Me Time”

11:30 – Outta here! We were aiming for 10, but since that was nap time, and then we needed to eat and get organized, we’re finally out the door for a playdate with our new friend whom I’ll call Hobbs. She’s only 4 weeks old so “play date” is more “mom date”.

1:00 – Back home for a nap and lunch! When I manage to get those to coincide, I like actually making something rather than throwing leftovers in the microwave.  Fried mashed potatos? Yes please!

1:30 – Occasionally, C will sit still long enough to read a book. Now that she has more hand eye coordination, she likes touching the pages and “Helping” turn them. Mostly, though, she likes to chew them. Duck & Goose books are the tastiest.

1:37 – Short-lived story time, but with a butt like that, I can’t blame her for wanting to wiggle it!

3:30 – While down for a nap, Nana shows up, and we take advantage of the warm weather to take a walk.

5:00 – Nap time, so I start washing lettuce for tacos, our new Friday tradition designed to stop us from ordering pizza.

6:30 – bath time, followed by bedtime routine. We like C to go to bed around 8:30, but given the early wake up time, we don’t quite make it.

9:00 – Bedtime snack of popcorn? I think I will!

Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

Women In Clothes, or Non-Fiction Reading for the Middle Of The Night

I came across an article on the book Women In Clothes edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton somewhere on Twitter decrying it as the beginning of the in depth analysis of the clothes that women wear and more importantly why they wear them. Having read ootd/fashion/style blogs for over 5 years now, I couldn’t see how it was being heralded as a new area.
I re-read the article a few month later when Sheila of Ephemera (who was among the first blogs I followed) recommended the book. Perhaps the article stressed the academic side too much, as I was surprised as how unsurprising the book itself was.

20821251Women in Clothes takes a look at personal fashion choices in a multi-media format. While there are selections from style surveys both solicited and voluntarily, it also includes interviews with designers and people who wear their clothes. There are even emails and phone call transcripts from the editors and they speak about their clothing and the development of this book. Interspersed are also art pieces relate to clothing.

It was interesting to see the different histories people brought to their wardrobe and the stories associated with particular items. I enjoyed that most sections were only a few pages long (I believe the longest was 17 eReader screens), making it easy to pick up and put down as needed (it was my “late night feeding” book).

It lacked anything revolutionary in my mind. There were carefully selected and grouped excerpts of stories and responses but no analysis. Perhaps they meant to highlight the inherent “personal” aspect of “personal style,” which they did achieve. However, I didn’t feel this book took the subject of personal style as far into the academic world as I had hoped.
It did make me think, nonetheless. Most interesting, or perhaps the pieces that stuck with me the most, were two perspectives on overseas manufacturing. One posited that boycotts of companies who took advantage of poorer country’s labour laws to reduce manufacturing costs would not provide any benefit to the workers in these factories. The other told the horrifying tale of a survivor of the Rana factory collapse that shook the North American clothing conscience. With only anecdotal accounts, it left me with feeling “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Now getting dressed just makes me conflicted

Book: Women In Clothes
Author: Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton
Rating: 3/5
Features: Mixed format
Who should read it: Anyone interested in getting inside the brain and closet of a woman.

Categories: Book Review, The new identity | 3 Comments

Getting my Frump On

I was going through my weekly “I can’t wait to go back to work so I’ve got something I can do for ‘me’ but I don’t want to miss a minute with the little bug, and can’t stand the thought of having strangers look after her!” conundrum while putting away laundry. As I put away my ma pants and my hoodies, I said: “I also miss getting dressed. In real clothes. I just feel so frumpy”.

While I can’t magically turn my job into a part-time gig (which is my current dream), I can do something about the frump. I don’t NEED to wear lazy pants and slobby shirts to look after the wee one. As long as I can wash it, I can wear it, right?

So today, I got dressed. I can’t say I really felt any less frumpy, but it’s admittedly my own fault. This chambray shirt is cleverly belted to keep the extra volume in the back. And speaking of back, this skirt does nothing for my backside. Possibly because like the chambray shirt, it was bought as maternity wear. FrumpUm… my daughter is now old enough to sleep on her stomach, start solid foods and break hearts (ok, she’s been doing that since birth). Why do I think I should still be wearing maternity?

Half of my closet is still maternity items (many of them sundresses…) because I just haven’t made re-stocking my closet a priority. As a result, getting myself dressed hasn’t been either.

I think that will be on the list of things to do this weekend.

Categories: The new identity | 1 Comment

Not MY Winnipeg

“My Winnipeg” is a phrase that has been bandied about the social discourse of Winnipeg as of late (most notably as the title of Guy Maddin’s mockumentary about his home town — sadly, I haven’t seen it, but my friend, his ex-wife, gave it a nod of approval #namedropping).

But now, the discourse relates to the racial divide within this city, most notably in the eviscerating piece in Maclean’s magazine labelling us the most racist city in Canada.

Reading it, my brain kept saying “This is not MY Winnipeg”. My Winnipeg is walks through Assiniboine Park, and entertaining evenings in the Village, and always returning home to the peaceful tree-lined streets of the suburbs. This can’t be MY Winnipeg they are talking about with the indisputable history of health care centres ignoring the plight of an Aboriginal people, even leading to death from entirely treatable conditions in the ER triage. Or the tragic trend of Aboriginal women ending up being used for their bodies, which are then discarded into the rivers that define our city. Or the horrifying fact that we all chimed in with our support for the communities fighting against racial profiling following recent events in Ferguson, etc., in the States, without realizing that we have a very similar racial divide in our own city towards our Aboriginal community.

Awareness is increasing exponentially, particularly over the last 6 month. The conversations we need to have are being started. Yes, many of these issues are isolated to the North and Central areas of the city, but we need to recognize these are still parts of the city. When we hear stories of atrocities happening in our city, we have to stop looking through our rose coloured glasses and pretending that it’s removed from our community.

We have to stop thinking of “My Winnipeg” and start thinking of it as “Our Winnipeg”

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Rolling With It

My darling girl has never been a great sleeper. It tops my late night google searches (followed closely by baby poop colour but that says more about my family’s obsession with discussing bowel movements). Since that first night in the hospital where she would only sleep if she was being held, it’s been a struggle to get her to sleep or keep her asleep.

It started with her highly sensitive startle reflex. It not only required very tight swaddling, but also holding her for roughly 20 minutes after falling asleep before she truly settled enough to be put down.

Then it was her catnaps. Sure, 25 minutes was “normal” at 4or 5 weeks, but it was still annoying. I looked forward to the sleep consolidation that was supposed to start at 6 weeks, but it never came.

At two months, I made my peace with it – consolidation takes time, but at least she was sleeping well at night. And she was – I was almost starting to feel human.

At three months, the night sleep disappeared and I thought “it’s just the four month regression happening earlier”. And the sleep recovered just as quickly as it disappeared.

At four months, everything deteriorated. She was up every 2 hours at night, and a 25 minute nap was suddenly looking pretty good.

We’ve heard it all  — my sister saying, at three months, that we should sleep train. My mother saying we were putting her to bed too early. The doctor laughing and saying she was just a sleep terrorist.

We tried everything — implementing a new plan every Monday, and then abandoning it by Friday. She couldn’t soothe herself while in the swaddle, and she couldn’t sleep without the swaddle. Ultimately we decided she just had to growth up a little bit more. After all, it’s not like things could get any worse.

… and then she started to roll.

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Inspiration Monday – Emma Stone

Emma Stone is one of those dashing women that I think is so classy, until I remember the only thing I can remember her being in is Easy A.

Anyway, she looks effortless in this outfit for two birds’ Inspiration Monday. emma-stone-290

I, on the other hand, feel yet again “meh”.  At least I didn’t change out of this until it was saturated in… erm… bodily fluids. Much like my thoughts on Emma Stone, I believe my life to be much more glamorous than it sometimes is. Inspiration Monday - Emma Stone

Categories: Inspiration Monday, The new identity | Tags: | 4 Comments

4 Months

Age: 4 months
Weight: 12 lb 2 oz
Height: 24″
Nicknames: Otter (or Ot-Bot), pumpkin pie, grump-a-butt, pretty little princess
Sleep: slept 9 hours straight on Christmas Eve. You’d think that would have been a great gift but not so much for paranoid parents. Made it 12 hours another few nights, but usually wakes 1-2 times before we go to bed and another 1-2 times after we do.
Clothes: Starting to get into 3-6 month clothing, but primarily in pajamas. Still too skinny for most of the pants but too long for 0-3.
Loves: Sitting. Watching other kids play. Small dogs
Dislikes: Big dogs. When Mama takes over when Dad is playing with her. Teething (mama hates it too)
Memories: first evening with Nana and Grandpa babysitting, opening presents on Christmas, New Year’s Day dinner party, meeting her new friend “C”, going to the library, meeting Great Uncle Rob, stroller fitness

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Mr. Fox: A Review, or Why Slacking Off Three Years Ago Bit Me In the Butt

Scott and I were out for our first date night post-baby when we were browsing through a bookstore. Admittedly, I was a little anxious to be getting home, so I was walking through the aisles a little faster that I should have been, and barely (if at all) following whatever Scott was saying. When we reached “O” in the “Fiction & Literature” section, I stopped dead in my tracks. Reaching onto a shelf I told Scott: “I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this looks like a book I would read”. Mr-Fox-Helen-Oyeyemi-Penguin-190x300

Fast forward a few days later, and I opened my Christmas gift from Scott – an eReader. The first thing I did was buy Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeymi. Over the next 10 nights (because late night feeding time is now also late night reading time!), I poured through this inventive novel in which a writer’s muse comes to life, each taking a turn in writing their story.

When I reached the end, and it was smack you in the face obvious that there were ties between this book and the French fable of Bluebeard, I knew I was missing out some key details, not having read that fable.

It turns out this isn’t the first time I had shirked the obvious good-reader-instinct to pour through some fairy tales. When I was working on my thesis, and needing another primary text by Margaret Atwood, I remember having to steer the conversation away from specific texts in which Atwood wrote heavily in the vein of fairy tales. Sure, fairy tale theory played heavily into the initial proposal I had written for my Master’s thesis, but I didn’t even take the time to delve into any fairy tales while writing that proposal. In the end, fairy tale theory seemed pretty “talked out” when it came to Atwood, so I moved elsewhere, and tried to never look back.

Until I read Mr. Fox. A sign of a good book is one that makes you ask questions in order to dig deeper into the book. And unfortunately, this good book is making me ask questions even after I’m done. While I definitely enjoyed the plays on narrative point of view in Mr. Fox, I know I’ll have to give it another read, once I’ve brushed up on my fairy tales.

Book: Mr. Fox
Author: Helen Oyeyemi
Rating: 4/5
Features: fun with narrative point of view
Who should read it: those who have read (real) fairy tales (none of this “Disney” crap)

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Inspiration Monday – Kristen Stewart

Getting dressed in winter is hard enough, with our close familiarity with extreme windchill. Add to that a body that is still not quite back to normal and a baby who has decided to clusterfeed. While I’m not always convinced that life isn’t better in pajamas, I do like the opportunity to try something a little different. This week, I decided to try two birds’ Inspiration Monday.

This week, the inspiration was Kristen Stewart. kris2Turns out I feel about as impressed with my outfit, as I am about her acting. Jan 12 2014I gave away my plaid flannel shirt in a moment of stupidity. I bought this plaid shirt when I was 9 months pregnant. It didn’t button then, but in my mind it would fit perfectly after Charlie was born. It may have fit for about 2 weeks. A little too billowy for my taste, I tried cinching it with a belt (didn’t work), and then with safety pins. Jan 12 2014 detail

A noble yet failing effort, but I’ll fully admit that I switched out the plaid shirt for a hoodie (and, obviously, a parka) before I left the house.

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Currently in January

I’ve been seeing the “Currently in January” on Beth’s blog for a while. When I saw the January one, I thought “too bad it’s February. I’d like to participate in one of these”. Then, I digested my breakfast and my blood sugar normaled out, and actually looked at the date. Without further ado, my life right now:

Planning: to reboot our daily routine. Christmas threw us off, and we’ve been too busy since then to really settle back into it. I think next Tuesday, it’ll just be Charlie and I at home, all day.

Hoping: Scott shows up at home with a birthday cake. Yesterday was my birthday, and while I did get to enjoy a birthday cake made by my mother and my nephew, I didn’t get leftover cake. A birthday just isn’t a birthday without leftover cake

Baking: Nothing. We’re trying to eat healthily (despite the birthday cake). I do need to find a paleo-friendly recipe to make for a family potluck this coming weekend and that might include baking.

Wearing: Jeans and a hoodie. However, I had a haircut earlier today allowing me an excuse to wear real clothes:

WearingResolving: For my new year’s resolution, see my previous post. For today’s resolution (because some days we just need something to help us get through the day) is to take a deep breath.

Thanks to Anne of In Residence and Jenna of Dearest Love for hosting this!

Categories: Currently | Tags: | 6 Comments

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