Monday, 31 January 2011

Can I ask you a question? (or two)

Why do you keep coming back here? I really want to know. I've been writing here for over three years now but have never asked you - the reader - what you want from me. Please tell me.

I asked Shaune what he thought I should write more about and he told me he'd like to see a post just about him. And how attracted I am to him. And he told me to be sure and emphasize how good looking I thought he was. Oh yeah and how I just can't keep my hands off of him.

I reminded him that the purpose of this was to keep people coming back to the blog not vomit. Not to mention the fact that I want to keep it real.

But really, would you do me this favour and tell me what you would like to see more of? And if you must, also tell me what you don't like so much. Without hurting my fragile ego.

While you're at it, tell me why you don't like to leave comments. Did you know that comments are a blogger's currency? What would make you comment more? I looked at my stats page and it's not bad. But for as many people who visit me here, a very small fraction ever leave a comment. I'd love to know what makes you tick.
I've been playing around with picnik today. It's fun and free!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

The Blog Guidebook

I just found this neat site. If you want to waste even more of your day perusing blogs of all sorts, check it out! It's called The Blog Guidebook. I listed myself under family and parenting but there are tons and tons of other categories. It was free to add myself to the catalogue and they offer all sorts of great blogging tips. Check.It.Out.

Friday, 28 January 2011

A conversation with a mechanic/firechief/ladder

Before you watch this, a few things:
-No our house wasn't ransacked by thieves who broke in right before I recorded this. It's how it looks most of the time.
-No I wasn't drinking heavily while recording this. I know it would explain the shaky camera operating and bad angles.
-And finally, there is no point, plot or even anything particularly interesting to see here, especially if you don't yourself have kids

Thursday, 27 January 2011

A birthday letter to Shaune

Dear Shaune,

I'll bet you're wondering why you married me, huh?

Especially after you saw these cupcakes above. Did you know they took me three hours to make? That's not counting the planning and shopping.

But here's the thing, I had big plans. I consulted a cookbook (a Kind gift
 I am NOT dismissing). I read the recipe and thought - this is exactly what we need,a healthy yet delicious treat. You'll get your blueberry cheesecake and we'll sneak some squash and spinach into Deaglan without him suspecting a thing! Win, win.

Honey, you and I both know that I have no natural ability in the kitchen. But I can follow a recipe. I did everything this comedian's wife told me to do. I pureed fresh spinach. I used the food processor and the electric mixer. Both of these tools make me sweat with anxiety just thinking about them.

I had big plans. I bought candles. I imagined us waking up this morning and walking into the living room busting out the birthday song. I pictured you saying something like you made these by yourself??? ARe you sure you didn't buy them at a fancy bakery?

Once I had convinced you that yes, I indeed did create these works of art, you would have said something like - ahhh but cupcakes for breakfast? We should wait until after lunch. And that's exactly when I would drop that beautiful bomb - they are healthy cupcakes!

I had no back up plan.

I thought the cupcakes could be the entire birthday extravaganza. I imagined you wanting to take a few to work to share with your coworkers. Maybe one of them would send me a quick email to compliment me on how well they turned out. Flashes of all of you standing around the water cooler shaking your heads in disbelief. So good and with vegetables hidden in them.

Thanks for being on my side about this. Thanks for saying that it was the recipe. I couldn't agree with you more. I loved what you said about not believing Mrs. Comedian's Wife actually profited from that cookbook. It felt right when you suggested I just stop using that cookbook. I love when you support me.

And you're right, we didn't need the extra calories a birthday treat would have cost our figures. How nice that we can treat this day just like any other. Happy birthday honey. And when you figure it out, let me know what we're having for dinner. I'll bet you've got something special planned eh?

Love Kim

Monday, 24 January 2011


  • I'd been in Canada for about seven months when he was born. I'm eight years older. When he was almost a year old, us kids had him open most of our gifts weeks before Christmas. He was crawling, at that age where he would tear apart whatever was in his path.We only needed a small rip that would allow us to see what the package contained. I knew what every gift was by Christmas morning.
  • He was the first baby I ever changed. The first one I ever babysat.
  • We've had two big arguments in our relationship. He apologized first both times. And he cried while doing so.
  • We met for a beer one evening at a lunchtime eatery my sister always frequented. An old bank turned restaurant you could order half a sandwich with a scoop of potato salad - it was cafeteria style. When I got there, he'd already ordered us each a Blue Light. It was the night he told me he was gay. I told him that I already knew. He cried with relief and we laughed, hugged and ordered more beer.
  • He loved my (and Shaune's) dog Judge.
  • Shaune and I helped him move into his first apartment in Toronto. His massive couch was a pain in the butt.
  • Shaune cooked a beautiful fancy meal for Matt and his first serious boyfriend. We'd never been on a double date before. It was beyond fun.
  • Matt was good at disguising his voice on the phone. He got me a few times pretending to be an old lady who accidentally dialled my number looking for her son.
  • He told me that he was unapologetically materialistic.
  • He always felt deeply for the underprivileged and was generous.
  • He loved sushi and worked out all the time. He was beautiful to look at.
  • He was quick witted, self-deprecating and had a way of tickling my funny bone very few people could. Even during serious conversations, we always laughed. 
  • Growing up I always gravitated toward gay people. In university I had a warm group of gay friends who I spent a lot of time with. I think God's work put Matthew in my life even though we are not biological siblings. When he came 'out' to me, I wrapped him in a warm blanket of love, pride and acceptance. 
  • He loved Shaune's cooking.
  • When we were little, we could always upset him by calling him Matt-ress.
  • He and my younger sister Laura used to put on plays in our living room.
  • He could never remember whether my birthday was on the 19th or 20th of April.
  • Last year, I sent the Starbuck's gift certificate I got for his birthday to his old address. He never got it and it was never returned to sender.
  • Last year was the first time in as long as I can remember that he didn't call me on my birthday.
  • He was caught in the background of an episode of Just for Laughs.
  • He talked about his three brown sisters from Bangladesh with pride to his friends. They told me this at the funeral.
  • Whenever I hear about what's going on with the gay community I feel two things. Compassion. And deep sadness. I would have liked my boys to know the struggles this community has faced through their Uncle Matt.
  • Lately I feel envious of anyone else's memories of him. I feel like a starving man looking through a dumpster for scraps to nourish my meager supply of memories. I wish I had more. More time with him. More hugs. More opportunities to love him. More laughs. Just more.
  • I miss him. 
  • He told me that he needed me several times over the last few years. I'm not sure if I did a good job of being there for him.
  • I wish I had called him back that last Monday night.
  • Although he wasn't the youngest child in our family, he was the youngest for a long time so that I always will consider him my baby brother.
  • Sometimes he told me things which stressed me out to know.
  • His middle name was James. And he dressed beautifully.
  • When he moved to Los Angeles I gave him a hundred dollars.
  • He was afraid to tell me that he couldn't take care of his dog and work so much and that he'd had to find a home for her. I told him I was proud of him for knowing what was best for the dog.
  • He was the first person to see Deaglan take his first steps.

  • He would have celebrated his 32nd birthday the day after tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

All these pictures are lopsided

Here's my winter mantle. Never mind the fact that I don't have a fireplace. The pinecones and tree branches were gathered from the ground - no trees were harmed. I baked the pinecones on a low temp for about an hour to kill any critters. Then I used them in my Christmas decorating. I did the plate myself. The motorcycle used to sit on Deaglan's dresser - I found it for $3.00 at Sea Jewels on their clearance table. I love it.

I did these plates too. I found a tutorial online and it cost me about $5.00 total. If you look too closeup you'll see that I need to invest in an exacto knife. But I think they turned out. This mirror in our front foyer was aching for something.

I think it's my photography skills, not the wall that's lopsided. That's a sketch of Deaglan, done by Shaune's sister Katie. Deaglan was about seven months at the time. I stole one of his hotwheels and hotgluegunned (that's right, I made that word up) it to a frame. I also took the last page of the torn copy of Guess How Much I Love You (we have a not torn copy too) and framed it. It says Then he layed down close by and whispered with a smile "I love you right up to the moon - and back." We've read this book so often that Deaglan can almost recite it.
I'm not above printing out a silhouette and slapping a frame around it either. On the left is a picture of Shaune and me at a friend's wedding in 1998. I won't mention who - they're no longer together. On the right is a self portrait we took on vacation in Miller Lake when I was newly pregnant with Deaglan.
I guess you can tell that I have a bit of a love for birds lately. The bird lady. And branches and pinecones. I found this flour jar at Pier1 for $3.00.
And these for $1.95 each. I got six but I should have grabbed all they had. I just LOVE them.

Maternity leave gives you a lot of time to look at your walls. And feel bored with what's up there. So I've been making changes. It helps to have an easy going husband whose only rule is to stay away from remodelling his kitchen. No problem. I try to stay out of there anyway.
Sorry about the Christmas picture. But I forgot about this one and my heart skipped a beat when I was looking through our picture file and stumbled on it. I just love this guy. Can you even stand how cute he is in that vest?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The crawler

This was taken yesterday and I swear to you, he's improved a hundred per cent since. And I don't know about you but I can't get enough of  those chunky little thighs!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Maternity leave

I highly recommend maternity leave.You get to forget about work for a year. Focus on your favourite faces.

Like this one. You get to have one more year with him before he goes to school like a big kid. And gets a best friend who's not you.

You get to keep a close eye on him when he's sick and not panic that you might miss a deadline for work because you're home taking care of him.

You get to teach him about sharing when his baby brother clearly doesn't know how to play Emergency with his police car.

You get to watch a bald head grow a crop of hair. A tiny body grow robust. Watch someone realize that fingers are for grabbing things. Voices can make wonderful noises.

You are free to kiss these little faces anytime you want. And you do. All the time.

You also have room in your brain to think about what needs to be done. You might not always do it. Especially if one of those little faces STILL isn't sleeping much.

But you might take a few minutes during a Sunday to browse through a trift store and see something ugly that has potential. Then during naptime you might spray paint them white and get something like this to put on an empty wall.
Of course if you thought that the kids might sleep longer, you would have taken a before picture so your readers could be really impressed with your DIY project.

You get to look at a piece of art you've had since second year university and see that it could be repurposed. A coat of chalkboard paint will allow you to create this:

Your husband might come home from work and look at it hanging in the front foyer and say without much awe, hey we lived in all those places. You get to shrug and think, at least he got it.

You get to thank God that you live somewhere that maternity leave lasts a full year. That it is understood how important your time with your babies is. For you and for them.  


Friday, 14 January 2011

We've been sick

Before kids I was almost never sick. Really. And if I was, I could bury myself under a blanket and watch movies all day until I either had to go back to work or I felt better.

I was thinking about this all last week while with a throbbing head and clogged sinuses I tried everything under the sun to relieve the kids' discomfort and bring down their fevers. Naveen kept clawing at me as if to say make it stop Mommy. And Deaglan was very articulate in letting me know that his body hurt, his neck ached, and even that his mouth didn't feel good.

We were almost out of the woods but then Deaglan caught it again. High fever, body aches, runny nose. Around and around.

It hasn't been all phlegm and headaches though. Naveen is almost crawling. He's doing that thing where he uses his arms to drag his body to his destination. And Deaglan is his usual charming self. Here are a few things he's said that I want to remember from these days:

  • Mommy, you're a really good friend to me.
  • But I already washed my hands with my mouth.
  • This truck is broken, it needs to go to a garage sale.
  • When my sister asked him what Naveen wanted for Christmas he told her: Just milk, Naveen likes milk.
  • When Santa comes for your birthday Mommy, you can ask him for a present.
I hope you are all well my friends and be assured that I will be making my rounds to your wonderful blogs to catch up on what you've been up to!

Friday, 7 January 2011

I love Ikea

Nothing gets me more excited than the possibility of a trip to Ikea. I know, I know, I seriously need to  get a life. It must be because I'm such a bargain shopper. I realized the other day, I like things because they are a bargain. It feels really wrong to me to pay full price for anything. That being said, when I go to Ikea, I have Winner's and Homesense prices in mind and compared to those prices, Ikea always comes out cheaper. Plus they have well made furniture that's reasonably priced.

What don't I like about Ikea?

Going with a husband, a three year-old and an infant. The whining, the squirming, the crying. And then there's the kids. Just kidding Shaune.

In all seriousness there is nothing fun about taking a toddler and infant to Ikea. You need to be strategic and last weekend we weren't. We brought the double stroller so that one of us was pushing it while the other walked with the cart. The baby was tired of this setup in about four minutes forcing me to carry him. Deaglan wanted to know if he could walk on his own at about the same time. We hadn't even begun our journey through the showroom.

Why didn't I bring the backpack to carry Naveen? Why didn't I leave Deaglan at home with grandparents? Why did I think Shaune was going to like shopping all of a sudden?

And no trip to Ikea would be complete without one of us giving the other the silent treatment before getting to the cashier. Something about using the eight digit labelling number to find your item in that enormous warehouse with a now crying baby, whining, repetitive toddler and a fed up husband who doesn't even want the shelves we originally came to  get because the number he wrote down in the showroom was not the right one.

Fun, right?

Here's a few things we've gotten recently to contain our growing needs.

We bought one of these Trofast shelving units several months ago but once the new shipment of toys came in at Christmas and Deaglan's birthday, the second was needed. Because we have a small house, there is no "play room". Our living room does double duty.
We hated our old microwave stand but couldn't agree on a new solution. Shaune really liked a few of the other options Ikea offered but we didn't have the room in this specific spot to accomodate them. We went with this simple basic model and have loved it. The Bekvam is great because it can be painted and re-purposed if we get bored with it here. And the candles and candle plate are Ikea too! I bought two sets of these candles (five pillar candles in varying sizes) for $11.00!
We bought the Besta Adal for our front foyer. We had a bench but it had taken quite a beating over the years. This bench is perfect because I can hide my diapering needs (well not my diapering needs - you know what I mean) and new mail in the drawers and it is a good place to set down purses. My two baskets here hold mitts, scarves and hats.

I didn't take pictures of the hundred little things from Ikea that have made life easier since the babies came. Plastic plates, cups, cuttlery, bibs, hooded towels, and much more.

I'll leave you with this commercial from Sweden.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

We need safer schools

Shaune's in teacher's college this year. He's part of a new generation of teachers learning to better deal with bullying in schools.

Yesterday in class, they were reminded of Joshua Melo a fifteen year old boy who hung himself from the tree in his backyard because he had been relentlessly tormented by the bullies at his school who believed he was gay.

I know I must have heard and read about this case when it happened in 2004. We live 20 minutes away from where Joshua lived. But last night when Shaune told me about it, it was as if I'd just heard about it for the first time.

In 2004 I didn't have children yet. I didn't have this mother heart that hurts everytime I hear about a child being abused. I didn't know about this thing that happens when children take over your landscape, that when something devastating happens to another parent, it is always too close to home and instead of breathing a sigh of relief that it didn't happen to your child, you think, oh god it still could.

Shaune said the telling of Joshua's story by a doctor who had been involved in the case, left him deeply sad. He thought about Deaglan and Naveen and wondered what it would take to protect them from bullying or becoming bullies.

It gave me some perspective, this reminder of Joshua Melo. When I let myself get carried away with anxiety about things like potty training, and weaning Deaglan from his soother, I need to remember that these are the easy days. They are still small and within my grasp to protect. Sadly this will not always be the case.

Check out Shell's place for some of the other entries.