Simma Down Na

Last post was October…guess it’s time for a biannual post? I’m cracking up a little bit because my life kind of imploded right after that post in ways I didn’t see coming. I’ll save catching you up for when the dust has settled. It’s been a crazy time. I’m just trying to get back to life. Work. I miss my work. I haven’t been able to take care of clients the way I’d like to, which is a sucky feeling but I’m out to rectify that and get back to what I love. I feel like I’ve been spread too thin for too long and not doing anything well. Doing a lot of things mediocrely, but nothing has been done exceptionally. That’s a draining feeling. I’m out to make some changes in the coming months and finding a balance.

What is on my mind is a blog post that was written last year but it only popped into my feed today. I was disgusted. I’m hesitant to even put a link to it, but I suppose I should – just as a frame of reference. That right there? Hurtful. To be honest, it’s been chapping my ass since I saw it. I don’t understand why women feel the need to be such bitches to each other. The post is the post, it’s one persons opinion. Go ahead, rant and rave, I’m sure there’s nasty posts in my blog too but I’m hoping nothing like that. The comments threw me too. Hurling hateful sentiments about sisters, cousins, moms – well, I suppose unless the family sees the actual comments, they’ll never know. Courageous of you nasty posters. Family. Geez, you feel that way about someone who shares your DNA, I can only imagine what you think when you meet me. Luckily, what what others think of me is none of my business.

Let me get this off my chest. “Pyramid Schemes” was thrown into the post and kept coming up in the comments. Let me be super clear – Pyramid Schemes and Direct Sales are 2 different things. Google can help you see the glaring differences. Educate yourself before placing judgement. No one has gone to jail for being involved in Direct Sales. Okay. I feel better.

I have been in Direct Sales before. I’d say from 2006 – 2011, I probably joined eleventy DS companies. I’ll admit it, I am a kitnapper. I just can’t walk away on a good kit. There were really only two companies I tried to make work, but as it turns out – I supremely suck at sales. Here’s the thing though, each of those times I tried to do something with those companies, I changed. My confidence grew. My circles grew. Hanging out with women who were like me filled my cup. Without those experiences, I know I wouldn’t be able to do what I do today. I learned something from each of those ladies.

Sometimes, I feel like Barney Stinson. Need spices? I have a gal for that. Need plastic? I have a gal for that. Need makeup? I have a gal for that. Is my entire wardrobe/medicine cabinet/home filled with DS product? Nope. Some is though. There are some companies I really like and if it means I’m helping out another mama trying to make it to her goal, quota, incentive trip or pay the dental bill, then that’s great.

My FB feed is full of folks, but let’s leave the men out of it. Some ladies own their own businesses – clothing store owners, chefs, a toy store owner, gardening/nursery owners and I could go on. These all get placed in my mental Filofax (did I date myself there?) in case I need them later. Do I appreciate it when they post their specials? You bet. Why is that more acceptable than when a DS rep posts theirs? If you’re happy doing what you do, don’t let anyone begrudge you that because someone else views what you do as somehow less than legitimate. It is legit. Due to the fact that my small business is not related to DS does not make it more legitimate than my Tupperware lady’s business and it would be absolutely presumptuous of me to think otherwise.

The blog post went on about social media feeds being filled with DS chatter. That has less to do DS reps/companies and more to do with the author’s inability to utilize the tools FB offers. There’s easy ways around that. Stop whining about seeing posts about nail wraps and eyelashes. Don’t want to see it? Again, Google can solve that if you can’t figure it out.

Why the need to tear people down? C’mon now. All you DS ladies, keep moving forward. Don’t let someone’s opinion of how they think DS works affect you. If you love wrapping your bits in cellophane (okay, I know it’s not actual plastic wrap, but it’s funnier that way) to lose weight, awesome. If your face is smooth & wrinkle free because you found a cream that works for you, rock on. If you’re using shakes or supplements to clear skin, lose weight or get more energy, you ride that train. When you feel good about yourself, you spread joy. Joy is infectious. If you’re getting a buzz from your job, share it. I don’t care if you’re a cashier at Walmart, an executive director of a non profit or you just joined a DS company. I’d much rather see that on FB than FarmVille (is that still around? I wouldn’t know because I hid it years ago and don’t see it anymore!).

Happiness isn’t a destination, it’s a journey and a decision. Tearing someone down isn’t going to make you happy. Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there, do what makes you happy.



What’s up?

So. February 2011. That’s when this blog died. It was a mixture of things. Jude became mobile, free time became non existent. I kept thinking, “I should blog again” and somehow years have passed. My babies are 5 and 8. What?! The circle of time is coming back to me now and I actually have some of it to spare. That’s how long it takes for you to get a brain back after babies are born. Five years. Consider yourself warned.

Another reason I stopped blogging was that people who knew me in real life were reading my blog. There’s something therapeutic about writing your thoughts down and having it out there for strangers, but for your people to read it? It can get awkward. I’d bump into folks and they’d reference something from here and I’d smile, nod and wonder “how in the actual fuck did they know about that?!”. Right. It’s out there. Which means I probably shouldn’t discuss the time Alec went spelunking in my vagina looking for a lost tampon for me (it wasn’t there. Wasn’t wearing one, but was convinced I was and if he didn’t look for it I’d most likely die from Toxic Shock. I also made him come home from work to do this. So ya know, if you know him in real life, feel free to high five him for not killing his insane wife).

The final reason for my hiatus. Irreverent Mommy. Not sure that moniker is going to stay around. It might. Might not. I started this blog when Jude was less than a month old. While I would like to tell you that first year was rainbows and unicorns all around, it really wasn’t. I was an angry postpartum lady. It’s only time that has allowed me to look back and see that it wasn’t the easiest year, but irreverence was where I lived. I don’t so much live there anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still have the irreverent tongue but I’m not so grrrrr about life anymore.

Time for a new start. Probably the same amount of swearing.

Lucy & Desi Beds

I grew up in kind of a weird bubble. It was pretty conservative.

I was constantly falling UP the stairs – just the stairs to the bedrooms. When this klutziness didn’t follow me to other sets of stairs, I chalked it up to the ghosts in the house (trust me, they’re there). On one of my tumbles, I yelled, “shoot!”.

Don’t say “shoot” is sounds too much like “shit”. See? Conservative.

We grew up watching shows like The Brady Bunch, Lassie, and The Honeymooners. Like Statler & Waldorf’s fashion sense, their taste in entertainment was definitely stuck in the 60’s. My favourite show growing up was I Love Lucy. I wanted to grow up, marry a Cuban musician and have red hair. I got everything but the Cuban part, but Cubans are hard to find way up here!

I also assumed that when I found my Cuban we’d share a bedroom, but not beds. Lucy & Desi had twin beds next to each other & I thought they had it figured out. Statler & Waldorf didn’t share a bed – or a bedroom (which later lead to my teenaged theory that they were actually brother & sister. Since I was adopted, it made sense. Waldorf’s whole I’m German thing was all a farce and there was a big secret going on there – but that didn’t pan out…at least not yet).

My grandparents didn’t share a bedroom, my parents didn’t share a bedroom & I just thought that’s how things worked. I’m sure my grandparents shared a room and a bed when they were raising kids but for what ever reason by the time I came along, they were separated by a bathroom. Statler & Waldorf shared a room when they were first married, but Waldorf’s snoring got him his own set of sheets (yeah right – I still think it’s DNA).

The TV I watched growing up didn’t help either. No one shared a bed. The first couple I saw in a bed together were the Huxtables. I figured Cliff didn’t make enough money so he couldn’t have his own room – or they had too many kids.

Soon I realized that people actually slept in the same room – in the same bed. Weird. I couldn’t see how I would ever be able to sleep with someone next to me. Luckily, Alec doesn’t snore and other than the fact that occasionally his bladder holds less liquid than ear dropper, he doesn’t bug me at all. I usually can’t sleep without him. There are some nights that he’s up really late working and I toss & turn until he comes to bed. I hate hotel sleeping without him because although I enjoy sleeping like a starfish, it’s just weird if I’m not kicking him.

Last night, Emmy got sick. It must have been something she ate, because we’re all fine today. But, last evening into the wee hours, she was puking like a frat boy. The poor girl just wanted Daddy to sleep in her room. So, Alec grabbed some bedding and they had themselves a sleepover and our little girl slept well. And so did I! I expected to be up all night, but I slept soundly. A pre-children kind of sleep. It was amazing & I saw a glimpse of value in the Lucy & Desi beds.

We won’t be investing in any new bedroom furniture, I’m sure it was a one time kind of sleep. But, I am thankful for it. And for Alec who puts up with me and my crazy bed nature. The bed must be just so before we can slumber and he lets me arrange everything and only makes fun of me when he has the energy.

I like having a boy in my room – and my bed.

Lies I Told My Mother

I remember sitting at a breakfast joint in Waikiki when I realized there were times when Statler was full of crap. I mean, how the hell could she have invented Cinnamon Toast when it was on the freakin’ menu half way around the world? Cinnamon Toast Crunch really blew the lid off the conspiracy. Until that point, I pretty much believed everything Statler & Waldorf told me. I learned many things that year – the 6th grade.

It’s only fair to tell you that while Statler was very convincing of her tales, she also inadvertently trained me to lie faster than a ninja and with more conviction than a televangelist. So, here is my list of lies I shared with the parents who just did not understand.

1. My sister went through the basement window on her own. Dad was mowing the grass & moved our slide to the side of the house. Of course he told us not to go on it and of course we didn’t listen. She got to the top and got scared – after all, it was concrete under us. So, I got up there and gave her a good sisterly push down the slide. Right into the window well and she crashed through the basement window. Yeah, I was a wicked sister. Some stitches later & loads of attention, I found my sister keeping my secret – she didn’t snitch. Statler & Waldorf bought the story that she went down on her own and we carried on.

2. We won a swimming party with the Osmond Boys. Okay. In case my dork factor was ever in question – while other girls my age were rockin’ Doc Martens to the Chili Peppers, I was trying to get into the pants of the most devout Mormon boys. Ever. Not that I’d have had a clue what to do should that moment present itself, I just knew I wanted in. You know when an interviewer asks “what’s the craziest thing a fan has done?” that would be us they’d be talking about – if we’d have gotten caught. So, yeah, you could use the words “stalker”, “obsessed” or “crazy” but we preferred “fan”. So after one of their shows, my friends and I decided to go back to their hotel, ya know – hang in the lobby and pretend like we belong. But Statler & Waldorf were expecting us back any minute…what to do, what to do…we decided having the person who Statler liked the best (not me) call her. So my friend called her with our oh-so-smart lie “we won a swimming party with them back at their hotel” – and despite not having swimsuits, Statler bought it. Seriously. I figured she thought that we just wanted to go see them, but went along with it because really, how much trouble can you get into chasing the Osmonds? But the next day, she wanted details – which we provided and we carried on to the next show without missing a beat.

3. My report card isn’t ready. One thing is for sure – my kids aren’t going to be able to get away with anything around school because I’ve all ready done it. In grade 11, report cards had just been released for the semester and because 16 year olds walk around with half a brain, I didn’t think down the road – all of those skipped classes would show up & the moldy fruits of my labour in black and white. So, I had a genius idea. Statler & Waldorf were never big on school – my post secondary plans went over like a fart at a funeral and they told me I was wasting my money (note – not their money, so I felt zero guilt when I blew off sociology to chase the Barenaked Ladies across Alberta – see? Dork). Anyway, their expectations of me around high school was to pass. That’s it. So I was passing, which meant no one would be calling…but was it really necessary to alert them to how much I skipped? I believe that year I skipped 42 English classes (why didn’t anyone call them anyway?!), so it was a big number to hide! “The report cards aren’t ready yet” excuse seemed to be my best out. And it freaking worked. They never asked for it again. I believe it got smooshed up against rotten fruit in my locker and met a most unfortunate ending. I wish I could tell you that I am a brilliant neurosurgeon now, but I am not. I did not go on to broaden my scholastic mind. More like crush on the first prof I had (’cause clearly he’d see that I’m a total winner), change my mind on what I wanted to take every time something new entered my head while the thought of student loans kept me up at night.

So there you have it – dark secrets, that really bare more about what a loser I am than a bad ass.

PS – that night at the Osmonds hotel ended with my friend going up to their hotel door to take a picture of it only to be surprised when one of them freakin’ opened the door. We ran for the elevator. See? Bad ass.


Lies My Mother Told Me

There was a Canadian movie out a few years back called Lies My Mother Told Me. I haven’t seen it, but the title always stuck with me. I am considering making it the title of my long awaited memoir.

I think as a parent I was surprised that I would struggle with telling my kids white lies. Santa and other fabled characters aside, there’s the “eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes” and “frozen yogurt is as good as ice cream” delusions.

I believe honesty is the best policy and I think I’m doing okay there. Truth be told, my kids eat all veggies, so I haven’t had to lie to get them eaten – Emmy actually turned down a ham & cheese sandwich last week because we were out of tomatoes, so I won’t moan about that. And I wouldn’t dream of trying to pass off frozen yogurt as ice cream. I think ice cream is a treat and it should taste like it – no one wants to sit down to a bowl of rocky road ass flavoured frozen yogurt and be told it’s a “treat”.

At Christmas time, I rode the “you need to be good or Santa won’t come” train like a hobo. As I try to figure out where the lines are, I’ll share with you the lies Statler actually told me.

Peppers are good for your hair – it’ll get nice and shiny. There aren’t many veggies I don’t like, but I can’t do peppers. Raw is fine, but as soon as those babies get cooked, forget it. I hate roasted peppers, peppers in chili, peppers in rice, none of it’s good. That little lie had me eating cooked peppers like you wouldn’t believe. Until I realized my hair looked exactly the same. I was then told that it must be due to my thick hair so for it to kick in I should eat more. Yeah, whatever, I was 6 not stupid.

Adopting a baby is like going to pick out a Cabbage Patch. I was adopted. Super thankful for it when you consider the alternatives and knowing that I don’t share genetic material with Statler & Waldorf is what allows me to sleep at night. Now, while it might seem a like a cute idea to tell your adopted child that they were picked out of a cabbage patch, it just leads to weird places. First off, when they decided to go in that direction, it would’ve been helpful if they actually liked Cabbage Patch kids. They vehemently hated the dolls and refused to get one for me. I was in the 1st grade when they were all the rage and totally didn’t understand why they wouldn’t let me have one of the dolls that came from where I came from. It was very confusing. God bless my aunt who got me one for Christmas that year.

You are part Chinese. What the hell!? I have no idea why this was said to me. As a kid I was always curious about where I came from. Statler & Waldorf told me I was adopted when I was really young – I don’t remember ever not knowing, so I must have been really little. I always had questions, which I am sure got annoying at times, but throwing me that kind of curve ball just lead to more confusion. Statler even went so far as to chaperon a field trip to some Asian festival going on that year and told me to pay attention because because I would learn something about what it meant to be Chinese. Now, if you were to ask her about this, I’m sure she has no recollection, but I assure you it happened and I was very confused. I was the whitest kid ever – I would have loved to have been Chinese if it meant having a piece of the puzzle, but I knew the piece didn’t fit. You tell me…

When I compare parenting styles between the generation of my parents & I, I think I’m doing just dandy, my kids believe in Santa but at least they don’t think if they go out of the yard a police man will come and take them away.

I’m Not Dead

Okay. I’ve been MIA for a while. I know it. You know it. It’s time I did something about it.

How can it be 2011? Is it crazy that I bid adieu to 2010 with with my middle finger? Man, that year suuucked my ass. Truly. Sure, there were a few highlights, but as a whole 365 day package – it bit the big one. I’m on to bigger and better. Beginning here. I was finding that a lot of my posts from last year were dripping with negativity and that’s just boring. Although I’m no optimist, it wouldn’t kill me to have a fresher outlook. But just to prove that I won’t turn into Pollyanna, I leave you with my top 5 pieces of advice from 2010.

5. No matter how badly you feel about your life, you can always turn to a celebrity to make you feel better. Charlie Sheen, Lilo, that Snooki chick and the litany of people who are famous for no reason. Speaking of, remember when Charlie Sheen was cute? Now he’s a wrinkly pickle. Sad really.

4. If you go to Disneyland and decide to buy duty free liquor on the way down, drink it all while you’re in the Magic Kingdom. If you try to save it, it’s inevitable that it will mistakenly end up in your daughter’s carry on and you’ll look like a huge lush when security is confiscating a 1.7L bottle of Disaronno wrapped in a jean jacket out of a Cinderella carry on bag.

3. If you’re traveling in San Francisco (and you should!), be sure to take someone with big enough balls to get you a private tour of the 2nd floor of Alcatraz. The infirmary, operating room, pharmacy and the shoot out from that Nic Cage movie the Rock is all up there. I would love to turn Alcatraz into the most kick ass B&B. I can’t wait to go back in July! And yes, it’s totally haunted and possibly one of my favourite places.

2. I have a fantastic husband who does laundry. He doesn’t do it the way I’d do it, but hey, I don’t have to do it if he does it! I have stopped buying wool sweaters because they come out of the dryer looking like they’d fit the cat but I think it’s a fair trade. So one day when Alec was putting away the tea towels I realized a pair of my granny panties was folded in with them. Horrifying. That lead to my one and only resolution – to stop buying my underwear where I also buy my dish soap. The giant panties aren’t doing anyone any favours.

1. If you host a sex toy party (and you should!), you might want to reconsider blowing your hostess rewards on a Fishnet Body Stocking. It’s surprisingly flattering – I was convinced that fat would be oozing out of every fishy hole, but it actually looked okay. Upon arrival to the bedroom your husband may ask you if you’re a mime followed by the sentence “it feels like I’m going to screw a tennis racket”. Save that $20 and put it towards the bondage.


Okay, I haven’t posted in a while. Figured I had better post something before Christmas! Short, but a post no less.

I’m ridiculously excited that Wicked is coming in 2011. I saw it last July in San Francisco & it fulfilled my expectations. I definitely want to take Emmy to see it. I’ve seen quite a few shows & Wicked is in my top 3. I fell in love with the story many years ago & the show is a great adaptation.

I decided to be Elphaba last Halloween. Unfortunately, I had no time to dedicate to my costume, so really, I looked like the green bitch from Star Trek. That’s okay. Maybe next year I’ll try Glinda on for size.

I leave you with Defying Gravity. My girl crush on Idina Menzel lives on & Kristin Chenoweth? Adorable as ever.

Mixed Up

I’m dreading the upcoming weekend. And I’m looking forward to it. It’s a very mixed up way to feel. It’s Madame’s memorial on Friday. I’m not ready for it – especially since I wasn’t ready to lose her to begin with. On the other hand, I want to have it over with and have some closure. I’m excited to see her family who have become an extension of our family. But Statler & Waldorf will be here for the memorial so I’ll have to manage them. It’s feels like an ocean of emotion that I’m trying to pour into something the size of a Tic Tac case.

We’re taught from an early age that life isn’t fair. I only kind of believed that. It seemed sorta fair. You reap what you sew and all the rest of it. But to my surprise it actually isn’t fair. It’s not fair that she’s gone. It’s not fair that my kids won’t remember her. It’s not fair that she’s missing all of their milestones. It’s not fair she won’t grow old with her sister. It’s not fair.

My grandparents passed shortly after I finished high school. It was really sad. I think of them and their wonderful ways every day. I can’t think of a buffet without seeing Grandma put her leftover chicken in her purse for later. And every time I hear a Russian accent, my breath catches and I strain to see if there’s any Grandpa words that I hear. But they lived full, long lives. Madame should still have another 30 years. She should be at my the kids’ weddings. She should be giving us her steadfast advice. She should be painting. She should be eating my fudge. She should be seeing the latest Harry Potter with me. She should be.

I feel ripped off.

I feel like I wasn’t a good friend at the end. See, she passed many miles away from us, in her hometown. She left for her hometown almost a year ago with the intent of coming back to tie everything up here. But she didn’t make it back. So we relied on the phone to keep in touch and the occasional Skype once we got her hooked up. But her illness was very long. She had good days and bad days, I think a lot of them were good until the last couple of months. We chatted maybe once a week, but then with her hospital stints the time between calls would become longer. The time difference didn’t help me either. By the time the kids were down, it was far too late to call. We emailed. I still have all of the emails. I’m sure I’ll delete them some day. But not today. I feel like I wasn’t there for her like I should have been. A part of me wanted so badly to get on a plane and see her so many times. I could see her head shaking in disapproval for spending money on her. Life happened. Alec’s career is in the driver’s seat and dictates much of our time. We took Emmy to Disneyland to give her something to look forward to at the end of Daddy’s long spring/summer. We had to make the decision. Take the kids to see Madame or take Emmy to Disneyland. By the time Alec had free time and we could’ve made the trip, her health had declined dramatically. We were worried how difficult it would be for Emmy to see her but more-so for how taxing a visit might be on Madame. The last thing we wanted was to be a strain on her. But was it the right decision? I don’t know. There aren’t many people I would fly across country for, but she was one of them. I don’t feel guilt over our decision. But I feel regret. I regret that I failed to acknowledge how soon she would be gone. I regret that I didn’t tell her how much I really, really loved her. But I also know she knew.

Alec’s schedule has picked up again and he will be busy through the end of the year. This gives me a lot of free time, but it’s hardly free. Alone with thoughts while you’re in pain isn’t freeing at all. It’s more like playing emotional roulette. Spin the wheel and see what we’re feeling tonight. When is this part over?

My head and my heart are in constant battle. One tells me to be sensible, that this is a part of the crazy thing we call life and the other just hurts. Hurts that she knew me better than Statler. Hurts that she’s gone. Hurts that our long talks over tea or wine are over. Hurts that we’ll never hug again.

I don’t know what Friday will bring. I know there’s a letter waiting for me. If I don’t read it will there be a chance she’ll come home?

Bah Humbug

We love Christmas. Like, really love Christmas. So much so that when we started planning our wedding, the time of year was a no brainer. We tied the knot on December 20, 2003 and loved everything about our Christmas wedding. I try to start Christmas shopping & baking early because Alec’s schedule isn’t predictable, so if he has some free time, I don’t want to be in line for scotch tape or up to my eyeballs in shortbread, I want to spend it with him & the kids.

That said, I wonder how early is too early for Christmas? Growing up, I remember distinct periods of time between holidays. No one thought about Christmas until after Remembrance Day, and even then, that would’ve been early.  My birthday is mid November and I’ve always said that’s the kick off to the holiday season – the time to start shopping & getting prepared.

I was completely flabbergasted when I was getting groceries the week before Halloween to see that Christmas trees were being put up and shipments of decorations on flats in preparation of shelf placement. The Halloween isle was discounted on the left and Christmas decorations, table runners, trees, stars and wrapping paper on the right side of the isle. It was weird. Just weird. Talk about the clash of holidays. I get wanting to have Christmas in your heart all year, but do I really need it in my Halloween candy?

I did buy Emmy her Christmas dress early, but that’s because her size is never available, so I grabbed the only size 4 they had and ran. Well, I paid first. I let her wear it today. It was because I was choosing my battle and made a deal. She could wear her new dress today but not again until she visits Santa. Seemed fair. And kept my brain from exploding due to the never ending “can I wear it? Puhleeeeze?” argument. But it did seem early – she won’t be seeing it again until she sees the big man.

Holidays are running into each other. I guarantee that come January 1st the Valentine’s Day crap will be available. What’s going on? Is it purely commercialism? Are our lives going so fast that we feel the need to begin preparing for the next holiday when the current one hasn’t even passed? If that’s the case how much are we enjoying the moments we’ve been given? Do I really need to be buying a Christmas advent calendar in freakin’ October?!

And what happened to Remembrance Day? Seriously. Growing up, that was a big deal. It’s important, and I fear it is getting lost in the Christmas shuffle. Because we don’t have a giant meal and stuff ourselves beyond the seams of our pants do we need to limit it to just a “moment of silence” at some point on November 11th? And how many of us even do that? The median age of World War II Veterans is 87 years. The world we live in has given us more Veterans, what about them? Did you know that it’s Veteran’s Week? I didn’t. That’s a shame. Before I hang tinsel, sing a Christmas Carol, buy a gift or watch Christmas Vacation, I will be sitting down with Emmy to explain the importance of Remembrance Day. If we don’t do something, this day will be lost and become just something kids do in school. Christmas has a time and place, and it shouldn’t make an appearance anywhere near November 11th.