metro mama

Friday, July 31, 2009

He's Here!

For the three people who don’t already know this via Facebook or Twitter….Sherwood arrived July 29 at 0650, weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces. The story is somewhat dramatic (it involves a race through the streets of TO) but much happier than last time. I’ll write about it in a few days.

We are really doing great. I have so much more confidence this time, I’m healthy, and I can’t tell you how fantastic our midwives are. It makes all the difference. McHotty is a rock star (as always) and I am so blessed with such lovely, thoughtful, generous friends (I’m too tired to link, but you know who you are). I love you guys.

More to come soon! Now, must sleep.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just What I Needed

I’m now 40 weeks +1 day, and spent today rather pissy and short-tempered, fervently wishing that instead of lumbering slowly about the house I was donning a sexy outfit and high heels and heading out dancing and drinking (god, I can’t wait to do that). Cakes is often quite perceptive, and she was unusually loving and obedient today. The icing on the cake was when I put her to bed a few minutes ago. I told her I loved her, and instead of her usual obligatory, hasty “love you mom” she stopped what she was doing, looked me in the eye and said, “I love you more than all the cookies in the whole world.” Sigh.


Monday, July 20, 2009

The Waiting Game

When I had Cakes, I finished work on a Friday, three weeks before my due date, with plans to relax and enjoy those last childfree days. Monday morning I was sent straight from my Dr. appointment to the hospital to be induced (a hellish process that ended up taking days). I felt really cheated.

This time, I finished work three weeks before my due date, hoping for a week to relax (never dreaming I would go to term). Now, mere days from 40 weeks I’m starting to lose my mind! I've spent time with Cakes. I’ve gone for a pedicure, saw the new Harry Potter (it was pretty good, but I wanted to see more of the women), had a dinner party, gone for lunch, brunch, cappuccino, and read about 10 books (seriously!) I know I shouldn’t complain, and I am grateful. This pregnancy couldn’t be more different than the last: I weigh 20 pounds less, I’m wearing the same sized shoes and I’m sleeping OK. But now I just want to get on with things. I hate not knowing when things are going to happen. I’m using up maternity leave time. I want to get used to the baby before girls weekend in August! This holding pattern is making me a little crazy (and bitchy).

So, I’m going for long walks. We’re having Indian tonight. I’m even thinking about resorting to having sex. Did any of this stuff work for any of you? Did anyone else go overdue with their second or third child? I’m seeing my midwife tomorrow, and she’ll offer a stretch and sweep. Has anyone done this? Did it work? I know, I’m an asshole and I need to relax and stop complaining, but I can’t!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nonfiction Feast

Now that I’m on mat leave, and reading up a storm before baby comes, I’m trying to renew my vow to read more nonfiction. That’s not to say I don’t think reading fiction is very, very valuable: I think we learn a lot from reading fiction, and it makes us more empathetic people. In fact, there was a recent study (can’t find it to link to right now) suggesting that folks who read a lot of fiction have better social skills. But I do feel that I need to be more knowledgeable about what’s happening in the world. McHotty puts me to shame in this department: he reads the Economist and Macleans cover to cover each week, as well as browsing the newspaper online daily. I do try, but I always get distracted by the latest novel.

I have read three excellent nonfiction books recently. This week I devoured Dexter Filkins’ The Forever War. I bought this book for McHotty, but being a fan of fictional war stories (The Wars and Three Day Road are two of my favourites) I thought I should give this a try. Filkins is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, and the book bears witness the rise of the Taliban in the 1990s, the aftermath of the attack on New York on September 11th, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Eloquent and fierce, I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

Another book McHotty raved about, and I found fascinating too is Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. This book has been on the bestseller list forever, and now I know why. What is an Outlier? Someone who is extraordinarily accomplished. We usually attribute success to factors like IQ and hard work, but it isn’t that simple. While a high IQ is of some importance, it’s not everything (you just need to smart enough, not the smartest). You do need to work hard (it takes about 10,000 hours of doing something to be best in your field) but there’s more to it than that. Things like upbringing, cultural factors and dumb luck play a large role too. This is a book I never would have chosen on my own, and I’m glad it found its way to my pile.

Speaking of bestsellers, another great read (and not something I would usually pick up) is Jeff Rubin’s Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller. Rubin’s thesis is that despite the current recession oil will never be cheap again, and the global economy is going to change. The age of globalization is coming to an end, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—we’ll be shopping locally, revitalizing our neighbourhoods; manufacturing jobs will return to empty factories, revitalizing entire communities. I’ve seen Rubin speak in person, and he’s dynamic, smart and has very interesting things to say: all the ingredients to write a book about the economy that is accessible and readable as well as thought provoking.

Now, do you have any nonfiction recommendations for me?


Thursday, July 02, 2009


I’m on a great roll with picking up books that can hold my attention enough to read them in just a few sittings. That is the best way to read a book, I think—it really changes the experience for me if it takes me a long time to finish something. I think that’s why I love short stories so much. You usually get to experience the story the way the author intends. It’s funny, we’re much more aware of this when it comes to movies, but we don’t think about pace as much in terms of books.

My latest one-day conquest is Lisa Moore’s February, a real gem. The book centres around a true event in 1982, when the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a Valentine's Day storm. All eighty-four men aboard died. February is the fictional story of Helen O'Mara, widow of one of the drowned men. The narrative jumps back and forth from the present-day to the days surrounding the tragedy in 1982, with occasion forays to the early days of Helen and Cal’s relationship, and the years between. Helen and Cal were very deeply in love, and the loss of that love is abrupt and paralyzing. Left to raise four children on her own, Helen is haunted by the fact that Cal’s death could have been prevented had the men received the necessary training. The structure of the book and the emphasis on time shows time does not heal all wounds; but, eventually, it allows one to move forward, incrementally, scars and all.

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