Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Just Don't Discuss It!

One of the issues that plagued me when I first started blogging, besides my spelling, was that I never had anything to write about. Looking at my last couple of posts, it is possible that I might still be grasping for some ideas. Regardless, now that I am somewhat "seasoned" at writing about nothing, I have noticed that I am taking a closer look at everything around me, if for no other reason, to give myself blog fodder. In a way, this is a good thing, because life isn't just passing me by without notice, but on the other hand, I'm hanging on to things that I would have otherwise forgotten about, and then gone on about my merry business. It sounds kind of simple, but I just don't tend to dwell on things, especially things that invoke negative emotions. So now that I'm a blogger, I find myself analyzing any instance where I experience even a minute amount of emotional rise. I had such a moment yesterday, and although it was really just a blip in my day, I'm now stuck thinking about a discussion I had with a relative about having more children.

A while back, I read a post (that I can't locate right now or else I'd link to it) about the inappropriateness of asking someone about his or her plans to have a child or a second child. It is an inappropriate question for a multitude of reasons, but from my perspective, it is inappropriate because there is a lack of consideration for those who have fertility issues. This is not a light topic. It can be a very painful topic for those who have been trying and who have been unsuccessful. Before conceiving Pumpkin, I always had a fear that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant due to some complications that I had when I was younger. To cope with this fear, my husband and I typically told people that we were either going to have one, two, or none. People didn't like that, especially the one or none options. I know people generally mean well when they give me a nudge and inquire about giving Pumpkin a sibling. I know that some people just don't know what to say, yet the need to speak overrides having nothing to say, so they go with whatever comes to mind. I know that people who say to me, "You CAN'T have just ONE!", also mean well, although they do in fact need a kick in the head. Irrespective of people's intentions, it is still not acceptable to ask about such personal matters. I still have residual fear, and even though I have managed to create one beautiful child, I don't feel confident that I can simply have another just because I want one. This brings me to the discussion I had with my relative yesterday.

The conversation was about Pumpkin, and how big she is getting, which of course led to this relative announcing to me that it was time to have another one. I tensed up, took a deep breath, and said what I could to make her feel uncomfortable for having suggested it. "Well, it would be nice to have another, but it isn't entirely up to just Hubby and me. Medical factors are at play, if you recall.", I said in a somewhat patronizing tone.

"Oh yeah, that's right.", was the reply. "You know, you do have a beautiful daughter already, and I guess if she is the only child you ever have, she will be more than enough."

This was the only time I have ever had anyone condone the possibility of my having one child. I also agree that if Pumpkin ends up being the only child I ever have, I am still blessed. That aside I was still pissed off at this relative for saying so. She doesn't know where I stand on my need for a second child. What if I have been consumed with the thought of a second child since the first one was born? I haven't been, but this relative doesn't know that. It was then that I discovered that as inappropriate as it is to ask me if I plan on having more children, it is also inappropriate to suggest that I should be content with just one (or more as it may be for some). This is an emotional issue, so even if intellectually I am aware that I already have an amazing child, it does not change the emotional anguish I would experience if I wanted more yet could not have them. Bottom line: Steer clear of this topic with me. It's just too personal. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I just spent an hour doing actual work for my former work-place, only to manage to delete it all at the end of the hour. I'm such a winner. It takes me so long to get motivated to even tackle such work, and now it's gone. A whole hour that I will never be able to claim. Sigh. Instead of wallowing in self pity, and instead of actually re-doing the work, I will make a list some good things that happened this past week:
  • Hubby and I did dinner and a movie last night
  • I found and bought two pairs of awesome jeans with my birthday money (no, I am not too old for birthday money!)
  • I discovered that the yoga pants that I got for my birthday don't attract dog hair
  • I got to sleep in today, AND had a nap in the afternoon
  • I was able to show my daughter her first rainbow
  • A house on our street went up for sale, and I was able to go to the pictures on the on-line listing to steal some decorating ideas (same builder, same challenges)
  • Hubby is feeling motivated to renovate our washrooms now
  • We got free tickets to see We Will Rock You - enjoyed the show
  • My car is now (temporarily) Cheerio-free
  • This picture:

Ok, I feel better now. I don't get to bill for twenty-odd dollars, but I feel better.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lousy Surrogate

One of the kids who visited at Thanksgiving must have left this here:

It's one of those virtual pets that was all the rage maybe ten years ago. The poor thing was already dead when I found it in my washroom the other day. If I had only known that it was here, I would have saved it. I actually feel bad about that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Love Thy Pests?

Just to update you on some stuff you likely don't care about, I am no longer going by the name, Alley Cat. When I was planning on starting this blog, I kept delaying because I couldn't think of a blog name, or a name to call myself. I am quite pleased with the blog name itself, which was inspired by Something Baby Blue, and her mac and cheese recipe that she posted around the same time that this blog was born. As for Alley Cat, I just pulled that out nowhere. I never liked the name, and I am actually a dog person, so Alley Cat is outta here. Just call me Mac and Cheese for now.
(We now resume our regularly scheduled assault on the English language)


I don’t like to kill bugs. I feel bad if I do kill one, so if I am faced with a bug in my house that wasn’t invited, I am likely to trap it under a cup, then slide something underneath the cup, allowing me to transport it outside. Even if I found a bug like the one on Motherbumper’s page this week, I would still trap it, maybe under a shoebox, throw on some Kevlar protection, and try to remove it. I’d have nightmares afterwards, but I would still remove it. Actually, I think I’d pay someone else to remove it. I can guarantee you that hubby would run away screaming, so yes, I would pay someone. Sometimes bug removal is an ongoing task. I have ladybugs going crazy in my dining room right now, so I’m working away, trying to relocate them all to the backyard, only to let them be killed by some act of nature that I won’t have to witness. I’m ok with that. Pumpkin has never had to contemplate bug-killing. The first time she saw an ant on the floor, she bent down and said, “Helloooooo” to it, so how could I squash it? She thinks all animals are great. There are toads living in our window well that she visits daily. There was a mouse in there that she was excited to see too. I pointed out a snake in the woods, without letting her know that snakes are creepy, and she just said, “Hello snake!”. At the zoo, she looked in a lizard aquarium and called the scaly thing, “beautiful”. Perhaps lizards are beautiful. I’m not going to tell her otherwise. I love that she loves all animals. I am, however, wondering if maybe I’m depriving her of necessary life-skills on the bug-front.

The other day, we were at the in-law's for dinner, when something caught my eye. It was a large centipede making its way across the kitchen floor. I followed it into the dining room, with the idea of showing Pumpkin the "great, big bug". Well, the woman who cares for my in-laws was there, and when she saw it, she let out a shriek and stomped on it. I had to look away, and I made Pumpkin look away. I was actually kind of annoyed that this woman hadn’t thought twice about committing such an act of violence in front of my daughter. Yes, I do realize that I am the one with the problem here. Bugs don’t belong in the house, and we really should get rid of them, I guess. Not everyone is in the bug-relocation business. Anyhow, I left the splattered, bug mess and returned to the dinner table. Pumpkin was wandering around the kitchen, no longer playing with her toys, and speaking very softly. She approached us at the table, looking disturbed, twiddling her fingers, still talking quietly, and not saying anything that sounded like English. She kind of reminded me of Beaker from the Muppet Show, only with eyebrows. Finally at the end of her string of gibberish, she uttered the words, “Step. On. It.”, still looking disturbed. I KNEW IT! SHE WAS TRAUMATIZED! Or not. She seemed to get over it and resumed regular play activities after a short while. I guess what I was upset about was that it was her first glimpse of how humans can destroy nature. I like keeping her innocent. This is the only time in life that she can acceptably be oblivious to the world's problems, and simply pursue her own happiness. To Pumpkin, the greatest injustice in the world is that she can’t have crackers for breakfast. I don’t want her having bad dreams about bug-squashings. That being said, I also wouldn’t want to see her living in a bug-infested apartment one day, thinking that she is one with nature.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

I am 35 today! This would normally be a good time for reflection of my past 35 years, looking at where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. The problem is, I'm not that deep. I just hope that people give me good stuff. So far I've received a cool pair of sunglasses, and the promise of a dinner tomorrow night with a small group of close friends and family. We're going out for my favourite, Indian food, so I'm gonna have to starve myself all day in preparation. Tonight is just low key, as I watch Grey's Anatomy while eating cupcakes. Not so bad!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I just heard news about Ellen DeGeneres, and a dog adoption gone wrong. It seems that Ellen adopted a puppy from a shelter, but found that the puppy was not a good fit for her household that she shares with her partner and their two cats. She ended up giving the puppy to her hairdresser, against the rules set out by the shelter. The puppy was later apprehended by the shelter that does not consent to its animals being re-gifted. Apparently, the small print indicates that animals are supposed to be returned to the shelter if things do not work out. The hairdresser’s family wants the dog back, Ellen wants them to have the dog back, and she ended up in tears on her show on Tuesday. There are a few issues that the media are attacking here, such as respecting rules, and using celebrity status to break them, but that’s not what I want to get into. What I really want to do is just empathize with Ellen, for I am very familiar with the trials and tribulations of adopting dogs, and have shed more than my share of tears in my experiences, although thankfully not on national TV.

The first time hubby and I rescued a dog, we were not even in the market to do so. I was working with a woman who was discussing her neighbour’s marital problems, which involved the wife being hospitalized, and the husband having a restraining order against him. My colleague was complaining that she had to care for the neighbour’s animals since no one else was at the house to do so. Yes, I realize that there are bigger problems going on in this story, but the both police and Children’s Aid were already involved, so I shifted my focus to the animals. I figured that the animals in question were fish, or birds, maybe even a cat, but when she mentioned that there was a German Shepherd, I freaked out. Even with my colleague going over to let it out and feed it, it wasn’t enough. Dog’s are social animals and need companionship, exercise, and stimulation. The next day I went over to the “house of abandoned animals”, and came home with the dog. It took about two hours for us to fall in love with her. Based on what we knew, we figured that her owners were not going to get their shit together well enough to reclaim their dog, as a divorce seemed inevitable, and money was going to be an issue. I wasn’t wishing for the family to fall apart, but it seemed to be the only likely outcome, and I was really hoping to keep the dog. It turned out that I was wrong in my assumption about the family. Despite all that had gone on with them, the husband and wife decided to give it another try. After six weeks of my caring for their dog, they took her back from me. I was devastated. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t keep the dog, but also that the dog was going back to a potentially dangerous situation, where she wasn’t necessarily going to be cared for properly. I couldn’t keep it together at work the next day, and cried upon returning home from work, only to not be greeted by the dog. A year later, we got a call from the dog's owners, saying that the marriage had fallen apart, and that they could not keep the dog. They wanted us to take her. The problem was that upon losing the dog in the first place, we went on to adopt two other dogs, and could no longer take in the original dog. Once again, there were many tears, and an inability to keep it together at work the next day, which is why I don’t blame Ellen for not keeping it together on her show.

Ellen probably loves the puppy, so giving it up must have been extremely painful for her. Add that to the fact that the family she gave it to is not allowed to keep it, and that the dog is going back to the shelter, and I see cause for a bit of a break-down. I'd like to see anyone else attempt comedy under those circumstances. I hope I don’t sound like that fan who defended Britney on YouTube recently, but I do want to send Ellen a shoulder to cry on, ‘cause I do understand.

Edited to add: Just to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, you should know that a good friend of mine took in the German Shepherd, and both owner and doggie are thrilled with the arrangement.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not as Planned

Tonight was gonna be good. I was going to put Pumpkin to bed, then watch House, Reaper, and Pushing Daisies. I was also going to have a feast. I made cupcakes, for no special reason other than to eat them, which would have been the first course. Then I would have made a bucket of popcorn to get me through the three hours of programming awaiting me on the PVR. I don't do this sort of thing every night. Really, I don't. So I manage to get Pumpkin off to bed, and figured I'd check the voicemail before I began my evening of sloth and gluttony. The voicemail was from my doctor, reminding me of my physical scheduled for tomorrow, and reminding me not to eat anything after 8pm. I feel like these cupcakes are taunting me now, and I can't get rid of my popcorn craving. CRAP! CRAP! CRAP! Crap. To top it off, House is a re-run!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nostalgic Crushes

Motherbumper has tagged me with a “crush” meme, asking me to share with you the list of Hollywood “hunks” whose pictures found their way into the art gallery that was my bedroom wall when I was in my pre-teen years. Naturally, I have such a list, and I blush and laugh to think about it. I’m sure that I spent the better part of my allowance money on magazines that provided me with glossy pics that I used to tape to my wall and kiss before going to sleep each night. Lately I have been noticing the modern-day versions of the teen magazines that I used to buy, and wonder if I was silly enough to get excited by headlines such as, “Zack Wants to Get to Know You Better” or “Could You Be Charlie’s Girl?” Something tells me that I was exactly the target market for this sort of thing. I really believed that if I could just meet one of these guys, we’d get married for sure. Hey, at least I had self-confidence! That being said, here is my list of guys who missed their chance:

Christopher Reeve: Yeah, that’s kind of sad to reflect on now, but it was what it was. Back in the days of Superman II, I was so crazy about him that I actually cried about the geographical distance between us. I was about eight years old and enamoured with the close-up shots of his beautiful blue eyes during some of the romantic scenes with Lois Lane. He wasn’t easy to find pictures of, so I was pretty much stuck with Superman posters that would have been more appropriate for comic book fans. Sadly or fortunately, I was too young to appreciate how the blue tights enabled me to see how well he was stacking up.

Scott Baio: I have mentioned him previously in my blog, as I tried to recruit people to watch his reality show, Scott Baio is 45 and Single. Scott became the object of my desire when I was ten. I distinctly remember an art project in grade four where I made a picture of a TV screen that said, “Tania Loves Chachi”. I was a huge Happy Days fan, but I think the crush started after seeing the not-so-critically acclaimed film, Zapped. I can’t really remember much about the movie except that Scott Baio’s character acquired telekinetic powers, which he used to undress his girlfriend during the sex scene. WHERE WERE OUR PARENTS WHILE WE WERE WATCHING THIS???

Ricky Schroeder: Here we are…face to face…a couple of silver spoons… That was music to my ears in grade five. Now here was a guy that I really had a chance with! He was close to my own age! I sent him pictures of my 11-year-old self in a bathing suit, feeling most certain that he would hop on a plane to meet me as soon as he had a chance. Still waiting. I think I should have sent a different picture. My 11-year-old self did not realize that a pot belly and only one recently sprouted bud of a breast was not a good look - especially in a bathing suit.

Michael Jackson: Oh don’t pretend that you didn’t like him too! Those were the Thriller days, and he was all everyone in grade five and six could talk about. I bought all the albums and I wore about ten MJ buttons on my shirt every day. I desperately wanted the red jacket with all the zippers but could never have afforded one. I did NOT wear one white glove – even I thought that was lame. He wasn’t typically featured in the teen magazines, so I had to resort to the National Inquirer, and other crappy tabloids to find pictures to get excited about. I did manage to acquire a larger-than-life-size poster:

I think I'm just gonna let you make your own joke here.

Beyond my MJ days, I think it just became a little uncool to do the poster thing. Looking at the pics that I posted here, I'm glad it ended. Is it me or did my tastes get progressively worse as time went on? Who would have been next? Boy George?

That was truly an enjoyable exercise. I think I'd like to spread some joy by tagging Kgirl, and Gabriella.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Just Bragging

My daughter has impressed me a lot over the past few days. Truthfully, as a biased parent, she impresses me with everything she does on a daily basis, but there were three things that stood out recently. Over the week-end, I had a visit from my ex-step-sister (long story), along with four of her EIGHT children (even longer story). Pumpkin was thrilled to have so many kids around, and basically adapted to their games and activities, even though they were all older than she is. She followed them around, ate what they ate, played where they played. At one point I found her and the four-year-old chillin' in the basement, crashed on the couch, watching Star Wars. This was of course after I realized I hadn't seen her in over an hour, being the attentive parent that I am. She is a lot more independent than I usually allow her to be.

Then today, she gave me both a laugh and a shock when I realized just how much information gets into her head. I was trying to do her hair, but she was squirmy, so I tried to subdue her by singing. This would make the average person run the other way, but Pumpkin doesn't know just how bad I am yet, and remained still enough for me to create a lopsided ponytail. I woke up with Hey there Delilah running through my head, so that's the song I sang. I gave it a verse, then quit, because honestly, I am so sick of that overplayed song. All summer long, I heard it every time I got in the car, even if I was only driving for five minutes. As it turns out, Pumpkin was also affected by the constant repetition of that song. When I stopped singing, she blinked at me in the mirror, possibly wanting me to continue, then took matters into her own hands and sang, "Ohhh, wha do do mee, ohhh wha do do meeee". At age 2-and-a-bit, I am still getting used to the fact that she can say anything, let alone sing a top 40 hit.

To add to my perception that she is absolutely brilliant, Pumpkin even managed to outsmart me today. She is absolutely addicted to YouTube, thanks to my hubby and his propensity to entertain her by granting her a video of any subject she shouts out at him. Lately, she is all about a Hippo video that I am not going to link to 'cause I don't know how. You don't want to see it anyways, trust me. She wanted to watch it on my upstairs, desktop computer this morning, but I wanted to keep her downstairs so I could eat some breakfast. Fifteen minutes passed, then she said, "Pee pee! Go potty!" Well, that got me excited since she isn't at all toilette-trained, so I rushed her upstairs to the potty, only to see her run past the washroom, into my office, over the computer, shouting, "Hippo!" Apparently she is aware of my eagerness to get her toilette trained, and has no problem abusing this information for her benefit. I'm kinda proud!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Me So Happy!

I think EVERY DAY should be delurking day! Thirteen comments!!!!!! I thought my head would explode when I saw them all! A hearty thanks goes out to everyone, especially Redneck Mommy, who offered to show me her rack. I have arrived.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Anyone? Anyone?

The Great Mofo Delurk 2007

I made a button! Well, I copied a button, but it was my first attempt and it actually worked. So there it is! Pretty, no? Thanks, MotherBumper, for telling me it was easy, thus forcing me to figure it out what the "Edit Html" thingy was actually for. I couldn't handle the shame of coming back to you without a button on my page.

Ok, on to business. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave me a comment. I'm begging you! That was a little sad. Let me try again. It appears that throughout the blogosphere, people haven't been diligent about leaving comments on the posts that they read. I am guilty of this too, although I try to leave a comment wherever I can think of something relatively intelligent to say. I said "relatively", ok? The truth is, getting a comment lets me know that at least someone is reading, which motivates me to keep writing. Even if you found my site by Googling something else altogether, you can still leave a comment. If you are the person who wanted to know if it is a good idea to eat mac and cheese prior to working out, I could have advised you to go with something with less fat. If you are the person who wanted to know if it is ok to eat mac and cheese while pregnant, hell, I wouldn't have stood in your way! There is a whole wealth of knowledge over here! Kraft Dinner aside, it would be great to hear from you, so delurk already!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I have a cold and it is making me feel kind of blah, so in keeping with the class that I am taking, as well as the meme that I have read at various sites, I am going to list things that have made me happy lately:
  • Neo Citran (ok, that one was obvious)
    Spending each and every day with my daughter, even though she woke me up at 5 am today, screaming for macaroni
  • Meeting some very cool ladies on a beautiful Sunday morning, in support another very cool lady and her wonderful son.
  • Spending a few hours last Saturday, mountain biking through the woods with good friends, enjoying the changing leaves, and inhaling the autumn-ish smell in the air
  • Having an adult dinner/drinks with the same group of friends.
  • My husband - Just because I love him
  • Recent successful clothes shopping expeditions
  • Watching my daughter soak herself in a puddle of water and leaves yesterday, while she laughed and ran
  • The amazing weather we have been having
  • I just remembered that there is chocolate in the house !!!!!!!
  • The satisfaction of just having eaten chocolate ( a chocolate-coated, marshmallow broomstick, if you're curious)
  • My mother offering up so much of her time, freeing up so much of my time
  • The seemingly large moon last Friday night
  • The movie, Knocked Up
  • The fact that we rented Knocked Up for my mom to watch while she babysat the night before, then realizing the language that we subjected her to once we had a chance to watch it ourselves
  • The cleaning lady is coming tomorrow
  • My dad is coming for a visit this week-end
  • butternut squash & apple soup
  • Recent good hair days

Ok, I'm starting to scrape for things, so I'll leave it at that until this cold lifts.