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The Holiday Card

26 Nov

Family photoGone are the days when sending holiday cheer to family and friends involved buying a club-sized pack of generic “Season’s Greetings!” cards. The personalized family holiday card has not only become a base expectation, but a way for the newest generation of parents to confirm to everyone in their social network just how original, talented, or awkward they really are. Mommy and Daddy already have a huge strike against them after failing at life last year with a mass holiday e-greeting sent at 8 pm on Christmas day. Which is why this year Mommy is more determined than ever to create the masterpiece that earns acclaim and envy from even the toughest critics on her holiday mailing list. The problem is that every creative direction under consideration has some serious downsides, as follows:

1)      The Glamour Card. Although Mommy immediately fell in love with the idea of a Kardashian-inspired family photo perched upon the mantel of everyone she knows, doing the math on the hair and make-up team, cashmere sweater vests, mansion rental, and extensive post-production work required to pull this option off quickly rendered it out of the financial question.

2)      The Precious Work of Art. Even though Mommy can think of nothing more fulfilling than spending her zero free time die cutting glitter paper nativity scenes, Mommy firmly believes that adults should have the maturity to acknowledge both their strengths and their weaknesses. Enough said.

3)      The “We’re sooooo Hilarious!” Card. Check out this hysterical idea that Mommy and Daddy conceived for a Christmas card, totally not stolen from awkwardfamilyphotos.com! We spent an entire afternoon finding these moth-infested Christmas sweaters at Value Village! Aren’t our puns really clever?! p.s. To Aunt Sally who was recently born again, please don’t be offended by our slightly off-colour Santa joke!

DRINK: The Holiday Fizzle. 1 ½ cups raspberry juice, 3 scoops raspberry sorbet; ½ cup carbonated water Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth for a fizzy mocktail the whole family can enjoy. And remember that if your holiday card  is a bust again this year, you can always take a second stab in January with a reputation-redeeming New Year’s greeting.

The November Blahs

13 Nov

imagesMommy is suffering from an extreme case of the November blahs. Probable causes:

  1. The sea of grey that greets her each morning. Otherwise known as Mommy’s lacklustre Fall wardrobe.
  2. The leftover Halloween candy supply has been officially depleted. Mommy just confirmed this by tearing the entire kitchen apart, only to turn up one lone and rock-hard Tootsie roll that she ate out of sheer desperation.
  3. Cold November Rain. The kind that’s not sexy like Axl Rose circa 1992 and actually does last forever.
  4. Three more layers of clothing to negotiate with you in the morning.
  5. 41 days?! How is Mommy already late for Christmas again???

As a single girl in her twenties, the only surefire remedy for November-induced melancholy was an all-inclusive girls’ vacation to Mexico. Back then, there was no greater pick-me-up than winning the affection of the resort’s personal trainer, not to mention ushering in holiday party season with a tan. Unfortunately, according to Expedia, the only all-inclusive family vacation package within Mommy & Daddy’s budget is a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. Cue visuals of the family splashing in a cold & flu season cesspool, thanks to the raging case of germaphobia Mommy developed upon your birth.

DRINK: Blame it on the Rain. Muddle 2 handfuls of fresh raspberries and combine with 1 ½ oz vodka, 1 oz fresh lemon juice, and a teaspoon of Agave syrup. Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass. Top with ginger ale. Pair with a 100-watt full spectrum light bulb.

Juice

20 Aug

juicyWhen did juice become a four-letter word? Mommy only serves you all-natural, certified organic, premium juice blends with no added sugar, colours, flavors or preservatives, and yet she STILL has to deal with a judgmental staredown from other parents if she hands you a (100% compostable) juice box at the park. Mommy spent the better part of the eighties drinking the orange rocket fuel McDonald’s served with Happy Meals like it was her job, but she’s supposed to feel like a giant failure because she you served you three sips of Cranberry Pomegranate Blueberry juice in the middle of a heatwave. Wasn’t it punishment enough that she paid $1.50 for a 6 oz “kid-friendly” tetra pak?  Which, by the way, is the biggest misnomer of all time because NOTHING about a juice box is actually kid friendly.  Without fail, you squeeze out half the box’s contents before you’ve taken your first sip. You can’t work the straw so you throw it on the ground. You turn the box upside down to shake out what’s left and everything within a three-foot radius turns into a horribly sticky mess.

DRINK: Mommy Juice. Enjoy this refreshing, guilt-free* summer mocktail packed with anti-oxidants and only 100 calories. Mix 1 oz grapefruit juice, 1 oz cranberry juice in a glass with ice and top with soda water. Resist the urge to dilute with water.

*”I am free of guilt!” said no Mom ever.

The Local Fair

30 Jul

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Nothing says summer like a traveling carnival. Those twinkly lights, the smell of cotton candy, the sound of teenagers getting pregnant on the Ferris wheel. Of course now that she’s a Mommy, she realizes the whole thing is a giant death trap. As if she’s going to trust a recovering addict with provocative tattoos of Tweety Bird to operate The Teacup Ride. It looks like it’s held together with little more than duct tape and Hubba Bubba. Then there’s the midway. Mommy feels likes she’s in the red light district of a derelict Toys R Us. She tries not to make eye contact, but a tween pimp straight out of juvie pushes the Ring Toss hard by taunting you with a plush toy from The Snorks. You cry when Mommy drags you passed their cat calls, you cry when you’re too short to ride The Scrambler, you cry when Mommy won’t let you burn one down with the tranny working the deep fried Mars Bar booth. $30 in ride coupons and confectionary later, Mommy at least manages to Instagram a happy shot of you on the Merry Go Round. For a moment it does feel like the fun fairs of her youth! Then you toddle through a puddle of someone else’s vomit. She hopes this whole afternoon serves as a teachable moment called Scared Straight: Carnie Edition.

DRINK:  Tilt-a-Whirl.  You must have given birth to ride. Combine 1oz lychee liquer and 1oz vodka over ice. Top glass with equal parts gingerale and apple juice. Garnish with fresh raspberries and note the delicate aroma of gasoline, menthol cigarettes and regret on your skin.

BUY THE BOOK: Pre-order your copy online with your favourite bookstore today. Makes the ideal baby shower gift. Or drink coaster. Or birth control reminder.

Wading pools

16 Jul

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It’s so hot outside. Mommy used to love the heat, back in the days when she could kick back in a string bikini and drink mojitos poolside all afternoon.  Now she:

a) isn’t legally allowed to wear a string bikini due to public decency laws

b) has to be responsible

c) does not have a pool or have access to rich dudes with memberships to fancy club pools (anymore).

What she does have access to is the local public park wading pool. Which is, essentially, a giant toilet. Even though the Unpottied Masses are required to wear swim diapers, Mommy knows these do nothing because of that time she drove you home wearing Huggies Little Swimmers and your Britax became a biohazard. The bigger kids run wild with water guns, and not only does Mommy find it unnerving to see children holding weapons, but she is repeatedly the victim of a lethal force of water shooting out at 4256 miles an hour. Water that is FULL OF PEE.  Mommy incurs moderate sunstroke keeping you safe from Super Soaker Crips (“urine 4 life, bro!”), and as she pushes you home past patios brimming with tanned, attractive, Corona-sipping twenty somethings, she reminds herself that 9 out of 10 of them has herpes.*

*Mommy is blatantly making that up to make herself feel better. It’s working.

DRINK: The Splash. 1 oz gin, 3 oz prosecco, splash of fresh lemon juice, serve in a plastic cup. Enjoy next to the turtle pool you’re going to buy at Target this weekend.

Bedtime

18 Jun

goodnightmoon

If there was one thing Mommy learned from the Mommy group she attended in your early days (besides how to unabashedly flash total strangers in a church basement while debating the merits of the Peg Perego Pliko Mini vs. the UPPABaby G-Luxe) it was the importance of a short, consistent bedtime routine in instilling healthy sleep habits in you for life.  It was the one principle she fully embraced when she embarked on a mission to sleep train you the minute you turned four months old.  And for the year that followed, it worked like magic. A five-minute ritual consisting of reading you Goodnight Moon, zipping you into your Gro Bag, and placing you gently in your crib was all it took to send you off to dreamland before the clock struck 7 pm. Then you became a toddler with the negotiation skills of Gandhi. Now your bedtime ritual is a 2-hour ordeal AT BEST. Mommy always starts the evening with the best of intentions (Lay down the law! Suppress Mommy guilt!) and the highest hopes (You ran around the park for an hour tonight – you MUST be exhausted). Two stall-tactic-jammed hours later she inevitably finds herself reading “one more book!” for the 16th time and panicking because the 43 things on her to-do list (and *sigh* PVR) will remain untouched yet again tonight.

DRINK: The No-Fail Sleep Solution. 1 cup whole milk, 1 teaspoon honey, grated nutmeg. Serve this exclusively to everyone in your household this week and pray to the sleep gods it actually works.

Planning

16 May

last minute

Before you were born, Mommy used to live her life with as much spontaneity as possible. This meant only buying disposable (read: IKEA) furniture, never owning a plant, and booking 99% of her travel on lastminutevacations.com.  Now Mommy has heart palpitations if the entire family’s Christmas flights aren’t booked by June. It’s not just travel that now requires an Excel workbook. Even a trip to the park demands hours of preparation. Mommy doesn’t understand why such a tiny little person requires SO much stuff to travel two blocks. After running up and down the stairs for an hour collecting your diapers, wipes, snacks, thermos, bib, sunscreen, clothes, extra clothes, hat, sunglasses, shoes and sand toys from 26 different areas in the house, Mommy finally understands why all parents eventually bite the bullet and build Little Tikes play structures/eyesores in their own backyards. Occasionally Mommy lives on the edge and takes you somewhere without a diaper bag. Unfortunately, this is akin to investing one’s life savings in a Ponzi scheme, except riskier.

DRINK: Manhattan. You can no longer fly there on a moment’s notice, but at least you can enjoy this classic cocktail without leaving home! 1.5 oz rye whiskey, 0.5 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes bitters, 1 cherry. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the ingredients and a few ice cubes to a cocktail shaker and stir. Gently shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, garnished with a cherry.

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