Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Soundtrack Of My Life

Monday comes much too soon.  Every week.  How does that happen?  Ah well, at least I have Listicles to look forward to!  This week's topic was chosen by one of my personal faves, Bruna from Bees With Honey.  She has asked us to come up with our own personal soundtrack - ten songs that tell our story or remind us of different stages during our lives.

Well, at first I thought this was going to be a really difficult listicle to come up with.  But then I started scrolling through my iTunes music, and the memories came flooding back.  Now it's going to be hard to cut the list down to just ten!

So, without further ado, let's take a walk through my life in songs.  Since I want my soundtrack to be at least slightly cool, I'm skipping the Raffi and Anne Murray stage and heading straight for the teen years, when I started making my own decisions about music.  I'm going to try to do this roughly in chronological order.

1.  U2's "Achtung Baby" was one of the first cassette tapes I owned (alright, alright, the very first was Rap Trax 2, but don't tell anyone, okay?).  I can't actually pick just one song so I'm going to include the entire album in my soundtrack.

2.  James Taylor's "Fire and Rain."  This always brings me back to my days at camp, where I spent ten summers of my life and made some of the best memories of my life.

3.  "I Am a Rock (I Am an Island)" by Simon and Garfunkel took me through some of my angsty-filled early teen days, growing up with two households, two different sets of rules and expectations, and a stepmother who was extremely to get along with.

4.  The Tragically Hip.  What Canadian kid who grew up in the 80s and 90s wouldn't have a Hip song on their soundtrack?  Once again, I can't pick just one song.  My soundtrack is looking more and more like it's going to have to be a box set.

5.  "My Sharona" by The Knack.  This one takes me back to my ski team days.  We girls were pretty obsessed with Reality Bites. Right down to re-enacting this scene (repeatedly) at a gas station in Collingwood, Ontario:

  I swear I am not exaggerating.

6.  "Crash" by the Dave Matthews Band.  This one took me from high school through a couple years of university.

7.  In my second year of university, when my posse of girls merged with the Hubs' posse of guys (and funny enough, this merger took place in the "silent study" area of the university library), my roommate and I were about the only ones not living with our parents, so our house became the place for get-togethers.  Many a night was spent belting out the lyrics to Sublime's "What I Got" and "Santeria," using our reading lamp as a makeshift microphone.  Ah, the good ol' days!

8.  The night I, ahem, "expressed my interest" in the Hubs, it was his 21st birthday and he was three sheets to the wind.  The only things he said to me all night were "Do you like Robbie Williams?" and "Are you going to the library tomorrow?"  He also requested Robbie Williams' "Angels" for us to dance to, though I don't recall the D.J. ever playing it.  I guess he had better taste than the Hubs!  Regardless, that song brings back priceless memories of our early courtship days.

9.  If the Hubs and I were to pick one song as "our song" - though we've had a few throughout the course of our twelve year relationship - it would have to be Ben Harper's "Beloved One," which we danced to at our wedding.  Incidentally, my name means "Beloved" or "she who should be loved" in Latin.  It was mean to be, don't you think?

10.  Ever watched the intro to a UFC fight and wondered what YOUR fight song would be?  Okay, maybe that's more common for guys.  But it's something I always daydreamed about.  And I got to live out this dream when I fought in my first (and only) ring fight in 2008.  My fight song? "Move Bitch" by Ludacris.  Yeah, I was all tough.  Until I got knocked out in the the third round.  For the full story, click here.  But I still listen to this song when I want to get the adrenaline flowing and feel like hitting stuff.  (And of course I envision a different ending to that fight every time I listen to this song.)

I don't yet have just one song that represents motherhood or my time as Lilah's mom.  I think maybe it's that I hear our story in almost every song I listen to.  Or maybe it's just that you don't know what song represents a period of time for you until you are looking back on it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happiness Is... Kidless Caribbean Getaway

Okay, I swear, this is the last time I will gloat about my kid-free Caribbean holiday.  After I flaunt these photos, I'm done.  (Promise.)

Cayo Leventado, Dominican Republic

I learned a few things on this trip.  First, it's always "happy hour" in the Caribbean when someone wants to sell you something.  Second, anywhere tourists convene in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas, you will find a Senor Frog's, where they boast that no one goes home sober.  Third, stores, churches, and public places in the Caribbean are still adorned with Christmas decorations in mid-January.  Island time, baby.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Also?  When you have to rely on other tourists to take pictures for you, you will end up with a whole bunch of pictures like this:

But occasionally, if you adjust the settings just right, and spend a few minutes giving a fellow cruisegoer a few tips on how to use your camera, give him time to play around with the focus, and maybe teach him how to focus and recompose, you just might end up with a photo like this:

(give or take a few touch-ups, of course)

But the most important thing I learned was that it's okay to take "us time," even in a significant chunk.  I thought it would be hard, leaving Lilah behind and not planting my special brand of smushy kisses on her cheeks for 9 whole days. I thought I wasn't ready to leave her for that long - this was an enforced kid-free holiday, after all, being that it was technically a work convention for the Hubs. But, ummm... you want the unadulterated truth? (Promise you won't judge?)   It felt so good just to be "us as a couple" instead of "us as a family of three" for a week. Knowing that she was in good hands with people who love her made it virtually guilt-free.  Even so, by the final days of the cruise, the Hubs and I were both itching to get home to those perfectly squishable cheeks and to our own familiar space. 

And the Lilahbility?  She was fine.  Better than fine, actually.  We skyped with her on one of our first nights on the cruise, and after about 60 seconds of talking to us on the computer screen, she got bored and told us she was going to go watch TV.  And I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  She was fine.  And when we came back, we all just picked up where we left off, except that the Hubs and I were more rested and better equipped to deal with the constant negotiations, sticky fingers, and occasional tantrum - at least for the first day.

PhotobucketLet's BEE Friends

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anxious? Who, me?

Almost Monday - time to write a Listicle!  Ally from Two Normal Moms suggested we come up with a list of ten things we'd like to see happen before we die.  This is a great topic, and I will answer that question one of these days, but having just attended a funeral on Saturday, I don't think I am quite up for this one right now - it's all just a little too raw.  So, instead I will go with Ally's alternative topic, ten things that give you anxiety.

1.  Tossing and turning and staring at the clock when I should be sleeping.

2.  Sticky messes.

3.  The persistent, hungry cry of a newborn.

4.  Drycleaning chemicals.

5.  Lilah's eating habits and table manners.

6. Cooking. Especially on a timeline.

7.  Inadvertently offending someone.

8.  Writer's block.

9.  Social situations in which I know absolutely no one and am forced to make awkward small talk.

10.  Imagining Lilah as a teenager.

For more Monday Listicles fun, go vist the Listmaster!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Captain Awesome Strikes Again

I posted this to my Facebook wall and got quite a response, so I thought I'd share it here as well, just for fun.  One of the many things that was great about our cruise was the formal nights - no choice but to take the time and care to get dolled up and really do it right!

I think Captain Awesome quite enjoyed my ensemble too, wouldn't you say?  (Hey, it's not pervy if it's directed towards your own spouse, right?)

Happily Mother After

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cruisin' with Captain Awesome

You've probably already heard me bragging about the week-long Caribbean cruise from which the Hubs and I just returned. It was a fantastic week full of sunshine, good food, and good company (bankers are more interesting than you might think, especially when plied with drinks).  We visited ports in the Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas, filled our boots with cheesy souvenirs and duty free alcohol, and got moderately tanned.

Now, what you may not know is that this whole vacation came about because the Hubs works for one of the big banks in Canada and, as it turns out, they reward their top performers each year with a "bank convention" that just happens to take place aboard a luxury cruiseship in the middle of the Caribbean, and that the winners can take whomever they wish as their guest. My dear husband, of course, chose me. Clearly he values his life.  So basically, I owe him a huge thank you for a glorious kid-free week in the sunshine, being treated like a V.I.P. and not having to worry about meal planning, bed-making, child rearing, or even waking up in the morning.

Some of our fellow cruise-goers pointed out that he looks like Captain Awesome from the TV show Chuck.  This guy, if you need a visual:

I'm going to let you be the judge.  Either way, I'd just like to say:

and then, she {snapped}

Monday, January 16, 2012

Never Say Never

Whoa! I'm back in the land of ice and snow after 7 glorious days aboard a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean.  More on that later.  Right now, it's time to get back into the swing of Monday Listicles hosted by none other than the Grand Exalted Master of the List herself, Stasha.  This week's topic was chosen by the fabulous Greta at Not Enough Patience and Never Enough Jewelry: 10 things you said you'd never do but have caught yourself doing.  Yeah, it's going to be hard to narrow this list down to just ten, since that's pretty much the definition of motherhood.

So, here goes.  My list of ten things I said I'd never do as a parent:

1.  Make empty threats.

2.  "Let" my child become a picky eater.

3.  Become obsessed with my child's bowel movements - colour, size, consistency, frequency... obsessed.

4.  Allow my child to run wild in a restaurant.

5.  Be "that mom" who sits back, totally uninvolved, playing with her phone while her child plays on the playground.

6.  Buy anything Dora-themed for my daughter.

7.  Let my child run around with a snotty nose and/or food on her face.

8.  Perpetuate gender stereotypes.

9.  Bribe my child with sweets.

10.  Be that parent with the badly behaved child on an airplane.

Apparently I was a much better parent before I actually gave birth to a child.  What's on your list?

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Un-Resolutions

First Monday Listicles of the new year!  This week's topic is truly inspired - New Year's resolutions you won't keep - thanks to Theresa at A Mountain Momma.  This is perfect for me because, over the years, I have made many a resolution, but I always end up breaking them and disappointing myself.  Well, not this year! I'm going to follow Lisa's lead and once again pick one word that represents what I want to achieve and my theme for the year.  I'm still working on that.  In the meantime, here are some items that used to make my list almost year, in some for or another, and never really stood a chance:

1.  Cut back on the carbs.

2.  Eat more vegetables.

3. Cut dairy out of my diet completely (it gives me tummy aches, eczema, and a whole bunch of other issues you really don't want to hear about).

4.  Always leave the house looking stylish and polished.

5. Be more patient.

6.  Become a good cook.

7.  Spend less time on the internet. (That one is more the Hubs' goal for me than my own.)

8. Finish that darn scrapbook from Lilah's newborn days.

9.  Become the type of crafty person who gives friends and family fabulous and useful but entirely homemade gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

10.  Quit my chocolate habit.

As you can see, I've had some lofty goals over the years, and these resolutions were pretty much made to be broken.  So, what are your New Year's Un-Resolutions?

(If you need some ideas, you should go visit the Listmaster,
and see what resolutions others are making and breaking!)


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