Thursday, August 30, 2012

May I Introduce My....SON!

Meet the Monkey, as he appears, everyday(if you can get him to sit still long enough to take a picture).

He can usually be found playing Lego, throwing water balloons, playing with his self-made bow and arrow, watching action movies, playing shoot em up video games, and wandering the neighbourhood with his sling shot in his very grubby hand.

 This is the Monkey, showing off his earring.
 He asked to have his ear pierced for his seventh birthday. I could see no valid reason to say no, and applauded his request for a "significant event" as a gift instead of a mass produced piece of plastic. He is very proud of his earring, and shows it off often.

Gasp! Is that...Nail Polish?!? On a BOY?!? 

The Monkey LOVES getting his nails painted. He goes through my polish collection, selecting just the right shade, often requesting elaborate designs. I'm happy to oblige, within the spectrum of my very limited artistic abilities. He wears the polish proudly. 

Warning...This is where the rant begins.

Why do others insist on making this a negative? Is he harming them? Is he harming ANY other living creature OR inanimate object? Is he harming himself? The answer is a resounding....NO!

He is simply choosing to express himself and his particular brand of individuality in a way that goes against the gender stereotyped social norms. I thought we were past this as a society. My bad, apparently we're not.

As we were going through the cash in the grocery store the other day, the cashier went out of her way to stop him and ask him if he "was a girl?". Fortunately, he is completely comfortable with is choices, and totally oblivious to the negativity with which this question was asked. he simply said "No, I'm a boy." then proceeded to describe how his nails were turquoise with gold crackle polish over top.

I however wished that I was of the quick witted variety so that I could have discreetly put her in her place.

I really can't believe that we are still dealing with strangers feeling that they have the right to make judgemental comments towards our children. I know that my mother dealt with the same types of comments twenty years ago when my short-haired, but clad head to foot in pink and purple sister was regularly "teased" by strangers about looking like a boy. Even worse is that the parents of these children would be considered RUDE if we called these total strangers on their rudeness. Imagine if I had responded by asking if she was a man, since she had whiskers on her chin? How is it different?

Next point...
The Monkey notices when I change my hair colour
The Monkey LOVES to cook
The Monkey is quick to hug, and comfort those in pain(physical or emotional)
The Monkey LOVES to talk, and laugh
The Monkey enjoys shopping
The Monkey expresses his emotions

These are all facets of him. Parts of him that society considers to be facets of his "feminine side". Parts that as a young boy, society is very quick to point out, make him girly. The nail polish and earring are also parts of his more sensitive(read, feminine) personality. Interesting that as a grown man, these are ALL traits that will be used to sell him as a good husband, a good partner, a male that is a positive contributor to society.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sit Still, It Works Out

I admittedly am a planner. I over think things. I look at all possible outcomes before jumping into things. I make list, lots of lists. I am the opposite of spontaneous.

I feel that it works for me.

I especially feel that it works for me when I am on twitter.

I have never been a drama llama. Even in high school. It stresses me out.

I often admire the spontaneous people in my life. The friends and acquaintances that jump in, feet first, without looking. Until it blows up in their faces. And sadly, it OFTEN blows up in their faces.

I am a single Mom. My decisions in business, friendship, and romance have an impact on more than just me.

I will not expose my boys to a new romance until I know it's stable. This means dating for more than a month. And they will not meet him at breakfast(if you know what I mean).

I do not drink if the boys are at home with me. I could not imagine having to call an ambulance to take a sick boy to the hospital because I was drunk and was unable to drive him there.

I would never tell my boss to "shove it" unless I had something else already lined up.

When I'm upset, frustrated, angry, feeling I'm in a tailspin, I sit still. I breath. I listen to what the universe is telling me. I plan.

It works out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gluten-Free Pancakes

Last week my youngest son was diagnosed as having fairly severe food sensitivities. This is important for me to deal with as a Mom since they present as behavioural issues and learning challenges in my particular little boy.

His list of sensitivities includes dairy(which I've known about since he was about 15 months old), wheat, and corn. There are a few others as well, but it's the wheat and corn combination that is posing the biggest challenge. It is a challenge because most "prepared" gluten-free food items use corn as a significant replacement. if the manufacturers don't use corn, then they often use some type of nut(which while my son has not nut issues, we can't send these items to school).

Today is Valentine's Day, and I wanted to make pancakes for my guys for breakfast. the gluten-free pancake mix I purchased a while ago was rancid, inedible. So what is a Mom to do? If you are me, then you hop online and look up a regular pancake recipe and then start substituting ingredients. I was incredibly lucky and it actually worked!

I am NOT a food blogger or a photographer

Gluten-free Pancake Recipe

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup rice flour
1tbsp baking powder
1tbsp sugar
2 eggs
2cups soy milk(or any other milk or substitute)

I am a very casual cook, I just threw all the wet ingredients into a large measuring cup, then all the dry ingredients on top in the same measuring cup and stirred it all. You may need to add more milk until it is a proper pancake consistency. Then cook them on a griddle the same as normal pancakes.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Musical History, Through Guys

The other day I was driving and listening to the radio and The Velvet Underground came on. Instantly I was sitting in a bedroom from my past, watching a guy from my past draw. It made me think about all the other music that will forever be connected to guys from my past. Some of it I liked, some of it not so much. Some of it I can listen to now and feel happy about where it came from, some of it still makes my chest tighten after all these years.

Here's the rundown....

Richard- Many an afternoon spent in his basement, becoming friends with his little sister, watching him play Mario, and listening to his favorite...ZZ Top

Mario- He was older, and didn't last much more than a summer month(maybe), but he would drive all the way out from the city to see me. I still have in my possession the double CD set of Van Halen that he gave me.

Daryl- My first high school boyfriend. He was all country, right down to his cowboy boots. I'm assuming that he's the one that introduced me to Garth Brooks. Although at that point in time, you couldn't really get away from that man.

Chris- Yet another "Good 'ole Boy", I remember listening to the country radio station with this one too.

Mike- The son of my father's best friend from childhood. He and I grew up together and our paths crossed in high school through a mutual friend. I had already been introduced to punk music from radio and my older cousins, but this guy solidified that love. We went to small punk shows almost every weekend. He was in a band. He had a mohawk. He and his friends were intelligent, and sarcastic, and hated the mainstream. I can't listen to the Cure or The Dead Kennedys without thinking about him.

JP- Showed up at the beginning of grade 11, from Montreal. He was tall, and dark, and quiet. The triple threat of the hormonal highschooler world. He was also an artist. He would draw me pictures in class and shove them in my locker. He is the one I spoke of earlier. Oh Velvet Underground, the perfect soundtrack for a brooding artist forced to live in a place he hated, so his Mom could pursue a relationship with a man he really hated.

Darren- Fun and silly. I had a crush on him through most of high school and we finally dated for grade 12. we went to prom together, despite having broken up already. It was the mid-Nineties and everything was alternative. The Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, and Hole were the soundtrack for many a party. Neither of us would be pigeon holed to a single genre though and we both enjoyed a good dance song too. We had a blank tape. We would pass it back and forth, adding a song or two each time, that made us think of US.

My "Boys"- Through high school I was the lone girl in a group of five. Me and my Boys were almost inseparable for most of high school. Aside from my family, I credit them with shaping me into the strong, independent, male-brained female that I'm proud to be. I think of them when I hear someone playing "name this song/band". I also think of them when I hear the Offspring, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. They appreciated an eclectic taste in music like I had been raised with.

Ren- My college sweetheart. The father of my children. A hipster at his core. An album listener. He brought Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, and Dear Tick into my life. I cannot hear them without thinking of him.

My little boys- Even though they are young, they also have music connected to them. When A was an infant we drove long distances, A LOT. It was discovered that White Stripes- Seven Nation Army would put him to sleep, EVERY single time! The first non-kids song that the boys sang along to in the car was Blitzkreig Bop by the Ramones, at 2 & 4 years old, yelling "Hey, Ho, Let's Go!" from their car seats. There was also a P!nk phase, where A would watch videos on youTube over and over again.

There you go, my musical history, through Guys.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Put On Your Big Girl Panties...

Those that are close to me know that I am a big fan of the "Put on your big girl panties, and deal with it" phrase. It resonates with me. there are some days that it is a lot easier than others, but that is kind of the point of the phrase in the first place. To me it is the ultimate definition of "adult". Being an adult has little to do with age, or desire to have fun, or how you spend your free time. Being an adult means being able to get the necessary things in life done.

In the past when I say this phrase the image of a gigantic pair of granny panties pops into my head. Today however, I said it, and realized that that image doesn't apply to me. An amazingly sexy pair of panties that make me feel powerful is a much more appropriate image. My mind has been putting the em-pha-sis on the wrong syl-abul this whole time.

It isn't
BIG "girl panties"

"big-girl" panties

There is strength, and maturity in your choice of panties, as well as in your choice of inspirational images.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Year of the DORK

It's my birthday!

I have decided that I have been holding back my true self long enough, and that this year I am going to celebrate the DORK that I truly am. I have always been quite self-conscious, always wanting to appear mature and pulled together. I am realizing that this leads to quite a boring life.

It's time to be a dork. So fair warning to the ones that love me, the ones that hang out with me, and especially the ones that travel with me...This will be the year of the "long arm self-photo". This will be the year of the Segway tour. This will be the year of doing the things I want to without worrying if I look like a dork.


Monday, January 2, 2012

A Wish for 2012

Today is the day after New Year's Day, because yesterday I spent the day with family. I thought about doing a post, but my blog isn't as high a priority as spending time with my loved ones(truth). I also thought about doing the average "resolutions" post, and decided that is what it would be...average. So instead I thought about doing a "bucket list" post, but ultimately I'm the only one that cares about my bucket list.

In the end I have decided on this...

May 2012 bring you;
the LOVE that you want,
the FRIENDS that you need,
the STRENGTH to get through the tough times,
the COURAGE to do the truly amazing things,
the SUPPORT to make great changes,
and LAUGHTER daily.

Happy New Year, It's going to be AH-mazing.