Nutritional advice from boys that saved me from my silly girl brain

My Lady Liberty

Miraculously P is healthy despite the fact that I once ate a fun size pack of Doritos and drank chocolate milk while pregnant.

The first pre-natal nutritionist I spoke to was a teenaged co-worker that used to creep my sister out. I was five-months-pregnant and working at a call centre. He didn’t need to show me his credentials, his stalking abilities spoke volumes.

Hungry, tired, and cranky, I allowed the vending machines in our designated eating area to seduce me. I indulged in a small bag of Doritos. I regularly don’t care for chips, but this day I went wild.

I passed the teenager and he gave me a stern look:  “You can’t eat those,” he said, “you’re pregnant.”

I am a grudge holder. I absorb everything, everything.


Later, my now ex mistook our unborn baby with a dog, loudly scolding me for eating chocolate cereal with chocolate milk.

How dare one come between a girl and her chocolate? Especially a pregnant girl and her chocolate?

Why ruin the only time it is socially acceptable to devour such a meal?

When a chick is carrying another human around in her body, shut up. Just shut up.



I love chocolate to an unhealthy extent. I can’t even use the “Dark chocolate is healthy in moderation” argument because I dig the creamy good stuff. I am therefore rather passionate on the topic and apologize for at times appearing irrational. Because I wasn’t. Chocolate rules.

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I do not qualify for public transit

nostrollersTransit in Toronto pushed me over the edge.

I had spent two nights in Toronto with my two year old daughter, P. We stayed at my sisters’ apartment. To get there we had to take a Go Train and two subway trains.

I hauled P, her stroller, paintings we won at a chairty auction, and bags full of overnight toddler necessities. My back burned, P’s feet kicked impatiently. Train schedules were to be met.

There were no elevators in the subway stations. I had to lift the stroller up and down flights of stairs. My heart stopped, all of my energy was focused on keeping my baby safe. I took her out sometimes and had her follow me as I carried her stroller. I am lucky that she can do stairs now, it has made life simpler- in the suburbs. In the city, my normally outgoing monster turns into a wide eyed, frightened baby bird. The many steps were huge. I couldn’t walk ahead as mothers don’t really have eyes in the back of our heads. When we got to the train platform many passengers blocked entry and would not let us in. We would wait for the next train more than once.

There was an elevator from the subway platform to Union Station. It brought us to a floor with only rotating doors bearing ‘no strollers’ signs. My words were decorated with all kinds of colour at this point, despite the innocent ears attached to the head of my curly, blonde haloed daughter. I folded the stroller up, emptied the baggage and with the help of an older man who took pity on me, I managed to escape . To be met with more stairs. This incident was more aggravating because of the extra luggage and the big city stress. This was not an isolated incident. Dump the extra baggage; you still have a two year old. With said two year old is her full diaper bag. Then your own stuff and for simplicity sake we’ll say you didn’t go out to buy groceries. Elevators are full of seemingly able bodied people, some of which will block you from entering or glare at you for taking up space. Many businesses have no ramps to their entrance. Those with automatic doors do not come with a guarantee that they will work. Durham Transit’s designated seats that push up for wheelchairs and strollers occupy quickly with people who don’t need them. I once witnessed a man yell at a young mother for having a stroller on the bus with her four- month-old and demanded she walk instead, pointing at the dated no stroller sticker that was not completely taken off the bus, in the middle of December.

Everyone was a baby at one point. No apologies need be made for that. Children can not be locked up until school age when they no longer require the luggage and a stroller. Just because I do not drive, or have access to a vehicle does not mean I am undeserving of the PUBLIC transportation provided through the city I live and work in. In time P will no longer need a stroller. The diaper bag will be packed away. She will be walking around carefree and taking a seat next to me on the bus, or stand if need be. She will walk up the steps to business entrances, and open their doors. The sight of stairs will no longer be coupled with stress and sore muscles. Still, public transportation is not accommodating all of the public. The definition of public is not, ‘ideal candidates.’

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Tattoos for our babies

I am in love with tattoos. I love getting them, I love admiring them. It is hard to see me without finding some new, colourful, scabby work. Combine this with my baby love and voila- a series of acknowledging the permanent art we’ve done in honour of our children.

Velouria’s baby Chuck Taylors

Our first submission is found on the upper left of mommy Nicky Byrnes’s chest.

“I wanted to do something a little different. People always get baby hand or foot prints, I got her shoes!”

The just shy of one-year-old Velouria was named after a Pixies song of the same name.

Beautiful mommy and baby

This tattoo had me squealing. It involves baby shoes, the colour pink and The Pixies. I haven’t seen anything like it and I’m more than a little jealous I didn’t come up with it first.

Check out Nicky’s name inspiration in the video below!

Have a tattoo  you’d like to share?  e-mail me  🙂

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Car seat expiration dates

Until modern science proves that the plastic used to make car seats disintegrates I will not believe in car seat expiration dates. I do believe companies will exploit a parent’s fear for money.

My reasoning? Imagine you are in need of a car seat and your sister gives you the one she used for her son, who at the age of six has now outgrown it. You have a free car seat and the company behind that car seat made money for one child’s use as opposed to the two.

Fear tactics ensure that more ‘unusable’ chunks of plastic into landfills.  In my opinion, destroying Earth is more damaging than using cousin Jimmy’s outgrown car seat.

Little does she know when the clock strikes midnight her car seat will turn into a pumpkin. And eat her.

A loyal Freecycle user, I offended the group by two ways. I offered P’s outgrown infant car seat, which was a hand-me-down she somehow survived using. I also asked if anyone had a booster seat kicking around.

The hate mail poured in.

I was an irresponsible, ignorant mother who was too lazy to check Walmart. Though it is not a requirement to be eco-friendly or generous to be a Freecyle user, I assumed members were and would not direct me to Walmart of all places. I was wrong. Somehow by offering an item and wanting to avoid excess in the world made me a bad mother who could only be saved by supporting a big box store.

Undeterred, I offered the offensive material via Facebook. This did not go over well either. One mother asked me if I would eat expired meat as this act was the same as reusing a car seat. She clearly forgot I was a vegetarian. I also eat mouldy food. I don’t serve it to P mind you. Nor is she a vegetarian. I don’t actually eat the mould either, I eat around it. I digress.

I eventually gave the item to a very happy ‘Freecycler’ who took it to a single mom friend of hers who needed to count her pennies, as many of us do.

Evil of me, I know.

I am still in need of a booster seat. Heck, make it a chocolate milk stained one.

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Come one, come all

Advice may cause headaches.

Despite my doctor telling me I was too young, at twenty-one I became pregnant.

For nine months I was told by family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and the neighbour’s dog that I was too small, eating wrong, dressing inappropriately, sleeping the wrong way and walking too slow, too dangerously, too much wrong.

After the birth of my daughter – Shirley Temple with a Tazmanian Devil energy and inherited Italian stubbornness- I was told she was too small, too big, what to feed her, etc.

It baffled me why people would pick on both my hormone-crazy pregnant and post-natal selves. It felt like both poking the bear and kicking a puppy.

It soon came to my attention all parents faced such abuse. Be it their age, sex, race, religion, class or clique.

Tough skins must be worn, paired with a sharp tongue, in the realm of parenting. And as social creatures, we have a need to relate, vent, and laugh.

So is my blog: a collection of experiences since my 2007 pregnancy. All the hostility and well intention that refuses to wipe the mud off its feet before entering my parenthood threshold.

Brought on by my ironically named daughter: Patience.

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