The secret to having it all


Like much of North America, this polar vortex has done a number on Toronto. I didn’t go outside for an entire four days last week. The closest I got was the doorway, when I opened it to show Rei how cold it was. Just to have something to do.

I am no wimp, but I’m not willing to subject an infant to -40 degree temperatures. So, we’ve been staying in. Over the weekend the weather improved significantly, however the temperature appears to be plummeting again soon.

Once, when I was in Las Vegas for a conference, I realized with horror that I had been inside for three days. I was staying at the Luxor, which is connected by indoor walkways to both the Excalibur and Mandalay Bay, where the conference was. I had been breathing stale, smoke-filled casino air for 72 hours.

At home, at least, I can open a window, but the square footage in our house is a tad less than three Vegas hotels. Plus, no blinking slot machines or foot-long margaritas or lounge bands here. Nope, to entertain my baby it’s all me (and Pete, of course, whose hair provides much amusement). We play in one room. We play in another room. We do a diaper change, just for fun. We have a new ritual in which we cuddle on the bed after Rei wakes up in the morning; I told Pete that I started doing it to have a bit of bonding time before the day really starts–in truth I’m just trying to stretch out the time.

Of course, I adore my child and love spending time with her. But without even a small outing to Starbucks-I-mean the LEEDS-certified green organic vegan coffee shop every day, things can get a little dull. And I’m getting just a bit tired of Raffi.

All this to say that I was ready to write a post about the ways in which being trapped inside is damaging my psyche, but aside from a few Facebook posts made while I was deliriously under-stimulated, I realized tonight with chagrin that I’ve been rather productive this week:

1. My house is extra clean (and so what if the cleaner just came).

2. I finished The Stand and am now reading War and Peace (oh yes I am).

3. I’ve been writing for two hours every day (OH YES I HAVE). Novel writing, yo.

4. I ordered groceries and made a from-scratch, vegan meal.

5. I pestered Pete enough to get him to write and send some baby thank-you cards, which was more work than if I had written them.

6. Same with putting away the Christmas stuff.

7. I washed my hair when it wasn’t even dirty.

In conclusion: As a new mom, are you wondering How, Like Me, You Can Have It All? For $9.95 I’ll send you a copy of my e-book, The Secret* to Maximizing Productivity and Actualizing Your Dreams, featuring my patented three-step program, Cut Spacial Clutter By Staying Inside**.

*The secret is staying inside

**May cause vitamin D deficiency, bed sores and inappropriate activity on social networks


Baby It’s (Not Really So) Cold Outside


Yesterday, the weather report announced an extreme cold alert for Toronto, and advised that exposed skin could freeze in 10 minutes. It was something like -42 C, with wind chill.

“I’m not going anywhere!” I announced to Peter. And neither was my baby. “Her skin could freeze! In TEN minutes! TEN!”

By 3:00 today I was suffering from a bad case of cabin fever. “I guess I’ll take a walk,” I said.

In preparation, I piled on:

  • two pairs of pants
  • a lumberjack shirt over my dress
  • the largest mittens I own
  • faux-Sorel winter boots
  • an infinity scarf
  • one of those Russian secret agent hats that either looks really hip or slightly ridiculous, I haven’t decided, but I put it on at least once every winter when the cold breaks me

I stepped outside and pressed my scarf up around my face. No way was I going to lose my nose. But down on College street, I was dismayed to see people out and about, in various states of weather-snubbing attire (or lack of):

  • at least eight people without gloves, including an elderly woman
  • several men without hats, including a bald man
  • a baby!

I grumbled about them all the way home. Who were these people? What was wrong with them? Did they not care about their fingers? Their ears? “Ain’t no time to be a hero, people,” I muttered to myself. “Ain’t no time to be a hero.”

I got inside and told Peter about all the weather-flaunters. “People be crazy,” I said, pulling up CBC Weather to show him how low the temperature was.

It had risen to a balmy -13 C.