Lube, Oil and Filter

Since crossing the threshold into 40, regularly scheduled maintenance is something I’ve had to focus on a little more.  There is a lot of mileage on this body (not that kind of mileage you perv… well, maybe a little of that kind) and once you complete the 4th decade, it definitely needs more attention than it used to.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

In the chair for regularly scheduled maintenance.

Post baby body has been a real eye opener.  After the arrival of Shorty #1 there was a drastic and clear difference in the bounce back.  But once Shorty #2 arrived on the scene – and I was entering my 40th year – it was a wake up call that we were now well past the point of no return.  In addition to the major lifestyle changes to help take off the accumulated baby weight, the hair was just a little greyer, the skin a little looser and the fine lines and wrinkles just a little more prominent.  Ok – maybe it was a lot more of an issue than I care to admit, but there was no more avoiding it.  Its was time to start a maintenance plan.

The real issue here is when.  With 2 kids, a busy career and a silly travel schedule – how am I supposed to find 2+ hours to sit in a salon for a lube, oil and dye job?  I mean, its a necessity so I find a way.  But its not easy.

I know this is only the start as I begin the investment into middle age.  The creams and lotions and elixirs and serums (Why is it called a serum?  It sounds like some potion created by an evil villain to transform all the villagers into mindless slaves.) all ringing in at literally hundreds of dollars an ounce.  All claiming to deliver the fountain of youth and literally erase the signs of aging.  FYI – NONE of them really work.  Sure they work for a while, but it never lasts.  So its really just cash down the drain.  Hydration is the only thing that really helps.  Right cosmetic companies?  That’s the real truth isn’t it?  Genetics and hydration.

Even Botox only lasts for a while.  The only permanent solution is going under the knife but that scares the living shit out of me.

So I’ll stick with the dye job, send gratitude to the side of the family that gave me youthful looking chubby cheeks and curse the side that gave me these new jowls.

Going Diaperless

Woohoo!  #2 is on the potty training kick FOR REALS!  I am so freaking excited.  Can you tell?  No more diapers, no more wipes and for the LOVE of GOD – NO MORE STANKY DIAPER CHAMP.  That thing was a blessing when we were dealing with tiny little baby poops but it is no match for what a toddler can throw at it.

I’m a big believer in letting the kid decide when its time to go diaperless and #2 is finally there this week.  After 6 months, she’s keen to wear the Minnie Mouse panties and be free.  She’s just 3, but she’s pretty good at knowing when she needs to “go”.  Last night she kinda forgot and we had a major accident.  Lovely, charming, delightful – poop everywhere!  Yet, we shall persevere.  We will endure and stand up to these messy incidents looking ever to the future and a diaperless lifestyle.  One where there’s no need to carry a diaper bag.  One where a cute clutch purse is all I need to carry on an outing with the whole family.  How exciting!!!


Don’t get me wrong.  I loved the baby times.  I remember those days of breast feeding and high chairs, baby gates and bottles fondly.  But the day that I was able to pack up all the gear – necessary and TOTALLY unnecessary and share it with a friend expecting her first little bundle, was a day I will never forget.  We cleared out half of our storeroom in under 10 minutes.  Yippee!

I know, I know.  It goes fast.  I shouldn’t wish for time to move forward and live in the now.  I do.  I am.  But man, the clutter of baby gear is one aspect of parenthood that I am happy to bid a fond farewell.

It Ain’t Easy Being Green

vectorstock_224829Why the hell does it cost so much to be green?

We try to be green.  We recycle, we compost, we try to use less water.  Its an on-going process as we learn more about what we are doing wrong and trying to correct this behaviour.  After reading about the chemicals in cleaning products and cosmetics, I switched everything in the house over to more environmentally sound cleansers, shampoos etc.  Learning more about the potential dangers in GMO products we are working towards eating more organic products.

When I was first pregnant with Shorty #1, I started to become paranoid about all the environmental dangers that faced the poor little bean before she was even born.  It was easy to become panicked about the microwave or the toilet bowl cleaner, not to mention the food we were eating.  That’s when we started a more conscious attempt at eating organic/ free-range/ grass-fed/ hormone-free/ non-GMO.  We very quickly learned that this proposition is NOT cheap.

Enter Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheque.  This place is a license to print money as it plays on our conscience to try and reverse the damage done.  Seriously, I know I can buy the non-organic peaches for $1 less (or more) a pound across the street but do I really want to inflict one of the dirty dozen products on my kids.  I feel like I’ll be called out on child abuse!  But when you walk out of that place $200 poorer and only 2 bags of groceries to show for it – ouch! vectorstock_1098832

What was the small business solution to a big problem is now the big business bad guy.  So we look for alternatives – Mom & Pops, Co-Ops, Farmer’s Market.  All good options.  But do not replace convenience.  Instead you are schlepping across town to the Co-Op to pick-up the produce, the local butcher for the grain fed meet, then to the big box for toilet paper and the regular grocery store for peanut butter.  So now the weekly groceries kill a Saturday and have a carbon footprint the size of the Amazon rainforest.

We won’t give up however.  We’ll keep striving to be greener.  Maybe we could convert our electricity at home so its generated by a treadmill.  Then we would save the planet, money and have the kids run it so they’ll sleep through the night… Just kidding.

Mommy Brain Attacks


Yes it does, when you least expect it.  The phenomenon known as Mommy Brain can be defined as the degradation of one’s short term (and sometimes long term) memory following the birth of children.  Its real.  Make no mistake about it, I’ve experienced it first hand.

Before the arrival of Shorty #1, I didn’t even need to keep a calendar.  Important dates and appointments were entrenched in my little brain like a photograph.  But now, its a whole different story.  Everything goes on my Google calendar which J and I share and (thanks to my favorite Nerd husband) is colour coded for each of our family members.  I need this.  Trust me.

The arrival of Mommy Brain along with #1 came as a real shock.  As you now know, I am a type-A personality.  I like to be organized and keep everything together.  But the capacity to fulfill even the simplest tasks, let alone remembering appointments was degraded completely from a combination of sleep deprivation and crazy hormone imbalance.

I remember one foggy morning attempting to make a pot of coffee, I filled the machine with water and grounds and walked away.   A little while later I heard a weird hissing sound.  Yep, the pot was still sitting on the counter while the black gold was pouring out of the machine all down the front of the cupboard door.  Awesome!  Its still stained to this day.  I don’t know if I was more upset about the mess or actually having to wait for another pot to brew.  Another time, catching up with J listening to him recount his day at the office I actually wiped his nose with a tissue.  Are you freaking kidding me?  I just wiped a grown man’s nose.  Get a grip sister!

#2 is now 2 years old and I wish I could say it was getting better. Maybe it has a little, but we are definitely nowhere near the pre-natal levels of brain function.  To be honest, I think that even though the sleep is getting better and the hormones are re-balancing, the hectic pace of daily life creates the same issues.  Just the other day after the usual crazy morning of getting everyone dressed, fed etc I realized as I arrived at the office that I had left my beloved cellphone on the kitchen table at home and had to go all the way back home to fetch it.

At least I knew where the phone was!  Last week we were hosting a BBQ and Shorty #2’s diaper leaked… while sitting on my lap.  I came in from the backyard to change us both and dropped my sunglasses somewhere.  Couldn’t find them for days.  Made me crazy.  Eventually I found them on a shelf in the closet, obviously left there during my wardrobe change.

I wish I could say the kids help ease the problem, but seriously I swear they like to f%^$ with me.  On a recent vacation, I swore I packed a pair of flip flops and they were missing.  I was sure I was losing my mind only to find them tucked away in the hotel room safe – courtesy of Shorty #2.

So to all my harried friends out there juggling a million things, know you’re not alone when your memory fails and your brain gives up on you!  XO

The Glamour of International Business Travel


If you’re a regular at The Rock and Roll Mom, you know I have to travel a fair bit on business.  So I’ve seen my fair share of travel drama.  Its inevitable really.  Rarely does any amount of travel go by completely without a hitch when flying is concerned, especially when you throw in a connection or two to make things interesting.  If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll also know that I’m not a carry-on only sort of girl so throw in a piece of luggage or two and you’ve got the potential for a perfect storm!

With the Shorties, my goal is to always be gone for the least amount of time possible.  This often means taking some pretty crazy travel options to be able to get home as soon as I can.  I’m most proud of my New York for the day trips.  With the help of Cathay Pacific, I can leave Vancouver at 10pm, land at New York JFK at 6am.  Take a car into the city, have a quick shower and then hit the ground running with a day full of meetings, press or even a TV taping (luckily the late night shows usually tape around 4-6pm).  Then I head back to JFK around 8pm to fly back to Vancouver on the red-eye arriving at 2am.  I can sleep in my own bed for a few hours before the kids wake-up.  Genius!  I love it!

But you know, life isn’t always so simple.  Throw in a delay or two and the best laid plans go out the window.  I had one particularly harrowing adventure as I was heading to NYC for a major, 2 day press hit for a news magazine show for one of our clients.  This time I was routed through Toronto.  Some nasty weather in Vancouver delayed our departure and I missed the connection to NYC.  I had a very early start the next morning in NYC with an interview scheduled to take place in my hotel suite.  Luckily I was rebooked on a flight leaving Toronto at 6am.  No problem!  My bag went missing at this point so I was sent off to the hotel with a “Comfort Kit” consisting of a size XL men’s t-shirt, some shaving cream and men’s deodorant around 2am.  After a couple of hours of sleep (if you can call it that) I packed on back to the check-in counter, smelling like a dude in yesterday’s stinking, sweaty airplane clothes.  Luckily my bag was there and rechecked and I was off.

Arriving in NYC at 7am I headed into the city with the rest of the rush hour traffic.  I raced up to my room to shower off the eau de Dude and rinse out my sweaty bra in the sink.  Just as I put down the curling iron the camera crew arrived to set up.  I wrung out my laundry from the sink (I always travel with laundry detergent for moments such as this) and much to my horror realized this hotel room did not have a closet, just a wide open rack to hang clothes.  I found a little perch in the corner of the room to lay my old bra to dry behind the suitcase.  At this point, the crew had effectively taken over my suite – cameramen, producer, lighting and audio guys, publicists – and horror of horrors the esteemed journalist who would conduct the interview had moved a chair to that exact corner of this vast 2 room suite and was now resting his feet next to my dripping bra.  Lovely!

Another time, I was pregnant with Shorty #2.  We were doing a shoot for a TV commercial in Buenos Aires.  It was January so in the dead of the Argentine summer.  I was routed from Vancouver to Toronto, Toronto to Santiago, Chile and then finally Santiago to Buenos Aires.  After landing in Buenos Aires I had that horrible sinking feeling that can only come when you are the last person standing at a an empty baggage carousel, watching the same remnants of packing tape and yarn go round and round, ever hopeful that by some miracle your bag will appear from nowhere.  It was not be, I was 5 months pregnant and I had an early meeting with ad agency the next morning!  The next flight from Toronto wasn’t arriving for at least another 24 hours!  Luckily, shopping malls in Buenos Aires are open at 8pm on a Sunday night!!!  The lovely production assistant took pity on me and brought me to the nearest mall where I managed to scrounge together a wardrobe for the next couple days.  I almost kissed the bellman who arrived the following evening with my bag in hand.

Sprinting through airports to make connections, facing full security patdowns (like can I have a cigarette afterwards kind of patdowns), neverending waits for delayed flights, lost (and found) luggage.  All par for the course when you travel.  On my last trip as I stared down an air-traffic control strike that started while I was en route, I just kept thinking “Oh well, maybe there’s a blog post in all this…”  Looks like there was.

The Glow of Pregnancy

Me at 3 months with Shorty #1

Me at 3 months with Shorty #1

As if!  Ok, I never glowed when I was pregnant.  Unless you count the night sweats at 3am!

I was out buying a baby shower gift for a very sweet friend expecting her first and I started thinking back to those days when I was big as a house.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls more than anything and the combined 18+ months carrying them was fully worth it.  But man, I was a BAAAAD pregnant person in so many ways.  Of course, I followed all the rules – no booze, no brie cheese, no sushi (no booze!!!).  I tried to eat right, get enough rest etc etc – but I was not one of those people who glowed.  I did not blossom into motherhood, I sort of squished into it.

First things first, I spent all nine months in a near constant state of panic.  Our generation of pregnant women are able to obtain information about said pregnancy 24-7.  We find out we’re pregnant 3 days before our period is even late.  We can Google any symptom, concern, ache, itch etc and get some diagnosis.  We can crowdsource our pregnancies for pete’s sake.  “When I pee 17 times a day it smells like lemon pledge” – pop that into and you’ll get 14 different responses.

User: MommyBrain

“Oh yeah, that happened to me, but it smelled like Chlorox”

User: GreenMommy

“You can’t use Chlorox its terrible for the environment”

User: MamaPanic

“Call your Doctor immediately, thats a sign of utter and imminent disaster”

The real answer here – Googling for medical advice is a terrible idea – ESPECIALLY when you’re hormonal.

The day Shorty #1 was born, I was so relieved that I could actually SEE her.  What happened next – for the past 6 years, I wake up at 2am, sneak into her room and make sure she’s breathing.  But at least I can check, right?

I had this rose-coloured view that pregnancy would be so amazing.  I would be mother earth incarnate in cute maternity dresses wrapped around my little basket-ball belly, doing pre-natal yoga classes each day and lunching with friends in the last days before babe was born.

Yeah, no.  Not really.  So here are some of the things that weren’t exactly what I expected while expecting…

1.  Maternity Clothes – trying to look like a beautiful, pregnant Gwen Stefani without the help of full-time stylist and glam squad is impossible.  Gwen Stefani’s maternity clothes are not what’s available at the local mall.  The maternity clothes that you can find would be more akin to styles preferred by your grade six English teacher.  And WHY do all pairs of maternity jeans have to include studs and sequins?  WHY?  And don’t give me that business you can maternity COH or J Brand.  Yes, you can get those – but good luck fitting into those puppies at 6 months (ok, for me I couldn’t squeeze into them after my first trimester!)  To add insult to injury, when I hit the 9 month mark I was lucky if I could find a maternity top to cover my behemoth belly!

2. Pre-Natal Yoga – this humbled me.  After 5 minutes into my first pre-natal yoga class I rolled my eyes and thought – this is lame.  I won’t even feel this after 45 minutes.  10 minutes later I was on my back in reclined mountain, sweaty and puffing and stayed there for the rest of the class.  That was the first and LAST pre-natal yoga class for me.

3. Ignorance is Bliss – As mentioned, I lived through my pregnancies in a constant state of panic.  I am an avid worrier by nature – but this was on a whole other level.  In some ways, I wish I had never read all those creepy pregnancy books that tell you what to worry about.  My Mom had 4 kids and she barely batted an eye – and we were all fine!

4. Being Pregnant Gives People License to Boss You Around.  Seriously, the minute you start to show get ready for the onslaught of unsolicited advice from complete strangers.  This doesn’t even begin to compare however to the instructions strangers will dole out to a new Mom – but that’s another Blog.

Hang in there preggo readers.  Don’t worry if you’re not the Drew Barrymore of pregnancy.  And don’t worry if you don’t look like Gisele Bundchen at 4 weeks post partum!  Once your little bundle arrives – its all a distant memory.