Durham Region Baby: Blog Posts from 2006 -2008


In 2005 Carly Foster created the website, Durham Region Baby, a funky, fun, personal local resource.
The new owner of the domain was so enchanted with the original articles she chose to keep an edited version of the site's archived blog pages to provide a small glimpse of Carly Foster's entertaining posts over the years along with readers comments.



Editor's Note: Shortly after launching this archived version we started noticing anomalies in Google's search results for "DurhamRegionBaby" - which should have listed this website at #1. Instead Google's page one was showing ancient torture devices and natural poisons! Our seos were telling us that there was actually no way to delete Google search results unless defamation or other legal issues were provable. We posted to Google forums where we received snarky advice ("this is probably your fault - stop torturing your baby") and nothing really useful. The posts resulted in us being solicited by reputation management services, but we were not about to pay money to address this problem. After many weeks, the problem self corrected, but the experience was a reminder how little control we have over things that can wreak havoc on website owners - imagine if this were a business. We're certain that other mistakes by Google have done real harm to individuals and businesses. Something needs to be done - we need regulators to step in and address Google's unaccountability.


Our story

Durham Region Baby

A blog and free resource site for parents, including local business, product and website reviews, a frequent newsletter and regular contests. As of November, 2009, it is published by Sweet World Media with my business partner and fellow mom, Kirsty Kernohan.

The story

In 2006, as a young, internet-savvy new Mom — part of what I feel is a new generation of parents who seek advice and connection online — I found it frustrating trying to find local information on the web.

Having my first daughter changed my life. Suddenly, I had less time, but more and different needs than ever before. I wanted to learn everything about this strange, wailing, pooping being: where to go, who to talk to, what to buy, when and how to do it all.

My doctor and family were incredibly supportive, but only so much help. The real gems of information lay with the other parents I met, and I found connecting with them through my blog and email incredibly rewarding.

So, here we are.

My goal: a funky, fun, personal local resource for this new breed of parents. With some reviews of products I love and love to hate, along with neat websites and community events such as baby shows. This is a continuation of the Pregnancy Adventures (while pregnant) and Life with Lucy (our first year together) blog I started in September, 2005 as a reporter with the local community newspapers.

What started off as moaning about my favourite boots hardly fitting and getting caught snarfing Timbits has morphed intoa weekly mom’s night out, sponsors, product reviews, Durham business profiles and even attending mompreneur shows. I also publish a frequent newsletter.

Four years since I started, I’ve moved into my forever home, and given birth to my second and final baby. I have met the most wonderful women here. It is ingrained in my life in ways I never imagined, and the comments from other parents make my heart sing. It’s worth every second.

Carly Foster



100 64 a bunch of things

  • Despite seeing these as a little narcisisstic, I love reading these silly lists on other people’s blogs, so here you go
  • I adore small utensils
  • My sense of smell is the strongest of all five
  • Lucy was born on February 27, 2006.
  • I recently got her her own library card, and gave the wrong birthdate.
  • The smell of vanilla makes me nauseous — a 24-hour flu in high school while wearing vanilla perfume sealed that
  • I’ve been a journalist since I was 16
  • My published news story, in the Uxbridge Times-Journal, was a profile of a woman with Celiac disease
  • But my first “article” (My Two Dogs, about Daisy and Jake) was published when I was 9, in the Toronto Sun’s Young Sun section that used to appear in the comics. I got a red cardboard bank shaped like a Sun newspaper box. The famous photo of Wayne Gretzky holding the Stanley Cup over his head was on the front
  • A tattoo of a fedora with a press ticket in the brim is on my lower back
  • I work from home. So far it is perfect for this stage of life
  • Lucy goes to a fabulous home daycare three days a week
  • Reading is my absolute favourite hobby, and I can read a book in one day if you just leave me alone
  • Unloading the dishwasher is my least favourite house cleaning duty
  • But I love washing dishes by hand
  • I married an engineer who is great at computers and assembling things
  • I own hundreds of Archie comic books. They are my comfort food equivalent in written form
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup, and my mom’s maccaroni and cheese are comfort foods
  • When I was 4, my father started me 5-pin bowling. Twenty-four years later and I’m still at it, although not near as often as I’d like. My parents met in a bowling league. Apparently it’s in my blood. And possibly my daughter’s, as my father is constantly whipping her arm in a bowling swing
  • Not a big fan of cats (especially ones whose owners let outside, and then destroy my gardens with their feces) but absolutely adore dogs
  • Spencer Dog, our Jack Russell Terrier, hates Lucy. Lucy loves Spencer Dog. Obviously we have a problem
  • My parents own a neurotic JRT named Buddy, and a JRT-Shitzu cross named Barney who very much looks like an old man
  • My sister has a cat named Daniel who likes to stalk pigeons
  • I gave up coffee when I quit smoking in 2003. Now I drink a pot of tea every morning
  • Food: Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern (shwarma), Italian
  • Dry white wine, please
  • Durham Mom’s Night Out was one of the best things I’ve ever co-created. It is sanity packaged into 2.5 hours on a Wednesday night


Blog: 2006

Showdown at Tims, with poop

11th September 2006

Whenever we start on a big trip, we make it to the gas station or coffee shop around the corner from our house before Lucy lets out a giant, stinky, leaky crap.

This, of course, happened Friday morning on the way to the cottage. We were in the drive-thru at a local Tim Hortons when Lucy dropped a solid-food bomb and we had to evacuate the car. Our only option for changing her was inside the store, as Spencer was occupying the only free area in our vacation-packed vehicle.

Tim Hortons stores do not have change tables. Ever. This makes steam curl out my inner ears. And this Tim Hortons was a fancy new one with only round tables and chairs — no benches.

So we changed Lucy on a table.

Eric was wiping her when a woman in line glimpsed Lucy’s bare pink bum and starting yelling at us.

"That’s disgusting," she said, gesturing at Lucy. "How can you do that? People eat there."

We looked down at the clean change pad protecting the table, the plastic bag holding the dirty diaper and wipes.

"There’s no change tables in there," I said, pointing to the washrooms. "Where else are we supposed to do it?"

"That’s sick," she told us. "I’m calling head office."

"Call them," Eric said. His hands were shaking in anger. "Tell them to put change tables in the washroom."

The woman was huffing and repeating "sick" and "revolting" and "disgusting" to everyone in line. Another woman in a red shirt glared at us, nodding. I later saw her in her car filled with baby car seats and toys, smoking a cigarette.

The first lady ranted to the cashier and got the store number so she could call and complain (we’re now waiting for the Tim Hortons Police to bust down our door, brandishing guns loaded with Timbits).

(Eric and I said afterwards we were thinking in our heads: "We’re going to breastfeed now. Is that sick and disgusting, too?" But, you know, didn’t want to start a war.)

An employee came up to us after and apologized, noting we had the table protected and agreeing with the stupidity of Tims stores not having change tables. She said it’s a company policy, that they’re worried about the liability if a baby falls off a table and the parents sue.

On the highway later, we wondered if we’d seen someone changing a baby where we did, before getting pregnant, before having Lucy, before being faced with a poop-filled diaper and nowhere else to go, if we would have been offended, too.

What do you think? What would you have done?


There are currently 41 responses

  1. On September 11th, 2006 at 12:02 pm, Jennifer S. said:

    No offense, but I would have been pretty grossed out by someone changing a poopy diaper on a restaurant table, too — no matter what was between the poop and the eating surface. (And I’m not pre-kids — I’m only two weeks removed from four-and-a-half solid years of changing dipes.) I’d have either gone elsewhere, to a place that did have a change table (McDonalds almost always does), found an grassy area and laid her down there (even if it was a little chilly out — she’s not going to freeze from two minutes in 15 degree weather), moved Spencer to make room for the bum change, laid her down on the floor of the car in front of the carseat, or used my own seat in the car to do it.

  2. On September 11th, 2006 at 12:59 pm, Alberta said:

    I have one other comment. You nurse, correct? Have you ever had someone tell you that you should not nurse your child in public, but go to the washroom to nurse?

    If that offended you in the slightest - being asked to have your child eat in the bathroom, where people pee and poop, can you understand why people are offended that you chose to change your child’s diaper, where THEY eat? It’s the same thing, really.

  3. On September 11th, 2006 at 1:10 pm, Jen O. said:

    Don’t get me wrong, I am totally pro-mommy and baby rights wherever they go. My first reaction is that I would be totally upset that there wasn’t an appropriate place to change a baby (or tot) in the entire building. My second reaction? It is a little gross. BUT, and I think this is where you were most offended (besides what I mentioned above), I certainly would not have been as rude as the lady in line, and if I were her, I would have totally understood that this was a problem with the restaurant, not you and Eric. Personally, I might have looked for a different spot, but there really should have been somewhere for you to go. They probably have thousands of diaper-aged children come through that restaurant (not to mention all the other Tim Horton’s) every year. What do they expect parents to do? What other choice do you have when you are eating there? The floor? Not happening. The rickety little chairs? Not feasible. Your car in the middle of winter in a snow storm or the middle of summer in a heat wave? Yeah, right! I think you did what you felt was your only option, especially when you’re in a frantic, flustered, gotta-get-this-poor-girl-clean-before-it-squirts-up-her-back panic.

    Summary: Lady in line - unnecessarily rude. Tim Hortons - get with the program; you’ll lose a lot of business limiting your target customers to only those without diapered kids.

  4. On September 11th, 2006 at 1:40 pm, laura said:

    I’m writing Tim Horton’s complaining that there are no child change stations at their stores…. that is horrible. Where do most people stop while they’re on route ANYWHERE? Tim Hortons… I’ve had to change Kylah many times on tables at Tim Hortons. Don’t worry about that silly woman. I understand her preference, but she didn’t have to be so rude about it.

  5. On September 12th, 2006 at 8:52 am, Larry said:

    I think the truth is that poo is gross. The point is not that the lady was wrong, or that you were wrong. The point is that you made a decision, and you know what the reactions might be. Tim Horton’s corporation also made a decision not to have change tables. Presumably they have decided that they are willing to put up with the complaints. You should be too. Breastfeeding, changing diapers, disciplining your kids in public, whether to wear short skirts or plunging necklines, tight pants on men that show bulges (!), saying what you mean, and meaning what you say… these are all things that will elicit negative reactions from time to time. Make your choice - are you going to change your behaviour or develop thick skin? I’m all in favour of changing your baby where ever you want! And damn the torpedoes!

  6. On September 12th, 2006 at 1:47 pm, Nicole said:

    I have to agree, a table where people eat, in view of people eating, would be my very LAST resort when changing a diaper, especially a poopy one. ANYWHERE else is preferable to that. The lady may have been rude, but her reaction was justified imo.

  7. On September 13th, 2006 at 12:58 am, Poppy said:

    My granddaughter is afraid of those changing tables in bathrooms. She freaks out if you lay her on them, so we don’t use them. There’ve been many times when I’ve had to head to the car and change her using the passenger seat. It is not the easiest thing to do, especially now that she is almost 2 yrs old! But I honestly couldn’t change her (especially a smelly, poopy diaper)in a restaurant where people are eating a meal. That’s the last thing I would want to deal with while I was having a meal and I couldn’t do that to anyone else.

    The lady in line definitely could have been a lot more in control of her displeasure, but I do understand where she is coming from.



Blog: 2007



1st August2007

As you’re reading this, all our possessions in the world are being moved from one house to the next. It’s probably ridiculously hot. Or raining. We’re probably camped outside our new house waiting for keys to switch hands, anxiously adding up how many $124/hour hours we’ll have to pay the movers as the ridiculously over-paid lawyers do the things they do in these stressful situations.

What will keep us going is a) plenty of Tim Hortons, b) knowing we won’t do this again for a long, long time, and c) the relief that time cannot stand still, and no matter how long the day takes, the move will eventually be over and the sun will rise tomorrow.

What also helps are our selfish, material dreams. Tucking away the family fun we know our new house and town will bring, there are some cool things we’re craving — no matter how outrageous they are. That’s what dreams are for, right?

So here is the New Chez Foster-McDougall wish list:

  • the backyard deck and yard cry out for a porch swing
  • a new collection of white wine. Those that know me would be shocked to know I have nary a bottle of my fave dry kicking around
  • a fancy black and white house number sign, kinda like this. A solar-powered light-up one is especially cool
  • a new barbeque. Eric lusts after the fancy stainless steel ones
  • go to sleep, wake up, and magically have the wallpaper removed. Can you imagine?!
  • an inground pool. Oh, how I would love this one day. When my parents moved us to our house in the country with its 1/2 acre lot, they promised me that in 10 years we could get a pool. This, of course, was just a ploy to stall me, as 10 years later I was leaving for university — after which my parents put an addition on the house and made our teensy bathroom HUGE. Jerks
  • glass cabinet fronts in the kitchen
  • a new duvet cover. Ours, bought on sale embarrassingly for around $80 five years ago, has lost its fluff

There’s more. They’re just mushed in my moving stressed brain.

What’s on your home wish list?

There are currently 9 responses

  1. On August 1st, 2007 at 8:21 am, Jen O. said:

    Oooo…I’ll play. My wish list might be a bit longer my new house is missing some of the basics.

    1) a fence
    2) an interlocking brick back patio
    3) a paved driveway
    4) trees - one miniature weeping tree in front, a giant maple (a future climber) in the back
    5) paint on the walls
    6) a bistro set for our front porch
    7) gardens - a berm in our front yard surrounding the weeping tree and a great big corner garden in the back
    a corner shed like this http://www.cabanavillage.com/sheds/five-sided-garden-sheds/ only that one costs too much, so something similar
    9) exterior paint (August 29th, yay!!)
    and finally,
    10) Niall is also lusting after a new barbeque. He wants a big steel gas one with side burners and all. If I get 9 picks, he can have one.

  2. On August 1st, 2007 at 8:46 am, Cynthia said:

    Those “overpriced” lawyers are just doing their job to make sure that house is legally yours when all is said and done. And if they screw it up at least you have their insurance policies to back you up. You paid your agent way more than your lawyer — and they have nothing for you if they screw up.

    But for my wishlist:

    a) a fence
    b) a deck at the back
    c) interlocking pathway at the front
    d) green grass (please rain? please?)
    e) a nice big (not huge) tree in the back for some midday shade
    f) a beautiful patio set for the deck

    All of this would require my grading be approved. Apparently that won’t happen until late this year now

  3. On August 1st, 2007 at 8:56 am, Karla said:

    I hope all is going well with your move. Tim’s is for a sure a moving staple.

    As far as my wish list - today it would be sheets any colour besides black because by big crazy yellow dog leaves his fur all over them. Also, a vacuum fairy.

  4. On August 1st, 2007 at 9:24 am, Tara said:

    We also just moved into a new house 4 months ago and cannot wait to have a grass, paved driveway, deck, fence & some landscaping. We finally just got our road yesterday! My list for the inside keeps growing but I do really want a hallway table, end tables for the master & picture frames to hang on our bare walls.

  5. On August 1st, 2007 at 10:08 am, Colleen said:

    My wishlist:

    1) Air conditioning!!!!
    2)Paint on the walls, no more builder’s beige!! And, pictures to hang.
    3) A fence
    4) A deck
    5) Gardens in the backyard
    6) BBQ, just like Eric wants
    7) Dining Room set
    Living room set (yes, it is true, my front room is empty)
    9) Kitchen chairs (we have my Grandmother’s first table that she had when she got married in 1941, but we have ugly 70’s chairs with it)
    10) Lamps for the living room and family room
    11) Hot tub (this is really a far stretch)
    12) New tv (also not going to happen)

    That is really just a start.

    Hope the move went well. Moving is no fun, but, it was a great idea to get movers. We have done it ourselves (twice) and we don’t want to do that again!


Blog: Life with Lucy 2008

16th September 2008

Emotional girl

We recently took Lucy to the zoo for the second time this summer, on a hot Saturday that just happened to be the same day Max & Ruby were visiting.

This was Lucy’s first time seeing live-action figures. Although she was terribly excited and jabbered on and on about them before the performance, I was a little unsure how she would handle seeing not the tiny cartoon figures from television, but giant stuffed bunnies. I didn’t know how to prepare her for that reality, so we just went.

Lucy was terrified. Once the bunnies waddled on stage, she stuffed her head around my neck and refused to look.

“Mumma, I scary,” she whispered.

I explained — probably ruining any live-action shows for the rest of her life — that those were just people dressed up in costumes, dancing and singing. They were just a show. And they wouldn’t hurt her.

Eventually, she started peeking at the stage, and ended up wiggling and clapping along with everyone else.

But to this day? Weeks later? She still talks about seeing Max & Ruby, and how she was “scary.”

And so began, suddenly, Lucy discovering and articulating her emotions.

She knows Spencer is grumpy. She knows hitting Daddy makes him sad. That petting Mumma makes me happy. That blueberry yogurt makes her very happy. This morning she even said she was excited to go to Julia’s.

It’s so fascinating to watch this develop, to see her really understanding how she feels, why she feels that way, what made her feel that way, and building the capacity to articulate it. And developing empathy along the way, in the form of other people: If hitting makes her feel sad, then it must make someone else feel sad, too.

It’s making her sound and appear so grown up. And gosh, does it help with communication and discipline! Suddenly she truly gets why things hurt/make a mess/make people sad.

It makes me much more comfortable sending her to daycare and other places, too, because she can actually articulate what happened and how she felt.

Of course, that doesn’t always work with a 2.5-year-old:

“How was Julia’s today? What did you do?”
*pause. smile. high-pitched fart radiates off the carseat*
“I went toot-toot!”


“Did you have yummy snacks today?”
“Yep. I had banana!”
“Mmmm, sounds good.”
“No, it’s not good,” shaking her head seriously.
“It’s not?”
“It’s delishus.”

Obviously we are working on humour, too.



12th September 2008


Yesterday, at the diner, I ordered French toast.

I can’t remember the last time I was so hungry. I was stupid and packed a snack for Lucy, but not for my pregnant self (typical mom moment, right?), which can demand food at any second with little warning.

So I got Lucy set up eating, ripped apart the sweet bread, covered it in syrup, and started shoveling. I ate for several minutes, mindlessly, oblivious to the people around me, only wanting some relief from the empty, famished, nauseated feeling in my stomach.

A few minutes later, I reached into my lap for a napkin and realized there was a dotted line of syrup down the front of my shirt.

“Oh, look, Goose, we got Mummy all dirty!” I said loudly, without thinking.

We. Not I and myself. We.

Because godforbid I admit to being a slob — albeit a starving one –  when there’s a handy toddler right there to share the blame.



11th September 2008

Diner placemat notes, while waiting for Lucy to finish eating eggs n’ dip

Today, I saw a man. A retired farmer, if I had to guess by his plaid shirt and suspendered jeans. Gnarled fingers, his wrists turning inwards. Arthritis, maybe?

What’s most interesting are these little metal rings he’s attached to all the pulls on his person: To the zipper on the front of pants, the Velcro straps on his shoes, on his keys.

It’s so his thick, curled fingers can work these intricate pieces of everyday life. The ones you and I take for granted.

He reminded me of my Dad — he’s clever like that, too.


A girl at the bank. She had long blonde hair in a tight ponytail on top of her head, then braided like a whip down her back. It was still wet.

She had very round glasses and her features sort of protruded from her face.

She kept rocking back and forth at the front counter, silently moving her lips.

I’ve seen her before, at the grocery store. She never stopped moving while we shopped for apples.


Why do so many young girls wear such low pants that only push their hips and bellies up in exploding muffin tops?

Eric cooked sausage on the BBQ the other night, and when he sliced it open like the street vendors do, the filling blobbed out the sides like keloids. The girls look like that.


Dear Lucy,

You were so brave getting your hair cut this morning.

I was so proud of you, especially when Debbie took the red sucker right out of your hand to rinse the hair off, and you didn’t make a peep.

Love Mummy.



10th September 2008

Dignity, meet baby. Now be destroyed.


Dear Parasite2,

That little wheel thingie in the doctor’s office says there are approximately 44 days (not that I’m counting) until you are supposed to enter the world.

We’ve already had discussions about all the ways you’re wreaking havoc on my body, to which you reply with yet another gasp-inducing roll or kick. Last night you actually made your father spray crackers out of his mouth when I literally jerked and squealed from a particularly violent movement. Apparently you don’t like when I use my belly as a bowl-holding shelf, as we almost had strawberry yogurt all over the couch.

Clearly, you are going to be The Jumping, Climbing, Wild Child we were spared the first time around.

But listen: I can handle the burning acid in my throat (plus, you haven’t caused any half nekkid chili incidents the way your sister did). I can handle the shitty sleep, the aching public bone, the leg cramps and waddling.

So why, oh why, did you have to go and give me these? Like, please, can you not spare me one just one thing? Let me keep some shred of dignity in these last few weeks?

Apparently not.

I think I need to add irrational to your list of attributes. Also, jerk.

Love Mummy



9th September 2008

Playin’ at the Patch


I wanted to see Jen O., and Jen wanted to see me, but Jen has a newborn and didn’t want to tidy her house, and I wanted the kids occupied so I could fish for second-newborn survival tips, so a few weeks ago we decided to meet up at a play centre and stuff said newborn into a sack so we could talk.

(Look! Newborn in a sack! Also, Jen. Only a few weeks postpartum, and don’t you want to smack her because it looked like she was never pregnant?)

We went to Pumpkin Patch Play Centre in Bowmanville, a place we’ve both wanted to visit for ages. Lucy and Eirinn, you can see, had a blast.

The centre is geared towards the 0-5 set, with a fluffy section for immobile and crawling babies, plus jumpers and swings. There’s also a convenient couch in the midst of the fluff section, perfect for parents to lounge while babies, well, lounge, too.

I loved the neat selection of dress-up clothes, hats and accessories sure to keep older kids entertained. Lucy and Eirinn poked through the pile, but theirreal interest was with the awesomeness that is the giant plastic pirate ship and treehouse gym things. Up and down and up and down the slide, crawling in and out of the port holes and ramps.

The girls also loved the magnetic chalkboard at the back. And took great and rather…disturbing pleasure in chucking dolls in and out of the ball pit. Loved that the ball pit has a teeny slide, and isn’t too deep to make it intimidating for smaller kids.

There were lots of other play pieces, including a kitchen with food, shopping cart, lawnmower and tons of stuffed animals and dolls.

It’s not a huge place, however. I think it’d feel really crowded with any more than a dozen kids (plus parents) running around.

Pumpkin Patch Play also has a kitchen, great change table room, kid-friendly bathroom and potty, and snacks for purchase. A great place for kids and parents alike to blooff some steam.

Babies under 6 months are free, and there are lots of family and multi-visit payment options.



8th September 2008

It’s open!

Durham Region Daycare is live, y’all.

Please go visit — even if you’re not actively looking for childcare — and let me know what you think.

I’m so thrilled it’s up and running. And oh so tired and bleary-eyed.

Better posts n’ pics coming the rest of the week. After sleep. As crappy as it is right now…



5th September 2008

A blatant cast for sympathy

Several things have all converged this week to plop me right into Final Weeks of Pregnancy Hell, AKA: Let the countdown begin.

  • Sleep is just rotten. I’m waking up around every two hours, and getting up to pee at least twice. Rolling over hurts. I’m always hot. The pillow between my legs to help with pubic bone pain is cumbersome, but essential. Eric is in bed beside me, and he’s breathing
  • Spontaneous leg cramps in the calf that make me spring out of bed in excruciating pain
  • The doctor today said my belly has sprouted 4 cm in the past three weeks, which accounts for why hardly any of my shirts fit anymore. Almost all of them rise up, exposing a slice of underbelly, leaving me drafty and constantly pulling said shirt down, or pants up. I lamely tried to blame Eric for”shrinking” a purple maternity tank top this week, one I was convinced would take me to the end. With a potential seven weeks to go, I’m gonna have to break down this weekend and buy tents cheap coverings
  • The one pair of maternity jeans I own — even yanked way up to the ‘pits — are now too tight and make me nauseous. It’s yoga pants from here on in
  • The Girls don’t fit the two enlarged bras I bought, and I refuse to buy replacements for the seven weeks until they live in nursing bras for a year. Pillowing lumps that show through every shirt, anyone?
  • Persistent, uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions that kept a pregnant woman from much-anticipated Greek food this week when I couldn’t drive to Durham Mom’s Night Out. Also, walking for long stretches — which helps with sleeping and aches and general pains — bring them on like crazy. I can’t win
  • Purchased this week: A third box of acid reflux-reducing pills. Enough said

Now you need to share your most annoying pregnancy symptom. It’ll make me feel less alone. Also, selfishly, potentially better if you suffered worse.



4th September 2008

Good thing we paid all that money for Spencer’s microchip

Dog’s ID chip helps police find lost tot’s home: A diaper-clad 2-year-old wandering outside with her dog — both nearly hit by cars — was returned home after authorities were able to use the pooch’s pet chip to reach the girl’s mother.

Obviously 16-year-old boys do not have Parent’s Ear, because there’s no way a) our dog, with his jangling chain inside a locked kennel, or b) our daughter, who is essentially caged in her bed, and I guarantee would yell, “Bye Mama! Bye Dat! See you ‘gain soon!” as she left the house, could ever escape unnoticed.



4th September 2008

At lunch today

“What does Mummy call you?”

“Baby Goose!”

“So what does that make me?”

“Uuumm….Mama Goose.”

“And what does that make Daddy?”

*pauses, thinking*

“Big Baby Goose!”



3rd September 2008


After four months of Eric and just over two months of Lucy at home full time, both of my family members returned to work and daycare, respectively, yesterday.

It was like back to school for everyone. Our routine was re-established, and will remain for a little while anyways. Until, you know, a baby invades the house in causes all hell to break loose.

I didn’t write too much here — except for loud Harry and Tanya — or talk with anyone, really, about how difficult the summer was working from home with all those extra bodies in the house (Shelby included). It wasn’t fair to me or them, because that was our reality: Part choice (sticking with a caregiver we love) and part circumstance (Eric unexpectedly losing his job).

It wasn’t any one of them in particular, it was just having them all at work with me. Imagine bringing your husband, kids, dog and babysitter into the office with you. Every. single. day.

But we survived. And remarkably, I met all my magazine deadlines. Launched a business. Kept Durham Mom’s Night Out going. Did not kill anyone.

And it really was a fun bunch of weeks that we’ll never be able to duplicate again. We ate lunch together every day. Took special afternoon trips. Played a lot. Fought a lot, too. I don’t think Eric and I, in almost 10 years together, have ever had such a long stretch of uninterrupted — by work — time together; ditto for the three of us since Lucy was born, except for the odd week of vacation.

It is now so quiet in the house. Spencer asleep at my feet, the gentle hum of a lawnmower down the road, just my fingers tapping on the keys. Work. Efficiency. Normalcy.


At least for a little while.