ms. fresh fish

Versatile Blogger Award Nomination
November 25, 2013, 7:00 am
Filed under: a & e, birthday wishes, Blogroll, recommendations

I got this award nomination from one of the most amazingly honest bloggers I follow, Mask No Longer, who blogs about life as an alcohol on the new, and intimidating, road to recovery. The posts are filled with vulnerability, strength, insight and inspiration. So, to say I was honoured when they nominated me would be an understatement. But here it is! Continue reading


(2 x 2)love
September 15, 2013, 2:13 pm
Filed under: babies, birthday wishes, events, family, general

Well my little twinkies, you’re finally two. Or already two. You’re two.

I love it (you can do so much and you’re both so hilarious!). I hate it (I want my babies back). I’m a mess.

We had a serious birthday party for you yesterday. There were banana-shaped loot packages, personalized bunting hanging across the back of the house, carefully colour-coordinated balloon arrangements evenly placed along the perimeter of the backyard, dishes to match carefully coordinated balloons, hired entertainment, way too much food and a delicious theme-appropriate cake. The backyard was teeming with people from near and far who love you. In a nutshell, it was a seriously thought out party. This is important for you to know, because it will most likely never happen again. But we did right for you, if only once. We have the pictures to prove it.

Continue reading

A Love Letter to a Year Gone By…
September 15, 2012, 9:33 am
Filed under: babies, birthday wishes, family, general

Dear Baby A + Baby B,

It has been a year since you burst into the world (or, more accurately, were induced in two different ways; one of you pushed out and the other, literally pulled out by your legs, kicking and screaming). Your Dad’s and my dream was finally real. We were parents. To two babies. Wait… TWO F”ING BABIES?!?!? Yes, two babies. In honour of this very long year, I have written you a letter that may take an entire additional year to read.

We’ve learned so much.

We are a team.

Overall, our turbulent, and often painful, fertility journey has given us many things, including a heightened awareness to resentment building factors, so we’re able to call them out early and get them out of the way. This is huge for both of us, because we’re both quick-to-resent types, and a key to survival for new parents who plan on enjoying their new life.

Your Dad is awesome. He is completely and utterly in love with you two. He sings to you; sometimes terrible pop songs because he has terrible taste in music, but he’s also the only one in this house to sing you children’s songs (because he’s the only one that knows them). He gets up with you every morning (whether it’s 5 a.m. or 7 a.m.) and plays with you before work for at least two hours. You’re the first thing he wants to know about when he gets home and nothing makes his day more than when I send him pictures of you. He has cried with joy and pride more than once over you two. He sends me back to bed when I need more sleep and takes care of me, because he knows that it will help you be happier and better cared for.

This last year wouldn’t have been survivable or any fun without him. REMEMBER THIS WHEN YOU’RE 14 AND HE WON’T LET YOU GO OUT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK SO THAT YOU GET INTO COLUMBIA.

I have trustworthy instincts.

(Which has recently become: “Mommy’s always right! Don’t forget that!”)

The first few months are truly a blur. A, you wouldn’t eat from Mama, which we decided was because you needed some space after having been squished for way too long by your little sister and my pelvis. But then you stopped eating altogether.

I kept going to get help for your eating, despite being told by everyone that “he’s fine!!” You weren’t fine. You needed medication, osteopathy and to be fed for a few weeks only in your sleep until the meds kicked in because it was too painful for you to eat while awake. In this process, you made me confident in my instincts. You needed help and I needed to figure out what that help was. And you grew. Oh, you grew.

You both ended up bottle-babies (with express milk until 12 weeks) by six weeks because Mama is too much of a control freak to handle pumping for one that wouldn’t take the breast and on-demand for the one that wanted to eat all the time. Said control-freak Mama also imposed a feeding schedule. And you have grown, hit your milestones and not been sick more often than your breast-fed friends (although your parents are now poorer and your Mama was often more frazzled when out and about while trying to sort out two bottles).

Baby B, we finally let you sleep on your tummy at five weeks. If I tried to turn you over on your back once you were asleep, you protested fiercely. And so, for your health and development and our sanity and health, you became a stomach sleeper. To this day, you still have not slept a moment on your side or back. So, I guess you told us. (To be fair, in this case, my instincts told me to have faith in the experiences of the other Mama’s that surrounded me and comforted me while I lay awake at night, terrified of SIDS.)

Baby A, we hope that one day you will consistently sleep through the night. Oy.

Twins are hard.

There has been a lot of crying in this house in the past year. This, I believe, is directly associated with parents of multiples having higher rates of mental illness and marital discord. Nerves are fried with prolonged exposure to one baby crying. Two simultaneously is… wow. WOW. Enough about that.

Nature > Nurture… so far

The most beautiful part of this last year for me is the realization that I have no control over your development, and therefore, almost no responsibility. SERIOUSLY. Maybe that will change soon, but so far, nada. You have been practically inseparable since birth, being raised by the same people but demanding FROM DAY ONE very different parenting styles.

Baby A, sweet Baby A. You make my heart melt when I look at your face. Squished and tortured in the womb, you busted out looking like a beaten-up popple. A ball. You’ve coped with GERD, doubly-casted legs for a month and orthopedic shoes for three months for your metatarsus adductus that you’ve stoically worn 23 hours a day. Three days ago, you had surgery on your baby toe and you are now in another cast for two more weeks. You needed to be swaddled until six months old. You loved, loved, loved your soother, but your sister kept stealing it to chew on (or just throw to the side), to the point that at seven months, you looked at me and spat it out as if to say: “What’s the point? She’s ruining it for me.” You didn’t say a consonant until 10 months old, despite loving (LOVING!) being read to and listening intently whenever anyone is talking. One morning, after spending an entire day with only your Dad, you woke up and started saying all of them. It was a developmental explosion, which is how you roll. Speaking of rolling, you spend most of your days chasing balls around the house.  Your presence in any room is announced with a ball rolling in, then comes you, happily chasing after it. It’s beyond adorable. You’ve taught me so much by having so much pain and discomfort to cope with and still being able to make me genuinely worry that you’re going to hurt yourself… from laughing too hard.

Baby B. You make me laugh out loud when I look at you, or even think of you. You are a true jackass, which you will one day learn is one of the greatest complements that I ever bestow on a person. You’ve been making jokes since you were six months old. You have been strong-willed and determined. You first rolled over so that you could steal your brother’s soother and swat his face. You started crawling so that you could steal his toys. You know what you want and don’t want. For instance, you do not want to be left out of things and you don’t want to nap. Ever. You have gone down without crying no more than five times in this past year. I would do the math, but a) I’m terrible at math, and b) it would be depressing. Suffice it to say, about 99.9% of your naps begin with you screaming. You’ve recently come around to books, although you still mostly just want to eat and destroy them. You yell at me when I sing to you but will play peek-a-boo for endless hours. You want to feed yourself. You’ve started walking but will only to do so under particular circumstances, because thank goodness, you’re cautious. Very coordinated, very capable, but very cautious. A great combination for which I’m very thankful.

You are surrounded by so much love.

You have been double-handedly (?) responsible for more car trips from Toronto than I can count. Your Nanny (who came for a visit and then we wouldn’t let her leave for six weeks), Nonna and Nonno, Zias and a Zio and friends – they have come to welcome you, celebrate you, play with you, feed you, change you, rock you and love you. Your Grandpa from Vancouver flew out to meet you and your Uncle came from Montreal. You have had beautiful gifts sent to you from your family in Italy and Brazil. You have had the most wonderful Nannies. Your family in Ottawa has been here for their weekly doses of “baby therapy” and your Great Nanny’s apartment is slightly destroyed weekly by you. Your parents have been supported by an amazing network of people, some of whom have been gracious and fortunate enough to make some friends your age for you. You live on a street with the most amazing and generous neighbours and a whole network of kids who will, without doubt, be your big brothers and sisters. And, most importantly, you have each other. You make each other laugh hysterically over things that the rest of us do not understand, and it’s magical.

And so, given all this, my loves, your Dad and I want you to know that we love you, are so incredibly grateful for you and, most importantly, feel strongly that you’ll have no excuses not to get full scholarships to Ivy League schools (preferably Columbia so that Mommy can quasi-live in NYC with you).

Neither of them got further than this. Apparently the point was just to laugh at each other from a new angle.

Vendredation Day
June 1, 2007, 6:53 am
Filed under: birthday wishes, family, recommendations

I received my first birthday card in the mail yesterday. My birthday is July 21st (mark the calendars!). So did this person get the month wrong (as I have, on occasion, been guilty of)? No. This card was sent as an “early” happy birthday message from my wonderful Cousin Suzie (we like to “title” everyone in our family – Cousin Lori, Cousin Brad, Cousin Jenn, etc…). Cousin Suzie lives in Toronto and is actually my Mom’s first cousin, so my second cousin, and at least 10 years my senior.

She keeps Hallmark in business. Continue reading

The In-Laws
March 13, 2007, 7:29 am
Filed under: birthday wishes, family

Husband and I are both very lucky. Unlike many, many others, we both not only dutifully love each other’s mothers, but we actually like them too! In fact, mama-in-law and I like to joke about how everyone assumes we resent each other – me being a mungy-cake (classic “Canadian” who eats things like hot dogs, margarine on toast and kraft dinner… mmm… now I’m hungry) and she being, well… an Italian mother-in-law (judging by the number of unsolicited sympathetic looks I often receive, I’m assuming there is no elaboration required). We’ve stopped bothering trying to tell people they’re wrong. There’s no point, they won’t believe us.

So, Husband’s mama came to town on Saturday morning and we spent three lovely days together. We usually see each other over the hustle and bustle of a holiday season in his family’s energetic home north of Toronto, so the three days of relative relaxing was a wonderful step out of the ordinary. We had a similar experience with his sisters (one half of Team Sister) this past summer that I hope will be re-created this summer (DJ D – are you listening?!).

An important lesson lies within both of these experiences for me: It’s just amazing what you can get to know about a person (and what they can dig up about you) when you change up the venue and add a dash of wine.  We had a great time wandering around the city, relaxing at home, taking in the arts scene (hit both the National Arts *), cooking together (she’s much more fun to cook with than Husband!) and sharing desserts whenever and wherever the opportunity presented itself!

And as for Papa-in-law, who is awesome (I could write a whole other post on him…), I wish him a happy birthday today. He’ll probably never see this message, but goodness knows that’s never stopped me from sending warm e-vibes out before!!