Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Let it be resolved

I never make resolutions. Never. Thirty-four years on this planet, I've never felt compelled to improve myself. Sure, I make to-do lists occasionally, but they usually involve, say, going to the post office, not learning to cook French cuisine. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I should be making resolutions.

Here goes...

1. Be better informed about world events.
2. Read at least some of the National Geographic that appears in my mailbox every month.
3. Be an active conversationalist.
4. Play my violin regularly.
5. Speak Polish with Helena.
6. Speak French with all the French people around here.
7. Take a walk every day.
8. Procrastinate less, work more efficiently.
9. Make more to-do lists.
10. Drink more, in that fun, uninhibited way.

That's enough. Wish me luck.

Number 14

Lower right cuspid.

Cranky girl. Ya big baby — it's just a bony growth piercing your gums.

Morgan's angels

Richard Morgan's Broken Angels is a neat (sometimes very messy) adventure story set against a sweeping backdrop of dirty politics, revolutionaries, corporate loyalties, and military action, and on this foundation it begins to construct a Martian mythology.

This is the same world we were introduced to in Altered Carbon, further fleshed out and featuring the same but freshly sleeved hero, Takeshi Kovacs. Whereas Altered Carbon was a detective story driven by individuals, Broken Angels is a kind of treasure hunt, where personalities are secondary to the vast corporate and other forces that direct them. The noir is gone, but the darkness remains in this more traditional and militaristic sci-fi story.

The characters, though secondary, are fully three-dimensional with consistent behaviour. When bodies are so easily replaced, identity by personality is very important, and Morgan is a master at this. Takeshi Kovacs remains complex, a product of his slum-ridden childhood, his special-ops training, and bio-engineering, including a wolf gene splice.

The language and the violence are still pretty hard-boiled.

But. The punctuation. Was driving me. Nuts. Periods are intended to mark the end of a full sentence or, at the very least, a complete thought. Here, they are used to mark. Both unnatural. And natural pauses. Dashes and ellipses are better suited to this purpose — showing... how we... slow down to... collect our thoughts, or when our — speech — is — externally — interrupted. Fire that copyeditor.

The broken angels of the title are the vanished Martian civilization. I hope the archeologists of Richard Morgan's world will continue to pick away at their remains and piece together their culture in the third Kovacs novel, Woken Furies.

Same old pain in the ass

The pain is subsiding, but the sight of the site of it is absolutely grotesque and streaming with colour. It radiates heat. J-F says it looks like a bullet wound.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Home for the holidays

It was nice to go "home" to spend Christmas with family — Helena brought many people much cheer — but there's nothing like coming home.

Dismayed by the news of no news from Mars. The Beagle may or may not have landed.

Today and yesterday felt more like Christmas than any day of the last couple weeks. Lazing about in my new Christmas pyjamas, and playing. Playing, and not working. Playing with baby, and with baby's toys, and on the computer. Reading. Relaxing.

I've added the soon to be published Mimi Smartypants to my sidebar because I think she's dreadfully funny. And she has a freshly adopted daughter about Helena's age, so I can compare notes.

Helena's toys

I have little say in what others give Helena. I have little say in whether Helena will like what others give her.

At the end of the day, I can stand back and watch. I'm learning to see through Helena's eyes. And sometimes I even understand what other people were thinking when they purchased their strange playthings.

This said, I feel such elation, pride, and vindication when Helena interacts with the toys I picked out for her. If I can find objects that produce such joy in her, maybe I have some inkling as to what I'm doing as a mother after all.

It doesn't have to be big or bright. No bells and whistles, so to speak. Digital this, electronic that... I believe in simple and pure.

For Christmas we gave her a shape-sorting castle, pictured here. She's entranced by it.

Helena also received lots of clothes, in which generally she doesn't show much interest; books aplenty, including a series of four brilliantly illustrated books of nursery rhymes and an amazing cloth book with a tiny Pooh bear that can be moved from page to page (Helena hasn't shown much interest in this yet; its appeal is to adult Pooh fans); and Lego, with its own table.

The Lego is from my sister. I think Lego is awesome, and I hope Helena will, too. We've waited to make the introduction. We have yet to establish a Lego play area, and we've waited for Christmas happenings and excitement to die down. But now, soon, maybe tomorrow, it is time.

Where is the Walrus?

God help me if I can find a copy in Montreal, and I've looked, and I've looked.

Bookninja's mad, too:

Extra! Well, here it is, the end of another month and The Walrus is AWOL, AGAIN. Are they late? Are they on a break? What is their schedule? No one seems to know. It's not in the magazine (at least not easily found) and it's not on the ridiculously out-of-date and error-ridden website (eg, on their contact page: "ADVERTISERS: Plese read Information for advertisers." Typo and broken link... That's gotta inspire confidence.) The first issue somehow made it to stands before those hoodwinked into subscribing by a massive media blitz even saw it, the second issue was weeks late with the excuse, "Hey, it's still November and we only said 10 issues a year." So, apparently, those other two months are to be doled out in two and three week chunks as needed to cover for inept editing and poor management. We'll see what happens come April when they've used this "flex time" up and the excuses and finger pointing start to get really amusing. It's bad enough the magazine looks like a bad text book and that the articles are so boring they seem to actually reach into you and squeeze your adrenal glands shut, but on top of poor design and editing, the damn thing is late three times in a row. I could excuse a few screw-ups from a magazine that was working its way up from a grassroots following to a monthly publication, but these guys have sold the Canadian public (and some big American writers) on their cash, reliability, and editorial "vision." Did that vision include bored readers and late issues? Probably not. As of 10:30 this morning, no one was answering the phone there. 10:30 on a Monday when there are millions of dollars in the pot! This magazine is supposed to be Canada's answer to American juggernauts like Harper's and The New Yorker, but despite it's $5 million kitty, it actually is more closely related to another American institution: Mickey Mouse. Ask yourself a serious question: why has no one written about this in the mainstream media? $2.50 a word, that's why. So much for the integrity of journalism.

Maybe I don't care if I can't find a copy.

Monday, December 29, 2003

The extraordinariness of it all

Last night we watched The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

The website is basic and can't decide whether it's Allan Quatermain or Quartermain, Dorian Gray or Grey. I hate that.

The movie was off to a great start, built on a fabulous premise, but somewhere along the way it got confusing, then boring.

Of course, now I must search out the graphic novel by Alan Moore upon which the film was based. I hate being one of those people who come upon books via blockbusters. I want to have known the book first. In this case, I did lay eyes and hands on the book some two years, courtesy of J-F's uncle, and I was intrigued, but I never followed through.

As such, I don't know whether my problems with the material generate with the moviemakers or whether they lie with the source text.

Allan Quatermain. I'm not familiar with this legend of a man. He seems a fitting leader.

Captain Nemo. I guess I'll have to read Verne to know if Nemo had kung fu in addition to science.

The Invisible Man. The movie features not the Invisible Man, as it seems the book does, but rather some thug who stole the formula. If Griffin was good enough for Moore's story, then why not for the movie?

Mina Harker. Since when is she a chemist? And why isn't her behaviour typical of vampire mythology? (She is out and about in daylight, and I believe she checks herself in a mirror.) And why do all the movie and book reviews spell her name "Minna" (did Moore do that?)?

Dorian Gray. Weird choice for a "hero." Weird. He says he's there amend for his wrongful ways. Not believable motivation. As for the later revealed real motivation, it simply doesn't make any sense. The guy's immortal — if someone has something he wants, he could walk right up and take it.

Tom Sawyer. Not among the league in the source text. Not a good idea to include him in the film. Necessary to embrace some Americanism? He sure don't talk like I thought he would. An' if I was the government, I wouldn't be lookin' to enlist the likes of 'im. Yet, according to the movie's official website, "the American government hunted him down... Tom's mission: to infiltrate the League." Huh. I watched the whole movie, and I didn't know that.

Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. Why is he in Paris? Quatermain when hunting him down makes reference to the string of as yet unexplained murders in the Rue Morgue. But those of us who have actually read Edgar Allan Poe know the culprit there to be an orangutan. (Apparently Dupin has a role in Moore's work, but I don't know in what context.)

As for our villain:

He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson.
He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city.
He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker.
He has a brain of the first order.
He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them.
He does little himself.
He only plans.
But his agents are numerous and splendidly organized.

Sadly, little of this character actually shines through on film.

The first "incident" of the movie involves the theft of blueprints of Venice, an aid in boobytrapping a secret conference of world leaders. However, my understanding is that this secret conference was only called in response to the series of incidents set off by the circumstances surrounding the theft of the blueprints. Hmmm. Too, I'd think the conference attendees would be made aware of the threat to their meeting location and maybe reschedule. (From all I can deduce, the main plot point of the graphic novel is confined to London. I suppose the Venice setting showcased the Nautilus in ways London never could.)

Still, a nice literary jigsaw puzzle of a premise. Not at all ordinary.

A bigger pain in the ass

The bruising is spectacular. J-F says it looks like Saturn.

The flesh of my buttock is now augmented by a hard, grapefruit-sized lump. Sitting hurts; moving is awkward.

It seems I must've put out a hand to break my fall after all — a tough reflex to inhibit. My thumb and wrist are tender, and on close inspection there is a shallow scrape across the meat of my palm.

I'd wanted to go for a walk with Helena today — get some air, buy some fruit. But I'm not sure I can carry her down and then up again to the third floor, let alone with a diaper bag and any shopping we pick up.


Sunday, December 28, 2003

Pain in the ass

Today, I fell. On my ass. Hard. On the ice in our parking lot. With baby in arms.

In readjusting the grip on my purse, I lost my balance. The irony is that, were it not for having a sleeping baby in my arms, I'd've recovered a well centred and upright position, or at least broken the fall.

But I hugged her tight and close. In slow motion, I felt dread and panic as to what might befall my precious cargo.

The jostling obviously woke her, and she woke up laughing. I almost think she was laughing at me falling, but maybe it just felt funny.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Merry Christmas!

J-F's taken Helena into the office with him this morning. It's still officially a workday, but the atmosphere is casual and festive.

When they return, we pack up the car and drive. I expect we'll be there well before midnight, but I also expect my mom will be a little miffed that we're late for the traditional supper.

Just my mom and my sister will be there. A quiet holiday. But I hope a happy one. For my mom, I mean. I'm happy. There's no doubt Helena is full of cheer. And J-F — the next few days won't be easy for him, but I know he's happy to do it.

The New Yorker has posted A Visit from Saint Nicholas (In the Ernest Hemingway Manner) by James Thurber (December 24, 1927):

“We have visions of sugarplums,” the children said.

“Go to sleep,” said mamma.

“We can’t sleep,” said the children. They stopped talking, but I could hear them moving. They made sounds.

“Can you sleep?” asked the children.

“No,” I said.

“You ought to sleep.”

“I know. I ought to sleep.”

“Can we have some sugarplums?”

“You can’t have any sugarplums,” said mamma.

“We just asked you.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

The person Helena will become

How much is my child an expression of myself?

"Grown-up stores marketing children's items add to the misconception that kids are just like adults, only smaller. And the unfortunate side effect of that theory seems to be the burgeoning concept of parenting by art direction: The belief that one can mold his or her child's personality by purchasing the appropriate accoutrements."

How do I groom her to be an astronaut?

"An Ikea child would feel stifled and confused in the home of a Pottery Barn kid. Except for the wicker baskets. They both have wicker baskets."

Even Helena has wicker baskets. For her cloth diapers.

But her room's a mess actually. I wouldn't feel comfortable sleeping in there. I should do something about that.

On her wall are letters spelling out her name that I cut out of some old Picasso calendars. Mostly because I didn't have any child-appropriate posters to hang, painting would require too much energy, and I had more old calendars on hand than I do bristol board in primary colours.

As for around the house, we listen to a lot of Beethoven, some Miles Davis. We prefer to have CBC radio provide the background noise to our day than to watch television. There are books everywhere; Helena sees me often with my nose in a book and mimics this behaviour.

I have, of course, insisted on a couple splurge items (and convinced other family members to splurge on these items for us): the chair and the stroller.

"Roll a hulking Graco stroller down the streets of Manhattan and you'll be greeted with xenophobic stares from all the Maclaren pushers. But this is not just urban elitism; it goes both ways. Take one of those lightweight Maclarens with you while visiting relatives out in SUV country and you'll have incredulous neighbors asking you where the baby's cupholder and clip-on toy rack are."

Helena's an urban baby.

Still, all we want for her is the best — we're just muddling about trying to figure out what that is.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Baby dolls

I see them both now. I just can't let it go.

Helena got dolls for her birthday from both her grandmothers.

My mother sent her a sweet little musical thing. The doll from my mother-in-law, on the other hand, continues to give me the creeps.

I'm kicking myself for not having saved the tag, though I'm fairly certain it offered little information other than to identify her as Lazy Baby featuring a beanbag body. I wish I could link to a picture of her, because truly this is the ugliest doll ever.

She has a squat, misshapen head, with narrowset eyes. They blink an unnatural blue behind a coarse brush of lashes. The pinched face closes in on a removable pacifier (a habit Helena never developed a liking for).

She's an Edward Gorey baby. But not even his Gashlycrumb Tinies depict this doll's ghastliness. Well maybe Xerxes and Kate, but with a glint of evil.

I never much cared for dolls. Helena doesn't seem to much either.
Helena's BA-ACK! My cold's almost gone, I'm exhausted, and the day is almost over. So far, today, amid phonecalls from J-F and from my mom and sister, I've fed baby, played with baby, changed baby, unpacked some of her stuff from the weekend, fed baby some more, had coffee, sorted laundry (but washed only one load), cleaned the cat litter, fed the cats, changed baby, fed baby again, changed baby, did dishes, checked for mail, made cookies, played peekaboo, changed baby, read most of the Grinch (aloud), fed baby, prepared dough for a different batch of cookies, did more dishes, played ball with baby, practiced walking, fed baby again, finished my morning coffee, fed the cats, changed baby, prepared baby a snack, and completed 45 minutes of billable work.

I neglected to have my morning orange juice and vitamin.

I have got to stop procrastinating.
They have awards for this stuff?!

Sunday, December 21, 2003


It's been almost 48 hours.

Friday afternoon, J-F dropped off Helena at her grandmother's house. There was a hustle and bustle in packing her up and sending her off. Then I headed out for a couple hours' unhindered Christmas shopping. And I returned home to an eerie stillness.

This time away was intended to provide us with a little romantic respite, to throw caution to the wind in celebrating J-F's birthday on Saturday.

In addition to spending time alone together, we've had time alone.

Though my head is clouded with phlegm, I can hear my thoughts a little clearer, and I can hear my body telling me to rest — messages Helena usually helps me ignore.

As much as I've needed a break from her, I'm sure she needed a break from me, too. It can't be fun spending all one's time with me. Day in, day out, "Mom can be such a drag." It sounds like she's had fun, but I hope she missed me a little. I miss her terribly.

We're off to retrieve her shortly.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

What's your favourite book?

Bookslut, among others, thinks it's a stupid question, but people still ask it, answer it, and analyze the answers, as well the question-askers.

I've asked it often and I feel no shame.

And I answer: The Razor's Edge, W. Somerset Maugham; The First Century After Beatrice, Amin Maalouf.

12 and 13

My baby is miserable today.

We're all sick. J-F was first. He's just about over it now. Helena's been... there's no other way to describe it than "under the weather," since Monday. I resisted for 24 hours longer. And then I was tired, and my throat was sore, and I ached, and my head was foggy, and I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Today, right now as a matter of fact, Helena is bawling. And in mid-scream, I caught a glimpse of those pearly whites, new ones, of the molar variety.

Upper and lower left first molars. Numbers 12 and 13.

Helena's propensity for asymmetry thrives. Lower right cuspid still not in view.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Colour our world

For her birthday, I got Helena a colouring book from the Dollarama and some classic Crayola crayons.

The box of eight we purchased is clearly labeled 1+ (as is the U.K. pack of jumbo crayons — Look! They're huge! And there's no paper wrapper.).

But it seems in the U.S. they're recommended for ages 3 and up. (Are American babies less artistic than others?)

Helena's not impressed. They're simply not very tasty. Every few days I try to encourage crayon use, but it only promotes crayon ingestion. It takes a second for her to remember that the green one tastes icky (I think it's the texture), so she tries the red one. I guess she thinks they must be flavoured differently.

So far Helena's more Beethoven than Picasso. With a touch of engineer (Leonardo?). She can now stack three blocks and tries to match the shapes to the sorter (sometimes successfully). And she loves her cups this week — nesting has been pretty much conquered, though stacking is still a challenge (a height issue).

Yesterday evening, Helena spent an hour moving our socks from wherever in the bedroom we may have dropped them when disrobing to the hallway, then from the hallway to behind the bedroom door, then back to the hallway. The wheels are turning...

Is anal-retentive hyphenated?

I have work somewhat under control, so I feel I deserve to vent publicly about what terrible writers doctors make.

There, I feel better already.

But this puzzles me: one author neatly and consistently formatted all his 124 references, identifying the second author of each source by initials only.

There are a lot of style guides out there, and more than two perfectly valid ways of styling reference lists, but I can't imagine what this author might've read to lead him to invest the time to meticulously replace names in a given position with initials.

This author is a smart cookie, no doubt, having published articles, chapters, and books. But this is weirdly channeled obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Just plain weird.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Stop that right now

According to a recent study, I'm an abusive parent.

Today's article in Salon mocks the notion:

"They do not distinguish between different forms of communication -- harmful invective like "I wish you had never been born!" as opposed to "Do your homework now!" pleas. In their view, it also doesn't seem to make a difference if parents scream at their children constantly, or just get loud once in a while."


I wonder if the experts have kids. If they don't raise their own voices from time to time out of frustration, they must be dead inside.

As if Helena doesn't make me feel guilty enough. That tiny little word "no" carries such force behind it as to generate torrents of tears.

I used to be first in line to blame parents for the sorry state of today's youth. But I begin to see the light. I spent the summer trying to afix a hat to Helena's head, while she spent the summer flinging all headgear to the ground, and numerous busybodies scolded me for not protecting my child from the sun. Abuse indeed! That much hat-flinging would cause any mother to raise her voice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This is hard

Really, really hard.

I'm working. I have deadlines. I have professional pride. And I have a baby underfoot.

During the daytime, I can usually manage two hours of work while Helena naps or entertains herself. There's a couple more hours of "free" time, but that gets used up in sweeping, laundry, preparing dinner, the occasional excursion outdoors, and my morning coffee — all essential activities that cannot be sacrificed. My world would collapse if these were not performed.

I work when J-F comes home from work, and on his days off, and on the weekends. Needless to say, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for enjoying each other's company. Sigh.

I'm tired. But I do feel I'm accomplishing something a little bigger than the financial contribution to the household.

I have seriously cut down on the procrastination. While I used to blog to avoid some unpleasantness or other, now it's my reward for staying on track.

Ironically, the topic of working at home with kids has made a showing on CE-L this week, but I've been too busy to read and glean anything from that conversation.

I'm still hoping that this work schedule will somehow settle into itself, and that I'll master travel at the speed of light and acquire the ability to leap tall deadlines in a single bound.

It helps that Helena is independant and is quick to find a way to occupy her time. I just have to finetune the eyes in the back of my head to ensure it doesn't involve the contents of the garbage can.

Reality does not yet match the perfect picture in my head — the one where I'm well coiffed and quickly tapping away at the keyboard, baby at my feet learning to read, purring cats curled up nearby, Beethoven, an aura of peace and productivity and efficiency engulfing our clean and neatly ordered and stylish apartment. But we get a little closer every day.

Still, this is harder than I thought it would be. It's pretty hard.

Time for Teletubbies

Today we watched Teletubbies. It's not the first time we've tuned in, but it's the first time Helena's really watched.

I do think this show is brilliant for very young children learning to respond to sights and sounds — clear colours, funny noises, and a giggly baby sunshine! And no complicated plot to follow.

Today Helena was all a-squeal — laughing and pointing and clapping and peering with that look in her eyes that says she's figured something out.

Thus far it's occasionally been convenient to place Helena in front of a television in order to induce a nap. (TV can have a hypnotizing effect on us all.) We've been indiscriminate in our viewing habits, but now I know it matters.

Time for tubby bye bye!
Work, work, work.

Work now, blog later.

All work and no blog makes Isabella a little crazy.

Monday, December 08, 2003

What writers read

The Guardian invited writers and critics to share their favourites of 2003.

AS Byatt makes me want to read The Cryptographer, which I've added to my wish list.

So much to read, so little time...

Confronting demons

I too got caught up in the frenzy surrounding The Da Vinci Code — I read it last spring and loved it, especially that it had very short chapters.

(It should come as no surprise that the Code has already been optioned to Hollywood.)

The mystery forming the framework of Code was familiar to me. Not only have I played Gabriel Knight: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, I have read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln), which Brown references within the novel.

I had to read the previous adventure of Brown's hero, the Harvard symbologist.

Angels & Demons is not quite as friendly a beast. (But friendlier by far than Foucault's Pendulum.) For starters, I know little about the Illuminati, so the plot was much harder to swallow. I couldn't understand the motivation of most of the characters. I am unable to accept, let alone fathom, one of the book's central relationships — that between genius scientist Vittoria and her adopted father, the book's first victim, who is both a CERN scientist and a Catholic priest. I don't think it's common for priests to adopt children, and there are two such relationships in the novel. This is a weak ploy for building an emotional familial connection between characters.

Angels & Demons did, however, brilliantly paint Vatican City, secret passageways, ancient churches. It humanized the mystery of the papal conclave. The Vatican and its popes is rife with intrigue and conspiracy, with endless fodder for fiction. Having read about the "murder" of Pope John Paul I, perhaps I was able to suspend some components of disbelief quite readily.

Apparently there is more in store for our crime fighter, though I suspect the need for an expert in religious symbols may be limited. (I'd love to see a mystery based on the cult of the Black Madonna!) Although, there is a whole world of religion beyond Western Christianity to explore...

Friday, December 05, 2003

That was fast

Jayson Blair's book is on its way.

I wonder if it's been fact-checked.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

What editors wear

Dressing the executive editor at St Martin's Press:

"A typical work outfit for Ms. Beier consists of an ivory Marc Jacobs cashmere turtleneck ($640), a red wool miniskirt by Club Monaco ($89), black boots from Sacco ($275) and a gray Burberry duffle coat ($675). Books and manuscripts are stashed in a cream leather Hogan Pan Am bag ($795), which can also house a smaller orange suede Prada purse."

I'd like to know, "What editors?! Where?"

How much do they pay her? Does she wear a different cashmere turtleneck every day of the week?

I wear a Gap turtleneck ($29) and pyjama bottoms ($10). Same ones pretty much all week, though I save a "good," non-baby-food-splattered sweater and jeans for excursions into the outside world.

But then, I edit copy, not executives.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Coincidentally, I hear there's a new, uniquely packaged Talking Heads box set.

I don't care what Tina Weymouth says. David Byrne is a genius.

Once in a lifetime

When in DC at my sister's place, we watched The Family Man (starring Nicolas Cage) on tv.

And ever since, I've had the Talking Heads in my head:

"And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself — Well... How did I get here?

The movie is sticking to me like toilet paper. It's not particularly good, but I can't shake it. It shows me the matrix of my life.

How the hell did I get here? and is this where I wanted to go? Sometimes I think about the choices I've made, leaving the coolest job ever to live with my love in another (much cooler) city, not working (ya right, that's a sacrifice) to stay with baby. Peanuts. It's not like I ever had clearly defined ambitions. Vague ones like being rich and famous, sure...

And here we are.

There is no dress rehearsal for life...

Number 11

Lower left cuspid.

Helena woke up crying a couple of times last night.

The right cuspid will be through at any time now.

How many more teeth can that sweet little mouth hold?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Mom email

This piece on Mommy Mail really sums up my sentiments precisely.

I hate syrup. I am not a martyr. I still have dreams. And sometimes I sneak away to where nobody will disturb me (read bathroom) so I can read whatever I want, leaving my boyfriend, or sister, or mother-in-law to tend to baby's needs and/or demands.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Hi Honey, we're home!

Two mostly successful flights for baby — there, and back.

Helena is so cute, airport personnel and people in general can't help but be charmed into helping and forgiving.

To start off our adventure, I needed coffee. The girls at Starbucks were super — accommodating with the room we took up and patient with the mess we made feeding Helena, they gave Helena a stray Bumble (of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer fame) finger puppet.

The flight was uneventful. Helena was a bit antsy from time to time but a flight attendant or fellow passenger would always start in on a game of peekaboo. She slept through our descent and landing.

Yvonne had presents galore waiting for Helena at home. Lots of exciting new additions to her wardrobe. And two books: Art Spiegelman's Open Me...I'm a Dog and Tails by Matthew Van Fleet. The tails are a big hit, two of them already having been ripped from their pages.

Our days were full with laughter and turkey. We wandered through neighbourhoods and browsed in bookstores.

And then we came home.