the thirties grind

get up, go to work, raise kids, pay bills, sleep. repeat.

Archive for the category “Feature”

Do your babysitters do more than sit?

So…when I was a babysitter not so long ago (indulge me) I didn’t just “sit”. After the kids in my care went to sleep, and before I retired to the couch or tied up the phone line for hours on end, I would often do dishes fold laundry or some other kind of extra work. I always asked the parents before they left if there was anything extra they’d like me to do. Of course, the teenage me secretly prayed they wouldn’t come up with anything but I always complied when something was requested. I think I made $5/hour…maybe $8 in my hay day.

I often pay babysitters between $8-12 an hour and I have only ever had ONE do some extra chores (and she was a nanny by day).
Read more…

Save Le Marché St. George! Neighbour complaints may force local gem to close its doors

le marcheWow…it’s lovely to see the Grinch is alive and well in Vancouver. Le Marché St. George is one of my favourite spots in our beautiful neighbourhood. With everything from local eggs and honey, to probably the best pain au chocolat this side of the Sienne, I cannot imagine why anyone would gripe about having such a wonderful, warm spot on their block. Alas, someone has filed a complaint with the City of Vancouver.

According the Le Marché’s Facebook page: Read more…

B.C.’s new education curriculum sounds great, but is it really possible?

kids onlineI think that the media likes to stir shit when it comes to BC Education…they know it’s a very, very touchy subject. Yesterday’s article in the Vancouver Sun addressed “major changes” coming to British Columbia’s education curriculum. Changes that would be “optional” for K-9 this year, but mandatory next year.

Education Minister Mike Bernier said the transition is happening because parents want their kids to succeed as technology and innovation reshape society.

“Parents expect their kids to learn the basics — reading, writing and arithmetic. They also want them to learn the collaboration, critical thinking and communications skills they’ll need to succeed in college, university and the workforce,” says Bernier.

“Personalized learning is at the heart of the changes — and teachers will have the time and ability to help kids dig into what interests them. We all know how passionate kids can be when they get into something like music, soccer, or dinosaurs. The new curriculum will give teachers the ability to tap into these passions.”

From The Vancouver Sun (read the full story here).

Read more…

“Mama, there’s a man in here.”: talking about Trans inclusive change rooms at Vancouver pools

A friend of mine was recently telling me about an experience she had at Hillcrest pool. She had been swimming with her two daughters (8 and 12) and they were back in the women’s change room. As she was changing, my friend noticed her youngest daughter’s face change as she whispered, “Mama…there’s a man in here.” Read more…

The bizarre life of an Upper East Side housewife isn’t that bizarre

So…a friend posted this article on Facebook this morning.  It was about author Wednesday Martin’s anthropological dissection of her experience as a woman/wife/mother living in New York’s affluent Upper East Side.  As I read through the piece, I couldn’t help but equate much of what I was reading with things I have witnessed myself.  Maybe not on the same uber-wealthy level, but definitely behaviour of the mean-girl, queen bee, mom-war, snobby, elitist variety. Read more…

Absurd Vancouver Property: Downtown eastside house for $1.4 million

Who would have EVER thought that a house in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside would sell for a million dollars…nevermind almost a million and a half . Read more…

Absurd Vancouver Property: Italian Village vs. Burnaby house

italy-village-wide_1873768i
It’s been a while since I have posted a property comparison.  However, someone shared a link on my Facebook page and I figured I had to find what you could buy in Vancouver for the same price as an entire Italian village. Read more…

Renovating in Vancouver: realizing my vision

renovating in vancouver

When we bought our house, I knew there was room to expand our third floor.  At the time, I was pregnant with our second child.  Our daughter was two and we were expecting a boy.  The upstairs had two large bedrooms, and I knew that we could eventually turn the back bedroom, that the kids would occupy, into two smaller bedrooms.  Unfortunately, even if you can afford a house, renovating in Vancouver is a reality that usually comes along with it.

We also only have ONE bathroom upstairs.  Aside from the bathroom in our basement suite, this is the only bathroom in the entire house…which is a stretch to use for a busy family of four.  First world problems, I know, but there you have it. Read more…

Eric and Ilsa make $25K a month but can’t afford a house

empty-pockets

Eric and Ilsa are like many Vancouver couples…they are grappling with the cost of housing in Vancouver, struggling to find a way to afford a home for their family of 7 to call their own.  However, Eric and Ilsa have a combined income of $350K/year (which will increase to $450K when Ilsa returns to work).  Nevertheless, the two (who by the way have been living rent-free in a relative’s house) cannot figure out for the life of them how they can afford a house for their family in our fair city. Read more…

Why I want to make out with Jennifer Garner

baby bump

I have a love/hate relationship with my body.  Actually, if I’m being honest, I just have a hate relationship with my body.

I remember the moment when I became aware that my body wasn’t perfect.  I think I was probably about eight (my daughter’s age).  I was sitting on the floor and a relative told me to put my legs together so that we could look at the shape of them.  She described how perfect legs have a gap between the ankles and calves, a gap between the calves and knees and (most importantly) a gap between the knees and hips.  I learned about “thigh gap” at eight years old.

I don’t have a gap between my knees and my hips.  Never have.  I was blessed cursed with short, muscular legs and I have always been self-conscious about them.  Sometimes I wonder if I would feel the same way if I never learned about thigh-gap.  It really wasn’t that relative’s fault…I would have learned about my horrid imperfection soon enough.

Flash forward to 20 years later when my body gave birth to my beautiful daughter.  After years of adolescence and early adulthood where I was still criticizing and loathing my body, it was doing the most gorgeous and splendid thing possible…yet, I was still not happy with it or grateful for it.  I felt awful in my postpartum skin.  My baggy tummy, my (enormous!) leaky breasts.  All I could think about was how much work it was going to be to get back to “normal”…and I wasn’t even happy with my normal in the first place.

IMG_20141010_161038Today, I still struggle with body image.  I’m not sure I’d believe any woman who told me that she doesn’t.  How can we not…with all the imagery and messaging that we are inundated with from such a young age – how the hell are we supposed to even accept (never mind love) our bodies.

I often look in the mirror at my still slightly rounded tummy…and judge it.  Judge myself – for not doing more to make it flatter.  Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that sandwich yesterday, maybe I should do another cleanse, maybe I’m not working out enough, maybe there’s something wrong with my hormones…

Maybe I should just. fucking. get. over. it.

Yesterday I watched this clip of Jennifer Garner on the Ellen Show.  Jenn’s got a tummy.  Like me.  Like most moms.  She’s not perfect…and she seems (in that moment, anyway) to be okay with it.  That is a beautiful thing.

I watched this clip and, I’d like to say I had some kind of Oprah “lightbulb” moment.  I didn’t.  I know that I’m still going to look in the mirror from time to time and think “ugh…”  But there’s something about associating your children’s names with your body, the body that brought them into the world.  It makes it a TON harder to hate on it.  So, now, I’m going to do that…when I catch myself looking down at my tummy and thinking it’s not flat enough or toned enough…I’m going to picture my children, who grew inside there.

Yup.  I have a baby bump.  It’s name is Cait and Asher.

Thank you, Garner. Like, big, sloppy, wet kiss thank you.

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