Would you rather be a Demi-God or a mortal?

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On Sunday my son and I (boisterous being number one) embarked on our third crack at the Vancouver Sun Run. For those of you not in rain city, the Sun Run is one of the largest 10kms run/walks in the world. Before I go any further, let it be known that old Yifof is not much of a runner. I’m more of a happy shuffler. The Sun Run is right up my alley, because it welcomes people from all walks of life and abilities to lace up their runners and get involved. This annual tradition that me and my boy started is something that I look forward to year-round. Not only is it a splendid run, taking in the beauty of Vancouver, but for ten kilometres, running, walking and wheezing amongst thousands of other people, my son and I get to chat.

One on one.

The banter we share keeps our momentum and spirits up, and as a mother who can get bogged down with the day-to-day minutiae, I get to focus on my son. This year as we ran and walked, stopping only for water breaks and to high-five supporters lining the road, our topic of conversation was the Greek Gods. I have to say, not my first choice, simply because I know naff all about them, but as we pounded the pavement, I got a blow by blow account of these legends. The vast volume of information that my son has on these Gods, Demi-Gods and their offspring is staggering. For 10 kilometres he regaled me with tales of Poseidon and Athena and every other mythological being in between. Hearing about the Gods high-jinks From the unique perspective of a ten year-old kid is enthralling and hilarious all at the same time. This, all whilst soaking up the marvellous atmosphere of a collective experience.

What I love about the Sun Run is that it not only gives you a great view of our city, it also brings people together. All to often Vancouver gets a bad rap for being snobby, clicky and filled with pockets of communities that don’t mix. Some might say that as a city, it operates like an overgrown high school, where each group keeps to themselves. But on Sun Run day, all guards are dropped and every one gets into the spirit of a shared experience. All kinds of people line the roads to cheer-lead the participants. My boy and I saw some fabulous sights. People sitting in lawn chairs, sipping mimosas and encouraging the runners on with “Cheers!” and champagne. The sheer number of people who rise early on a Sunday morning to hold signs, offer support and soak up the vibe of a shared human experience, uplifted my soul in a way that is hard to put into words. Such moments are hard to come by. So I’d like to give a shout out to the people from all over the Lower Mainland who took the time to create this little slice of magic: The runners, the walkers, the cheering crew, the volunteers.  We really enjoyed the signs. We couldn’t take pictures of all of them, but here’s a couple:
 

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Of course this next sign was totally up Yifof’s alley:

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And when we crossed the finish line, how about this for a sight for sore legs:

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These fellas from Resource Works Society had the genius idea of cleverly marketing their cause in a cute package (pun intended).  Smart move. Get sweaty housewives falling into your arms, then alert them of your cause. Because they’re the ones who have the kids, and they are really the ones who have any bloody chance of saving our planet. So today on  World Earth Day, I salute the Natural Runners and their quest to get people talking  about how to use BC’s natural resources sustainably.  Check out their website for more information here: http://www.resourceworks.com/

On Monday an article was published on Buzzfeed that says a recent Stats Canada survey found Vancouver to be the unhappiest city in Canada. I disagree. After taking part in the Sun Run I know this city is so much more than melancholy hipsters. Maybe the naysayers, and indeed  all of us should try and put a little bit more sun-run spirit into our everyday lives.

Hump day…I see you baby, shaking that arse

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Welcome to Wednesday everyone!

 

It already feels like a glorious day.
The sun ain’t shining, but it is in my heart.
I just had a great writing session with a writer friend of mine. It’s amazing how just being with another writer can make you feel connected with the word and truly alive. To get the chance to share your love of the written word is a jolly fine thing indeed.
I was planning today to post songs about body parts (since one of this month’s challenges is all about the gym) but then a conversation with my kids yesterday was so inspiring that I decided to change tact.
So today there will be two songs and one video that is currently going viral on the internet. It’s poignant and worth sharing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

1. I see you baby shaking that arse – by Groove Armada
This song does involve a body part, actually the biggest muscle in your whole damn body – the almighty booty. I love this track and I can’t resist shaking my groove thing to it too.

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So yesterday as I was driving my kids around, the song ‘Same Love’ by Macklemore came on the radio. If you haven’t heard the song, It’s about how love is love, whether your gay, straight, bi, queer or whatever you identify as. I’ve heard the song countless times and it never fails to send shivers down my spine. So when the boisterous beings asked me what the song was about, I told them. I loved their reaction. I loved their look of indignance at how ridiculous bigotry is.
And if you ask me, if you want a rational view, go ask a child. They haven’t yet been tainted by world views; they just call life the way they see it. I loved how they didn’t question that everyone should be free to love who they want. And I love how my son said “lesbian. I love that word! It sounds like a cool name of a dragon warrior in a story…that would be such a cool character”. (He’s a dragon nut, so this is high praise indeed).
So in honour of my boisterous beings and their love and acceptance of everyone (which is the way we all should be), here is that beautiful song.

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Finally, here is a link to a video that is currently doing the rounds on the internet. This video is unconditional love. What a great video this is and what a marvellous family they are to share their journey. I hope you click the link and get back to me on what you think. Happy Wednesday…Big love to all!

http://www.upworthy.com/this-is-what-happens-when-parents-love-their-children-unconditionally?c=upw1

Mum, Mom, Mamma…No matter how you say it, it’s all just shorthand for unconditional love.

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Happy mother’s Day Y’all.
I love Mother’s Day.
Especially now.
Now that I’m a mother myself to the three boisterous beings, I truly appreciate what it means to be a Mum.
Motherhood is the best – and hardest journey you’ll ever get to experience.
From the moment you know that you’re having a baby, it’s like the axis of the world shifts slightly.
From then on, every decision, you make with your child(ren) in mind.
You second guess every. little. thing.
You try to be your best self, because there are people depending on you.
Being accountable every minute of the day ‘ain’t easy.
Not every woman who gives birth knows what it is to be a mother. Not every woman puts her kids first.
Not all mothers sacrifices their wants, in favour of their kids needs.
But I’m not here to preach, or judge on the women who just don’t get it. Not stepping up to the mother plate is their loss.
I can’t identify with their journey, because in the Mum department, I struck gold.
Fuck, who am I kidding…I am infinitely-beyond-words-lucky.
Because fate dealt me a Mum who is there for me. She always has been.
Someone who I can count on, no matter what I get right, what I do wrong.
A woman who taught me to go out and seize life.
To chase my dreams and stick two fingers up to all the negative nelly’s.
She knows just what words to say to cheer me up.
She knows damn right that the best solution to life’s ridiculous bits is to giggle like a hyena at the sheer absurdity of it all.
Having a mother that cares, someone who’s ‘got your back’ – is priceless.
It’s worth more than anything in this material world.
FACT.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a mum who is all of that to you, too, then I’d say you’re damn lucky.
Often, in this crazy mixed up world, we don’t take the time out of our day to tell the people who really love us just how much we care.
So today, I’m bellowing it loud and proud.
Thanks Mum.
Thanks for being there from the start. Heck, thanks for always being there. For being my cheerleader. For guiding me. For having my best interests at heart.
Thanks for showing me that a strong woman is allowed to cry. Thanks for showing me that sometimes, when life gives you lemons, say “fuck ’em all” and laugh instead. Thanks for staying up, all those sleepless nights, from babyville, to me coming-home-at-the-crack-of-dawn in my twenties. Thanks for cuddling me when I was sick. For lifting me back up to the light when I had a broken heart. Most of all, thanks for showing me that unconditional love is the most precious thing we can ever feel.
I love you Mum…You’re the best.
So with that sentiment in mind, check out this little Mums-are-awesome message below. Get yer hanky.

Hump Day – Love your Mama

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Hey Folks.

So in honour of Mother’s Day this Sunday, I have no choice but to serenade you with three songs that celebrate that special woman in our lives.
It’s a tricky one though, cos’ a lot of the Mama songs are sappy shite, and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that ain’t how the Yifof rolls.
So instead of force-feeding you Taylor Swift (The Best Day), the Spice Girls (Mama), or even the legendary Mr T’s unforgettable ‘Treat your Momma right’, I’ve gone with the three gems below.

Enjoy. Get your groove on. Then go call your Mum. She’ll be reet chuffed.

1. The Belle Stars – The Clapping Song

This song is everything that was RIGHT about the ’80s. Frivolous, cheesy and fucking fun.
This song is so full of the ‘whoopee’ factor, that even after 32 years it still makes me want to leap out of my chair and bust a ska move.

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2. Van Morrison – Days like this

So this song mention Mums. And my Mum introduced me to Van Morrison. Plus he has a cracking voice. What’s not to like?

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3. LL Cool J – Mama said Knock you Out

I told you I was gonna forfeit the schmaltz in favour or fun. What’s better that LL Cool J singing a comeback, pretending he ain’t and then threatening to get his Mama if you tease him?

DP Challenge – “Great Expectations”…Oh fuck it, who am I kidding?

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Being a parent is fab.

From the moment you pee on that stick and it blinks: “You’re up the duff”, life changes.
You promise yourself you are going to rock this parenting shizness.

First things first: Pregnancy. You will be a sweet, bohemian, earth-mother waif, all demure smiles and barely a bump.
You will not spend nine months eating everything in sight, until your gorging is so bad that your other half fears falling asleep, just in case you devour them too.
Once your baby arrives, you solemnly vow to be ‘Super-Mum’ in every aspect of the parenting game.
Will you breast feed? Hell ya! You will breastfeed until your child leaves home for university.
When you do eventually introduce solid foods, your little darling will only dine on homegrown, organic, ethically-sourced baby food that you puree at 6 am, in an ancient shamanic ritual to ensure your child lives a long, healthy life.
You definitely do not feed your kids jars of shit baby food, no longer giving a flying fuck about where it was made or canned, because it’s the only thing your child actually eats.
There’s no doubt about it. The adventure of being a parent is filled with many great expectations.
But here’s the kicker. From the minute you squeal “Holy Fuck! I’m going to have a baby” you set yourself up for failure.
Why? Because as parents, we are super-hard on ourselves. We set ourselves sky-high, ridiculous standards.
As for great expectations, I have them. Especially about language, specifically the ahem, colourful language that I use.
I have a rule: I don’t swear in front of my kids.
That is my great expectation. The reality is, when my eldest was a toddler, his favourite expression when he dropped something was “Up sakes!” (His father can take credit for that one).
Although it was always me at the park, who had to suffer the sneers from the smug Mummies: “Did your little one just say “FUCK SAKES?!!”
“No, but you just did. Please don’t swear in front of the children.”
Frankly, I was proud that the kid knew how to swear in the right context, even if he couldn’t quite pronounce ‘fuck’ properly.

But a couple of days ago, I read an article that kind of made me re-think all my fretting about dropping the odd f-bomb in front of the kids.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/22/brain-swearing-children-study-timothy-jay

According to the article, Dr. Timothy Jay, a psychologist and all-round profanity professor, says that parents should just well, fuck their expectations on the curse front. Apparently, by the time kids are toddlers, boys know six curse words, and girls know eight. That number increases to 34 and 21 respectively by the time they are six. He reckons swearing is inherent to human nature, that letting off steam is natural to us all, no matter how old we are.

“I think it’s part of them learning about their emotions and emotional expression and how their parents handle emotion, so I think if you look at it as just part of being angry or frustrated or happy or surprised, that is all normal. That’s built into all of us.”

So the moral of the story is, bugger it. We’re all destined to swear anyway, so why fight it?
Why feel guilty if you let the odd ‘bad’ word slip out? It’s your fucking destiny to curse.
So if your kid is at the play-park, spraying cuss words all over the place, don’t slouch, be proud.
After all, as my five-year-old said the other day when she got frustrated:

“Oh dammit!” (Another one of her father’s).
Me: “You mustn’t say that. It’s not a very nice word.
Daughter (wide-eyed and innocent): Why not Mummy? I’m just practicing for when I’m a grown-up and I get frustrated.”

Damn straight darling, damn straight.

But If you need any further proof that swearing is actually good for you, check out these words of wisdom from George Carlin in the clip below. Go on, watch it. It’s fucking hilarious. And his flares are awesome.


http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/great-expectations/

Facebook is the new valium and other wild ranty declarations

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One of the reason why I fucked off Facebook in the first place is how it made me feel.

But first, let’s back-up a little.
When I became a stay at home Mum of three boisterous beings (all born within four years. Shut-up. Keep your ‘sausage-up-an-alley jokes to yourselves) one of the things that drove me insane was the monotony.
Don’t get me wrong.
Not the monotony of the kids. Kids are anything but dull. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, they switch gears, leaving you scrambling to catch up.
Being a Mum rocks. And I should know, I’ve had a few jobs in my time. I’ve been everything from a Carnie, roaming California, sleeping under the stars, to working at a private bank, where the minimum balance for an account was 10 million.
Yet none of the jobs I’ve ever done have even come close to the trip of motherhood.
There ‘ain’t nothing like it.
But the staying at home part, when the kids are really little, is the epitome of humdrum city.
It’s the groundhog day shit like laundry, dirty dishes, and the incessant fucking housework, that no matter how hard you try and keep up, swamps you.
And before you know it, the isolation, the lack of communication with any one other than your children, beautiful as they are, becomes overwhelming.
You need contact. Human contact.
For many mothers (or indeed any one caring for small children on a twenty-four hour basis), it can stifle their soul.
Heck, it’s why in the 1950s, many housewives got hooked on a glass of wine, or valium, a.k.a “mother’s little helper” in order to deal with the tedium:

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But in the new millennium, we don’t just have pills to placate us. We have social media. Social media is the new valium. I’m not the first one to think so. Mom blogger, Mary Tyler Mom even wrote a post “Facebook is the New Valium” back in May 2013:
http://www.chicagonow.com/mary-tyler-mom/2013/03/facebook-is-the-new-valium/
In our modern age, instead of turning to a little bottle of pills to chill us out, mothers across the globe turn to our screens. We log on and check in to see how many people responded to our status updates on mundane days.
But the truth of the matter is this: the internet is not real company.
Sure, you may get a rush when you see that a whole bunch of your friends ‘liked’ your photo, or commented on something you wrote, but that feeling doesn’t last. It’s no comparison to sharing a conversation in real time with a good friend; swapping stories from the Mummy trenches, accompanied by a good belly laugh.
That realization that the internet is NOT real company was my epiphany this week.
The husband has been away for almost three weeks and so the day-to-day running of our loud, busy and rambunctious family has rested solely on my shoulders. The hardest part is not having someone at the end of the day to reflect with, to vent with, to laugh with at the fuck-ups.
So one evening this week I logged into my Facebook account. I was feeling lonely and craving company.
All those pictures of my family and friends a world away, did only one thing.
They made me feel even worse.
But guess what, I’m not alone. In fact, according to a Fox news report, many people find that looking at Facebook makes them feel depressed:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/24/addicted-to-facebook-study-shows-users-are-lonelier/

Cos’ let’s be honest, most Facebook posts are all about the big brag, the dream vacay, the new promotion, the skydiving trip.
No one ever writes about the shit bits, or posts pictures of themselves looking like a member of the zombie apocalypse.
But the good news is, since I’ve had this Facebook hiatus, I could recognize the ‘symptoms’ immediately.
So instead of drowning in a Facebook fear-of-missing-out and self-loathing creep fest, I did something about it.
I called my friends. I saw them. I laughed raucously and made rude jokes. And the truth is, the rush of endorphins from being with others is the best mother’s little helper.
It doesn’t compare to peering at a screen, passively watching the edited snapshots of peoples lives.
I’m so pleased that I began this journey, abandoning my computer screen and trying to get more out of life.
Sure Facebook is a way of connecting, but so is meeting in person, firing off a letter or picking up the phone.
Yifof is the way forward, for me at least…would you try it?