Target Is My Self Care

Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .
CS Lewis

Until this point, I credit two things with my suburban survival: self care and Target.  Two weeks ago, the two collided beautifully as I got my hair done and bantered with my new stylist.  After opening up to each other about breastfeeding struggles, how we trick our toddlers into eating, and the loss of identity when you’re “just a mom” for the first time, she bashfully posed a question to me.

“Do you ever, like, just go to Target. At night. After the kids are asleep.  And just sort of walk around?”

“Oh man, I thought I was the only one!” I said, mentally noting that this woman was a strong candidate for BFF status.

I didn’t give this exchange much thought until last Thursday when I […]

By |January 21st, 2016|Girl Gab, MOMents, Musings|0 Comments

The Show Must Go On!

Every day, Mackenzie drops an unexpected new word. Or two. I am quickly approaching the point where I can no longer use my “driving words” – those lovely little four-letter words that express the deep seated rage you can only feel when some yahoo cuts you off and slows freeway traffic to 45.   The kid can hear a word once, and two weeks later repeat it perfectly, almost as though she’s been practicing it inside her head and waiting for the perfect time to finally speak it in a tiny toddler squeak.  (So I’m probably already screwed. )

It’s unclear where she learns most of her words and phrases.  Tonight, in an attempt to get out of her pyjamas and escape bedtime, she told her dad, “I need a new diaper! I’m soaking! I peed everywhere!”  Home girl was bone dry. But “I’m soaking” was definitely a new one.  This […]

By |January 20th, 2016|Family, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents|3 Comments

Reasons My Toddler Cried Today

I said no to McDonalds pancakes for breakfast.
The bacon at home isn’t cold enough.
She is not allowed to open new boxes of pasta to test that gravity still works.
She cut her toe.
She didn’t want a bandaid on the aforementioned injury.
She only had one Mickey Mouse Bandaid.
She only had two Mickey Mouse Bandaids.
She only had three Mickey Mouse Bandaids.
She pulled off all three Bandaids.
The Bandaids won’t restick.
She didn’t want a new Bandaid; she wanted the old Bandaids.
It’s wet in the shower.
Drying off is apparently painful.
Lunch isn’t a hotdog.
Getting in the car will make her nap.
Only two stuffies were allowed to join her for the nap-inducing drive.
She’s falling asleep.

Sometimes I start to lose my patience. It’s easy to feel exasperated when it seems like nothing you do is good enough for a tyrannical toddler.  But the best parenting advice my mother has given me is to parent with empathy.

I, too, have cried over […]

By |January 14th, 2016|Family, Life, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents|1 Comment

Working From Home Is Easy. And Other Misconceptions.

Last week, I took M to the office on a work-from-home day.  I needed to grab a few things and check in with a couple of coworkers because I had called in sick the previous day. I set-up M at my desk with our tablet, and I remarkably managed to get some work done.

“It must be so easy to work from home,” My coworker said.  She glanced over my shoulder at my silent, angelic child, who sat at my desk watching Yo Gabba Gabba and pretending to type on an unplugged keyboard.

Words cannot express the 5 million visceral, animalistic gut reactions I had to suppress. I’m pretty sure she thought I gagged. There was some full-body spasm that escaped me – I guarantee it. I was lost somewhere between hysterical laughter and the tears of defeat.  Nothing about working from home is easy.  Nothing.  And obviously my coworker was unaware that this […]

By |January 21st, 2015|Awkward Moments, Family, Girl Gab, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents|3 Comments

Toddler Trouble

Today was one of those days.

Miss M had us up until 2 am. Then I went into a manic frenzy ripping the house apart looking for my fitbit charger, which she had taken and stashed with my makeup.  And I felt like I was just getting to sleep when she decided to wake up and yell, “I know! I know! I know!” At 4 am.

A quick aside about that one… When M was a tiny baby and she was gassy or colicky or unsettled, I’d talk to her and reassure her, “I know! I know! You tell mama all about it!”  Wrong.  Move.  Now, she thinks this is some sort of complaint that can be yelled at the top of her lungs whenever something isn’t perfect.  Like when she has two shoes on, but only wants to wear one.  Or when she tells us she wants to watch the “bees!” on the […]

By |January 5th, 2015|Family, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents|0 Comments

Mackenzie’s First Birthday!

Today we celebrated Mackenzie’s first birthday.  It seems impossible that a year has gone by since she was born.  It feels like no time has passed since that gorgeous, sun-shiny July day exactly one year ago.

When Andrew and I got married, he adopted my family’s dessert-for-breakfast-on-birthdays tradition.  He loves desserts, so it wasn’t hard to convince him that cupcakes for breakfast is a fantastic way to start a birthday. Since then, we haven’t had a single birthday at Chez Janzen without a sickeningly sweet dessert. Today was no exception. We kicked-off birthday festivities with presents and cupcakes. M is a good eater, but she has very particular taste. I don’t give her a lot of sweets or processed food, so she didn’t love the cupcakes. She had several bites, but I think she found them too sweet.

Mackenzie’s love for animals is becoming increasingly marked. We celebrated by taking her to the […]

24 Stateside • World’s. Longest. Vacation.

This weekend, we journeyed stateside for a mini vacation.  A childhood friend tied the knot, and we were privileged to witness her exchange vows with her husband and celebrate with them as they began their life as Mr. and Mrs. Adams.   After we left the wedding, things went awry…
Here’s a confession: I love being on vacation. But I hate going  on vacation. I really, really suck at going on vacation. Just ask anyone who has ever accompanied me through airport security…

A year ago, taking an overnight trip was only some-what emotionally exhausting. I would over pack. Andrew would complain about how many shoes  I planned to take. I would complain that he intended to wear the same shoes with a suit and with shorts the next day (the shoes that don’t match either!).  Andrew would roll his eyes at how much I would fit into my two bags for a weekend. I would sneak extra things […]

By |July 13th, 2014|Family, MOMents, Things That I Love, Travel|2 Comments

Back to Work

Once I parked my car in a gravel lot, just as it started to rain. Once it had rained for a while, a critical eye might have noticed the lot was a bit a lot more mud than gravel. I didn’t notice until I got in my car and tried to back out. I had a horrifying moment, when I realized I had been stuck.  My tires spun for a moment, then I got traction and was hurled back into motion. Funny how it wasn’t until that violent jolt, finally gaining traction and momentum, that I fully understood that I had been stuck.

Going back to work has made me realize that I was a bit stuck. Depressed? Blue? A slight bout of postpartum? Who knows. In any case, going back to work has been like that violent, pivotal moment that my tires got traction and I started moving again. Oh my gosh, I was […]

By |July 5th, 2014|Family, Gender Issues, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents, Musings|1 Comment

11 Months


We’re quickly approaching the conclusion of M’s first year. June was a month of many milestones, so we’ve been a bit too busy to post an update. By we, I mean Mackenzie and me. Because she has barely given me a moment of rest with her busyness. And I went back to work three weeks ago.

The biggest milestone we’ve hit is walking. With confidence.  I’m cheating a little because it has only been in the past 3 or 4 days that she has felt confident enough to stand in the middle of a room to walk to whatever she wants, without hovering near furniture or grasping for someone’s hand. However, for the past few weeks, she’s been content to toddle along, holding on to only a pinky for balance.  She’s been to the aquarium twice since my last update, and both times she’s walked most of it with only a hand […]

By |July 5th, 2014|Family, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents, Uncategorized|1 Comment

10 Months

This is me. Right now. At this exact second. And every second for about the past week:


I’m exhausted.

Mackenzie decided to celebrate 10 months by cutting 5 of her teeth on the same day. Subsequently, she has cut at least one more top tooth and one more on the bottom. #teethinghell at Chez Janzen, y’all.

The sudden appearance of the aforementioned teeth has been accompanied by a case of the the grumpy-nasties, sleepless nights, and lost appetites. For. All. Three. Of. Us.

The past week has sucked.

I’m thoroughly frustrated by this because I know there have been wonderful moments I have spent with M. I know she has done so many charming, sweet, funny, affectionate things.  Yet all that I can focus on is my lack of sleep and patience. I feel like she is literally driving me insane.

Until last week, our little lady was a delightful little peach for most of her 10th month, […]

By |May 28th, 2014|Family, Little Ass-Kicker, MOMents|0 Comments