Thursday, August 27, 2009


I get a lot of different reactions from people in regards to my sleeve tattoo. And it's usually ok. I expect it - I'd be a fool not to. I mean, seeing a person with a sleeve tattoo usually turns heads anyways but when it's on a female, it sometimes elicits even more reaction.

Some people will do a double take - all the while trying not to look obvious - "What the...? Is that a...? Oh crap! She saw me! Look away! Look away!" Then there's the people who peer at me out of the corner of their eye, waiting til I look the other way to take a good stare. There are the blinkers, the people who are shocked but try not to show it and somehow this causes their eyes to blink in rapid succession (these are usually older ladies). There are the shameless open starers - the ones who just stare, sometimes gaping mouths, sometimes while looking me up and down because they just can't quite figure me out. "Hmmm... nicely dressed, no piercings, hair is kinda mom-like, makeup is normal, cute little baby in tow... but then there's the tattoos... I don't get it!" Granted, I am probably not what most people expect when they think of a woman with a sleeve tattoo. I don't fit into any particular cookie cutter genre.

Yeah, sorry about that.

And I know people form opinions about me based on my tattoos. I know I'm judged by people on my appearance. No matter how "normal" I look otherwise, when they see the tattoos they instantly think things about me. They think they know something about me. Even people that I see in my everyday life who either ignore the tattoos or who say the tattoos don't bother them? They're still thinking shit.

And generally, it's all neither here nor there for me. Mostly, I couldn't care less about what people think. I understand that it's not everyday you see a woman with a sleeve tattoo and I expect most people to react in one way or another. It is what it is. I look how I look. Deal with it. Or don't. Have your looky loo, think what you think, get on with your life.

Until the other day when I was leaving the grocery store with my husband and my baby - a woman walked into the store and gave me the most obvious, ignorant, stupid look I've ever seen. I looked right at her and said, "Oh, now that's just really rude." She pretended she didn't hear what I said (despite being within two feet of me), avoided eye contact - and looked right at my arm and made another ridiculous, and terribly rude face. And then she strutted away with a little disgusted shake of her head.

I have never had a reaction (to my face anyways) that was so obviously meant to show disdain and to purposefully make me feel small, or ugly, or bad, or whatever it was that she was going for.

I boiled with a million different emotions.

Firstly - rage. And let me tell you it is rare that I ever feel rage over reactions to my tattoos. (Other people's driving? Yes. But reactions to my tattoos? No.) But oh Good Lord did I feel some serious rage towards this woman. I had to stop in my tracks and consciously stop myself from walking after her and giving her a quick close up of my tattooed arm as it followed my fist into her perfectly made-up face.

But Ruby was with me and it would have been very inappropriate. So when we got to the car, I asked Steve if I could leave Ruby with him for a few minutes while I went back in the store and hunted the woman down.

He said that I couldn't do that - which was the level headed answer. Besides, what I felt like doing to that woman is probably what she would expect from "a person like me".

After the rage started to peel away, I felt shame underneath it. Oh how I fucking hate shame. In all logic, I know that I have NOTHING to feel shameful for. But I somehow did. One stranger's rudeness could make me feel embarrassed and ashamed of myself? Am I a bad person for how I look? People think I am. This woman thought I was.

But after some time I started to feel other things. I felt actually shocked that in today's day and age, any person would be so obviously judgemental towards another. I mean, in today's society do we not promote individuality? Do we not promote tolerance of others? Do we not not judge books by their covers? Do we not teach our children to accept people for what's on their insides and not what's on their outsides?

And there are SO MANY people in today's world who have SO MANY different looks. It truly shocks to me that anyone would find a tattooed arm so appalling and revolting that they would make it such high priority to express their hate of how another individual looked. (It's a tree with flowers on it for crying out loud!!!)

What if someone walked by her who smelled different? Or who had a different color of skin? Or a birth mark? Or who was bald - maybe by choice, maybe not? I do realize that I've chosen to have my arm tattooed so it's not exactly the same, but really... I wonder where she draws the line?

And just what made her feel that she was justified in trying to make me, another human being, feel lower than her (because that's what it's really all about) because she didn't approve of my appearance?

So after I had worked through my own feelings about this incident, I decided that I kinda felt bad for her. How limited and enclosed her world must be. How few friends must she have, and how boring must they be? Everybody must look Stepford and nobody who is worth her time can have anything about them that makes them stand out. And what is this woman teaching her children? What is it that she's saying to them with her ignorant, intolerant ways?

Somebody once asked me, "What are you going to tell your kids about your tattoos?" And this was before Ruby was ever even in a petri dish - but I responded that I will teach my kids that everybody is different, and that no matter what somebody looks like, you should always get to know them before you decide if you like them or not. I believe that my tattoos will go far in teaching my daughter to be accepting of others. And I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the mother that I am, I'm proud of the woman I am, I'm proud of my tattoos.

And I'm sorry for anyone with preconceived notions about anyone's appearance. I really am. Because you're missing out on a lot. You're boxing yourself in.

Perhaps the next time you are out and about and you see someone who looks different or out of the ordinary or who is even perhaps ugly or unappealing to you? Do the world and yourself a favor and take a minute to realize that they are a human being just like you, with likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings before you go ahead and judge them on their purple spiked hair, piercings, tattoos, extra weight, acne, or clothing.

Really. Think about it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Headbutting E.T.

Ruby's learning new stuff all the time - smart little cookie that she is. Steve thinks maybe she's ready for grade 1. And yes, I do know how obnoxious that sounds.

Yesterday she started doing two new things. Two things that I did not teach her.

First, she started touching her index finger to mine. I make a pointy finger, she makes a pointy finger. Then she touches her pointy finger to mine and smiles at me. I thought it was a fluke until she did it a few times. It's super cute.

But uh... not so super cute? Is her other new "thing". Headbutting. She looks at me and smiles and I smile back... and then she smashes her forehead into my face. Yesterday she headbutt (headbutted?) my nose so hard it made my eyes water.

The finger thing she can keep doing but how do you teach a baby NOT to do something? Like headbutting?

E.T. was cute because he was endearing. And he didn't go around headbutting people. I'm sure his fate would have been different if he did.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Empty Square

On Saturday night, Ruby went to stay at grandma's house and Steve and I went out to the Kings of Leon concert. I had been super excited about going to this concert for months. Steve and I even got tickets to his company's suite at the venue.

I had a couple of drinks before the concert and then a few (apparently quite a few) during. But I had my last drink at about 9:30pm and I was in bed by midnight.

You guys? I am JUST starting to feel normal again today. Seriously.

I am not the Cocktail Queen that I once was.

Not sure if it is because I am out of the cocktailing circuit and am therefore out of practice? Or if it was because I was up at 5am the next morning and unable to get back to sleep because that's when Ruby sometimes wakes me up? Or if it was because I did not have the luxury of lounging on the couch, eating greasy food, napping and watching TV the next day and instead I had to drive 45 minutes to pick up my daughter who does not care if mommy has a hangover, she still needs food and diaper changes and a bath and playtime.

Probably a combo of all of it together.

And in the days following, throw in a diaper rash, constipation, teething and food boycotting (that shit is brutal all together!!!)? A trip into the city with cranky baby to get a haircut (which I hate)? A mom/baby meetup at my house (5 babies, 5 mommies) to which I had to provide refreshments and snacks (not to mention a semi-clean house)? A resurgence of hot weather? AND a family BBQ??? All while feeling tired and worn out and cranky and depressed and frustrated, and never quite feeling like I got enough sleep the night before.

And it's only Thursday morning.

But today I feel an ever so slight improvement in my mood and in my general well being. And today there is a big empty square on the calendar with NOTHING written in it. I think that little blank space is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time and I am going to take full advantage of it and do as little as possible.

It should NEVER take 5 days to recover from any night when I was in bed by midnight. That's just wrong.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Ruby was fighting her morning nap today, so after fussing with her for a while I decided to try to sing her a lullaby to settle her down. I held her close in my arms and rocked her a little and started singing. I couldn't quite remember all the words to any particular song so I was making up rhyming words as I went along. I thought it was working because she was quietly and intently staring up at me.

And then she grabbed the pacifier out of her mouth and shoved it into mine - mid lyric.

Apparently she does not care for my singing.

Either that or she thought that I looked like I could use a nap myself.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I woke up thinking I would do something domestic today since Ruby has been having some extra long naps these past few days and I have been on top of the housework and even looking for stuff to do. Flipped through some cookbooks and decided to make a yam and beef stew that I've never made before.

Then I went on facebook and looked through my girlfriend's houseboating pictures. All one hundred and something of them. Everyone is super skinny and in bikinis and drinking and carousing with boys and suntanning and swimming and I FUCKING HATE THEM ALL!

And my big thriller for today is making a yam and beef stew?

I walked to the store to get the ingredients for my stew and Ruby whined and cried the whole way. I had to bolt out of the store because she was getting really cranky and I didn't need the attention on me because I hadn't showered yet. Then when I got home I realized that I forgot coriander, so I had a little fit and slammed some cupboards. Steve happened to be home on his lunch break (no point in throwing a fit if nobody is there to see it) and he said to take the car and go grab the damn coriander.

So for a few minutes I was alone in my car and driving and I put the windows down and got the breeze going, and I started to feel a little better. And then Greenday's "Know Your Enemy" came on and the drums in the beggining of the song kinda got me a little sparky so I CRANKED it up and drove a little faster, but then I remembered that I was in a station wagon with a carseat in the back and then I started to cry.

I'm not saying that I'd trade in what I've got right now for anything but... some days I just wish everyone was a chubby housewife/mommy so that I'd have some more self esteem. Or something like that.

Yam and beef stew better be fucking spectacular.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I've met someone new

Let it be known that after 14 months of searching, I have finally found myself a family doctor. Back in June 2008 my family doctor closed his practice to pursue internal medicine and I was left pregnant with nobody to look after me.

Well... not really. I already had a midwife at that point in time and she looked after me for all things pregnancy related and she also cared for Ruby until Ruby was 8 weeks old and then we were discharged from her care.

So we've been without care for almost 8 months now. And up until today Ruby has never seen a doctor. (Except for that time she had her vomiting spell and I freaked out and rushed her to emergency, like the rookie mom that I was/am). To be clear, Ruby has had all her immunizations done by the health nurse at the local health unit. And I did go to that mommy/baby group up until Ruby was 6 months old and there were always nurses around that so if I did have any questions they were able to answer. And luckily Ruby has not really ever had a need to see a doctor.

It is damn hard to find a doctor who is willing to take new patients here. I would know, I've spent 8-14 months looking for one. I called every single doctor in my city asking if they would take new patients and they all said NO. So when I got a lead on a new doctor starting up at my old clinic, I pounced.

I went in to see him yesterday under the guise of having a mole checked out (I was pretty sure the mole was normal), just so I would have an excuse to see him and feel things out to see if he was decent. He seemed decent enough so I mentioned my almost 8 month old daughter who had never been to the doctor... his jaw dropped and I had to clarify that we had a midwife, she's had her shots and she's never had a reason to see a doctor. He said to bring her in and he'd give her a checkup.

So that's what we did this morning. And my new doctor? He rocks. I know it's only been two dates visits but I think I'm in love.


Well, he did a kickass thorough job of examining Ruby.

But also? He was extremely sensitive and sympathetic when he found out how Ruby was conceived.

He asked if I was going to have any more babies. I said, "Well. We did IVF to have her, so.... I guess if I were ever to come up with $10,000 again, I might try..."

He put down his pen and his face softened and he started asking questions. But not dumb questions. He had educated, intelligent and sympathetic questions.

Oh you might think that educated, intelligent and sympathetic questions should/would be the norm for a physician - but anyone who has battled infertility knows that this is not the standard. Even my previous family doctor - whom I really liked - seemed to have very little knowledge of IF/IVF and it kind of really annoyed me.

But this doctor? He knows about it.

He told me he has friends who did it 3 times and then went to New York where they paid $30,000 for more procedures and still it didn't work for them. He said he feels just terrible for them. He asked if I went to PCRM, which I did. He said that he thinks the doctors there are really great guys. (He knows them??!!) He asked what our diagnosis was and if we tried IUI's first (He knows what an IUI is??!!). When I told him we went straight to IVF/ICSI and that it actually didn't work the first time, he shook his head and said, "Oh my gosh, so it was actually $20,000 then..."

And then he smiled at Ruby and said, "Well, you've got something to really be happy for right there."

It was at that point that I had to consciously stop myself from throwing my arms around him and giving him a big fat kiss on the lips.

He's a keeper.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Dad Who Cried Wolf

Steve took Ruby into her bedroom to put her down for a nap. A few minutes later...?

Steve: Tara! I need help in here. OhGodOhGodOhGod!. Can you help me with Ruby's diaper???

(I sigh. I hear it all the time.)

Tara: I'm sure you can handle it.

Steve: NO! I can't! It's a bad one. I need help! Please help me!!

(I say nothing and continue to sit at the computer. He hears nothing but the chittering of my keyboard.)

Steve: So you're not going to help me?!?!! You're just going to sit there??!?!?!

Tara: *sigh* No, I'll come help you in a minute.

(I figure if I wait long enough he'll sort it out himself)


I finish what I'm doing and head into Ruby's room... where I walk into a shit storm that was, admittedly, definitely a two person clean-up job (a third person would have been nice). Steve was holding out Ruby at arms length (probably had been since he set off the initial alarm) with a look of absolute fear in his eyes. The poor bastard, I can't believe he didn't start crying! It was ugly.

Like, immediate-bed-stripping, fire-up-the-laundry-machine-NOW, and hose-down-the-baby... UGLY.

I felt somewhat guilty for not taking immediate action (poor Ruby) when he initially asked for my assistance, but I hope the boy has come to realize that calls for help while changing a diaper are only to be used in the most dyer of situations (like this one) and not every other time that he is stuck with a simple shitty diaper (like too many times in the past).

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Tonight, Ruby puked in my beer.

I spent a good few minutes staring down at the 3/4 full glass of cold beer, and had to seriously talk myself out of just scooping out the little white curdles and finishing the drink.

My life has changed so much...