Chester at 5:30 am on his 3 month birthday!

The Chester Diaries: Celebrating the feast and famine known as new motherhood.

Welcome to my blog! My name is Lara and I gave birth in April, 2010 to a baby boy. I've been calling him "Chester" since he was a little chestnut in my tummy. To commemorate his three month birthday, I wanted to write about the crazy, joyous and exhausting ride I've been having as a first-time mom. If you're interested in reading about the highs and lows of uncharted mommy territory as well as my unhealthy obsession with shopping, (particularly baby gear), reviews, and pop culture observations, then you've come to the right place. Be warned: This cute kid has a mommy who can be a bit of a potty mouth.

Note: This blog is no longer active but please enjoy Chester's journey from 3 months to 2+ years.

Wednesday, January 26

Faceplant splitsville...

Chester has been screaming himself to sleep for the last few nights.  I want to go in and hug him but Tim says doing that will just make it worse.  Sigh.  He finally passes out but it's never pretty.  He basically sits on his butt and wails, until he pitches forward on his face, legs splayed and passes out.

Here's a picture of him in the baby monitor tonight.

We usually go in and change his position but soon after this was taken he shifted to his side. I'd like to think it's progress but I'm chalking it up to a fluke this time!

First World Problems: The Grocery Store Incident

(Image courtesy of

All my friends say I'm Larry David.  Kinda funny considering I'm a woman and neither bald nor old. So to get stuck with this Larry David tag is a bit ridiculous.  But if you know me well, it really is apropos.  When I'm at a restaurant my order is seldom correct, and it seems wherever I go, trouble naturally ensues.  No matter what I'm doing, I'm bound to create a firestorm of controversy.  I can't even go to the grocery store without inciting a near riot.  Case in point:  tonight I'm at Fresh Co. It's late - around 9:30 pm - and the store is nearly empty. At this point, there are more employees on the floor than customers. When I get to the checkout there are only two cashiers.  One is serving someone with many items still to go.  The other, who just happens to my my favourite cashier, is free and there's not another customer for as far as the eye can see.  I reroute and switch to her line. She greets me sweetly and immediately begins to scan my items through.  Near the end, I have her price match a few items.  (Four to be exact.)  Around this point, a woman lines up behind me.

I go through the items quickly and as I'm finishing my last price match, the woman slams her milk bag down onto the conveyer belt as hard as is humanly possible. The heck??? What set her off? My cart is behind me. Intentionally. I do this so weird people without any sense of personal space boundaries don't sidle up beside me and get an eyeful of my PIN. I push my cart towards me, thinking it's possibly standing between her getting her goods onto the conveyer belt? But then I notice an older couple (maybe around 65?) who have now lined up behind her. The man is shaking his head and his wife, who looks like she just sucked on a lemon, is giving me a serious death glare. They are all whispering low and conspiratorially while glancing in my direction.

Now I'm really curious, but I'm also starting to feel really self-conscious and uncomfortable. Am I doing too much price matching? It's not taking any time at all. I have my items organized, my flyers out, the pages ready and the cashier is going through it as fast as I can present them. The whole process takes under a minute so what the heck?!? I still can't figure out why everyone is so irate. I start to bag my groceries while the old woman shoots evil glances my way. Her husband continues to shake his head - to the point I'm wondering if he has some sort of medical condition. Milk Bag Thrower finishes her transaction and leaves in a huff, all the while refusing to look at me which is wise on her part as I'm dying to get to the bottom of this and I'm ready to go toe to toe with her.

The old woman behind her hoists a giant jug of fake cranberry cocktail off the belt and departs, leaving her husband to pay. He gives another head shake while he's punching in his PIN and just when he finishes bagging his groceries, he adds the kicker by throwing one last dramatic head flourish in for good measure before turning to leave. At this point I snap.  "What are you shaking your head about?"

He wheels around in a flash.  "Well, you're a very rude person."
"ME?!? That's RICH, Shakey. You're the one having a seizure while your wife's been giving me the evil eye. And I'm rude?"  
He interjects.  "You're in the express lane."


Now this is where things could have gone differently. Instead of slamming milk down, head shaking, and pulling a face like you just ate a steaming dog turd, why not just calmly say, "Excuse me, this is the express line." How hard would that have been? But that's not what happened. I have ample reason why the man standing before me has lost an extra two minutes of his life at my hands.  Truth be told, I had no clue. I'm tired. It's late. I haven't eaten dinner. I got my period right before I left the house and the cramps are kicking in. Plus I already went grocery shopping the night before so this is the last place I want to be. I just wasn't paying attention and it totally escaped me. Chalk it up to full on mommybrain. An honest (albeit stupid) mistake. But looking at the sour mug on this guy, do you think any of it would compute? And do I really care to offer an excuse after all this bullshit? At this point I'm just angry and there's no way in hell I'm going to apologize. Instead I offer:

"Well, when I got up here, there was no one in line so I can't see how it affected you since I was almost checked out by the time you arrived."

Shakey McTurd just stares and then says, "You've got a bit of an attitude."

"Oh, you THINK??!@????" I fire back.

At this point Shakey realizes he can't win. He turns tail and scurries off in a hurry. I call after him (loudly):

"Hey!  Shakey McFuckin' Shakerson?" 
Still walking.  Ignoring me.  
Even louder now.  (Ok, yelling.) "Why don't you go and FUCK YOURSELF???"
Not my proudest moment. Or the best of comebacks but that's all I can come up with on short notice.

At any rate, Shakey might have feared for his life, realizing it wasn't smart to poke the bear.  He keeps walking and doesn't look back. I turn around to finish bagging my groceries and notice that no one in line is looking at me. They've got their eyes studiously averted. Like I'm that crazy guy in the subway car who you painfully avoid making eye contact with. Oh boy. How embarrassing.  I clock the sign above the checkout.

1 - 16 items.

Well hell. Feeling about two inches tall, I turn to the cashier and say quietly, "I'm sorry. I didn't know you were an express line."  She comes to life. No sweetness here. "Yes." She says snottily, in a loud voice. "I am."

Really?  Now you decide to finally grow a backbone and speak up instead of telling me when I arrived? Jeebus.  Favourite cashier status revoked.  "Well, I wish you had told me," is all I can manage.

So here's my point: Do I feel good at screaming and cussing out an old man at a grocery store? No. Absolutely not. Would I do it again? Hell yes. And here's why. If you see some boorish asshole in line at the grocery store with 27 items on the belt, namely me - a frazzled tired mom who's starving and feeling like shit - don't bust out the torches and pitchforks and get yourself worked up into an apoplectic fit that you end up popping a vein. Tell the person.  Nicely if at all possible. There's a good chance they haven`t a clue. Isn't it better to have someone learn from their mistakes instead of just seething with rage while they continue on completely unaware? By all means, pull the meanest face you can muster, shake your head until it falls off. And if you want to throw down your milk? Knock yourself out. A good loud bang will probably get me to pay attention since the other passive acts of aggression would have gone wholly unnoticed. At least I'll get the satisfaction of knowing your milk will leak all the way home. You'll probably lose sleep over it too and tell everyone about the rude lady in line who went over the limit by 11 items (gasp!) and then SWORE at you. But will you stop to think for even a moment that you could have handled the situation differently? That maybe there were other circumstances at play? Doubtful. If you don't want to be part of the solution, you're just part of the problem. In my case, I shouldn't have let my temper get the best of me but at least I tried to find out what that issue was. I bet most people wouldn't even notice or give a rat's ass.

Friday, January 21

11 Step Program for those thinking of having kids MUST READ!!!!!

My friend emailed me this "guide" last week.  It's hilarious and oh so true.  Scared to experience some of the later things.  LOL!


Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time. 

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior. 

 Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.  Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

 You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it.  
 Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!


Funny right?  But I thought I should add a couple of my own...

Lesson 12:  Get an ear examiner.  Visit the ear examiner every day for the next five years.

Lesson 13:  Take a pen or object of similar size.  Stick it in your ear.  Continue to stick it in your ear for the next five years.

Lesson 14:  Buy an expensive pair of glasses.  Have those glasses wrenched from your face and thrown to the ground.  Every day.  Repeat for approximately the next 1825 days.

Monday, January 17

So today I noticed something interesting.  While Callum was playing in his jumper, a TV show came on which made him spin his head around like The Exorcist.  After that, all bouncing ceased and he lay slumped over in his bouncer rapt.  Since he was craning his neck around the chairs that were in the way, I sat him in his rocker for a few minutes just to see if he would lose interest.

Totally mesmerized...

Wondering what has him so fascinated?

Thomas the Tank!  I guess he really is his daddy's son!

Sunday, January 16

Zombie Baby

Watch Chester mimic his daddy's moves. It's nice for a change for him to try to eat Tim rather than ME, i'll tell ya. It gets tiring feeling like a giant turkey leg all of the time.

Wednesday, January 12

Teething Time

Poor Chester.  Ever since we got back from out West, he's been crying a lot.  I think it may have to do with teething but this time, he's doing this new thing with his mouth.  Basically, without actually unhinging his jaw, he opens it as WIDE as he can and screams bloody murder.  Not sure where he picked it up, but it's the type of screaming that totally jangles your nerves and makes you drop things.  Or in this case, take pictures. 

Monday, January 10

what the...

This is how I found Chester this morning. Sleeping on his face. Butt cocked high in the air. Apparently, he's been sleeping like this quite a bit. Particularly in the late night hours which Tim has caught a few times. I was treated to it for the first time today, so I thought I'd try to catch it on tape. This sure doesn't look like a comfy sleeping position.

Thursday, January 6

Click Click Boom

Ever since we got back from out west, Callum has been making some interesting noises. It all started when his Nana started making clicking sounds with her tongue while she held him. I'm not sure why she did this, but he'd stare in fascination at her, his brow furrowed. You could almost see the wheels spinning in his head. Now, it seems he's picked this up, no problem. In fact, if you click your tongue at him, he'll do it right back. I guess this will come in handy if he needs to speak some super rare African dialect, or perhaps negotiate with some highly evolved alien life form. See for yourself!

This one has a couple good clicks at the beginning, with some extra special comments added in near the end for good measure.