Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking In Control

Yesterday I went out to Rogers Television in Richmond Hill, to do a segment on my buddy Alyson Schafer's show, The Parenting Show. Alyson and I both do not suffer from being able to talk either enough, or quickly enough. As we chatted our way through preps in the Green Room (which is actually more blue at these studios), we shared a few laughs about both scrambling to get our last edits done on our new books, both due out this spring.

Alyson's book has a terrific title "Honey I Wrecked The Kids: When Yelling, Screaming, Threats, Bribes, Time Outs, Sticker Charts and Removing Priviledges All Don't Work." I think I'll be able to relate to this one.

Anyway we had no trouble filling our 8 minute segment talking about the Frazzled Mom. Alyson's co-host Jennifer Anderson also has four kids (we're the ones bringing up the averages) so loads to relate. The show is available on-line at Rogers Television (uploaded sometime this week) if you missed it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Organic Wine - the best of both worlds?

Yesterday I met my friend, author Nathalie Prezeau for lunch at Live Organic Food Bar. Her choice. It's not that I'm anti-organic or anti-raw or anti-vegan...its just I like eating across the food spectrum, and for me that includes red meat, red wine, and, well basically anything deep fried.

But I was curious and hungry, and I had just done an interview for a magazine down the street...and I like Nathalie, so I agreed to try it. I joked that I guessed it wouldn't be a liquid lunch, which is the norm for writers (the only thing I have in common with Ernest Hemmingway, BTW).

Much to my surprise and delight - there is such a thing as Organic Wine, and as we split a half litre, I had to acknowledge that my raw pad thai was also pretty good. I haven't really met too many happy vegans in my life but the service was great and the food was really tasty.

Visit them - they're at 264 Dupont Street, and there's an amazing store next door called Kinna Sohna which carries clothing and jewelry "from far-away lands". The owner and designer was lovely and she indulged me as I tried on the same blouse in about 17 different colours.

Wine, healthy food and silk blouses - what could be better.

Check out Nathalie's book "Toronto Fun Places", or visit www.torontofunplaces.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beauty (and age) is in the eye of the beholder...darn!

We all know the expression "kids say the darndest things". Well they can also say the sweetest things...and the nastiest things. Can't wait for my kids to develop that inside voice filter that (most) adults have.

We were at the school bus stop yesterday and my 9 year old Bridget said "You look so small next to the other parents,Mom - you're just the size of a kid!" So while I was feeling (for a nano-second) like all my workouts had been paying off, my 6 year old Nicholas piped in and said "Yeah but actually it's just because she's really old."


Then last night I splurged and got my hair done in a crazy sort of up-do for an awards ceremony, Bridget got off the school bus (what is it with this school bus chatter?) and asked me why my hair was different. I said it was because I was nominated for an award and was going to a fancy dinner that night. She said "Well you look like a freak and you won't win anyway."


And, she was right. I didn't win...but my own Mom said it looked nice. Maybe she just has a well developed filter. Like all Moms.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weight For Me

The other day I said to my husband "What's it like not to think about every single piece of food you put into your mouth?" He's one of those naturally thin people who never really snacks and exercises simply for his health. I remember being in a clothing store with him once and the clerk said to him "And we have a bit of space here in the pants in case you put on a few inches around the waist." To which Mr Smartypants replied "Oh, I haven't put on any weight since high school."

Out loud I said "Try having four kids bub, and then talk to me", and then I silently mouthed an obscenity at him as well.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy with my weight now, but I do really work at it. I let loose on some poor person who was kindly complimenting me when they said "You're lucky you're so thin." I said "Lucky? Let me tell you - I work out 3 or 4 times a week and go to bed hungry most nights!" I think about food and drink and exercise as much as the next girl.

My friends and I laughed over a Macleans article last week which talked about "drunkerexics" which is basically women who give up food calories for booze calories (who doesn't do that?), but it hit a nerve. I do think about it way too much.

Then I read an excellent book called "Thin Is The New Happy" by Valerie Frankel. It is a memoir (if you've seen Burn After Reading, pronounce the word like John Malkovich did, just for fun) and it takes you through her lifelong battle with weight and how much brain power we women use up thinking about it. Great read. Pick it up. (I emailed her to tell her how much I liked it - and she emailed me right back - cool!) It'll make you think about more important things.

And now I'm going to have just one more of those little Halloween chocolates...and maybe a 100 calorie glass of wine...and not think about it at all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Say ohmmmmmm

Yes, normally I'm saying OMG but once in a while I just say ohm...when I'm trying to pretend that I know what I'm doing in Yoga class. I wrote about my experiences in the new blog I just launched exclusively with DoubleDay Canada, on their website, Health & Harmony. I'm sorta the comic relief on the site. You can read about my attempts to find a life balance every few weeks, by visiting http://www.healthharmony.ca/KB

As my Yoga instructor can attest, I'm not the world's most flexible person, but I knew a girl in high school who was- she blew into freezing Winnipeg like the southern storm that she was, and we were all amazed by her gymnastics ability, her Texan Twang ("Say ZEEERO for us Pam!") and her fantastic self-confidence. We've stayed in touch through the years, and serendipitously, wouldn't you know it - she's a yoga instructor and she kindly shared my blog on Yoga with her home base in Texas, so now I'm sending you to her site, for some great information and tips. Check out her blog at http://potentialwithin.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/kathy-buckworth/ to read all about it.

And just let your mind float...you'll need to after deciding who to vote for today.

Don't forget to vote.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

News at 11!

Yesterday I got a call from a producer at Global News in Toronto, wanting to know if I could film a segment for them on how the economic situation is affecting families and their everyday spending. He wanted to make sure a few of my kids were available as well. My first thought was - Great - this will give my kids the opportunity to complain about their paltry allowances and homemade lunches.

After we worked out the logistics on how many of my kids could be available at what time, I started thinking about how this very real crisis is starting to roost in our house. According to my 17 year old daughter, I'm already a tightwad because I won't buy her a car (like her friends' "nice" parents do), a laptop or install a hot tub in the backyard. My 15 year old son doesn't understand how I can possibly imagine that last year's snowboard is sufficient for this year.

Should they listen to the reality of me getting meaner and leaner "live" on television? I decided to not let them talk and just leave them as "B roll" material.

My two younger kids however, love shopping at WalMart, got their Halloween costumes from Value Village and beg me to go to the dollar store like it's a trip to Disney.

When do we go from expecting so little, to expecting so much?

I admit I put myself in the same category.

While I was feeling good about the fact that my house was clean for the shoot, I felt simultaneously guilty about the fact that I had paid my cleaning lady to do the honours.

So, I hid my new boots in the front closet, unclipped my BlackBerry, stashed my own new laptop in the office, kept my jeans on, and (I hope) managed to talk on camera about what we really can do to tighten our belts in this new world. If you live in the GTA, catch it 6:00 and 11:00 tonight.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Not So Secret Life

Last week I was interviewed for a U.S. based website called www.sheknows.com about what "Soccer Moms" (that terrific terminology which converts to "Hockey Mom" in Canadian) are really thinking about when they're at the soccer field (or that freezing cold arena).

Here's an excerpt from my interview with the reporter:

“I never feel guilty about sneaking in BlackBerry time as I tell my kids (and this is true 99% of the time - 1% of the time I might be playing BrickBreaker, but whatever) that if I didn't have my BlackBerry I wouldn't be able to leave the home office to take them to their sports and other activities. Rather than seeing it as an electronic leash, I totally embrace it as a portable office. I can physically be in the moment with my children while virtually be keeping up with work.”

I know I'm not alone in this. We're women. We multi-task. Read the whole article by clicking on this link.

I know some of you are with me. And if you're not, maybe YOU can bring the "snack" to the game when it's my turn. I know I'm going to forget.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Thriving Hospital

Today I had the honour of speaking at the launch of a great new magazine called "Thrive". The publication is a joint venture between the Credit Valley Hospital and the Credit Valley Hospital Foundation, and I was pleased to be asked to not only contribute a few articles, but also to act as their "cover girl". I've personally had a broken bone repaired there (the result of a freak sliding door mini-van accident), and also gave birth to my fourth child at the hospital, so this "birth" was a natural.

The cover photo wasn't exactly an exotic photo shoot on a Caribbean beach, rather it took place in my kitchen, but the upside was no bikinis were necessitated. The article was called "The Frazzled Mom" and the editor told me he thought of me right away - not sure if this was a compliment on my writing skills or a comment on my lifestyle, but I took the gig.

I couldn't produce my entire family for the photo, so I shipped in a fake husband (my editor), his dog (hey, I have four kids...I need a dog?), and as I was down one son, pretended to be yelling at him off camera. It wasn't a stretch.

The launch was a success and the magazine is glossy and sleek - unlike this frazzled Mom who is mortified to see that my messy cupboards are in crystal clear focus in the shot. No staging was required to appear truly frazzled.

You can read my musings on why Moms today feel more frazzled than ever by visiting the Articles section at my website, www.kathybuckworth.com