On Monday I took a much-needed mental health day and headed to Hamilton to hang with my mom. It was just what I needed, and I think it ought to be a monthly occurrence.
I had to face the onslaught of commuters at Union Station, which for a quasi-hermit like myself was quite an ordeal. I was at the station early, so I decided to satisfy my pregnancy-induced need for elevensies (a second breakfast that has to happen by 11 am, a la The Hobbit) and I foraged the packed station for sustenance.I learned that Cinnabon is now making breakfast sandwiches. Not any kind of remotely nutritious breakfast sandwich of course. It’s a piece of “sausage” wrapped in a Cinnabon. Gag.
In recent days I was shocked to discover that I only require 300 additional calories per day at this point in my pregnancy. That’s the equivalent of a cup of plain yogurt and a piece of toast with margarine. This theory must have been developed by a man who has no idea what it feels like to want poutine so badly you could punch someone. If my body only needs that wee bit of food, why do I want to eat ALL OF THE TIME?
I’m committed to not porking out completely in this pregnancy, and I’m trying to keep active and make smarter food choices. I thought it would be very clever to have a Jugo Juice for my second breakfast, which would surely be better than the BLT on a bagel that I was actually craving, and would leave room for the lunch feast I’ve been dreaming of (more on that later). I chose their most coconutty blend, and then headed outside to wait for the express bus to the Hammer. There I realized that my ‘healthy’ choice actually contained 350 calories! Fortunately, pregnancy has made me clumsier than ever (not even sure how that’s possible) so after getting about a quarter of the way through my juice, I promptly dumped it on the ground trying to rifle through my purse for god knows what. I was spared the extra calories, but then I had to deal with being swarmed by pigeons.
I tucked into a book on the bus, and within minutes passed out cold. One of my other pregnant symptoms seems to be narcolepsy. The ride went extremely quickly this way and by the time we reached our destination I had to pee so bad, I almost jumped down the stairs and ran into the station. The bathrooms were blessedly empty and clean, and all was well until I dropped my purse into the sink under running water while trying to wash my hands. My phone was in my jacket pocket because I’m smart like that.
Mom met me at the station and we headed up “the mountain” (this is what Hamiltonians call the tiny Niagara escarpment) to our first shopping destination. Here’s a secret that I’ve recently come out with – buying full priced children’s clothing is a waste of money. If you have kids, you’ll agree – they grow way too fast, and with the exception of a few special pieces either gifted or picked up at a steal, there is no point in paying top dollar. I have blissfully returned to my humble roots of combing through second hand stores and picking up quality items. At Waldorf school, kids are encouraged to play hard, regardless of the weather, so the girls’ clothes take a beating. We were buying clothing lots on ebay for a while, but my method allows me to hand select things that I know the girls will love, and nothing goes to waste. I’ve applied this same theory to maternity clothes.
My mom took me to what seems to be the Mecca of second-hand clothing stores. Laid out like a department store, with a thousand times more selection and way better pricing than Value Village, I racked up a $200 bill at this place called Talize and bought the rest of my maternity wardrobe, several pieces for H & A for the summer, and a small mountain of onesies for Mixed Bacon. I also picked up some chapter books for the girls, which we’ve been reading at bed time.
Now, the exception to my second-hand rule is footwear and outerwear. Second-hand footwear is a bad idea, particularly for growing feet, and it’s rare to find really good quality outerwear second hand. This gap in my shopping experienced was satisfied by the Marshalls that had just opened up across the street. We were torn though – it was getting late and the beast in me that makes me eat or kill was starting to rear it’s ugly head. I smashed a fist full of almonds into my face, and we carried on. I scored a totally rad pair of Keene runners for H at less than half the price they were selling for on Amazon, a very cute summer hat for me, and two huge bottles of totally natural high SPF sunscreen. A seriously satisfying retail experience.
Then, the second most important reason for my trip (besides seeing my lovely mom) – a trip to Denningers for lunch. Denningers is a European market and deli that I grew up with because there was one right next door to the grocery store where my mom worked when we were kids. It was a staple, and their hot lunch counter offers a sampling of such delicacies as schnitzel, grilled sausages, home fries, cordon bleu, sauerkraut, coleslaw, and more. The smell and taste of a knockwurst on a bun with sauerkraut and dijon, paired with a side of home fries and gravy (which we shared) had permeated my dreams and was haunting me. Even now as I type this, I realize that one attempt at satisfying this craving won’t be enough. The Denningers lunch is going to have to be a part of the monthly mom/daughter date ritual.
After lunch, as the gale force winds started to pick up, we headed home to my mother’s ridiculously silly dog and day time television. I wanted to nap off my knockwurst, but the pooch wouldn’t let me sleep. Our television options were either an episode of Dr. Phil about a woman who discovered she was married to a serial rapist, or a talk show called “The Drs.” where a panel of real doctors answered viewers’ most embarrassing questions. Ass implants, toenail biting, female ejaculation and uncontrollable pregnancy farts were the easy winners there. I’m not missing much by not having cable.
Dad came home from work, we ate a frozen pizza for dinner (yes, it was a nutritional victory day all around) and then after dinner I packed up and headed back to Toronto. My mom had laundered all of the clothes I bought in the meanwhile because she’s the best.
It was such a nice, relaxing day. It felt like the first day in a long time where I had nothing to do but focus on the excitement of being pregnant with someone who was equally excited about my pregnancy. I figure in another month Talize will have replenished its stock and I’ll be due for another sausage on a bun and some quality time with my mom.