Monday, November 29, 2010

This was good.

I once heard that when you're putting your kids to bed, you should always ask them to tell you about the best thing about the day they just had, even if it was just a moment's length.  This encourages them to think positively and it sends them to sleep with warm thoughts rather than stressful ones.  That always stuck with me, and when Jacob is old enough to share his thoughts using words, we'll definitely put that into play.  I've also decided that I could really use to adopt that practice for myself.  It's so easy to focus on all of the stressful and negative things happening to you throughout the day, that all of the good stuff practically vanishes before you can even register it.

I'll go ahead and choose the following moment as today's moment because I'm fairly sure nothing will beat it.   I was slouching on the coach wrapped in a blanket, unable to shake the night off, imagining indulgently that I was still in bed sleeping, and that Jacob was too.  That wasn't further from the truth, of course.  He was up and running (yes, he now runs!) from toy station to toy station, pawing at one mound of fun and moving on to the next.  Moments earlier, Jacob had urged me to turn on the stereo, which I did, but instead of listening to that music, he went straight for one of his own music-making toys and banged away over top of the song playing through the speakers.  Too tired to get up and turn the stereo off, I watched, dreading the noise-upon-noise I'd have to endure for the next 15 minutes or however long it would take him to tire of his synthesizer.  Somehow, though, I eventually found myself zoned out (or zoned in?) to the sound of Elvis Perkins' Ash Wednesday, as though the beautiful song was actually playing in my head, with the rest of the noise now muffled in the background.  For the few minutes that it played, I think I might have fallen asleep, all the while savouring every note like melting chocolate.  It was a short, but nourishing morsel of good that's still getting me through my day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stuff my son says

Gleefully, while pointing urgently at the cookie being unwrapped for him:


Questionable compliment of the day #3

Background: This one was given to me by my husband's grandfather a lifetime ago at my brother-in-law, Joel's, bar mitzvah (!!!)  Its ambiguity has kept me replaying it over and over again in my mind since then.

"NOW you look good."

here you go, bro.

It's really about time I did this.
Please check out my brother's website.  It's awesome.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Questionable compliment of the day #2

Background: I received this perky compliment moments after a makeup artist completed her final touches on me  in preparation for a wedding I was going to be marching in.  I might add that I was two months pregnant at the time.

"You clean up really nicely."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Questionable compliment of the day #1

Background: I received this compliment at a BBQ last night, straight after a 3-hour drive back to town from Muskoka (and a dip in the hot tub before the commute).

"I love your hair.  I've been staring at it all night.  It's so whimsical."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Never again, The Bay. Never again.

First off, how great is that pic? Wish I could say I took it, but I didn't.

A couple of days ago, I found myself at the Bay in Yorkdale to purchase a gift for a bridal shower that I was going to attend later that day.  Since my days are pretty scheduled now that I'm a mom, I made sure to call in advance, and put the items on hold so that they wouldn't be snatched up by someone else before I got there.  I had everything figured out to minimize the amount of time I would need to spend in the store with my almost-one-year-old, who was having a bad day.  What I failed to take into consideration was the complete and utter ineptitude of each and every single staff member working there.  "Working," is rather an exaggeration, really.  More like "staring vacantly into space while striving to answer my questions using vaguely comprehensible speech".  If that's working, then they were working really, really hard.  My friend pointed out that The Bay seems to be trying to spruce up its image lately, what with "The Room" downtown and the coolification of "the blanket" that everyone can identify, but nobody actually owns... and yet walking through the Yorkdale store is like walking around in "Today's Special".  In fact, Jeff would have definitely been more helpful, and he's a mannequin.  Speaking of mannequins, I could have propped one up at the checkout counter and ventriloquized the entire (absurdly long and slow) interaction, and it might just have worked out.  It would have made it a lot more enjoyable for me, so maybe next time! No.  Never again, the Bay.  Never again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Your love keeps lifting me

The first (and one of the only) lines in a new Chemical Brothers song that's awoken a musical obsession in me similar to the kind that used to swallow me up in high school.  It's been a while since a simple piece of music (really - it's surprisingly simple) has been able to instantly peel through my layers and end up where important things go.  So refreshing to know that I'm still vulnerable to this kind of bliss.

Friday, August 06, 2010

So long sushi?

Last night, Dave proclaimed that he would never eat fish ever again.  I've heard him say it before, but I think there was something about David Suzuki's somber voice on last night's episode of The Nature of Things that must have really affected him.  I'd be lying if I said it didn't affect me too... I just think my attachment to sushi is far greater than Dave's is, and the idea of completely cutting all fish out of my diet scares the bejesus out of me.  I love my sushi.  I mean, I really LOVE it.  My 9-month pregnancy-induced sushi hiatus was very difficult for me, and I'd rather not put myself through that again.  I will admit, however, that with every mention of the dying ocean and the possibility that 40 years from now not a single fish will be left in the vast, vast sea, and the fact that this would gradually and irreversably destroy pretty much all life on earth, I get one step closer to becoming a seafood-shunning activist.  If you really think about it, maybe it makes perfect sense that human beings ought to keep their fishing nets the hell out of the ocean.  It really is akin to taking our big blind hands and reaching deep into something that we know very little about, only to steal massive fistfuls of delicious things that may or may not disappear forever and change the face of the earth before we've even had our fill.  We're not a part of that ecosystem, so why do we eat from it? On the other hand, are we even a part of our own ecosystem anymore (besides being a menace to it)? It's really starting to seem that vegetarianism might be in the cards for me one day soon...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Princess Diaries

Because I am a contender for the "Worst Housewife in the history of Houses and Wives" award, Dave and I decided that a cleaning lady was probably a good idea.  There a few things in my world that I sit with and ponder on a daily basis (no doubt things that I should probably be doing something about rather than pondering).  One of the issues that resurfaces daily without fail is what I feel is my handicap for cleaning.  I feel very much stuck about it because frankly I'm tired of how much psychological stress it causes me.  For me, it's really boiled down to quite a simple question: would I like to admit that I suck at keeping a clean house and hire someone to help me, or should I just continue to torture myself with berating self-talk about my slothfulness in the hopes that it will eventually motivate me to change?

I was recently over at a friend's (spotless) house and she casually explained that since giving birth to her daughter, she has become anal when it comes to the cleanliness of her floors.  It was the kind of comment that wasn't really the point of whatever she was saying, but I couldn't get past it.  I asked her how I could get anal too.  Make me anal!! I want  clean floors without paying someone else to do it too! More importantly, I want to WANT to make my floors clean! Then my mind decided that I must obviously be a terrible mother for not caring what kind of floor my son crawls on all day.  I mean, I do dustbust the floor everyday to get rid of edible (and more importantly, I guess, inedible) little dangers, but wet-cleaning it? Daily? It's not in me! What would my grandmother say? When my grandmother invites us over, she always makes sure to mention that she cleaned her floor today just for us.  I don't have the heart to tell her that it's ok - she doesn't have to worry about it if it's just for us.  Then I'm racked with double-shame: first for the fact that my 89-year old grandmother washes her own floors more often that I do, and second, for not explaining to her that she can rest up today; no washing is necessary for these visitors.

So, seriously.  Am I a bad person for being bad at cleaning? I never had to do "chores" while growing up - my family had a cleaning lady that took care of all that for us.  Is this where my handicap came from, or was I born without the clean gene? I do like things to be tidy, but I don't seem to notice the progression from clean to dirty until it's too late and the project is an overwhelming mess.  Why can't I be one of those people that gets joy out of tidying up a room and moving on to the next? Better yet, why can't I be one of those people that gets joy out of keeping everything neat and tidy so that the overwhelming mess never happens in the first place? 

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I owe this blog an update, so here it is.  I lost steam for a little while - not sure what happened.  I guess I got busy with other things.  What's that you say? Nothing could be more important than this blog? You're absolutely right.  I am henceforth renewing my commitment to Lovey Dov and vow to be more consistent with my posting.  When I have the time.  And the inclination.

Check out my tomatoes!!!

This is very exciting to me.  I can hardly stop myself from picking them right now.  I bother them every day, smother them with my attention.  If they were my children, they would grow up to hate me.

If you think that's all, you're mistaken.  Check out my raspberries (which I was surprised to find were raspberries seeing as they were supposed to be blackberries).  I ate one yesterday, and it was delicious.

 And my cucumber:

notice the little yellow flowers - that means the cukes are on their way...

and finally, my green pepper:

Something has been feasting on my green pepper leaves, and I'm not happy about it.  Still, my little pepper plant is feisty and has recently shot up some flowers.  Looks like I'll have me some peppers for my salad soon!!! I'm so proud of my pepper plant.  I could learn a thing or two from my pepper about not going down without a fight.

Sadly, my melon plant has withered unto itself into a ball of shame.  I don't know what I did wrong, but it makes me sad to look at it.  It asked not to be photographed, so I've respected its wishes.  Maybe it sensed my skepticism about it from the get-go.  It was almost an ironic buy.  I never really believed it would work out - not even a melon should be brought into this world under those circumstances, I guess.

I am also sad to report that my blueberries went on strike.  There were a few scabs here and there, early in the season, but they were quickly taken back by the mob.  No blueberry pancakes for me this year.  I will have to dig them up and replant them somewhere else for next year. 

So far, I'm really pleased with the way my garden is going.  It seems that I've paid all my attention to my garden, though, and let all the good stuff at the front of my house kind of get crazy and out of hand.  I was admonished by my mother-in-law yesterday for all the weeds.  I felt sheepish, considering the time we spent working on it together and my promises to keep it beautiful. 

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Stuff my son says

As I lean over into his crib first thing in the morning to say hello to his shiny happy face, I get a resolute "Bye-bye", complete with requisite wave.

Tomorrow, we might retire our practicing of the "bye-bye" and move on to something new.  Like "Hello," perhaps...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stuff my son says

So, we'll see if I have enough material to make this a regular contribution to my blog, but it's definitely entertaining enough (for me, at least) to mention whenever he gives me the material.  Keep in mind that he's 9 months old and is just learning that he's able to string together various sounds that sometimes resemble the sounds of grown-up conversation (sort of).

Anyway, yesterday I picked him up off the floor to give him some I-love-you-so-much kisses all over his face, and I asked him if he wanted some lunch, to which he seamlessly replied "DEATH MAMA!!!!" in what I can only describe as a deep, horror movie shriek.  It was quite something.  And if it weren't for the adorable look on his face shortly after he got it out of his system, I might have even been a bit spooked, thinking I've got myself a little Stewie Griffin on my hands.

So... that would make Dave Peter Griffin then.  Hehehehe.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Green stuff

Woah - two posts in one day.  But as I sit here and wonder about who is going to water the lawn and garden tonight (it's been something like a week solid without rain here in Toronto), I'm reminded that I haven't documented my herbs, tomatoes or berries yet.  Here they are:

                                                                    My herbs

                                                    Black Krim heirloom tomatoes

                                                    Sweet Million cherry tomatoes

                                      Blackberry, Better Bush tomato, Strawberry


I realize that there's not much to look at yet right now, but it's exciting to watch for the first little signs of what might later be fruit.  I'm particularly excited for my heirloom tomatoes to start showing themselves. Apparently, they're called "Black Krim" because of how deep and dark their flesh is (and because they are originally from the Crimean Peninsula).  So thrilling.

I'm concerned for my blueberries, which had to be planted behind the shed due to a lack of space in the sun.  I originally had them planted in a different location, but uprooted them and replanted them in their current, sunnier spot.  Still, I'm not holding out too much hope for them.  Especially because I have no idea what my soil pH is, and apparently blueberries require an acidic soil to thrive.  Without getting too excited, though, I will say that I definitely am seeing teensy-weensy little blue buds beneath the little white bell flowers on my plants.  Are those my future blueberry pancakes? Only time will tell.

Look but don't touch. And definitely don't eat.

I went crazy today and bought a bunch of hideously overpriced tropical fruits at the grocery store.  I did avoid the dragon fruit, which they dared to peddle at $7.99 EACH, but something about the guavas was calling out to me, seducing me.  Their aroma instantly brought me back to my summer in Costa Rica and Colombia, lolling on the beach, sipping fresh fruit shakes from carts on the street... but now that I have them at home with me, I'm at an impasse.  I sliced one up, took a mouthful, and very nearly damaged every single one of my teeth.  Somehow, I allow this to happen to me every few years.  It's like my memories for tropical fruits last only so long before the slate is wiped clean.  Then, out of the blue one day (that would be today), bubbles pop in my head as I stand in front of the guavas and decide it's a great idea to take some home with me.  Laura, guavas aren't worth the trouble.  They're a TEASE.  Maybe immortalizing this day in your blog will serve to remind you of this in three years when the guavas flirt with you again from their fragrant little display.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A budding gardener.

Today was my inauguration as a gardener.  My Jane-of-all-trades/Mother-in-law was in town today, working on our garden (because the last time I picked up a gardening tool, it was made of plastic and came with a My Little Pony bucket).  I took that opportunity to absorb as much information about gardening as I could before she left.  I cringed as branches from my rose bush (which were dead, I later learned) were brazenly snapped off.  I watched a weeding tool lithely uproot prickly things called Thistles from my lawn, saving Jacob many a tear, I'm sure.  I learned that Rhododendrons are a type of hardy bush, not a geometric shape as previously believed.  I helped to plant basil, sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley in my herb box, next to my explosion of chives, some of which I had to pull out to keep it under control.  I gave a fistful of chives to my brother because I simply didn't know what I could possibly do with so many chives all at once.  Did you know that chives grow a pretty purple flower which is edible and quite delicious? I read somewhere that if you soak a bunch of chive blossoms in vinegar for a couple of weeks, it infuses the vinegar with amazing taste, and you can use it for dressings, or any time a recipe calls for vinegar.  I was so inspired by today's lessons that I ran out to my local garden centre and bought three different kinds of tomato plants, and four different berry plants.  If it doesn't rain, I'll plant them tomorrow, somewhere sunny.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1000 ways to help the world

My friend Akila just launched her website - - and I'm kvelling with excitement right now.  She's been brewing something like this in her mind for probably her whole life, and she's finally done something to get a step closer to her dream of making the world a better place.  As of right now, I think there are only two entries, but I just know it's going to take off and become bigger than big.  Akila, my self-indulgent blog and I heartily salute you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We had a good run, m&m's.

For reasons you really don't want me to get into,  I've recently put myself on a somewhat strict diet of reduced sugar and other crappy foods.  Considering how important sugar was to my diet prior to this (and by important, I mean mandatory in a non-negotiable sort of way, especially after dinner), it's pretty remarkable that I'm rolling along, barely even thinking about the junk that used to be such an important part of my life.  When sheer willpower won't cut it, go out and get yourself some good ol' IBS.  It may not seem worth the trade-off at first, but it's a great way to stop beating yourself up about how the caramel eggs (or all dressed chips, or Greg's roasted marshmallow ice cream, or all of the above) always seem to win.  Unfortunately, in my case, it's true what they say about eating a little bit of junk food.  It's not actually possible.  One cookie at night leads to two the next night, which then leads to two cookies and a twizzler on night #3.  Eventually, it's unfathomable that I should just not eat something deliciously useless before bed.  Enter digestive disorder.  Lash out with expletives at my shitty luck (pardon the pun), and ultimately... be thankful? I didn't see that one coming, but there it is.  Sometimes you need a kick in the ass (really, I'm sorry) to get in line.  Now the real question is, how long will I be able to stick with my new eating habits once my life gets back to normal?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A mother of a comedy

The other morning (a mere half hour after my husband and I discussed the merits of my returning to work in September), my eight-month old son wrestled me for the remote so that he could change the channel.  Before I could even react, he had grabbed the remote out of my hand and single-mindedly clicked to the movie "Mr. Mom".  It was the scene where Terri Garr is about to get into a limousine that will carry her off to a business meeting, leaving her sad children motherless until her return.  Soooo.... is it just me, or was that an excellent example of the universe smacking me across the face with a cold fish? I keep asking for direction here, for some synchronistic sign to help me decide what to do.  Could it be that my answer arrived in the form of a 1983 John Hughes comedy?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fall fashion is for fall.

As much as I love to look good, there are several reasons why I've sort of always peered into the world of fashion from the sidelines.  It's fun to explore every so often, but it's not what makes me tick, you know?  Now that the trees are starting to bloom and there are pretty little tulips in my garden, I've been alerted to one of the reasons that I will never be on the cutting edge of fashion.  Here it is.  Spring is just too important to me, and I refuse to skip over it.  In fact, fashion asks me not just to skip over it for summer's sake, but in the name of fall.  That, my fashiony friends, is simply too much to ask.  Every April, just as I am finally waking up for the year, seeing things more clearly, breathing more deeply, admiring nature's pastels, I am bombarded with browns and tweeds and leathers and this year, of all things, FURS.  I understand, maybe, that somewhere in southern California or Hawaii, these things are ok - maybe even exciting - considering the lack of seasonal variation.  As a Canadian, however, I profoundly object.  I might go so far as to say that I am offended.  Maybe even violated.  All winter, I wait patiently while I gradually all but disappear into white walls, growing more bear-like in size as my metabolism hibernates in a cave of occasional SAD.  In the throes of winter, the summer selections on the runways mock me more than comfort me.  "Hahaha," they laugh, "maybe you can wear me if you lose at least 10 pounds and Toronto GETS a summer this year!" (Apparently, expert senior forecaster with, Joe *actual name* Bastardi, was right last year when he said that 2009 was shaping up to be "the year without a summer").  All this considered, it's no surprise that fashion just doesn't excite me.  They're already working two seasons ahead of the game; couldn't the fashion designers of the world all just agree to kick it up a notch and focus on creating the looks for one year from now? That way, in April, I'd be seeing what will be hot next April.  And there would be no danger of me cheating and wearing next year's looks this year because nobody but the exclusive designers will have had a chance to make any of those clothes yet.  Plus, I'd be too busy actually enjoying the weather to worry about it.  Who's game?

Monday, April 05, 2010

tersec, screte, creste, streec, ...

There comes a point in everyone's life when it becomes important to identify the little things that you do that no longer serve you and to stop doing those things as quickly as possible.  I've long since passed that point, and am still living with a scrambled up little secret.  I am a compulsive boggle player.  Specifically (to further embarrass myself), the Facebook application of boggle they call Scramble.  There it is!! It feels good to announce that to the world.  In my case, I'm not sure that habit ever actually served me in the first place, but it sure has been fun.  There's just something about the thrill of knowing there are hundreds of little words hidden in that board, waiting for someone eagle-eyed and astute and wordsy to find them all.      It's also a convenient way for me to feel that I'm somehow accomplishing something important, like a hundred times a day.  Unfortunately, as my husband likes to remind me when I'm sitting at the computer at 2:00 a.m., fighting my eye twitch to just win one more round, I'm not really accomplishing anything important at all.  Those not-so-gentle reminders are harsh, but I suppose they're necessary.  I'm not sure anyone other than me cares that I'm the #1 top scramble player out of all my scramble-playing friends.  Or that I often place 1st when I compete against other anonymous shlums in those sad cyber-rooms where all of us boggle dorks get together and flex our word muscles.  Anyway, now that it's out in the open, I'm not entirely sure what will happen.  Is this my first step in moving on to more productive ways to spend whatever free time I now have?  Maybe.  Honestly, though, I am hoping that you will read this and decide that you would immediately like to challenge me to a game of scramble.  Go on, you know you want to.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I'm sick and miserable.  It's perhaps the warmest April 1st on record ever in this city, and I've been holed up in my house just trying to get through the day.  My illness, oddly enough, started with a crook in my neck.  It actually shouldn't be that odd to me, since the giving out of random (crucial) body parts is traditionally what alerts me to the fact that something is about to go terribly wrong with the state of my health.  You'd think that being pressed into a semi-permanent "L" shape from crippling back pain would be the worst of whatever ails me, but there's always some other surprise lurking around the corner.  I rationalize that it's my body's way of making sure that I actually take the rest that I'm going to need to get through the storm and emerge healthy. The last time my back went out like that, it turned out I was pregnant.

Anyway, neck pain is dreadful.  It's like there's a sinister little string of nerve linking your neck to EVERY SINGLE muscle in your upper body, and any time you move anything above your wrist, the pain shoots up like a surprise bolt of lightning.

I am such a hurtbag.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Having a baby has really changed the way I feel about things that used to gross me out.  Poop, for instance, has ceased to make me squeamish.  Well, at least my son's poop.  If poop makes you squeamish, you should probably not read the rest of this post.  It's not for everyone.  I was giving my son a bath this evening, when he unexpectedly shat in the tub.  IN the tub, DURING bath time.  Full-on poopy mess.  I had to take him out of the water, drain the tub, wash the tub, wash his little bath mat recliner contraption, refill the tub, and give him a whole new bath all over again.  Sounds disgusting, right? Wrong! It's really quite amazing, but my little guy's poops don't bother me in the least.  Dave has taken to calling me "the poopsmith".  Changing diapers does not set off a single ick sensor.  I am immune, and I find this fascinating.  Dave, on the other hand, holds his breath every time he's on diaper duty, handling the wipe like it's a mysterious, time-sensitive explosive.  He happened to be paying us a visit in the bathroom when this all went down, and he somehow managed to escape in a puff of smoke before I could even yell at him to help me instead of just standing there, watching me like I was an unfortunate character in a special private screening of some horror movie.  "That was gross," I heard him yell from somewhere on the direct opposite end of the house.  (He's breathing over my shoulder now, forcing me to explain to you that he was late for hockey and had to run.)  Anyway, I was struck by how not gross I thought it was.  Actually, I thought it was adorable.  Never in a million years would I have guessed that shit, in any capacity, could ever give me the warm fuzzies.  But there it is.  You have yourself a little one, and you're suddenly so in love that he could literally barf and shit all over you, and you just chuckle and pinch his cheek.


I got my hair cut today.  It's short (well, shorter), and I have bangs.  I've finally done it.  I was contemplating the move for a long time, and I decided I'd had enough of the contemplation.  Less because I got up the courage and more because I finally got time to actually make it to my hairdresser's.  It's not easy to schedule a pampering session with a little one at home and a husband who brings work home on weekends.  So here it is -

the new me:


Moments later, my boy melted down and that was the end of our little photo session.  He likes my new hair, though.  He giggled when I came home.  Teehee!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Give me a 2! Give me a D!

Is anyone else having internal dilemmas about this 3-D television phenomenon that's threatening to destroy TV as we know it? I know I sound apocalyptic, but it's really freaking me out! Is television not all-consuming enough as it is? You mean, now I can be bombarded with senseless advertisements (which will no doubt become inexplicably fascinating) in a whole new dimension? I was wondering what was missing in my life.  Thank you, 3-D TV engineers, for creating a whole new excuse for me to not read.

Hang on, more thoughts have surfaced: Will 3-D glasses just be implanted onto our retinas eventually?  Otherwise, will people just keep them on like bluetooth earbuds so they don't have to keep taking them off and putting them back on ten times a day? Will Ralph Lauren design a line of 3-D glasses? Will I be considered a dork if I just wear the ones the movie theatre gave me for free when I went to see Avatar? Do you see where I'm going with this? Oh my god.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The irony of the Food Network: A mathematical perspective from the opposite of a math person.

I've discovered an important mathematical equation that reliably predicts how much time per day I will spend in the kitchen preparing meals for myself and my family.  It's pretty groundbreaking, so hold onto your hats:

Amount of time spent in kitchen = 1 / amount of time spent watching the Food Network

The equation can be represented in graphical form as such:

where y = amount of time spent in kitchen
and x = amount of time spent watching the Food Network

Note: units are in minutes x 10

It's important to point out that while both factors can approach zero, neither will ever reach it.  Although I might sometimes aspire to watch zero Food Network, it is not possible for me, as it is an addictive source of entertainment, in addition to being a central source of inspiration for me to enter the kitchen in the first place.  Thankfully, the same can be said of how much time I spend in the kitchen.  Although I might wish to eat every meal out of a take-out container, I'm a mom now and it's just not an option.

Oh Food Network, with your merrily slick Ricardos and your curly-headed towers of Chefs at Home and your pleasantly plump Barefoot Contessas...  I want you to know that I'm working on a way to have it all.  I will figure out a way, damn it, to have my Cake Boss and eat it too.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My friend found love

and I feel magical about it!  She spent so long, so very very long, doing that dance that every single person does, growing weary of it with every month and man that passed.  She was disappearing in her sadness, believing that she would never meet a man who'd light up her heart.  I'm feeling the fireworks vicariously through her singsong stories and my heart is warmer than it was yesterday.  Isn't love a remarkable thing?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let me count the ways I love thee, baguette.

I would just like to write for the record that Ace Bakery's bake-your-own demi baguettes are at once the most magnificent and the most evil things to have ever been invented.  It's downright dangerous to have ready to bake bread (especially BAGUETTES) in my freezer.  Gum-scratchingly crispy on the outside, meltingly (is that a word?) fluffy on the inside... Secretly, I have kept my money pit of a Costco membership until now, just so that I have an access point to these amazing little logs of frozen dough.

I am, by the way, painfully aware that this is now my second reference to Costco on this blog.  It's ok, though, because yesterday I spent most of the afternoon in Kensington Market....  That's logical to me, so don't worry about it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's!

Absolutely glorious day out today! If I'm not mistaken, I think the temperature is still supposed to be hovering somewhere near zero this time of year, but today it was 17 degrees! After having lunch with my friend, Laura (no relation), I bumped around Trinity Bellwoods Park, willing Jacob to fall asleep, which he finally did, thankfully.  When he woke up, we sat on a bench together in the park and indulged in my fantasy that I still lived somewhere around the corner and could pop back home whenever the urge struck.  Then I tried to rationalize the situation by pretending that it's somehow better to live farther away because if I lived in the thick of it, I wouldn't appreciate it as much.  It worked for 5 minutes, then I began to have compulsive nostalgic flashbacks about my life as a downtown girl, and I felt like sobbing.  One day, I will have the courage to suggest to Dave that maybe (just maybe) we should move back south... hopefully by then he will have forgotten my hormone-induced pregnant urge to "move somewhere where I can take walks with my child without stepping over drunken vomit or wondering if that man approaching me in a trenchcoat is planning on flashing me." (me, last year)

On another note, Laura pointed me towards a cool blog - - where I found a reason today to maybe invest in a sewing machine.  I figure, if I plan on handcrafting my own duvet covers, then the thing will pay for itself in no time, right? Considering that I may be unemployed for an undetermined length of time, this might actually be an investment I have no choice but to make.  See how persuasive I am? I even fool myself.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Annex, I miss you.

I just got back from a little trip with the babe to meet a friend for lunch at Saving Gigi.  I love that place.  It felt so nice to be back in the old hood.  The warmer it gets outside, the more I start to miss it.  I knew this would happen.  Wherever I end up, the Annex will always have a little piece of my heart.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Costco rewards

Last night, when Dave came home, I did a Costco run.  What can I say? Sometimes it's just exciting to leave the house by myself these days. It doesn't happen so often anymore, so even Costco can be an adventure. Actually, it turns out that going to Costco on a weekday, an hour before closing is, in fact, the absolute best (maybe even the only tolerable) time to be there. I felt like I had the place to myself, which was slightly surreal, considering the scene there on a Saturday afternoon. I got lots of stuff, among which was an absolutely giant bag of organic baby carrots. When I finally got it home, I almost regretted my purchase, except for the fact that Jacob now eats carrots and it makes sense to have lots of them so I don't have to keep running out to buy more. Still, I have A LOT of carrots now. I realized that if I didn't do something with them right away, they'd be wasted, so I suddenly found myself blanching several batches of carrots late at night. That was my first time ever blanching something. It's easy, let me tell you. All you have to do is drop them in boiling water for 3 minutes, then dump them in ice water and drain them. Piece of cake. Except now I have a freezer full of blanched carrots. How long can blanched carrots survive in the freezer, I wonder? When I was done with the carrots, I attacked my next new collection of perishables: the sweet potatoes. I baked off a couple of them in tinfoil, and by the time my blanching was done, I had two perfect sweet potato packages. I mashed one of them up with some water, and got three days worth of food for the kid. Not too shabby. The other one I ate this morning, and was floored by how delicious it was. I added nothing to it, and it was seriously one of the most enjoyable culinary experiences I've had in my own home. When I unwrapped it, there was a syrup sticking to the skin that tasted like maple syrup. ENOUGH SAID.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cry it Out?

OK - I've got 15 minutes to do something that will distract me from my son's crying in the next room. Since he skipped his late afternoon nap today (because he had to poop, by the way - good to know his priorities), he quickly entered an alternate universe of crankiness. I decided that it was probably a good time to put him to bed when he keeled forward onto his face while sitting and playing with his toys. Normally, he'd take it in stride, but today he lost his marbles and wailed until I shoved my boob in his mouth. Anyway, I've decided that it's time to attempt to implement some variation of the "cry-it-out" techniques that have failed in the past. Bedtime for my son is a nightmare and I'm determined to put an end to that. I have tried it all, it seems like, and the only thing that really appears to work is when the stars have aligned and I have put him down when he has a) pooped, b) nursed to his satisfaction (obviously different every night), c) had just the right amount of napping during the day (also apparently different every day), c) not been riled up by his father or grandparents. There are also, I'm convinced, some other secret elements at play here. Like the number of steps I take walking towards the crib, or the colour of the pants I'm wearing when it's time to put him down. It's like a rubic's cube of criteria. Anyway, it HAS to stop!!! He needs to learn that bedtime is not negotiable. My parents would downright kill me if they heard what was going on his room right now and knew that I was letting him go on like that. I wonder if they would feel differently if they were the ones who had to go through this every single day (not to mention in the middle of the night, when he's decided it's time to get up and I have to do it all over again)....
Just went in 15 minutes later. No signs of him calming down. He's very tenacious. Very. It's now his usual bedtime, except today he's been up 5 hours straight since his last nap. Poor guy. 5 hours for him is like pulling an all-nighter and drinking a bunch of cups of coffee to get you through it. No wonder he's having trouble falling asleep, right? Maybe I should go pick him up and cuddle him.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Hello Holly

Some woman named Holly Burns just inspired me to scroll through every single one of her snapfish photos and pore over her blog for an hour. I don't even know this woman, and I was practically drooling over it all. I couldn't even really tell you why, exactly. I think it's because I love her hair and she throws parties like they're being staged for a magazine, and she wore green sandals on her wedding day. I guess there's no danger of anyone getting hooked on my blog. I have no bangs. Hm. I could use to go to the hairdresser's...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

strawberry doom

Why did I have to just devour that leftover strawberry cream pie like it was fluffed air instead of an unnecessarily highly caloric dessert that will sit on my hips well into my trip to Florida for which we leave the day after tomorrow?

Why do I sabotage myself this way? It truly is one of the strangest things on my growing list of sleep-deprived habits.

I am sleep deprived because my son decided yesterday that his crib is an evil spot worthy of violent protest. After two hours of ear-drum shattering wails in the wee hours of morning every time I tried to sneak him back in, he finally conceded defeat and slept through my last attempt to deposit him into his crib without waking him. I did get to nap for about an hour this afternoon, but since then, I've felt groggy and headachy. One thing led to another, and those things culminated in my absent-minded consumption of pie. At least the leftovers are gone and there's no danger of a repeat offense tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Jacob cried and cried today, every time I tried to put him to bed. Even though he was clearly exhausted (or maybe because of that), he just couldn't fall asleep without my help. Each time, I either nursed him to sleep, or rocked him until he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore. Poor guy. What's going on with him? I'm starting to wonder if he's actually ready for solids yet. Maybe it's all too much for his little system to handle. Or maybe he's just having an off day, I guess.

Once he did fall asleep, I invited my parents to stay over and watch "Raising Arizona" with me. Oddly, my dad has recently decided that he's into the Coen Brothers, I think because he just saw "A Serious Man" on the airplane, and loved it. Since then, he can't stop talking about them. Anyway, I figured he should watch the movie that started it all. Unfortunately, he seemed to have trouble understanding some of the dialogue because of H.I. and Ed's accents... and missing any dialogue in that movie is tragic. It's unfortunate. Plus, my mother got hung up on the fact that Leonard Smalls was only a figment of H.I.'s imagination; how come everybody else could see him. It was tough trying to explain that one to her.  It's like trying to get someone who's never seen a metaphor to appreciate a poem.  Not totally sure that the Coen brothers deserve that analogy, but I'd be easily convinced.

It was weird watching that movie as a parent... I think it may have changed how much I could sit back and enjoy it. I couldn't stop worrying about the baby.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

barley cereal

Today I started Jacob on barley cereal. I find this new world of spoon-feeding to be incredibly fun. I get to watch my little guy taste simple everyday things for the very first time (how extraordinary is that? Think about it!). I get to see his face when something doesn't strike his fancy (like the life-brand trivitamins I tried to give him today but gave up on out of pity for the poor guy). I get to watch his face get crusty with caked-on mush and observe how little he cares that creamed rice icicles are hanging stiffly from the tip of his nose. Then, I get to watch his entire demeanour change when I bring out the wet cloth to clean him up. How funny that he would gladly go about the rest of his day all stiff with dried up mush all over him. God, I love him!

I'm back.

Wow. I just read my last blog entry for the first time since I wrote it 5 years ago, and I honestly didn't even know it was mine. Actually, I forgot that I even had this blog until I had a sudden urge to start a new one last night, when I really should have been asleep in bed. Things have changed.... but not as much as I would have thought. In fact, ironically, I find myself in the very same boat today (literally today, because yesterday I hadn't been told yet that my teaching job would not be given back to me at the end of my maternity leave). So here I am, laden with various degrees, and still unsure as to what to call myself. Today, however, I have far less angst about it. I have a beautiful baby boy who defines my life right now, and I'm going to milk that (pun not initially intended, but I'll take credit for it now that I discovered it) for all its worth. I'm aware that I won't always be able to define myself first and foremost as a mother. One day, he'll be all grown up and making his own way in the world.... but today I am purely a mom, and I couldn't be happier about it.