Friday, December 28, 2007

chesnuts roasting on an open fire...

Hard to believe this was taken exactly one year ago today.
Not too much has changed since then.
Lulu is still curious about chestnuts.
Only now she tries to offer them to the squirrels in the backyard.
That sweater still fits, but I no longer have to roll the sleeves up.
She looks pretty much the same to me.
The other day she said to me "mommy you don't want me to grow?"
"I can be your baby forever?"
wonder where she got that crazy idea? ;
As much as it's hard to say good-bye to babyhood/toddlerhood, I do love having my sweet little girl.
I'm amazed by her each day and there are times when I honestly can't get enough of her.
Her vocabulary is probably the biggest change to date.
Over the holidays especially, it's been so sweet listening to her chatter away.
We took her to the zoo today and on ride there, while big daddy and I were attempting an uninterrupted conversation, Lulu pipes up in the backseat "'scuse me mommy"
"yes sweetie" for the 42nd time.
"um um um um um...I love you" great is that?
oh yes and how could I forget?
Those sweet words were followed by "are we there yet?" for the 73rd time.
not that I was counting.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

can we say water retention?

When I woke up this morning I noticed that it hurt to make a fist.
Not that I was making a fist because of any anger issues.
Life is pretty good in fact.
It's just that my fingers resembled ten swollen Vienna sausages.
Then I slowly made my way into the washroom and noticed my face looking a bit puffier than usual.
Hmmm...maybe it was the large Saki I had while out for sushi on boxing day.
Or perhaps the two mid afternoon mojitos I had at the neighbours earlier in the day.
I couldn't say no...even though I usually reserve mojitos for a mid summer night.
Why wait until june? it's the holidays after all.
or maybe it was the cranberry & pear Bellini's we had on Christmas morning.
Or perhaps the Absolute Ruby Red on Christmas eve, or the two glasses of wine with dinner, or the Bailey's on the rocks as a night cap.
did I actually just say night cap?
The point is, I can't believe how much booze can be consumed during the holidays.
Not that I'm exactly a tea total-er throughout the rest of the year, it's just that it's so easy to feel like having a bit of holiday "cheer".
Obviously I wasn't the only one feeling this way, given the huge line ups at LCBO.
At least I haven't been totally abusing my body- I have made it to the gym a few times and we have been bundling up and going for nice long (sobering) walks and I'm at least trying to avoid too many fattening foods.
well with the exception of the trifle that I made for dessert on Christmas eve.
It wasn't great.

should have made the rum and date puddings with warm pouring cream (pictured above) that I made last year.
They were much better.
Then again, keeping with my theme-rum does seem to make everything taste better.
Anyhow, I plan on hitting the gym in the morning and trying to detox a bit- well that is until we have some friends for dinner on the weekend.
Ah yes, then there's New Year's eve..
then after that I am so on the wagon.
All I can say, is that my liver and I are very glad the the holidays only come once a year.
until then..cheers!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

pretty in pink

I just finished writing a big long post about how I'm not a really big fan of all the hustle and bustle surrounding the holidays.
But after reading, I hit delete.
who really wants to read a bunch of bah hum bug Christmas bashing?

On a more positive note...Lulu had her first Christmas concert and was pretty funny.
She was yawning throughout most of it and was...well quite animated.
It was also really nice to meet some of the other parents at her school, seeing as I've never really had the chance before.
I'm looking forward to trying to be a bit more social in the new year and hopefully getting together with some of them.

Speaking of the new year, I've already started my "new year's resolutions" list.
One of them is trying to be more positive (thus the reason for deleting my original post) another is to try to be more social.
When I look back and compare last year's holiday season to this one, I've come to the sad conclusion that we are not nearly as socially active as we used to be.
I had every intention of throwing a few swank dinner parties or maybe even have an open house some weekend...but I just ran out of steam.
I'm not sure why...well maybe it's that having a two year old really kicked my ass this year.
Most of the year was spent in a sleepless state and this doesn't leave much energy to entertain.
yes yes..positive...
Anyhow things are looking much brighter.
Lulu goes to bed early and stays there most nights.
I'm starting to feel like I'm catching up with myself.
does that make sense?
I spend so much time with Lulu that I often forget what I want.
like getting together and cooking for my friends.
I love being a mother, but sometimes it's nice just being me.
I had the great fortune of having the day to myself and even though I was stuck in traffic, white knuckling it in the mall parking lots, sweating in my winter coat, dying to pee and waiting in long line-ups while Christmas shopping, I had a really nice day.
I got to think.
I got to people watch and not be in mom mode saying "don't touch, look only, stay close, hold my hand, do you have to use the potty, don't touch, put that back...."
That in itself was a real treat.
even being alone in the car stuck in traffic was quite relaxing.
loud music of my choice. check.
heated seat. check.
herbal ginger tea. check.
hell it was practically like being in my own little Volkswagen spa.
anyhow, I'm not sure where I'm going with this post, other than that It's much easier to be positive when I'm feeling positive.
and when I've had some time to myself.

On a completely unrelated topic...
Big daddy is out for the evening at a Christmas party (at least one of us is feeling social) there's really nothing much on t.v. but Pretty In Pink happens to be on.
I had the soundtrack back in the day and I also thought Andrew McCarthy was super cute.
In fact I will admit to really liking this movie.
hey it was sue me.
Watching it tonight, I can't help but to laugh...sure it's overly dramatic..but ya know what?
I still like the music and even though I've seen it a bunch of times it's still entertaining.
Duckie is still funny, James Spader is still a complete ass and well...okay Andrew McCarthy is still kind of cute.
I have it's a Wonderful Life recorded as well as a bunch of other holiday classics but hey what's more festive than a little OMD, New Order, Psychedelic Furs, Echo and the Bunnymen and some seriously puffy hair?

Monday, December 17, 2007

let it snow let it snow....

I've always been a big fan of snow storms.
good thing I live in the "great white north" koo loo koo koo koo kookooo kooo....
my tribute to Bob & Doug.
there's something so beautiful about watching all the trees covered in big white fluffy snow flakes.
The drama of it all.
there's also something kind of fun about layering up, putting on the most ridiculously fury warm snow toque and heading out for an adventure...even if it is only is to shovel the driveway or pull Lulu on her toboggan down the street to grab some groceries and a hot chocolate along the way.
Everything seems so still, so fresh so...well winter.
Only winter doesn't officially start until next week.
Looks like it's going to be a loooong winter if it's already looking like Kapuskasing outside downtown Toronto in early December.
The only thing is...well....I already have cabin fever.
Nothing like being cooped up with a two and a half year old (on antibiotics due to yet another ear infection) that kind of sucks the life out of me.
I'm all for baking cookies, making home-made Christmas cards, reading book after book, playing hide and seek (oh there you are in the closet with your pink flashlight!!! what a surprise) again and again....but it kind of feels a bit daunting, knowing that there is another three+ months of this.
I'm finding myself looking at the clock far more often than I do say in...October or June...
Is 4 p.m. too early to have a glass of wine?
lord help me, I was even eyeing the Shmirnoff vanilla vodka in the freezer today while rummaging around for dinner tonight.
hooray for frozen turkey meatballs!!!
Am I becoming the annoying wife who calls the office (studio) everyday at 4ish asking (pleading) what time do you think you might be home tonight?
I do love the winter. honest.
I am a home body after-all and love the idea behind getting cozy and hunkering down on a cold winter night.
Only...well I need to get out.
If only I could get my car out of the driveway..

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

ho ho ho

Last weekend we paid a little visit to the big man in red.
There were no line-ups, soft mellow Christmas music playing in the back ground, no bossy elves anxious for their smoke break telling the kids to wait their turn, just a calm and soothing Mrs. Clause gently coaxing lulu to come over and sit on Santa's lap.
Where did this small Christmas miracle take place you might be wondering?
Believe it or not- Downtown Eaton Centre (or whatever it is now officially called) upstairs at the Bay on a Friday night.
Lulu was a little bit apprehensive at first, but after a few minutes she got comfortable on Santa's knee, told him she liked his nice soft velvet suit and that all she wanted was a cake for Christmas.
yup. a cake.
no dolls, DVD's or toys in general- just a cake.
Santa laughed and gave big daddy and I a look that said "is this kid deprived or what?" ho ho ho.
So I'm off the hook- no trips Toy's R' Us this year, just need to pop into William Sonoma to pick up one of these instead.
Or not...perhaps a little stop at a local bakery might be the ticket instead.
I'm sure we still won't be able to resist a trip or two to Master Mind Toys or Mables Fables for a few little stocking stuffers though.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

check it

I don't normally do this...but I have to admit, I really love this story that I produced.
Mostly because Lulu is in it and had so much fun and I think the shots turned out quite nicely.
We shot this on a very hot day In August btw.
So if you haven't seen this month's issue of Today's Parent Magazine, pick up an issue.

Monday, December 03, 2007

another year....

I remember a time when I couldn't wait for my birthday.
cake, candles and celebrating with friends and family.
Or those birthdays when I actually couldn't wait to get another year older.
Like 13 (woo who! an official teenager), 16 (drivers licence), 18 (cocktails in Quebec anyone?) 19 (legal drinking age)
21 (rolling rock in Ellicottville NY whoopee)
but somehow I can't seem to excited about getting another year older.
something not so amazing about turning 37.
Besides I'm pretty sure I can drink everywhere on the planet-
except maybe in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Quatar, and Sudan.
Though I'm not planning any vacations to any of these places any time soon.
Big daddy and I had a nice weekend planned- an afternoon at the spa and a nice dinner out.
But Big daddy was sick as a dog all weekend so Lulu and I went to my parents instead.
I felt bad leaving him all sniffly and feeling crappy, but I'm sure we would have been more of a hindrance to his getting better than if we had stayed home.
Besides Lulu was sooo excited to see her grandparents after not having had seen them for almost six weeks.
My mom, lulu & I ended up having a nice spontaneous lunch at Hillebrand Winery.
It was exactly what I was in the mood for.

spending the day with my two favourite gals.
My lunch was really good- as usual.
I especially loved the wild mushroom salad with truffle oil and sheeps milk fresh cheese.

and wine at lunch is always a good thing.
Lulu was really well behaved, considering I really didn't bring my usual restaurant bag of tricks.
crayons, puzzles, etch-o-sketch, mini books.
so instead she insisted on buttering our bread and sipping mint tea.
best birthday present ever.
We got snowed in, which in some ways was fine, because big daddy said he needed more quiet time.
So while he was vertical on the sofa sipping neocitrine we spent the day at
The Great Wolf Lodge.
What a trip that place is.
Not sure if I could handle more than 24 hours there, but Lulu was in heaven.
We drove back today, had a nice weekend- was sad big daddy felt so sick and couldn't join us.
so that's it. my birthday so far in a nut shell.
nothing too exciting.
And though I'm not exactly thrilled to be reminded about getting another year older, I am glad that I have such a great family.
Especially my mom who is really the best, and my sweet lulu who seriously didn't stop talking the entire drive home.
Including her special version of "happy birsstday to mama" happy birsstday to mommy"
"I love her I love her...Happy birssthday to mommy"
What more can a girl wish for on her birthday?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

glogg blogg

I believe the last post had something to do with how over-the-top cute lulu is these days.
well she is still cute as a button...but well..definitely knows how to push my buttons.
That's for sure.
We took her to the Swedish Christmas festival down on the waterfront last weekend.
She has decided to skip napping- which in some ways is great, because now we can just do things during the day and not worry about getting home between 12-3 for her nap.
But in other ways it's well.....hell.
By 4 p.m. my little angel can turn into a little she-devil on the drop of a dime.
Also, no naps means no blogging for me.
or anything else for that matter.
well except things that involve crayons, glitter glue, toys and anything else interesting to a two year old.
the child is very intense when it comes to her crafts, that's for sure.

Anyhow I'm thrilled that she has tapped into her creative side and loves doing stuff like this, because truth be told, so do I.
But all this lack of napping also means that our sweet Lulu is completely overtired and run down.
She still won't sleep through the night and keeps waking up in the middle of the night, stealthily trying to make her way into our bed.
We usually end up taking her back into her room- though one of us usually wakes up in her bed.
Good thing we got her a really good mattress..
so as a result of all this naplessness- we are all sick with colds yet again.
wah wah wah...
but nothing so bad that a warm cup of Swedish glogg won't cure.

mmmmm...warm mulled spiced red wine....
So the month of November was spent in a bit of a transition phase.
we went from raking the leaves to shovelling the snow over night.
and are also trying to adapt to Lulu's new schedule.
Another great thing about no naps is a much earlier bed time.
As in 7 p.m.
woo who!
This means that big daddy and I actually have several hours in the evening to ourselves.
I have to say that I'm loving it.
At first I was all stressed out that Lulu wasn't napping like the 80% of other kids her age (according to everything that I've read) but there are some things I can't control.
We still have quiet time from 1-3.
which means she chills out in her room and I think it's working for both of us.
At least now I don't have to tip toe around the house with the fear of waking her up.
so yes, I'm still alive...though not blogging as vigorously as I did during those glorious nap days, but all is well and I'm liking this new phase.
It just took a bit of time to get used to.
but back to the good.
I think I want my next vacation to be in Sweden.
But I'm sure Ikea will be the closest thing I'll get to Stockholm.
At least they sell the glogg mix there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

leaves are falling

I must confess I haven't really been feeling very bloggish these past few weeks.
Kind of ironic seeing as it's "blogging month".
Who came up with that anyhow?
Things are good though, and life is sweet.
A few random ( a.k.a.boring) things going on in my life:

~decided to chop off all my hair. no more ponytails. short and sassy.
I guess I am happy with the cut, it's been quite a few years since it was this short, but I'm digging it.
I feel neat and tidy.
Spiffy in a 1950's housewife kind of way. especially since these are everywhere and I love to accessorize.
Though I was a tad concerned this morning when Lulu said I looked a bit like a "guy".
hmmmm....not exactly the look I was going for...
oh well.

~my parents are travelling through Italy and not only am I jealous, but I'm really starting to miss them.
I would have laughed hysterically if someone told me that I would miss my parents after they had been gone only a couple of weeks back during those horrible teenaged years.
my how things change.
It's not that I see them that often, but I really miss just picking up the phone most days and having a chat with my mom.
I'm so glad they are having fun and I wish them well, but I am looking forward when they get back.
and man do I wish I was somewhere in Tuscany at the moment.
hell I would even be happy to go to College St. (little Italy) for dinner.

~ after years of scrubbing my own toilets I finally caved and agreed to get a cleaning service once a week.
Big daddy claims it is more of a marriage saver than just someone to clean the pee off of the floor.
I must say it's a nice treat and I was starting to get used to the idea of coming home every Monday afternoon to a spotless house.
This is so hard for me being the neat freak that I am (and I'm also super frugal) but I guess big daddy was right and it is a good thing.
only bummer is that yesterday when I got home, the bathroom floor was ruined with some harsh chemical spill on the new heated marble bathroom floor.
ummm- remember the part about being careful not to use anything but Method and all natural cleaners in the bathroom????
so now we have to get the floors redone.
which totally sucks.
I also feel really bad for the girl who does our cleaning. I just hope she doesn't lose her job.
maybe I should go back to being the main pot washer/ bottle scrubber around here.
or not.

~okay this is going to sound so monotonous but Lulu is so bloody sweet these days.
I feel like we have turned a corner and she is being soooo good.
almost no meltdowns or temper tantrums. I can actually reason with her. gasp!
I have to say she is so smart as well.
I am amazed at how well she speaks.
Not to brag...but how can I not? But she seriously speaks as well as any four year old at the park.
yet she is still only two and a half.
I know I know...I shouldn't compare.
She definitely has the gift of gab.
which is wonderful, but hopefully won't land her next to the teacher's desk like it did for me when I was a kid.
only time will tell.
Now if we could only get her to stop coming into our room every-single night at 2 a.m.

~ I have to say, there are many times that I wished I lived in the States. (especially when it comes to Target and J.Crew ;)However, November is not one of those times.
How do ya'll deal with thanksgiving AND Christmas so close together?
Flipping through all my favourite food mags and it's turkey turkey everywhere.
Which is awesome, except that you have to do the whole thing all over again in a few short weeks.
or maybe this isn't such a bad thing.
Is it?
any thoughts?

~speaking of the holidays...each weekend seems to be booking up as we get closer to the holiday season.
There are so many fantastic things going on around town. and now that Lulu is at an age where she really gets it, I can hardly wait to take her to all the festivities happening from now until Jan 01.
we might even try to brave the Santa parade this weekend...
Only every time Lulu sees Christmas decorations in a store she sais "mommy it not Christmas yet, it not cold yet! there's no snow!"
True. but I'm sure that will change soon.
In the mean time I'm happy to deck the halls while raking the leaves.

~T.V. couldn't not mention the idiot box seeing as this is where I seem to find myself more evenings than I care to reveal.
However I will share a few of my favourite guilty pleasures.
Prison Break. Last night's season finale did not disappoint. but who the hell is "the company??"
30 Rock. okay could this show be any funnier? The green episode last week was one I had to watch twice. hilarious.
The Office. Always funny and I can't get enough of Dwight.
Top Chef~ I'm a food network junkie, this show is one of my favs at the moment. Well that and The Heat and Fink.
I wish I had teachers like this guy when I was in high-school.
Lucky kids.
Oh and Jamie's Chef was a bit of a tear jerker too.
Big daddy loves when I watch Giada's Everyday italian.
is it me or do her tops keep getting lower and lower cut?
Then again, if ya got it- why not?
how does she stay that skinny while eating all that Pasta??
Dirty sexy Money. Lovin' it. it's like a modern Dallas only everyone has great hair.
Then again remember when everyone wanted hair like Krystle Carrington?
I can't remember the last time I watched a movie. any suggestions?

so that's about it for me.
Nothing too wild and crazy happening, just enjoying a nice November groove.

Monday, November 05, 2007

losin' my religion

It's a little intimidating writing about topics like politics or religion.
I don't ever want to offend or piss off any of the people who might be reading my blog.
But I gotta keep it real right?
so today's sermon is all about what religion means to me.
I'm a bit of a recovering catholic.
Spent my childhood going to church at least once a week sometimes even twice.
(went to a catholic grade school) my parents were both taught by nuns and priests.
My brother was an alter boy.
I fooled around with several alter boys.
you know what they say about catholic school girls ;
Eventually I convinced my parents to let me go to a public High school. whew.
One of the first classes I enrolled in was a world religions class.
Our big project for the year was to attend ten different "types" of services throughout the semester and choose one, and write an essay about that particular religion, and have a guest speaker come in to talk to the class.
Loved it and it was one of the few classes that I actually got a really good grade in.
One girl even got a Wicca priestess to come into the class and talk about paganism.
For me church was always something that felt forced upon me.
all that standing, kneeling, sitting repeat a dozen or so more times.
It was always chaos trying to get ready on a Sunday in time and dressed appropriately.
I often felt like falling asleep and had no idea what the prayers were all about.
I dreaded going to confession. Sitting in a scary dark closet like room talking to a man behind a curtain thinking up "sins" seemed ludicrous to me.
not to mention just plain creepy.
by the time mass was over I was starving- as we "fasted" before hand each week.
What can I say my parents did what they knew growing up.
Eventually we stopped going as teenagers.
save for the holidays.
fast forward twenty years.
Haven't been to church aside from travelling to look at cathedrals and the odd wedding.
Married to a Jewish man.
when it comes to religion I'm not really sure where I fit in anymore.
I love celebrating all the Jewish holidays and I often get more enthusiastic about them than Big daddy does.
I just identify with the sense of ritual and tradition.
I've been to synagogue a couple of times.
It was interesting but not for me.
I chose not to convert.
So where does this leave me?
Do we need to "belong" to a religious group in order to be spiritual?
I don't think so.
But it is kind of nice.
So when a friend of mine (hi c) was singing a solo in a United Church Choir on Sunday I decided to go.
I took Lulu with me as Big Daddy was away for the weekend.
I have to say it was such a lovely experience.
The singing was beautiful.
Lulu was fascinated and was well behaved and sat listening quietly.
It was peaceful looking at the sunlight streaming in through the stained glass.
The sermon was interesting and relevant.
Overall a really nice way to spend a Sunday morning.
I may not go every Sunday, but I'll definitely go back again (especially to hear my friend C sing...what a beautiful voice!!)
It's probably good for Lulu to experience all kinds of worship.
We have friends that are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist and atheist.
Mormon- not so much. No offense.
I'm so happy that we can all sit together and share our ideas and beliefs.
how lucky am I that I live in a country where this is not only possible but common practice?


Saturday, November 03, 2007

ray of sunshine

Today was the first time in a while that Lulu and I went for a long walk outside on a beautiful sunny fall day and were not in a hurry or running errands.
somehow the autumn seems to have escaped me this year.
fortunately mother nature has taken her time with the cooler temps and colourful leaves so there is plenty to enjoy hopefully for a few more weeks.
it felt so nice to just walk and breathe. deeply. (and clearly without congestion) in what feels like a long while.
It's amazing how just taking several deep breaths can help restore the soul.
I can't believe how quickly September and October slipped by.
Two of my favourite months on the calendar were spent running around like a crazy woman and not actually having a chance to embrace and enjoy them.
Life can feel so hectic at times.
I honestly don't know how mothers with more than one child do it.
Now that Lulu is feeling better I feel like I can take a deep sigh of relief and relax and start enjoying life a bit more.
speaking of sunshine.
while out for dinner last night we set Lulu up with her usual crayons and paper and she drew a perfect yellow sunshine, rays and all. Big daddy and I were so proud watching her meticulously draw. she loved the praise, then announced that "I an artist"
That a girl. getting in touch with her creative side.
she really does love drawing and painting (then again, what kid doesn't?)
I feel like a broken record, but man, she is just over the top cute these days.
And could she be more affectionate? countless kisses and hugs all day long.
she melts my heart.
so focused.
so adorable.
so lulu.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

came down the gutter....

on a piece of bread & butter......
I'll spare you the details, but needless to say the plague that entered our house two weeks ago finally decided to make a dramatic exit on Halloween.
not fun at all.
my poor little Zebra was only allowed to eat white rice, white bread and bananas all day.
no candy.
she was a good sport though and was all smiles as per usual.
I'm also finally feeling a little bit better after a really bad cold & flu and also very very relieved that a rather involved job I was working on is finished.
It was fun to work on, but a bit challenging while caring for my sick little gal.
that's life as a mom though.
I'm very glad that it's November.
nothing too crazy happening, and hopefully we can spend some quality time at home together as a family getting warm and cozy.
oh and finally catching up on reading my favourite blogs.
it's been a while, looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

little bug

Is there anything worse than a sick child?
poor Lulu had a doozy of a virus and ear infection all week.
She's on the mend..finally.
But what a hellish week it was.
I'm just so grateful that for the most part she is healthy and resilient.
My heart goes out to those parents that aren't so fortunate.
I really can't imagine.
It was a bit of a wake-up call and reminder of how precious she is to me.
just feeling her tiny body burning up with such a high fever and watching her moan in pain while her little eyes were glazed over, broke my heart.
Not to mention made my maternal instincts really kick into high gear.
I don't think I have slept more than 6 hours total since Saturday.
but thanks to our (flawed) but pretty amazing health care system, we got into see our pediatrician immediately and a dose or two or amoxycilin she is almost back to her usual sweet and tenacious self.
Now if only I could just get over this damn cold....

Saturday, October 20, 2007


well long time no blog.
things have been fairly busy around here at casa-petitegourmand.
but big daddy & I have a weekend to ourselves and are enjoying every minute of it, so I don't want to waste too much time in front of the computer, when we can be out and about doing things that are so much easier when you don't have a two and a half year old to chase after.
I booked big daddy a massage first thing yesterday and then we decided he needed a little bit of retail therapy.
so we loaded up on some new fall threads (if the weather ever cools down enough to wear them) I must say I love dressing up big daddy.
he usually puts up a fuss when it comes to trying things on and gets frustrated easily with sizes, scratchy material blah blah blah...but yesterday we had some success and found him a bunch of things that he loved.
handsome devil that he is.
I was just happy getting a new lipstick and shimmer powder from Bobbi Brown (the make-up artist not the cracked out singer dude)
we also managed a relaxing lunch here.
and sat and enjoyed a latte at a coffee shop afterwards.
and also grabbed some last minute tickets to see Cirque de Soleil.
It was as always, very entertaining.
It blows my mind what the human body can do.
not to mention all the great lighting and stage effects.
had two long deep sleeps in a row and honestly I feel like a different person.
that's not to say that the first thing I did when I woke this morning was to call my mom to see how my sweet lulu is doing.
poor thing has a really bad cold and was really sick the day before she went to my parents house.
but she seems to be doing fine, told me she loved me a dozen times and blew kisses into the phone.
sniff sniff..
maybe we should pick her up a day early?...
or not.
lots planned for today.
just big daddy & I.
we need this time alone together to re-connect.
it was so nice to walk hand in hand again and remember why we are together in the first place.
speaking of which...

is that guy picking his nose behind me??
nice one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


my new favourite song.
or if you prefer this version.
it's one of those songs that sounds great really loud and while driving.
preferably fast and along a winding, tree lined road~ie. rosedale valley.
my personal favourite driving route in the city.
what's your favourite song du jour?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

it's a new day

so all was not that bad last week during "the visit".
There were some highs and some lows, but I'll try to focus on the brighter moments rather than the darker ones.
Lulu was really amazing with her grandparents. very affectionate and loving.
I was really impressed since really, she has only met them a few times.
we managed to fit in a fair bit during the time they were in town.
we ate out a lot.
probably a bit too much, as Lulu was in desperate need of a normal dinner at home by the end of the week.
as was I.
On Saturday we took the in-laws to Dim-Sum at the Pink Pearl down at the Harbourfront.
Originally we were going to bring them to China Town, but we figured they might enjoy a view of the lake instead.
The food was good and the view was lovely.
Lulu was so so well behaved. I was so proud.
I think this was her sixth time eating out in a row and she sat so quietly.
45 minutes without a peep.
what a girl.
so after we ate we took a walk along the water and heard some drumming coming from the outdoor stage.
just our luck a free performance by some Japanese drummers.
It was such a great distraction.
Lulu loved it.
Then on our way out we noticed that it was a special day for kids.
With crafts and all kinds of interesting things for her to do.

Lulu was in heaven.
pipe cleaners, markers, clay and Lego!!! whoopee!
If you missed it there is another one on December 15-16.
Lots of fun for the whole family.
well except maybe picky and tired grandmothers...
I'll spare you all the negative details.
Like I said I'm trying to focus on the positive.
but all in all what a great day.
we even manged a swim at the in-law's hotel which was nice.
Lulu is a little fish and has absolutely no fear of the water.
must sign her up for swimming lessons soon.
must find more flattering bathing suit for me.
we actually spent thanksgiving with both sets of grandparents.
It was interesting to say the least.
they had only met once before, ten years ago when big daddy and I first started dating.
It was about a 30 minute meeting and was fairly uncomfortable for both big daddy & I.
you can't get more opposite than our parents.
anyhow, dinner was decent and nothing several glasses of wine couldn't help smooth over.
So I'm glad it's all over with and we can move forward from here.
No more family visiting for a while. whew.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I always choose a photo that I think would best describe how I'm feeling or what pertains to my post.
Today I'm at a loss.
Can't find one that would even begin to illustrate what the past week has been like.
I will say, that I'm sure most people experience that point of no return from time to time.
That point where everything is magnified and feels even worse than it probably is.
That point where you feel like bursting into tears on the drop of a dime...and you do.
That point where nothing seems to go according to plan.
That point where it feels like everything is spinning out of control.
That point where you feel so completely frustrated by your child, then only to feel completely guilty for feeling that way in the first place and not being there for them in body & soul 100%.
That point where you feel like getting in the car and just driving. and driving. and driving. and not letting anyone know where you are going. with no particular destination other than not. here.
That point where you know you have to pull it together. not just for you, and your family but because you just have to.
That point where you get caught in the middle a wild thunderstorm and see that flash of lightening and feel the crash of thunder and feel completely in tune with the universe.
That point where the sun comes back out and you feel like-'s going to be alright. It was just a bad storm and now it's over.
That point where you wake up and feel like everything is going to be okay.
That point where you realize how truly thankful you should be for the people who care most about you and who you hold closest to your heart.
That point where you look at the clock and realize that in 23.5 hours your mother-in-law will be back on a plane and headed home.

a little on the heavy side....but hey that's my week in a nutshell.
Very thankful it's over.
and very very thankful things don't feel this way very often.

happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

dancing tutu

Well the day has officially arrived.
the day my in-laws fly into town.
I'm hoping for a nice visit with them.
we get along really well and bonus- they are staying at a hotel!
(there are some definite advantages to living in a small city house.)
But really it's all about lulu hangin with her "other" grandparents for the week and having a good time and bonding with them.
and heck I might even see if they are up for a little baby-sitting while they are here.
they are here to see Lulu after-all, not me.

speaking of Lulu...
I signed her up for a ballet class.
what a joke.
not so much ballet-per say. more like chaos with a bunch of 2-3 year olds.
the first week the class was full (12 kids total) this week only half showed up.
and most were crying and refusing to participate.
can't really blame them as they crank up really bad "Barney music" and just ran around the room.
who wants to dance to that?
not my Lulu.
She flat out told me she doesn't like the music.
then proceeded to turn off the stereo. oops.
"it too loud mommy- I don't like it!"
She also hates the show and always asks me to "turn it off"!
A very proud moment as a parent.
when we dance around our house, I'm a bit pickier when it comes to what we listen too.
But ballet- in my humble opinion- would be better accompanied by some soft and soothing classical.
Like perhaps a little Tchaikovsky- Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty or The Nutcracker??
just a thought.
but I'm too chicken to say anything.
maybe I should.
besides, maybe there's some sane or rational reason for exposing kids to really really loud Barney music first thing on a Monday morning..
wonder what it could possibly be?
Maybe the kids are just too young for dance "lessons" and need to just have fun expressing themselves.
either way it is totally worth it being able to see her in that outfit.
too too cute.
The grandparents are going to melt.

oh and speaking of grandparents...
while at Nortown picking up some Matzo Ball soup and an assortment of other kosher goodies today
(okay so I'm totally kissing ass and sucking up to my in-laws)
this woman who works in the plaza asks me how old Lulu is on my way out.
harmless question.
um two and a half.
Oh I have a two year old too.
then she follows us to the car and gives lulu a plastic orange grocery bag for trick-or-treating.
I had my arms full with a big green bin for my groceries.
does it look like we want a plastic bag lady?
and besides- it's not really smart to give young children empty plastic bags...
but I politely said thank-you. great..uh huh. yup okay.
she kept following us asking me all kinds of questions.
why is the car seat in the middle and not on the side, what kind of car seat is it? does lulu go to day-care?
do I work? what do I do? what are my hours? do I live near by?
mean while, I was trying to make sure Lulu doesn't get hit by a car in this busy parking lot, and hurry the hell up so I could get home and feed her and make it home in time for her nap.
well that and I wanted to get the hell away from this lady.
At one point she was blocking my way and I couldn't get into the driver's seat.
I actually had to say okay- I have to go. can you move please?!
I think she was just "slow" and probably meant no harm. but then again, who knows?
I do know that it was super irritating.
Even lulu was suspicious.
"why that lady put her head in the car mommy?"
"who that lady?"
"drive fast!"
good idea Lulu.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

land of great harmony

went for some sashimi last week here.

We also went on a date last night.
An actual date.
Got a babysitter.
Not a relative.
This was a first for us.
But definitely not a last.
We went to Cava- which was totally fantastic as always.
we shared a bottle of Mas Irene-Pares balta-2000 which was delicious.
(and probably a bit too much wine in one sitting for me...feeling a tad rough around the edges today, but well worth it)
The Torta Iberico Pork & Anchovy may look just like a pressed panini but was so so de-lish.
The Picoline olive, Green Apple, Fennel and red onion salad was fantastic as was the asparagus a la Plancha with lemon pepper aioli.
they both went so well with the Pork special and the Three minute Flank Steak with a white bean puree and chimichurri sauce.

Pork being the main theme for us as they are currently featuring Iberico pork which is absolute heaven.
It was so great to be able to come home and pay the nanny and just say goodnight.
Not that I don't appreciate when my parents look after Lulu for us, but it was a nice change not to have "overnight guests" after going out for dinner.
I love this nanny. She is fantastic with Lulu and I only wish we had met her two years ago.
Lulu adores her, and apparently had no problem going to sleep.
unlike with actually took us an hour tonight to finally get her settled down.
Nanny 911 indeed.
but seriously if you haven't yet been to Cava, check it out.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

to store or not to store?

Things are slowly falling into a nice new fall routine.
We have decided to make a few changes to go along with the season.
The big one this week has been the ol' switch-a-roo from "baby's room" to "big girl room"
we dismantled the crib, took apart the change table and decided to get rid of the rocking chair.
(anyone interested?? it's for sale)
we put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, added some crown moulding and had lulu's new bed delivered.
I was excited to start fresh but at the same time both big daddy & I felt a little nostalgic while taking everything apart.
Just under three years ago we were eagerly putting everything together and so excited about the arrival of our first child.
wanting her little room to be just right.
It seems like just yesterday in some ways, but at the same time feels like it was soooo long ago.
I remember going into her nursery each night for the few weeks before she was born trying to imagine what it would be like when she finally arrived.
who would she look like? what would her personality be like? would I know what to do with her? did I have everything I would need for her?
ahh that unknowing anticipation.
I guess we are just moving on to yet another chapter of the great unknown in our lives.
I was a bit concerned that all the changes would make things even more difficult getting Lulu a.k.a.-the little sleepless devil princess-settled down for the night, but she was pretty excited, and actually had no problem with her new room at all.
she did however get up in the middle of the night and make her way into our room without either one of us noticing or hearing her get up and into our bed.
this morning big daddy was like "um, did you go and get her last night?"
"no- did you??"
oh...this poses a whole new "situation".
Should we keep her door closed?
do we need to get a lock?
I guess we'll just have to figure it out as we go along.
All part of the new chapter I guess.
The big bonus was that she didn't start screaming for us to come and get her, and we both actually got a fairly decent nights sleep for the first time in ages. woo hoo.
In addition to all the big girl changes we also decided to retire the high chair.
I still kick myself for spending so much on it in the first place and not just getting the little white Ikea chair instead.
Instead, in my hormonal-about to give birth to our first child-clueless-naive state, decided to get a $600 custom one instead.
Little did I know we would only be using it for such a short while and that it would be banged, drawn on, stained and chipped. duh.
Some things I'm glad we broke the bank on, but the highchair isn't one of them.
It also doesn't store well and we are running out of places to store all this stuff.
Also, we are still really on the fence about wanting another child- and actually so far we are still leaning much more at the keeping at one camp, than having another.
so what to do with all this stuff?
and wow, is there ever a lot of "stuff" for babies.
Ironically I always considered myself a minimalist. ha!
ah, well.
It's so hard to decide whether to hang on to everything- just in case.
Or to get the whole kit and caboodle on Craig's List.
anyone need a $600 highchair?
Need being the operative word.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

go'in to the country-go'in to the fair

Another spectacular weekend weather wise.
I so wish it could be like this all year long.
have been feeling kind of claustrophobic lately and felt the need to get out of the city for the day.
We decided to head to a country fair (in my old home town)
en-route we sort of got lost.
yeah, it's been a while.
we decided to take a totally different route and were chatting away and kind of missed the exit we were supposed to take, but happily we ended up in beautiful historic Cambridge.
Hadn't been here in ages and forgot how pretty it is.
I know a bunch of people who have decided to sell their small over priced houses in the city, and move to this area for the beautiful yet still reasonably affordable century homes set on large properties.
after driving around, I can see how tempting this would be...
Then again, I've done my time in a small town and I'm pretty content living in the city.
At least at the moment.
eventually we continued on and finally made our way to our original destination.

I remember as a kid getting so psyched about the annual fall fair.
It was pretty much exactly how I remember it from around twenty years ago- only a little smaller.
Best prize ribbon for prettiest quilt, largest pumpkin, crunchiest pickles, best jam, tastiest pie, best baby?? dang we missed that one.
best cow, best lama, best sheep shearing, noisiest rooster, stinkiest pig.
Go 4-H. go.
And instead of Tom Sawyer by Rush and Burning Down the House by The Talking Heads basting from the speakers of
"The Zipper" ride it was some bubble gum top pop music.
The Zipper still looks as freaky as it did back then.
As do all the weird dudes running the rides.
But the biggest change was the reality that wow- I'm a mom now.
The last time I walked on this ground I was 16.
Seems like a life time ago.
I found myself scanning the crowd, looking for familiar faces.
I did in fact recognize a couple of people that I remember from high-school, couldn't remember their names though.
But it struck me at how old they looked.
Then I remembered that oh yeah, I probably look old too.
'cause I am now.
and I'm a mother...a mom. yup that's me. 36, married and a mom.
Not that I'm not thrilled to be a mother, it's just that for some reason it all felt kind of surreal to me and it kind of hit me at how fast life can fly by.
It seems like just yesterday I was crimping my hair and slipping on a pair of acid washed jeans, (okay maybe not acid washed per say, more like strategically torn, patched and frayed Levis-I was cheesy but not that cheesy) a neon Wham tee, applying just the right shade of frosted pink lip stick and getting ready to "giver" at the fair.
But I couldn't be happier that I'm no longer 16 and sneaking beer under the bleachers and looking for trouble in a small town because I was most likely just bored.
Well that and man did I probably look ridiculous back in the day.
Now I'm on the look out for trouble so I can avoid it, and boredom is not a word I would use to describe my life these days.
far from it.
On the contrary, boredom seems something of a luxury at this point in my life.
who has time to be bored when you are following a very busy two year old around?

Speaking of which, lulu managed to squeak in on the height requirements on most of the kiddie rides, and she couldn't have been more thrilled.

well except when she got to sample her first cotton candy.
Now that was pure elation.
Loved it. warm fluffy pretty sugar. what's not to love?

Well that's my little trip down memory lane.
It was a fun flashback kinda weekend.
how was yours?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

first day

well I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for lulu to start her first day of pre-school.
the weather is absolutely gorgeous and I really love this time of year.
I'm glad I didn't quite retire the flip flops just yet.

So her first day went really well.
I simply dropped her off and she was like an old pro.
no separation anxiety at all.
same goes for me.
Not nearly as emotional as I thought it might be. then again I'm too exhausted to be emotional...more on that in a minute.
I actually had time to run some errands at a leisurely pace and stop for a latte break.
it's been so long since I felt like I had any "free" time that I wasn't sure what to do with it.
should I go to the gym? book a manicure? go for a massage? get some things organized at home? start working on a job for next week? shop for some new fall clothes? read the paper or my book? get the car washed and detailed?
finish the gardening? get groceries???
or just slowly sip a tall half sweet vanilla soy latte and people watch on a beautiful sunny day?
I did the latter.
and glad I did- what a treat.
I also managed to get some groceries too.
even if I had wanted to do all the other stuff I really don't have the energy.
Lulu hasn't slept through the night in weeks.
now that she's potty trained she calls out at 1, 3 and 6 a.m. trying every excuse in the book to get us to come to her.
we are both at our wits end and feel like walking zombies.
It's like having a new-born all over again.
Is it something we are doing? is this normal for 2.5 year olds?
we put her down at around the same time every night-8ish
our routine is pretty much the same each night- dinner, watch a bit of Little Bear, snack, bath, brush teeth, 3 stories, 2 minutes of singing or humming to her then at last...bed.
she naps at around the same time each day 1-3 so what's up??
she is so great on so many other levels, but the sleep thing is killing us.
I'm really hoping that now that she is in pre-school that it tires her out and she starts sleeping through the night.
if not...well I'm at a complete loss.
I'm pretty sure we have tried everything.
or not- any tips or suggestions? anyone??
In the mean time- all I can say is thank- g-d for caffeine and pre-school/latte breaks.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

sweet new year

well the film festival is winding down.
not that it really has any significance to me this year other than the swag bag big daddy brought home from the In Style party the other night. I have been living vicariously through him all week, and having to take his word for it on all the fab parties he's been attending.
But I guess I could share a few little tid bits for y'all...
At one of the private parties big daddy was at the other night-he and "Cathy" were chatting about Toronto and what a great place it is to raise kids etc.
and how "they" just bought a new place just north of Montreal.
They being Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.
They rented a house in our neighbourhood (sort of) while they were filming here last year.
He said she was very nice, but not as gorgeous in person, her hubs on the other hand looks fantastic for his age.
I'm sure it's all natural..
since we are on the topic of natural...Apparently, Paris Hilton is actually quite extraordinary looking in person
and quote "I hate to admit it, but has an aura about her, and is quite stunning up close"
uh, big daddy how close are you talking? should I be concerned?
she did after-all "date" Marilyn Manson.
Who B.T.W. apparently looks like some Queen West loser Goth geek according to big daddy who was bellied up to the bar next to him at that same party.
I think his girlfriend is in the same film as Michael Douglas in case your were wondering.
Jude Law is as good looking in person as he is on camera.
Ben Kingsley is a dapper fellow as well.
John Leguizamo aka the crazy pill popping Doc on ER is super cool and really funny in person.
hmm.. oh yes Brad and Angie smell as good as they look.
okay kidding on the last one.
Big daddy didn't hang with them this year, but I bet they do in fact smell as good as they look.
that's all I can think of at the moment.
It's fun hearing all about the rich & famous, and I'm glad big daddy has had fun all week with his brother (who is here from L.A. for the week) I only wish I had a chance (or more accurately the energy) to go to some of the fantastic films this year around. ah well...guess I'll have to wait until they all come out on DVD as per usual.
would have been nice to sit next to some of the actors during the premiere though. always adds an element of fun to watching a movie.
But for me the real excitement of the week is...wait for it......drum roll.......
Lulu is officially toilet trained. (for the most part any-ways) I couldn't be prouder.
That a girl!
who needs Hollywood glamour when I can help my little gal sit on her pink princess toilet seat and get excited by the sound of her first tinkle or ...well ya catch my drift.
ah good times.
what a week so far.
I may not lead a super famous or over the top wealthy life,
But I am happy and healthy.
And hey, my kid is out of diapers-!!
things are good indeed.

On another note, we went to a fun Rosh Hashana dinner last night.
Lulu had a ball with all the cute kids, at one point I was laughing so hard I was crying.
I can't remember about what exactly, but it was great company and all the food was so delicious.
I love this holiday-it's all about family, the harvest, new beginnings and the sweetness of apples & honey.
(to signify a sweet new year ahead- in my limited catholic upbringing knowledge of one of my favourite jewish holidays)
what's not to love about that?

~Shona Tova~

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

he sais she sais

Having a child can really bring a couple closer, and unfortunately in many cases it can really strain a relationship.
Marriage takes work, and when you are feeling exhausted and burned out, unfortunately relationships often get bumped to the bottom of the priority list.
Its easy to just assume that you will always be together once you have kids,
but this is not a very safe assumption.
I've written in the past about how challenging it has been to keep things balanced when it comes to big daddy and I.
At the end of the day we both feel so spread thin, that more often than not there's nothing left for one another.
We get along for the most part, we don't really argue that often, but when we do I feel so frustrated.
Friday night we had the most stupid argument that I practically don't even remember what it was about.
But in the end big daddy stormed out, and ended up sleeping on the sofa.
The worst part is that Lulu was within ear shot of some pretty unfortunate name calling and explosive tempers.
She was particularly upset by the fact that daddy left without saying goodnight to her.
when I read her her bedtime stories, I tried to explain to her that mommies and daddies sometimes have arguments but that doesn't mean that we don't love each other or especially that we don't love her.
She is so perceptive it blows me away.
She softly stated stroking my cheek and said "daddy need to calm down & he not be rude to mommy"
"I love you mommy"
Part of me felt like humph...see big daddy- even a two year old thinks you should calm down and were being totally rude.
The other part felt bad that Lulu had to see this in the first place.
I grew up around quite a bit of conflict between my parents and it was no fun at all.
I inevitable felt like I always had to choose a side.
I really don't want history to repeat it self.
That being said, like I said, big daddy and I don't argue that often, and by Saturday morning we were all snuggling in bed having coffee.
all was forgiven (for the most part) and the weekend was salvaged.
It helped that I finally got some sleep- bed by 10 and no snoring to wake me up.
It's truly amazing what a solid eight+ hours of sleep will do to improve a mood.
I'm not saying I was wrong due to pure exhaustion from lack of sleep all week long or that is was the sole reason for our fight in the first place but I'm just saying..

But ultimately~

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory but progress..

Joseph Joubert 1754-1824
french philosopher
So true, and duely noted.

Friday, September 07, 2007

party hopping

It's odd how social functions always seem to fall on the same night.
which in some ways is annoying, because really, how socially fabulous is our life these days?
so it's kind of nice to spread things out a little.
Then again, bonus is being able to kill two birds with one stone (what a horrible saying)
and save on baby-sitting by being able to go to two different things on one night.
plus it adds to the "fabulouslessness" of it all.
Big daddy & I had a quiet dinner at one of our favourite spots.
then went to Brassaii for a little farewell of sorts to a client that will be no longer.
kind of a strange reason for having a party, but when one door closes...
We had fun, and enjoyed seeing so many great people I've had the pleasure of working with over the years and okay..
all the compliments on my new haircut.
first time out of a pony tail in over a year.
It felt nice to hear "you look great" & "you look like you have lost so much weight" after feeling kind of gross for the past few months.
my ego was sated.
shallow, I know, but hey if I'm being honest..
then we dashed off the the opposite end of town for the wrap party for the HGTV show I've been working on all summer.
so great to see everyone, and sad that it's all over for the season.
such a great group of people to work with.
It was fun to do something outside of my comfort zone, but then again, talk to me when the show airs in October.
I may be mortified about how silly I look on t.v.
I know ego ego.
but for now it was fun to do lots of grown up things that had absolutely nothing to do with babies & toddlers.
I love my little gal, but it's nice to feel like "me" again and not just mommy.
I guess I can go back to putting my hair back up until the next soiree.