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.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I'm so glad the summer didn't go by without the chance to enjoy a few smores 'round the ol' camp fire.
It was one of the things I wanted to do this year.
Let lulu experience the pure yumminess of roasting marshmallows on a pseudo campfire-or at least a contained version in the back yard.
I had been promising her all summer long that we would do this and she wasn't about to let me forget.
We had a bunch of people over from the neighbourhood and got roasting.
The adults got a little roasted themselves...
hmm. alcohol seems to be a bit of a theme over the last few lingering weeks of summer...
after everyone left and the kids were all nestled in nicely in their sugar induced slumbers, big daddy and I got to sit back and enjoy the flickering of the flames and look up to the perfect summer night sky.
There are times when I feel so grateful for everything, and some days it's easy to forget all the amazing things in our lives.
tonight was not one of those nights.
I'm hoping we can enjoy a few more fires before we can't be bothered and decide to have them inside instead.
These next few weeks are busy ones.
As I watch the squirrels frantically burying nuts in our yard (and in my cast iron planters..little f-er's), I realize I'm really not that different from the little critters.
Trying to squeeze as much in during the next few weeks, knowing that just around the corner things will take on a different pace, the weather will shift and I may not be feeling quite as ambitious.
then again, who knows?
I do know that I hope the sun keeps shining just a little bit longer, and the green hangs on for a few more weeks.
Or at least until I get a chance to eat just one more smore's or at least just the chocolate part- and cross a few more things off of the Summer To Do List.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

smoke on the water

Despite being two sheets to the wind last Saturday night...actually make that three sheets...
I still managed to take a few in focus pics of the delicious dinner that our lovely hosts B & L whipped up.
Everything was excellent, and the smokey ribs from the Healthy Butcher were most excellent.
I must admit, I had a bit of charcoal barbecue envy.
Makes all the difference.
We had such a nice time and I find myself still thinking about how beautiful it was up north a week later.. so thanks again guys-the food, the setting and the company were all amazing.

Lulu keeps asking about little S's house-cottage.
and asked if daddy could buy her one too, next to S's.
if only...sigh....

deck the halls

Lulu came into our bed this morning full of love and kisses.
nothing too out of the ordinary there.
only she was singing Rudolph the red nosed reindeer...laa laa laa....had a very shiny nose.
and asking if Santa was coming soon.
I look at the clock in a groggy daze.
uh, 6 something.
I look out of the window.
yup the trees are still covered in glorious green leaves. no snow.
I wake up big daddy.
Is it labour day weekend? or is it the greenest December on record?
I know our climate is in crisis but this is ridiculous.

oh yes, maybe it had something to do with the fact that Lulu had a Christmas tree in her bedroom this week.
and that we were baking holiday cookies and making Christmas crafts for two days straight.
and just to get in the zone I might have put on a bit of sappy holiday music.
hey, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta to do to get creative.

One of the worst parts of my job is producing Christmas stories in the summer.
It's so hard to think about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, when all I really want to do is roast a weenie or a smores on an open camp fire.
It's never easy to find warm winter clothes and holiday decorations in the middle of July either.
Not to mention, that as a Canadian, as much as I try to embrace winter and I choose to live in the great white north, that doesn't mean that I'm in any great hurry to start thinking about it.
I love the summer. I don't want it to end quite frankly.

So when the holidays roll around this December, I guess I should expect lulu to start hunting for chocolate covered eggs, under the Chanukah bush.
ho ho ho.
happy labour day holiday.