Wednesday, July 29, 2009

making peace

For the past few months I've been feeling really content.
I don't often feel this way- in fact I never feel this way.
I'm usually questioning every single decision I make and wondering if I should be doing things differently.
Should I make pasta tonight or rice?
kidding-sort of.
But in all seriousness, when I worked full time pre- Lulu-I wondered- is this it?
Is life all about just working, material things and making money?
Then when I had Lulu I wondered- Is this it?
Now that I'm a mother and at home with my daughter, is it interesting and stimulating enough without my full time career?
Will I be happy staying at home full time?
In the beginning I struggled with my new identity and roll as a mother.
Then again, who doesn't?
I loved it, don't get me wrong- but at the same time I always felt so torn.
I envied my friends who had a career with a paid Mat leave- then after that time was up, they went back to work and just got on with things and adjusted.
No sitting on the fence wondering when the best time to go back to work would be.
The decision was made for them.
Then again I envied my friends (all 2 of them) that stayed at home and completely embraced it.
Ran their home like a well oiled machine.
They were always on the go and out the door, doing all sorts of activities with their kids and themselves.
I was (am) so in awe of these women.
The ones that work full time- I scratch my head and wonder how the heck they manage.
And the ones who gave up very successful careers to stay at home with their kids and do it with such enthusiasm.
Me, well- I fall into a different category all together- kind of a little of both worlds.
Trying to do the odd free lance gig here and there, doing the t.v. show in the summers but still being at home with Lulu full time.
It's not that I'm complaining- in fact I wouldn't want it any other way- but it's always felt a bit like being in limbo.
Until now.
Lately I'm really feeling comfortable in my own skin.
It only took me 4 years...
I'm so blown away by how fast time goes by when you have a child.
I'm so glad I didn't rush back to the craziness of full time work and miss out on all the amazing things I've had the privilege to experience with Lulu.
I highly doubt that I would have said 10 years from now- "oh I really wish I had propped that great photo shoot"
That being said- I am starting to think about my next move as far as work is concerned.
I do miss it some times.
What do I want to do that still gives me flexibility and also satisfaction?
Still trying to figure that out I guess.
And do I even want to do what I've been doing for the past 10 plus years?
Not entirely sure.
But I do know that for the moment, I feel fulfilled and happy.
And very very lucky that I get to make this decision in the first place.

Friday, July 24, 2009

trash talk

I think it's around day 31 of the Toronto city worker- garbage strike.
For the most part the strike really hasn't affected us too badly.
Big daddy takes our trash & recycling to work where we have private pick up.
Our neighbourhood is practically empty in the summer with most people at the cottage or on vacation, so as far as I can tell things look pretty decent.
Even our neighbours who have FOUR freakin green bins have been away most of July so fortunately no smell of rotting decay wafting over our side of the fence. Yet.
But that's where it ends.
I was at the R.O.M. on the weekend and I must say that Bloor St. is looking pretty shite.
The city is really screwing up big time.
This is tourist season and what kind of a message are we trying to send to people?
We are still trying to bounce back after Sars and the recession and now this!
piles of garbage in our parks and all along our beautiful Lakeshore.
welcome to Toronto folks.
Not to mention all the park program closures.
Thankfully I decided to go the private camp route and not sign Lulu up for any city parks & rec. programs.
all cancelled.
Our weekly trips to riverdale farm are no longer.
Though I must admit that I am a bit relieved that all the splash pads are closed as I've never really been a big fan of those murky petrie dishes...
I much prefer the parks with water sprinklers- and fortunately there's a few around our neighbourhood.
Not that it's been hot enough to use them. grrrr...
I know I mentioned that it's pretty nice having our own boat so that we can enjoy a crowd free and quiet Toronto island.
But it would be nice if the amusement park at Center Island was opened for all the rides for the kids.
I especially feel bad for all those students who work there that were depending on a paycheck for the summer to help pay their tuition in the fall.
Anyhow all I can say is that I'm getting pretty fed up with it.
Both big daddy & I are self employed and if we get sick we don't get paid- simple as that.
so all this crap about banking sick days and holding out for more money for the unions is very frustrating.
But ultimately it's not the union bosses that are hurting it's everyone else.
So frustrating that it seems as though our city is being run by a bunch of morons.
that's my rant for the day.
deep breath.
Not too deep though- don't want to inhale any stinky garbage fumes.

anyone else being affected by the city strike?

Friday, July 17, 2009


The good thing about being in a book club is that it encourages me to read more.
Less t.v. more books.
Though I have to say that I am still really enjoying this and this.

Come Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant was our last book and I must admit, I didn't finish it.
definitely not what I would describe as a gripping novel.
It moved as fast as a tortoise that's for sure.

Before that I read Notes From An Exhibition by Patrick Gale.
It wasn't a book club pick but I really enjoyed it.
It's the story of an artist, her children, her mental illness and her creative genius.
Gale moves seamlessly between different characters, and from past to present...An excellent summer read.

Six Months In Sudan by Dr. James Maskalyk was our book choice for the month of May and once again I didn't finish it.
It received rave reviews from everyone in our book club, so I may go back and give it another go.
But I guess I wasn't really in the right head space for the subject matter.
Lulu happen to have a mystery fever for five days while I was trying to read it and I just couldn't think about severe illness and dying children.
But like I said, I do think I will pick it up where I left off.

I just finished The Heretics Daughter by Kathleen Kent.
The Heretics Daughter is a novel that starts out strong, lost my interest a bit, and then picked up again at the end.
I enjoyed it overall, but in the end I was glad I managed to finished the book.
Not that it was a heavy read but somewhere in the middle of the book I just got a little bored.
I felt that it was a well researched novel though and very descriptive of that particular time period.
I find the Salem Witch trials quite fascinating and so incredibly insane.
I really loved the cover, which was what attracted me to it in the first place (what can I say I' a sucker for beautiful book covers) the haunted look on this girl's face, and her dark features drew me right in.
Then again, a good lesson is that you can't always judge a book by it's cover.
Overall I would describe this book as okay.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave was another book club pick.
I really enjoyed this book and again, I doubt it would have been one I would have picked up at the book store.
That's the good thing about book clubs, it really does get you reading books you might not normally be drawn to.
It's the story of a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan-"Little Bee" and a upper middle class British couple- two journalists trying to repair their strained marriage with a free holiday-who maybe should have stayed behind their resort walls.
Then again if they had- there wouldn't be a story to tell.
The story is told in two voices- Little Bee and Sarah a 30 something British magazine editor.
Their lives couldn't be more opposite and the contrast between the two is what I enjoyed the most.
Interesting that it's a male author who writes as two entirely different women.
I think he did a convincing job- though a few others in our book club disagreed.
Another great part of being part of a book club- fun to hear different opinions.
Either way I would definitely recommend this book.

It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong was a book sent to me by Canadian family Magazine to review.
I've been following Heather's blog since the beginning, so I was totally open to reading her book.
Again, not necessarily a book I would have gone and purchased but I have to admit it was really humorous and in some ways much more entertaining than her blog.
She is a very honest and funny writer and I could identify with so many things that she writes about.
I think it's so great that there are "mommy bloggers" out there that are not only making a good living from their blogs but are able to get book deals and support their families as a result.
Hey and even get to appear on Oprah to boot! way to go Heather!
Blogging has come a long way that's for sure.

So that's what's been on my bedside table (books that is...)- what about you?
what are you reading these days?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

lovin the cuzins

Lulu's cousins were here for a quick visit- and when I say quick- I mean quick.
Big daddy's brother had the kids for his 2 weeks (pending divorce situation) and decided to take them to NYC and then stop in Toronto for 5 days.
Unfortunately he decided to visit with friends instead of us.
well that is until the last day before they left.
We were working so I get it- but it's really unfortunate because Lulu absolutely adores her cousins.
Big daddy was quite pissed at the situation actually and for the first time ever- had "words" with his bro.
Oh the drama...
I pretty much stayed out of it- I have my own issues with my brother...
but that's a whole other post.
But they are such great girls and it was so nice to see them- albeit brief.
At least we had an afternoon together.
We swam, we shopped, we ate ice-cream and sushi. what more could a girl want?
I'm just sad to see them go.
As was Lulu- sad was an understatement.
I had to do some serious consoling once they were gone.

I only wished they lived closer...
very sweet watching them all together.

Monday, July 06, 2009

do you have to pea?

It's been a long time since I was inspired by food.
Not sure what happened over the past year or so, but I guess it just became something that fell to the bottom of the priority list and became just "fuel" for lack of a better term.
But now that we are mid-summer there are so many gorgeous veggies and herbs to choose from that I find myself getting excited about new recipes I want to try.
Fresh peas being one of my new favourite things.
Especially when tossed with a bit of Frantoia olive oil and fresh chopped mint from my herb garden.
The scallops were sprinkled with fresh maldon sea salt, organic lemon zest and fresh thyme (again from my garden) and pan seared for around 3 minutes per side.
I used the side burner on big daddy's new kick ass manly uber barbeque.
It's nice to be able to cook an entire meal outside.
SO good.
SO simple.
And bonus- so healthy & low cal.