Friday, December 30, 2011

farewell 2011

As I look back at 2011 the word that comes to mind is pretty clear.
Or more accurately "momma."
My life has pretty much become all about Lulu. At least for the most part.
And although I never thought it would happen to me, I'm completely okay with that.
Being a SAH mom is really such a blessing.
Geez, it only took me 6 years to completely embrace this...
Ironic, considering that I'm going to try to work more this year now that Lulu is in school full time.
Better late than never I suppose.

I love that I've been able to go on all Lulu's school trips and volunteer in her class and to always be so available for her.
Especially during these early "foundation" years.
I wouldn't trade any of that for the coolest photo job opportunity.

I also enjoy having her little friends over for lunch and play dates now that they are a bit older.
5 & 6 year olds are so sweet and much easier to handle.
Especially when they give me rave reviews on my cooking.
Lulu loves to tell all her friends what a good cook her momma is and every day they all come up and hug me asking when they can come to our place.
Is there anything better than that?

I completely love walking her to & from school each day.
I'm tryng to savour these moments as much as I can, as I know they are fleeting.
Especially when I see a group of kids maybe 6 or 7 years older than she is now, that wouldn't be caught dead walking with their mom to school.
Don't even think about holding hands!

I've never missed a baseball game, a dance lesson or piano lesson.
I have been able to take her to camps and other fun activities around town.
So glad I can watch Lulu experience new places and meet new friends and help to nurture that.

Speaking of new places.
We took some pretty fun trips this years as well.
Nothing too exotic, and always visiting with family, but that in itself was also a great experience.
Especially for Lulu.
L.A. in the spring
Connecticut and New York in the summer.
Some weekends spent up north and down in Niagara.
I'm thinking 2012 might involve some new and exciting destinations with just the three of us.
Stay tuned for that.

As much as parenting has been at the top of my personal list this year, big daddy & I managed to get out a bit more for some one on one time.
It's great to finally have a roster of good babysitters.
We still need to do some work in the marriage department (then again tell me one couple who doesn't after being together for 14 years!)
But I'm in it for the long haul, so I'll keep on booking those sitters and calling in Grandma & Grandpa more often.
Speaking of which, our families are all healthy (big sigh of relief..) and for once, this year wasn't filled with too much drama.
Love that.

Went to a bunch of great restaurants. All casual, which is much more the kind of meal I like to have these days anyways.
I'm so over rich reductions, foam and pretentious wanna-be-actor-waiters not to mention ridiculous wine prices.
But truth be told, I find I enjoy eating at home more and more, and I would much rather have friends over than eat out too often.
That being said it is nice to get a break from time to time.

I managed to stay relatively healthy and am feeling more fit than I did 10 years ago.
Worked out quite a bit and finally seeing some results.
But this is another area I want to change, I recently read that if you get stressed trying to fit in things that are supposed to help you de-stress, then it's time for a change.
Some of my favourite classes at the gym are really not conducive to my schedule, especially since I will be working a bit more in 2012.
And throw in some chronic pain to areas that I think I am over working, I'd say it's time for a work-out change.
Change is good.
So I have a few new ideas that will keep me in shape, but hopefully keep me in check as well.

2011 has also been filled with good friends, some fun parties and get togethers.
Big daddy & I hope to maybe get some of our friends together for a party of our own.
who knows, we'll have to see about that.
Could be fun.

Of course the big addition to our family is Chelsea aka "the chelster" . She was probably the most excitement of 2011 for us.
She has been a welcome addition I might add.
Who knew you could love a small, snorty, sometimes smelly creature so much?

But otherwise a fairly uneventful year.
It flew by faster than I care to think about actually.
I can't believe it's soon to be 2012. Crazy.

2011 was for the most part filled with happiness, good healthy (with the exception of the last 8 weeks gah!!) , good friends, and family and the world's sweetest daughter.
I only hope 2012 is as good to me.
Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas eve

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.
~Larry Wilde

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

elf on my shelf

I'm so running out of hiding places.
glad that christmas is in 4 more days..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

dreaming of a green christmas

It's hard to believe it's already the middle of December and it's still pretty green outside.
As much as fluffy flakes get me in the the Christmas mood, I'll take 10+ degree temperatures mid Dec. any day.
It makes running around doing errands that much easier.
It also makes the winter seem that much shorter.
I think last year we had already had a few major snow storms by this time.

I do wish I had more interesting things to write about other than the weather (once again) , but (once again) my mind is drawing a blank.
I've been so sick & tired these days (once again) that I've got nothin'.
Last week we were out every night, which was fun, but unfortunately as a result, I'm having a hard time getting over a lovely sinus infection.
wah wah..
Jeez, I'm sure no one wants to read about me and my never ending bouts of colds & flus, but the only reason I write about them is so that I can some day (hopefully) look back and remember that it was just a phase.
And it's part of having young kids in school and that just like teething, potty training and sleepless nights, it too shall pass.

Besides I'm pretty sure no one really reads this blog anymore.
And if you are going to complain and whine, it might as well be on a blog and not at all the holiday parties we still have to go to.
oh and on the up side, who knew that cold medicine gave you such a weird buzz?
who needs run & eggnog..
always a silver lining I suppose..

I'm also hoping that by the time Christmas rolls around, I will have had some down time to sit and contemplate 2011 and what it meant to me.
Aside from being sick 60% of the time.
And more importantly what I would like 2012 be like.
Hopefully virus free.

Friday, December 02, 2011

on the first day of christmas

For some reason this year I'm finding myself totally getting into the spirit of Christmas.
Maybe it's having a 6 year old that is doing it?
Or maybe the arrival of the first flakes of the white stuff yesterday that has me humming holiday tunes.
Whatever it is though, I'm liking it.
Having never been a big fan of the Christmas season, I like my new outlook on things.
It's so much more fun than being a bah-humbug.
Bonus that I already have a big chunk of my Christmas shopping finished already.
As in Santa.
Love Mastermind Toys.
One stop shopping at it's best.
I also love that Lulu asked for a few small and simple things.
Hex bugs- check
lego- check
micro phone with stand- lord help me- check
magic set-check
new art supplies- check

10 drummers drumming...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

spilling the beans

It's hard to believe it's already the end of November!
I'm still sneaking Lulu's Halloween stash after she's gone to bed each night..
Must throw that crap out once and for all.
Time to make room for the candy cane ice cream and Christmas cookies.

November really was a bit of a blur.
So much happening, so little time to sit down and blog.

But all is well and life is good.
Lulu had her first official report card and we were pretty pleased with her teacher's comments and her over all results in school.
Shockingly there were no comments about her being too talkative (like her dad & I were) in class.
On the contrary, she puts up her hand and is always eager to please the teacher.
So much so that she has a very strong sense of justice.
She likes to play by the rules and gets very frustrated when her peers do not.
Sometimes a bit too frustrated.
Lord let this continue though her teens..

She also keeps me up to speed on who's doing what and who got in trouble each day.
Which of course I completely encourage.
As long as it's not her, I'm happy.

So yesterday, while walking home from school, her and another girl from the neighbourhood were clowning around as her mom and I made small talk while trying to get them to get a move on so we could get home.
They were playing with some sticks they found on the ground.
Eventually we got home and Lulu decided to tell me something that this girl had said to her.
Apparently she whispered to Lulu "let's scratch the cars parked on the street with our sticks" and "let's spit on our moms"
I did hear Lulu say "no we'll get in big trouble."
And that's when we parted ways.

So when she told me about it, I thanked her for being so honest and told her that it wasn't acceptable behaviour in the least.
Even if they didn't actually do it, even joking about it is wrong and not funny at all.
She agreed and said that's why she decided to tell me in the first place.
I'm glad she gets that.

Now if Lulu said something like that I'd want to know about it.
No question.
So today I ran into this girls mother and told her what Lulu had told me and her reaction was well.....complete denial.
I was a bit taken aback actually.
She basically said that there was no way her daughter would say something like that and practically accused Lulu of lying.
I was pretty pissed.
If someone came to me and casually said you might want to know something that Lulu said out of your ear shot, my reaction would be "really? I'm floored that she would say something like that, it's a bit out of character but I will definitely be speaking to her about it later." and "thanks so much for letting me know."
Then I would go home and have a pity party and wonder what I've done wrong to have my daughter thinking that spitting on me would be remotely funny.
But that's just me.
And for the record, I'm 99.9% sure Lulu would never say or do anything like that.
She's not perfect, but she is a pretty respectful kid.
This girl on the other hand is a bit on the unpredictable side, so quite frankly I wasn't surprised at all.

But now I kind of regret telling her mother about it.
I didn't make a big deal out of it and tried to be as nonchalant as possible, but still.
Like I said, I'd want to know.
I am so annoyed by her reaction.
Should I have said nothing?
what would you have done?

Friday, November 11, 2011


"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." -Cynthia Ozick

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Honestly I hate to post about being sick, feeling sick or looking after a sick kid and sick puppy yet again.
But unfortunately that's been my reality these past several weeks (or maybe it's months) but whose counting?
It's been nothing major, just the usual annoying colds and flu making the endless rounds.
What drives me crazy is that I feel like it's only us that seems to get sick all the time.
Us as in Lulu & I (and now Chelsea)
I just don't understand why.
I am a complete clean freak and germ-a-phobe so I don't get it.
We have one of the healthiest diets I know of.
Laurens favourite meal is Quinoa, tofu and kale.
Need I say more?
I've been using my juicer every day making vitamin rich concoctions like carrot, beet apple ginger juice or Orange, pineapple, carrot ginger just to name a few.
Not to mention all the healthy meals I've been making.
Seriously healthy.
Very little alcohol happening around here either. sniff sniff.
Trying my best to get 8 hours of sleep a night. Lulu gets 10-11 hours.
I practically have hand sanitizer on a holster.
Exercise is a regular part of my week- it's like breathing for me.
Of course I haven't been able to get to the gym as much as I would like to with all this nursing everyone back to health business.
I could be a spokes person for Natural Health Magazine.
So I just don't get it.
why us?
Is this normal?
Are we the only ones who seem to be fighting off viruses on a weekly basis since the beginning of school?
Maybe I should just run to the nearest Walmart and lick the escalator hand rail and then go use the bank machine and put my fingers in my eye right after pushing all the buttons?
Heck maybe I should be really crazy and go outside without a coat on?
Or maybe I should fill up our car with gas (not full serve) and wipe my hands on my mouth after touching the hand pump.
Oh and then I should go stand in line at the nearest walk-in clinic and just breathe in all the coughs and sneezes.
We should just go to McDonald's for all of our meals from now on. Hmmm I wonder if they have tofu Mc Nuggets?
Okay so I'm rambling...I suppose I've been cooped up too long.
What I'm really trying to say is that I'm super frustrated that there is nothing I can do (or so it appears) to prevent from getting sick.
I'm doing all that I can, but it just doesn't seem to work.
Maybe I'm missing something though.
am I?
Anyone out there have any fool proof tips for staying healthy at this time of year, aside from surrounding ourselves with a giant plastic bubble?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

here comes the sun

Yesterday when Lulu's bedroom was awash with warm orange light first thing in the morning we almost didn't know what it was.
Are they shooting a film next door and using large lights?
Did the street lamp get a newer brighter bulb?
No wait, I think it's actually the sun!
We almost starting jumping up and down on the spot.
The sun, the sun! where or where have you been?
of course it only lasted until after lunch. sigh..
Is it me, or has it been endlessly rainy and dreary this fall?
Aside from a gloriously warm Thanksgiving weekend, I can't remember the last we time shuffled though the autumn leaves, and stared in awe at all the beautiful colours on the trees.
Lulu is usually busy collecting leaves to and from school, not this year.
Instead we've been hiding under an umbrella for most of October.
I'm definitely getting my moneys worth out of my Hunters.
I just hope Halloween isn't a bust.
Nothing worse than a rainy night for trick or treating.
Wah wah.

I haven't been writing much these days.
I seriously can't believe how fast the days fly by.
There just never seems to be a spare minute to sit down and just think and reflect.
When I do get a second to myself, I feel like I'm always compiling To-do lists in my head instead of just thinking about what has already been accomplished.
Either that or I end up writing about mundane things like the weather.
Have things really come to this?
I guess my brain is just tired.
Perhaps it's a lack of creative stimulation, or maybe I'm just feeling a little parental burn out.
Either way, I'd love to turn things around.
Finish a good book, see an interesting film.
Go to an art gallery.
Maybe a little time out from car pooling, play-dates, taking care of sick puppies & children and grocery shopping might just do the trick.
Well that, and if the sun makes another appearance soon..

another gratuitous puppy picture, I know.
I can't help myself.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sound Bites

There are days when I feel like I'm a 27 year old trapped in a 40 year old's body.
Sure I'm responsible and for the most part, fairly mature when it comes to life, don't get me wrong.
Then again I was pretty responsible at 27 too.
But when it comes to music, I feel very different from my fellow peers and other moms.
I love discovering new bands (even better when they are easy on the eyes)

I can't tell you how many dinner parties that we have gone to and the music is just BAD.
I mean Rock Lobster? realllY?
and Love shack by The B-52's?
And do we really need to hear more Lady GaGa? do we?
It's always too loud and then the obligatory dance in the same spot around the kitchen island embarrassment ensues.
Myself or big daddy try our best not to partake, regardless of how much Pinot was consumed.
I draw the line at being a dancing cougar.
I love my friends, don't get me wrong, but man their taste in music is quite frankly...awful.
Or at least in my not-so-humble-opinion.
(and if I know you and you are reading this you most likely do not fall into this category)

There is the type of music you play when you have friends for dinner and are trying to have a conversation, then the kind you just want to party to, and then there is the kind you play when you are in your car, there's the cooking dinner variety and then the early morning get up and go (or even better ease into the day kind)
My point is, there's so much great music out there that has a time and a place.
With itunes, Satellite radio & the awesome app. 8tracks, there really shouldn't be an excuse for listening to bad music.
Then again, maybe these are the reasons for all the bad music.
Too much to choose from.

Big daddy & I were out for dinner last weekend and the restaurant we were at was playing THE WORST music.
It completely ruined our dining experience.
That being said the previous weekend we were out as well and this restaurant was playing THE BEST music.
We didn't want to leave.
That's the way it should be.

So speaking of good music...
This is what's been in rotation around here these days around my place.

The Antlers- Burst Apart
Foster The People- Torches
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean (going to see then live on Saturday!!)
Little Dragon- Ritual Union
Beirut- The Rip Tide
Bon Iver- For Emma
Kings Of Convienence- everything they've ever done
Angus & Julia Stone- Hollywood
Azure Ray- Wake Up Sleepy Head
Elephant Parade- Bedroom recordings
Rosie Thomas- All The way From Michigan
SeaBear- The Ghost That Carried Us Away
Sufjan Stevens- Seven Swans
Fleet Foxes- Fleetfoxes
The Go Find- Stars On The Wall
Gem Club- Breakers (so hauntingly beautiful)
Kings Of Leon- these boys..huge crush on all the Followells.
Hot Chip- The Warning
Waldecks Gramaphone
Francis England- Mind Of My Own, Lulu knows all the cute.
Stan Getz- Standards
Roger Miller- Classic

Okay so maybe the vast majority of this music isn't really music to party to.
Then again it depends on what you define as a good party...

What are you listening to these days?

Friday, September 30, 2011

21 day challenge

I've always considered myself to be a fairly organized person, or at least I try to be.
But sometimes life gets in the way and things get busy.
so I came across this idea and I'm going with it.
I think it's a great way to stay on top of things, yet not feel overwhelmed at the the never ending piles of things to do around here at casa petitegourmand.


Join the Challenge (at any time)
Day 1 - Junk Drawer & Cutlery drawer
Day 2 - craft supplies & lulu's art work (take digital images of everything & put them in the ol' circular file a.k.a. the garbage)
Day 3 - Tupperware drawer (quite a collection going after all those wild tupperware parties I go to each month..kidding..)
Day 4 - Linen Closet
Day 5 - The shed and gardening tools
Day 6 - Dresser Drawers (specifically the sock situation. Get rid of all old socks and buy new fresh ones for the winter. Already did the underwear drawer last week and it's changed my life. Is there anything better than a drawer full of brand new, perfectly fitting ginch?)
Day 7 - The Pantry (otherwise known as my one food cupboard in my tiny kitchen)
Day 8 - Coat Closet
Day 9 - Toy organization
Day 10 - Laundry area
Day 11 - The Freezer
Day 12 - Spice Cabinet (remember to replace anything older than one year, nothing worse than stale cumin)
Day 13 - Medicine Cabinet (check expiration dates!!)
Day 14 - Under bathroom sinks
Day 15 - home office- edit magazines
Day 16 - The Fridge (do I really need eight types of mustard?)
Day 17 - edit books- (keep the keepers, donate the others to the library)
Day 18 - make-up, cosmetics and lipsticks (that stuff expires too, I'm pretty sure I have nine year old eye shadows.. I know, gross)
Day 19 - Master Closet & big daddy's "Not-So-Master" closet
Day 20 - Photos (this may take another 21 days!)
Day 21 - bookmarks (specifically all the blogs that no longer exist, have moved or that I no longer read)

wish me luck.

Edited to add: I think I'm on day 13 and I am nowhere close to doing what I had planned on doing.
Talk about being overly ambitious.
Instead of beating myself up over it, I'll get to that stuff when I get to it.
Like I said, sometimes life just gets in the way.
well that and when the tempeture is in the high twenties and the sun is shining, who really needs to be inside organizing?
To be continued in November..

Friday, September 16, 2011

back to school

How is already mid September?
The last two weeks have literally flown by.
The days are getting shorter and much cooler.
I had to do the ol' closet switch this week and say good by to all my tank tops and thin cotton blouses,
and hello to the plethora of gray, taupe & black sweaters that I can never seem to get enough of.
Same goes for Lulu's closet.
Out with old and in with the new.
Happily a bunch of things still fit her from last winter, so hopefully things have slowed down in the growing department.
But once again she is one of the taller kids in her class.
How I created a tall child is still a mystery to me..

Speaking of school, Lulu is really enjoying it so far.
We completely won the lottery in the teacher department, which I couldn't be happier about.
She is in the same class as a few of her good friends and has already made some new ones.
The morning routine is not nearly as hectic as I thought it would be.
In fact, we have time to spare and still get to snuggle and sip tea and talk about last night's dreams.
I'm quite relieved about this because there is nothing worse than starting the day off in a rush.

Bonus that I've actually lost 4 lbs from all the extra walking back and forth from the school every day.
Eight trips total.
Including lunch time.
Chelsea (my other baby) is absolutely loving all the walks and all the attention she gets when I take her to school.
Having a puppy in the fall is the best.

Truth be told, I'm really loving it.
The routine, the walking, everything.
Well maybe not the very nasty virus Lulu picked up last week and the four consecutive days of fever and sleepless nights followed by a rattling cough that also kept her (me) up at night.
So no sleep, no appetite = grumpy.
So that part wasn't too much fun.
But today she seems to be back to normal- which is a good thing.
Welcome back to the germ factory I guess.
I'm sure there's plenty more where that came from.
One virus down, only a dozen more to go...sigh...

I forgot how amazing our neighbourhood is and how many great parents there are that are involved in keeping our school what it is today.
I feel really lucky to live here and even more fortunate that Lulu gets to grow up going to such a fantastic school with such a strong community spirit.
Friday night there was an outdoor PJ and Movie night for all the parents and students.
Despite her cold it was so much fun.
I also had to send in a poem or story about Lulu for her teacher to read to the class.
This is what I came up with...


You are my precious little flower,
that is constantly in bloom.

I watch as yet another milestone,
around the corner looms.

It seems like only yesterday,
that we shared a single breath.

But now it seems like tomorrow,
you will leave and I'll be left.

I know the life of an only child
is not always filled with ease.

You've had no one to borrow from,
share secrets with, or tease.

And yet, no matter what life brings,
you take it all in stride.

The strength of character you always show
fills my heart with pride.

I'm so proud to be your mommy,
It's the best I've ever felt.

love momma xoxo

Completely corny and maybe a little over the top, but this about sums it all up.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

high tide

What is it about time flying by so quickly during the summer months?

It seems like it was just yesterday that we bid the kindergarten yard a farewell.
Now in a mere FIVE days we will be back to the grind.
I say "we" because even though it's Lulu starting grade 1, I'm the lucky one that gets to go back and forth to the school yard every day.
THREE times a day actually, which actually equals SIX trips back and forth from our house to the school.
Not sure how this will actually allow me to get anything accomplished.
At least anything that isn't located in my neighbourhood.
Apparently most of the kids come home for lunch each day, which was so not my plan.
But for the first week I will conform, and then hopefully when she is settled in a bit, I am hoping on alternating days for lunch.
I mean I would really like to have a bit of a life outside of motherhood.
I.E. my old career..sigh...
As a bonus, I also get to take Lulu to all her after school programs three days a week.
I can hardly wait for the frenzy to begin.

I'm sure it will all be fine, and even though I sound like I'm already complaining (okay I am totally complaining) I'm secretly looking forward to the whole school time routine.
That's what being a mom is all about, right?

It was a busy summer and hopefully a fun one for Lulu, but quite frankly, I'm exhausted from trying to keep her entertained for two straight months.
Fun as it might be to hang out 24/7 with a six year old.

That being said, I really need to stop worrying about myself and how I'm going to adapt to our new routine and instead focus on Lulu and her fears or anxieties about going back to school.
Not that she has mentioned anything so far, but still, I really need to be there for her and be positive.

Speaking of being positive, although the summer flew by, it still isn't completely over.
So instead of fretting about the days ahead, I'm going to soak up the last few days of summer 2011.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

the dog days of summer

Well we finally did it.
we caved and got "Lulu" a puppy.
Introducing Chelsea.
(we got her in Chelsea NYC)
After just a week at home, this dog is clearly "my" puppy though.
Lulu has kind of shirked all responsibility.
"you want me to pick up her POOP ?!!!" "ahhhhh! NO way!!"
So the cleaning, walking, training and over all total responsibly, is completely up to me.
No big surprises here.
To be honest, I don't really mind.
I forgot how much I love having a little dog around.
Though the poop thing does take some getting used to.
Who knew 11 week old french bulldogs went 6-8 times a day?
It's like having a baby all over again.

But she is so sweet and even though puppies are A LOT of work, I'm sure it will all be worth it.
let's hope.....

Oh and I guess I'm not the only one who thinks these dogs are adorable.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the tide is high

It's strange, even though I see Lulu everyday, occasionally it hits me like a ton of bricks how much bigger she is now.
I get so caught up in day to day life and then BAM! I realize she's six and is no longer my little peanut.
Okay, she still is, and always will be, my little peanut, only now she's just a taller and smarter peanut.
While she was in camp she somehow picked up the phrase "for real" and now says it with vigor at the end of almost every sentence.
I thought this wasn't supposed to happen until at least age 13??
Anyhow, it's pretty cute, and every time she says "no for real momma" big daddy & I look at each other and try not to crack up.

It's really great being able to take time away from our regular life & routine and really notice these little changes.
I'm having such a great time on this road trip.
Lulu was completely chilled on the ride to the coast and it really didn't seem to take very long.
Big daddy had his doubts, but I knew it would be smooth sailing.
Six is the perfect age for long road trips.
Bonus that now she can read maps and signs, so there really wasn't too much "are we there yet?"
Connecticut is lovely and it was nice to dip our feet in the Atlantic Ocean- despite how incredibly cold it is. brrr
I'll take a great lake any day.
But the waves and the salt air is always so restorative and calming.
We ate at the famous Mystic Pizza.
Which was..meh...pretty good, more importantly Lulu loved it.
Though speaking of food, what is it about American kids menus?
all they ever offer is pop, chocolate milk, deep fried chicken fingers, pizza, hot dogs, grilled cheese and french fries.
Not a veggie in sight.
No wonder there is an obesity epidemic going on here.
Don't even get me started on the portion sizes!
At one place I ordered a salad and I swear it was on a serving platter!
Easily could have fed 4 or 5 people.
Lulu had a pasta dish that also would have been appropriate for at least 2 or even 3 adults.
Anyhow we are now in NYC and the food, well...what can I say about the multitude of amazing food options?
I love this city.
First stop yesterday was Rickshaw Dumplings.
Yum yum.
Then we relaxed during a torrential downpour at Pret A Manger.
LOVE this place.
I wish we had them back home.
My kind of fast food.
We had a nice casual dinner at an Italian restaurant near our hotel called Apertivo.
Good pizza, salads and pasta.
Brought Lulu back to the hotel and her cousin offered to babysit so Big daddy & I could go for a walk around town.
Did I already mention I was in Heaven?
Oh and we are in a really awesome hotel suite with a brand new kitchenette and separate bedrooms.
It's like having our own apartment in Manhattan.
Gotta love P.Diddy big daddy's bro.
So that's it for now.
Looking forward to plenty of fun and excitement over the next few days in the big apple.

like for example this...
Yup I saw this unfold today while shopping on 5th ave.
never a dull moment around here, that's for sure.

Oh and also Big daddy & I were interviewed by the Today Show while walking down the street.
They asked us about Marriage and what drove us crazy about each other.
Ummm do you have a few hours??
kidding of course.
but check it out.
the best part is at around 2:40 into the video

Why do husbands tune wives out?

NBC’s David Gregory talks with marriage therapist Hal Runkel and psychologist Judith Sills about some of the hot marriage issues such as why men often don’t listen and why women constantly tell their husbands what to do.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Not exactly Jack Kerouac

It's hard to believe it's already August!
Why is it that January & February don't go by nearly as quickly?

So far I am happy to report that I've managed to do a bunch of things on my summer-to-do list.
But there is plenty more that I hope to accomplish before the end of the season.
One of the big things I wanted to do was go on a road trip.
Finally big daddy has agreed to go on one this summer.
Given my anxiety about flying, I couldn't be more thrilled.
There's a whole world (albeit mostly New York state, Quebec, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts and maybe Pennsylvania) that is right in our back-yard.
Okay maybe a bit further than that, but all within a days drive.
Not too bad if you ask me.
So the bags are packed, the Ipod is loaded with new tunes.
We have a ton of new movies, games and books to keep Lulu occupied.
Gas in the tank.
Plenty of yummy snacks to keep big daddy in his happy place during the drive.
And we are off on our adventure.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
Lao Tzu

Thursday, July 21, 2011

book worm

I'm so thrilled to say that Lulu is now reading independantly.
Actually she's been able to read for a while now, but these days she's reached a whole new level.
I often find her quietly reading chapter books on her own.
Currently she is totally into Ivy & Bean.
She loves these books and I have to say, that even I find them to be very cute and funny.
Perfect for 6-8 year old girls.
I love hearing her laugh out loud while turning the pages.
Even better, is watching her read to her friends (especially ones that are a bit younger than her.)
It melts my heart to see her reading them stories.
I couldn't be more proud.
I'm glad to know that all those stories that Big Daddy & I read to her every day were not in vain.

As far as my reading goes these days, unfortunately I'm currently in a bit of a book slump.
Nothing that I've read or am reading, I'm loving.
Currently I'm reading The Hungry Ghosts By Anne Berry.
Kind of having a hard time getting into this, but I've been told it's good, so I'm going to soldier on.
Also on my summer reading list is
A Visit From The Goon Squad- Jennifer Egan
Amaryllis in Blueberry- Christina Meldrum
The Story Of A Marriage- Andrew Sean Greer
A Field Of Darkness- Cornelia Read
I'm going to revisit The Catcher In The Rye-J.D Salinger as well.
I recently finished reading How I live Now- Meg Rosoff and A Mountain Of Crumbs- Elena Gorokhova
Both of which I didn't love and forced myself to finish for a book club.
But maybe it was just me?
I also got half way through We Had It So Good- Linda Grant, which unfortunately I also had a hard time getting into.
So basically three duds in a row.
Hopefully some of the books on my summer reading list will be good ones.

How about you, what are you reading these days?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

cool as a cucumber

I love all the fresh summer produce available at this time of year.
That being said, I can't say I love spending too much time in the kitchen in July.
A. I would much rather be outside enjoying the weather.
B. If the weather proves to be unbearably hot (like it has been for the past couple of weeks) the last thing I want to do is turn on the stove or oven.
And you can only eat so much BBQ.
So my solution to this, is this amazingly simple, yet totally deliciously refreshing cold cucumber & avocado soup.
Usually I'm not a huge fan of cold soups aside from a good gazpacho.
But trust me this one's a keeper.
I've been making it for a few years now and it seems to taste better and better with each spoonful.
Bonus that's it's so good for you too.

Cold Cucumber & Avocado Soup


1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
2 avocados, pitted and peeled
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice + the zest of one lime
1 minced small jalapeno chile (seeds and ribs removed for less heat, if desired)
1/3 cup sliced scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 medium shrimp (about 6 ounces), peeled and deveined or cooked frozen

In a blender, combine half the cucumber and 1 avocado with the yogurt, lime juice, jalapeno, scallions, 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 cup ice water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.

Cut remaining avocado into 1/4-inch cubes. Stir avocado and remaining cucumber into soup. Thin with 1/2 to 1 cup ice water, as desired. Season again with salt and pepper. Chill, about 1 hour.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp, turning once, until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with shrimp and remaining tablespoon cilantro.
If you want you can also use cooked frozen shrimp, which I did this time around.
Even less cooking involved.
It would be nice with the grilled shrimp on a skewer placed on top of the bowl as well.

Enjoy and stay cool..

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

a good start

I love a good breakfast, and I love it even more when Lulu has a good breakfast.
They don't call it the most important meal of the day for nothing.
We aren't really big cereal eaters around here (aside from late night emotional eating..I mean snacking)
and Lulu isn't really a fan of oatmeal.
I have oatmeal several times a week, she really is missing out on this, but hopefully with time she will love it too.
Ditto with my morning smoothies.
I don't like to give her toast too often because lunch is often a sandwich or soup & toast.
And the past few weeks she has decided that she is over eggs.
Not sure what's up with that, since she never seemed to have a problem with them in the past, but I never like to force the issue.
So with dwindling options, every couple of weeks I make a big batch of these delicious & nutritious pancakes and freeze them.
They are packed with goodness and are super easy to make.
I can use up left over buttermilk (why do they not sell smaller containers of the stuff?)
They are super economical.
And best of all, she loves them.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

2 1/2 cups nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ or ground flax
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
Chocolate chips (optional) or blueberries

Combine buttermilk and rolled oats in a small bowl; let rest for 20 to 30 minutes to soften oats. Stir all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk egg, egg whites and 1 teaspoon oil in a separate bowl. Add the oat mixture and the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
Lightly brush a large nonstick skillet with a little of the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium. Not too hot otherwise they will burn. Using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake, pour batter onto the skillet and cook until the underside is browned and the bubbles on top remain open, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the pancakes over and cook until the underside is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Bonus that I'm able to sneak Oats and ground Flax in there.
Oh and make sure to separate each pancake with a small square of waxed paper or parchment to prevent them sticking together.

Friday, July 08, 2011

ghost town

I feel old saying this, but times sure have changed since I was a youngster.
Okay maybe I'm laying it on a bit thick.
"Since I was a kid".

Summer holidays growing up meant staying in my P.J's watching Captain Kangaroo & The Price Is Right while eating bowls of puffed rice with 4 tablespoons of white sugar until my mom told us to get dressed and go outside for some fresh air.
Back then the air was actually fresh.
I would probably then hop on my red & white Banana seat bike and find some sort of an an adventure with my neighbourhood friends.
Gasp! Imagine that?
Maybe it was hanging out by the creek in the woods.
(I was so lucky to grow up surrounded by a conservation area.)
Collecting frogs or making clay sculptures.
The creek had gray clay in certain parts.
We would often have clay fights- a bit Lord of the Flies, but super fun.
This sounds very Leave It To Beaver, but I spent hours skipping stones into that creek.

Every summer we would try our hand at building a fort, tree house or a go-cart.
I loved doing stuff like that.
Or some days were spent just playing on the swings in the backyard, jumping through the sprinkler, having water balloon fights or just hanging out and doing nothing.
Life was so simple back then.
The only caveate was that I always had to head home when the street lights turned on.
Of course we never strayed too far from home and would periodically check back in to be fed and watered.
We really had so much freedom.

In those early years, I didn't go to camp or have organized play-dates.
I'm not even sure that the word "play-date" existed back then.
My dad would take two weeks off every summer and we would go on a road trip somewhere fun.
But other than that, we would stick close to home and just enjoy summer in a small town.
Oh sure, we got bored sometimes, but that's part of being a kid.
Or should I say a luxury of being a kid.
Boredom breeds curiosity and imagination in my opinion.
At least at the age of 6.
I'm sure its a different story when you hit the adolecent years.
Boredom in small town= getting into trouble.
But that's another post.

These days I feel like I have to plan activities for every day of the summer for Lulu.
Not that I really want to, it's just that it seems as though our entire neighbourhood, a.k.a Lauren's play-mates, have either gone away for the summer to the cottage or are booked into camps all summer long.
Sure, I have her signed up for 2 weeks of camp in July.
Those 2 weeks can't come fast enough let me tell you..
Silly me thought this year we would try things old school and just take the first couple weeks of summer to wing it.
Not sure if that was the best plan of action.
I'm already getting the whiny "I'm Bored" & "I'm lonely"
The kid really knows how to pull on my heart strings.
But I don't get that, as I have tried to line up some sort of activity every single day so far.
She's had several play dates, we've gone to the park, splash pads, had a camp fire, gone to the toy store & book store for a few treats to play with, done crafts not to mention I've been trying my best to play with her as much as possible.
And grocery shopping & running errands counts as fun too right?
I wish I could just tell her to go outside and play, but we live in a big city on a relatively busy street, not to mention all the construction going on.
It's barely safe to play on the front lawn as there are giant holes dug up by the city to replace all the gas lines.
Good times.
But even if the construction wasn't going on, I still wouldn't let her play in the front yard unsupervised.
The world just isn't the same.
I do feel bad that she is lonely and for the first time in 6 years there is a tiny part of me that feels bad that we didn't have a second child.
I keep telling myself that this is her reality, and as sad as it can be sometimes, that's life.

I really wanted to try to revert back to "old times" and try to keep things simple this summer.
Like the way things were for me growing up.
Because I'd like to think I had a pretty awesome childhood.
I just want Lulu to have the same kind of happiness and fun that I did growing up.
Because G-d forbid she gets bored and is forced to use her imagination..

Friday, July 01, 2011

Our Home & Native Land

Woke up this morning without any plans and on a whim decided to go to a baseball game.
Lucky for us there were seats available and the weather was spectacular.
So that's what we did.

Bonus that we live 10 minutes from the Sky Dome.
Even better, we had no problem finding parking or with traffic & crowds.
Lulu loved all the pre-game activities outside the stadium.
Big Daddy & I enjoyed the cold beer, hot dogs & fresh peanuts.
Why is it that hot dogs taste that much better in a ball park?

The game was a close one (even though the Jays lost to Philly 7-6 boo...) but we had so much fun.
Going to a Blue Jays game wasn't officially on my summer to-do list, but I'm so glad we went.
We really have to do things like this more often.
Being spontaneous made it an even better experience.
It was one of the best Canada Day's that I can remember.

Those of us born in Canada often take for granted the physical beauty of this country and the amazing freedom we enjoy.
So happy 144th birthday Canada!
I'm very proud to call you my home.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer to do List

Every summer, sometime around August, I kind of go into panic mode realizing that it's half way over and I haven't done all the fun things that I love to do.
This year I am making a list and am going to do my best to do at least half of what's on it.
Even better if I manage to do it all.
So here it is- my summer wish list for 2011.

1. Have a campfire and make s'mores. A bit of an obvious one- but definitely top of our must do's.
2. Have a picnic in a park with a group of friends. Re: 2 posts ago.
3. check out a few farmers markets. ie. Riverdale, Dufferin Grove, Brickworks and the Distillery.
4. Make pickles & peach jam. see above.
5. go canoeing.
6. go for a walk after dinner with Lulu and get ice cream. who am I kidding? we already do this frequently.
7. mini golfing
8. check out Art in The Park at Nathan Phillips.
9. Canada's Wonderland. Lulu's never been and I promised.
10. Marine Land. see above
11. collect bugs with Lulu and identify them.
12. day trip to my old home town and show Lulu where her momma used to sneak beer in the woods...err I mean where I went to church.
13. have a few of lulu's friends over for a ice cream make your own sundae party.
14. Visit my parents in Niagara On the Lake and bring our bikes to cycle the amazing bike paths.
15. Check out some Shaw Theatre. see above
16. have a pretend camp out in a tent in the back yard.
17. lie back and watch the clouds go by.
18. go to Sugar beach and then have a cold beer on the new patio in the Corus building.
19. go cherry picking
20. book babysitters and go out on the town with big daddy
21. have sex more often. see above.
22. did I actually just write that?
23. watch some fireworks. see above too. I wish...;
24. possible road trip to NYC to see Uncle P and the cousins
25. help Lulu keep a summer journal.
26. play badminton in a park
27. teach Lulu how to ride a bike without training wheels
28. stay fit and work out
29. go to a movie on a really hot day
30. have a puppet show
31. play cards
32. work on my "summer cook book"
33. go swimming often
34. make homemade lemonade
35. do lots of crafts with Lulu
36. read great books
37. keep getting lulu to read to me every day
38. have friends over for a BBQ.
39. take my mom for a special lunch
40. take a mini vacay- maybe Taboo or something up North.
41. Check out some music festivals in the city.
42. work on a few creative shoots with big daddy.
43. Blog more frequently.
44. go on a nature hike.
45. organize my music & make some great playlists.
46. have a home spa day with Lulu- cucumbers on the eyes and all.
47. sit on the front porch and watch the sun go down. (if the construction on our street is finished before the summer is over)
48. cat call and whistle at the construction workers on my street. hey if they can do it, so can I.
49. feed some baby ducks...oops already did that. see above photo.

and last but not least..

50. savour every minute of it because before I know it will be over.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

at last

Well summer finally arrived yesterday.
Though it has been summer-ish weather for a while now, at least now it's official.
I'm really looking forward to the end of school and having fun in the sun with my little barnacle.
Yes I said barnacle.
The girl has been stuck to me like glue these past few days.
Nothing really that new there actually, she follows me around from room to room like a little puppy most of the time.
Especially the second I go to the bathroom.
I thought they were supposed to out grow this.
What's up with that?
She is constantly chattering in my ear.
Never wanting to watch T.V.
G-d forbid.
Am I the only parent on the planet that begs their child to just watch a little bit of television each day?
Please? Pretty please?
Or to just hang out by herself and play.
Definitely one of the draw backs of having an only child.
No one to play with other than me.
I get that, and am doing my best (most days) to be sympathetic to this.
It's a constant struggle to remind myself that I should embrace this and that before I know it, she will want nothing to do with me.
Though I hope this never happens.
With the exception of when I'm in the bathroom.

I have a bunch of far more interesting things going on at the moment, and I just got my computer back after almost a week.
Oh how I missed you my sweet apple.
Hopefully I'll get the chance this summer to write about something other than just my little shadow.
speaking of which.

"Yes sweetie I'll be right there to play camping with you"
"sure I'll check and see if we have marshmallows"
At least it's not barbies.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

the bigger picnic

I love cycling through the city parks with Lulu & Big daddy on the weekends.

But somehow after passing by all the picnics in our local park, I always end up feeling so melancholy.

The park is filled with huge groups of people and families having so much fun.
And by the aromas wafting through the air, enjoying so much delicious smelling food as well.
I'm not just talking hot dogs & hamburgers either.
These are by and large "new Canadians" cooking a multitude of flavours from around the world.
There has been many a time when I have wanted to just walk up and ask them what they are cooking.

I love that you see all the generations together spending time together as a family.
Young, old and even the teenagers don't seem to mind hanging out with all the relatives on a Sunday afternoon in the park.
Everyone looks like they are having such a great time.
Nothing fancy or styled out- just good food,family and friends.
And how cool is it that Toronto is so amazingly culturally diverse?
I saw huge families from all over the globe, just hanging out, and enjoying our beautiful green spaces.
Toronto does have so many lush park spaces- we are very fortunate.

So why do I feel so blue when we ride past these make shift park parties?
I guess you could say I'm a bit envious.
I wish we had a huge family (that wasn't neurotic) and that all lived in the same city (country) and loved to spend time together.
I wish I had several generations to help out with the kid(s) when they are (were) babies.
and more importantly, I wish I had all those delicious smelling recipes!

That being said, I do have two first cousins that live here in the city.
One of them is married with a 2 year old and the other just got married last summer.
We get along just fine, but for some reason we are not close.
We didn't grow up together and I guess our families all just do their own things.
I wish it was different, but what can you do?
Maybe I should make more of an effort to try to coordinate a picnic of our own this summer.
Someone has to make the first move, maybe it should be me.

But for now it's just Lulu, Big daddy & I.
I suppose I have to just be grateful for our little family of three.
Or maybe one of these days I'll muster up enough courage and walk over to one of those groups and ask them what exactly is on their grill?
Best case scenario- they ask us to join the party.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

lighten up

Spontaneity is really under rated.
I am sad to say that around these parts, it happens far too infrequently.
We tend to plan things in advance and rarely veer from the "schedule."
But summer is here, and it is short and it really needs to be embraced.

I am happy to report that lately I'm trying to change my control freak ways and just go with the flow.
Last week I think we were out every single night and Lulu stayed up several nights way past her usual 8 o'clock bedtime.
And you know what?
Everything was just fine.
No melt downs or any real attitude changes.
We had last minute BBq's- nothing fancy, no Martha Stewartesque recipes.
Just some frozen burgers, president's choice ribs and bagged coleslaw.
And surprise surprise, it was delicious.
Another night we were stopping by a neighbour's lemonade stand and it turned into a bit of a backyard pool party.
The kids were having so much fun (grown ups too) that we just let them play until it got dark out.
No harm done (minus my mild hangover from too many glasses of wine)

My point is we have all winter to deal with schedules, being on time, rushing from one thing to another.
I need to just remember to have fun this summer, not sorry so much about plans and goals and ultimately not be so up-tight.
Because if I'm completely honest, I do have a tendency to be a wee bit wound up when it comes to the daily grind.
Lulu is at an age now where she can cope if she's a bit tired.
If things don't go as planned each day, who cares?
Life is short and summer is even shorter.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

be in the moment

The other day Lulu & I were walking hand in hand down the street, and bunch of teenage girls walked past us.
Of course they were all wearing the ubiquitous SHORT shorts, tank tops with bra straps showing, long straightened hair, flip flops or moccasins, talking extra loud about who knows what and all in their own little teenage bubble.

I wistfully said to Lulu "one day you won't want to hold my hand in public and maybe you won't even want to hang out with me all the time...sniff sniff..."
She then said to me
"awe mommy, don't worry about tomorrow, just think about today and enjoy every minute of me while I'm six"
"besides, I would never wear shorts that short!"
not only is she profound, she's a mind reader as well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

doggie style

While at the park a few weeks ago, Lulu spotted two dogs..ahem...doing the ol' mommy & daddy dog dance, if ya know what I mean.
They were really going at it and kind of drawing quite a bit of attention.
Big daddy & I started to try and distract her by pointing at things in the opposite direction.
"look sweetie, that cloud looks just like a unicorn!"
"is that a cardinal I see in that tree over there?"
Because I am soooo not ready for that conversation.
But she was too quick for us.
She spotted the doggie porn despite our best efforts.
Then she says "look mommy, that big doggy is giving that little doggie a piggy back ride!"
"Yes sweetie, that's exactly what they are doing!"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a mouse in the house

Ahh another year of ballet has come to a close.
Lulu was fantastic in her recital and really seemed to be having so much fun up on stage.
I was so proud of her- as always.

But I have to say, I am happy that most of her fall/winter programs are all almost finished (except baseball & piano).
The weeks just seem to fly by chauffeuring her from one thing to another, and I am really ready for a reprieve from it all.
Bring on Summer Camp..
I haven't had two seconds to sit down and sort out my thoughts the past few months, never mind trying to come up with a clever post.
I honestly don't know how full time working mothers with more than one child cope.
Then again, I probably bring it all on myself being the perfectionist-o.c.d crazeoid that I am.
Note to self- R.E.L.A.X....
and like I said now that all the activities for Lulu are winding down, I might just get the chance.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a good egg

What a week.
We celebrated Passover, Easter AND Lulu's 6th birthday.
Lulu was beyond excited and it was so sweet to see.
You forget as an adult what it really feels like to be so excited about something.
And no, cracking open a bottle of red wine on a Friday night doesn't really count...
But seriously, I can't remember the last time I was really & truly excited about anything.
You sort of lose that kind of feeling as you get older after you pass all of life's big milestones.
I love being able to live vicariously though Lulu now though.
With the exception of getting up at the crack of dawn to see what the Easter bunny brought her.
Wish she had just slept past 6 a.m....ouch...

Anyhow, we brought nine of her friends for lunch on Saturday and then to see the movie HOP.
It was so much fun and so cute watching Lulu with all her little girlfriends.
It was also Lulu's first time at the movies.
She's been to lots of live theatre and musical events, but never to an actual movie.
Needless to say, she was pretty thrilled with her birthday party.
Easter was lots of fun as well and I don't even want to think about how much chocolate was consumed.
And that's just me I'm talking about...

So now here I am, on a rainy Tuesday reflecting on the past week and trying to wrap my head around the fact that I now have a six year old daughter.
I say it every year, but how did a year fly by so quickly?
It feels like just yesterday we were new parents and flying by the seat of our pants.
Okay- still are...but with six more years experience and a few more gray hairs to prove it.
I couldn't be more proud of Lulu and how much she has grown over the past year.
She is really her own person and is so aware of the world around her.
She is very concerned about recycling, the environment, and being a "good citizen" her words.
She didn't really ask for "stuff" for her birthday, she never really does.
She's not into lots of toys or material objects, she's still the most content with blank paper, markers and scissors.
That in it self makes me so happy.
This morning she was singing "Vincent" by Don McLean because of a new book that she got a few weeks ago all about Vincent Van Gogh.
She was so concerned about the fact that he cut off his ear, and said quote "maybe he just had too many things in his head that he wanted to paint and felt like he couldn't get them all on the canvas, so he felt like if he cut of his ear he would feel better".
I did mention she just turned six right?
Anyhow I could go on forever about all the profound (or at least to me) things Lulu says each day but I won't.
I will say that I love her even more than I did yesterday, which I didn't think was possible.
I look forward to seeing the young woman she will one day become, because I am certain she will be a "good citizen" without a doubt.
But I hope time just slows down a little so I can continue to hold her small hand while walking her to school.
Answering her the 100th time each day when she calls me mama.
And being able to read stories to her and teach her about new and exciting things, just as she teaches me new things each day.
There really is no greater gift than that.
So happy 6th birthday sweet Lulu.
I love you more than all the stars in the sky...

mommy xoxo

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflecting Vincent's eyes of China blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hands

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you Vincent
This world was never meant for one as
beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
A silver thorn on a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will

Sunday, April 17, 2011


A few weeks ago we were walking by a new yoga studio in our neighbourhood and I noticed that they offer Family Yoga Classes.
From a very early age Lulu has always shown an interest in yoga.
I'm not totally sure where that comes from as I really don't practice yoga on a regular basis.
There has been many a morning that I have found her in her bedroom doing sun salutations on her blankie.
I kid you not.

As for me, the past few years I can count on one hand how many times I've been to a class.
Not that I don't like Yoga, it's just that for the past several years I've been mildly obsessed with kickboxing and weight/cardio training.
Yoga, not so much.
I love the adrenaline rush I get from high intensity classes and I love being able to move to music and work up a good sweat.
I also love the "me time" and I really find it helps burn off stress.
Above all, I love the good friends I've made and look forward to the laughs and female camaraderie that I get from being a part of an all women's gym.
Okay that... and the instructor isn't too hard on the eyes either.

That being said, I think I'm hitting a bit of a work-out plateau.
I'm averaging between 4-6 hours of high intensity workouts per week and I'm really not seeing any noticeable results.
Now my main reason for exercise isn't really just all about changing my physical appearance.
Because let's face it, regardless of how many classes I do, that muffin top is here to stay.
I know my genetics.
and maybe I also have a wee addiction to 2 bite brownies.
mmm just finished one right now in fact.
But whatever, I still love kicking it each week, jelly belly and all.

What I'm not loving is the aches and pains I feel ALL the time.
I think I have actually been pushing myself too hard and I'm not really sure that's a good thing.
So maybe it's time for a change?

Anyhow long story short, Lulu asked me if we could do a yoga class together.
So we did.
I skipped my beloved 2 hour Saturday morning kick-boxing class and did the downward dog with my little lady.
And I have to say, I'm so glad that I did.
We had so much fun and I can't believe that yoga studios all over the city don't offer family yoga classes.
Such a great thing for kids to be involved in.
It reminded me how much I enjoy yoga and also how badly I needed a good stretch.
Not to mention it's still a good workout, but just in a different way.
We didn't really do any serious deep breathing or anything like that- it was with 5-10 year olds after-all, but it was so nice to move and mostly to feel so connected to Lulu.
I'm so glad that she asked me to take her to a class.
I might just have to make it a regular Saturday morning thing.
Change is a good thing.

Now does anyone happen to know of any yoga studios with cute male instructors?
Just curious...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Now these are Downtown Condos that I approve of.

It's about time the city started planting trees, rather than cutting them all down.
Those birds on Bloor St. will hopefully have some fancy new digs soon.
Glad to see that the city also has a sense of humor.
Though I'm sure all the retailers in Yorkville didn't find the two year construction very funny.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The waiting game

Today someone very important to me is going to have a biopsy done.
Finally...after four very long weeks of waiting.
I cannot even imagine how scared she must be.
After being in remission for over twenty years I pray that this is not a relapse.
She is in my thoughts and in my heart she is every day..