Thursday, June 30, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - The Perfect Pasta

I know a lot of people out there that are all into the 'no carb' or 'low carb' diet trend.

Personally, I would rather have my eyes stabbed out with ice picks than give up potatoes and pasta.

Sound extreme?

Well, perhaps.  But that's just how much I love me some comforting carbohydrates.




So, if you haven't guessed it yet this Foodie Friday is a pasta recipe (oh riiight, you probably already figured that out by the title...duh)

It's a healthy, super easy, quick and delicious summery pasta that can literally be put together in less than 20 minutes.

I have no idea what it's formally called so I'll just call it:


1 lb of fusilli pasta (I DO happen to be a little health conscious so I use whole wheat)
2-3 large tomatoes chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Lots of fresh basil sliced chiffonade style
1-2 cups of cubed mozzarella (depending on how much you love and cheese?  Besties.  Another thing I would rather die than live without)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil pasta in generously salted water. While pasta is boiling saute the garlic and onions in a large frying pan over medium heat in the olive oil until softened.

Once pasta is cooked and drained toss into frying pan with tomatoes, cheese and basil.  Toss until cheese starts to get a bit gooey and stringy then sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately.

*CUE MUSIC* (how can you not love Andrea Bocelli?)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Twelve Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids

Linking up over at 18 Years to Life about the crazy things we say to our kids...

1. Honey, I love you but I don't love your boogers.

2. The dog is not a horse so please don't ride her like one.

3. Shall I put some dog food in a dish and add milk for you? (after I caught him munching on some for the umpteenth time)

4. Mummy's underwear is not an accessory. (as I pull my bright pink thong off of his head)

5. Sweetie - that is not your toothpaste - that is polysporin.

6. Ooooooh!  Your little bum is so delicious!  Can I eat it???

7. No baby, we don't play with knives. (rest assured he did not have a knife in hand but was reaching for one)

8. It's okay to give Riley kisses but please don't kiss her butt.

9. Please don't eat Mommy's earplugs.

10. Stop!  Stop it!  We do not eat gum off the sidewalk!  

11. No honey, you cannot have a beer.

12. Fine!  That's fine!  Ride your bike naked but don't cry to me when your little peanut gets hurt.

Yes, that is my naked son riding a bike.
At least he had the forethought to put on his helmet.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Sweet Space In Time

My 3 year old son awoke from his nap all rosy cheeked and smiley (anyone who knows my 3 year old will know how unusual this is - it's the one characteristic he and his brother have in common - awaking with a serious grump on)

I had the radio on as I was cleaning the kitchen and checking emails.

After a brief hug and kiss for me he sat down at the kitchen table and politely asked for some milk.

I poured it into his favourite sippy cup and handed it to him singing along to the song playing on the radio You Live, You Learn by Alanis Morrissette.

And then...

He asked me to dance with him.

*heart expands then floods into puddle*

I obliged of-course gathering all of his 42 lb, 3 year old big boyness into my arms.

He placed his damp curly head, sweaty from sleep (my boys have inherited my ability to heat a room while sleeping) on my shoulder as we danced in a circle together while my little guy brought me his plastic toy dinosaurs and roared very scary dinosaur roars at me.

It was as though for a moment all planets of Mother and Sons were aligned with great synergy.

You know those brief periods in time as parents when you feel complete contentment...full of love, so appreciative of that twinkling minute that it make your insides sigh with happiness and smile.

In between Fin giving me dinosaur gifts, Adrian would give me little kisses on the cheek while playing idly with my hair. (okay, he was trying to be gentle but it felt more like he was yanking the hell out of it)  But I stifled the pain as my eyes watered and kept drifting around the room with him.

Listening and reflecting on the lyrics, as I always do, I found incredible meaning in them while dancing around the living room with my baby boys.

You live you learn 
You love you learn
You cry you learn 

You lose you learn
You bleed you learn 

You scream you learn 

You grieve you learn 
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn 

You choose you learn
You pray you learn 

You ask you learn
You live you learn 

How fitting a chorus for life, yes, but especially for the life of Motherhood.

I found the line "wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)" especially apt given that my 3 year seems to wear out everything; toys, clothes...and especially his Mumma.

But I'll take feeling worn out, bedraggled and often occasionally crazy for the sweet yet brief spaces in time such as these.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Soul Sister

This is Erin and me circa 1995 on a mug she bought for me....
I can't remember what for though I'm sure she will enlighten me.

You might have stumbled across her name here and there on this little blog 'o mine.  She likens herself to the "Ugly Naked Guy" (you know the once in a while character from Friends?) of my blog.  Except she's anything but ugly....and I hope she's not reading this naked right now.

Because that would be a bit strange.

Although not entirely surprising.

That's Erin for you though.  My best friend in the whole world.  Eternal Soul Sister.

She never ceases to amaze me or laugh me off my ass.

And I can guarantee you that you've never, ever, ever met anyone else like her.

She is someone who knows no bounds.  Who loves life more than anyone I know.  Who lives life more than anyone I know.  She is an awesome force of nature.  She is full of wit, charm, beauty (I see her smiling from ear to ear right now, she loves this shit).  She is the living definition of charisma.

See what I mean?  Pure charisma.

If you met her you would know what I'm talking about....

We met half our lifetime ago.

At high school.

I was the new girl and rumour had it I was stealing her thunder....and her boyfriend. (I don't believe this to be true and if it is, it was entirely unintentional)

And although I hadn't met her yet, I just knew I wouldn't like her.

Yet, somehow, that all changed moments after she tracked me down in an empty high school hallway.

My back was to her as I was making my way to my locker after another lame pep rally for our school's football team.

"Hey!  January!  Hey!"

I turned around to see this girl with peircing blue eyes and a determined skip to her hop making her way toward me.

I did know her.

Erin was the terribly dressed girl (she was a flowered palazzo pant, knit vest attached to shirt wearing girl while I was more into the ripped jeans, flannel shirt Kurt Cobain-style grunge look) in my Biology class that constantly had her hand in the air, answering questions with questions of which sounded like complete and utter gibberish to me.  I was astounded by her eloquent intelligence on a subject I knew less than nothing about. (to this day Erin is the smartest person I've ever met). (oh, and I dropped that Biology class quicker than a hot potato).

"I don't hate you."  Says the girl with the bluest of blue eyes I've ever encountered.  Her words were bold.  Straight to the point.  Her energy was like a whipping intensity that engulfed me and intimidated me at the same time.

And I hate feeling intimidated.

It was flight or fight.

"I don't really care if you hate me or not." was my flippant response.

I steeled myself for hers.

She didn't flinch.  But simply stared at me for a moment.  Sizing me up I suppose.

And then.  She asked me this....

"Wanna come over to my house for lunch?  I live right behind the school.  We can have bagels and cheese."

She had me a carbs and cheese.

And so that remains the day that I met Erin O. (this is how my husband refers to her).  Or Emo (her initial's) as I call her most of the time.

Our friendship moved forward with times of hilarity and times of turbulance.

Though our lives could not be more different now given that she is a brilliant business woman sans children and I, a much less than brilliant stay at home Mother.

She is super type A personality (if you were at my bachelorette party you would know what I speak about - she was otherwise known as Bachelorette Party Planner Nazi) and I very much Type B.

She reads business and political magazines for fun, I consider People magazine gossip intelligence at its best.

She wants to be and do and see a million things at the same time (and usually does - planning a wedding across the continent, moving countries and getting an MBA while having a full time career no less is what she accomplished last year while I feel incredible accomplishment when I've managed cleaning the floors and vacuuming in one day while taking care of the boys - still a great feat nonetheless).
Teaching Adrian how to smile for the camera - love this.

At her engagement party due any day with Finley

She is outspoken, opinionated and ambitious while I'm mild mannered, more diplomatic (though not entirely), and only marry and befriend the ambitious.

She used to take her parent's car for joy rides before she ever got her license.  Never in a million years would that have ever occurred to me to even dare.  She was a wild child in every sense of the word.  I would only dream to be.

She was a great athlete while I would've been lucky if I served a volley ball over the net.  Underhanded.

She is a shoe whore.  I have no interest in shoes and would consider myself to be a ... well, I used to be a jacket whore.  Since kids any kind of fashion has pretty much depleted along with my breast size.

But as different as we would seem to one on the surface, underneath it all we have so much in common.

We share a serious love for music.  Emo bought me my first cd - Alanis Morrissette's Jagged Little Pill. And singing 80's tunes at the top of our lungs while driving is what we do best.

A love of good books and astrology...many an hour we'd scour the shelves at the funky bookstore downtown, Mandela, that smelled of patchouli incense, sitting on the floor reading to each other our moon, sun and rising signs.  She's an emotional Cancer, I'm a boring old soul of a Capricorn.

Food.  Oh the gastronomic meals we've had over the years at restaurants.  Erin, probably more than my husband (sorry honey), is my absolute favourite person to dine with.  There is nothing better than sharing good wine, great conversation and fabulous food with your best friend.  The plates of cheese and crackers we've consumed with bottles of white wine or champers while discussing our latest issues with the men in our lives, random gossip and the meaning of life amongst many more topics.

We can't stand phoniness.

We both LOVE the beach.

Ahhhh the beaches of Mexico...

We have the same wicked, warped sense of humour (of the likes is reserved for her and I so unfortunately for you, you will never see it here)

Our family and friends mean the world to us.  I truly consider her family to be my family and my family to be hers.  I absolutely love her parents...and I adored her sister.

Which brings me to this.  

I've never had a sister.  I've always wanted a sister.  She had a little sister...but heartbreakingly lost Kristen to the hateful disease of cancer 3 years ago.  I have no idea what she went through or has gone through since dealing with the loss of such a beautiful person.  I don't even pretend to know because I can't possibly imagine.  All I know is that I was there as much as I could be though less than I wanted to be because I had a 5 month old baby and my husband was away on business.  However, what I saw in her that week was an immense sense of strength and courage that I could only hope to have in the event of something that tragic happening in my life.  She stood tall and strong with a tremendous sense of grace for all that paid their utmost respect for her and her family.  I was so incredibly proud of her...and I am still.  So, so much.

Erin is the ying to my yang to be cliche about it all.

But's it's also like this.

Recent phone conversation;

Erin "Seriously, every time I hear somebody say 'Lady Antebellum' I want to punch someone."

Me "Totally."

I mean really, who names their band Lady Antebellum?!

She can tell me the weirdest, random, most obscure thing and I'm totally there with her.

Quite simply put, we get each other.  With a look, a smile or a squeeze of the arm.

And though we've been provinces apart for over 8 years we've ALWAYS been there for each other.


Through the hormone infused days of high school including a never to be forgotten trip to Mexico, stressful days of university and college, to first apartments, awful break ups, terrible restaurant waitressing jobs, family dysfunction, road trips, crazy camping nights as teenagers of which will never be divulged on this blog, hospital trips and broken bones, bad fashion, out of control parties at her parents house where furniture may or may not have ended up in the pool and many a cigarette ash may or may not have landed on her parents pea green carpet, many, many, many long distance phone conversations, loss of family, loss of other friendships, Vancouver visits, impulsive tattoos, Sex and the City marathons dissecting episode after episode, too many wild and crazy wine soaked nights and a few less of wine sipping, deep discussion nights, karoke, Mexico(again) weddings.....babies.

My wedding day...

Erin's wedding day...

My, oh my how far we've come dear, dear friend of mine.

Who knew?

Who knew that this is where we'd be 16 years ago?

You, taking the business world by storm.  Me, taking on my family by storm.(yes, that is how it feels most days at this moment in time).

You, living too far away.  Me, wishing you were closer every day.

Every single day.

How I miss you.

So, so much.

And how I wish we could celebrate your 33rd birthday together.  It's been 7 months since I last saw you as a beaming bride.  What a fabulous day that was.  But it's just over a week until we meet again.  And I cannot wait.

33 huh?  Wow.  Not a significant age, nor age number but another birthday nonetheless.

And I know how much you love your birthday's.

You said you were more excited to read this than for anything else on your special day and I sure hope I didn't disappoint.

It's interesting that though our life paths have gone so differently and though we live so far away from each other that I feel just as close if not closer to you than ever.

Happy Birthday Emo.  I hope it's the best one yet....your first as a married woman, a wife.  Now that is something.

And now I will end this birthday letter to you exactly how we always end every. single. phone conversation...

I love you.

Favourite picture of us.  Ever.  XOXO

Friday, June 24, 2011


I know it's been 2 whole weeks without a Foodie Friday post.  2 weeks ago was my 5 year wedding anniversary and last Friday was the weekend of that whole Father's Day  thing....and being that there are 2 amazing Daddy's (my Dad and my husband) in my life I kinda felt the need to celebrate them both.

Anyway.  My deepest apologies as I know how much you all look forward to reading and trying my AH-MAY-ZING recipes.  (sarcasm at it's finest).

However.  HOWEVER....due to the guilt I feel from missing the past 2 Foodie Friday's, I have decided to grant you all with not just one delectable recipe but THREE.  (sort-of - they're kinda co-dependent on one another).

If you love Mexican food as much as I do you've come to the right place.  Although I'm not sure how authentic it is (I figure if there's chili powder, cilantro and avacodo's involved it's authentic enough for me).

If I were a chili pepper I'm pretty sure this is what I would look like.

Alas, here is my version of soft tacos:


1 lb of ground beef (or turkey)
1 tablespoon of chili powder
Dash of cinnamon
1 sweet pepper (red, orange or yellow) chopped
1 can of black beans
2-3 cloves of garlic or 1/2 tsp or garlic powder
1/4 cup beef or chicken broth

Heat large frying pan over medium heat and cook meat almost all the way.  Add garlic, peppers, spices, stock and beans.  Cook until liquid has been absorbed.


2-3 ripe avocados diced
1 tomato diced
1 green onion sliced
Lots of cilantro (or to your taste - some people love it, some people hate it)
Juice of one small lime
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

And if you're feeling exceptionally ambitious you must try these home made tortillas from one of my favourite foodie blogs, Foodess.  Click on the Foodess link and have a look...super easy, super delicious and I promise you, they will NOT disappoint.  Kids will gobble them up with gusto.  If they're not into the actual taco filling you can simply throw on the salsa and cheese or just the cheese.  They are also yummy plain and warm right out of the pan.  Honest to God, I have not bought another package of tortillas since trying these out.  Please keep in mind a cast iron skillet is a must...and a great kitchen investment.  They make killer breakfast potatoes too.(another post for another Foodie Friday)

Other sides for my tacos include hot sauce (my new obsession is sriracha hot sauce), grated old cheddar and sour cream.

Pair the tacos with a chunky salt rimmed lime margarita on the rocks, throw on a sombrero, have your kids break out the maracas and you'll feel as if you've been transported right to Mexico.

This is actually Cabo, Mexico.  I was there one time.
I took this picture one glorious morning.
As I sat by the pool.  All. By. Myself.

Okay, maybe not quite.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

In Celebrating my 100th Post I'll Celebrate YOU (my fellow bloggess's)

I came across a comment on one of my favourite Mommy/Foodie blogs the other day that really, entirely irked me with every fiber of my being.

She said; "I'm a writer, 1st time pregnant (37 weeks), and foodie. I don't like mommy blogs but stumbled on yours just a couple weeks ago and can't stop reading..."  


I don't know about you but all I saw was "I don't like mommy blogs".

I get that everyone has their opinion on what they enjoy reading.  I get it.  I do.

Personally, I like to read about funny yet real Motherhood experiences ... and food.  (I really love food).   However to express this particular thought on a mom blog where other mom blogger's are likely to also read this comment made my blood run hot.

I could hear my heart beating in my ears when I read this.

But, BUT.  I refrained from making a possibly not so nice comment about her not so nice comment.  I just don't do that (anymore)...and I wondered....

Am I being far too sensitive?  I keep asking myself this question.

Am I?

I didn't have a clue what I was doing when I started up this blog (this post happens to be my 100th post and I still don't know what I'm doing when it comes to the linky doo-doo's/computeristic stuff - it took me over a month or two to figure out how to download pictures and add links...I know - loser)  I had no clue of the sense of community it contained, the other amazing Mother's I would 'meet' and the absolute support these women (and men - let's not forget about the awesome Daddy bloggers) give to one another.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as Mommy bloggers or Foodie bloggers.

I had no clue.

All I knew was that I wanted to be able to somehow record my great and not so great moments of being a Mom of 2 little rambunctious monsters that all but drive me to the brink of craziness every minute  day of my life.

But let me tell you these Mommy bloggers have made their way into my life with the most wonderful sense of camaraderie welcoming my humble little blog into their world with open arms.

These woman are amazing!

And funny!

And brilliant!

And raw!

And poetic!

And did I mention hilarious!??!

What's not to like?

I don't think you could find more honesty than in a Mommy blog and now it just makes me a little sad for this woman that rejects us all with such a judgmental blanket statement.  It's a shame, really, that she has dismissed such a huge community of fabulous women.

Because when she's all freaking out in the thick of poopy diapers, drenched and sticky with blood, sweat and tears (literally), spit up and leaking breast milk dealing with a screaming baby at 2 am, having many moments feeling like she is 'all alone' in the vortex of Motherdom, I would hope, she too, could find some comfort, to know that she is NOT alone in the chaos of Mommyhood...and find us all waiting......

.... here.....

18 Years To Life
Flux Capacitor
I'm Living Proof God has a Sense of Humor
My 3 Little Birds
The Momalog
Small Fries With That
The O'Gs
The Truth About Motherhood
Stark. Raving. Mad. Mommy.
A(n) (un)Common Family
A Stones Throw From Insanity
The Daily Doty
dash and bella
Mama Wants This!
Things I Can't Say
Parenting Ad Absurdum
Mommy Nani Booboo

The Tightrope Walk Of (in)Sanity

I feel as though lately I'm barely surviving this wonderful job of Stay at Home Motherdom.

I am questioning my ability to parent (well) given that lately my throat seems hoarse from too much yelling.

"The dog is NOT a horse Adrian!  Get off her right now!"

"STOP pushing your brother!"

"PLEASE get down from there right now or you're going to your room!"

"Get out of the closet before someone gets seriously hurt!"

"Honest to God if you don't stop freaking out so that I can put this sunscreen on you NO ONE is going outside!"

"Keep your hands and feet to yourself - there is NO kicking or hitting in this house!"

"RILEY!!!! Drop that right now!!  DROP IT!!"

"Stop eating the dog food!"

"Be nice to your little brother!  He's just a baby!"

"How many times do I have to tell you!!!!!.....(pretty much all of the above and more)"

Is it because I have two rambunctious little boys (and a dog) that I feel this way? mother's with two girls have it easier or is it a different kind of difficult?

I feel like I'm in constant referee mode and it's literally (and I mean literally) making me insane.

And what's worse is that I never really considered myself a yeller.  I don't like yelling.  And I know it doesn't help matters...but sometimes it does make me feel better.  What is that???

I know I'm making this sound humorous but in the thick of things I find zero humour in it at all.

Today I got to the point utter exhaustion in dealing with it all.

 And cried.

Not just a few tears running down my face.

Ugly red face shoulder shaking hysterical barely catch my breath sob crying.

My husband was just leaving for work too which made me cry even harder.

I know, right?  Get a grip!  I wanted to take myself by the shoulders and shake, shake, shake some calm into me.


I just wasn't sure how much more I could take.


I know how badly he felt having to leave...he knows that he's barely been around in the past month or so due to work.  He has his own stress and guilt issues to deal with without me compounding them by having a meltdown on him.

He held me and calmly gave me words of comfort telling me he was going to be home as soon as he could.

But 'soon' just wasn't soon enough for me.

I hate feeling sorry for myself and I hate even more feeling like I'm just "getting through" my days and not feeling appreciative and fortunate that I have the opportunity to hang out with my boys all day long.  (haha - if only it was as easy as just chilling with my boys)

This is when I find solace in blogging my dear friends, fellow bloggers.  I need to know I'm not totally alone here and the rational side of my brain tells me I'm not.  Reality tells me I'm not.  I know I'm not.  I've read enough of other Mom blogs to know that...but here I am.

Pouring my heart out.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Yes. Yes I did.

Just like any nice day in the summer I took my boys to a nearby park.

We played, we climbed, my little one ran obsessively up and down a very small hill.

And then 4 beautiful 13 year old girls showed up.

It was around dinner time so we were the only people there.

Except for the 4 beautiful 13 year old girls.

They started off at the swings and I saw my 19 month old make a beeline towards them too.  I followed him.  And my 3 year old followed me.

I pushed them in the swings for a few minutes and then the novelty wore off as it always does.

Oh and the girls had left to go over to the monkey bars.

My little guy literally walked over right in the middle of it all and sat his chunky little diapered bum on the second lowest wrung of a metal latter watching....just gawking at watching these 4 beautiful 13 year old girls hanging from the bars and talking. Talking and hanging.

Oh the days...the days, the months, the 20 many, many years  gone by.  How is it that I barely remember them???

The 4 beautiful girls were actually quite funny, having a chin up contest.  One of the skinniest girls was seriously strong.  She just up and did 3 or 4 chin ups, no problem. One of the other girls just hung there.

"Were you like even trying?"

"Yes!  Check these out."  She says flexing her twig like arm.

They laugh.

Adrian asks me what they're doing as he's hanging out at the opposite end of the play structure from them and I tell him.

I look over at Fin still sitting in the same spot amongst the pretty girls with a sweet grin on his face looking up at them.

I sigh and shake my head.


The girls leave and Adrian wants to do chin ups (of-course).

I hoist his 42 lb body up and let him hang there then catch him before he drops to the sand.

I see the girls making their way over the crest of the hill.

I wait a moment longer.


And then I hop up on those bars and give it my all.


Up, up, up....

And down I go.


I did it.

One whole freakin' chin up.

Oh yeah.


I'm linking up with Shell over at Things I Can't Say....if you love baby bumps check it out!

I was very fortunate in both my pregnancies.  I had the occasional migraine and with Finley I had morning sickness for about the first 8 weeks at 2 pm every day...which meant good bye lunch. (berf).  

Oh and I had some rage issues in the first trimester (I'm pretty sure smoke emitted from my ears at work more than occasionally) and I was so exhausted I would hide out in the 'sick room' every lunch hour to catch some z's.  It didn't even matter that it was a rock hard faux leather 'bed' and the pillow had a crinkly paper pillow case covering it for 'sanitary' reasons.  My head would hit that skeezy thing and I would zonk for a good half hour.  (at least). When I was pregnant I could pretty much sleep any time, any place.  Except when 4 am would hit and I'd be more awake than I'd be the whole entire rest of the day.  I am convinced that 4 am is the witching hour for pregnant woman.

8 months preggers with Adrian

Okay so they weren't perfect pregnancies but there are worse things to deal with in pregnancy than the usual angry outbursts, fatigue and 'morning' sickness but my belly was pretty awesome.  Although I was not considered 'huge' and was lucky that I only gained about 30 lbs a third of that was baby with both boys.

I know.  Eeks.  Why would God do that to little old me?!    

Of-course with Adrian I took pictures every couple of weeks and did the professional photo shoot with John (and yes, our dog - our 'first born' otherwise known as our fur baby).  Oh, how things change with your second.  I had a hard time finding any pictures of me pregnant with Finley.  I hope he doesn't resent me for that...although I think I made up for the lack of pregnancies pictures with about a million pictures of him now.  

Forgive me buddy.  It sure didn't mean I was less excited about you coming into our lives...your big brother kept me hopping.  You've brought us nothing but pure joy.  Two babies means twice the love.

About to pop with Adrian
39 weeks - little did I know I had 2+ weeks to go

5 months along with Finley

Like Poppa, Like Grandson

Add caption
Many times as young kids while driving down a country road with my Dad we would come across a freshly fertilized farm field.

My Dad would roll the window all the way down and inhale deeply sighing...ahhhhh...and say something to the effect of, "Smell that fresh air, doesn't it smell great?!"

To which my brother and I would both be completely disgusted yelling at him with our noses pinched between our index finger and thumb "Ew DAD!  That's so gross!  Roll the window UP!!!"

The funny thing is at the time I thought he was doing it because he got a kick out of that exact reaction out from us but now I actually believe he likes the smell of cow manure.  I think it gives him a feeling of childhood nostalgia as he once lived in a small farm town.

Today while driving from the park with the boys that stinky cow poop smell wafted in through the windows.  (of-course I always think of my Dad when I smell it) .

Me, rolling up the windows, "EWWW.  Peeeyooo!"

Adrian breathes in deeply and exclaims with a big grin on his face, "YUMMY!"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Babies' Daddy

He officially became a father February 3, 2008 but he became a Daddy 9 months earlier.

While Adrian was growing at a rapid pace in my belly he would talk to him, sing to him, rub my belly and tell him stories.  I knew when I was pregnant that he was going to be a great Dad.

I'll never forget the look in his eyes and the tone of his voice several days after bringing our first born home with us.  He was lying on the couch with Adrian swaddled and sound asleep on his chest.  He looked over at me sitting on the couch and said "If he didn't have us he would die."

Now that's a heavy thing to say I realize, but in that moment, in that small sentence the enormity of parenthood enveloped us.  We simply stared at each other and then down at our little one sleeping soundly.

Nurtured, loved, completely at peace.

John dove right into fatherhood with great enthusiasm.  He did more diaper changes than I did.   He soothed, rocked and cuddled when I had all but had enough of the crying.  He swaddled like the best of them and sang silly made up songs.

He still sings the silly songs and has since added many superhero bedtime stories to his repertoire.

My husband travels a bit for his job and is an incredibly hard worker.  He does this for us, his family, the most important people in his life, his world,  but I know that sometimes the chorus of "Cat's in the Cradle" weaves it's way into his head at times.

But he will never be that father.

I know how hard it is for him to leave even for a few days.  He misses his boys intensely.  You can feel it when he sees them for the first time whether it's after 3 weeks or just 4 days of being away.  Lifting Adrian up in a bear hug, placing his whiskered face into the neck of his big boy inhaling the very essence of him.   Upon seeing Finley picking him up exclaiming "McGinner!" (one of his many nicknames) as his little arms wrap around his Dada's neck, giving his baby boy's sweet chubby cheeks a thousand kisses his eyes soft with love for his boys.

He is endlessly telling our sons how much he loves him and is quick to drop whatever he's doing to play with them.

John and Finley
Oh so sweet!
This week when John came down the stairs Finley yelled out excitedly "Daddy!!!"

It was the first time he clearly said Daddy.  It only took him 19 months.

And I saw John's heart melt right in front of me.

I really believe what makes a great husband makes a great Dad.

He is affectionate, protective, loyal, thoughtful and above all shows his love and respect for me daily.  This is what our sons will grow up noticing and is of utmost importance defining the difference between an okay father to a wonderful Daddy.

The way the boys see their father treat their mother (that would be me) is crucial in how they will treat their future wife.  Or any woman for that matter.  I truly believe that.

Finley with his new bellybutton obsession.

There is nothing in the world that fills my heart with more love than seeing my husband as a father, a Daddy.

As John falls more in love with his boys I fall more in love with him.

Happy Father's Day honey.

What makes you an amazing husband makes you a phenomenal Dad.

I hope I make your day of celebration as fabulous as you made mine.

No doubt they love their Daddy

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Father, My Daddy

My 1st Birthday.  

When I was about ten I complained to my Dad that I hated my front teeth.  I have one tooth that's slightly crooked and tends to overlap my other one a tiny little bit and for this I wanted braces.  Oh to have perfectly straight teeth. He looked at me in all seriousness and said "Why would you want braces?  Your teeth give you character." And it's with that one sentence that I accepted my slightly crooked tooth.

Dad's are good for that.

My Dad.  I have so, so many wonderful and vivid memories of my Dad growing up.  My parents separated when I was 5 and the arrangement was that he would take my brother and I every other week-end.  The first 6 months after he moved out he lived in a tent.  It was AWESOME to us that every time we went to visit him we were camping.  He cooked most of his food over a fire too.  Tents, cooking beans, eggs and popcorn over a fire - now that's real camping.

I don't know many people that would camp out for 6 days let alone 6 months but that's just my Dad.  He would be happy to live in van down by the river I'm sure.  And speaking of vans...he had an inexplicable love for vans (REAL vans, you know the kind that had beds in them and curtains in the windows? - yeah those)  I have many a fond memory of falling asleep in the back of his van while watching movies at the Drive-In.  

My father is the most unmaterialistic, non-judgemental person I know.  He still wears the same clothes that he wore when I was 10.  You think I'm exaggerating.  Believe me.  Anything with a logo is far faded and I'm pretty sure you could see through most of them.  Bah - what's it to him?  It's comfortable!

He is also kind and gentle and it's perhaps because of his disposition that all children are always drawn to him.  It also may be his affinity and genuine curiosity of nature and all things living (well, except ants but that's because he sat on a red ant hill as a very young boy and has yet to get over it).  When we were camping (trailers and the like were a novelty for us - we always tent camped) we found a mouse ... my brother and I named him Mickey and my Dad actually let us play with this mouse like it was our tame little pet and not a creepy dirty rodent with possible diseases.  Oh God, when I think about ever allowing my kids to do something like that it makes my skin crawl.  He took us fishing quite a bit and one time allowed us to bring home a couple of sunfish in the cooler.  They died the next morning of course.  Questionable, these experiences, I know, but we learned lessons.

Such as fish do not thrive nor survive in coolers.

Questionable is also giving your kid sugary, instant coffee in the morning, a tipple of sherry with dinner and letting your kids take the steering wheel while sitting on your lap driving around a parking lot.

Questionable now yet fantastic to us at the time.

My Dad, of-course being the fact that he only had us 2 week-ends a month, was the 'fun guy'.  My poor Mum - single, working full time and raising 2 children on her own...I'm sure it was hard for her when we may have implicated she was the 'bad guy' because she never did anything 'fun' with us. I have all the respect and more for her today (sorry about that Mumma).

My Dad taught me how to ride a bike setting me up on top a long hill outside of our house and letting me go....until I fell.  Over and over again until I got the hang of it.  He took my brother and I on many, many bike riding adventures and (gasp) we would bike across town with NO helmets.  One in particular sticks out in my mind.  We were biking along a path way and we came across a small stream.  We stopped to take a look and see what we neat critters would could find.  (He loved doing stuff like this - we'd also go crawfish hunting in small rivers and catch snakes in fields with grass as tall as us)

There it was.

A very large looking turtle.

I recall in school at that time, we had been studying reptiles and this turtle quite resembled the kind of the snapping variety.  My Dad got it in his head that he wanted to 'feed' the turtle.  So he dangled a piece of grass or weed far too close to the very large turtles mouth.

I warned him.  I told him it was a snapping turtle and it was going to bite his finger off but oh no.  What did I know?  I was just a little 8 year old girl.

The turtle's neck came out of it's shell so fast and that sharp mouth snapped at my Dad's fingers. We all jumped back in alarm.

Told ya Dad.

He instilled in me a love for exercise and we went for the occasional run together.  He was always playing some sport or, bowling, golf.  My father is a phenomenal golfer.  I sadly did not inherit his athletic ability but I love being active.

My Dad always took us to fun amusement parks and went on all the big roller coaster rides with us but he also introduced us to theatre, museums, horseback riding and cave exploring.

But the beach was my favourite place to go with my Dad.  We'd dig the biggest holes, play football (he taught me how to throw a proper spiral), feed the seagulls french fries, swim, swim, swim, diving off of his shoulders.  We'd stay there until the sun was practically setting.

I remember him also showing us how to use a magnifying glass and the sun's reflection to burn my brother's name into his baseball glove.

Now that's a handy survival trick.

In the winter, tobogganing was where it was at.  We'd spend hours at the huge tobogganing hills sledding down and trudging up, dowwwnnnn, up we'd go...he might have been exhausted but he'd never let us know.  Now having kids of my own I know how tiring it can be!  He would take us to Tim Horton's for hot chocolate and a donut afterwards.  What a treat.

My cousins, brother and I loved using my Dad as a jungle gym.  He'd give us piggy backs, rocket rides and horseback rides.  Sometimes there'd be 3 of us on him at one time.  My boys love to climb all over him now.  Some things never change.

He taught me how to play cards and shuffle them like a bridge - otherwise known as riffle shuffling.  I feel like a serious professional pulling that one out.

Crazy 8's and Go Fish graduated to Cribbage, Euchre and 21.  His side of the family gets together for card and Domino tournaments to this day.  Always fun and full of laughter....I miss them.

Music.  I believe I got my love of music from my Dad (I also unfortunately got his legs and terrible nail biting habit).  He also introduced me to the world of Karoke at far too young of an age at a local smoke filled bar.  But I got a taste of it and there's no going back once you get up on a stage and belt out "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher.

My Dad was a bachelor for much of his life.  He  lived on his own and he liked it that way for the most part I think.  It worried me.  I never wanted him to grow old alone. Who wants to do that?  About 10 years ago he met the love of his life.  I'm so happy he did...other than the fact that his house is now ... well ... beautifully decorated and much less man cave like (although he still has the basement 'man cave' where he listens to his music and watches sports).

They are a perfect complement to one another and he's happier than I've ever seen him.

My father, my Daddy.

Yes, I still call him Daddy occasionally.

I am 33 years old but he's still Daddy to me.  And I know I will always be my Daddy's baby girl.

Just as my sons will always be my baby boys.

That will never change - even when they have babies of their own.

I can only hope that Adrian and Finley grow up to have some the wonderful characteristics of their Poppa.

As Adrian always says, "He's a great man".

It makes me smile from the inside out, my response always the same, "Yes, honey.  Yes he is."

One of my favourites of my Dad and I taken when I was
pregnant with Adrian.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Feeling Frazzled and Worn

I've been out of the writing loop lately, I know.

This lack of writing has its reasons.

Specifically a 3 year old one.

The days of no nap time has descended.

.....DUH DUH DUH....

And quite honestly it's killing me.

It was hard enough (for me) when we took him out of pre-school a month ago.  No major reasons, it just wasn't making the budget cut if you know what I mean.

It was only 2 days a week but it was 2 days a week that I knew I had to get things accomplished.  Cleaning, groceries, errands, phone calls or simply to just relax and enjoy my time with the little guy.

Now on top of him not being in preschool he's now not napping ... ergo NO BREAK for Mommy.

I love my child more than the world.  And most of the time I do adore the age of 3 as much as it makes me bonkers.

These past 3 weeks have been pure madness.  I don't know what is going on in his little mind and I know in all reality and logic that he's not thinking to himself every morning when he wakes up, "I'm out to get my Mommy today...oh yeah...I'm gonna make her crazynuts ... I can't wait to make her mad, scream and possibly cry ... it's SO MUCH FUN to make her feel like she's on the edge of insanity.  I LOVE IT!"

*insert high pitched deranged laughter here*

Or maybe he is.

Like I said.  I have no idea.

This is what I get to deal with on pretty much a daily basis:  major tantrums in the middle of the grocery store because he wants "SUGAR!!!  I NEED SUGAR!"  or insisting he plays in the sprinkler on a day that's drizzly and not even remotely warm, pushing his brother down blatantly in front of me, taking Finley's toys away, telling me he doesn't like me, refusing to eat ANYTHING but insisting on drinking juice 24/7 which results in accidents because he thinks he's a camel and can hold it for all of eternity, refusing to wash his hands after using the washroom (why this is such a big deal to him I don't understand), defiantly ignoring me and everything that comes out of my mouth (this is probably the WORST thing to do to me), getting buck nekkid and climbing all over my bed sitting his bare ass on my pillows (clean or not this is not cool), climbing on and jumping off of every piece of furniture or surface in the house, using every toy as a weapon and tormenting our poor dog - or his brother, peeing basically anywhere he deems fit which is everywhere that it is the middle of parks, on our deck, on our front lawn in front of the entire neighbourhood (thankfully he does use the washrooms like a normal person when indoors), the constant challenge of every. single. thing. I say, that when he  actually brushes his teeth the first time I ask him to it's like the Gods have shined upon us for a moment.  I really feel like a good mother for that split second...I think "yes, I can handle this...I totally know what I'm doing".  And then he goes completely beserko, screaming and throwing his body down on the floor because he can't get the lid off the toothpaste....or he can't find his toothbrush (he only has 4 depending on his 'mood').

Reading back the list of what makes me feel like I'm about to go batshit bananas it doesn't sound SO bad I suppose.  The thing is, it's not like these things happen one at a time or even every couple of hours.  It's one after the next and it's usually when I'm trying to make lunch or dinner and his brother's cranky or the dog is barking or my husband's away.  It's the total culmination of EVERYTHING.  And nothing seems to work to rectify my child's behaviour.

I give time outs.

He screams and bangs and cries at his door.

I take toys away for the day and he fixates on that toy for the entire day which translates into more tantrums.

I ignore him, walk away.

He gets louder or decides to get my attention again by kicking or breaking something.

I get down to his level and ask him to talk to me - he won't even look at me and/or runs away.

It's losing battle and I feel like I'm failing every minute of the day with him.

To think ahead 10 years from now scares the bejesus outta me.

I am at my wit's end.  It's been 3 weeks of this and the madness needs to stop before I feel it necessary to check myself into a psych ward.

I'm tired, I'm frazzled, my nerves are shot and I feel at the end of the day that I've been physically, mentally and emotionally beaten down.

And that's when I run to my Mommy and Daddy.

That's right.  My husband's away and this Mumma is packin' up and headin' out for few days.

I'm goin' home.

And I can't wait.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 10, 2006

Our wedding day.

I awoke very early feeling the anticipation of the day from head to toe.

Today was THE day.

Everyone talks about wedding day jitters, the cold feet.

Never had 'em.

I knew from the first week John and I spent together he was it.

The One.

And though I waited for what felt like an impossibly long time for him to propose.

(It was only 5 years)

I did wait.

I never threatened him once...

Okay, maybe one time.

What I didn't know was that he had already designed the ring but wanted to have it paid for before he actually proposed.

I know.  Shame on me.

How silly I felt when he told after he'd asked me to marry him that he'd had the ring for a while.

February 12, 2005.  The proposal day.

Or night rather.

And how shocked I was when he proposed to me over beef filets, garlic mashed potatoes, caesar salad and wine in our humble 700 square foot apartment as we sat on our dog chewed, fur covered area rug, legs tucked under the cheap coffee table eating a gourmet meal. (at the time we didn't have a proper kitchen table - or even a dining area to put one in)

I was so ecstatic when he asked me to marry him I didn't even care that the ring was too small and only fit on my pinky.  (not my husband's fault).

We went out that night and I rocked my pinky engagement ring.

Now, here it was.

June 10th, 2006....the day finally arrived after 1 year and 4 months of parties, planning and preparing.

I am proud to say that I organized, designed and decorated the big day myself but had plenty of help from friends, family and bridemaids setting everything up on my wedding day.

It was a beach themed wedding.  Exactly what I always wished for.

After an early morning run along the water with my Maid of Honour, we returned back to the cottage. (everyone rented a cottage or stayed at a B&B as we got married in a tiny beach town/fishing village)

It was a fun day of getting our hair and make up done (although not without a bit of drama from some of the ladies - just a side note: if you are in a wedding don't complain to anyone but especially to the bride that you hate your make up, hair, dress etc.  She doesn't need to stress out more than she already is - acting diva-ish is her job that day not yours - zip it, smile and if you're having a bad day - remember - it's not about you)

Thank God for my best friend who in the midst of me getting my make up done and listening to the craziness around me she saw me starting to freak out, grabbed my shoulders, looked me in the eyes intensely and told me to breathe, relax.  She said some other things that I can't remember but the idea was...

She calmed me down.

She always does.

She was her usual fabulous self.

That's why we're best friends you see.

The day of my wedding was beautiful, sunny with a bit too much wind but it's not always going to be perfect.

Of-course for weeks ahead of time I was checking the weather obsessively as only brides that get married outside do....can you imagine the distress I felt when 2 weeks before my wedding it was supposed to RAIN!

It never did.

But the rings were forgotten.

My Mum went missing (this is what John and I thought but she was actually running to get the rings - thank God we got married just outside of where they were being held hostage (by my Mom) because she refused to give them to the Best Man the night before - in hindsight, Mum, that was probably a good idea)

When we eventually got the rings the minister dropped my husband's wedding band in the grass.

And the vase of flowers on the table where the unity sand was sitting kept getting knocked over by the wind.

Oh.  The unity sand? We almost forgot about that too.

And the pen.  You know the pen that you sign your life to one another with?  We almost forgot about that too.  I think the make up artist snuck that out without being detected.

You know.  Nothing major.

Other than the very loooong and somewhat awkward silence that followed when the minister called my Mum up to bring the unity sand and we looked over to find an empty seat where she should've been sitting, because she was running to get the rings (well, as fast as you can run in a very long slim fitting dress - it was more like a fast shuffle...but an elegant fast shuffle)

I used the silence as my chance to take everyone in and give a  "HEY THERE EVERYONE!" with a big wave of my arm.

Pure class.

We said the beautiful vows, people cried (mostly my best friend's Mom), pictures were snapped, shaky videos were taken and then we all strolled down the bluff for some delicious blue champagne cocktails.  (Blue Curaco and champagne - to go with the beach theme)

It was THE happiest, most blissful, most love consuming day of my life.

There is a magical feeling on the day of your wedding having everyone you love in the same place celebrating the love you have for each other.

It was perfect.  Despite all the imperfections.

All those imperfections made for funny stories and greater memories.

Many bottles of wine were consumed, many great conversations were had, everyone danced all night long...and then continued the party back at the cottages - except for my new husband and I of-course.



Yes, I married the man of my dreams and he continues to prove to me everyday that I chose the right guy.

The perfect man.

For me.

And I never had a doubt.

Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary my love.

To a lifetime of togetherness.

I got your back.

Always and Forever.

"Love doesn't make the world go round. Love makes the ride worthwhile." - 
  --  Franklin Jones 

Our song....Subversives by Lowest of the Low  

While going through our wedding photos I suggest listening to the song if you so desire.  

It's a great one.  

OR listen to this's what I walked down the aisle to and it is one of my favourite songs in the whole world (I know Christine McVie from Fleetwood Mac originally sang it but I used Eva Cassidy's - both are beautiful)

Me and my Daddy
What you didn't see is me having a freak out seconds before
because the music had started but we didn't hear it
until halfway through.
Does he look happy...scared....or like he might throw up?
You decide.
The man of my past and present giving me 'away' to the man
of my future.
I know.  Very traditional but I'm kinda like that.
The awkward moment when B.M (see behind John) is telling
M.O.H. that he doesn't have the rings.
John and I have no clue what's going on...all we know is that
my Mum was nowhere to be found.
Then we find out what's going on.
And I laughed. What else could I have done?
But laugh. 
Phew.  Rings are obtained.  We can move on with the ceremony.
"There's a market value on love.  We're getting something for free."
Getting the okay from the families...just in case after 6 years
they decided we didn't belong together. 
"There's a place in my soul where no one else can adore you."
"To you, I would give the world.  To you, I'd never be cold.
'Cause I feel that when I'm with you, it's alright...I know it's right"
The flower pot that kept falling over as you can see from
remnants of dirt.
And the Unity Sand that was almost forgotten.
"For you there'll be no crying.  For you the sun will be shining"

The fabulous pen that was almost forgotten (how could you
forget about a pen like that?!)
And wow,  the look on my way too concentrated to be signing
just my name.  
The new Mr and Mrs
I am realizing looking back at these pictures...I was not a
blushing bride but beaming one.
Still beaming.
That's probably a good sign.
The pouring of the blue champagne cocktails
So I'm not quite beaming here and I do have a Chretien-like
smile on my face.  But.
It's all good.
"And we'll drink, but not to forget but to
remember instead all our happy years"
And that's everyone!  My favourite picture of the day.
Yay!  I'm so HAPPY!
Yes!  I'll have more champagne!
Oh, how I love my dress.
Too bad it'll never fit me again.
Just a casual walk on the beach.
You know.  Pretending like no one's actually taking our picture.
No I did not wear shoes when I got married.
What are on my feet are barefoot sandals.
I threw on flip flops after the ceremony.
That's just the kinda gal I am.
Gazing toward our beautiful future together.
In reality we felt like idiots.

He didn't actually write that.
In case you were wondering.
And case you were wondering.
The chick in the wedding dress and the dude in the tuxedo?
Yeah, they just got married.
The cheesy ring shot.  I was so against it but hey...look at me now.
I guess it came in handy.  
Our first dance as a married couple.
My very favourite picture of us.

"And I love you, I love you, I love never before...."