Thursday, September 29, 2011

About a Bee (or 2)

The fall weather has arrived.

What a relief.

However.  All you summer lovers (and I'm one too), before you feel like smacking me upside the head, I want to make something clear.

The reason for my happiness has little to do with the cooler weather and more to do with surviving the summer nary a bee sting.

6 times last year.


By just two bees.

Not wasps, nor hornets or honey bees.

They were of the fuzzy yellow and black striped ball of sweetness kind.

The la-la-la look at me all cute and soft, perched daintily atop this daisy.

Buzz-buzz-buzz.  La-la-la.

Same difference.

The ones that I was always told by my parents and other well meaning adults 'don't sting.'



And I'm living PROOF!!!

There I was with my boys on a warm Saturday afternoon last year.  Innocently hanging out on our front stoop.

Adrian decided he wanted to go call on his friends across the street.

I had to carry Finley as he didn't have his walking feet yet and Adrian of-course had to be carried as well.

He stood on the top step as Finley sat comfortably on my left hip and I scooped him up on my right.

I started across our front lawn and felt an unbelievably sharp needle-like jab on the inside of my upper right thigh.


Immediately after that first stabbing pain came another.

"AHH! OW!"

I became a bit panicked wondering what-the-eff just happened.

And then I basically dropped my kids to the (grassy) ground like a sack of hot potatoes.

And they laughed.

Well.  More like cackled.

They're a bit evil like that when someone's in pain.

And then.

ANOTHER sharp stabby pain occurring waaay too close to my hoo-ha.

My shrieking became alarming enough that my husband flew from the backyard to the front yard, finding me on the edge of hysteria with our little guy laid out on his back chortling away at his Mother's frantic state and my other guy watching in bewilderment.

My husband comes at me and.

 (I still can't believe he tried to do this.)

Starts to take my pants off.

Of-course all of this is happening way faster than I'm telling it but quite literally he grabbed my belt and whips it off me.

I yelled.  Of-course amidst me screeching in pain I yelled at him.


And then I ran in the house and ripped my own damn pants off.


Can you imagine looking out your window one beautiful Saturday to see your female neighbour standing pantless in the middle of her lawn?

Mortification.  That's what you would feel.  


My family followed me in the house and my husband informed me as I sat pantless on a chair with a halved onion on my throbbing parts (quite the ladylike picture there ain't it?) I must've been stung by a bumblebee that somehow found it's way up my pant leg.

It was now dead.

*sigh*  My hero.

I somehow felt no remorse for that dumb@$$ bee that got 'lost' up my pant leg.

About 2 months later I was hanging out with my neighbours with my little one in a sling on my hip.

And this bee.  

Of the cute fuzzy variety AGAIN.

Would. Not. Leave. Me. Alone.

I know why the saying "making a bee line" is what it is.

I was running, dodging, turning, ducking.

There was no fooling this bee.

It had it in for me.

I'm sure it knew... 

I come from a family of bee murderers!

It wanted REVENGE.  

(Quite possibly the bee with the terrible sense of direction was his best bee friend - as mere human's we just never know these things!)

All the while I was ducking, dodging, squealing and running, my little one was (surprise!) killing himself laughing.

And here I was, more concerned about him being stung than me.  Even knowing how bloody painful it is to get stung...I would've taken one or three for my son.

Ungrateful child.

The vengeful, obsessive bee attached itself on my inner forearm of my long sleeve shirt and.



STING! (Right through my shirt!!!)


Therein lies the sweet story "About a Bee (or 2)."

(It kinda makes you all warm and fuzzy inside doesn't it?)


And for those dubious about bumblebees not stinging and/or being (un)able to sting more than once as people kept insisting to me (hellooo?!  I was the victim here!), I did some good old fashioned google research and found this at

"Bumblebees can sting, at least the queens and workers can, and their sting is not barbed like that of the honeybee, so they can sting more than once."

Believe me when I say this stuff only happens to me.  You'll just have to stay tuned for more...oh there's more.

**If you want to have another laugh at the expense of another's pain visit my friend Ado over at The Momalog**

Monday, September 26, 2011

I see you drivin' round town....

About 12 years ago (I was in college - I can't believe I can say 12 years ago and I wasn't in diapers then - this getting older this really creeps up on a person.  I don't like it.)

Anyway.  12 years ago I was driving home from college in my awesome 1988 Burgundy Ford Tempo named Scarlet, (yes, I named my cars don't you? - my last car was red too and I named her Ruby.  I have a thing for hues) when I slowed down to stop for a red light (this is always a good idea).  There was a woman in front of me and she was seriously rocking OUT to whatever tune was playing in her car.

The hair was flying, her head was practically banging against her steering wheel.

I was alarmed at first.  Thinking to myself that this person obviously was in no shape to be driving.

A few moments later I ended up passing this woman and glanced at her as my peppy Tempo picked up speed.

She was loving life. L.o.v.i.n.g. I.T.  She had stopped throwing her head around like a maniac at this point (thank God) but she was singing SO enthusiastically and with such a big smile on her face that I could do nothing else but admire her joie de vivre, her unabashed love for her music.

She quite honestly made my day.  I never forgot about that incident.

Now, I've always been one to sing along to music much to the chagrin of my ex-boyfriend (good thing he's an ex-boyfriend and I married a man EXACTLY like me in this way).  Yes, this ex-boyfriend would actually get annoyed when I would sing along to the lyrics (and I'm not one of those people that pretends to know the words to a song and looks like a complete idiot while doing so - no I'm not.  And actually?  I'm not that bad of a singer either.  But please don't think I'm one of those delusional crazies like on American Idol that believes they can sing like Beyonce and then sounds like a cat in really!  I mean I don't actually think I sound like Beyonce per se...but I'm not bad. We should totally go do Karoke sometime.  You'll see.)

So, I'm out the other day driving around doing errands with the boys.  I have the tunes turned up (not too loud so as to deafen my babies of-course) and Forget You by Cee Lo Green comes on.

"I see you drivin' round town with the girl I love and I'm like forget you!  Oo-oo-oo!"
(Does anyone else think the line "I guess he's an X-Box and I'm more Atari" is as genious as I do?)

It's a gorgeous afternoon and the windows are all down.  We're stopped at a red light.

And this is when I realize...I have a little bit in common with head banging lady, except I'm more of an enthusiastic head bopper.  Oh and I may dance around in my seat just a little bit.  

There may or may not be hand and arm gestures involved.  

At times.  

And, well, I kinda can't help but exuberantly belt out songs that I love.

And that song?

I luuuuurrrrve.

So it was with little surprise that I turned to look out my driver's seat window to see....

An elderly couple, probably close to 80, smiling, pointing and laughing...and looking right at me.  

I know they weren't laughing at me.  

(Of-course they weren't.)

What did I do, you ask?

Did I slump in my seat from embarrassment?

Did I quickly avert my eyes and pretend that I didn't see them?

Did I stop dancing in my seat and singing with extreme exuberance?

No. No and no.

I did not.

I wasn't the least bit embarrassed. (believe me, I've had much worse embarrassments than this - like the time I met my future husband and the other time when I was rummaging through my purse on an escalator with a bunch of strangers and half a box of tampons came flying out landing at the feet of these people...who may or may not have also been pinged in the chest by one)

I simply kept singing and bopping along, smiled at them as the light turned green and raised my hand in friendly wave.

And you know what?  I don't care if they were laughing at me (I'm sure they weren't) because seeing those sweet wrinkly faces me?  Made my day.

I hope I made theirs too.

Even if they were laughing at me.  (No.  I'm definitely sure they were not)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Happy Friday lovelies and handsomes.

First I must acknowledge the fact that I missed 2 Foodie Fridays in a row.

I'm sorry.  I hope you found some other just as fabulous recipes to cook for your family.  Please don't starve yourselves on account of me.

I have excuses!

My computer has been acting quite zesty as of late and I've been relegated to writing in my laundry slash storage room as that's the only place it's been getting a full signal and even then it acts terribly moody.

Not that I can blame it.

If you have a laundry slash storage room such as mine you might find it very uninspirational and actually quite sketchy at best.

I managed to have the occasional lightning bolt of inspiration, however it's been quite random.

And writing about food in a crappy room with dim lighting and clothes hanging over my head didn't do me any favours.

However, I'm back.  Sorta.

Actually, I'm sitting outside my laundry room on the floor but it's better than being in there.

Onto food talk.

It's Fall!  If you didn't already know that.  And there are so many things I love about Autumn but I especially love the abundance of vegetables and fruits that are in season.

Right now I'm really into roasting vegetables.  It's so quick to put together, healthy, super scrumptious  AND very versatile.  You can serve them over rice, pasta (with some feta cheese - OH YUM), mashed potatoes or simply with some great crusty bread or buns.  If you have leftovers simply throw them in some eggs and voila - a delicious omelet or throw them on some pitas for an easy pizza.

Here you are folks!  Happy Eating!

Roasted Veggies  (serves 4 - 6)

1 medium eggplant sliced into 4-5 large rounds

2 large onion quartered

3 large tomatoes quartered

2 medium zucchini cut in half or fours

1 large sweet pepper cut into 5 segments

8-10 garlic cloves peeled

1/3 cup olive oil

White wine vinegar

Sugar for sprinkling

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 F

Place all vegetables in a large ceramic or glass oven proof dish

Sprinkle a couple pinches of sugar over them

Season with S&P

Pour olive oil and vinegar over top and mix well but not aggressively.  Be kind to your veggies.

Place in oven for about 45 minutes only turning once gently and only if needed (if they look like they're getting too crispy)

Do not stir!  You want your vegetables to come out looking almost like they went in except with a bit of a tan.

Remove and either serve hot or at room temperature.

Bon Appetit!


Where I'm From

I am from vinyl records, from Quaker's Puffed Rice cereal and un-airconditioned hot summer nights, wishing upon a star.
I am from the town home complex filled with children playing hide and go seek calling ollie, ollie all come free gathered on a green electric box, from plastic runners on tired shag red carpeting beneath a worn soft velour sectional sofa.
I am from a small backyard filled with the heady scent of orange marigolds from running through long grass in a large field outside my grandparents home, from the untended front garden filled with colourful snap dragons.

I am from card tournaments and a family with a propensity toward the unhealthy indulgence of liquid love.  From Saunders and Cole, Finlay and Marshall.
I am from laughing though your heart may be breaking and tiptoeing through shattered eggshells.  
From "Do you ever look like your Mother." and "Patience is a virtue".
I am from negotiations with God.  If you help me with this I promise I'll never's.  A little girl who once wrote a letter to heaven, placing it under couch cushions, heartbroken to find it there days later.   
I’m from an Ontario city that's not tiny nor metropolitan, of Great Britain heritage, split pea soup and white bread sandwiches of salami, iceburg lettuce and Catalina dressing.
From family get togethers where Poppy would announce from his chair across the room to my grandmother, "Tonight's the night.  You're looking more beautiful than ever Belle.", from the strong arms of Uncle Bob who would let my brother and I hang from them like monkeys on a metal bar. 
I am from a rarely opened box filled with photo albums reminiscent of 70's nostalgic nature scenes.  Of sunsets and wheat fields.  Brown, beige, black.  Faded oranges, reds and purples.   I am from a little girl who held on too tight to her emotions, grew up too fast, who loved her blue shoe scooter and hand made blanket with crocheted trim.  Who wishes she still had them.
Who always had so much love inside to give but was always unsure how or who to give that love to.

Until now.

This was a writing exercise that I saw many of my fellow blogger's writing about and that I truly enjoyed reading.  It intrigued me, excited me and then once I started to do it, terrified me.  I believe this is something everyone should do at some point in their lives.  It wasn't easy and I almost didn't finish it.  But I'm so happy I did.  
Mama Kat's Writing Workshop

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

$#!^ his Dad Said

*Warning - rated R for adult language content*

I want to make something clear before I tell this story.  My husband and I are not big swearers.

A small profanity might slip out once in a while in front of the boys.  In fact you may have noticed I also don't swear almost at all on my blog.  I have nothing against it.  I just don't feel it's necessary most of the time. In real life if I feel like I'm going to swear I'm one of those annoying people that says, "OH sugar!"

Yeah.  I'm a badass.

Any time our eldest has ever sworn (I can recall maybe twice) I've never made a big deal of it.

Because as we all know that just encourages the potty mouth.

Don't give the word power.  Blah blah.  Blah.

This particular day my husband was working from home.

The internet connection at our household has been acting up, going in and out and shutting right down on us at times.

The internet is key for my husband's job as he works from his computer (as most people do these days).  As anyone knows who has a computer or relies on the internet for anything (at all) when things aren't working properly it can make one very angry.

Understandably so.  Especially when it has to do with your job.

Anyway.  Back at the kitchen table the boys and I were enjoying some Cheerios and milk.

Innocently slurping away when...

"FUCKENPEICEOFGODDAMNSHIT!!!!!!!!" was bellowed from down.below.

My husband has a very distinct voice that carries at any normal level but this.

This was intense.

Clearly, he was having a bad morning.

So I ignored it and we kept on slurping away.

It was quiet for a moment.

And then.

This sweet little voice spoke up and says oh so seriously,

"Mumma, we don't say fucken."

I threw my head down on on the kitchen table, shielding it with my arms.

I know it's so very, very wrong when a child swears but some disturbed part of me thinks it's also really, really funny.

"Mumma, why are you laughing?"

"I'm not laughing.  I'm crying because you said a bad word...and that makes me so sad."  I'm sure he didn't hear much but muffled sounds between my really bad fake crying.

And so much for not making a big deal about swear words.

"But Mumma.  Daddy just said fucken.  We don't say that word."

Oh. My. God.  Why couldn't I stop laughing!  What was wrong with me!??

I finally collected myself, lifted my head with a forced frown and said,

"You're right.  You need to tell Daddy he's in big trouble."

'Cause there was no way I was going near the Dragon's Lair.

Fuck that shit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eureka Moments

It's time to put a stop to the 'can't's' the 'wont's' the 'I'll never's' the 'I'm not a's.'

The negativity that intrudes bleakly somedays on my mostly positive mind.

Because in the past I've surprised myself.  Many times.

I think a lot of people but especially women have this issue.  Thinking that we aren't doing the best we can.

We can do more, be more.  Do better.  Be better.

Let's stop the self battering and accept who we are today.  At this moment.

Because when I think about it.  Really think about it.  I've done some pretty awesome things in my life. And I've learned a lot about myself from doing those pretty awesome things.

And it's not all big stuff.  Nor small stuff.  Although sometimes the big stuff isn't as big for another and the small stuff isn't all that small to the person next to you.

I've listed some of the things that I've done in my 33 years that have surprised even me.

And aren't those are the best surprises of all.


I am terrified of heights yet....

I skydived from 10 THOUSAND feet in the air and ziplined hundreds of feet above the floor of the beautiful rain forests in Costa Rica.

I almost drowned as a young girl on a school trip to a public pool and yet...

I'm somehow not terrified of water and have White Water Rafted through the beautiful Kicking Horse River and the Ottawa River (twice).  I also went open sea kayaking with an ocean filled with unknowable's, massive sea turtles and....sharks.

I was terrified of giving birth yet....

I gave birth to two big healthy baby boys.

I have anxiety about being in unfamiliar places that have too many signs and too many people yet...

I've flown across the country and beyond more than a couple times.  By myself.

I always said I was a terrible public speaker.  I could never do it.  I'd be a nervous wreck yet...

I spoke at my best friend's wedding...not only that but I was pretty eloquent.  And I made people laugh.

I always said I was a cook not a baker yet...

I can make a kick ass chocolate cake from scratch, amazingly delectable cookies of all kinds and a phenomenal pumpkin bread pudding.

I didn't think I was ever great at much but always loved to write.  I was too scared to share myself yet...

Here I am.  Blogging away to the world.  Spilling out my heart.  And you actually read it.  And like it. Wow.  And wow.

I always said I could never be a runner yet...

I will be running a 10k race next spring (I know I'm not giving myself ample time ... I mean 3 quarters of a year is far too soon to have such massive ambition).

I always wished for a perfect body even when it was pretty damn perfect and yet...

This body, my body has never failed me.  It's in perfect working order and that's pretty blessed AWESOME.  'Cause it's the only one I got.

I always said that I wanted to find the love of my life, become a Mother and be able to stay home and raise them....

And I did.

I do.

And though there are times I wonder just how well I do it...

I'm just going to say.

I can.

I do.

Because I am.


And it's time I believed in her.

Shell @ Things I Can't Say - Link Up

Monday, September 19, 2011

Egg Baby FAIL

When I was in Grade 11 I took a 'Parenting Class'.

I believe these optional classes should be mandatory...not because they actually teach you how to 'parent properly' but for the exact opposite reason.  It teaches you that, at the tender age of 17 you, quite imminently, are not even close to ready to raise a child.

I remember 3 things from that class.

1.  The teacher who was as old as my grandmother and had no children of her own. (which makes about as much sense to me as a dog teaching a bird how to meow).

2.  The extremely graphic videos of women giving which point I excused myself for fresh air (and to vomit).

And the one I'd like to share with you today;

3.  The assignment of taking care of an 'egg baby'.

This was the classic parenting assignment back in the day before freakishly life-like crying babies were invented.

We were to take care of this 'baby' for the week.

Although to take care of an egg baby is to what?  I don't know...make sure you don't break it?  Because babies are fragile like that?  Because if you drop a baby it'll splatter all over the ground like liquid yolk?

I was soon to find out what the purpose was.

After carrying around my 'baby' for a day and a half and feeling entirely idiotic, I had to use the facilities.

In a real baby scenerio you would use the wheelchair accessable washrooms so that your entire stroller could fit in the stall with you just in case someone else meanders into the washroom to do their business and impulsively decides to steal your baby while you're innocently taking a pee.

Being the uneducated 'teen Mom' that I was *horror of horrors* I left my 'baby' on top of the hand dryer safely ensconced in it's wee little basket.

I went pee, came out, washed my hands, dried them with paper towel (I have a issues with hot air blowing around in a germ filled room).

And left the washroom.

Only an hour later while eating my deliciously salty french fries in the dimly lit cafeteria with friends did I realize, "OHMYGODILEFTMYBABYINTHEBATHROOM!!"

I ran back to the washroom to find that....

Someone had absconded my baby.

Who would do such a thing!?

The teacher had marked each egg with a special mark that could not be duplicated.  Or so was the story she told us.

Yes, I am that gullible.

Needless to say I failed that assignment miserably.

I didn't even last 2 full days as a Mother to an egg!

How on earth would I ever succeed as a Mother to real live babies?!

I'm convinced that this ridiculous assignment caused me many anxiety ridden dreams about;

.losing my baby in random stores

.forgetting my baby in the car for hours at a time

.and a few dreams where my baby was not, in fact, even human.

In one quite disturbing dream I had given birth to a worm baby which I kept in a small box with grass and tissue.

Another, perhaps even more alarming dream, was when my beautiful human baby slowly turned into poo before my very eyes.

Analyze THAT dream analyzer people!

On second thought.  Please don't.

However, despite my failed parenting assignment and my subconscious basically warning me that I would completely suck at being a Mother, I gave it a whirl.

Not once but twice.

And though there've been a few days in my short life in Motherhood that I would've given myself a parenting FAIL (haven't we all), so far so good.

I never dropped my babies, nor lost them in a store or forgot them in a car.  Neither have they turned into fecal matter before my very eyes although they've had many an explosion that upon first glance one might think so.

But I'll leave the grading up to my boys.

When they're about 35 and they begin to appreciate all that I did for them.

By then they'll have full realization in that they will have (fingers crossed!) become parents themselves.

Their very own babies tormenting them with endless crying and sleepless nights.

Because as children or even adults without children one can never fully acknowledge the mighty love nor the absolute agony that our parents go through until we're bestowed with sweet angels of our very own.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I SPY (with a 3 year old)

Adrian, "Mumma, let's play tag!!!"

We were hanging out at home.  Finley was having a nap.  It was a clear that it would be a no nap day for Adrian however.  On these blessedly tortuous long days between the hours of 1 and 3 I enforce quiet time.  This usually includes one of all of the following: baking, crafting or watching a movie.  I call them 'calm activities'.  Calm activities do not involve my son stampeding like a wild animal through the house yelling "COME GET ME MUMMA!' or 'YOU'RE IT!'

I gave him 'the look'.  All Mother's have 'the look'.  Eyebrow raised, frowned mouth.

It's very attractive.

"How about I SPY?  That's a calm game right?" You see?  Although he's of the tender age of 3.5 he knows better.  

"Sure is bud."

"I spy with my little eye something ... that is.... white."

I look around.

I'm about to guess.

"I'll give you a hint!"

            .5 second pause

                                       "It's the kleenex!"

"Adrian, I'm supposed to guess what it is first.  You're not supposed to give hints."

"You give hints."  Well, yes I do...because he's three. And that's what it is.  A hint.  I don't outright give him the answer.

Oh, I have so much to teach him.

My turn.  "I spy with my little eye something that is brown."

Adrian, peering all around the room. "I don't see anything that's brown."

Really???  Our entire house is brown.  Brown wood floors, brown coffee table, brown kitchen table, brown hutch, brown leather couches.  In fact I happened to be wearing brown pants.


"Oh, I know.  The couch."

And, whaddya know, he was right.

Not bad.  Maybe I don't have to teach him so much after all.

Me, "I spy with my little eye something that is pink."

Adrian, "I don't see anything that is pink (I'm wearing a pink shirt) anyway, it's my turn."


And so he was right.  Again.

He leans down and picks up his Spider-Man mask that was laying at his feet.

He holds it an inch from my face all scrunched up in his little fist.

"I spy with my little eye something that is black.  And white."

He's now dangling the mask.

It's pretty much touching my nose.

I peer around the mask and look at his face.

It's full of anticipation awaiting my guess.  Big blue eyes on me, eyebrows raised to the sky...waiting...

I have no idea what it could be!

He bursts out his last clue, his voice full of sweet enthusiasm....

"And red!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Five years ago when I was planning my wedding, my husband and I came to an agreement that there would be no flower girls or ring bearers.  In fact...

 *collective gasp!*

...we really did not want to have children at our wedding at all.

I had been to too many weddings where I would get all caught up in the emotional, beautiful vows, kleenex ready for the tears when a fussing/screaming/loud child would ultimately spoil the magic moment.

Our wedding was somewhat of a destination wedding in that 99% of the people attending were from out of town.  I had reserved cottages for our friends (yes, a few did have children at that time) but we made it clear without boldly stating "no kids allowed" that it was an adult's only celebration.

Would I change the fact that we had zero (and I mean ZERO) children at our wedding now that I am a Mother of two?  Absolutely not.  And not to brag or anything...but our wedding was FUN.  And I believe it would have been a completely different experience (and possibly not as much of a fabulous time - for the parents that is) if children were present.

There are places and events that when children are involved make life more enjoyable.  Like Children's Festivals, Water Parks, Farms, the Zoo, Amusement Parks...

Weddings, restaurants, or anywhere that would ask a child to sit for more than 15 minutes...not so much.

Which brings me to the topic of conversation today.

I made a point of watching (rather more of an attempt) the Dr Phil show on Monday evening.  I am not a television watcher and besides Ellen I am not really a fan of talk shows either, however, "Bitchy" from the blog The Bitchy Waiter was tweeting and fb'ing left right and centre that he was going to be on the Dr Phil show.  And since I love his blog in it's entirety (even and especially when he bitches about's hilarious and let's face it...all true) my curiosity was peaked.  The show was entitled "Brat Ban".  Not a fan of the use of the word 'brat' however I'm not going to argue about the semantics of a silly talk show's subject title.

The gist of the show (of the 20 minutes that I actually got to watch before my boys decided they wanted my utmost attention by clobbering each other) was about individuals (mainly Mother's) being against children being banned from restaurants and planes.  In fact one Mother was angrily righteous about her child being able to 'eat steak' if they so wanted (WHO ORDERS STEAK FOR THEIR CHILD I ASK?)  There were opposing sides of the Mother's on the show that was in agreeance that children are best being left at home was Mom Blogger Jennifer Brandt.

I won't even go there about children being banned from planes.  That's ludicrous.

Because along with a crying child no one wants to sit beside....

- a person who's drooling, their sleepy lolling head hitting your shoulder time and time again

-  the person that won't stop talking to you even though you have your ipod on and your nose buried in a book

- the person who is hacking up both their lungs, snot and mucous flung far and wide (delicious)

- or the person who has body odour so terrible that you can taste it.

No.  In fact I'd rather deal with a crying child than any of the above.

Onto the restriction of children from restaurants...I don't believe there should be an all out disallowance ... that is impractical.  But I do understand from a diner, server and restauranteurs point of view that children (I'm specifically talking about babies through to pre-schoolers) can cause an unpleasant disturbance amongst people that want to enjoy their dinner in peace and quiet and without being flung in the back of the head with a chicken finger.  Children tend to be loud and they tend to be messy.  That is a fact.  Before I had children I was a waitress for about 10 years.  I served in family friendly establishments to fine dining restaurants.  I remember the cheerio clean ups and the occasional wild child.

However, in the year or so that I worked at the fine dining bistro I don't recall anyone bringing their baby/toddler or pre-schooler with them.

Why would one want to eat at a quaint, romantically ambient restaurant with their child(ren)?

Dining at a family style restaurant is stressful as it is due the sheer fact that children under the age of 5 or 6 most definitely have ants in their pants, why would you want to up the stress levels by lugging your child into a restaurant that clearly does not stock crayons or serve chicken fingers? (my kids will eat anything but when we do the very, very rare out for dinner excursion they love chicken fingers and fries - never would I pay for an adult's meal for my children it's a waste of food and money)

Personally, I would be entirely annoyed if my husband and I made plans to go out for a very rare nice dinner (paying a babysitter at that) and had to endure a meal with a fussy, crying child within the same room.  I came to get away from children!

However, I do believe that most parents use their common sense when it comes to having dinner out as a family.

It's the rare parent that does not and has caused this ridiculous discussion in the first place.  And I don't believe there is a complete solution for it all.  I certainly don't think that 'banning' kids entirely is the answer.

I can just continue to hope that parents use their good sense.

And ask that, please, before you decide to trudge all your kiddos out for dinner, pick an establishment that is suitable for everyone...or just do yourselves and your kids a favour.

Get a babysitter and enjoy a romantic dinner out with your spouse.

It's much more enjoyable for all.

Provided other parents share the same logic you do, that is.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

That Day

Everyone has their story of  We all, all of us, remember exactly where we were, what the weather was like, what we saw.

I can recall that day in my mind.

With a vividness like bright snapshots against a black sky.

Except the sky was bright blue.


The sun shone like no other.

And yet.

In mere seconds as I glanced at my muted television of what I thought was a preview for Will Smith's next blockbuster...

The sun that shone so beautifully went away for so many.

Too, too many.

I called my husband at work and after a brief conversation about the shock of all that was happening, we sat on each end of the phone hearing each other breathe, watching the unspeakable happen over and over on the television.


I went to work as a receptionist at a hair salon.

And though many cancelled, a few still came in to get their hair done.  An escape for some I suppose.  Voices were mere whispers.  Even the usual obnoxious racquet of the blow dryers seemed subdued.

My insides were shaken. My mind numb.

It just could not wrap around the events of evil transpiring in a city I visited and fell in love with 7 years ago.

Atrocities like that.  They only happen in movies.

Just like I tell my boys...monsters aren't real.  They don't actually exist.


That's a lie.

I haven't turned the tv on in a week.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  It's just been turned to the boys Treehouse channel.

Innocent.  Bright.  Cheery.

I can't bear the thought of hearing the stories, seeing the footage.  In ten years I have yet to watch it unfold before me again.

I know that there will come a day when I will have to explain to my boys about that day.

But until then I'll continue to watch Scooby Doo with them...where the monsters aren't real and mysteries are always solved in 30 minutes.

Holding them close feeling grateful yet full of sorrow as my heart mourns all that we lost and those that lost.

Too, too much.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feeling Peevish

We all have pet peeves. And today I'm feeling a teeny peevish.  My husband has been away on business for 5 days and there's still 5 more to go.  My children have been pretty great considering but today we're all out of sorts.  They miss their Daddy and I miss my Husband.  It's normal.  And it's also normal to let the little things get to you when your usual routine is today I thought I'd just go with it and get it all out people.  Here are my top 10 pet peeves as of this moment (and then some)...

1.  Blogger was my number one pet peeve for a long time due to many complaints from my regular readers that they couldn't leave comments (and we ALL love to get comments!).   Then a lovely blogger named Kim from The Child gave me some great advice and what do you know - now they can!  And now you can too.  Go on of all days...I need to feel the love.

2.  Smokers loitering out front of stores within the designated amount of feet that the sign indicates - especially with my babies.  Puff away to your tainted heart and lungs content ... just don't do it where me and my babies are and taint ours.  Thanks so much!

3.  People that reverse into parking spots.  Why do they feel it necessary? My poor husband was on the receiving end of a vicious rant while we waited for hours minutes behind a lady that had the need to back into this one particular parking spot even though there clearly were a million others available.  Of-course John being the irritating devil's advocate said "Well, maybe they're uncomfortable backing out of parking spot and into traffic".  I say - then clearly you shouldn't be driving.

4.  People that hold the bar of the treadmill while 'exercising'. Unless you are checking your heart rate holding onto that bar for dear life completely defeats the purpose of working out.  Let it GO.  Sweat a little.  Raise that heart beat!  It actually feels good.  YOUR. AT. A. GYM.

5.  And speaking of irritants at the gym and treadmills.  I get inexplicably annoyed at the Lululemon clad girls in ponytails prancing on the treadmill. It could have something to do with the fact that as I watch their pony's bounce perkily back and forth in front of me my boobs bounce lower and lower to the ground. Jealousy isn't a good look for me I realize. I'm working on it.

6.  While we're still hanging out at the gym and I'm trying not to twitch with all the annoyances occurring around me (it's a good thing I work out to feel good) I'm on the treadmill (NOT holding the bar - running...sweating, boobs falling bouncing) watching The Nate Berkus Show, the teleprompter keeps misspelling everything...not to mention the person typing doesn't understand the grammar difference between serial and cereal.  What are the qualifications exactly for a job of this kind?

7.  Grocery cashiers that pack my bags randomly, cluelessly and carelessly.  Do they not have proper training for them?!  Even still, isn't it common sense that meat should always be packed separately and cans and bread should never, ever share the same space...who doesn't know this??  I came home the other day from shopping with 2 of my canned goods dented!  I KNOW for a fact these were perfectly fine when I bought them because I'm OCD very careful about ensuring that my family and friends I cook for aren't eating lasagna with a side of botulism.

8.  Litter bugs.  I can't even pitch an apple core out of my truck window without feeling like a bad, bad person.  Therefore it absolutely boggles my mind that people are still completely ignorant in this day and age to mindlessly throw garbage on the streets or out their car window!  ARGH.

9.  Parking spots reserved for New Mothers and Child, Mother's to be and Mom and Tots.  They are all different.  Can't some specs be in order for these signs!!!???  I get confused, anxious and addled when I read them. And then I feel guilty when I'm with my boys and park in one of those spots only to see after I'm parked that it's reserved for "New Mom's."  How new is new anyway???  What's the age limit to qualify or disqualify for being 'new'???  Newborns obviously are 'new' (duh) but my boys are pretty young still.  I feel like I'm still kinda new at the whole Mom job most days.  Can anyone out there shed some light for me?

10.  T.V. cooking personalities that clearly have no accent while chatting away to the cameras but as soon as parmesano-reggiano is introduced they have a full fledged exaggerated Italian accent.  Not that I'm mentioning any names here...Giada de Laurentiis.

11.  Bad drivers, obsessive bb and iphone users, fb updates that no one understands but them or that are downright depressing and last but not least...I'm exponentially peeved when I'm craving some serious chocolate.

And I have none.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Good Morning!

This morning my husband and I awoke.  This generally happens every morning.

Thank God.

Except we weren't awoken by a child crying or a child jumping on our bed.

No Adrian sprawled out horizontal between us.

In fact, strangely, our door was closed.


My husband rolls over and asked me what time it was.



I get out of bed and open the door.  Adrian's room is across from ours.  His door was wide open.  I tiptoe quietly toward it expecting to see him sleeping peacefully, haphazardly covered in his blankets, cheeks pink, surrounded by his stuffed animals.

The bed was empty.


And then I hear something.

Little voices.  Little boy giggles in fact.

Coming from somewhere....

I open the door to Finley's room and find them in his crib.

Big smiles!  Bright eyes!

Then bouncing like maniacs when they saw me.

What a wonderful way to start the day.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Family Man

Mere weeks after my second son was born I went to a jewelry party at my neighbours home.  I bought this necklace.

It's in terrible light but it's a family of got to me.
Especially just after having my second (and let's say last) child.

Adrian was 22 months at the time and had quite the fascination with this necklace.  He would grab a hold of it with his pudgy little fingers.  Look at it closely, inspecting with his huge inquisitive blue eyes.  I told him it was a family...representing our family.

Sitting in front of me, face to face, he then put his little arms around me and declared "I love my family."

Of-course my heart became a pile of goo.

And I probably began to weep.

Hormones post birth...who needs real roller coasters when your on a constant emotional one?

Forward to present time:  Whenever he sees an animal by itself or an insect, be it a teeny ant, a snail, a ladybug or the other day a praying mantis just outside our back door, he is always so concerned about where their Mommy or Daddy or family is.

It is incredibly endearing.

Today I was playing with my boys in the back yard. While I was pushing Finley in the swing I heard a squeaking sound.

Like a dog toy.

Except when I looked over at our dog she didn't have a toy in her mouth.

But she was looking down at something, ears alert, head cocked, her curiosity peaked.

Alarm bells started going off and I ran over to her leaving Fin stranded on his baby swing.

There on the grass right in front of my dog was a baby bunny.  I noticed all around it was a lot of dried clumps of grass and wisps of grey fur.

My dog is as docile and sweet as they come.  She's so docile, in fact, that she doesn't chase rabbits, she watches them destroying our grass  hopping around in our yard.  Laying on our back deck outside.

The bunny was alive. No wounds.  Presumably, just absolutely terrified.

Nonetheless I grabbed Riley's collar and brought her inside.  I was a little panicked.  John usually deals with these sorts of 'situation'...which is why I opened the door to the basement where he was working and squealed "Honey - we need you now!"  Unfortunately he was on a business call.  But after my quick synopsis yelled down to him he told me to basically put the bunny back in it's nest.


I grabbed a towel although I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.  Adrian was by my side the entire time.  Excited, so excited.  There is something incredibly precious about the love and curiosity between children and animals.

We head outside where sweet Fin is still sitting in the swing that's, now, barely swinging.

Content as can be.

I locate the bunny's nest which is mere inches from this adorable yet frightened baby cottontail.

And yet.  Was I really supposed to touch it, pick it up?? It was so tiny, so delicate and very....rodent like.

It took me a couple tries (at the same time trying to disuade Adrian from poking, proding and wanting to adopt the other bunnies) but there it went...sliding so perfectly and easily right in back in it's nest just like it was never torn away so abruptly by my darn old dog.

Adrian, still so wondrous about the situation, looks up at me with his big blue eyes and asks, "Are they family Mumma?"

My little guy.  He's a family man, he is.

I hope to heaven that never does change.

I know.  He's not entirely dressed (you can't tell but he I assure you he was wearing underwear.)
It was hot.  And, I've come to
accept it.  He's simply not a fan of clothing.

Friday, September 2, 2011

FOODIE FRIDAY - Mumma's Split Pea Soup

Now that the fall weather is creeping upon us (slllloowwwllly - oh so slowly) I'm likely going to be doing a lot more "comfort food" recipes for my Foodie Friday editions.

Mostly because I do comfort food best.  Meatloaf, Shepherd's Pie, Spaghetti and Meatballs, get the picture.

For me, the most soul filling, heart warming food of all is not just the food in itself it's who made that food.

It's that extra pinch of love that's added to make all the difference.

As a child and even a teenager I remember eating off of my Mom's plate.  It could have been simply toast with butter and I would have the exact same toast with butter on my own plate.  But her toast with butter?

Oh so good.  So full of flavour.  So much more delicious than my own.

My Mum jokes all the time that she doesn't cook.  Well, she really doesn't but she can.  

She can whip up a soup like no one's business and she's never made a bad meal.  Ever.

When I think of my Mum's cooking, I immediately think of her delicious split pea soup.

I asked my Mum to share her infamous recipe and she obliged with a little synapsis of her own.

Thank you Mumma!


January and her brother have always loved my home made Split Pea Soup so she requested that I post it on her blog.  There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day than a bowl of hot homemade soup.  You can substitute a ham bone if you can’t find ham hocks at your butcher or grocery store.

·       2 tbsp butter
·       1 medium yellow onion, diced
·       1 large carrot, diced
·       1 stalk celery, diced
·       1 leek, white part only, washed and diced
·       2 cloves garlic, minced
·       1 x 1 ½ lb. ham hock (preferably smoked)
·       2 bay leaves
·       Pinch dried chile flakes
·       1 ½ cups green split peas
·       10 cups chicken stock
·       Salt and black pepper
·       Additional stock or water, if needed to thin the soup

1.      Heat the butter in a large soup pot on medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek and garlic and cook until soft (about 5 to 7 minutes).  Add the ham hock, bay leaves, thyme, chile flakes and split peas and cook 2 minutes longer.  Increase heat to high.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer soup for 2 hours or until split peas are soft, partially covered, stirring occasionally.
2.     Remove the ham hock and take meat off bone and reserve.  Discard the bay leaves.
3.     If the soup is too thick add some more water or stock to loosen.  Add the trimmed meat, salt and pepper to taste.