Saturday, 20 October 2012

About a boy

I was trolling blogs late one night recently and came across a post on Cup of Jo about having a baby boy, that totally resonated with me.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I told everyone I just wanted a healthy baby, but secretly I craaaaaavvvvvved a girl. The importance of having a girl had been instilled in me by my Grandmother who would say "a daughter is your daughter for the rest of your life, a son is a son 'till he meets a wife". Who wants to slave over a kid for years only to have them ditch you every Christmas once they're married? Not this cat!

So I got my girl. Once we got past the colic and sleep issues, she was sweet as pie.

So when I got pregnant again, I was pretty agnostic about the gender of the baby. After all, I had my girl so was convinced I wouldn't be abandoned in old age.

And then I had a boy and everything changed. This guy has me wrapped around his chubby little finger. My heart swelllls every time I see him.

Girls are great, but I simply under estimated the bond I'd have with my boy.

What suprised you about motherhood?


I have been away from the blog for a while; not by choice. Life has been so busy that I've hardly had time to scratch my nose. I took my diamond engagement ring off before my trip to Eastern Europe and finally found a moment this week to retreive it from the drawer and put it back on. Work is good, and life is good, but I'm struggling to make them work together!

As has become an annual tradition we spent Thanksgiving at my Uncle's cottage near Perry sound. We cooked, we chatted over glasses of wine and snuggled under big warm blankets with adult contemporary playing in the background. We went for long boat rides along the gorgeous Group of Seven-esqe shore.

But my favourite moment of all was stuffing the turkey with my daughter. It was traditionally done my Grandma, but when she passed away the responsiblity fell to me, and it is one I cherish. As my daughter knelt on the chair next to me getting dressing everywhere except in the bird, I could feel my Grandmother smiling, watching her 3 year old namesake learning her secret recipe. For a few moments time stood still and I forgot about the emails piling up on my blackberry and the exhaustion from nights on end of fitful sleep (courtesy of my son who has decided that night wakings are fun all over again).

What are your favourite traditions?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Have you heard of the website 20X200? They are an online store that sells great inexpensive art...what's not to love?

Today I bought this watercolour reproduction of a Toronto map (the same artist has also done London, NY, Amsterdam, Berlin and other cities)...I love it because I can pinpoint where our house and neighborhood are, the ravine I run in, the inner harbour where my husband and I used to sail.....but at the same time it's a watercolour, so it has gentle hues and a fluid feel.

I think it will look great in a simple white Ikea Ribba frame in our upstairs hall.

How much bacon, you ask? The print was $50 for an 11X14 archival pigment print ($85 including shipping). 

Monday, 1 October 2012


This weekend we rented a house with some friends near Midland, on Georgian Bay.

I had never been here before, and here is what 'had me at hello':
- It is shockingly close to Toronto; only about 30 minutes past Barrie
- The beach is not only gorgeous and ocean-like, but it is perfect for kids...a deep length of beach, a very mild incline, and tons of fun 'tide-pool-like-puddles' for kids to play in.
- You feel like you're away, but real grocery shopping and a decent latte is a just a short jaunt by car in Midland.

...driving 3 hours up to Muskoka is looking less glamourous.

Our weekend was fabulous:
- Communal meals
- 7 kids in a bath together
- Bike trips on country roads past idyllic animals at pasture
- Blue sky at the beach
- True small town get free ice cream at the local corner store!

Travelling like I'm 21 all over again

Last week I was in Prague for work. It's a wonderful city, but work left me little time to see much more than my hotel. However, I did tack one extra night onto my trip to visit Krakow, Poland.

I am a frugal traveller through and through, and so I saved on accomodation by taking an overnight train and then spending a night at a hostel. ...many of my friends were a bit dumbfounded by this, with comments like "um, I think you can probably afford a hotel" and "do you need me to lend you a bit of cash?"....all humour aside, I am good at sleeping just about anywhere, and if I'm traveling on my own I don't get a lot of satisfaction from an expensive hotel...I'd rather put the money towards a special meal or some art work.

Krakow is a city full of history. It has the largest main square in all of Europe, a beautiful castle, and is situated on a lovely winding river. The old cobblestone streets are charming, and the city's centre is circumferenced in a beautiful green belt with a well-used walking path dotted with chestnut trees and benches where the locals relax and chat. Much of the city, however, was decimated by the various wars, and is now a mix of terribly depressing communist era architecture and rubble. 

I spent most of my time on my own...apparently the 20-something backpacker set can smell marriage, children, and general un-coolness on me a mile away. Wheelie suitcases don't move as smoothly on cobblestone and I packed inappropriately so was forced to wear my work blazer out at night to keep warm... I felt so old and stodgy!...but nonetheless it was luxurious to travel without goldfish crackers and soothers in my purse!

Nanny art

Part of what eased my transition back to work was our amazing nanny. In addition to being super warm and loving with the kids, she is also creative and thrifty (two of my favourite characteristics!!).

I put egg cartons in the recycling...she pulls them out and makes catapilars with the kids.

I put massive cardboard boxes in the recycling...she pulls them out and makes life size art of the kids!

Brilliant (and a bit creepy to look at...they EYE me even when they are asleep in bed!)

Corralling crayons

Last year I purchased a few of these plastic containers from Lindsay's shop. They have proved to be the perfect little containers for crayons, as inevitably those cardboard boxes break. The OCD side of me likes the way these ones stack, and how pretty the coloured crayons look through the clear plastic (until my daughtered covered them with Dora stickers!).

I take these containers with us when we travel, but it is also a nice way of giving each kid their own little set of crayons if you have multiple kids coming over (read: battle royale averted!).