Thursday, December 24, 2009

She comes home today!

As stress-free, productive and well, productive!!! these past 5 days have been, I am very happy to report that our little munchkin is coming home today. I've been specifically avoiding all mention of weather forecasts and reports all week, as I don't know if I could handle her getting snowed in over Christmas.  Needless to say - my avoidance theory has worked, and if all goes well, they will be on the road shortly after lunch (strategically-timed drives during nap time is the only way to drive!).

Happy Ho Ho to you and yours. We will be hosting our annual Christmas Eve buffet of gluttony tonight.  I am attempting something that is supposedly *simple* with phillo pastry and brie. I may bake cookies, but I'm no pastry chef.

Luckily, our bar is stocked well enough that I anticipate no one will really notice, much less taste the food. Except me of course... at least I was smart enough to pick myself up a bottle of sparkling grape juice... le sigh.

Holidays without alcohol? I'm pretty sure the Hubs is going to pay for this at some point...


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Remember those days?

Last night I had dinner, out at a non-kid-friendly restaurant, with the Hubs. Ate $30 entrees. Enjoyed kid-free, tv-free, dinner conversation.

Remember those days? When you could luxuriate over dinner, taking hours to meander your way through appetizers, entrees and coffee/dessert?

We really talked, for the first time in a long time. Mostly gossiping about friends, chatting about work, about the future, about how we planned to spend our holidays. And it's not that Maddie didn't come up - don't get me wrong. We miss her, talked about missing her, how we were looking forward to seeing her on Christmas Eve.

But that was it. To sound like a complete horrible mother... she didn't monopolize the conversation. Instead we just chatted and laughed and poked fun and shared jokes and commiserated about work and, and, and...

It was pretty awesome.


Thursday, December 17, 2009


"Are you in a good mood? I will eat anything you want me to eat if you stay in a good mood!" Said by the Hubs, in response to my email if he was okay w/ leftover-lasagne for dinner.

Pregnancy mood swings are one thing. When you're already known as the bitch in the family, they're something else for sure. I'm sure glad I don't have to live with me...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So this is what the "twos" are like?

We've all had those weeks, non? Where all you can think of is just how quickly it will be over with? Thankfully that week is behind me now - Hubs away, had a (small) car accident, Maddie got sick, I got sick + lots of fires at work that needed to be put out.

Thank God my mom was in town - if only because she let me vent to her and hummed around the house doing my laundry and cooking meals. In fact, it was almost like I had an ol' fashioned housekeeper for a week. Yeah, that was definitely the highlight.

In other, more interesting news... Maddie has started to give me timeouts. That's right. You heard me.

I've figured out, it's usually a delayed reaction to getting one herself, like she's trying to process it or something.  And for the record, I don't give time outs freely, but you slap me across the face, you're sitting on the 'effing stairs Missy.  Then about a 1/2 hour later she'll come up to me out of the blue, looking cross and shaking her finger at me "Time out Mommy. Go to your room!" 

[Sidebar - I'm not sure where this "go to your room" thing comes from, as I don't send her to her room. Simply because she just plays up there, and I'm like, dude that's not a punishment. Sit on the stairs and look sad. Thanks.]

Regardless, it's difficult not to laugh and try to act serious when I ask why I'm in trouble.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Letting the cat out of the bag

So the bossman officially knows, which means it's finally safe for posting! Yup, we are expecting another little sprog to our family at the end of June. Woot!

That's probably partly why I've been so quiet as of late. Because you know those early weeks - when everything is shitty and nausous and you're exhausted and all you want to do is complain? Well trust me, it's hard to think of other things to write about when that's the case.

I've always found it so ironic that some of the hardest months of a woman's pregnancy are during that time when she may not want to actually be "out", if you will. Don't get me wrong - if you're one of those subscribers to the "when I know everyone will know" way of announcing, then coolio for you. But if you're not - then you've essentially sentenced yourself to suffer in silence, trying to act normal when really all you want to do with throw up all over someone colleague's desk.

So yes - that's the whinge - it's been a rough couple of months. But I think I'm rounding the corner. Energy levels definitely seem on the uptick, and the nausea is being held off with some timely B6 supps (instead of downing Diclectin like they were tic-tacs, which has been my strategy from wk 6 to now-ish).

And hey! Sidebar! Did you know that Diclectin is essentially B6 with a little antihistamine thrown in? Because I just found this tidbit out yesterday and was kind of bummed that essentially I could've spent $5 on vitamins vs $75 and saved myself a few nosebleeds. (b/c dry winter-heated-air + antihistamine = nosebleeds -- hurrah!)

Other things that are different this time round (besides me being almost 3 years older and clearly worse for wear on the whole, how your body handles pregnancy thing). What's been different:
  • I could eat more cheese and butter and bread and other grease-saturated, carb-infused food than all of Paris. 
  • Fruit and green vegetables? Can mostly suck it. Last time I prided myself on eating fruit salads for breakfast and snacking on frozen raspberries at night. I literally could not get enough of various types of fruit. This time? I can force myself to eat *some* fruits (i.e. really having to force down those usually yummy and well-loved pomegranates) - and vegetables? Unless you're a potato, we don't have much to talk about.
  • Weight gain - hilariously I haven't actually GAINED a lot of physical pounds. Like, a total of 3 pounds I believe. (With Maddie I started gaining weight almost immediately). But WOW have I pouched out. Like full-on 5 month preggo looking by 6pm. Which brings me to the...
What has been the same (or similar) to last time:
  • Gas. Not stinky, embarrasing styles. Just, you know... buildup. In the form of above said pouchy tummy. Looking like I swallowed a pumpkin or small watermelon by about dinner time. I had that last time too - but I guess since I was tinier then, the actually "pooch-y-ness" of it all was also smaller. From what I remember - this never went away... hello Gas-x.
  • Nausea - again, it's just worse this time. Or was. I do think I'm almost over it (don't you DARE come back and jinx me because I said that out loud).
  • Exhaustion - how can you tell if this is worse or the same this time? I don't think you can. Last time I had the luxury of resting when I needed to. Nowadays I have to resist the urge to drug Maddie with Tylenol at nap time in hopes of extending it to a solid 3+ hours. Resist the urge, I said. I don't actually do this. Just thought about doing it, once or a hundred times...
  • Sleep (lack of it) - already happening. Damn you freaky realistic nightmare-y vivid dreams + ridiculously small bladder. My total sleep has probably suffered by about 2 hours a night. I know this happened last time, I just can't remember if it started so early?
So yeah - things are different, things are the same. I think week 9 was the pinnacle of shitty-ness, and we've reached that peak and heading downward into the realm of normality again. Goals for second trimester include: exercising regularly again (with all that added energy!), eating as many vegetables as I can possibly stomach, starting to potty train Miss M.

Say it with me: hahahhahahhahahahahha!

Whatever. I like goals...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's the miracle of sleep

Sleep begets sleep.

You read that line on every parenting blog, website, and book you come across in the early days of a newborn. How in fact, the more sleep and rested the child is, the easier they will be to get to sleep and sleep for a longer period of time.

As a true type-A rule-follower, I took this theory to heart.  Spending hours of my life trying to get Maddie to sleep the minute she looked the least bit sleepy.  Trying to predict schedules, cycles, any kind of pattern.

If you've read this blog over any period of time, you'll know that I was a failure (CAPITAL F!) at getting any kind of solid sleep for the first 1.3 years of Maddie's life. Sometimes she'd sleep thru the night. Usually when my mom would be visiting (I called her my sleep charm during the 6-12 month stage).

And then all of a sudden, she started to actually sleep through the night, consistently (oh, the allusive c-word). It was bliss. It IS bliss. I love not waking up several times throughout the night. And when molars or a fever or a random coughing cold interrupt that status quo, I go a teeny bit mental.

But you know what is one step beyond that bliss? (What is one step beyond bliss? Rapture? Euphoria? Yeah, I like euphoria)...

That one step - is called learning the "Magic Window".

What is the Magic Window you ask? Well, I'm sure any seasoned mother will roll her eyes at this post, as really, in many eyes' what I've figured out (and lovingly named) is no less obvious to them than 2+2=4. But for me? It's like finding shangrila.

The Magic Window is that special period of time in the evening in which we start and end the bedtime routine. For us - it's no later a start than 7:10pm and no later an end than 7:45pm.

Bedtime routine consists of bath (preceeded by fight to get clothes off, chasing naked baby down hallway, pleading for her to get in the bath, avoiding splish-splashy-wetness of tub-play and then pleading for her to actually get out of the bath); pj's; books; bottle (yes, judgy-mc-judgers - she still gets a bottle - I've found my shangrila, you think I'm messing with it now?) + bed.

This entire routine used to take much closer to an hour or more. My talented Hubs has whittled that down to a solid 30-minute window. Just one of his many talents...

And what happens if we get her to bed between 7:30-7:45pm? She sleeps for 12 hours.


In fact - we're having to wake her up at 7:30am most days, so she gets to daycare on time... looking back at a year (or 6 months) from now ... that's more than a little ironic.

Although, as always when I post any kind of comment about enjoying the good sleep, it only means she'll revert her ways and start awakening at 6am on the dot again...


Monday, November 30, 2009

Ho Ho Ho!

Maddie loved Santa almost as much as she did last year. We tried to pump her up as much as possible, trying to convince her that she would LOVE Santa, that he was a friendly guy, and that he brought her presents, so what's to be afraid of?

Clearly she didn't buy what we were selling...

In case you're wondering, yes that's my hand pinning her to Santa's lap. Yes, that's what it took to get the picture on the 3rd try.

I'm nothing, if not relentless in my torture...


Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm gonna try positivity

So the stove repair guy has called. He promises to be here before lunch time. Which is noon, right? Or in there-and-abouts?

I feel it this time. It's going to work. He will fix my stove. Let's say it again, shall we?

He. Will. Fix. My. Stove.

Yes, that's better. I feel much more zen now. And happy. In anticipation of a positive outcome. Because if you put the happy thoughts out there all those karma-zealots say you'll get it back, right? HAPPY. THOUGHTS. (was that too aggro?)

If we indeed do have a working stove I am so overwhelmed with ideas for dinner that I'm not sure I can stick to just one. A roast perhaps? Maybe my famously-loved lemon chicken? What about a cake for dessert?

The weekend promises to be good. One birthday surprise thingy on Sat night and the rest of the weekend for pure family relaxation.

Which actually means I already have a list of all the errands I'm going to be dragging the Hubs and Miss M along to all Saturday and Sunday.

Santa pictures are at the top of the list. As we need those for the Christmas cards. And perhaps some joyful Christmas prezzie shopping.

Happy. Thoughts.


PS - have you seen this? We did one for Maddie last year, but I don't think she got it. Since she's starting to "get" the idea of Santa (although last night she told me "Maddie no like Ho Ho") I'm hoping this helps get her a bit more excited.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Aaaaand the stove is STILL not fixed.

I don't know why I feel compelled to keep updating this blog with my stove drama. Maybe as an outlet? Or to document the nightmare that has become mine in trying to do something as simple as get a RECALLED stove FIXED properly?

Maybe I want to ensure Maddie has enough ammunition in 20 years time against me. "Remember that month when you fed me nothing but microwaved meals and take out and sometimes bbq'd pieces of meat? I didn't get into Princeton because of you!!!"

The repair man came today. With all the parts and more that were needed to fix the stove. He tinkered around for about 15 minutes and then came up to my office dining room table where I was working and said, "I have bad news."

My response?

"I don't like you already." Pause. "I mean, that - I don't like the sound of THAT, already."

Apparently they shipped the wrong part. He walked me through everything talking about triptochometres (??! like I'm even supposed to pretend to know what  the hell that is), sealants, breaker boards, kryptonite and flux capacitors.

I'm totally kidding. About the triptochometres...

So he's ordering a part. Which magically he expects he could get tomorrow. So apparently waiting 1.5 weeks for the other part was SILLY because the part was WRONG anyway.

Of course not. Silly lady with her silly logic.

At least I found out that it's all being 100% covered under warranty. Which is kind of awesome in a now-we-can-have-Christmas kind of way.

Except now that I've posted that, I'm sure Frigidaire will change their minds and charge me the full $650 + labour ($650!!! For a CLOCK. That's an expensive effing clock, no?).

Right so... Microwaved lasagne anyone? I may have leftovers...


Hi Guilt!

Daycare dropoff. I already feel guilty every time I have to do it. Even though I love my job and do enjoy working - I know that both me and Maddie would much rather spend the days together than apart.

The kick and scream days while getting manhandled into her coat + shoes are bad enough, but today topped that.

There was no kicking. There was no screaming. She just quietly got into her duds without complaint. On the drive over she was quiet. Not unusually quiet - she's not much of a chatterbox in the car anyways (yes I realize how lucky I am).

But when I was unbuckling her out of her carseat. That's when she got me. Gripping my arm like a freakishly strong little monkey, she looked up to me with big sad eyes and said, "Maddie no daycare. Maddie with Mommy today."

And that my peeps? Is where Guilt tapped me on the shoulder and said, Hi!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Alarm clock

Maddie, without fail (for the most part) wakes up these days between 6:58am and 7:03am. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining... it's FAR better than the recent 6am offensive strategy she had been launching on us last month.

But doesn't anyone find this incredibly strange? That her little internal alarm clock is that precise? I do. Am both mystified and intrigued by it.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Bullets b/c I don't have the energy to create flowing paragraphs

  • Spent the weekend in Kingston. Specifically to see Stone Temple Pilots, that for some unknown reason, put K-town on their list of concert tours. I guess Scott needs the money? It was a nostalgic walk down memory lane for me - I was one big STP lover at one point. And they still put on a  good show. I felt young and old all at the same time. Mostly old.
  • Maddie joined me on my road trip - and got to spend a bunch of time with Grama V as well as visiting Grandma and Grandpa Burke. She played shy with the latter and acted like a whiny spoiled brat with the former. Quel surprise.
  • Don't you love how you come home to a house as messy, or messier, than you left it? When the Hubs has had all weekend sans toddler to um, apparently sit on his ass and watch football?  
  • Our stove is still not fixed. But apparently the part is "in". But they aren't calling me back for a service appointment because.... Why? Was the cursing and crying and sobbing and begging a little off-putting?
  • Other than that, I slept most of the weekend away. At least, as much as I possibly could.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

3rd person

Maddie has this endearing habit of speaking in the 3rd person. As in, "Maddie no like 'nanas." Or, "Yes, Maddie have more 'nanas please. Maddie more."

Sometimes it's completely out of context - like, "Maddie no kitty. Beep beep kitty." <-- that just sounds like a whole lot of gibberish, eh? Well, it would to me too, if I didn't know we had a 50 lb cat that lies at the top of the stairs, stretched out and constantly in.the.way. Getting a gentle "beep beep" is far nicer than my method of getting him out of the way---trust.  BUT my point is more that the "Maddie" at the start of that sentence is really unnecessary.

And yet, that's how most of her sentences now start out. And while writing it out here kinda makes it sound like we're raising a little cave-dweller, if you hear it in person, it really is adorable. With a capital ADORE.

I'm sure everything will be MY/MINE/ME/I very soon and I will miss this little egocentricity.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And here's more stove drama...

So I haven't written in a while. Perhaps that's because my brain is turning to mush from eating too much microwaved food.

That's right. My stove is still not fixed.  It's a long story.  And I'm feeling particularly venomous about it now. So what better thing to do than complain to you guys, right?

It all started here. When one of the burners magically decided one evening, to not turn off until we actually clued in and unplugged the stove. After time spent online researching and 1-800 calling, we finally determine that our loverly stove has actually been recalled due to dangerous mind-of-their-own-elements just randomly turning on, never to be turned off again.  Lame, but yeah, we all know they don't make 'em like they used to.  So we get an appointment to get the damn thing fixed - 2 weeks later.

Whatever - we still have the oven, right?

For about 2.5 days. Then that stops working.

Huh. That's weird. Better call the recall dept at Frigidaire to report this little occurence as well. Make sure they bring all the parts they need to fix it. You know - trying to be PROACTIVE in the whole, full disclosure of all information affecting said broken-ass stove. We're told, no worries - the repair dude would assess the situation.

Fast-forward to our long-awaited repair appointment on the Monday. Aaaaannnnnd, repair dude is a no show. After numerous calls to the recall line, it's determined that in fact, the repair guy was "sick" that day and couldn't show. Or call. Or let anyone know that he was a no show.

Repair rescheduled for Wednesday. This time the guy shows up.  I show him the stove, explain the issues, and he twiddles away.  About 20 minutes later he's done - well, the cooktop repair anyway. The oven is "not under recall" - it's a regular shitty-quality malfunction and in no way related to the burner issue.  His response to my strong disbelief at this INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE?  A shrug and, "yup, guess it's just bad luck." Although he did know what was wrong with it (needed a new timer), he couldn't fix it.

Back to the 1-800 number - to be bounced around randomly to different departments before they decided to tell me to call the place the stove was purchased (The Brick) - they'd be able to get the repair done.

Luckily the former homeowners gave us all their old paperwork on the appliances and so I had all the details needed for the Brick repair center. No longer under warranty it was determined.

I responded, "Like I give 2 shits - I'll pay to get it fixed, just please please please send me someone. Oh - and the timer part that this repair dude said we needed."

They promised they would. For Friday. Fantastic - so I had dreams of a working stove by weekend.

Which also happened to be the scheduled date of my annual Christmas bake-a-thon with my mom. All would be good.

Or not. New repair dude shows up. Takes a look and starts fiddling. Then, with a crackle*snap*pop and a puff of smoke - there goes the burners. The only working part of our stove that we had just got back into service.

Turns out, yes, we need a timer.  But he doesn't have the part - gonna have to order it. Will be a few days. Likely Tuesday at the earliest. But oh - because he feels bad for us for wrecking the only working portion of the stove (and because the oven not working isn't actually a coincidence, but related to the original recall issue), he's going to try and get the part through warranty so we don't have to pay.

Lovely. But I just want my fecking stove please. If the warranty process is going to take another 2 weeks, just give me the bill and I'll take it up with Frigidaire later.

So another weekend of eating microwaved food and take-aways. 

And then Monday goes by. And then Tuesday. A nasty cold managed to eat up all enjoyable vacation days that were scheduled in the first place - and making me a little more fuzzy-headed than normal - which meant I wasn't my normal "stalker" self and it took me until today to realize - hey, where's repair dude with my part and his handy-dandy repair skills?

Another call into his office results in a "part is in the States. You have a weirdo non-regular stove and ETA on part is undetermined."

And that's when I said FUCK YOU FRIGIDAIRE.

Actually I didn't. I didn't even use the F-word with the repair dude. I thanked him for his incredible follow-up skills and asked that he please call me the minute the part shows up and if he did so I may just name my next baby after him.

Graham has a nice ring to it - non? It could totally work asexually.

All is not lost though. The Hubs unearthed the ol' George Forman Grill from the basement. No more microwave pasta dishes for us. 

How lucky am I?


**So there's you're answer as to why I've been quiet. Because I've been a brewing pot of instability, irrationality and venom. Or perhaps that's just a side-effect from eating Taco Bell more than once a week...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't judge a book...

The Hubs got into an accident last night. He is fine (as is everyone else involved). But his (work) car is not. The tow trucks were on the scene before the cops - which is interesting in a whole realm of logistics that I don't have the energy to really explore at this point.

What was super intriguing (to me anyways), was how nice the tow truck driver was. Because apparently I am pre-judemental  to the extreme and think all tow truck drivers are big, grumpy, scary man-bears on par with a Hells Angel biker.

To be fair, I am openly admitting my misconceived prejudice, so don't flame me too much. And no - I have never, ever, met a tow truck driver, so I really have no basis for this opinion.

As he took the Hubs down to the collision reporting centre, he offered to give him a ride home. And then proceeded to wait for him.

For the better part of 2 HOURS.

At dinnertime. On a random Wednesday night.

Maybe it's the remnants of the big-city living that makes my head spin at this random act of kindness. But dude - that's pretty awesome. Sitting and waiting for the Hubs to get through a crazy line up at a collision centre that was approximately 30 minutes away from our home.

And no, there was no payment involved. He gets paid on the impound fees (or something like that), not on time spent on the "case".

While eating his dinner at 8:30pm, the Hubs relayed this info to me, and all I could repeat (aside from, thank eff you are fine), was, "You know, that was really nice of him".

And it was.

Thank you random stranger. You helped make a bad situation, somewhat better.


Monday, November 2, 2009

You can say it - she's adorable

That face that you see - it is Maddie's way of nicely showing disgust at me trying to get her to help me remove the pumpkin guts. Yeah, she wasn't down with that at all...

Maddie, on Halloween night, dressed as a little bug, with her buddy, Cole the Lionheart.

Note the impulse makeup craftily created from some of Mommy's lipgloss. Try not to note the spaghetti sauce stain that I couldn't get out of her only pair of pink leggings.

Wing shot!


Friday, October 30, 2009

This post is called: 33 steps to fixing a stove...

...or 33 steps to the insanity that is known as requesting service on a recalled appliance.  Or 33 steps to getting annoyed on a Thursday night.  Or 33 steps after almost burning down the house because of fire-hazard cooktop...
  1. After cooking pot of potatoes, turn element off.
  2. Stare in befuddlement at element that will not turn off.
  3. Try over and over and over again to turn element off.
  4. Wonder at one's own sanity as to why this simplistic task is so incredibly difficult.
  5. Finally realize (after 10 minutes of fiddling) that it is not, in fact, you that is broken, but said stove (more specifically, the element) that is broken.
  6. Unplug stove.
  7. Spend 15 minutes looking through organized (ha!) household appliance instruction manuals and warranties.
  8. Find manual/warranty for said broken stove.
  9. Call Canadian warranty number - find out that not only do they close at 5pm - they also get a break between 12pm-1pm from answering calls.
  10. Get annoyed and bitch with husband about stupid stove.
  11. Spend further 20 minutes looking through previous homeowner's paperwork to find purchase receipt to determine actual age of product.
  12. Discover stove is not under warranty regardless of what is wrong with it.
  13. Get even more annoyed and take your frustrations to the internet to Find! A! Solution!
  14. Discover your stove has likely been recalled - due to elements that will turn on spontaneously and never again turn off.
  15. Spend 10 minutes looking for serial number and model number to confirm recall.
  16. Recall confirmed.
  17. Call the recall line listed on website.
  18. Get transfered to Canadian line.
  19. Provide all of information and promptly get disconnected.
  20. Call back and barely shielding annoyance, provide all particulars again.
  21. Find out that yes, your stove has been recalled and is deemed a fire hazard.
  22. Determine they will fix said element (and all other elements) free of charge.
  23. Ask what could happen if same thing happens again.
  24. Advised: ideally should turn breaker off whenever not using stove. Oh, and don't leave anything on top of it when not in use.
  25. Laugh and ask for real answer.
  26. Told is real answer.
  27. Provide address details to determine timing of delivery man.
  28. Advised earliest appointment available 2 weeks from now.
  29. Promptly lose your shit and very sternly advise that this is Not. Acceptable.
  30. After several minutes of silence, told that they could schedule for November 9th.
  31. In effort of not pissing off service advisor, humbly accept date and write on calendar.
  32. Ensure a reference number is received before hanging up phone.
  33. Sit down and stare angrily at unplugged, dead, useless stove.
Thank you Frigidaire! I enjoy not eating. Or avoiding 3rd degree burns while cooking. Or spending my life savings in eating out for the next 1.5 weeks.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The H1N1 debate

The topic du jour. Are you going to get the H1N1 vaccination? I have a lot of friends and family that are quite vehemently against it. Citing that it's dangerous, untested and likely not very effective as the strain mutates so quickly.

Those that are for the vaccination argue the benefits far outweigh the risks, and that all flu vaccines cover similar testing (as the strains change every year, and for them to get the vaccine to market in a timely manner, there isn't years and years of testing). So in essence, if you're cool with the flu shot, you should also be fine with the H1N1 vaccine.

Except one little thing - the H1N1 currently available is adjuvanted. Which means it includes a mixture of squalene (shark liver oil), DL-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and polysorbate 80 (emulsifier used in ice cream). This mixture bolsters the vaccine - essentially meaning they have to use less of the actual antigen to make the vaccine (because it was limited, this was a way for Canada to buy from the limited supply, and still have enough to provide to everyone).  It's this adjuvant that is making many nervous. Because this is the part of the vaccine that is less tested.  Do a google search re: adjuvant and you can learn a lot about it - more than you want to probably.

To put it bluntly, I'm nervous about it. Nervous enough that I am going to do my due diligence to see if I can instead get Maddie an un-adjuvanted version of the vaccine. She's under 3 and there are reports that it will be made available for those under 3 and pregnant women under 20 weeks.

At the same time - for us, I don't see an option of not getting it. As much as the adjuvanted vaccine makes me nervous, it's the reports of otherwise healthy children dying from this virus (like that poor poor boy just this past Monday) that make me more nervous. Maddie goes to daycare - many of those kids go to school.  That just puts her at an exposure rate that I'm not comfortable with. And while I wouldn't say she is a sickly child, we have certainly had our share of "the sick" in our house in the past 2 years.

But that's us - and that's a decision made after several weeks of thinking, researching, asking for opinions and trying to learn all that I can about it.  I highly recommend you do the same.  The Globe & Mail published a great Q&A article about it, which I found to be fairly unbiased.

Lastly, vitamin D is being touted as a great defense against all flus/colds/seasonal shit.  Because we in Canada cannot get the recommended amount via sunshine from October thru March, it is highly recommended we use supplements. There is also vitamin D in milk, fortified orange juice - lots of stuff. But if you want to be sure, just get some drops.  And according to what I've read, the recommended dosage for kids is up to 400 IU from the 200 IU previously recommended.  We currently give Maddie a multivitamin - but I plan on getting some additional D drops for the whole family.  I mean, why not, right?  That, I don't feel nervous about at all.


Monday, October 26, 2009

She knits too!

Not Miss M silly. ME! I knit. I totally knit.

I am down with the knit-dawgs.


Er? What?*

Let's start again... So this lovely weekend I decided that I was tired of my darling little snugglebum's neck being exposed to the elements and after doing a half-hearted search for a kidlet-sized scarf, decided to knit her one myself.

Enter my coolest discovery of the week - Howcast.  It is like YouTube for "how to" videos. And is superawesomefantastic if you ask me. What makes it so? Well, I went to YouTube and the "how to knit - basics of knitting" videos I found were assy. As in - moved way to fast for this newbie, and used random language like "once you've cast on, you're ready to learn the knit stitch", which of course only made me click pause while I frantically searched "cast on knitting" in the YouTube search box. And ...... scene.

The vids I found on Howcast not only showed step by step, it also has these built in little buttons in the feed that lets you go back to any specific "section" of the video. All in all - if you already know about Howcast - well, bully for you. Clearly you spend far too much time online. And if you don't - now you do. You're welcome. Your life is about to change.... for the better! I jest. (not really).

Anyways - I'm approximately 1/16 my way through the scarf (turns out I chose super-hard yarn to knit your first project with, needed larger needles and generally need to relax the hell up while I'm knitting so it's not so tight as to build a blister on left index finger from pushing the needle thru). And I'm sure to more advanced knitters out there, it's not all that pretty or done with correct form, for that matter (the whole "cast-on" thing still has me stumped).  But it's a scarf and it will be warm and she will love it.

Turns out though, as I'm chatting with my daycare provider today, there's a reason toddlers scarves aren't all that maintstream. It's a whole, uh, safety thing. Because they're going to choke each other on their scarves? Get hung up on something with it? I'm not so certain the why's, but apparently schools are starting to request the youngun's (like kindergarten age) not come w/ scarves, but instead baclava type neck coverings.

So instead of teaching our kids to learn how to live with the (gasp!) dangers of wearing a scarf, we instead should make them look like a gang of carjackers.

The school system is awesome.


*Love that in 5 (10?) years I will look back at this and be mortified with embarrassment. And then spend the next week telling Maddie that I'm "down" with something. Or "jiggity". Perhaps "down with jiggity". And really, I will have no idea what I'm actually saying. Because at the ripe old age of my mid-40's I will be so out of  touch that I may still be wearing Uggs and think I'm cool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time to wean

It's time. I've faced the fact. We need to cut out the night-time bottle.  I am terrified of this because...
  • This is really her primary source of milk. All other milk from a sippy gets, well, sipped on, for 2.8 seconds and then thrown on the floor.
  • It's been a part of her bedtime routine forever - as in, this was the first (and only bottle) we were able to introduce, and she associates the bottle with bed.
  • When she wakes up in the middle of the night (oh yes, she still does this - awesome, non?), it's the ONLY thing she wants and will soothe her.
The reason I am actually contemplating this upheavel in our lives?  Here's a snippet of my Saturday night (early Sunday morning):

MissM (over the monitor at an ear-crashing shout of volume): MOMMY!  MILK!  MADDIE WANT MILK!  MOMMY! MOMMY! MILK. MADDIE. PLEASE!

Me: w.t.f? roll over and think perhaps I can just ignore this away


Me: blearily look at clock. 4:effing16 in the morning. Superawesome. Go into her room and attempt to reason (with a toddler - I know - demented...): Dude - it's still night night time. How are you so awake? Go back to sleep. Night night.

MissM: Milk mommy. Maddie milk NOW.

Me: No, you don't need milk right now. You can have some in the morning. Just go back to sleep. Night night bugaloo.

MissM: instant and v. loud meltdown

Me: What the hell... I go, warm up a  bottle and bring it back up. And then I take her out of the crib and hold it for her.

It's those last 5 words that I want you to pay the most attention to.  That's right.  She won't hold her own bottle.  Well, that's not true. She will. For 1.3 seconds. Then it will fall and she'll look at me like, WTH is your prob lady?

So yeah. The wakeups are annoying enough. The having to sit for 10 mins while she drinks her bottle and then force my insomniac ass back to sleep? So not cool anymore. Because as sweet and loving as it could be - it's just.not.anymore.

But aside from going cold turkey (which I expect y'all will tell me to do), how else do you get rid of the bedtime bottle?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Another birthday weekend + a case of the sick?

I know, I know. Enough with the post (pre?) dated posts already. But I need to get these out and into our so-called online journal. Otherwise we'll just look back and realize wow - we did nothing and mom just bitched a whole lot. Ohhhhhkay.... carrying on.

It was another birthday party filled weekend for us. We were supposed to be attending 2 parties, but because Maddie was fighting "the sick" all weekend (and her lack of enthusiasm at the first) made us have to miss the 2nd one unfortunately.

I don't know what "the sick" was however, as it never really culminated in anything diagnosable. There were a few sleepless nights and some low-grade fevers happening all week. And a crusty grumpy little girl. It was fun! (said with wide eyes smiling and nodding head...) Maybe 2 year molars coming in? I can't really get my head around that, since she barely done cutting her eye teeth and we all know she's breaking world records for being the slowest possible teether evah! Who knows.  Kids are germoholics.

Anyways - before bday party #1 we hit up Pingles for some good ol' pumpkin-pickin'-out. There's tonnes of other things (tractor rides, corn mazes, face painting) that you can partake in - but yeah, like I said, we were on our way places and Miss M was a wee bit grumped out.

Although you can't really tell from these pics (liar! she's a liar!)

So yeah - then it was off for an hour to a bday party where my good friend Vone (she of the magical crafting powers and coolio blog: How to do...something) put together pretty much the coolest bday cake strategy for a roomful of toddlers (and young 'uns) that I ever did see.

Cupcakes. Sorry - a rainbow of cupcakes. That the kids could decorate. Each guest got a section tin, with candies and chocolates and assorted cupcake decorating  paraphernalia.

They got to pick a cupcake and decorate it (and then eat it of course!). All in all - a pretty fantastic idea. The kids had fun. The parents had fun. Oh - and almost forgot my fave part - she (because she's crafty like that) also made each child their own apron. Like a little pint-sized lovely adorable apron that we got to take home. And since we've just started baking together (Maddie helped me make choco chip cookies on the weekend), I think that's like, the COOLEST thing ever.

After that massive sugar rush (and crash) there was no way we could make it to the other bday party, so we called it a day. Maddie slept. Hubs watched his football and I made cabbage soup.

What? You don't lurve cabbage soup? I'm done with you...


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maddie's First Fingerpaint

Maddie tried out her new birthday fingerpaints on Thankgsiving Monday. It was a creative process. To some of the pics - go here.  Otherwise, just enjoy the results:


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Maddie turns 2

Don't you hate it when you mean to post something, and you don't do it right away, and then time gets away from you and next thing you know it's 3 weeks later?  Isn't it awesome that you can just post-date your post and in the future, anyone reading will just think you posted on that day?  I do...

So it was the weekend that Maddie turned 2. And since I'm (apparently) determined she grow up to be a total diva, yes, we called it Maddie's "birthday weekend". Because in the Vallier house, if you have a vagina, you get more than just a day for your birthday. Just sayin'.

Friday was still a daycare day for Miss Madds, so I sent her with some cupcakes to share with the gang, purchased from Brooklin Bakery (no, I didn't make them - but before you roll your eyes at my laziness, read on to the Dora cake adventure).  Fri night dinner was our mainstay Fri night dinner: fish & chips a la Krispy's (another Brooklin fave - look at us supporting the local biz!) - joined by Gramma V who came up to visit for the weekend.  With cupcakes for dessert, Maddie enjoyed her first rendition of "happy birthday". Then it was off to bed so I could finish the Dora Cake!

*sigh* Yes. The Dora Cake. This monstrosity took away close to 6 hours of my life, when all was said and done.  I think because the Elmo head of last year's bday party ended up being so easy, I may have bitten off more than I could chew.  Followed the same steps - rented the pan from Bulk Barn ($2 a day - such a steal!), purchased cake mix, icing and icing tint.

We made the cake earlier in the week (actually fun as Maddie was totally into making her DORA cake - and we got some good pics of her first baking experience).  So that was f.i.n.e.

Really, it was the icing. So much colour. So many different steps to follow. So many intricate little spaces to get the star shaped icing globs into. It was like drawing Dora all freestyle, yo!  Nothing a little wine couldn't help, right?

Yeah - I fully blame Dora's eyes on that wine.  As a good friend stated, she looks like Lisa Simpson when she was the Lizard Queen (Simpson's reference that makes me sound super old).  Or as the Hubs commented - "Why did you make Dora look like she was beaned with a 2x4?"

Whatever - it's an A for effort, right?

Sat was actual party day - so we decorated and laid out all sorts of food and awaited the guests. Maddie was super-excited for her "Dora Party". That is, until the guests arrived. Maybe it was too many people? Maybe it was that I had wake her up from her nap to attend her own party? Maybe she doesn't like seeing all these other kids playing with her toys? I dunno. But she was s.u.c.k.y. the entire time. Like Gramma/Mommy/Daddy (whoever will pick her up and carry her around) sucky. Which, well to be honest, made me a little sad - but you can't force it, right?

Cake time was a bit disastrous as well - I forget candles (so she had tea lights on her birthday cake - I'm seriously a contender for party-planner of the year). Maddie hated all the people singing (as in, looked absolutely terrified the entire time). And she didn't even notice the cake. The 6 HOUR CAKE. Wouldn't even really look at it, acknowledge that it was Dora, nothing. Although in retrospect, perhaps she didn't recognize cracked out birthday cake Dora as the Dora that she idolizes on tv.

The rest of the weekend flew by - contrary to all my claims in the past, I actually attempted to cook some turkey on Sunday. There was way to many dishes and pots and pans and time spent over a steaming oven to convince me that this effort will ever be worth it again.  Sorry mom - I'm not like you...

Hmmmm - disastrous cake, disastrous turkey meal. Sounds like I just described a pretty shitty weekend - but we had fun. Honest!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Maddie!


PS - yes, this post was totally back-dated. Whatevs. I am not authentic. ;-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dear Miss Maddie,

Wow - 2 today. I've written and rewritten and rewritten today's post. You just learned and changed and metamorphised so much that I just couldn't get it.

So instead I gave myself the task of trying to capture a summary of it in a video instead.  It's over 7 minutes long (so apologies to anyone who is busy today... come back and watch later maybe?) - but I dare anyone to try and summarize someone's life in under 5 minutes.  It's bloody impossible.

I hope you look at this video someday and it really conveys just how much fun this year was.  Because holy crap - you are so much fun to be around and we just love the little person you have become.  Stay happy, stay curious and keep your humour, bugaloo.  It makes you such a special person.

Happy birthday my sweet little monkey - we love you more than anything.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I shouldn't even be posting right now - but I find when I get to write it out, it leaves my mind (if only for a bit) ... so if you don't feel like being part of my recessionerapy, carry on elsewhere...

  • People who judge moms who work - like full-time at other jobs - suck. Because you know what - you're right, I HAVE a choice. And I choose NOT to raise my kids in a squatter apartment in Siberia. Because I'm pretty sure that's all we could afford on one income. I live NORTH OF 7. Haven't I made enough comprises???
  • Speaking of work... Yes, I do work from home 3 days a week. Yes, my daughter is in daycare from 8-5. No, I don't think I could get as much done with her around. Seriously? Have you ever tried to write a 4 sentence email with a toddler around? Because, yeah. It doesn't work. And I'm already borderline homicidal on a good day.
  • And speaking of working-from-home... No, I didn't see yesterday's Oprah. Or Rachel Ray. Or Ellen. I know you don't believe me - but I w.o.r.k. from home. I don't sit on a couch in front of the tv with my laptop open. I actually do shit. Imagine that...
  • Yes, I know could tone/tighten/lose that baby weight. If I actually TRIED. I am well aware of my lack of effort and no, I really don't expect to lose weight just because I want to. (am totally lying - thought I would've dropped 10lbs just by the force of owning an elliptical)
  • Am I aware that I wear less makeup/dress more casually/am wearing flat shoes? Yes fucko, I am. Am also aware that I am currently (like right now! right this very minute!) wearing jeans with stretch denim for a waist, kinda like maternity pants (but I assure you they are not...please see below). Does that mean I gave up? No. But I'm far more comfortable now, fuckyouverymuch.
  • How long am I waiting to have a 2nd child? This is my fave. Here's the answer du jour: "Wow - you sure like personal questions!" Does said person often continue to badger for an answer? You'd think not right? Oh no ... they totally do. Next time I'm just going to scream in the little old lady's face at the grocery store as a distraction. Then she and the cashier can talk about how much they hope I DON'T have a 2nd...
  • And lastly (and most timely of all) - no, I'm not cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving. No, I don't plan on doing so. I have a thing about raw poultry and shoving things up the bum of a bird. Yes, I'm aware this makes me weird. Doesn't mean I don't love eating turkey and all it's yummy sidekicks. Yes, I totally get the selfish, self-serving spin of this all. I'm an only child, whaddya want?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Sleep

I never knew just how much my happiness could depend on someone else's sleep. Whether they're getting enough. Or waking too often. Or waking too early...

Oh the snark - it is alive and well this morning.

In other news - I have continued to NOT use my brand new elliptical. Because I refuse to wake up at 5am to exercise. 

Read: I am not using my new elliptical because Miss M is waking at 6am every morning.

And that my friends, is lame. With a capital W.T.F.


Monday, October 5, 2009


There is a little boy at daycare that Maddie adores. Well they adore each other, I suppose. Apparently they are inseparable and it's an example that you can have personalities that "jell" even at a preschool age.

And he really is the sweetest little boy you ever could meet. Like if your daughter, who was in daycare from 8-5:30 could be hanging out with another kid everyday, this would totally be that kid.

We knew about "Kyle" before Maddie brought it up - just from our daycare provider letting us know how adorable they were together, how much fun they had together, yadda yadda yadda.

And then at storytime at night, his name would start to come up. The random bunny on page 6 would be "Kyle's". The little boy going to bed at the end of the book was "Kyle". Again with the adorableness and that proud mama bear feeling of your child building relationships outside of her family that she enjoyed. I was such an introverted little kid that it was literally painful for me to make friends. So watching her do this with ease and charm, it was a bit of a learning experience for me.

But then came the icing on the cake. A few days ago - Maddie sitting in her highchair at dinner time, telling us random shit things about randomness, and these words came out, "Maddie play park with Kyle. Kyle Maddie friends."

You know you want to... let's do it together: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.......

And also - she's not even 2 yet! I so love that she gets what the hell a friend even IS, much less making them like it ain't no thang.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

The countdown is on...

Our little Miss turns 2 in exactly 5 days. Not to sound all typical-mommy on you, but holy crap it's blowing my mind a little bit. Perhaps not the age thing, because 2 doesn't sound all that old yet. She's still in diapers. We still give her a bottle at night (I KNOW - we will wean soon, I promise). She's still a baby in so many ways.

And yet, she's totally not. She's a little girl. A little person with likes and dislikes. With a sense of humour (which still surprises me to no end - but she is the biggest sarcastic joker you'll ever find this side of preschool).

Since she's our first, I don't know from experience - but it really seems like these first two years are crazy-banana-cakes in terms of development. I think I said this after the first year too (just how much they change) - but after spending a few hours last night looking at home videos and pics from the last year - the change from October 2008 to present is bonkers.

We do timeouts now (sometimes self-inflicted if she's annoyed at us - she just goes up to her room to be alone - hi, MiniMe!). She understands the concept of "later" - as in, No we can't go to the park, but we'll go later today - I totally get called on that quite often. She recognizes letters, she's starting to count actual things (getting the concept of counting - how cool is that?), she breaks into spontaneous song (and dance). She's a little card. She loves to be in the limelight, and clearly lives for a laugh.

She's possibly the most happy-go-lucky, thoughtful, kind, funny, carefree children you could ever imagine.

Especially with two moody, selfish only-children for parents.

I jest.

Not really.

Anyways - this isn't a post about how fabulous my daughter is - because you know I'm saving that one up for Friday, right? It's just a comment on how crazy it is that we're here already. How time has flown by so fast but and at the same time it feels like it's been forever.


**This post brought to you by my cheesy nostalgic feelings of motherdom after spending 3 hours pouring through photos and video archives.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Maddie watch Dora on 'puter?"

I hear this about 5 times every day. Because I made the mistake of showing Maddie a few weeks ago and HOLY HELL is it awesome. And by awesome - I mean crack for kids. And by kids... I mean Maddie.

In all honesty, it is a pretty cool site because it has colouring pages of their fave characters you can print out, a video library (for ppl that don't have the blessing that is PVR), and games. Games featuring characters from their fave shows.

Like DORA.

Maddie ♥'s Dora. Did you know that? Of course you did.

So there's a few Dora games that we play. The coolest one being Dora Bingo! Because who doesn't love a bit o' Bingo, right? Especially 8MILLIONTIMESADAY.

I know I do.

But she's looking at coloured stars and images of fruit and shit, and matching them to her Bingo! card while the hypnotizing Dora pulls card after card. That's a life skill right? Matching shit?

I think so.

In actual fact - the site is well designed with the various games that are aimed at the preschool age. And I don't have a problem with her playing on the 'puter (duh, I don't really have a choice, since she sees me on it right? s'only fair). And I won't have a problem when she's older either (after I download all sorts of safety-monitoring-not-allowing-her-to-go-anywhere-but-approved-sites-ever! software) since really we know babies in 2020 will be born with some type of network chip already inserted or something...

Anyways - that's my kudo's for the day... good job - thanks for the Bingo!


PS - in other news - I chopped all my hair off tonight. Gwyneth was my inspiration. I like it. Hubs likes it. Maddie hasn't noticed at all...

PPS - I love that my life update is a sentence in a post-script below the 5 paragraphs about Dora Bingo!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Already with the guilt...

It will be officially 2 weeks as of tomorrow that my new elliptical has lived under our roof and we've only partied together a handful of times.

I felt the guilt when I lied to my mom tonight, after she asked me how the new routine was going, and if I'd been using it regularly.

"Every other day...yup."

Sorry mom. I totally lied to you.

I've used it 5 times.

OMG. I lied again. What is wrong with me?

I've used it 4 times. And today barely counts, as was really only for 15 minutes as Miss M refuses to sleep past 6:15 these days and holy hell that is effing early and who the hell gets up BEFORE 6am to do anything? I can't even drink tea before 6am. It is an ungodly hour.

I knew putting it in the basement was a mistake. Although now I have an excuse for a 2nd PVR. Then I could start recording 90210 + Melrose in the basement seulement.

Then I'd have to go down there right?

Stupid aging metabolism and baby weight-gain and laziness... You're all conspiring against me.


*Totally written while devouring a piece of cheesecake. Chocolate cheesecake. Because... go big or go home, right?

Monday, September 28, 2009


During Maddie's bedtime routine...

Hubs: Have you noticed her bald spot?

Me: Errr.... her what-now?

Hubs: Bald spot. She has a bald spot. Right here. [Pointing to the middle of the back of her head - also known as her blonde spot]

Me: Dude - that's just blonde hair.

Hubs: It's not blonde - it's sparse. From all the pony tails you put in her hair. [Making the hand motion of me yanking her hair in two different directions]

Me: [snorting I am laughing so hard] You think she's going bald from my hairstyling? And seriously, they're called PIG-tails when there's two of them. How do you not know this?

Hubs: Pony. Pig. Just stop doing it while she still has some hair on her head.

Me: [continuing to chuckle and silently roll my eyes] Sure thing...


PS - For the record - I put her hair in pigtails about 3 times a week. At most. So ... yeah. Not so worried that I'm balding my daughter...

PPS - Men are jackasses.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A full night's sleep

Last night was a bad combination of two factors that affect my sleep... Miss M (of course) and the Hubs.

Miss M has a bit of cold, so she was up a couple of times throughout the night - stuffy nose, wanting milk, general cuddles, that sort of way. I'm dreading the process of getting her completely off bottles - which I know we have to start any day now and o.m.g. I'm not looking forward to it (please hold off the judgement, I know she shouldn't still be getting a bottle - and yeah, I KNOW...).

But then, once I actually go back to bed - what I have waiting for me is a snoring Hubs. Which I've complained posted about before.

I don't fall to sleep all that easily at the best of times. In fact, I remember being so frustrated and angry as a child on weekends when my parents would have friends over - because we lived in a bungalow, and noise travels - and clearly I wasn't one of those kids that could sleep just anywhere (hmmm - perhaps that's where Maddie gets it from)...

So what do I do when I can't sleep and I've got a roaring Mack truck next to me (who won't roll over, or when he does roll over, manage the feat of snoring on his side)... oh I go and make myself a cup of tea and google "snoring remedies".

Because that's smart right?

Well - if you get frustrated and want to just lay there awake, or you want to actually do something about it ... I guess it's less frustrating.

And I swear, if I wasn't so fuzzy headed, I may have just ordered the RIPSNORE right then and there.

Instead, I'm forcing him to start wearing the Breathe Right strips I bought him ages ago. If that doesn't work then we may go Ripsnore. And if that doesn't work... well, I may smash him in the face with a shovel and call the plastic surgeon.

Does that sound a little aggro? Sorry... must get some sleep.


Friday, September 25, 2009

How do they do it?

You know who I mean. The supermoms. The moms that have perfectly manicured gardens, perfectly coiffed hair, a tight I-run-on-the-treadmill-for-an-hour-everyday ass and floors that sparkle.

Because I see them. We all like to think they don't exist - but they do. At least they do in my neighbourhood. I see them walking their toned little butts to school with their kids. I see them having a leisurely coffee at the local coffeehouse. I see them wandering around the local parks and streets, enjoying the last bit of summer sun.

Okay, so I don't actually see inside their houses - so perhaps I'm making more than a few assumptions based on outward appearances (judger! I'm a JUDGER!!!)... but seriously? How can you not assume their homes are as put together as they are?

I work from home and feel guilty every day, as I glance up from the laptop and see the piles of laundry, and dust, and toys, and papers, and random SHIT that is just Strewn.About.Everywhere.

And at the end of the day, after I drag my (yet-again-unshowered-ew-gross) self over to our Daycare Provider's house to pick up Miss Maddie, I feel even MORE guilty as I look at her floors and practically see my reflection in the gleaming shine.

NOTE: apparently this is because she has a steam mop - which is apparently the Best Invention Ever and makes your floors gleam and look lovely and yeah. Still. She has like a thousand kids there every day and steam mop or no steam mop, she's still a rockstar for having such clean floors.

That's the one thing I kinda hate about the whole work-from-home gig. The accompanying guilt that I am far less on top of the household drudgery than I probably would be if I worked at an office. Because you always think - oh, I'll just do that tomorrow at some point - but then you actually get caught up in work and you don't and oh holy crap, there's just too much to do and maybe if I ignore it, it will just go away. But it doesn't. Of course it doesn't.

So then my weekends are spent cleaning. And that's just lame, right? Because there are far more interesting and fun things to do on a weekend than clean up the same effing dirt and cat hair and cat vomit and kitty litter trails (and OMG cats are so dirty, why did I ever think they were a good idea?).

Whew. What am I rambling about anyways?

It's just been one of those weeks (months?) where everything seems to be piling up with work and at home and I think I'm just giving myself a bit of a pep-talk to get my ass in gear to get on top of it.

I will start this weekend. Perhaps I just need to Try Harder, non? (wink, smile, rolling my eyes)


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Feet

I had gotten slightly sick of Maddie's obsession with the "Elmo in Grouchland" movie (3 times in one day? really? because I don't care if it's raining on Saturday - let's just go outside)... So I did what any good mother does, I picked up a different option on a recent trip to the local Superstore. Happy Feet. Looked cute. I'm a penguin fan. It was in the sale bin. What could I lose?

The first couple of times Maddie watched with wary disbelief that there could possibly be some other type of movie that our DVD player could play. And by watch, I mean she paid attention for the first 10 minutes and then tra-la-la'd along, bored because it was NOT Elmo.

And then something magical happened - she actually started liking it.

As in, asking for me to put it on. Watching for longer than a few minutes at a time. Following the story line (including the scary chase scene with a cracked-out looking sea lion that she loveloveloves - little weirdo).

I think it's the singing ... and the dancing. Really (other than the scary chase scene), that's all she cares about.

"More Baby Corn. Moremoremore Mommy!"

This is the demand I get when none of the characters are actually singing, dancing or swimming for their lives. And yes, I've tried to explain to her that the movie is still on, and she is, in actual fact, currently getting "more" of the Baby Corn as we speak (sidebar translation: Happy Feet=Baby Penguin=Baby Corn in Maddiespeak). That doesn't matter - and so we skim past the unnecessary dialogue (who needs to follow a storyline, right?) right to the dancing bits.

And she's taken to dancing along with the movie. And often randomly throughout the day. Proclaiming "Maddie Happy Feet!" while she stumbles around the house.

It is the cutest.thing.ever.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dear Maddie, your mother is a moron...

After all my braggart-ing about being super organized, I just found out all my invites that I mailed out yesterday are missing one key important piece of info.

The F'ing date.

I'm awesome. Or maybe not...


PS - you know who is surprisingly awesome tho? Canada Post. Because I mailed those suckers at noon-ish yesterday. Less than 24 hr delivery. Go snail mail.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good thing she doesn't read yet

I am in the midst of planning Maddie's birthday party. Just mailed out the invites. Have more to hand-deliver to my Babyville peeps at our GNO on Thurs.

It will be a Dora-themed party. Oh yes - we like our themed parties at the Vallier house.

So the invites are Dora - courtesy of Party Packagers. Who also have a plethora of Dora-themed party items - including a life size foil Dora shaped balloon. Isn't that awesome? I think it costs a bazillion dollars.

And the cake is already planned out. Like last year (goooooo Elmo!), I'm going to rent the cake tin from Bulk Barn and stain my hands for 2 weeks in decorating it.

So the cake, too, will be Dora.

Clearly, like any good project manager, I am all over the details of the party-planning. It is coming along without a hitch.

But I'm iffy on the present.

I am a big fan of birthdays. (I'm an only child - what do you want?) They are a big deal. Will always be a big deal in my house. Even when they're not a big deal and I don't really want to talk about how old I'm getting, and blahblahblah, there better be cake, dammit.

But Miss Maddie? She already has more toys than she knows what to do with. And really, truly needs no more clothing (remember, my trip to Target?).

So what to do for a present?

I've actually got a bit of an idea - since I brought these mini-markers back from my girls weekend trip, Maddie has really been loving the colouring again. So I think we're going to get her an easel. And maybe some fingerpaints or crafty fun stuff like that.

But as cool as I think this would be as a present (and let's be honest, how much have I been LOVING "helping" Maddie colour in her book - I used to want to work for Crayola, I was that much of a fan as a kid)... would a 2 year old like it? Or am I totally imposing my interests on her?

It's like the chicken and the egg. Do we, as mothers, just naturally do that? I loved crafting and colouring and all things glitter and gluestick throughout my childhood. Is that because my mom was crafty? And she imposed her interests on me? Or does that "calling to Crayola" just run in the family, and is Maddie's new interest in the (washable!) markers just an extension of this?

I think I may be over-thinking this. But any ideas are welcome!


Monday, September 14, 2009


It is official. We have a toddler.

The dreaded arrival of the classic toddler question made it's ugly debut this weekend. On Friday night. While colouring with Daddy. In response to his gentle rebuke to not draw on her shirt with the marker.

"Why?" asks my innocent little cherub.

"Because it makes the laundry harder for Mommy." he responded. Sigh. Sad, but true.

"Oh." She was satisfied at one answer. Too good to be true. Perhaps it was just a fluke? Perhaps we had a few more blissful weeks free?

That hope was crushed first thing Saturday morning, as I greeted Miss Maddie in her crib, all touseled and still sleepy. "Ooooh Daddy at?"

"He's still sleeping Bugaloo." I responded.


Right. And so it begins...


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We laughed so hard we cried

My girls weekend getaway was all I thought it would be, and more. Of course, you're not going to get any of the gory details - we behaved ourselves, but it was so fraught with inside jokes and immature shenanigans, that I really wouldn't be all that interesting, or nearly as hilarious to you, as it was to us.

Suffice to say ... I haven't laughed that hard in a really, really long time. What is it about getting together with girlfriends you've known forever? You instantly revert to some childish version of yourself, and spend a LOT of time playing the "remember when..." game.

What I can share with you is this:
  • Complimentary room upgrades rock. We enjoyed ourselves in the 3 bedroom condo-suite in the Mosaic very, very much.
  • The Kalola Spa at Blue Mountain is fantastic - highly, highly recommended.
  • Staying right in the heart of the "village" is also highly recommended - and while the patio lunch options are a bit pricey - they more than make up for it with all the people watching.
  • I was homesick within minutes of being there, because it's far more a family resort than anything else, and my heart twanged everytime I saw a Maddie-aged-creature. SO going back for a family getaway sometime soon.
  • Sitting around the table, eating cheesecake and drinking tea is the perfect way to end a crazy evening (oh Salvador - you make a mean margarita).
  • Traffic coming back wasn't nearly as bad as I expected - but getting a $200+ speeding ticket was.
We have renewed our promise to annualize the GWG, every Labour Day, for years to come. I hope we stick to our promise, as I had more fun that I thought possible.

Thank you Liz, Stef, Sandra, Lisa and Melis - you are all brilliant girlfriends and I wish I saw you all more often! Or should I say... "Thank you for being a friend...."


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Maddie pics

The one and only time you'll ever see Maddie hold her bottle herself.

Tomato picker.

Funny faces.

Her first taste of Capri Pizza. She loved it. We can keep her.

Always a slow starter at waterparks, but she always loves them in the end.

Family pic @ Peterborough zoo.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peterborough zoo

A bit of a drive - but a FREE zoo, with park + waterpark area attached, so we thought we'd check it out today.

It's not got a huge selection of animals (whaddya want, it's free). But enough to keep us amused for an hour or so. The barnyard animal area was interesting, as all the animals had their own "pen" but the gates were open internally, so they could hang out in each other's areas. Very friendly.

Except for the goat.

As we were about to walk away, we saw this brown, mean, angry little goat walk up the lazy pot-bellied pig (who's just minding his own, chilling in the sun), and HEADBUTT him in the stomach.

Quite laughable really. In a - ooh, that's gotta hurt - kinda way.

However, Maddie wasn't laughing...

She yelled, "Hey! Hey goat! That's not nice!"

I almost peed my pants, I was laughing so hard.

My Miss Maddie loves her animals and has a true sense of what is right and wrong in the world. And the goat has been called. Black and white. Right and wrong. You are wrong Mr. Goat.

And of course, because we laughed so hard at her little outburst, Maddie continued to repeat the "That's not nice, goat!" all day long.

Classic, non?


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Maddie stats

I meant to post this after her doctor's appointment ... and it's been sitting in draft for weeks - oops.

Maddie had her 18 month appt today. For immunization shots + check up. At first I was enjoying basking in all the compliments from the nurses and receptionists re: how incredibly well-behaved she was, and my, wasn't she a little grown up, and wow, she could really speak well!

And then I realized - oh - they think she's almost 6 months younger than she actually is.

So I tried to mumble out an excuse that she was actually 23 months old, not 18 months. We were just late for her shots because we don't live in the city anymore, but didn't want to change doctors just yet, and I'd been meaning to get her down for shots I promise, just time had slipped away and this is my first chance being on vacation and, and... and yeah - they were totally not listening anymore.

Chalk one up for Procrastinator Moms everywhere!

Anyways - it was not even close to as bad as I thought it would be. These shots were better. Or she handled them better because she was older? I don't know.

It's over - and that's all that matters.

And for the record - she's continuing to hold steady in the 25th percentile range: height 31.5 inches and weight 24 lbs.

My tiny little bugaloo...


Maddie bits

This blog was supposed to be my excuse not to feel guilty that I wasn't updating a baby book on a regular basis (can't you hear the future conversation now? "Where's my baby book?" "Just read through the blog - IT'S ALL THERE").

But then I realized (with a little helpful nudging from a few peeps the last few days) that, um, I actually haven't written about Maddie all that much lately. So here's the latest in Maddie updates...
  • Her vocabulary is incredible now. She's speaking in full sentences (as long as you don't really need articles or conjunctions to form "proper" sentences), like: "Maddie go-y park now Mommy!"
  • Speaking of sentences - she is also still talking in the 3rd person. Which weirds out lots of people (like ones without kids) because, well, I guess it probably sounds weird if you're not used to it.
  • Daycare continues to be awesome and Maddie loves going there. In fact has a special friend that now infiltrates our life daily. His name is Kyle and we hear about him daily. No, this does not count as her first boyfriend. That is not even funny.
  • Maddie knows most of her colours now. After my obsession with her being "behind" other kids her age because of a weekend playdate I had that played on my insecurities... we worked on it and she is getting really good.
  • Freezes are still her favourite food. As well as broccoli, peas (preferably raw), green beans and cherry tomatoes. So we've started making popsicles using our juicer (because I am Trying Harder) and we visit our garden nightly to go "picking". So I guess I didn't plant too many tomato plants after all...
  • Life with Maddie is getting easier and harder all at once. She understands absolutely everything (including learning "concepts" - like Daddy will be home soon, Maddie happy, we'll go to the park later) so that makes life so much easier. But she also has SO MANY opinions. And is very strong-willed. And well, I don't have to explain the tantrums, right?
  • Potty training is not "official" yet - but she pees about 50% of the time she asks to go on the potty which is pretty cool. So for now, we're just letting her guide us and seeing what happens.
  • Along with obsession with the potty comes an obsession with "washing her hands". We got a little stool that I mistakenly showed her to put in front of the sink to stand on to wash her hands. Now if she sees that stool, she insists on washing her hands. 40 times. Maybe she'll be a surgeon...
It's day 4 of vacay and we're going to get her 18 month shots and a haircut. I expect only one of these will go well.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day 2 of vacay

I visited our neighbour to the south today for a bit of friendly cross-border shopping, as they have something lovely and fantastic and unique that Canada does not.


Have I mentioned how much I love that store? Oh, that's right. I have.

Again, I could go on and on and freakin' on about the incredible retail story that this store is. How it has aligned itself in a strategic manner that other big box/department stores are failing to do. How it's merchandised thru it's teeth. How incredibly fresh the styles are - all at ridiculously incredible prices. How the entire store embraces the brand vision and how the marketers at Target's Head Office must have orgasms every day thinking of how incredible the vision has been carried out. (That's right, orgasms. I said it.)

But I won't, because that stuff is boring and really what you want to hear about is all wonderfully pretty stuff I got, right?

For the record, I got about 90% of Maddie's fall/winter wardrobe in one-fell-swoop. I shopped with efficiency. Ruthless at times. And I payed between $3.50 and $12.00 for each piece of clothing. NOTHING MORE. Did I buy her bday dress? Oh yes, I did. Did I get her running shoes, Damn Effing Right I did - and they're Dora. Does she have the coolest Halloween daytime
daycare shirt you've ever seen? (Unless you have in fact, seen a
rhinestone skull wearing a bow in her hair, on a black tee with
orange striped sleeves - but I doubt you've seen anything that funkass cool). And did I buy her a bunch of adorable monkey-ridden Paul Frank pj's? Because those wouldn't be cute at all, right? Oh - and did I FINALLY find some retro-styles plastic barrettes (that I haven't been able to find ANYwhere - not even Dollarama, where the 80's live on)?

I think I had an orgasm, just now, thinking about it all over again.

Anyways - we had a good time. And then we ate lunch at TGIFriday's and I solved America's obesity problem: Stop eating at TGIFriday's.

Home sweet home tomo. Ktown has been a blast - and love to have the extended visit with family - but I'm ready for some downtime before my girls weekend getaway.

Oh - I'm going to have STORIES for you my bloggy peeps. Or maybe not. We'll see if it's rated PG for entertainment. In fact - let's not get your hopes up...


PS - must give props to the Grandma's - we could not have furnished the fall wardrobe without your help. Thank you for being so spoiling and keeping me from the complete poor-house. I'm glad to hang out on the porch...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Erm... I was kinda kidding...

So - I didn't actually think that anyone would comment on my last post (hi FACEBOOK!) - unless you could count an *eye roll* as a comment. Can you? Because I am totally going to comment an *eye roll* on someone's blog sometime next week. That would be awesome.

Anyways - I wasn't really being serious. I mean, I kind of was. I had this convo with g-friends a few weeks ago and gave them my profound thoughts on my profound theory ... and it was a bit of laugh. As in, yeah. Try harder. Just do it. [insert platitude here]

I know we all try hard. And I really do believe that you probably try as hard as you possibly can right now. It was more tongue-in-cheek than anything...

I mean - I do berate myself on a regular basis about how much I should do more, try harder - all that nonsense. I am, in fact, very much a lazy bastard. And do plan on trying... um, harder. Soon. Very soon. In fact - as soon as this ep of BB11 is over. Then I'll do my ironing.

Insulting BB11. Now she's gone too far!!!

But yeah - because I'm not a writer (read: completely ignorant of all the grammatical rules against overusing ellipses and how in fact to structure a quote to signify a back-and-forth conversation). BECAUSE of that... I didn't necessarily capture the sardonicism with which I actually meant to post my New Philosophy On Life.

So. Yeah. Erm ... Glad if I inspired you - because Hurrah to Inspiration!

But if, instead, I came off as a postulating, arrogant twat?

Well, blame that on the writing...