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...