February 28, 2010

Proud to be Canadian!

That's right: 14 Golds~! A record! A record!!!! Yay Sidney! Yay Corey! Yay Canada!

February 26, 2010

Forever Young

First, listen to this song!

This song is just one of those songs that gets to me. It is haunting. It is meaningful. It is how I feel.

I am not sure if it is hitting thirty, or if it is having a child, but life has truly taken on a whole new meaning to me. I find it to be so fleeting, so important, so magical. Maybe it is because I see my little girl seeing the world for the first time: I am looking through her eyes and I am in awe.

More than that though, I am looking at her, and I see the innocence in her, and the honest perspective from which she views the world. Pure. Beauty. Untouched. And I want to be her.

Do you really want to stay forever, forever young?

The honest question.

The honest voice.

-- Pure.

I do.

I want to live forever young.

I want everyone to live forever young. In that honesty.  In that purity. Where all there is is open eyes, looking out, wondering -- eagerly trying to learn, love and be part; without questioning any of it. Without knowing yet about pain, or conflict, or judgment. I wonder what it would be like, our world, if we lived in this space?
What is it about youth that holds such appeal? Such a way of breaking our hearts? I wonder about that as much as I wonder why this song has such an impact on me. It is both because of its sentiment and because of its age. Not only is the song about staying young, its message resonates: it echos and reinforces the passing of twenty years of my life. I know this song. I've known it for twenty years. I knew it from a different place as a young girl. It was a pretty song then. And I know it as a woman. And it is a penetrating song now: Youth is like diamonds in the sun/ And diamonds are forever. I am that little girl, forever, who first listened to this song. Yet now I am a woman hearing it. And time has passed. I have aged. In this song, I am both.
A melody like this is rare: it captures the free-ness of being young. I picture little children spinning carelessly as it plays -- Some are like water, some are like the heat/Some are a melody and some are the beat. And I am there. I am watching and yet I am spinning as well. Carefree once again, like I once was.

The lyrics also assert our urge to be something important -- and that excitement that we will be something important: hope -- expectancy -- of things to come. That feeling that begins to fade as life's course becomes more concrete.

I watched the movie Friends with Money and one of the characters had hit her mid-life and began to feel she was perishing. There was nothing left to which she looked forward. She was no longer the shining and hopeful diamond. She was the rock. She was fading; she was dying, and she mourned her youth in her decay.

I want to stay forever young.

I never want to decay. I want to dance freely; to be unapologetic; to always aspire and hope. Like a child, I want to not know what it is to be self-conscious. I want to be the girl I was when I first heard this song. And yet I want to be the woman I am now who actually appreciates it.

Because now I can watch my daughter be the shining, hopeful diamond, and I can share in the glimmer of possibility and purity.

And I know now to appreciate it. When we are young life is expansive and time ticks slowly--it is hard to understand life's importance; today, time seems to move so fast and life closes in quickly. Where once everything was a possibility, I am now learning that So many dreams are swinging out of the blue...

And so I suspend myself in this song, on this page, and I say, Let us dance for a while...

Let us dance together, in our youth and in our age -- let us not mourn our decay, let us stay forever young -- knowing that we are all

Sitting in the sandpit, [and]
life is a short trip.

February 25, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays (3)


Welcome to the third installment of Thirsty Thursdays! Every week I will select a wine and review it. (There will be no consistent rhyme or reason for picking the wine; presume I chose each bottle on a whim. And, no, I am not receiving compensation for these reviews). I will rate the wine on a four glass rubric because a properly poured glass of wine is 6.25 oz, ensuring that each 750 ml bottle fills four glasses. (This haphazard logic makes sense, right?!)…
This week's review is dedicated to Melissa over at i swim for oceans -- it is her birthday week after all! She mentioned that her favourite is Castello del Poggio Moscato d'Asti--

 but I could not find this particular wine --


So, instead, knowing that she likes sweet white wines, I chose the 2008 Cave Spring Riesling  -- A sweeter tasting white wine from the Niagara peninsula in Canada. Before I go into my tasting, you may wonder what makes me think I can review a wine. Please find my justification/plea here.


Below is the profile and tasting notes directly from the Cave Spring website:

Profile: Within Niagara, the noble Riesling grape develops to its fullest potential only in specific areas. We have crafted this wine from selected vineyards throughout our region, where limestone-clay soils, elevation and moderating breezes from Lake Ontario have combined to create a medium dry Riesling with an impeccable balance of lush fruit character and vibrant acidity.  
Tasting Notes:Aromas of Golden Delicious apple and peach, with scents of apricot, ruby grapefruit and anise; the palate starts out medium dry and racy with ripe apple fruit; the middle is rich, dense and juicy, underpinned by ripe yellow plum fruit and crystalline textures throughout; notes of spice and grapefruit rind carry long onto the finish (9/08).

Again, before I delve into my thoughts for this lovely white wine, a brief review of how a proper tasting should look:

A proper Wine Tasting starts with smelling the wine. This process looks ridiculous! You take a brief first sniff, then pull the glass away and swirl it like a snob, (look for legs, viscosity, colour, etc.) then stick your big noggin right in there and inhale like it’s your last breath. And THEN you take the first sip, and pull it through your teeth. Also looks ridiculous! Swallow. (Sounds obvious I know…).Take your second sip. During this sip, you swoosh the wine like it is toothpaste you’re trying to wash out of your mouth. Please don’t spit it out, though, unless there’s a bucket and you’re expected to! Finally, that third sip you hold on to and savor – and finally…swallow. It is this final sip that tells for sure if the wine is going to be good.

The Riesling variety originates from Germany's Rhein and Mosel river valleys. It is a grape variety that can produce a variety of wine styles, from dry to sweet in flavour; and from light to full in body (About.com). The Riesling is boasting a new-found popularity in North America.

Okay, so as I've said, I am not a white wine drinker, though when presented with either no drink, or a glass of white, I'll totally take the glass of white. It's not that I dislike the taste of white wine. I just really love the way red wine tastes and affects me: one sip warms me; the alcoholic heat slowly oozes from the top of my head right down to my toes, and gives me a glow and lightness like nothing else. It is my romance in a bottle. (No, I swear, I do not have a problem...but I could -- :-))!

Anyway(s), admittedly, I will drink and can even enjoy white wine. But I have only had Rieslings on occasion. So tonight, when I took my first sip of this wine, I was very much taken off guard. I expected sweet. Full stop. Sweet. What I got instead was sour. It was tart! Even during the very first sip, my saliva glands instantly started pumping rather aggressively to save my taste buds from the tang. Whew. Shocking! Even after the mandatory three sip taste test, this wine is still very tart. My memory of Rieslings was that of a much sweeter wine. I am wondering if I was thinking of Gewurztraminer (?) -- or have I had one of the sweeter Rieslings? I am going to have to do some investigating -- I must taste a few Rieslings and get to the bottom of this mystery!

Regardless, as I have mentioned, Niagara is infamous for its Rieslings, so I better be careful not to lead you astray: the wine is good! Just not what I had expected. During the tasting I did note a few important points:  Its colour is a pail, flat yellow (almost golden) and it is medium in body. It has a very light citric, apple aroma. When I sip it, though, all I notice is the grapefruit taste. While there are other citric-y and fruity influences, the predominant taste is grapefruit. When Cave Spring says the grapefruit flavour carries long onto the finish, they are not lying. And I do love grapefruit -- so I enjoy this wine. Maybe I should drink it with my breakfast (since that's when I love my citric -- you know, kind of like a mimosa -- it could be a new and fashionable buffet beverage!... -- nevermind).

A Riesling, like most white wines, pairs nicely with fish; in particular, it will taste good with shellfish or a mild white fish. Because there is a range of Riesling varieties, it is a versatile wine and can be paired with many foods, from creamy, fatty dishes and cheeses, to sweet, berry influenced desserts. It also tastes good with ham or pork. Its lightness makes it a great aperitif as well.

I would recommend the Cave Spring Riesling be paired with a good roasted honey ham at Thanksgiving dinner. It's light golden colour is perfect for the season, and its tartness would complement the sweet honey ham beautifully. It is a relatively inexpensive wine (CAD 14.95), so one does not feel so badly when Uncle Eddie drinks more than his share (I know I know, that's Christmas Vacation, but you get the sentiment, right?). AND - while it is relatively inexpensive, its flavour is still robust and opulent. To be enjoyed responsibly.

I will give this wine two Riedel Vinum Rheingau/Riesling glasses out of four. It's okay--for my taste buds, anyhow!

p.s. Once you're done deciding if the Riesling is the wine for you, head on over to Beach Eats and see the spicy concoction she has created for her Thirsty Thursday!

February 24, 2010

Things that Inspire


ps...plan on this post going in a few different directions -- and please please please be patient with me -- the second half of this is particularly important to me.

On the weekend my husband and I watched Invictus. It was a really good movie -- a bit slow, but if you were looking for it, it was inspiring. Nelson Mandela believed that life was meant to be lived fully and that days were not to be wasted. While some felt he over-scheduled, he never wanted to waste a minute. He rose so early in the morning it was still dark out; he exercised daily at this time. He was up until all hours of the night, involved in many different, seemingly unnecessary (though important to him) affairs.

Nelson Mandela's approach reminded me of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin, which I read in my American Literature class in university...(remember that Beth? do you remember what I said about this particular read? I said the following specifically to you!). I remember coming to class after reading this text both inspired and bothered. I was raised to work hard, but to also rest hard: to lead a meaningful, though balanced life. Franklin believed in never wasting a moment, and ensuring that everyone knew you were constantly working: that is how to be productive (hence his ability to invent such things as the library and volunteer fire hall, bifocals, etc.)...

My university self was a bit bothered by this man's egocentric need to ensure everyone knew he worked hard -- I also noted that all his hard work was very self-involved. He was not really an available family man; though, he did have a family. I thought that that was particularly upsetting: why wasn't he spending his nights with his family? I also thought that he needed to slow down, smell the roses, take some relaxation time. However, aside from his unavailability, the me of today does see some wisdom in the full-day approach to life: we lead such short lives and it's silly to waste them!!!
Being on maternity leave, and adjusting to life with a child has slowed me down...a lot. After dealing with the many sleepless nights, I took advantage of nap-times for my own leisure and refueling. Now that I do sleep through, though, this approach is no longer viable. I am feeling LAZY -- and certainly not using my precious days as well as I should!

After watching Invictus, as well as reading fb posts from my really good friend, and also reading forever-improving girl's blog, I've realized that my love affair with the gym is what I've been missing most in my lazy days. Up until now I'd decided that there was no point to starting an exercise regiment since, once I head back to work, it will be far too stressful to try and keep it up. BUT. Where there's a will, there's a way. And (as Mr. Franklin and Mr. Mandela have reminded me), the most productive people FILL THEIR DAYS FULL...And this is inspiring. Also, once the days are full, they become so much more rewarding. 

Life is simply too precious to waste.

Get Ripped! with Jari Love 

I am now inspired. No more excuses. I no longer have a gym membership and for now, I will be okay with this fact: (I've been a member of several gyms since I was sixteen). But, I will exercise in my basement to a really wonderful Jari Love workout video entitled Get Ripped! with Jari Love. After many years of fitness, I know what it takes to get results in a short amount of time: and the full body workout with weights that this video promotes is what I need. I am tired of making excuses but of also not making the best use of the days I've had. No more couch potato, nappy nappy girl for me! Finally -- I feel I am starting, starting to appreciate every day properly.


I am someone who, once my life starts to take a more positive turn, begins to look for inspiration everywhere: in blogs, in movies, watching my friends...And another inspiring event is unfolding as we speak. My colleague and close friend's baby's first birthday is coming up in less than a week, on March 1st. This is a very special and pivotal event as baby Sofia was born weighing just under five hundred grams, at barely 26 weeks gestation. It was emergency surgery as my friend Sarah had H.E.L.L.P. syndrome and carrying her baby had put her own life in jeopardy. Knowing that Sofia's life was fragile in these first months, I have prayed Sofia would see another day EVERY DAY--and now she will be ONE YEAR OLD!


Both Sarah and I had decided to start trying to conceive at the very same time about three years ago. And we found the road to conception was not as easy as we had planned...We both struggled, though she more than I. However, we did finally conceive (thank God), and she was due three months after me. We went through our pregnancies together, did Yoga, chatted about our dreams and fears of having our first child. 


Then on that fateful day, when I entered the school where we both worked and was told the news of her health and the state of her very premature baby, I cried. I could barely carry on my classes that day. My heart went out to Sarah in a way I don't think anyone will ever understand...And it has continued to be preoccupied with her, Sofia and her husband, Luigi, ever since.

You see, of anyone I know, THEY are the people who inspire me. Not only did Sarah pick herself up post surgery, she stayed positive, knowing that her baby needed her good energy, her strength; she did not stop to notice the trauma her body had just incurred. She did not stop and ask, 'why me?'. She did not waste her tears, or beg others to explain to her how such a difficult thing could have happened to her, her child, her family. No. She realized she was lucky: she had baby Sofia! 

The months ahead were incredibly difficult. Sofia had several illnesses and needed several transfusions. She had to be isolated and protected from all germs. She was on breathing machines, feeding tubes, etc. Being barely a pound at birth, and losing weight post-birth, she was very very fragile.
--Luigi's wedding band around Sofia's wrist.

Every day I waited for good news. And Sarah obliged. She emailed the staff and I regularly. She kept us in the know, (both through email, and on a personal on-line journal). Her messages were always positive: her emails were upbeat and powerful. She inspired me, and she broke my heart, daily. She still does.

Sofia was in the hospital for one hundred and ninety-seven days (I wish I could remember all the details). Sarah and family transitioned to home life in mid September, and life did not get easier. Reflux and feeding issues were a concern, as was any airborne germs as Sofia's lungs were still fragile. The daily grind was busy for Sarah. The setting up of machines, the cleaning and disinfecting, the tube-feeding, the pumping, the regular schedules, etc., were very trying. But she did not complain. She says we all have our struggles when it comes to raising a child. (WOW).

Today Sofia is a strong, seventeen pound gorgeous baby girl. She can sit up on her own; she can jump in her jolly jumper. She is happy. She is on a predictable schedule. She is learning how to eat her solids. 

But more than everything else, Sofia is an inspiration to everyone who knows her. She fought through so many illnesses; underwent countless surgeries; struggled through the pain of reflux; and she came out victorious. (She will likely, one day, be the strongest soccer player on whatever team she chooses). She has the will to live and the fierce love of her mother (and father). She is a lucky girl. And we are all lucky to know her and her parents.

Sarah and her family leave me in awe. Not only has Sarah guided Sofia through all her struggles with positivity and grace, she has managed to keep involved in her own life: visiting friends, going to the gym, etc. She is my inspiration.

More than ever before, I am aware of the inspirations all around me: the strength in my friend, in other women, in myself, is not to be taken for granted. I hope to always appreciate these poignant examples of strength and fulfillment. 

Life is a precious gift. I thank Sarah and her family for reasserting this important fact.

Sofia, Sarah, Luigi: You are my inspiration. You have my heart. You make me want to always strive, to always live every day to its fullest -- and to do so positively and powerfully. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.

I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Happy Birthday Sofia!

February 23, 2010

Today is Thank-you's Day for me...

I am going to start with thanking a few bloggers who've helped me get my blog going -- I have emailed and harassed these ladies on more than one occasion:

3. Melissa at i swim for oceans.
4. Kimberly at She Scribes.
5. Elaine at Clothed Much.

Each of these women have taken the time to help guide me in this blogging process and I am ever indebted. Also, their blogs are amazing -- so I hope you check them out! Also, the 24th is Melissa's birthday -- so wish her a super happy one!

Next up: I won the Happy 101 Award from both Beth at Thinking of Thinking and Amelia at Imagination in Focus. Beth and I have been friends since second year university, so over ten years, I believe. Her site is awesome -- it deals with the daily life of a woman, teacher, and advocate. Amelia's site is also awesome (for lack of a more fitting word): she does reviews and is most fond of YA fiction. She has a real gift with words and on Mondays always puts up a new and inspirational quote. Please go check their sites out! 

The rules for this Bliss (Happy 101) Award are that I must list 10 things that make me happy, then pass it along to 10 other bloggers.

1. My daughter E.
1.b. nap-time.
2. My husband J.B.
3. Saturday night hubby made dinner and store bought wine.
4. Movies in movie theatres.
5. Working out/DANCING!
6. Writing for this blog.
7. Students.
8. Good friends.
9. Starbucks or Second Cup Skinny Vanilla Latte no foam.
10. Make-up/dressing up.
11. Reading (novels, celebrity smutt, blogs). 

sorry I could not keep it to ten.

Here are ten bloggers who make me happy:
1. Melissa. -- for her consistent posts and constant support.
2. Beth. -- for her enthusiasm and thoughtful posts.
3. Natthefatrat. -- for her ability to take seemingly innocuous material and write the best posts!
4. Elaine.   -- for her kindness and her amazing sense of style.
5. Stephanie.-- for her book selections and amazing comments on my blog!
6. Amelia.-- for her way with words.
7. What a Nerd Would Wear. --for her amazing sense of style and the way she can tie a scarf!
8. Kimberly.--for the immediate responses to posts and questions -- very kind.
9. Lisa and Laura. -- for their d-bag-o meter and other such hilarities. (new word--go with it:-)).
10. and another Beth. -- for her honest posts.
11. (b/c I cannot count) Forever-improving girl -- for her amazing writing gift...I cannot share her site with you without her permission -- but I will ask. I asked and she said YES!!! Oh, you will enjoy it! She's the best writer I know.

***There are actually more I can think of -- which is amazing because not even a month ago I struggled trying to come up with ten. Wow blogging really does make me happy!

February 22, 2010

Because I am a Sap

A special thanks to The Confused Homemaker for sharing this video on her blog. This is a video essay written by Katherine Center for the Mom 2.0 Summit. I have decided to post it because I think it is amazing.

And then below not even related but timely considering last night's crazy hockey game is a piece by Tom Brokaw entitled Tom Brokaw Explains Canada to Americans.

February 21, 2010

the Paper Bag Princess...


Lately my blogs have been a wee bit pissy. Because I have been a wee bit pissy. Ha. How's that for honest? Well, I have something to tell you. When I am in this funk of a mood, there is seriously only one thing I can do to get out of it: I must beautify myself. ANY WAY I CAN. I truly am a girly-girl. I remember this time last year very distinctly. I was fat and pregnant; my skin was dry and my clothes didn't fit and I'd gone for my regularly scheduled wax at the spa, and the makeup artist woman there looked at me and saw 'prey' written all over my face -- and she 'innocently' asked me if I needed my makeup done. 


I should have been insulted. 

I must have looked even worse than I felt.

But I was like, 'Would I?" -- and that wasn't exuberance you heard in my voice. That was shear and utter desperation. I was begging her to please please make me feel beautiful so I could get out of this sad, pathetic, gloomy-ass funk.

So, she did; and of course I was swindled into buying up all the products she used (which by the way were not the greatest)--again telling you how desperate I was for attention, love, and beauty.

Anyhow, let's just jump to this year. This week. This new funk. I don't know how they do it, but sale's ladies find me, EVEN IF I AM AT HOME IN MY P.J'S trying to safely ride out my funk there (where no sale's lady can accost me and swindle me into spending my hard earned government funded pay cheques).

Well let me tell YOU!

They find me there too! I must have a really strong homing device attached to me somewhere. And I must emit some really strong currents into the universe that beg, no plead for someone to take me under her wing, beautify me and make me feel all good again.

So Friday night, I was reading my bloggies that I love...and the phone rings. I think it's my sister-in-law, so I answer it all 'um helllloooo' (as in thanks for finally calling me--you know the attitude).

Well, turns out it was my favourite local cosmetics girl. Let's call her Barbie. She sought me out! She calls and is all 'We have a special event coming up with gifts with purchase' etc. etc.


Let's be honest.

Full disclosure.

She had me at hello.

She did!

I was salivating. Only just that day I was begging my dutiful j.b. to let me loose in the Estee Lauder store where she works so I could buy my favourite, and already emptied lip gloss (Orchid -- which I highly recommend everyone buys because it is the most gorgeous fuchsia colour that would look good on everyone, but no one would buy because it's fuchsia. But it is gorgeous and the colour stays on the lips as if it were a lipstick. And it feels so good on...And. And. Oh man. I have a problem).

But j.b. knows me, and he was hesitant. But he had okayed it! 

So, truly serendipitously, the phone rings and Barbie calls and I'm all "OMG I was TOTALLY going to be coming in to see you tomorrow to buy me some gloss!". And then she tells me of the gift with purchase event if I only spend such and such amount of money. But then she says, never mind that, when can I do your makeover again!? 

Oh wow.

Those are the magic words.

I was all "Can you do it tomorrow?" -- I was never one to shy away from looking desperate, you see.

And it was on!

So yesterday, I was so excited, I got OUT of my p.j's and into an outfit in which I actually felt pretty and I went to the mall! I felt re-inspired. Like I had purpose once again! And then 'Barbie' did my makeup. I must preface (or epilogue, maybe?) this by saying that she did my original make-over back in November and did such a good job I bought almost everything she tried on me. And this is Estee Lauder we're talking about here? Not cheap. Nope. Barbie is one of the main reasons I have spent more money on makeup than clothes. I might as well be the Paper Bag Princess. But at least my face will look good! Because, after all, is that not the most important? No? (p.s. wouldn't that be a really good ad. idea -- I should copyright that).

Back in November, Barbie did the best make-over I have ever had. And if you haven't gotten this from my post so far: I've had many many many many many many make-overs. 

She is the best. 

She picks the most silky, luscious, properly bold colours for my taste and my colouring. She does things to my face I didn't know could be done. I loved love loved her first go at my face. But with yesterday's look I had random people approach me after and tell me how great my eyes looked. AND EVEN MY HUSBAND! When I got home, his first words were 'Oh wow. Your eyes'. If you have a husband (or at least one like mine), then you know that this statement is more rare than seeing a Robin in February.

So, my point to this long rant is. If you are feeling like I was. And you need something to pull you out of your sad little funk. And you are as superficial and easily bought as I am -- a makeover may be just what you need. It lifted me up -- it made me stand tall -- it got me out of my p.j's.! And Barbie -- well, she did what all good sale's ladies do for me: she made me and my face feel like Goddesses.

And it only cost me -- well, that's between me and my Visa (if I can help it -- and can keep it hidden from j.b., that is!)... ha ha.

In all seriousness, if you live anywhere near me, I recommend a visit to the Estee Lauder at the Bay in Masonville. Don't ask for Barbie, though -- ha ha. I will let you know her real name:-)

For now, though, I am signing off with a smile: Just call me Pretty in Pink.

Or better yet: the Paper Bag Princess -- because after yesterday's adventure, I can no longer afford to buy the new wardrobe I need for back to work -- woops.


February 19, 2010



One of the things that I've learned since becoming old - er - a parent is that the progress into parenthood teaches us a lot about ourselves. I thought I knew a lot about myself before (I even had a University boyfriend who told me I knew myself better than anyone he'd ever met -- I think he was kindly telling me I was self-centered!?) -- Anyhow. Nope. He was wrong. Turns out there were a few very key elements of my character to which I was totally and completely ignorant. More to the point, there is one MAJOR characteristic that has become very painfully evident only since the birth of my marvelous e.  Shall I elaborate?


You see, before e, I wasn't aware exactly how much I needed to be one hundred percent in control. I never knew how expansive my need for control was. Seriously. I knew this was a trait of mine, in there somewhere, relatively dormant and benign. Once I even admitted that it was there -- I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled and the good ol' Dentist said he was 'putting me under' and to count back from ten, and I was busily telling him that his putting me to sleep would not work because I was a woman and as such I needed complete control and no amount of drugs would -- zzzzzzz --- snorrrrreee -- However, even then, I didn't really know exactly what control meant or at least how it manifested in me.

That is until e.

It's kind of like the bible, except not at all. There was my life  Before e. And then there is now my life After e.

One would think life would be very similar before and after on all accounts except for this new person being a very significant part of it now...but no, she has changed me -- or maybe just shined a really large magnifying mirror at me -- because every day something happens and I realize I. am. not. in. control. at. all. And this fact really really bothers me.

I am sure you wonder how such a cute and adorable little innocent baby girl could be so adept at humbling my sorry self! Well, let me tell you! For starters, her eating (which, if you follow my blog you know there is many a post weaved in here about my trials and tribulations with e's eating). Seems she was born without interest in food. Not sure how this could have happened considering her father and I are both major food lovers...But alas, from a very early age, feeding this child has been nothing short of a test of patience. EVERY time. And sometimes, like today for instance, I just do not have the patience. My want for control makes me want to sit down with whatever healthy dish I choose and simply feed it to her. What actually happens is I have about six different options from the varying food groups, and she picks, if I am lucky, one item. And which food she chooses to like and dislike depends on the day.

It. is. enough. to. make. my. head. spin. exorcist style. 


And from what I hear, this frustrating character trait is not unique to her. Other children do this too!!!

Why did nobody tell me!!!???

Not only does food disinterest her, she also hates milk. And she is not all that fond of formula. So getting the bare minimum of what she needs nutritionally in a day is beyond difficult. And of course, what makes it all that more frustrating: I have no control. e decides. Yup. If she does not want it, I cannot make her. So there. Did you see her sticking her tongue out at me there? Oh soon enough I am sure!

Another example of her testing me, and my frustration level rising, is right now: she is supposed to be having her daily afternoon nap. Yup. The one I NEED. MY BREAK. If you listen closely, you can hear her; she is playing her mobile, singing along, and playing with her doll. She may even be standing and throwing her soothers over the edge just to see and hear them land on the floor. Yup. That's one hitting the floor now. Give her five minutes and she will be crying for me. She can do this for a good hour, I've learned. And she won't fall to sleep. This is a new thing, too. It started about three days ago. She has decided she no longer needs her afternoon nap! And again. I have no control. I cannot make her sleep! Sigh.

I am adding this to the list known as the Motherhood Conspiracy (that is the LONG list of things that no mother bothered to tell me before I decided I was apt and able enough to have my very own child): no matter how hard we try, or how savvy a parent we are, we really aren't in charge here. Not really. We can think we're awesome: we've got the routine, the daily rhythm, and baby is following suit nicely; we've broken the bad habits, sat idly, though it was difficult, while baby cried and insisted she was not tired...We were victorious! Until today. Because another thing mothers don't tell us -- babies are inconsistent. And once we've managed to fix one thing, or manipulate it the way we want it, something else happens and we're again humbled, stumped, maybe even annoyed.

My favourite is the whole sleep thing. You see, in my family, it truly is a sign of superb parenting if your child sleeps through the night. Never mind a hungry child, nightmares, teething, what-have-you, I was not a good mother until my child slept through the night. And to me? I was also not in control of that. Nope. e told me when she was ready to sleep through -- in turn, letting me finally sleep through. Wasn't that nice of her? To let me get almost seven hours in a row? Pretty altruistic, indeed! Let me tell you how amazing I felt the first night I slept through. Nothing can describe. Nothing.

Anyhow, enough ranting. e is awesome. But as a mother who believes in my child's individuality and unique needs, I have come to learn that I will never again be in control. Of my life. Or her. And I am not sure I will ever really be one with this fact. Everyday I vow to not let her eating bother me. Or get frustrated when after an hour or more she is still not napping -- because after all, she may just not be hungry or tired -- and she is a human with certain tastes and preferences, after all! But man oh man, it truly is a daily test trying to fight my innate and ever prevalent need to be in control.

Oh. That's her crying. Time to go get her out of her crib, because indeed, today, she is not tired and not in need of her nap.

boo. and deep breath.

p.s. I am sure that I will be far more humbled in twelve years and my e enters her teen years...If she's anything like me -- control will be an intangible concept I will have to let go of fully. I cannot wait *shutters.

February 18, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays (2)

Welcome to the second installment of Thirsty Thursdays! Every week I will select a wine and review it. (There will be no consistent rhyme or reason for picking the wine; presume I chose each bottle on a whim. And, no, I am not receiving compensation for these reviews). I will rate the wine on a four glass rubric because a properly poured glass of wine is 6.25 oz, ensuring that each 750 ml bottle fills four glasses. (This haphazard logic makes sense, right?!)…

This week's wine was a J.B. selection, 2008 Reif Chardonnay Sauvingnon Blanc, a VQA Niagara Region wine from the Reif Estate Winery in Niagara Falls Ontario, Canada.

Below is a description from the April 11th 2009 Ontario Wine Awards Judging:

Appearance: Light white gold.
Nose: Baked apple with light butter, vanilla and spicy oak.
Palate: Dry with good acidity, mid-weight. Palate exceeds the nose. Midpalate has some fat then a spicy astringency which lasts through the long clean dry finish.
Conclusions: Good now and for three years, good general purpose white food wine. Should soften a bit more with a couple of years in the bottle.

The Reif Wine Producers describe the wine as “light straw in colour with a broad range of aromas and flavours: from crisp apple and pineapple to subtle notes of banana and gooseberry. The finish is clean and defined by its crisp acidity.”

Okay. A brief review of a proper tasting -- :-)

A proper Wine Tasting starts with smelling the wine. This process looks ridiculous! You take a brief first sniff, then pull the glass away and swirl it like a snob, (look for legs, viscosity, colour, etc.) then stick your big noggin right in there and inhale like it’s your last breath. And THEN you take the first sip, and pull it through your teeth. Also looks ridiculous! Swallow. (Sounds obvious I know…).Take your second sip. During this sip, you swoosh the wine like it is toothpaste you’re trying to wash out of your mouth. Please don’t spit it out, though, unless there’s a bucket and you’re expected to! Finally, that third sip you hold on to and savor – and finally…swallow. It is this final sip that tells for sure if the wine is going to be good.

To be honest, I am not much of a white wine drinker. However, I do love to share a glass of Chardonnay with my mother-in-law in the summer. Also, white wines become much more attractive in the summer, enjoyed outside on a patio somewhere. They are a perfect aperitif. This wine is no exception. My first sip had me daydreaming of my summer on the Lake Huron shore, enjoying the sunset before dinner. Sigh.

During my very first taste of this Reif wine, I notice an apple flavour: sharp and crisp. There is a sweetness to this dry wine. However, it is a nice, not too sweet taste, like a Granny Smith apple. And, like a Granny Smith, the finish is also a bit tart. There’s a bite. It is crisp but tart; refreshing, but a bit tangy. 

I’ve never had a Chardonnay Sauvignon blend before last night. A Chardonnay has a fuller body and bolder flavour than the Sauvignon Blanc. Because of its distinct flavour, people either love or hate the Chardonnay. It is rare to find someone on the fence regarding their opinion on this wine variety. I do enjoy it. In the summer I associate it with happy days at the cottage. 

Although Niagara is more infamous for its Rieslings, I prefer a good Niagara Chardonnay. It is a green skinned grape variety that originated likely in the Burgundy wine regions of France (Wikipedia). It is described as a variety that either emphasizes a ‘high-toned, steely, fruitlike qualities of the wine with little or no use of oak’ or ‘emphasizes barrel and malolactic fermentation in addition to the fruit characteristic, which lends the wine a rounder, buttery taste’ (http://www.novusvinum.com/education/varietals/chardonnay.html). They are either oaked or not. I enjoy the oaked wines the best: they have a bolder, more oaky flavour (of course;-)!). The Reif Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc is more like the first description and is more fruity and high-toned – sharp, not quite savory.

Unlike the Chardonnay, a Sauvignon Blanc is a lighter bodied white wine, though it is also a green skinned grape variety. It originates from the Bordeaux regions of France. Its flavour ranges from grassy to fruity depending on the region (Wikipedia). I would say that Niagara produces a more fruity, acidic flavoured Sauvignon Blanc.

The marriage of the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay create a buttery golden colour, and a fruity, light tasting white wine. It has a light and clean taste, though has a tart, bitter finish. The Sauvignon Blanc tames the Chardonnay, but there is still that yummy rounder Chardonnay taste. In fact, now that I think a bit more on it, there is a bit of a buttery flavour at first, but the fruitiness of the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc combination really dominates and cuts through the creaminess.

This wine would taste good with a provolone, mild cheddar or gruyere cheese. It is also yummy with olives, oysters, or smoked salmon. And it would taste great with lighter meats and fishes, such as chicken or tilapia. It would also taste good with any cream sauce – cutting the fattiness with its clean taste. Because of its fruity taste, it would also taste great with many Caribbean fruits. However, avoid highly acidic foods, as the pairing is not complimentary. And, heavy meats will overwhelm the lightness of the wine.

I would recommend this wine to anyone who plans to be out in the sun and on a patio. It is an awesome sipping wine – great to split with a friend (or mother-in-law), while casually watching the sun-set shore-side anywhere warm! For all of us who are still ‘enjoying’ the winter grey and gloomy snow, the wine can be a bit of an escape…Put on your favourite summer dress, grab a glass, turn on the fire, and pretend…It will portal you to a tropical place – and provide you an hour or more of escape from the chilly realities of life. Enjoy – responsibly.

I would give this wine a two point five Chablis-Chardonnay shaped glasses out of four. It's good -- not great.

February 17, 2010

Cogito Ergo Sum


Valentine's inspired (mind you I bought my own chocolate)

Chocolate. A Haiku

Choc-o-late is bliss
that melts sweet on my tongue
pure. simple. pleasure

Heidi Pratt

Plastic. Barbie. Babe.
Chiseled hour-glass. Perfection.
Weeping eyes. Forc'd smile.

An Ode to my Socks

I have a conundrum today, and all days like today.
You see today is the ever, the almighty, the constant -- laundry day.
And, as is the same with every week when I venture to complete,
A full day of laundry -- all folded, put away, and neat.

Something happens between points a and b,
From washer to dryer, there comes a huge issue, you see.
My socks were a pair in the basket before wash day,
But now, there sits three or more singles, wondering what may
Have become of their partners, their pairs, their friends...
Now no longer useful, they fear it's the end.

Because the only thing more sad than one lost piece of foot wear,
Is the one who remains, alone, unusable, bare.
I stand here, one sock in hand,
And I wonder, was this all planned?

Oh red sock, where is your pair?
How did he get lost between here and there?
And what with you now?
Can you stand partnering with a white, or maybe a brown?

The pile of single socks, alone, the sad sorry state;
Wondering how could I have lost their buddy, their mate!
I can see their daggers, they're so angry with me.
How could I be so careless and sloppy?

But I implore with these singles, I beg and I plea
That they understand this conspiracy has nothing to do with me.
It's those machines, the washer, the dryer who play --
They steal your partners, and leave me and you in dismay.

So singles, I know it's true it is you who is most at a loss.
But my pocket book is losing too, because of the cost.
I am mad at those machines, and I conspire to win this fight --
To one day be victorious and have full pairs at the end of the night.
And to save your sadness, your anger, your remorse,
I hope to win and prevent your recourse.

Oh singles I am sad I am mad I am in de - spair!
Since I've ever done laundry they've mocked and stolen one of each pair --
I don't know exactly how it happens. But I know this for sure
between washer and dryer your other lies waiting -- somewhere.

February 16, 2010


Remember when the 'experts' said that having a television in the bedroom would have a negative impact on...well, you know....So then, I ask, what of the laptop in the bed -- in the bed!!!... What of that???
Moving on ---
Below is a picture of e and I summer '09 -- e is right where I want her to stay always -- where I can protect her.

So I was thinking today about the thing that's been haunting me, haunting me, helping fan the funky fire that is consuming me fully...and making this such a Funky February.

What has been seriously messing with my head is the fact that the day to go back to the career is getting closer and closer: that day when I have to step out our door for nine or more hours and leave little e with someone else. I sat with her tonight, giving her her night-time bottle, and she looked up at me, and I just wanted to stay in that moment forever.  Just me and my baby. Nothing to interrupt. She and me. Always.
I went to the ortho's today for my ugly, sadly disfigured feet. It was my first time. And I walked in and recognized the Orthodox lady (what are they called?). She gets her hair done at my ex-best friend's salon. She is my ex-best friend's friend. Phew. Wow. That was awkward. Because I know she knows that in that salon I am considered the evil-ist, selfish-ist, and any other negativ-i-est thing you can think of, female alive. And that made me sad.

And then it made me once again think of e. Life is often not easy. And I fear that women often play a hand at making each others' lives not so easy. I don't think it's intentional. We are all born with an extra moral chromosome and one less of that try to be patient with each other chromosome. That is, we don't take shit. And we expect a lot from one another.

I fear for e as she grows. When she gets to school and she has to choose between the cool girl with the pig-tails, and the nerdy girl in the jumper. It is in these moments that her character will strengthen, and her understanding of what it is to be will imprint. And I just want her to be. Who she is now is so pure. So honest. So spongy and excited and in love with everyone. I want that e to always be here.  Because she really and genuinely loves everyone. Maybe she will stay like this. Maybe the school girls will let her. 

Maybe they won't make her choose. Maybe she will be the coolest girl and she will make sure everyone knows that no one has to choose: that everyone is cool. Or maybe she just won't care what anyone thinks and she will just be. Maybe. Or maybe everyone will be friends with everyone. I have heard of this happening once. Somewhere. In an urban legend or something.

Anyhow, maybe I just had it particularly hard growing up, but I know I have been heartbroken as a result of another dead friendship more times than anyone should. And I probably made some dumb-ass choices that helped aid in the deaths...So I hope I can help guide her with those important decisions as well. Or maybe she will be born all-knowing, just like her daddy. He seems to just know the right thing to do always. Maybe she will be like that too. I hope she will be a girl of integrity...

I hope she will be happy. I hope she draws others in then the way she does now. I hope no one tries to dim her light, steal her thunder, or make her apologize for being everything wonderful. Or, if they do try to, I hope she is strong enough to not let them. And to not apologize for being wonderful -- I hope she shares her beautiful wonderfulness with everyone. Because wouldn't that be special?

And I hope that she does not have to run into old best-friend's friends, congering up all the hurt and bad feelings, all the regrets and heart-aches that have displaced that once so vital friendship. Because heart-break hurts. And important lost friends hurts. And life sometimes hurts. And I want her to never ever hurt.

I want to simply protect her -- always.


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