Friday, February 24, 2006

The Internet has the best ideas

I find the best ideas on the Internet. Need a recipe for baked french toast? Find a totally orgasmic one on, verified by a blogger at slashfood. (Really. I made this for guests this past weekend, and I looked like a culinary genuis! And it's so easy! I used challah bread instead of French bread and maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and oh man it was fantastic!) Need a baby card idea? Shamelessly rip one off from Martha Stewart. Need to find out what's going on in Ottawa for kids? Ottawa family fun has the update. Looking for general parenting stuff? I adore Blogging Baby. And now my love knows no bounds since they introduced me to this recipe for caramel dip. Not that I made this recipe, oh no. I modified it! And you can too! The Blogging Baby recipe (actually, the Rachael Ray recipe) has peanut butter in it, which is still verboten for Charlie due to the impressive depth and breadth of food allergies in my family.

But let me backtrack a bit. I am desperately trying to get Sir Charles to eat fresh fruit and veggies. For the most part, he refuses. But encouraged by his new willingness to eat corn (discovered at Swiss Chalet of all places. He ate an entire side of corn, kernel by kernel, by dipping each one into a vat of chalet sauce. It took so long that his fingers were pruney by the end of dinner. Luckily, he will still eat corn, sans sauce, much to my relief. I actually bought a packet of make-it-yourself chalet sauce, thinking, hmmm, what else can I get him to eat with this stuff? Strawberries? Grapes? Broccoli?), I thought surely if I coat apple slices with tasty, sugary dip, he'll gobble it up, right? And we happened to have a bottle of Smuckers caramel sauce, which never usually happens, and half a bag of milk chocolate chips. So here's my picky toddler chocolate-caramel dip recipe:

Throw a small handful of milk chocolate chips into a bowl.
Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.
Add a squirt of Smuckers caramel sauce.
Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir again.
Everything melted? Good.
Grab your sliced apples. Dip sliced apple (without skin of course), and offer to picky toddler.
Watch hopefully as he takes a small bite and does not spit it on the floor. Think to yourself, victory is mine! He will eat non-sauced fruit! I'm the smartest mommy ever! Hurrah!
Offer second bite of dipped apple to toddler. See hopes dashed as toddler scrunches face in refusal as if you offered him a bite of his deadly enemy, ground beef. (Charlie hates ground beef with a passion.)
Eat entire bowl of dip yourself. At least you don't have to share.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Random Thoughts I Had While Shopping for Skates at Canadian Tire This Morning, Tim Hortons Coffee In My Hand

"Man, there are a lot of people in this store with Tim's coffees." and

"How Canadian is this?"

Somewhere, two brand managers are rubbing their hands with glee.

p.s. Canadian Tire is still having their skate sale. I don't know if it is just in the Ottawa area, but I totally scored a pair of basic, recreational CCM skates for only $29.99! (Regularly $99.99!)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Must remember this when he is a teenager

Charlie, last night as I was putting him to bed:

"Mom, you're my best friend."

(Inspired by the Dora "Best Friends Day" episode he watched that morning. Still, I almost tossed out every single birth control method in my possession. )

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear head, Shut up.

I am supposed to start a new pack of birth control pills today. And I am hesitating. That's right, hesitating. And I'm thinking about calling Motherisk to find out if I can take St. John's Wort during pregnancy. What is going on?

Dear brain (and hormones, if you're listening, this one is for you too),

Now is NOT a good time to get pregnant. You are in a good space. Let's try life on an even keel for a while, shall we? Charlie is wonderful. Take time to enjoy him. And remember that list of things to do before having another baby? Why don't you try focusing on that instead, hmmmmmm? Please, please stop filling my head with warm fuzzy thoughts of newborns.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Monday, February 13, 2006

That's why my grocery bill was $154 this week

I am currently drowning in editorial work and guests. It's all good, really. It's a treat to have friends around for a change. (We don't have a lot of friends in Ottawa. It's a little better now, but damn, the first year here was incredibly lonely.) And even though it's economics, editing is a nice change of pace. However, that doesn't really leave time for much else since I'm working during naps and after Charlie goes to bed. So this week, all of our dinners will be some sort of President's Choice product or another. Maybe a bit of bagged salad if I'm feeling up to it. But why do I have time to blog you ask? I don't. So I better stop procrastinating and get back to work . . .

Friday, February 03, 2006

My first meme, or how to avoid writing a longer post about my trip

Four jobs I’ve had
1. Flyer sorter and bundler for a weekly newspaper
2. Dishwasher at a resort
3. Copywriter for a Major Catalogue Retailer
4. Freelance editor

Four movies I can watch over and over

1. The Royal Tenenbaums
2. Finding Nemo (not really by choice)
3. Sliding Doors (I totally scored on the DVD. US$4.88! So, um, I guess it's not very many others' favourite movie.)
4. Only You (Yes, it's a terrible movie, but the star is neither Robert Downey Jr. nor Marisa Tomei, it's Italy. So gorgeous!)

Four places I have lived

1. Bracebridge, Ontario
2. San Jose, California
3. London, Ontario
4. Toronto, Ontario

Four TV shows I love

1. Gilmore Girls
2. America's Next Top Model
3. The Daily Show
4. Home to Stay

Four places I've vacationed

1. London, England
2. Capri, Italy
3. San Diego, California
4. Venice, Florida (and Italy because of the movie Only You)

Four of my favourite dishes

1. Anything with gorgonzola cheese
2. Butter chicken and naan bread from Rasoee
3. Fish tacos
4. Croissants from Bonjour Brioche

Four sites I visit daily

2. Dooce
3. The Awful Truth
4. Blogging Baby

Four places I would rather be right now

1. Anyplace warm with a nice, sandy beach
2. Oasis restaurant in Toronto
3. Surfing in San Diego
4. In bed, asleep, for a couple of weeks

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sweet, sweet naptime

Charlie is napping. At the usual time, in his crib, without a car ride to get him to sleep. How did this miracle happen? I ran him around the Kanata leisure centre pool all morning. I waited, patiently, until 1:00 p.m. to put him in his crib. And now I am totally exhausted! But sitting in the swirl pool this morning did wonder for my aching muscles. HS came home a bit early last night so I could go to the gym. And it was awesome!

I used to be quite lazy in my twenties. But I was one of those fat/skinny people, so I got away with it. And then I got married and started cooking a lot. And I turned 28. And the metabolism slowed way down. So I put on weight. Luckily I used to have oodles of time back then, a gym in the same building where I worked, and lots of friends who also decided it was time to get in shape. I started working out, and to my utter shock and surprise, I totally loved it. Despite minor knee and ankle injuries (which occurred basically because I hadn't used my muscles that rigorously before. Sad, but true), I kept up a fairly healthy and consistent regimen for three years. And then I got pregnant. I did lots of prenatal yoga and aquafit (which I seriously think helped a lot in labour and delivery), but then I had Charlie. I think I've been to the gym about 10 times in the last two years.

I forgot how good I feel after working out. And I've read many times how exercise helps with depression. So HS and I are going skiing this saturday night instead of dinner and a movie. And I'm really going to make an effort to get to the gym despite the cold, hassle, and lack of adequate parking. But now what I really need is a nap.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How does my head come up with these things?

Yes, Charlie skipped his nap again yesterday. And he was well on his way to another missed nap today, but I just drove to Carp and back, and now he is fast asleep in his crib. Thank god. Of course it is 3:30 p.m., really far too late for a nap, but whatever. We've got to nip this not-napping thing in the bud. Tomorrow morning we have gym 'n' swim, so hopefully that will tire him out so he is back on his regularly scheduled sleeping program. Uh huh.

So before I finish my "I heart Florida and all their Cracker Barrels and Targets" post, I thought I should mention a funny thing that popped into my head as I was driving on I75 in my rented minivan.

I want another.

Baby that is, not minivan. And there goes the debate at the heart of this blog: first or only?

But it makes sense really. This thought made it's rather strong presence known while I was on vacation. In warm weather. With four other adults (that I happen to love) to help look after Charlie. When going outside meant slipping on flip flops. And my mother-in-law was doing all the cooking or we were going out to eat. Clearly not reality.

Now that I'm back in the cold that makes going anywhere with a toddler difficult, if not impossible, and I'm at home with Charlie for most of the day, this thought is fading somewhat. Reason is taking over, reminding me of the PPD and the severe lack of sleep.

But Charlie is just wonderful these days. No, really. Despite the missed naps and the tantrums and the usual two-year-old stuff, he's such a sweetie. And I'm crazy about him. I wonder if he's always been this way, and I couldn't see it because of the PPD. Or maybe we're dovetailing nicely in a good phase of adequate meds and Charlie's temperment.

The debate continues, but I'm starting to lean toward first instead of only. Let's see how February and March go.