Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!

Anyone else seen Thank You for Smoking? Cause if you have, then you too might be tempted to yell out the above words while visiting Vermont. (William H. Macy -- an actor I just adore -- plays the senator from Vermont in Thank You for Smoking. Aaron Eckhardt is a PR guy for the smoking industry who -- in response to the senator's attack on smoking -- attacks Vermont for its cheese industry and the resulting high cholesterol levels in Americans. I loved that movie, not only because HS is in PR, but because it thoroughly avoided a happy Hollywood ending -- and ending I really wanted and expected but never got. Because that's what I pay a babysitter for -- a movie that messes with you.)

But I digress. And use far too many em-dashes.

We're back! From Boston! We survived a sixteen-hour car drive with a 2.5-year-old! Actually, he was stellar during the trip. I was the one who almost lost it when I missed the I-89 and ended up adding thirty extra miles to our return trip. Luckily those miles were through very scenic Vermont countryside, so it wasn't too terrible. But I was hungry and mad at HS for not fulfilling his navigator duties. And then we ended up in Montpelier for lunch at an organic vegetarian buffet restaurant (called Rhapsody -- it's on the main street, yummy sesame noodles and egg rolls, you should go). I was thrilled to eat something other than McDonald's for lunch, and HS was pissed that he missed the Subway just down the street. But c'mon, ginger-garlic tofu is good for you!

Lordy it's late, and we're leaving again tomorrow for my MIL's (aka dial-up land, and since this blog is a secret, I may not be posting all that much for the next couple of weeks), and HS is out of town, so I gotta get to bed. More on Boston tomorrow (hopefully). Like Ben & Jerry's! Popular with the biker crowd! Duckling statues at the Public Garden! Didn't disappoint! Just hanging out with the kids in your friends' basement can be fun! Vermont-Quebec border crossing! Not busy! And other gems!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A quick note as I head out the door . . .

So it's been a while since I posted, no? I can explain. First I went to Toronto for some much-needed me time. My sister and brother-in-law took me out for yummy Greek food and The Devil Wears Prada (I love that movie! The clothes! La Streep! Paris and New York!); I finally got my roots touched up (thank you thank you thank you Michael Barnett -- you rock!); I had dinner in Guelph with almost all of my closest girlfriends (such a sanity saver); and I had brunch at Bonjour Brioche with two of my favourite guys (you really should treat yourself to a croissant from BB -- they are so buttery and flaky and delish). All in all, a fab weekend -- it did wonders for my spirits and totally decimated my health. Since Monday I've been either 1. lying on the couch, moaning, trying to distract Charlie with my feeble attempts at horizontal parenting or 2. in bed, medicated to the hilt with Nyquil. Luckily I'm feeling much better because we're off to Boston tonight. Whee! Did you know that Boston is only about eight hours from Ottawa? Why that's practically how long it took us to get to my MIL's on Christmas Eve! But since we aren't total fools, we're stopping half way in Vermont tonight so we can hit the Ben & Jerry's factory tour tomorrow morning. (Just a word of advice, best not to mention the words "ice cream factory tour" to a 2.5-year old until the actual day of said tour. Because Charlie keeps asking with alarming frequency when we are going on the damn tour already. That and he's obsessed with the ducklings from "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey. He's convinced that we will see them at the Public Garden in Boston, and he will be able to hold one in his hand. I know that they have statues of the ducklings, so let's hope and pray that those suffice or else we're in for the meltdown of all meltdowns. Mental note: pack chocolate milk.) Then it's on to Boston and shopping, I mean, visiting our friends. Yes, that's it. I'll let you know how it goes, and maybe I'll even have a picture or two!

Friday, July 14, 2006

What, me worry?

Just a quick post while Charlie is enthralled by Dora . . .

The tests came back normal. I don't know why I wasn't being specific, but here's what it was: I found a lump. And after a week of trying to ignore it, I went to my doctor and he confirmed it. A lump in ole righty. No surprise really, righty was the one that gave me all the grief when I was breastfeeding (all those blocked ducts were a right pain in the, well, boob). Anywho, I had a mammogram and ultrasound that both came back normal. Whew!

So of course, after all the worry and guests and generally trying to keep my sh*t together, I am now sick with a lovely cold. And Charlie has it too. Did you know they will give you liquid codeine to treat a bad cough? (For Charlie, not me!) We just had to drug Charlie last night. He's been up for the past three nights; HS and I are not handling the sleep deprivation well. At least he slept until 4:30 a.m.

And now I'm off to Toronto. Just me, no HS, no Charlie. I wasn't going to go because I still have a bit of a sore throat, but HS convinced me that a few days on my own, with friends, would do me some good. And he is willing to take on cranky, snot-soaked, coughy mccougherton all on his own. He is the best husband ever!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mother's intuition

Wow, HS and I can be really slow to figure out Charlie sometimes. As illustrated by the Cars debacle, it seems we really need to be hit over the head to get the point across. Case in point: Charlie has been VERY whiny over the last two days. And he was quite tired way before his usual bedtime. And he was up during the night, demanding some company in his big-boy bed (if there are any more nights like this we gotta get a cushier futon). So there's HS and I puzzling over why this might be, is he worn out from the heat? Has he had enough of our merry-go-round of visitors? Did the bike ride do him in? Etc. Um no. He woke up this morning with a fever! Boy do we feel dumb. And to top it all off, I think I'm getting it too! Oh joy! Being sick in the summer just seems so wrong. So I'm off to bed now. And I'm seriously considering chicken soup and neo citran for dinner, despite the heat.

And tomorrow I get my test results back. Not that I'm thinking about that all of the time. Oh no, not me.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Great moments in parenting idiocy

(A recreation of events that occurred this past Monday.)

niks: "Hey HS, I have a great idea. Since it's raining, let's take Charlie to Cars*! He loved Over the Hedge, and he sat through the whole thing no problem. What do you think?"

HS: "Great idea! And while we're at it, why don't we stop at that little carnival on the way home*? I have two tickets left, and Charlie can ride those cars he liked."

niks: "Perfect! I'm sure that will tire him out*, and he had a late nap, so he won't be too cranky*. We can just skip his bath* and put him right to bed when we get home*."

The stars indicate exactly where we, as loving parents, went wrong.

First, Cars. Did you know it's a TWO HOUR movie? For kids????? Ok, we should have checked that one first. And it's about race cars? Loud, flashy, zippy cars? Not exactly great fare for a two-and-a-half-year old to watch in the super mega surround sound multiplex.

Second, carnival????? At 9:30 at night? Yes, we are just that stupid. Let's take our antsy, overstimulated, somewhat tired child to a carnival! With flashing lights! And loud music! And why not put him on a loud ride that goes around and around and around! Let's get him more wound up, not tired out, shall we? Splendid idea!

Third, skip his bath????? The key to his bedtime routine? Madness! That's the thing about routines: they work so beautifully, but if you deviate from the plan prepare to pay the price. Although, to be fair to us, the slow to catch on, Charlie didn't actually protest until he was already in pyjamas and brushing his teeth, so we thought we were in the clear. Alas, no. The missing bath led to a MASSIVE hour-long meltdown that finally ended when Charlie fell asleep at 11 p.m. And he woke up at 7 a.m. demanding a bath. Needless to say, he got one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I will not obsess I will not obsess I will not obsess

And here I thought I was doing so well. I was nicely distracted by guests this weekend (a couple of HS's high school friends. I would say my friends too, but I just can't get into the who-was-screwing-around-with-what-teacher conversation, y'know? There was a shockingly long list from HS's high school, but anywho). Now that everyone has cleared out, I have some free time with my thoughts. Not a good thing, considering tomorrow is my day o' medical tests. Oh joy. I have a low, constant level of queasiness and a raging patch of eczema to remind me. Not that I need reminding, mind you. My brain takes care of that, so body, cool it with the flaky skin, ok? But on the bright side, the outdoor pools are open, and I always feel better floating about in the water. Pool, lake, river, it doesn't matter; it's an instant mood lifter. (When I was nine months pregnant with Charlie, I lived in the JCC pool. I was so enormous, it hurt to walk, but in the pool -- bliss. When Charlie was born two weeks early at 9.1 lbs, the pain made sense.) So we are going swimming after Charlie's nap. And perhaps a bike ride because I find that my thoughts become wonderfully disjointed non sequiters when I exercise.

But let's talk about something else. How about food? Again! Our friends gave us this yummy marinade when we visited their cottage. I don't think they'd mind if we posted it. (I don't know if they made it up or what, so if this is someone's recipe, my apologies.) I recreated it this past weekend paired with some steaks, and I looked like a culinary superstah! And the watermelon-feta salad was a hit again, after the usual skepticism. Toss the following together, and hit the grill!

1/2 C red wine
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/3 C soy sauce
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C chopped green onions
6 crushed garlic cloves
a few shakes of hot sauce

(I used a little more wine and a little less sugar, but I'm not a sweets kind of girl anyway.)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Happy belated Canada Day!

This has nothing to do with Canada Day, but . . . I have no idea why, but I am so craving mushroom nut loaf from Hey Good Cooking. If you live in Toronto, and you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Dupont and Spadina, I highly recommend checking it out. And their tahini dressing rocks too!