Sunday, October 29, 2006


Not to worry, I'm not going to continue with posts like "You can't cajole a toddler into having a nap," "You can't sing yourself horse to get your toddler to nap," and "You can't beg and plead with your toddler to have a nap," but believe me, I could go on.

So here we are, sleepless in Kanata. After six nap-free days, it's time to accept the facts: the nap is gone for good. Alas.

So I'm regrouping, looking for things we can do in the afternoons, and signing out all of the books on tape that I can lay my hands on at the library. I may have to visit some new locations.

I think I'm past anger and remorse. I'm on to acceptance.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

And now for something completely obvious

You can't lose your sh*t, yell (and I mean really shriek) at your toddler, and still expect him to nap.

I think that despite a few glorious naps here and there, I must accept the fact that Charlie's napping days are done, done, done. Is this payback for two mornings a week of preschool? Perhaps.

So now Charlie is having some quiet time in his room with a few books on tape, and I am sitting at my computer, feeling like crap for losing my cool.

HS better not be late today. I need backup.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Turns out you can't bribe a toddler into having a nap

I know, I know. Painfully obvious, but I was just desperate enough to give it a try.

Now what?

Monday, October 23, 2006

To my MIL: I owe you one

Thank God for grandparents.

Thanks to my MIL, HS and I just had a lovely weekend in Montreal. It was only our second full weekend when we both were away from him (in addition to one night this summer in Toronto), so I didn't feel guilty at all.

In fact, I missed him.

I know, I know, it's such a cliche. But I also think it's a good thing. I don't think I'm depressed anymore. Because I can remember, in that was-that-really-me? way, when Charlie was a year old and we would meet HS for dinner after work. We would have two cars, and I would beg HS to drive my car so I could have a few minutes to myself on the ride home. I was so desperate, I couldn't even stand to have Charlie in the back seat.

And so there I was on Friday, wandering around St. Laurent street, trying on clothes without having to wrangle or bribe an-almost-three-year old, and soaking in a tub, reading a book in a gorgeous hotel room, and I was a bit lonely. (HS was working out of the Montreal office that day.) I missed Charlie and his non-stop commentary. I spotted a park and a crepe restaurant he would like. I had the whole day to myself, and what I ended up wanting was to share it with Charlie. I'm a bit sad that this change took almost two years. And I hate that I felt so awful for the whole first year of Charlie's life. I wonder what motherhood would have been like without PPD. I envy my friends with babies who just feel tired and not suicidal. What is it like to parent a baby without constant, bone-crushing anxiety? I honestly don't know.

But I meant this post to be about Montreal, so let's get back to that, shall we?

After I dumped HS at work and the car at our hotel , and despite missing Charlie, I managed to pick up a few things for myself along St. Laurent. My favourite store is Lola & Emily, where I found the most perfect coat, just not in my size. If anyone knows where I can find a Ben Sherman funnel neck coat in medium, please let me know.

Since it was rainy and cold, I checked into our hotel early for a serious soak in the amazingly clean tub (with Fresh beauty products! Awesome!) and a nap. Ahhhhhh. HS met up with me at the hotel, and we went for dinner here, which, despite the groaner of a name, was totally delicious (we both love our fondue). I really wanted the classic chocolate fondue for dessert, but HS persuaded me to try the maple. If you go, you must too. How can you go wrong with warm maple syrup and cream with fruit to dip? You can't. But make reservations though. It was packed!

Saturday dawned grey and drizzly, but we didn't care. We slept in! Sort of. I had a hideous false dawn that only happens after I imbibe half a bottle of wine. You know the ones, you feel all perky and fresh at 5:30 a.m., but you can sense a massive headache just around the corner. I tried, somewhat successfully, to sleep it off, and after a couple of extra-strength Advils, I felt a little better. After breakfast (a lovely continental buffet at the hotel), we headed over to Old Montreal for a stroll. We visited Notre Dame and lit a few candles (something I haven't done since my European backpacking trip of, gulp, 1995 when I visited a lot of churches). Then we bought some cute baby gifts here, and learned something new at Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel, The Sailors' Church, which was my favourite part. It was founded by a French woman who believed in educating women and helping the poor, crossed the Atlantic seven times, and died when she was 80! All in the 1600s!

All that history made us hungry, so we grabbed a cab back to St. Laurent for a little smoked meat at a Montreal institution. Yes, we ate here. A carnivore's heaven. And if you go, the lineup really isn't as bad as it looks, and yes, you will have to sit with strangers, so this is not the time for intimate conversations. Get the smoked meat (medium, please, lean is too dry and full-fat is only for the hardcore), fries and a pickle. Awesome. After lunch we rolled back to the hotel for a nap (sweet, sweet, sleep) before heading out yet again to fill our bellies. This time it was L'Express, another Montreal tradition. I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but no. Our food was yummy (and authentic French bistro style), but our waiter was crap. I don't know how it is possible to feel completely ignored and insignificant as well as rushed, but there you go. Next time we'll try Meat Market, but you really need to make restaurant reservations in this town.

After another night of divine sleep (and, ahem, other activities), we decided to hightail it to Beauty's for brunch. Now there, the lineup is as bad as it looks, but once again, well worth the wait. We squeezed into a booth for fresh OJ and the Beauty's special (bagel with lox, cream cheese, tomato, and onion). And feeling quite rested, rejuvenated, and well-fed, we headed back home.

So thanks MIL. You're a marriage saver!

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's fall. Time for squash.

Oy, but the blogging is getting neglected these days. I guess that's painfully clear, no?

Once again, I am stuck in a vortex of freelance work, a not-napping almost-three-year-old, an impending visit from the MIL, and a cold that is just making its presence known. Good times!

So until I get my sh*t together, I suggest you run out and buy the November issue of Everyday Food. I was just about to cancel my subscription when this issue dropped in my mailbox with its lovely, easy, delicious and impressive recipe for butternut squash pasta sauce. I even overcame my fear of squash (and luckily the supermarket had a big, clearly labelled, squash display, because I honestly had no idea which one was the butternut). Turns out, you can peel squash with a vegetable peeler quite easily. Who knew? But seriously, this is totally yummy (although I would add a little more garlic) AND freezable. I would link to it, but the editors have not made it available on the site. Pity.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Q: How do you make God laugh?

A: Make a plan.

Does anyone else remember a little movie called Kicking and Screaming that does not star Will Ferrell? It came out in 1995 or so, and it was directed by Noah Baumbach. I loved that movie because it totally captures that "oh shit I just graduated from university and now what" feeling. It just came out on DVD, and I highly recommend it. And while I'm sure that joke has been around forever, Kicking and Screaming was where I first heard it. I just wish it didn't apply to my life right now.

This not-napping trend is totally kicking my ass.

You see, I took on a new project for the fall thinking that not only would I have nap time every afternoon, but five whole hours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings while Charlie is at preschool. Whee! Lots of time, right? Why, no! First Charlie just stopped napping on preschool days. Then he started skipping his nap every other day. And now he can go for two days in a row without a nap even though he is an irrational, melt-down-y mess by 5:00 p.m. It's killing me.

But today, thankfully, he naps. And the sun is coming out. And despite losing my car keys on my first duty day at preschool, resulting in HS making a panicked dash to give me the keys and two cab rides later, I'm actually feeling ok today. Without meds. Who knew?