October 31, 2011


Waking up in the dark with the wind howling outside our windows made it feel more like winter than fall this morning. But it is still October, at least for one more day, and despite the weather you can't help but smile when you're waking up to this cute pumpkin face.

cutest pj`s ... thanks Aunt sandy & Uncle Mark!
And despite the weather, we will head out for some trick-or-treating this evening. Well, sort of. Hudson is really too little for actual trick-or-treating ... as cousin Logan would say, ``he can`t walk, he can`t eat chocolate, why would he go?``. Well, he goes because his momma can`t resist dressing him up, using a few props, and taking like a gazillion photos. I unashamedly will pretend he`s my little doll, if only for today ;) Sure the costume hasn`t even come out yet and I`ve already started in on the snaps!

Look mom, it`s Cat in the Hat!!! Awesome!

Oh that cat, he`s so funny!

snacking on Jack-o-Cat, a treat from Aunt Martha...
probably the only treat he`ll get to snack on this year :)
Anyways, we`re planning to keep the trick-or-treating to just a couple of visits so Grandmas, the aunts, uncles, and cousins can see the little tyke in his costumes. Our goal is to be out and back before little ghosts and goblins start ringing our doorbell. If you have trick-or-treaters in your house, be sure to dress them up brightly, give them lights and reflectors, and stay close, keeping them safe. And of course, drive a little more cautiously this evening and make sure it really is a Happy Halloween!


October 30, 2011

Simple Things: Reading

While this pic was actually taken a couple of weeks ago, it made me smile when I came across it again this week. There's just something about seeing our boy enjoying something momma and daddy enjoy every weekend. Even if it just likes to crinkle the pages right now ;)

reading with daddy

Linking up with Simple Things:

October 28, 2011

Saying So Long

We all have them. Those places that will live forever in our memories, though we may forget about them for years on end. Time passes. Days, months, years, even decades and these places are almost all but forgotten. Mostly because the place itself doesn't seem that special at the time. Just rather ordinary. They aren't the places you took pictures of to remember. It wasn't the beautiful B&B discovered on a treasured holiday or the family cottage on the lake. Yes, those too are special. But you know that in the moment. The places I'm talking of are much more everyday, more usual, more mundane. The places are just part of life in a moment in time. You move through and on and don't even realize that the place is no longer part of your present, but your past. The shift so subtle you don't even notice. Until something reminds you.

One of my such  places was the Carbonear Cinema. It was old, 32 years I believe. It was small and simple, only one screen and one concession counter with your standard issue popcorn and candy bars. It had a website, but no online admission features. The seats were a little worn and the floors were a lot sticky. By all accounts, it was your average small town cinema. Nothing fancy, nothing special. That is until I heard it was severely damaged by fire earlier this week, so extensively that it's future remains unknown. Suddenly, I was reminded of how special this ordinary, plain building on a main road in my hometown is to me.

Volunteer firefighters fighting the blaze.
Photo by Bill Bowman/The Compass
You see, it was where I saw such classics as the original Toy Story, Forrest Gump, and Jurassic Park. It was at that cinema, that very building, that I was allowed to go to my first movie alone without adult supervision. I remember the afternoon as plain as day. My sisters and I being dropped off at the door. Money in hand, cash of course not debit. We stood in line outside because there was no room inside the small entry to accommodate everyone waiting to see the matinee showing of the blockbuster hit. It was 1990, I was 12, and I couldn't wait to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

It was at that same building just a few short years later that I had my first real date {unless you count the cub/brownie dance when I was like seven and our moms set us up ... I don't}. You know, the one where the boy builds up the nerve to ask you to go to a movie on Friday night. Not a group thing, just you and him. The one where you pick something casual, but nice to wear. The one where he pays for your ticket and buys you popcorn. The one where you hold hands for the first time and you smile wide, both out and inside.

I also spent many Friday nights there with mt friends. Hanging out, laughing, being typical teenagers having fun. So you can see how hearing the news that the cinema was gone was a little sad for me. I hadn't been there in years and hadn't thought about it in almost as long. When Toy Story 3 was released last year, many had heavy hearts as it marked the end of an era in their lives. For me, I feel that now knowing the place where I saw the first movie in the trilogy is no more.

photo from the Carbonear Cinema website
Today my movies are seen in the fancy theatre in town, with 12 screens and an IMAX theatre and where I can flash my phone screen for admission and where I can buy poutine and pizza instead of {or with ;)} my popcorn. It might be bigger and newer, but today's theatre doesn't hold quite the same place in my heart. At least not yet.

October 26, 2011

I'm Guest Posting Today!

I have a guest post today over at Tales of a Mountain Mama about being an active mama. Amelia is the lovely mama behind the blog where she shares the many adventures of her and her family in the Wyoming mountains. They have a family rule about getting outside for at least 15 minutes everyday regardless of the weather - how cool is that, right! Life is different there in the mountains than it is here on along our coast, but I love that we share similar views about living an active lifestyle with our families and setting good healthy examples for our kids. Be sure to head on over to Amelia's blog to check out my guest post and her blog for other great guest posts, recipes and tales of a mountain mama!

October 24, 2011

Runday Monday

I'm happy to report that Crappy Canadian Tire semi-redeemed itself over the weekend.

After being told on Monday evening that the treadmill would arrive by the end of the week, which I clarified as meaning Friday, it did not. No big surprise there. I was going to call midday to check on it, but honestly Friday was jammed-packed with story time, a visit to Costco, and Christmas at the Glacier where I enjoyed a good chunk of fudge, and I got kind of side-tracked.

With no call as of mid-Saturday morning, I gave the customer service desk a ring. I was hoping for Nathan as he was so helpful the last time, but no such luck. Fortunately, the girl who answered was able to track down the guy in the know and assured me that they would try their best to delivery the treadmill by 5pm that day and they would call first to make sure we were home. Now, while I didn't stick close to home the whole day as my faith was weak, I was around most of it. 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm all rolled around without a dingle. Ah-ha, my faith was right! Well it was right right up until about 4:20pm when the guy in the know called and said they were en route. It didn't actually arrive until shortly after 5pm, but I'm not that nit-picky. Really.

On top of that, the guy delivering it apologized for the delay in the delivery noting that it was a staffing issue. They're having a hard time finding staff for the store, which is common across the service industry these days, so I can appreciate that. Well, a little bit. Part of me also says if you can't staff the delivery service, don't offer it up. But, in the end, the treadmill was delivered to my door and technically arrived by the end of the week, even if it was a day late and I had to call to follow-up.

Now, just to get it set up so this can be a Runday Monday. Oh Husband....

October 21, 2011

Right now...

Right now I am:

... surviving sleep training. After months of interrupted sleep, we decided it was time to give it a try. More on the process and how its working {or, heaven forbid, not working} for us in weeks to come.

... researching new car seats. Hudson is reaching the end of the weight range for his infant car seat {please tell me where that pause button is, I can't seem to find it!}, so we're in the market for an infant/toddler convertible seat. Reccos welcomed.
Hey mom, I think I'm getting a little long for this one ... and I'm almost to heavy too!

... wondering what to do with my wedding dress. It's been hanging in the closet for 3 years now. Do I box it up and keep it? Sell it? Donate it? Repurpose it? I dunno ... any ideas?

strike a pose!
... christmas shopping. Yep, that's right, Halloween isn't even here yet and I'm already crossing off items on the list. Let's hope you've been nice. Or better yet, naughty.

... working on a guest blog post for another mama-blogger south of the border. Should be posted in early November I think, but don't worry, I'll keep you in the loop via my bloggo.

... looking forward to my weekend away. I'm heading out on a three-day, two-night scrapbook retreat with a bunch of other fabulous ladies. I can't wait!!! Though I fully expect to request that my handsome Hudson drop by for a visit on Saturday ...we'll see.

... running a bit more. It's tough to schedule it in, especially since it's an outdoor activity for me right now and sometimes naps or the weather make that iffy. Fortunately, Hudson likes the jogging stroller, so when he's awake and it's decent out, it's a go. It'll be easier again once/if the treadmill arrives.

... savouring crisp fall weather. Really enjoying getting out with Hudson and breathing in that cool fresh air. I'm sure we both sleep better because of it! 
Enjoying pre-bedtime backyard fire on an unusually warm fall evening

On one of our several fall hikes on the east coast trail
... sorting through baby clothes. We're pulling summer stuff out of the closet and the winter stuff out of the storage bins. We're packing up borrowed stuff that's now much too small to return to original owners. We're bringing out the next size up. Again, where in the world is that pause button?

What about you, what's filling your days right now?

October 20, 2011

Reduced Waste Day

My husband and I spent the Labour Day weekend at his parents home in the Bonavista Bay area. While there, we had to drop a bag of garbage off at the local dumping ground. With the crowd around that weekend, garbage was overflowing and garbage collection had already been done for the week. We had been planning to take a drive anyways, so we offered to take the accumulated garbage with us and dispose of it. When we drove up to the dump, my heart sank. It felt like a thousands pounds in my chest.

I look around and saw not just the bags and bags of garbage that households in the area have no choice but to leave there, but so many other things that could have been reused or recycled or more properly disposed of. Everything from fairly decent looking sofas and chairs that would be an ok addition to a cabin. TV stands that any student would have loved to have in their apartment. Old cars that probably would have been welcomed by various parts collectors/recyclers. I wish I had taken a picture to share with you. It was awful to see.

More awful was thinking of how we were minutes from scenic Trinity, where we were headed for on our drive to take in the panoramic views, the historic buildings and visit a friend's new store. The juxtaposition of that mess before my eyes and knowing the beauty that was literally all around it was stark. And sitting there, I knew that this was just one of many such areas across that vast province we call home. It made me sad. And mad.

My first inclination was to be mad at the governments that are responsible for waste management. Upon further reflection and discussion with my husband {he patiently lets me rant about various and sundry topics while driving!}, I decided that's not who was responsible. They are working hard to manage the dumping grounds across the province and to manage the waste. Can more be done? Sure. We should have much better recycling programs. There should be more invested in waste reduction. But, in the face of the many other demands, such as health and education, it is a balance.

Instead, I concluded that the responsibility falls more to us as citizens. We all need to step and do our part and then some. It was someone in that area who dropped off the sofa, the TV stand, the car. Not government. We are all sending garbage bags to the curb every week, that head off to a dump somewhere. We should all be working to reduce the number of bags we're sending and the amount of garbage we're putting in landfills.

This morning, I read this on a friend's facebook page:
Every single day in Newfoundland & Labrador, we burden our beautiful province with one million kg of waste. To put this into perspective, one million kg weighs more than 200 elephants. We owe our province one day off from this one million kg of daily waste. Tomorrow, on October 20, whether you’re a rookie recycler or an all-star green guru, let’s all take action to reduce waste. Ideally, we’d like everyone to go garbage-free for the day. But if that’s not possible, you can still set a goal that works for you. 

Imagine, one million kg of waste every day in just our small province. Insanely unacceptable. Today, while our home won't be able to go garbage free for the whole day (there are few things, like diapers as we don't use cloth), I will make every effort to cut back. There won't be a to-go coffee cup as there often is. There won't be a plastic bag from the grocery store because I forgot and/or am too lazy to go back to the car for my reusables. There won't be a water bottle, but instead my stainless steel canteen will be filled. If there's a wine bottle, it will go to recycling like it always does.

Today, please do your part and reduce your wastage too. Our land, our home deserves it.

This beautiful province of ours deserves respect, not garbage. Please reduce your waste today and every day.

October 19, 2011

Will.I.Am, You're A Saving Grace

Sometimes I just need a short distraction for Hudson while I toss in a load of laundry, finish prepping supper or take a quick potty break. These days, Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas is a saving grace. Yes, Will.I.Am. His stint on Sesame Street is a clear favourite in our house. I put Hudson in his exersaucer, prop the laptop on the floor, bring up YouTube, and press play {and replay as needed}.

image from heatworld.com
It is way. too. cute. The kid simply sits/stands there, smiles, and stares. And it can't just be any video. Seems that Sesame Street videos with music stars, including Will.I.Am, Feist and Katy Perry (yes, where she's wearing the too-racy-for-kid-tv controversial dress) are top preferences. They hold his attention much longer and much more intensely than many other kid-friendly ones we've played. Playing videos and TV are not high on my list of things to do with Hudson as a general rule, but at least these videos have positive message and cute furry monsters in them.

Just in case you're not familiar with the video, here it is for your viewing pleasure. I will warn you, it's a catchy little tune - enjoy!

October 18, 2011

Will it or won't it?

I hate to give in the stereotypes and general assumptions, but right now I just can't fight it. I suppose when it's about a brand or store, it's not as bad. Right? Oh, Canadian Tire, how I hope you prove me wrong.

Canadian Tire really doesn't hold a good reputation amongst my circle of family and friends when it comes to service and smarts. More than once I've heard it called Crappy Tire, so that tells you something. Last night, I went by to make a purchase and had my very own Crappy Tire experience.

I was in the market for a new treadmill. Long story short, we used to own one and hold gym memberships. We have since cancelled gym memberships and the treadmill broke. That was ok while the {crappy} summer and fall weather was upon. However, I know thyself well. Well enough to know that as the winter winds whip around the corner, my outdoor running days are numbered. My options were to renew gym membership or purchase a treadmill. The treadmill won out. I saw a pretty decent one in the Canadian Crappy Tire flyer this week and decided to get 'er done.

Off I went, me and the boy. We happily went into the store and made our way to the fitness section in the back to check it out. Hmmmm, no sample treadmill on the floor. Maybe their out? Maybe I can get a rain check? Maybe it's on display somewhere else? Unfortunately, there was nary a service person to be found in the vicinity. Oh wait now, there's someone. Let's go and ask... wait now, sir, sir, I could use some help....sir?? Why are you turning around and walking the other way?? I'd heard people say that about service people in Canadian Tire, that they run when it looks like someone needs help, but I never believed it. Until now. I witnessed it with my own two eyes. Thanks Crappy Tire.

Never you mind, I will go to customer service for assistance, they can't run there. I line up behind the several other unsatisfied Crappy Tire customers with their various and sundry returns and concerns and wait. At this point, I will say my experience with the customer service desk was good. Nathan was very helpful. He told me there were plenty of treadmills in stock out back and how to go about purchasing one and having it delivered. Thank you Nathan, you were the only highlight of the trip.

Following Nathan's instructions I make my way to the auto parts cash, where apparently I could purchase my treadmill and arrange for either pick up or delivery. There, I wait in another line behind several more customers. Ironically none of which were making auto-related purchases. Anywho, after the three people in front of me are served, I push my cart containing Hudson up to the desk just as the cashier sits down and starts drinking from her bottle of water. I wait a moment, smile nicely, before she finally asks if I need help. My instinct was to say "no, I just thought I'd hang out here in line with a 6 month old for fun".

While that would have been fun, my self restraint was good and I just told her that I wanted to by this treadmill, shown in this flyer and I wanted to pay for it in this manner and have it delivered to my house. Clear, simple, straightforward. But seemingly confusing. It took her a minute to figure out whether or not there were actually any treadmills in stock, seeing as I didn't bring it to the cash. (I wanted to say I tried, but it didn't fit on the cart with the baby and all, but again restrained). Once she was able to confirm, we had to again sort out the payment method, apparently that information was lost during the database search. With that straightened away, she offered to page someone to bring me my treadmill. Sigh. Remember, I was having it delivered. "Oh" she says, "ok then" at which point she has to ask someone how to arrange a delivery.

Oh my, the process is clearly not common, Anyways, she figures out she has to complete another slip, a copy of which goes to me and a copy goes attached to the "product" aka my treadmill, which is still in the back somewhere. Hmmm, I'm really having doubts here. As she fills in the paperwork, I asked the obvious question of when it would be delivered. "Oh" she says, "I'm not sure". Full Stop. As politely as I could, I explain I'd like to know so I could a) arrange for someone to be there and b) so I wouldn't have to call the store and track it down. She finds another guy who seems to know more who tells me delivery depends on staffing, so it could be tomorrow or it could be three days from now. Sigh, well that's customer service for you now isn't it. Thanks Crappy Tire.

After I get some assurance it will be delivered by the end of the week, I ask the girl who I should call if the treadmill doesn't show up. She looks blank for a second as if it doesn't occur to her that it might not show up. And then she proceeds to give me the store manager's name. Not the delivery guy. Not the delivery supervisor or coordinator, not costumer service, but the manager. At least I get to go right to the top if I have to track down a missing treadmill.

I tell ya, if it wasn't a decent treadmill and a very nice sale price with a cheap delivery fee, I woulda just left it all right there. It was an interesting experience that only served to affirm the Canadian Tire stereotype for me. I'm keeping the faith it will arrive sometime between now or Friday. What do you think, will it or won't it?

I also found this a little funny. I guess customer service woes won't stop them from expanding.

October 17, 2011

Traveling as a Trio

Not too long ago, I would see babies in the airport and silently pray that they weren't on my flight. Or at the very least not seated next to me. Over the course of many flights I had come to discover that, more often than not, babies cry on planes. Be it their ears popping, changes to a sleep schedule, the desire not to be confined, they usually cried. And generally it was a ear-piercing cry tolerable only to the youngun's parents, if even then. I would see those families in the chairs near my gate and put my head down and sigh.

Last month,we became that family. We were the ones pacing back and forth by the gate with a baby. I could almost hear the thoughts of the business travellers catching the evening flight home after a long work day on the road: "oh God there's a baby on this flight" ... "please don't let that baby be sitting near me" ... "I hope that youngster doesn't cry. Please oh please let him be a sleeper."

Interestingly enough, I found I didn't really care much what they thought. Like them, I too was hoping for a cryless flight, but I was more focused on getting our first family vacation off to a smooth and happy start. During my vacation preparation and the week-long holiday, I discovered a few things about travelling with a babe that made it much easier. I thought I'd share my top tips with you:

Pack early. The first step to getting your vacation off on the wrong foot is feeling rushed when packing. You`ll inevitably feel like you`ve forgotten something and when already dealing with baby-brain, that`s no good. I started packing for our trip about two full days before we left. When it was just me, I could pack for a trip in a couple of hours or less. I knew what I needed, where to find it, how to pack it, and life was easy peasy. With the upgrade to a travelling trio, I knew I'd need more time. A couple of days let me make sure essentials were laundered or purchased if needed and I was able to to pack around naps, feedings, changings, playing, and otherwise being mama.

packed, stacked, and ready to roll
Pack light. A lesson learned from years of business travel. Whenever I can, I cart only a carry on. I spent a month in Europe with just a medium-sized duffel bag and it wasn't a backpacking vacation. I even managed an entire week-long business trip with just a carry-on once. However, packing light with a baby is an entirely different story. Not entirely impossible, but a challenge for sure. After several road trips with the car bursting at the seams I was determined to pack lighter for our plane trip. One medium-sized suitcase and one carry-on for one week for the two of us (dad was on his own for packing). Yes HP is entitled to his own bag and his own carry on, but I figure until he's old enough to lug those around, we're going with only my baggage allotment if at all possible!

To fit it all into the limited space, first I pulled out everything I thought I'd need for me and HP and spread it around the floor. Then before I started filling the bags, I removed at a quarter of it right away. I then packed essentials first and as room in the suitcase dwindled, I weeded out about another quarter of the stuff leaving me with about half of what I started with.
spreading and sorting ...

weeded out and packed in :)
The key to making packing light for more than a couple of days on the road is assuming I could do laundry if need be. We were staying with a friend and visiting her parents place, both of which had laundry facilities available. Turned out, I didn't need to do laundry at all, even with only half the gear and some stuff even came home unworn. Even if we were hoteling it, I'd assume I could send essentials to the hotel laundry or wash in the sink if needed.  Packing light is tough, but worth it when you get to maneuvering to, from, and around airports and accommodations. You think you need everything you use at home, but the reality is you can make do quiet easily with much less. 

Bring some, buy some. When packing, it was hard to decide whether to take enough baby stuff with me for the whole trip or take just enough for a day or so, then buying the rest there. I ultimately decided to split it. I took just enough wipes, diapers and cream for the week and decided to buy formula there, taking only enough of that for the first 24 hours. My theory: formula was heavy to carry and we'd likely use the better part of a full case there, making it easier to carry home the leftovers than to bring the full case (of course, if you`re breastfeeding, this doesn`t necessarily apply). Then, I figured the half pack of diapers, the small squishy pack of wipes would be all used up and leave just enough room in the bag to carry back purchases made on the trip (yes, I planned to shop!). Even steven. It worked perfect. If I were going for more than a week, I`d probably only take enough for the first four or five days and then top up as needed - see packing light above!

Leave early. Or better yet, even earlier. As most parents have figured out by now, leaving for anywhere with a baby is best done earlier than planned. They inevitably need to be changed, fed or otherwise entertained before you can get out the door. The same holds true for travel. You are much better off at the airport waiting a few more minutes than sweating with the pedal to the metal trying to catch a flight. Especially if you can't recall whether or not you turned off the oven before you left the house and have to turn around to check. Not saying that happened to us. It may or may not have. Ok it did. But we left early enough to turn around, do a double check, and still be at the airport on time. For the record I did turn it off.

and we're still there with time to spare
Nurse/feed on plane. We ended up with a late evening flight on the way up and an {very} early morning flight on the way back, both of which worked out well for feeding and sleeping. We just stretched Hudson's feeding time to a little later in the days leading up to the flight and then fed him during take off. He ate and went right to sleep. Same on the way back, he ate and went right down for a nap. I highly recommend it as do the other passengers from our flights!

enjoying a late night bottle

followed by a snooze. Cue happy sighs of mama, daddy, and fellow passengers.
Take a backpack. Not just a diaper bag. At least if your diaper bag is the traditional messenger or purse style like mine. One jaunt about on the first day and my shoulder was just about gone carrying the diaper bag. Those bags are A-1 for popping into Starbucks for a coffee or a stroll around Toys-R-Us, not so much for day trips and afternoons on the trot. I was grateful dad's carry-on was a backpack that could serve double duty as a diaper bag on our vacay. So were my shoulders.

Rent necessary big gear. We decided to rent a pack-n-play and a swing for the week we were in Halifax. Most major cities have some sort of company that offers similar services where you can rent everything from playpens and strollers to swings and toys. It is awesome for those items that make your everyday easier but are simply to big or cumbersome to tote. If you're hoteling it and they have a crib, great. If not, find yourself a rental company - of course check out safety of gear, ask how old the equipment is, how long they've been in business, how often they replace it, etc - and be safe and happy. The playpen in the storage closet was a saving grace for us. Though that's another story for another time perhaps.

it was the perfect fit once the bike came out of storage
Assess need for stroller. After realizing that our jogging stroller didn't meet the size requires for gate-checking (the wheels were too big), we reassessed the need for a stroller. Did we check it as luggage? Did we rent one in Halifax? Borrow a smaller one? Pick up a cheap umbrella one? Go without it? We decided to go without it and use just our {awesome} cybex carrier instead. We had a direct flight between two small airports. We were also staying with a friend who had a car for major transport on the other end. We also knew most of our plans involved tight spaces that would be better served by the carrier than a stroller. In the end it worked out perfectly for us. BUT... if I were going anywhere with a stop-over flight, the stroller in the airport would be a MUST. We managed the waiting times before the flights ok without it, but anything longer than that, no way. I've also since been told by several other mamas that if we had taken our stroller-with-it's-too-big-wheels, Air Canada would have likely allowed it as gate check, so I'd probably try that too.
The carrier was perfect
especially in a crowded market!
Limit the must sees. I usually have a long list of must-sees, must-dos and must-eats whenever taking a holiday. I usually prioritize them a little, so some are more a must than others, as you can't always see everything in the time you have or things happen, like flight delays or sickness (oh Venice and Rome I'll forever remember that). With a baby on board it is even more true. There are cranky days or afternoons. There are longer than expected naps. There are great days that seem to go on forever followed by sleepless nights. The reality is, if you want to be happy, if you want your baby to be happy and you want to have a good time, really limit your must sees and have a few nice bonuses instead. Pick one thing a day that you'd like to do and see where it goes from there. A long time ago I heard someone say just assume you'll be back. It makes it much easier to enjoy what you do get to squeeze in.

One of our must sees was a visit to the "cottage" in Chester.
Thanks Karen & Blair for the hospitality, wonderful as always!
R&R baby, R&R. Plan to relax, take breaks and take your time. A baby needs good sleep. So does mama and daddy. Take time to chill out. We learned that heading out after the morning nap was good timing. As was spending some time at our friend's place in the afternoon and being settled back in for bedtime. Hudson was happier than if we pushed him to go all day and we in turn were more chill as well. We ordered in, sipped wine and just enjoyed the R&R. If you're going on a hotel holiday, plan to order room service for a late supper and take a siesta in the afternoon. Perhaps it was not the holidays of my pre-baby days, but enjoyable all the same.

A good motto for any trip... keep calm and carry on.
And of course, it always helps if mama and daddy also enjoy a small, late night bottle at the start of the trip (assuming you're not driving of course!).

Bon Voyage!

October 16, 2011

Simple Things: Bathtime

I love how this sweet face looks just like his daddy's.
I love how the kitchen mess is there in the background.
I love how a bath in the sink shows the simplicity of childhood.
 Linking up with Rebecca Cooper`s Simple Things.

October 14, 2011


This week just seemed to fly by. I guess that was because it was jammed packed. There was the holiday Monday and visits with family and friends. Tuesday there was a visit to my office, a haircut and a trip around the bay. Wednesday was blocked, bringing Hudson to Auntie Jodie for his first sleep over, hightailing it back to town for a shower, the wine show {awesomeness} and a much later night than I’d planned. Yesterday was a semi-sleep, followed by a quick brunch and back around the bay to collect my little man, which turned into another sleep over at Nanny’s.
After a go-go-go kind of week, I was looking forward to heading back to town this morning with H and kick-starting a quiet weekend at home. I had planned to upload some photos to an already-written blog post about travelling with baby and calling it quits for some R&R. I packed up the bags and baby gear. I loaded a fed, changed and clothed baby who was ready for a nice long nap into the car seat. I flicked on some Basia Bulat for the drive and we were off.
Alas, we got about a half a kilometre up the road when I hit a big rut in the pavement. Followed almost immediately by a thump-thump-thump. Sigh. A flat. Back to Nanny and Poppy’s we went. I put on some fresh coffee. I put Hudson down for a nap. And now we wait for Poppy to come back and change the tire.  So much for starting a quiet uneventful weekend at home.
TGIF. And TG for Nanny and Poppy.

October 12, 2011

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's the most wonderful time of the year .... nope, it's not Christmas. Nope, it's not back to school at Staples. Nuh-uh. It's WINEFEST! That's right, it's the annual NLC Winefest and I. Can't. Wait.

visit www.nlliquor.com for more info
What's not to love: booths and booths and booths of delicious wine, familiar faces milling about, discounted prices in the on-site store, and a fun night out with my hubby. Ok, maybe the morning after isn't so lovable, but it's definitely worth it. Winefest is certainly one of my favourite events of the year. And I think I'm looking forward to it even more than usual this year.

You see, we go every year. We drink, we socialize, we buy. Such fun. But last year, I was preggo and I had to pass. Well, I contemplated going and just doing the sip-n-spit thing (no, you don't actually have to swallow ... no matter what your date says ;), but I figured a noticeably pregnant lady, even if just spitting, wouldn't be favourably received. I also figured that the cost of the ticket wasn't justifiable if I couldn't drink my money's worth. It was more cost efficient to trust my hubby's tastes in restocking the wine trunk. Yes, we have a wine trunk. We're not sophisticated enough for a cellar. But I digress. So, since I missed last year, I'm eager to get back at 'er.

Then of course, there's this little dude in our lives ow that make nights out, especially those that involve both of us imbibing and likely feeling a little thirsty the next day, a challenge. So, aside from my birthday dinner and a couple of movies, we've really not gone hog-wild since I got preggo last summer. Tonight though, watch out. Hudson is having his first sleep-away from home (a little sad about that, it's bittersweet really, but I think I can counteract any emotions with a few sips of sweet tawny port at one booth or another). Thanks to Auntie Jodie and Nanny Pat for looking out for the little man. Mama is going to make the most of it. Give him a kiss for me at bedtime and tell him I'll be back for him tomorrow.

Ah, winefest. In a just few short hours, the most wonderful time of the year will be here.

October 11, 2011

Election Day NL

Today is Election Day in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have three primary parties - PC, Liberal, and NDP - vying for seats across this great province of ours. There's a two out of three chance that we'll officially elect a female Premier. If I were putting money on it I'd almost guarantee that will be the case by the end of today. Though who knows, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians may prove me wrong. They are the ones who get to choose. The key words there being "get to choose".

In Canada, in Newfoundland and Labrador, we have the right to vote. The right to choose. Today I will certainly exercise that right. I will walk to my polling station (I guess I'll be exercising my right in two ways!) and will mark an 'x' on my ballot. I will have my say in the future of this province. Will you?

Unfortunately, voter turnouts in elections passed show that many of you won't. There are a baker's dozen of excuses: I'm too busy, my work schedule conflicts, the line-ups are too long, I'm not interested in politics, I don't like any of the candidates in my riding, my vote won`t matter and the list goes on and on. Well, if you choose not to vote in the election, I don't want to hear your complaints about our government between now and the next election. You see, change and growth only come through active participation, through intention.

Please don't sit idly by. We live in a country and province where basic rights and freedoms are respected and upheld. In today`s world where people are dying around the globe fighting for those same basic principles, I urge you to appreciate and exercise your right to vote. It really doesn`t take that long, it`s not that difficult and it really does matter.

For more on where and how to vote today, visit Elections Newfoundland and Labrador.

October 9, 2011

Simple Things Sunday

Some of the simplest things, like a hike with my boy on a chilly fall day, are the ones that bring the most joy.

Taken on the East Coast Trail

Linking up with Rebecca Cooper`s Simple Things.

October 7, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I always feel like fall is really here once Thanksgiving hits. The rich, gorgeous colours are in full force, the smell of turkey roasting in the oven, and the sweet taste of an autumn dessert come together for a full fall sensory sensation. I love it.

As we prepare to celebrate the long weekend with family and friends, I'm taking a moment to count a few of my many blessings. This year I am so very grateful for:
  • My wonderful little family of three
  • Having time on our side to spend as we choose
  • Getting out to enjoy the great outdoors
  • Having friends and family all around us
  • Sleep-in mornings when I'm lucky enough to enjoy them (thanks hubby!)
  • Hot coffee from fresh;y ground beans when I'm not
  • Baby laughs, late night snuggles and early morning smiles
 These simple pleasures are all bringing me much joy right now.

I wish you all a very happy thanksgiving and hope that your turkey goes down a little smoother than Hudson's first experience with poultry ;)

OMG mom WTH? Whaddya mean I gotta have this chicken stuff again???

Happy Thanksgiving!

October 6, 2011

Think Different

Last night the word that Steve Jobs had died quickly spread across the technology channels. I heard it first on TV, but quickly saw Facebook, Twitter and blog posts sharing the sad news.

Our house has an iPhone, iMac, iPod, and an iShuffle, with an iPad on the wish list. To say that the work of Steve Jobs has impacted our family's lives would be an understatement. The way we function every day often pivots around the technology he envisioned and inspired. The reality is that is likely also true for each and every one of you reading this. Steve Jobs was an influential mind like few others and his life ended much to soon.

The world is a better place because Steve Jobs chose to Think Different. For that, I will be ever grateful. 

Steve Jobs ~ 1955-2011
image from apple.com

October 5, 2011

Film, Cassettes and Cursive Writing on the Brink of Extinction?

Earlier this summer, a friend recounted a story of being at a wedding with her two youngest daughters when someone at their table broke out a film camera. Her girls, who were about 4 and 5, hammed it up for the lens as most cutie-patooties their age do. However, once the mini-photo shoot was complete they excitedly wanted to see the pictures... can we see, can we see? Only, as it was film, seeing on the spot was not an option. My friend then had to attempt to explain how film cameras worked.

As you can imagine, explaining to the young girls that this was a roll of film and not an SD card and that the film had to go to the drugstore to be developed, not into the computer, was not an easy task. They simply couldn't understand why in the world you'd want to wait hours or days for your pictures when you could just use a digital camera and see it right away. Neither can I now that I've had a digital camera for several years. The difference between them and me though is that I will forever remember film cameras. I will remember the feeling of winding that wheel, the sound of the film rewinding inside, the anxiousness when opening the back hoping the film had fully rewound, and the anticipation of waiting for the roll to be developed to see what I captured. There was something about all that, something that you don`t get with digital cameras. Something that has been replaced by instant gratification and yes, better quality. Of course, that got me to thinking, what will Hudson not know that was common place for me?

Certainly digital versus film cameras. And then with the recent announcement that the term cassette tape will be cut from the Oxford English Dictionary, it is quite likely he won't know much about tapes or, as a facebook friend put it, about A and B sides. Ah, tapes, another mainstay of my childhood. Such fond memories of dancing on the front lawn with my mint green stereo plugged into the outside outlet booming out Tiffany and Madonna and NKOTB. Yes, I was that cool at age 10. That cool indeed. However, it is likely Hudson won't know much about tapes and stereos. Heck, Hudson may not even remember CDs much with the continual shift to mp3s, ipods and other such devices. For him pictures and music will quite likely live inside his computer.

And then of course there's the ongoing debate of whether to continue teaching cursive writing in schools. Imagine, a world where kids don't learn how to write their name? No more loopy letters. Good penmanship gone with our generation. Then again, kids today hardly ever write a letter. They write emails. The send texts, not mail. Heck, they're not even writing actual words half them time ... LOL, UR, LMFAO. And the world they enter upon graduation is one of computers, blackberrys, and iphones. I can understand why schools want to focus on ensuring our children are technologically literate, but I ache a little to think that my boy may not know how to write or read cursive writing. I might have to be the one to teach him.

I look around and wonder, what else? What else will join the ranks of film, cassettes and cursive writing on the brink of extinction, or at the very least being commonplace? Sadly, I can see books joining that list. Perhaps not for Hudson, but maybe for his kids. Maybe printed boarding passes for flights. It's a good thing I kept his first one, it might actually mean something to him someday.

Who knows what else will be completely different 20 or 30 years from now. I know I would not have expected at 10 that my mint green stereo, my pink camera or my lined writing notebook would become dated by the time I was 30. And at this age I can`t envision where we`ll be without our ipod, iphone and laptop. Yet, it is quite likely that by the time I`m 60, that will very likely be the case.

For now though, I will enjoy the instant gratification that comes with online purchasing and my Canon G12.

October 4, 2011

@ 6 months

Holy smokes, we're a half a year in with the little man and this family of three. How awesome is that? We're loving it. Loving watching him grow, learn, change. Loving how he's becoming this really neat little person with likes and dislikes. Very cool stuff.

@ 6 months, Hudson...

... has started on solids. And loves it. So far there's been rice and oat cereals. We're going crazy and moving onto wheat next! By the time we're back in a month, I expect we'll have ventured into some meats and veggies too. Fun times, messy times.

... is still not a good sleeper. We had a spurt where he was ok a few months back, but it didn't last. He's up several times a night. Sometimes it's as easy as popping a soother back in. Other times it's a long journey back to dreamland. We're soon breaking out the sleep training. Hopefully by the time we're back in a month, he'll be all sleep all night!

... has travelled by plane and automobile. We're working on adding train in there ;) Someday little man, someday. Seriously, his first vacation was a hit, including very smooth plane rides from here to NS and back. Looking forward to many more adventures in the future.

... is sitting. Well, sort of. He manages a pretty good solo sit for a short period of time before he starts to list a little. We make sure he's got a spotter close by.

... is rolling, rolling, rolling. There's no leaving him anywhere now. He can roll clear across the room in a matter of seconds. Mama's gonna have to grow those eyes in the back of her head soon. Or at least get cracking on the baby-proofing. Speaking of ...

... is curious. Or nosy. Whatever your preferred word. He is easily distracted by new things (gets that from his magpie mama, oooh shiny things, must stop and see). He reaches, touches, chews and explores everything. Very tricky, very fun.

... is active. Holy cow, the child never stops moving. His legs constantly kicking. His arms reaching. He's rolling and scooting. Sitting still is so not on his list of things to do. We were out for coffee and ran into a work colleague who asked if this was his hyper/busy time of day ... unfortunately, no, it's his every time of day.

... still the cutest boy around. Yes, he's mine so I'm supposed to think that, but I believe it. Love his sweet cheeks, his gummy grin, his cowlick crazy hair. Love every itty bitty inch from top to toe!
notice the wrinkly sign...custom chewed, crumpled and mauled by HP himself!

Happy 6 months Hudson-Bear!

October 3, 2011

To Each Their Own

When I was preparing for labour, the furthest thing from my mind was making it public. And by `it` I mean the actual labour. In fact, we didn`t even tell anyone, aside from my mother, that labour had begun until I was about 18 hours into it. For me giving birth was a special moment to be shared first and foremost with my husband. It was why he was the only one, other than the nurse, in the delivery room with me.

For others, labour is a much more open affair with as many people in the room, or coming and going, as is allowed by the health care providers. But Dr.Nancy Salgueiro, well she`s taking her birth waaay public. She`s broadcasting it online for anyone to see. And to that I say, to each their own.

Dr. Salgueiro is planning a natural home birth, which she will live stream it online for anyone interested to watch. Essentially, you sign up in advance and you`ll get notice once labour begins so you can tune into her website or facebook page for a front row seat. Again, the furthest thing from my mind when my water broke was `get the video cam honey and don`t forget to press send on that email distribution list`, but that`s me. And this is her.

Her intentions seem good. She wants to help eliminate some of the fear and uncertainty associated with child birth, especially a natural birth. As someone who had a limited idea of what to expect and who ended up with a natural birth, not necessarily by choice, I think this is cool. Information is power. Now me, I didn`t want no more information than I already had. Unh-uh. I was as prepared for pain, complications, and hard work as I wanted to be thank you very much. But there are others who really want to know it all, to be as ready as they can possibly be. In that respect Dr. Salgueiro is doing a public service and filling a void that she, as a health care professional, has identified. Good on her.

Unfortunately, there are people who will turn this sort of decision into a mega-big deal in a freak show kind of way. And that`s just sad. We are talking about the miracle of life here, not some porn show. Some people say they simply don`t want to see that kind of thing. Then I say, if you don`t want to watch it, don`t. Log your computer into your favourite blog or twitter feed that day instead. Pull up your favourite kitten video on YouTube and watch it. Whatever. And of course there are those of the view that this is gross. Well, yeah I guess blood and pain is kind of gross, but we all got here in the some variation of the same gross way. It`s called birth. It is life. Get over it. Then there are those are supposedly concerned that something might go wrong during the delivery. Well, I`m expecting that Dr.Salgueiro has accounted for that in her plans and if not shame on her. That decision has nothing to do with the decision to live stream the birth. And then, if something does go wrong on live stream, I`m sure someone watching will promptly notify the necessary health officials who can assist. Whoa, take that opposition, the live streaming may actually help her. The world wide web is amazing like that.

We are talking about the most natural of occurrences, one of life`s coolest machines in full motion. The fact that she wants to air that to the world is her decision and a brave one at that. Me, it`s not something I want to see. Heck, they offered me a mirror during my own labour and I said no way José. I didn`t want to see that. I don`t think my eyes were open once I started pushing until the moment Hudson took his first breath.

That`s me. This is her. And there are hundreds on the spectrum in between. Where you fall is up to you. And again, I say to each their own.