Saturday, February 26, 2011


As a new parent I marvel in all the milestones my daughter reaches, cheering her on with encouraging words, clapping and jumping up and down in enthusiastic praise. At 22 months old, she is talking a mile a minute, singing little songs, dancing, making it to the potty most of the time and playing really well alone and with her peers.

The one developmental milestone I was not expecting to encounter until she was a few years older was lying. Today, at breakfast, I left the kitchen to throw in a load of laundry and came back to find the cupboard open and the basket of mason jar rings and a few canning accessories were spread out all over the floor. This is totally normal as I have never restricted the cupboards from her play. If the items are not breakable and keep her entertained and I can wash them up before I need to use them for cooking then she has free reign.

Mama, seeee!

Oh, Wow. Did you make this mess?

No, Cecil make mess.

Me (Laughing):
Really, Cecil. How impressive.

For those of you who do not know Cecil. He's our three pound, 12 year old Yorkie. Obviously this little lie is funny and I'm sure was not perpetrated so that she would get out of trouble as she wasn't in any trouble. She has never caught heck for playing with the canning rings...I'm pretty sure it was me who introduced them to her in the first place. So why the immediate response to shift blame?

Have any funny little lies you children told you? How old were they when they began to tell tales?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My kid likes soup. No, let me rephrase that. My kid LOVES soup. Every - day I ask her what she would like for lunch or dinner and she will excitedly say SOUP! Finley and I were invited to lunch just before Christmas at my friend Kadra's house. Kadra had made a delicious butternut squash soup from scratch. Fin was mad for it. She drank up three little recyclable paper Dixie Cups full and then ate some from my bowl of too. Kadra was tickled. I have been using the little paper Dixie cups to serve Finley soup as she could manage a cup but was having a little trouble with soup on a spoon. She has since developed the skill especially with thicker soups, but, the little cups worked so well early on. I carried them in my diaper bag along with Fin's reusable cutlery, plate and bowl.

For Christmas Kadra made Finley her very own batch of butternut squash soup. How's that for spoiled and a most welcomed gift! I froze some servings for Fin to enjoy at a later date and Finley devoured the rest.

I asked Fin to share with me ... yeah right.

Since Finley, at 22 months, at time when kids become really picky eaters, is really into eating soup, I decided to try my hand at making some home made soups too. I have really gotten into it trying my hand at all different kinds of soups. Of course they are all vegetable based, as I'm a vegetarian. A hearty soup makes for a fully satisfying meal.

I made a really delicious roasted winter vegetable soup. The recipe came from a vegetarian recipe book I've had for years and more recently I made a green lentil soup. This recipe I found on-line or I consult my favorite recipe books; Joy Of Cooking, Jamie Oliver and So yummy!

Some of the raw ingredients for the Lentil Soup.

Less than an hour later the final product.

Finley getting into her Lentil Soup for dinner.

Do you have any awsome soup resipes you'd like to share?

Post them in my comments. I would LOVE to try them out!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentimes Day!

Or as my romantical husband calls today: "That made up holiday. It's not even a holiday it's so stooopid. " I know ladies hold your skirts down. Statements like that can make any woman swoon. I have been giving him the exact same Valentine every year since 2006. I tuck it away a few days after Valentine's Day and bring it out, add the date and a new message and give it to him the following year. He didn't notice I was doing this until 2009. SERIOUSLY!

The Card I Give Steve EVERY Year.

I happen to have always enjoyed Valentines Day. The old school, send a card, kind of Valentine's day.. I especially like to make cards and have saved a couple over the years.

This card I made in Grade four. I was 10 years old.

Today while my Finley was napping I sat down with my nephew Gavin to make Valentines Cards. He got really into it and made one for all his grandparents and even one for himself!

A Valentine for Poppa Ferguson.

This is a very special Valentine. I made it for my childhood friend Kelly's grandfather. We called him Poppa. He passed away several years ago, however, this Valentine was just returned to me before Christmas 2010 as Poppa's wife had kept it tucked amongst her things all these years. Poppa and I had a special crush on one another. He was charming and I liked to make him laugh. This year it's a very special Valentine as Nanny passed away in October. She is once again spending her Valentine's Day with the man she loves. And I have a paper heart reminder of them and their devotion to one another.

See - that's the part I LOVE about Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I hate the COLD and above all I can't stand SNOW. I hate wearing boots, shoveling, scraping cars, slippin on ice, marching through slop and slush, salt stains on my clothes and wind chill on my face. I'm born a January baby in Eastern Ontario, Canada and I can't stand winter. Go figure. So when I awoke the morning of December 26th to THIS:
I packed the truck, grabbed the child, kissed my sweet hubby who was on a string of miserable night shifts and put the peddle to the metal...

I expected to get from our house in North Carolina to Jacksonville Florida in my first day's drive. But we only got to the South Carolina - Georgia boarder before we ended up in a traffic jam. I was stuck for two and a half hours. We moved only 28 miles. When you have a 21 month old in the car, idling in a traffic jam is not really an option. So I consulted the GPS and pulled off at the next exit in the middle of pretty much nowhere ville to spend the night at a Hampton Inn. This is not a plug - I always stay at Hampton Inns. I usually know what I'm getting when I choose one and so that's my preference.

I packed a lunch so Finley and I could eat good whole foods on our road trip, so we settled into the hotel room where I microwaved some organic soup, made up some spinach, salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and we had ourselves a little dinner, played at jumping on the beds and Finley hit the hay early. I sat up enjoying the Salon Takeover marathon on Bravo. I'm kinda addicted to Tabitha and her organizational no BS attitude now. We don't have cable by choice and really if we did have it - the hubs would NEVER sit through Salon Takeover. So it was a treat! I finally fell asleep when the alarm buzzed to get me up for a 5 am departure. We had to get back on the track to meet our friends in Tampa Florida!

Finley & Auntie Kelly

Lucky for me, my friend Kelly's parents Mike and Peggy are snow birds. Having set sights on a retirement out of Canada's harsh winters they bought a home in Tampa. We were headed to surprise them! And what a surprise it was, as just the day before Kelly and her Hubs Mark had surprised her parents too! It's always advisable when road tripping with a toddler to have welcoming friends on the other end of the destination. We stayed a few doors down in a home used as a rental for when company is in town. It was perfect.

Finley and the fish.

We spent a day at Busch Gardens Tampa. Dudes, THEY DO NOT GIVE BEER AWAY ANYMORE OR DO THE BEER TASTING! Let down. Mark and I were disappointed about that! The company was bought out the year before and that was they end of the one free beer with the almost hundred dollar admission ticket. But we enjoyed the animals and the train ride and the pickle on a stick we snacked on. I gotta find that photo...

Ta Daaaa...Pickle on a stick photo courtesy: Kelly Hill

Finley & I watching the elephants. That's Tina walking up.

New Years Eve -day we went to Fort Desoto Beach. It was finally HOT outside and we enjoyed the day hanging out baking our little white Canadian bodies in the sun.

This is Finster dressed for New Years Even dinner. She was so excited she kept screaming at the top of her lungs. I think my ears and Poppa Mike's are still ringing.

We wore her out ladies and gentleman! January first at 10 am this little gal was out like a light for the beginning of our 10 hour road trip home.

There was no snow when we arrived home. However Finley did throw up for the first time ever the car seat .... 29 miles from home. Ahhh, the memories.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Work Shmerk and Family

It's 2011, and this officially marks the third year I've not had a juicy TV contract to launch into to rid myself of the January blues. This is absolutely of course due to choice. I want to be at home with my kiddo until she is school age. It's an important foundation I want to lay with her early development. Fortunately we are in a postiion where this is an option for us. However, this does not mean not working at all. I'd like to get into some short term contracts and development deals. My brain needs to be engaged and I need to work. I like to work!

In addition to teaching two yoga classes a week, I've been trying to hammer away at two TV proposals to pitch when I get to a very important meeting next week, write emails to former employers requesting meetings to discuss possible contracts for 2011 and handle a toddler. Oh yeah, and my house is for sale, so, I've got to keep it looking like a show room and I lost all of last week when Fin had a gastroenteritis and spent the week puking. There simply are not enough hours in the day some days. I digress.

I LOVE my career. I also LOVE to be with my daughter. I'm not the only parent on earth who is trying to figure out the balance of a harmonious career and home life. If only there was a secret to it all and I could just tap into it.

So is there a secret? What are you mom's doing that makes your life easier while juggling family and career? If you work at home, how do you carve out the hours needed to get your gig done and not comprimise on childcare, career, health or sanity?

I'll take all tips and advice!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And Then She Said

It was Christmas Day 2009, Steve's Mom, Aunt and I took the Pare' Family kids up to the bonus room to chillax for a while after a wild morning of tearing into presents, playing with new toys and general Christmas morning mayhem.

I had ordered the original 1964 version of Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer narrated by Burl Ives from Netflix as it's one of my favorites and hoped the kids would enjoy it as much as I do. I popped the movie into the DVD player snuggled some kids in around me to take a rest while watching the film. Everything was calm and peaceful for 50 whole minutes. Then little attention spans shifted, the boys left the room Grandma chased after them, the Aunt had fallen a sleep on the couch, my three and a half year old niece Kaylee, my eight month old daughter Finley and I were the only ones left in the room.

When the movie ended I picked up Finley and took her over to execute a quick diaper change. Kaylee came along to watch. She was pretending to be Princes Lillis, a character from her imaginary world repertoire. Kaylee transforms into some of these imaginary characters and others are just hanging around so I have to be careful where I step lest I squish one.

Kaylee's mom Jen arrives in the room.

Hi whats going on up here?

Well Princess Lillis was just dancing for us.

Princess Lillis show me your dance!

Kaylee aka Princess Lillis
F#ck, F$CK, F*CK, F******CK

Jen and I are totally taken aback and look at one another. I'm repacking the diaper bag while Fin crawls off to play. I tuck my face into my shoulder so I don't give away my smiles because while I find this hysterical it is clearly not a funny parenting moment for Jen. We'll have a good laugh over it later but not now. Not in front of the cussing three year old.

That is not a nice word we don't use that word Kaylee.

Kaylee aka Princess Lillis
F#ck, F$CK, F*CK, F******CK

Where did you hear that word?

And that's when Kaylee (points at me)
Aunt Shell!


Aunty (who has now woken up from her nap on the couch)
She most certainly didn't hear it from anyone in here in the last hour.

Kaylee aka Princess Lillis
F#ck, F$CK, F*CK, F******CK

I admit it's one of my favorite words but I have not said it even under my breath since I was getting in the car this morning to come here.

You were just the closest in proximity to blame. She could have heard it days ago.