Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cosmic Adventures

Shortly after the big move we discovered a website that offered 101 things to do with children in the Ottawa area. Score! Lots of those things involve outdoor activities that we want to cram in before things turn cold. Very cold. But even in the summer there are some days when you just want to be inside. Yesterday there was an 80% chance of thundershowers. Yesterday was a good day for indoors. But not just any indoors. COSMIC ADVENTURES indoors.

Wow. This place is outta this world! Couldn't resist. Not one, but TWO ball pits. Two toddler zones, three levels of climbing/sliding/tumbling/tunneling/zip-lining fun, a restaurant that has a whole wheat/nothing fried and yet still exciting menu, and even a Zone of Silence where parents (responsible parents of older children, of course) can escape and read, work or watch tv! I see the future. I see us making friends, convincing them to buy memberships, and enjoying weekly coffee dates while our kids try to murder each other in the ball pit. The future is bright.

And on those occasions like today when we have no friends and are actually looking forward to rolling around with our rambunctious little one, this place is fun for everyone! It's American Gladiators meets those old-fashioned drop-off rooms in shopping malls circa 1985. With food! And ice cream! Don't tell E about the ice cream. She's still buzzing from those Whoopie pies.

Shoes in the bucket!  


He never saw it coming. 

Bye mom! See you Thursday!

 Peek a boo!

The ball pit swallows another willing victim.

It didn't rain after all, but I don't hear anyone complaining.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Makin' Whoopie...pies.

It was all dada's fault.
In an effort to keep a good day going strong, I may have promised a timbit to my beautiful little toddler as she woke up from her nap, knowing that there were a few left over from our road trip. As ideas go, she thought that a post-nap timbit was simply brilliant. So off we went downstairs in search of that little yellow box...which was...empty.

Tears. Lots of them. And not just those "I'm not getting my way so I'm going to scream" kind of tears. We're talking big, fat, copious tears of devastation. It took about ten minutes of cuddling for her to stop sobbing.

Apparently dad had neglected to a) save one for his first born or b) dispose of the evidence. This was not his best moment. Fortunately for him though, he had fled the premises during nap time and so it fell to yours truly to repair the psychological damage inherent in this particular brand of abuse.
And so I asked my little timbit, once her sinuses had been cleared and her breathing regulated, what I could do to make her feel better. The answer: a timbit.

Here's an interesting side note: Ottawa, our nation's capital, has shockingly few Tim Horton's around, and certainly none within walking distance of our house.

Dada, the one with the belly full of timbits, also had the car. I offered granola bars, fruit snacks, anything I could confirm with certainty that what we had in the house. But that's not what she had in mind.

E: Cake.
M: Cake? What kind of cake?
E: Regular cake. No. Marshmallow cake.
M: I don't know if I've ever heard of marshmallow cake!
E: I want marshmallow cake.

At first I was at a loss. But then I remembered the tub of marshmallow fluff burning a hole in my cupboard. A quick search on Google found me this recipe, and we got to work.

"Look mom! I'm cleaning! With my mouth!" 

 Chocolate-eating grin.

 Whoopie!!! Yes, the filling had to be pink.


Anything for my baby. I'm such a sucker.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I forgot my anniversary. So did my husband. We had talked about it earlier in the week, so it's not like it took us completely by surprise yesterday. But it kinda did. In fact, it was the Happy Anniversary email from my father that jogged my, and in turn my husband's, memory. We had no choice but to spend five hours of our special day in the car, but we did our best. E did her best about 75% of the time. Once we got home we stashed the little one away in her crib and watched a movie and ate some dim sum. It was nice. It was not a huge celebration as in previous years, but it was nice just to have a reminder that we decided to do this thing together, and here we are, still doing it.

Happy 7 Year Itch to my darling husband. I still remember my vows well enough to know that I've not always adhered to them to the letter, but I'm still pretty confident about that "rest of my life" bit. And fortunately for both of us, no one said anything about "I promise to remember my anniversary", so we're okay there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


There's a first time for everything, and this weekend it was for BRAIDS!!! 

Cute up the wazoo, if you ask me.

Vive le Week-end Libre!

What’s more fun than a weekend at home, trying to finish unpacking and thinking of all the fun things you could be doing if it would just stop raining outside? I’ll tell you what - an impromptu trip to Quebec City for a visit to the Doctor! Dr. Nik, that is.
I guess it all started Tuesday evening during a dinner conversation that came up unexpectedly. We were enjoying wings and nachos at our new regular establishment when, after a minute or two of quiet reflection, E announced: “The next time I see Dr. Nik I’m going to say I love you Dr. Nik!” So we took a video of her professing her love and sent it to the man himself. Then we fielded a series of questions about why Dr. Nik doesn’t have a baby, and whether he should just go to a store and get one, and E assured us that she would be more than happy to share her ice cream with both Dr. Nik and his baby. From there we got a bit distracted by the ice cream and eventually moved on to other topics.

Fast forward to late Thursday afternoon, when my husband turned to me and asked if I thought we should visit Dr. Nik this weekend. Hm.
Dr. Nik rocks
Our-sometimes-difficult-to-entertain-especially-when-we’re-stuck-indoors daughter loves Dr. Nik
Dr. Nik lives 5 hours away
Our-sometimes-difficult-to-entertain-especially-when-we’re-stuck-indoors daughter hasn’t done so well with car rides as of late
It was a draw. I decided to use E as a tie-breaker, being ever so clever in my phrasing.
M: Hey babe, do you want to hang out in Ottawa this weekend or in Quebec City?
E: Quebec City!
M: Really? Why?
E: Because Dr. Nik lives there!
Clever indeed. Apparently I had forgotten that I a) must have mentioned that fact to her at some point, and b) my child remembers EVERYTHING.
Decision made. Fingers crossed. Let’s do it.
As I said, I was apprehensive about being locked in a moving vehicle with little miss screamy-pants for such a long period, and I don’t know if it was the promise of what was to come or divine intervention, but she was a dream. She snacked, we chatted, she napped, we played I spy, she snacked some more, we sang the Alphabet song (both the right way and the wrong way) and Hands Up, and all of a sudden we were there. Early.
Nik came down to meet us and off she went, running as fast as her little toddler legs could manage...which is getting to be pretty speedy these days. From then on it has been the E & Nik Show. Look at this, Nik! Carry me, Nik! Can I play with this, Nik? What is that, Nik? Can I wear your robe, Nik? Can I have a brown robe like Nik’s? Hi Nik! HEY! NIIIIIIIK!

This was a good idea.

He's pretty good at telling stories. 

He has excellent taste in Saturday morning programming. 

He makes a mean breakfast sandwich. 

He's always available for a free ride. 

Charming the market-goers. 

First Sucre a la Creme experience. 

And she shared! 

 One of my favourite cheeses that we had to pay good money for
at the market, alongside a pile of flowers that Elle obtained for 
free from smitten onlookers.

He makes an excellent lounge chair.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hey E, show me that trick again?

Of all of her nifty little goofball tendencies, one of my favourites is when E pretends to sleep. Of course I am much more fond of the real thing, but as wakeful pastimes go, faux slumber is a pretty good one. It makes me smile when she tries to lie really still and get her eyelids to stop fluttering, unable to keep the corners of mouth from creeping up in a devlish grin. Maybe it will make you smile too. Can you tell which one is the real thing?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Truth and Context

"God made me better at one thing than anyone else. And that's being me."

What is your first impression of that statement? When I read it, I felt that it was a very grounding, reassuring affirmation, one that I feel I should adopt and repeat to myself as necessary. I think it is a profound and universal truth, so long as one leaves room for interpretation on the God bit.

The funny thing is, I read this in an article about a billionaire and his wife, and their over the top lifestyle. This was one of Mrs. Billionaire's "offensive" and "appalling" public statements that have apparently earned them much disdain, even among their well-to-do peers. The other outrageous remark she had the nerve to utter into a microphone?

"I do what I want."

Hmm. Good for her? We should all be so lucky? I can't say that I'm particularly offended by these choice words. Spoiled? Most likely. Materialistic? Without a doubt. Do I want them as my bffs? Probably not. They have way too much money and they flaunt it. They strive to be noticed and to be the biggest and the best with the most stuff. But in the midst of all of that, I have to say that Mrs. Bigshot makes some pretty good observations. And once you take it out of the context of wearing feathers and sequins to drop your kids off at school and clamouring for attention at charity events, I like to think that other readers of the article might come to the same conclusions.

p.s. It's nice to be back.