Monday, 22 December 2014

Christmas Time

Well Christmas is just a few days away. Last year was a little different because (most of) Nick's family were here. This year will be different again with our little Rubester on the scene :)

We're really looking forward to having Christmas morning with her and even though she's too little to really understand, we will delight in watching her open presents (and probably just try to eat the paper). I am so excited to start our own little Christmas traditions.

Until the day arrives, indulge in some Christmas movies (like The Grinch), and tune in to your favourite Christmas music (you can find my favourites here and here).

Have a lovely holiday!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Conversations {the who's dumber edition}

Scenario One: After looking at the artwork Nick and Ruby did during Daddy and Me Storytime.

Nick: Love, I did something so blonde today.
Me: What?
Nick: I was standing in the kitchen, reading the title of the picture on the fridge "O-FISH-ALLY THE WORLD'S BEST DADDY" and I kept wondering to myself, who is O-Fish-Ally?? and why is he the world's best daddy?
Me: No....
Nick: Oh yes I did. Then I googled it. The word 'officially' kept coming up, which I ignored.
Me: Noooo
Nick: It took like 10 minutes until I realized that Oh-Fish-Ally is NOT a character.

Scenario Two: At the Mockingjay movie last week

Nick: Wow, that's a big deer.
Me: {pauses to think; I noticed that it had large antlers; whispers} Wait, if it has antlers...isn't it a moose?
Nick: What?!
Me: Wait, that's not right, is it?
{giggling} I thought that the moose was the boy, and the deer was the girl.
Nick: {laughing} Um, no. Have you ever heard of a stag and doe?
Me: Riiiight. It probably doesn't help that when I was a kid I thought all dogs were boys and all cats were girls.
Nick: {just dying laughing}

Now, you let me know, who's dumber? Or are we equally lost here?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Thai Peanut Sauce

When Ruby was first home, I could barely make a bowl of cereal. Now that I am (generally) more organized with her, I love cooking again. For dinners, I often make a lot of Asian inspired meals. I used to buy a particular brand of jarred peanut sauce and I do love how it tastes, but I've started making my own sauces and seasonings at home to have more control over the ingredients (ie. not so much hidden sugar). Here's my recipe for a Thai-style peanut sauce. I use it in stir-fries but it could be a dipping sauce, too.

1 to 2 cloves garlic, put through a press or grated
1 tsp grated ginger
approximately half cup pb (I used the crunchy coconut kind)
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
a few drops sesame oil
sirracha to taste
1/3 cup water  *note: if you're making this as a dip, I would use a little less water

Simply mix all the ingredients until smooth. If you're making a stir-fry, just add it to the meat/veggies. If you're going to use it as a dip, I would make it a little ahead of time so the flavours have time to marry.

Here's a tip: buy a piece of ginger and then keep it in your freezer. Then you can easily peel and grate what you need anytime.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Things No One Told Me (Or Maybe They Did But I Didn't Believe Them)

In preparation for having Ruby, I did very little reading, but I did hear lots of different information from the women in my life. Although I was happy to get some insight, I don't think I took all of it to heart. Here are a few things that either I had never heard or didn't fully buy into. Let's just say, I was wrong.

1. You will definitely want an epidural. I wasn't convinced, nor should you be since everyone handles pain differently, but I was begging for it, just saying...

2. The Baby Blues. I hadn't even heard of that until I got home with Ruby. I probably would have benefited from a little bit of reading on that one (since I cried every evening for two weeks).

3. Baby Brain. As much as I don't like this one, I still find myself struggling to look for the word I'm trying to use on a daily basis. What IS this?

4. Unsolicited advice from strangers. Maybe I did believe this one, but it annoys me more than I ever thought it would. There's no need to point out that my baby isn't wearing socks. I am aware and I have been outside with her for less than a minute. Now move along.

5. You will become a nervous driver/traveller. Totally didn't buy it, but the flying fear seriously kicked in and when I drive now I feel like everyone is drifting into my lane (not likely).

6. The 'you sleep when the baby sleeps' deal - I figured, ya no problem. I love naps I will be able to do that no problem. Not so much. When Ruby was napping, I wanted to make something to eat, or take a shower, or tidy up a bit (I know people say cleaning can wait but sometimes it's nice to feel like you don't live in a dump), or even just be awake and do something for myself. Even still I only manage a 15 minute cat nap per day.

7. The number of random songs you will make up. I am basically narrating our entire day as some on-going ridiculous song. Some of my better (and repeat) titles include: The Pants Dance, Let's Change Your Diap- y, Lotion Lotion Lotion and Pants Aren't Food.

8. You will hover over your sleeping child, staring at them in awe, but if they so much as move a pinky finger, you army crawl out of there immediately because you can't deal with it if they wake up.

9. You will do insane things to make your kid smile. Strange faces, making sounds that only animals would make, and star jumps...all in a day's work.

{case in point: me doing a lot of silly smiles to solicit a somewhat aloof half smile}

These are some things I've come across in the first six months of Ruby's life (I can't believe she's six months old already!). I'm sure I will have a follow up post to this one in the coming months.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Phantom Kicks and a Mean Joke

A friend of mine, who also recently had a baby, told me that she had heard from other moms about feeling baby kicks after the baby was born. I don't know if the official term is phantom kicks but it sounds a lot like people feeling pain in a phantom limb so let's just go with that.

Recently, I started feeling those phantom kicks. It's really quite creepy. After a week or two of feeling them, I started to get concerned that maybe they weren't phantom after all. Could I be pregnant again? Oh please no. No no. Not now. The only way to be certain was to take a pregnancy test.

So I took the test, waited in the bathroom for the result, and then I had a funny idea. I would call Nick in and pretend to be all upset. In my best scared/worried/uncertain voice, I quietly called him. Then, with a little more urgency. I made my voice waiver as if I was about to cry. I said, "can you please come in here?". I heard him get up, start towards the bathroom, asking if everything was ok (I could hear the concern in his voice). That's when I jumped out of the bathroom and yelled 'It's NEGATIVE!' and burst out laughing. Apparently that was quite a mean joke. I really had him going and he was starting to panic. Whoops! But I mean, it's not that often that you have an opportunity for that kind of prank right? (well I don't, at least), so I took advantage. Sorry love ;)

Monday, 3 November 2014

Places to Eat (Breakfast): Jax

Over the weekend, Nick and I went out to grab lunch (with R in tow, of course). We ended up in Dundas (evidently I really like going there). As we wandered down the main street to find a place to eat we spotted this place that severed breakfast until 2, so we decided to try it out.

So ya, we had breakfast instead of lunch, but it was totally worth it. They've got everything you could want from a breakfast menu (French toast, waffles, various forms of bacon and eggs, even a bacon and egg sandwich on waffles) and they buy their meat from the local butcher across the street, which is a big plus, trust me. The staff were so sweet and friendly. When we asked them how long they'd be in business, they told us they opened two months ago doing the confectionery piece (baked goods and ice cream) and had been doing breakfast for two weeks. Well, in two weeks they've done a great job.

{When we arrived, it was packed. 
I took this pic after the rest of the crowd cleared out; it was 1pm after all}

{breakfast grilled cheese with bacon and a fried egg; 
doesn't look super interesting but trust me, it was so yummy} 

{Belgian waffles. It comes with eggs but Nick swapped them for fruit}

Jax: they're new to the scene, and our breaky was delicious. We'll be back and you should go.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Well this Halloween is a little different from Halloweens gone by. It's Ruby's first Halloween! No costumes for Nick and I (although if someone was having a party I totally would have put a costume together). I kinda cheaped out for R's first Halloween...not intentionally but hey, it's not like she has any idea (unless she reads this one day).

We had big plans to take her to the pumpkin patch for that first Halloween pumpkin hunt. Then I dropped a chair on my toe and couldn't walk. We did end up taking her to the farm to get a pumpkin but we didn't spend much time doing it and I certainly haven't carved it #halloweenfail.

{token photo of Ruby with pumpkins}

Nick wanted to dress her as a witch or a pumpkin. By the time we went looking for costumes, they were all gone. So I grabbed a cute cozy costume from the sale rack. I thought it was a watermelon, but it's a strawberry. Total cost for her first Halloween costume: $2.25.

{my little strawberry}

It's a pretty cold and rainy day here so I'm thinking we won't take her trick-or-treating either. It's really our loss (in the candy department). Hopefully when we look back, all we'll see is the cute picture of her as a strawberry. :)

Have a spooky day/night!!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Hashtag WCW

I noticed #WCW popping up all over my Instagram feed recently. I felt pretty out of the loop because I had no idea what it meant (although now it seems pretty obvious). For those of you who are still in the dark on this one - don't feel bad, I had to google it - it is Woman Crush Wednesday. I prefer the term girl crush but whatever.

I legit have a girl crush on Gwen Stefani. I've always liked her, from the early No Doubt days when I was in middle school, through University when she went solo and started L.A.M.B. Then, out of the blue, she became a judge on The Voice. Just when I thought I couldn't like her more, I decided that I am officially obsessed. I pretty much wish I could be her and hey, I'm on my way! Step one: dye hair blonde - check; step two: marry an Englishman - check; step three: have a baby - check; now for the talent, fame and fortune part...

The most appealing thing about her is simply how cool she is. Of course she's gorgeous, doesn't look anywhere near her age (or like she's had three babies for that matter), dresses incredibly well, and is humble to boot, but her coolness is what sets her apart. There is no one cooler. I'm not alone in this thinking. Lots of my girlfriends are equally in love with her. We discuss it weekly. #WCW...more like #stalkermondays (you know, because that's when we watch The Voice). #loveyouGwen

image via

Friday, 24 October 2014

My Mothering Instincts Failed!

Mornings with Ruby are usually my favourite. This morning was no exception. I opened the door to her room, peaked over her crib and said good morning. I was greeted with a big smile. I turned the lights on ever so slightly and walked over to the other side of her crib. I was just about to let Rocky out so I kissed her good morning and then reached for her stuffed cow to keep her company until I was back. That's when it happened.

When I picked up the cow, a centipede ran out from under it and went straight to Ruby. My reaction? I chucked the cow and ran for it.


I thought I was getting all 'tough mama' because I'm better at killing spiders now, but evidently centipedes are a different story. At this point, after I realized it was probably hiding under my baby, I knew I had to help her out. So I went over and rolled her over super fast to catch that bug. Baby rolled: no bug. Bigger fear sets in - the centipede is inside her sleep sack. I unzip the sleep sack like I am trying to surprise a burglar inside and take her out of it with extreme speed. No bug. Even more panic. This thing must have crawled in her jammies. I am now handling my baby like she is radioactive. I unsnap her pajamas, overcome with fear that I have to battle the centipede. I rip them off, shake them, and chuck them in the laundry. My diapered baby just looking up at me. No centipede, cold baby. Crazy mother.

I have no idea where it went and now I'm afraid to put her back in the crib. Worst. Mom. Ever.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Early Morning

{tasting sweet potato}

Well I've been up since 5 (that's when little Miss Tuesday decided she was hungry) and while she has been able to fall back to sleep, I haven't. I tried for a bit but then decided I might as well just get up. It's really quite nice to have some quiet time in the morning before Ruby is ready to start the day.

She's so busy now that I don't get the same amount of down time as I did in those first couple months. She expects a certain standard of entertainment, including a variety of activities in a variety of locations. I spend a significant portion of my day doing anything and everything to make her laugh and let me tell you, she's not the easiest audience.

Ruby is 20 weeks old today, but I know counting things in weeks annoys a lot of people, pre-baby Emma included, so we'll round it to 4.5 months. While she's so much busier and demanding so much more time and attention (aka sleeping less during the day) now, she's so much cooler and more fun to hang out with. She watches and listens while I narrate every activity in our day.

So many people have asked me "Don't you looooove being a mom?" and it got me thinking. For me, I wouldn't say that loving being a mom is necessarily synonymous with loving my child. What I loooove (absolutely, without a doubt) is Ruby. My journey in to motherhood has given me a lot to think about and evaluate. It's the hardest thing I've done to date and I am learning as I go. Some of the stuff that comes along with motherhood is amazing (like seeing Ruby every morning as she looks up at me from her crib and her little face breaks into a huge smile) and some of it is sucky (like getting punched in the eye by your baby's flailing hands and crying because it legitimately hurt) but I am obsessed and in love with my baby. That's one thing I say with 100% certainty.

What do you think? Are motherhood and baby-loving one in the same or can they exist as two separate ideas? What about fatherhood?

Ps. It's 7am and still dark out. What's up with that?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Places to Eat: Detour

Last week, Ruby and I took my dad out for a daddy/daughter/granddaughter day out to celebrate his birthday (albeit a little late). We drove in to Dundas and after spending some time at the park, we went looking for a place for lunch. We parked up on the main street and figured we would pop into a place that looked interesting. We found Detour. It is the perfect little breakfast & lunch spot. As soon as I saw macaroni and cheese on the menu, I was obviously getting that. He opted for gourmet grilled cheese. Both choices you can't really go wrong with, in my opinion. Ruby said she was too full, and I think she regretted her decision after seeing our meals.

{grilled cheese for dad, mac and cheese (with spinach!) for me}

The staff were so sweet and even helped us get the stroller inside. It's got that great vintage/antique vibe with updated touches (some of my favourite art). I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

{I love the art - of local skylines - they have displayed}

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Weekend Bits

How does Monday get here so fast? Did you have a good weekend? We had a lovely one. Friday night was just a chill at home night. Somehow, Friday has just turned into that. We're both too exhausted from the week to make much of an effort to do anything but just have a drink and curl up.

Saturday morning little miss Ruby was up bright and early and ready for action so we were out for a walk by 8:30. The weather stayed clear enough to go apple picking in the afternoon with friends. Check one thing off my Fall To-Do list, plus, we got so many delicious, local apples.

{all smiles for our morning walk}

{two men and a baby...and a wagon full of apples}

{some of our haul}

After that, our friends treated us to what they referred to as a 'simple supper'. I am now going to start calling them the ultimate hosts because two homemade soups plus gourmet grilled cheeses wasn't what I would call simple (in the best way possible). For future grilled cheeses, allow me to recommend old white cheddar, bacon and apple or pear, brie and fig jam. Just go ahead and make it right now, you won't be sorry.

{there were six of us eating, so you don't think we're that bad}

Sunday, after being served coffee in bed, was a typical lazy day around the house, but when we went to family dinner at my parents' place, guess what they had decided to make? Poutine. Looooved it. Poutine with different choices for toppings (slow cooked beef or pulled pork). Does your mom make poutine? Just saying.
{coffee in bed} 

{family cuddles}

{pulled pork poutine}

This was a bit of a food-centric post...I swear I live for more than just eating (riiiight). Now here we are, another Monday. I hope you have a great week!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Baby Talk Canadian vs English

I've written several posts about the funny conversations Nick and I have that highlight the differences between British English and Canadian English. Now I've discovered more differences in the baby world. These have all surfaced since Ruby has graced us with her presence.

{taking Ruby for a spin in a proper pram - it was Nick's as a baby!}

We say                   They say
Onesie & Sleeper     Baby Grow
Stroller                     Pram
Crib                         Cot
Diaper                      Nappy
Soother/Pacifier        Dummy
Burping                    Winding
Drool                       Dribble

While we were in England, I tried not to confuse everyone too much with my words, but it's funny how the context changes so much with just one word. The word diaper has a different (and apparently gross) meaning. Who knew?

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

My Dental Hygienist Blew My Mind

I was at the dentist for my regular cleaning recently, and I decided to ask my hygienist about the article that was floating around the internet saying that chemicals in Colgate were carcinogenic (insert me freaking out here). She said that yes, she had seen the article and that most toothpastes are the same; they all contain chemicals (I guess I should have known that). Then she told me something that blew me away. She said that you don't really need to use toothpaste, period.

I'm sorry, whaaaaa? I've been living a lie my entire life, religiously brushing my teeth with toothpaste twice a day. Turns out, unless you have a condition like sensitive teeth where toothpaste might help, all you need is to brush with water and floss each day. Yep that's it. Apparently, toothpaste simply enhances the teeth-brushing experience. If you want to freshen your breath, you can just use a rinse.

Am I the last person to know about this? I actually tried it for a few days and it really was fine. My mouth still felt so fresh and so clean clean. Don't judge, my mouth is chemical free :)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

I'm a Mom, but it doesn't end there

I am now a mother. This is something I have thought about for a long time and was absolutely ready for. I am sure that being a mom to Ruby will be one of the most amazing and challenging roles I will have in my life. But, and yes, there's a but, I'm not just a mom.

A little while ago, I went out to some events for moms/babies. I was looking to get out of the house, find some activities for Ruby and myself, you get the idea. One thing I was disturbed by was that the identity of the moms as these events was virtually non-existent. Almost no one introduced themselves, and in the more structured events, only the names of the babies mattered. In hindsight, I realize that I was going to a moms group and first thing we would all have in common was our babies, but I guess I expected to learn some more about the other mothers. Not so much.

I found it so disheartening that one day Nick came home and found me almost in tears. All of a sudden it felt like my former identity was stripped from me. The next day I came to my senses and realized that I am in control of who I am. Not only am I a mom, but I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend. An advice-giver, an HR Manager, a blogger. I have interests in things other than parenting and I believe that not only will that make me a better mom to Ruby, but it will make me a better role model to her as well.

Every mom had an identity before her children were born, and I don't think having a baby means you have to put that aside. Too many times I hear "well, I'm a mom now" like that somehow erases who you used to be. There are some clear lifestyle changes that moms tend to make, for example, no longer can I drink a bottle of wine and sleep the entire next day away). However, I will still make sure I get nights with my girlfriends and I will at least have a glass! Just as people don't define themselves only by their career choice, nor should mothers define themselves by motherhood alone.

My purpose for writing this isn't to criticize any mother and the choices she's made, it is simply to point out that there's no reason to lose yourself in motherhood.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Fall To Do List

Fall us upon us. Even though I love the laid-back vibe of summer, once the cooler weather sets in I'm always excited about getting back into a bit of a routine and getting all cozy. I've made a little list of things that I'd like to do this fall:

What's on your list?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Nighttime Thoughts

Lately I've been finding it much more difficult to fall back asleep after getting up with little Miss Tuesday during the night. What does that result in? Thoughts. Thoughts after thoughts after thoughts. And here's the other night:

Ok, back to sleep.
It's almost 5am. What time is Nick getting up?
Must fall asleep before his alarm.
Don't look at the baby monitor, she's fine.
Deep soothing breath. Sleeeeep.
Don't think of anything scary. *Immediately think of the scary face at the end of the Annabelle (new scary movie) preview.* Yikes!
It's probably all that sugar I had before bed that is making this worse. Those squares were yummy.
I wonder what was in them...was there margarine in the base?
Do any of my friends still eat margarine?
I should talk to them about that.
Ok try again. Free your mind of thoughts.
Free your mind. Wasn't that an En Vogue song?
How you pronounce it? En Vogue or On Vogue?
Clearly On Vogue would be the right pronunciation, although it sounds a bit pretentious.
Resist the urge to look at that baby monitor. *looks at it anyway*
Baby is asleep.
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