Oh gosh. I’m posting this picture of myself for three reasons.

1) Because Ange told me I’m finally looking like myself again after 4 weeks of looking like arse from the ghastly cold/cough/flu/bronchitis I’ve been battling (the dark circles under the eyes are still there, as is that UFO thing in the middle of my head — heh, I wore it shopping this aft, and the Rascal loved it). And Ange has a fabulous British accent.

2) Because my friend Alice, aka “Kittenpie,” said my hair looked “Gorgeous!” when I tweeted it earlier today.

3) Because this is my blog! And one should post photos of oneself on one’s blog, don’t you think? (And it’s really rare that I actually get a good photo of myself, so I thought I better post it and possibly make it my Twitter/Facebook avatar for the next 10 years.)

And one should post photos of one’s kids on one’s blog, don’t you think? And if one (like myself) doesn’t post photos of one’s children’s faces on one’s blog, then one better post a photo of one’s child’s FIRST LOST TOOTH!

Congratulations, MONKEY!

…Or at the very least, one better post lots of photos of one’s seriously unphotogenic dog — to make one’s own photo look more gorj.

Speaking of one…, guess what I did this weekend?! If you follow me on Twitter, you may know I gave a talk (about blogging, community, marketing and me!) at the Rotman School of Management, at University of Toronto.

Because I was so sick, and because the kids kept me up most of the night before, I may or may not have dozed off mid sentence once or twice…. But what a great experience! I wasn’t nervous at all, could have talked all day long, and the students were really lovely. I also learned a lot myself, simply by taking the time to reflect on the pretty crazy career I’ve had so far: from hobby blogging, to Urban Moms, bTrendie (remember that?), to TODAY’S PARENT MAGAZINE.

Here’s the wonderful Professor Bill McEvily (left) and social media expert Matthew Stradiotto, of the Toronto-based social media company Matchstick.ca, who also gave a (fascinating) talk.

And look what Prof. McEvily gave me for showing up to his class….

I love this mug. This mug SAVED me during two extreme, ugly cough attacks at work today and yesterday, so I’m very grateful. Inside, however, was the worst possible gift ever: a gift card to Starbucks. Apparently, the professor did his homework….

One should probably blog more than once a week (or so) if one’s going to have just so much to share, don’t you think? We haven’t even gotten to the diet and yoga stuff I wanted to tell you about. Next time.

UPDATE ON MAAARGE!: As many of you know, Maaarge has been really ill. Well, I’m happy to say the wonderful vets at Laird-Eglinton Pet Hospital have worked miracles: Maaarge’s seizures have stopped! She’s stopped urinating everywhere, and I even got to shower her (for the first time in 15 years). So she actually even smells fantastic! Her back legs aren’t what they used to be — I’m thinking she probably injured them during one of her seizures. She sleeps a lot, and she seems a little more out of it than before all this happened. But she’s comfortable and happy.

I’ve been holding her a lot lately. Putting my ear to her li’l body and listening to her purr. It occurred to me that she’s literally my rock. Sediment upon sediment of emotions, memories, experiences. I’m not ready to lose her, and I know there’s not much time left. But I’m enjoying holding her, appreciating her. My delicate, precious, living relic. For as long as I can.


xo Haley-O (off to make one’s morning green smoothie!)

I don’t tend to think of myself as a “mom blogger.” And honestly? I loathe the term “mommy blogger,” so I definitely don’t think of myself as a “mommy blogger.”

One reason I don’t think of myself as a “mom blogger” is that the other day this guy I hadn’t seen in a long time saw me and said, “Hey, Blogger Mom!” Ew! I am NOT a violent person, but I wanted to clock him.

I also don’t think of myself as a “mom blogger” because I just don’t write about the kids that much anymore. I write about motherhood and my experience as an individual who is a above all a mom, but who’s also a lot of other things — so many things that my head is rolling from all the hats I wear on any given day. If they must have a name for me, then they can call me “Individual Blogger” or “Many Hats Blogger” or even “Writer Blogger.” Although being a mom is a massive part of who I am, a big reason I write this blog is to assert, find, express my individuality — or at least my individual experience.

Anyway, last week I took 10 minutes to not write about emotions, and this week I’m taking 10 minutes to not write about my kids. Instead, they’re going to speak for themselves!

I’ve compiled a bunch of Monkeyisms and Rascalisms that I’ve tweeted over the last several months, and I’m sharing them right here — both as a way to document the adorableness and, of course, to blog it, like a good Many Hats Blogger. So without further ado, I bring you MY CHILDREN, in their own words…. There are quite a few gems in here, I think. Enjoy!

Love! Now, Gorgeouses, if you follow me on Twitter, you can see all these Monkeyisms and Rascalisms in REAL TIME. And if I’m not following you back and I should be, please let me know. Sometimes I find people I can’t believe I’m not following back….

And guess what? If this post seems wonky and clunky to you, it IS! And you know why? DAY 5, baby! We are on DAY 5 of NO STARBUCKS SOY CHAI LATTE. This is record-breaking, Gorgeouses. Record. Breaking. I’m feeling like crap. A lot of EMOTIONS bubbling up, a headache, a nervous cough that’s getting reeeeeeeaaally attractive, and this annoying repetition of vowels in blog posts. I’ll try to get a handle on that last symptom soooooon.

The good news is, though, that I’m eating so much better. I actually think I have low blood sugar, or whatever that condition is when you need to eat often. Because I’ve become more aware of when I need to eat — which seems to be quite frequently! This is fascinating to me. I’m, like, a grazer now. You can find me at my desk EATING now, most likely a banana, or a salad, a soup. ME! It’s crazy.

Speaking of work, have you checked out our shiny new website at Todaysparent.com (check me out at work — in a meeting — in the photo!)? This was a labour of love for me and my amazing co-workers, and we’re still working away to perfect it. My blog, Celebrity Candy, will get gorgeous within the next couple of weeks, they tell me. But I’m posting there, so checkit!

And since I’m not blogging about my children today, I HAVE to tell you the Rascal is about to get a new belt next week!

Even though I’m not a blogger mom…: squeeeeeee! I’ll be okay. But it’s amazing what he can do with that strong little bod!

Love! xo Haley-O

Occasionally, I listen to a radio talk show that sometimes makes me hate myself, but that sometimes makes me go hmmm….

Dr. Laura Schlessinger would not like that my kids are in public school. She would not like that my son goes to a (lovely little) morning school while I’m at work. But she’d be somewhat satisfied that I finish work at 2:30pm in time to pick both my kids up from school, and that my husband works from home. She would like that I’m married, but she would not like that I’m on Twitter and Facebook. She would not like that I had a lovely part-time nanny whom I said goodbye to last week while shedding giant crocodile tears.

She would not like that I’m fat.

I listen to Dr. Laura’s show occasionally on my way home from work, bracing myself for points of view that make me shudder, but eagerly anticipating the odd pearl of wisdom. My mom used to listen to the show in the car when I was a kid, so the familiarity of Dr. Laura’s notoriously shrill voice at times renders comfort and reassurance — and at times makes me want to put myself in the corner with a giant dunce cap on my head.

After slapping working mom after divorced mom on the virtual wrist and blaming cheated-on wives for not pleasing their husbands enough in the bedroom, and chastising others for “shacking up” before marriage, she offered one forlorn fat caller some refreshingly eye-opening advice for losing weight.

The woman was calling because her husband was complaining about her weight gain, and she gave a bunch of excuses as to why she couldn’t lose the weight — hormones, no time to exercise, not motivated. Dr. Laura pooh-poohed every one of the excuses, and nearly lost it on the caller when she asked the question I, for one, really wanted an answer to: “But, Dr. Laura, how do I motivate myself to exercise and eat well?”

“MOTIVATION IS BS,” Dr. Laura exclaimed. “Do you think I want to drop and do 20 pushups during the commercial break?” she asked. “Do you think I want to get up in the morning and workout in the gym? No. Nobody does. But it’s the right thing to do, morally, for your health, for your husband. Maybe once you get to the gym, you realize, ‘Hey, this isn’t so bad.’ But it’s much easier to be LAZY.” (I’m not sure if these were her exact words, by the way — except for “motivation is BS.”)

“Motivation is BS.” How true is this, Gorgeouses? I mean, I have all the motivation in the world to lose my excess belly fat — my kids! my husband, myself, yoga, energy, my new Lululemon clothes, him….

And then I see my friends and loved ones who’ve been on the operating table numerous times for near-death heart surgeries diving into chocolate, cookies and other stuff that put them on the operating table in the first place. Motivation is BS.

And in saying “motivation is BS,” Dr. Laura motivated me to stop waiting to get motivated. And then Theresa Albert motivated me, shortly after I listened to Dr. Laura’s show, when I read her great article in The Toronto Star about how our excess of food choices makes us “choose badly,” and then Alice came back from Italy (finally!), and David said after yoga the other day, “No lattes.”

I might be a bit quiet and cranky for the next few days while I attempt to tackle a healing macrobiotics plan. It’s quite a radical shift from what I’ve been eating lately, but if I don’t do something radical, something to “jump start” some weight loss (as Dr. Laura put it before offering the caller a free month of a diet shake program she swears by), it will simply never happen. And though I’ve been averse to macrobiotics lately (only because I’m not the greatest cook…yet), I’ve been mysteriously drawn to it for years — like I am to yoga and other ancient stuff — and I think I have to honour that. As a vegan, there are so many, too many, “diets” to choose from; I’m finally choosing this one as a practice. Done. No more emotion around it, as my friend Ruth has wisely advised me on various subjects. Just do it.

This will definitely be a major challenge as I continue be a darn good, responsible mom (even if I’m not Dr. Laura’s ideal), and work my soon-to-be svelte arse off with our awesome Todaysparent.com team as we prepare for our massive site RELAUNCH later this month (so exciting)! But, apparently, I’ll be thinking more clearly in no time, have that increased energy I’ve been craving, I’ll feel lighter, and I might get some glow in my skin — just in time for the BlissDom Canada conference.

Anyone going to the BlissDom Canada Conference in Toronto, October 13-16?

I’m excited to tell you I’m a Tribe Leader for the “Lifestyle Tribe.” So, if you’re going to the conference, be sure to join my tribe for a roundtable discussion Friday morning on blogging about LIFE. And, like all tribe leaders, I’ll be available if you have any questions, and to “help you make the most of your conference experience”!

By the way, my co-Tribe Leader is the awesome Ali Martell, who sums up Lifestyle writing (and our friendship) perfectly in her most recent post: “We’d love to talk with you about how writing about nothing is truly writing about everything.” Now you have to join us because Ali+Haley=CRAZY FUN, and you’ll want to be a part of that!


xo Haley-O

PS. Lord help me if Dr. Laura’s people find this blog post and she reads it on the air…! It is entirely possible. To make myself a little more likeable, then, I should state for the record here that I also have a dog. She’s a Maltese, and her name’s Betty White.

Something’s shifting. Maybe it’s temporary, or maybe, more likely, I’m really tired.

I haven’t blogged in over a week and, by self-imposed law, I never miss a week! But it’s what I needed. Even today I feel like closing this Macbook right this second, and just being quiet. Working as an online editor means writing — a lot. And I love writing, so I don’t forget for one minute that this is, to borrow the Monkey’s favourite phrase, the job “of my dreams.” But it also means that I’m on my computer a lot.

This weekend I couldn’t stomach turning on my computer. And I think I still need one more night, at least, not to type on this keyboard, not to look at this bright screen. To read, to splash in the freezing cold lake — youch! To wear my crocs, sip a grande soy-no-water-tazo chai without guilt and despite challenge. To play soccer with the Rascal and Betty White. To practise my backwards somersaults with the Monkey in the grass. To be a mom and just celebrate that with my mom, my sister and sister-in-law at a cottage-country spa — thanks to our husbands. Happy Mother’s Day to us, indeed, and to all you Gorgeous moms out there!

I had a massage for the first time in years at the spa this weekend. The massage therapist said I was crazy tight around my forearms and shoulder blades — “Are you on the computer a lot?” Yes. Forearms.

Tomorrow I leave for yoga early. And I think I’ll wear something sparkly. I’m just so freaking malleable, so easily swayed, definitely nervous, and wracked with frustrating OCD lately. It comes around faster these days — or maybe I just notice it more. It’s tough battling this thing without medication sometimes. But I’m determined. Partly because my OCD makes me not want to pee meds into our lakes and oceans….

But the yoga helps a lot. And writing it out helps. And being open and laughing about it helps. And taking a break helps.

And so, silence. For at least a little while. So I can collect myself (again) and relax and not perform and enjoy my work and then turn it off and get some sleep and do what I do for me.

Something sparkly.

You know how I love to write? It seems I also love to take pictures. And I’ve really enjoyed loading these up here for you this evening. So here’s another story for the road — no words.

Thanks, as always, for being here.


xo Haley-O

I never write about my marriage. It’s not because I’m not “allowed” to — Josh trusts me to make him look good at all times. I could even do like Russell Brand and post a photo of my confused spouse’s glorious morning face on twitter, and that would be okay (for Josh, but apparently not for Katy Perry). But I’m not as crazy as Russell (or, of course, as saucy). Indeed, if it were up to Josh, our kids’ faces would be all over this blog. I’m the one with the privacy issues.

Here’s the thing, though: Josh doesn’t care what I write about on this blog. And it has nothing to do with trust or privacy issues or how good or bad I make him look in the morning. The real reason is BECAUSE HE RARELY READS THIS BLOG. That’s right! My husband rarely reads my blog. Some might find that dysfunctional (and Josh would be fine with that). Others, like me, find it liberating, and fully functional — for EXPLOITATION.

Gorgeouses you are about to witness a cheaty blog SABOTAGE.

See, not only does Josh-O rarely read my blog, but he accused me of being a HOARDER the other day when we went to Costco (for the first time in 10 years, might I add). Apparently, I’m a hoarder because I want a kitty jungle gym in our living room. They had one for $45 dollars (which I’m told is a steal as far as kitty jungle gyms go). And when I saw it, I immediately had visions of our 14-year-old cat, MAAARGE, actually out of our closet.

So he went away on a business trip the other day, and THIS is what he’s coming home to….

A KITTY JUNGLE GYM! And guess who’s the first to know. Not him. But YOU. Because YOU read this blog. BWAH! I’m so evil. This is DELICIOUS!

Yes. I wanted it. I wanted it this jungle gym for MAAARGE and for Minden….

And for all those “mom bloggers” out there whose husbands don’t read every single gorgeous word they write on their blogs. OWN it, Ladies. EXPLOIT it, Ladies. Make him regret it. Make him see the error of his ways and how very incredibly smart you are. Take it back. RAWR!

Call me crazy. Call me hoarder. Call me crazy hoarder. I DON’T CARE. My husband is going to rue the day he called me hoarder. And he may start actually reading this blog for FEAR of future sabotages. Besides, my cats really needed a safe refuge from you-know-who….

Yes. The Rascal and I went to the neighbourhood pet store together to pick up the new jungle gym right after Josh left for his trip….

“Mama,” he said with his cheaty little smile and that cheaty little glint in his cheaty little eye. “Are we going to get da jungo gym foh da kitty cats?”

“Yes, honey. We’re going to the pet store now.”

“Dadda’s gonna HAAAATE it.”

He will. He’s going to hate it. But we love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

So, Gorgeouses, do you think Josh is going to be throw me in the doghouse for this? For all of this?

Come to think of it, we could use a doghouse…. Maybe on the other side of the living room? Heh.

Wish me luck….


xo Haley-O

P.S.: Thanks, in advance, to Josh-O for being SUCH A GOOD SPORT! I love you! Also you are very handsome in the morning.

I’ve been interviewed over at the Canadian Weblog Awards website! And you know what? I totally talk about YOU. I talk all about how much I love you and how much you drive me and support me and make me want to be a better writer.

Pretend I’m holding the award badges in hand and that they say “BEST READER” on them and I’m reaching them way out to you beyond this screen…. Here:

2010 Canadian Weblog Awards 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards

FOR YOU. And YOU, YOU, YOU and YOU. And YOU. All six of you. Heh. Well, there are more than six of you. A lot more than six of you — that’s what happens when you’ve been blogging for 5 years and have such awesome, supportive readers.

In addition to the badges, I give you Very Unflattering Pictures of me skating on the frozen lake last weekend….

I haven’t skated in 20+ years, okay?

I’m not sure why my hands are out like that. I mean, I’m trying to balance, but I actually look like I’m trying to fly. Maybe I am trying to fly. Who really knows? And, I’m telling you, all the photos are like that….

My 3-year-old nephew (above) is a better skater than I am. He doesn’t need WINGS. He also happens to be very TALL…. *Cough.*

Also. That jacket. It’s over 5 years old. It’s survived 2 pregnancies. The zipper is broken.

And how about those SKATES? (Unsolicited advice: Don’t try to figure out what’s going on up there with my scarf/hat….)

And, of course…, BETTY WHITE (you may have to squint your eyes to see her below)….

I think I told you she follows me EVERYWHERE, didn’t I?

Wait?! WHY are you still here? Go read the interview! I hope you enjoy it — because you’re awesome and I love you. (I also love Schmutzie for asking really fun questions and making me look like a rockstah! I was NOT going to send her that picture!)


xo Haley-O

Nooo! They’re coming down the stairs again. It’s 8pm and they’re supposed to be in bed and, thanks to Alice (who totally gets the seriousness of my Starbucks addiction), I haven’t had a Starbucks grande soy no water tazo chai in FIVE DAYS.



And I’m telling you they do — they must — put crack in it.

So I’m tired. I’m going through major withdrawal. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t ignore the fact that he is staring at me as I type this right now here on my computer staring at me right now I SEE YOU. Okay. Come sit on my lap. Bugger.


They’re coming down the stairs and my eyes are closing. My chapped lips are throbbing. Probably because I was smiling so big as I ran down the stairs this morning to greet my part-time nanny, Rachel — not realizing I’d forgotten to put my front tooth in…. (Thatwasfun.)

I’m getting a full bridge and a crown put in next month. Hallelujah. I will have a front tooth. Actually, because we decided to go with a bridge, I’ll have four brand new front teeth — after only 10 months of what my family likes to call “Hillbilly Haley.” I’m so hot without my tooth in. Like Demi Moore was…. (Here she is talking about her notorious toothless twitter pic….)

Click the pic to view the vid.

When the dentist was doing the moldings for my new teeth yesterday, he was really shocked to learn, as I broke into a fit of panic over the goop he was stuffing in my mouth, that I have a gum phobia. I, like Oprah Winfrey, am afraid of chewing gum. “I’m shocked you’re afraid of gum,” he said. “I didn’t see that on your blog.” You know? Even though I’ve been, as my invisible tagline reads, “chronically oversharing since 2006,” there’s a lot about me you don’t know.

Like my gum phobia. And, umm, erm, uhhh, I won a screaming contest at sleepover camp one year and was in the Miss Dance of Canada pageant when I was 16. I never finished my PhD in English Literature but I got straight A PLUSES in my coursework. My car was burnt down in my garage that year. Other shady things happened. I am gullible. My colleague at Scholastic Canada, Ltd., told me the hole I found in an almond I was about to eat once when I was pregnant was carved by a mouse AND a weevil and I believed him. I even called motherisk to see if I could catch anything from the mouse…or the weevil. I am chewing ice right now.

Thanks to my new colleague at Today’s Parent, who generously brought me a Justin Bieber CD and stickers the other day (really it’s because she needed a partner in crime), I’m now officially a Belieber…. And so is the Monkey….

Possibly even the Rascal — who kept me up all night last night and is therefore (along with no-chai) the reason for all this gibberish.


xo Haley-O

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