While, yes, this blog remains a priority for me, I can’t really blog tonight because I’m busy exchanging “voice notes” with my sister via blackberry. Newly discovered. Have you tried it? We’re mostly swearing back and forth at each other. I feel a little like a child with her very first walkie-talkie. Only my sister and I are both over 30….

When we were little we tried to make a language out of knocking on our bedroom walls after bedtime. I think we got from 1 to 6 knocks. For the life of me, I can’t remember what any of those knocks signified.

I hope my latest voice note worked. I said: “You’re a nerd. G’night. F** off.” Hold on a sec. Let me check.

I think it worked. Oh, there she is. Dara and I — the only two people on the planet who don’t own iPhones. And so we send each other voice notes. She better not get an iPhone, or I’ll have no one to voice note with.

At least for now, I don’t DO iPhones. But, I said the same thing about Facebook not long ago, didn’t I…? “I WILL NEVER!!!!!11″ I’m not a hypocrite. Just a pushover. Still, I don’t know about the iPhone with these thumbs of mine — which, I hereby declare, from now on are to be called “Megan Fox” thumbs instead of “toe thumbs.”

…Just noticing the funky toe thumb-lengthening diagonal-nail-polish trick she’s done there. Hmmm….

I’m going to bed. Well, I have one more Celebrity blog post to write, and THEN I’m going to bed.

Truth is, I’m writing like a dog for work. Like THIS:

Her underbite’s so big she can’t kiss you without scraping you with her buck canines…. It’s awesome.

I love all this writing I get to do for work, but I admit I’m drained. With all the Junior Kindergarten and Preschool end-of-the-year parties, the running running running, grocery shopping ONCE a week (what IS that?!), I’m drained. Drained of ability to string words together in intelligible sentences past 10pm. Remember when I used to blog at 3AM? The days FROM HELL when Rascal was a baby and the Monkey was just over two? OMG. Well, that’s physically impossible now. I guess that’s what happens when you’re 35…….., and, in all fairness to myself, ahem, when you’re all-of-a-sudden working again AND taking care of the kids in the afternoon, AND then working nights, and eating like crap, you’re entitled. No?

So I’m going to go easy on myself tonight. I WILL not edit this post after I press publish. I’ll let it go. Into the amazing infinite non-space that is the Internet. Goodbye, post. Hello voice notes. Gotta go. mysisterCANNOThavethelastwordBYE!

LOVE! xo Haley-O

The couple months have been crazy for me. Recap: tooth trauma, new job (aka lifestyle overhaul), new dog “Betty White” (aka lifestyle overhaul), new nephew, loved one in hospital (was released TODAY). I think it’s time for a little mundanity, don’t you? Checkit….

I just ate a slice of raw vegan strawberry cheesecake from Live. It’s yummy, but a little too walnut-y. Someone snuck a cheaty little taste before I could slice into it.

There’s a family of cardinals living in our backyard. Deep inside this tree….

It’s rare that you see a female cardinal, you know. But we see the mama bird all the time. Isn’t she beautiful?

I watched the daddy cardinal feed the baby — beak to beak. Amazing. Needless to say, Betty White’s not allowed in the backyard when the birds are hunting. I hardly want her near MINDEN….


(she wears short-shorts….)

In the course of writing this post, my children have come down the stairs four times.

The Rascal and I went on a moonlit midnight walk with Betty White just last night….

Tonight he’s wearing a Paul Frank T-shirt and bathing-suit shorts to bed. I asked him why he was wearing bathing-suit shorts, and he said because “I yike to, Mama.”

The Monkey says “babing suit” instead of “bathing suit.” and I like it better. Really. Otherwise the Monkey’s quite articulate.

I took Monkey, Rascal and Josh-O to the office the other day to retrieve the whatchamacallit I dropped down the elevator shaft in front of an elevator full of men — all heads bobbed as the whatchamacallit bounded off the elevator ledge and into the shaft (plop). Facilities went down, way down, and got it for me.

This is what they did at 4pm on Father’s Day….

Josh-O’s a great dad. Too bad he doesn’t read my blog. Or is it? If he did read my blog, I wouldn’t be able to call him a nutball, or tell you about the astronomical parking ticket I got illegally parking in front of Starbucks the other day — which I totally just quit, again, just now — now would I? He’s laughing at me right now because I couldn’t figure out that my whatchamacallit thingy I dropped down the elevator shaft is called a “parking pass.”

This morning, at work, I wrote about Kim Kardashian’s cleavage of the buttocks. When I took breaks, I spun around in my chair and looked at the great view by my desk….

Did you know ornithology is the most popular hobby in the world? Loved One told me when had brunch at the hospital yesterday morning. Apparently heard it on the radio.

I went from so many extremes — new nephew, new dog, new job…new tooth (ish) — to the dark, fearsome extremes that marked this week. It’s been a nonstop roller-coaster ride. A lot of time in hospitals, vets, dentists’ chairs, fluorescent lights. So many new lights. Bright lights.

I remember. I always get poetic — Yoda — on you when I’m talking about something personal I can’t blog about that’s very serious. So. In hospitals, I have been.

Someone I’ve been calling “Loved One” or “The Patient” on twitter has been very very ill. Loved One is very private. So I won’t even reveal gender to protect cherished privacy.

On Monday, I spent 8.5 hours in the hospital waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Then, I spent 5 hours in ICU while they set Loved One up there.

There was one little thing that made my day, I remember. One little thing that may raise this blog post from the depths of darkness and obscurity. Aside from the surgeon finally walking into the waiting area to tell us the surgery was over, and how miraculous Loved One is, I remember this….

When you’re (temporarily) missing a front tooth, and you just spent 8.5 hours in surgery, things like this mean so much, or a welcomed nothing-at-all.

Come to think of it…, maybe it’s that falafel that made me THIS SICK. I swear, I have FEVER right now. Freezing…am. Through the ringer, have been.

I can’t remember ever being this exhausted. Even giving birth came with the excitement and adrenalin of a new baby that masked the exhaustion…. Today, my body won’t let me eat. Freezing.

But everything’s okay. Love One is out of ICU and looks a lot better today than yesterday.

Loved One just called me.

On the phone.

I’m glowing. As bright as Yoda’s sword glowing am!

Also green…. In knots and pain, stomach is.

But called. On the phone. My heart.

Love! (and THANK YOU to everyone for the support.)

Haley-O xo


I know my brother won’t want me to post a photo of his new baby boy on the blog — party pooper! So, instead, I give you this photo of the Monkey’s favourite baby doll, “Marshmallow,” lying in yet another one of her curiously concocted beds/worlds….

Congratulations, Mark and Sabrina! He’s beautiful! (9 pounds!!!)


Betty White continues to thrive in her new home with us. Having spent the first 5 months of her life in a high-rise condo, she probably didn’t get out much. You should have seen her last night, when I took her out to look at the moon. (Yes, I did.) WOAAAH….


Gorgeouses, you’re now looking at the new “Editor/Writer” at Today’s Parent.com!

I can’t even begin to tell you all the cool things I’ll be doing at Today’sParent.com — except to say that it’s so exciting. And, happily, I’ve been able to arrange it so my kids won’t feel a thing. Although, come to think of it, they’ll definitely wonder why mom’s not sleeping in to the last minute any more! And something tells me they’ll love that….

As many of you know, I’ve worked extremely hard since the Monkey was a baby. Blogging every day until recently, come hell (prenatal depression) or high water (screaming, sleepless babies), and it’s paid off. Not only am I now working at one of Canada’s most respected parenting magazines, but, I have to tell you, when I was young(er), I used to dream about writing for Chatelaine and Flare. And, would you believe? I’m working in the very same offices with them? I’ll be walking by the glitzy clothing racks on my way to my desk. How glam for a “couch writer” like me! And, I’ll actually be contributing to these magazines, as well, I’m told. All this, and I never got all the way through The Secret….

To top it all off, there’s my manager. Her name’s Hailey, too — clearly, she spells it wrong, though. She and I clicked the moment we met. But, want to hear what a big dork I am? I sat in HER chair when I went in for my interview! She’s still laughing (hysterically) about it. I’m just starting to get over the embarrassment.

I must say, motherhood has been, among other intense and amazing things, perhaps the most creative time in my life — brimming with opportunities, and with friends.

It’s a new adventure, Gorgeouses! And it starts TUESDAY.


xo Haley-O

P.S.: Your questions/comments have prompted me to add this wee addendum: I’ll be writing/editing online.  So, by all means, SUBSCRIBE to TodaysParent.com!

When I was around eleven years old, my parents took my brother, sister and me on a boating excursion. We stayed on a big houseboat. My sister and I slept head-to-foot in a narrow bottom bunk bed, my brother got the top bunk, and we all ate and drank out of red-and-white plastic dishes. My dad wore a sailor’s hat, and my mom wore light, large-rimmed glasses and barrettes in her hair. We were the picture of leisure.

Until we got back on land. The parking lot a bed of stones. Ripe for throwing. At my sister. In the stomach. Or so my brother said. Bad aim. MY MOUTH. MY TOP RIGHT FRONT CENTRE TOOTH. Broken. Badly.

My brother got his allowance taken away, and he lost his TV privileges for a week. I, on the other hand, got a bonding on my tooth, years of tooth anxiety (since that bonding kept spontaneously breaking off at, of course, the most inopportune times), AND 10+ root canals and other surgeries — I stopped counting after the 10th, but trust me when I tell you I know every endodontist in Toronto. It was what my brother likes to call, “the gift that keeps on giving.” So not fair.

Two days ago, I learned that the gift will give no more. ALAS, I am losing my FRONT TOOTH.

It’s going to be a lo-ho-hong process. Within the next month, after many, MANY consultations, I’ll have my front tooth knocked out, bone surgery and gum surgery to make this thing perfect. In the end, I’ll have a permanent implant put in, which will apparently be GORJ. But, again, it’s a long process. While my gums and bone heal and prepare for the implant for nine months — ARE YOU READY FOR THIS (if you haven’t already heard me exploding about it all over twitter)? — I will be wearing what I’ve heard called a “flap,” “flipper,” or DENTURE in place of the tooth. This wouldn’t be so bad…, IF ONLY I DIDN’T HAVE TO TAKE IT OUT AT NIGHT!

And, of course, I’m going to the BlogHer conference in August, sharing a room with other bloggers…. I better not drink ANYTHING. Because if my toothless grin ends up on the internets I don’t know what I’ll do.


That was Tuesday. The weirdest day of my life. That same day, I got a gap in my front yard to match the impending one in my mouth — the universe, like all my friends online and off, poking fun at me. (I was way late getting my camera out.) WEIRD….

That same day, I took the Monkey and Rascal to the YoGabbaGabba show at the Elgin Theatre (with EMMA, Sandra “MAMALOOPER” and their adorable kids). And YoGabbaGabba is, like, a trip on TV, let alone LIVE. WEIRD….

I played FREEZE with Chris Murphy from the band SLOAN. WEIRD….

From YoGabbaGabba, I learned Rascal has a new dance move: the stripper hands-slicking-the-hair-back move. Here are the hands on their way down. WEIRD….

After YoGabbaGabba, Emma, Sandra and I bravely walked all five kids to Terroni. Trust me, WEIRD….

…and they were all CRAZY. BIG PROPS to the staff at the Terroni on Queen. After Terroni, we were all zonked. I schlepped the kids four blocks from the restaurant, through the EATON CENTRE, back to our car….

And, when I got back to the car, I found the perfect evidence of the unspeakable kid craziness that transpired at Terroni. A dirty fork — IN MY PURSE. WEIRD….

That night, as Josh and I relaxed in front of the TV and our respective drugs of choice — him Facebook, me Twitter — someone started BANGING on our front door. We both shot up, looked outside, and saw someone run away. I ran to the door, and Josh said “NO,” then ran downstairs, and came back with a BAT, a police flashlight, and a hat. He was a man on a mission. He opened the front door, saw everything looked okay, said, “LOCK THE DOOR,” and stomped after the runaway. I waited nervously by the window, Macbook in hand. I was frozen, though. Shockingly unable to tweet until he was home safe.

Turns out a bunch of teenagers were egging the street. We’re lucky all we got was a loud knock on the door. Apparently, the boys FLED when they saw Josh-O stomping after them with flashlight and bat in hand. Scary dude.


Tooth out!!!


xo Haley-O

P.S.: THERE’S A GIVEAWAY AT CHEATY GOODIES. My fave online/offline store and spa PURE + SIMPLE IS BACK! Check it. And enter! Their stuff is the BEST.

The Monkey got a new colouring book at Starbucks this morning (do NOT ask me what I was drinking there — especially because you ALL know what it was, and you ALL know my shame).

Doodle All Year

As with ALL Starbucks products, it was stupid pricey, but so awesome, and I was determined to keep the kids busy so I could maybe finish reading the 300 pages I have left of my monthly book club book in time for our meeting Wednesday — my ONE PERSONAL GOAL IN LIFE at this very busy time being that I read the book-club book in time for the meeting…, for Wednesday. GAH! Why did DENGUY have to pick the longest book EVER for this month’s read? Good thing the book is AH-MAY-ZING.

As I was saying, the Monkey’s new colouring book is awesome — especially for a kid who really is a natural artist. I mean, ALL kids are natural artists, but she’s a little more artsy, more “artistically mature” than others. She’s not one to kick a ball or master the monkey bars (despite her internet name), but the girl can DRAW.

That said, I was a little surprised at how she tackled the book’s prompt to “make a strawberry cake”:


She coloured the whole thing black, as you can see. And added, erm, a strawberry.

Closeup on the strawberry….


I have no words for this strawberry. Well, I do. Have words. But, they don’t need to be said. Do they.

She fared a little better with the, erm, cherry pie….


I love all the delicate details — her trademark. They always make me go “hmmm…,” and “wow”….

I never finished the 300 pages of my book. I was too busy laughing at strawberries. But, we all had a great time together, and there are two more days ’til Wednesday.

I’m a bit of an anxious basket case lately. I kind of always am when fall turns to winter, and the smells of the shifting seasons — damp leaves, home cooking, smoke from neighborhood fireplaces — emerge full force, subtly bringing me back to the dark, prenatal depressions of my pregnancies. And it’s togetherness that’s getting me by. Nightly “CUDDAH”s (cuddles) with the Rascal, reading fairy books in a fairy nook with the Monkey, playing a family game of Hungry Hippos on a Sunday afternoon….


Monkey’s favourite doll played the yellow hippo while I captured the moment…. For some unknown reason, she’s named the doll “Marshmallow”…


Again, no words.

The monkey loves making beds for “Marshmallow,” and she carries “Marshmallow” EVERYWHERE with her….

I love it. It’s adorable.

I LOVE my hilariously talented, quirky little Monkey.

Seriously, no words.

Jackie Kennedy….


Sophia Loren….


These are the women who always come to mind when I think of Zelda. If you saw her picture, you’d think her just as lovely, elegant and classy as these two women. You’d be surprised she wasn’t an icon in her own right in her day. If you knew her she would have inspired you.

She passed away today.

When I think of her now, I feel the usual palpable silence you feel when someone dies — that present absence — and I feel her energy. I feel her elegance. It surrounds me, engulfs me, gives me chills. It inspires me, even as my eyes well up and the tears trickle down my tired cheeks. All strange reactions I didn’t expect when my parents told me a few days ago that her death was imminent.

Zelda was 78 years old, my cousin, my late Grandma Betty’s niece.

She was the artist in the family that I looked up to. A brilliant painter.

At one time, I was her inspiration. She painted me when I was one year old because I was “something special,” she said….


Her signature, the date — she in her prime, and I so new….


She left so many paintings and drawings behind. Her still, strong, charming energy lives on through them and through all those who loved her (everyone loved her)….


The myriad drawings and paintings she left behind reveal the darker, sublime internal world of the outwardly elegant, regal, poised artist…. I always noticed that. I always related to that.

And even though Zelda was so perfectly put together — she never wanted you to see her looking anything but her best, despite the cancer and near-blindness that plagued her for so long — she was the warmest, kindest, most nurturing woman. So close to perfection.

I’m glad Josh and I always made an effort to see her when we were in Montreal — even if our short visits had to take place in the driveway because the kids fell asleep in the car (that one time). A woman in her late seventies, with her elegant Jackie-Kennedy hair, soft cream turtleneck and pressed taupe pants, playing on the plush floor of her living room with my children.

I can’t do her justice as hard as I try.

She inspires me to be better. She was elegant. I’m self-deprecating. I stumble. My foot is in my mouth as we speak. Always. She was humble. Beautiful. Charismatic. Cherished. Loved. Admired. Kind. Nurturing. Creative. Strong. Devoted.

Love you Zelda….

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