We went to my parents’ cottage again this long weekend, and it was amazing. Look how much fun the kids had when we went to see a live band one evening at the local inn. Loove!

Even though I’m completely overwhelmed with work (several overdue projects — my bad!), I feel great and light and energetic thanks to the cottage and, finally, a good diet. The world is vast again and I can breathe and maybe even put my feet up for a while — while my mother takes the kids outside in the frigid cold. Mwahaha.

I thought I could make this a Wordless Wednesday. I thought I should make this a Wordless Wednesday. But we all know I’m not very good at wordless. And I’m so “writed” out that I can’t. stop. writing.

I just finished one article for Today’s Parent Magazine, and I’m working on two for our fair website, Todaysparent.com — for which I can’t seem to stop INTERVIEWING PEOPLE. I really need to stoppit. But one of the articles I’m writing is kind of scaring me and I want answers I can live with. So I’m speaking to some very cool parenting experts tomorrow, and I can’t wait.

OH. And I have new teeth. Well, they’re temporary. But they don’t come out. And they’re really quite glam! Or so I’m told. When I was showing everyone my temporary permanent teeth in today’s editorial meeting, the web producer congratulated me and asked, “What’d you have done? Lip injections?” Ha! I took that as a compliment. But then again? Hmmm….

I have to go write write write. It’s a MARATHON, Gorgeouses. But it’s been nice chatting for a bit.

Looking forward to yoga tomorrow, when I can finally still this chatty mind of mine. Can you tell it’s chatty? Chatter chatter? You’d think sleeping would still it, but no. I’ve been dreaming about my articles…. Composing full paragraphs in my sleep. If only I had a dream recorder…. Sony should really get on that. Or Panasonic or NASA or Mark Zuckerberg or whomever.

Speaking of sleep…. Betty White loves a good cottage bed. Rawr!

It’s a good thing I write as fast as I think…. Or is it?


xo Haley-O

Pssssst. Go see how I’m doing on my “fit and fab” journey OVER HERE! Have I had a chai latte lately? Or not? Discuss.

Photo by the lovely Jana/Ms_Blue.

I know I was supposed to write about the curious incident of the white elephant, like, two days ago. But it’s going to have to wait. This has been one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in a long time. And that says a lot. Because I am freaking busy.

And before I continue rambling on in my record-exhausted state, I have to point out how awesome the people at my yoga shala are. I’ve missed three days of practice this week. Part of the reason for that is that the cat’s away: my teacher David Robson and his gorj wife Stan and their ridiculously-adorable baby (seriously, look how gorj they are) are in India for a whole month. I’m pretty sure that if they were here, I’d be in that studio EVEN if I accidentally threw my fake front tooth in the garbage and only realized what I did as the garbage truck went rumbling away……….

By the way, I’m getting a PERMANENT TOOTH next Friday! Can you believe!? Can I get a massive HALLELUJAH? Please, say it with me!

Anyway, I did get to yoga this morning. I apologized to Anna and Oliver and Lisa for not being there and they welcomed me with smiles and a pat on the back and, just, with such understanding and compassion. When I left, all sweaty and buzzing with joy and accomplishment, I talked to Jeff and Jodi outside as we put our boots on. We talked about kids and work and my insane schedule, and they got it. They just got it. They looked at me straight in the eye, and they got it. I felt beautifully, intensely, reliefully understood.

Note Bene: “Reliefully” is not a word. But it should be. Either that or “reliefly.” And maybe now I’m demonstrating the true extent of my exhaustion. Because there must be a grade-two level word to describe being understood in such a relieful way.

And then last night at book club. They got it too! At the end of one of the longest days in the history of my days, I hosted book club. And it was good. I sat back on my own cushy couch with some of my favourite people, talked books and gossip and the little humping thing my (female) dog does to my very reluctant (male) cat — TWISTED — at fairly regular intervals….

And that was what Jana was referring to when she tweeted the above photo of Minden with a caption that read, simply, “Alpha?”

And to that I would only add this — a theme song:

One day I will create a video of my dog’s twisted little hobby to the tune of that song — just for Emma Willer. BWAH! That was because she was being mean to ma dawg on twitter this afternoon. That’s what you get for that. Aside from her twisted humping issue, my Betty White is teh awesome. Even though, on our field trip today, the Monkey may or may not have put her hand up to say, simply, “My – dog – is – so – bad.”

And for ALL of that, I sincerely apologize.


xo Haley-O

Psssssssssssssst! Comment on this post below, AND THEN, get thee to my brand new “FIT AND FAB WITH HALEY-O” blog at Today’s Parent. I’ll be blogging there Tuesday’s and Thursdays for the next several months. Checkit!

I don’t know if I have the energy to write this post. I’m writing tonight because I feel obligated. Yes. Because it’s almost been a week since I last blogged, and I refuse to let an entire week go by ever.

Some of you are rolling your eyes at me because you know how hard I can be on myself. But a little pressure isn’t a bad thing. And there’s nothing wrong with feeling obligated to keep up with your blog. If I didn’t feel any pressure — self-induced or not — I’d never get around to writing and this place would die a sad, lingering death.

The excuse: I’ve been working around the clock (I know, as usual). I just finished some massive articles, and I have two more articles due Wednesday. My writing muscle is a little overused right now. It needs a rest day. Maybe tomorrow….

Or maybe the next day….

Or the next day….

Or maybe it’s a good thing to spend your life writing, and to routinely exhaust that muscle. I love words. And there’s no shortage of reality TV to keep me laughing in the process: the new season of Jersey Shore (just airing now in Canada), The Bachelor, American Idol with JENNIFER LOPEZ and, of course, Bethenny Getting Married, which I finally scheduled on my PVR.

Yes, the not-so-secret to my success: Reality TV.

DON’T GO! It’s background noise, okay? I don’t actually care if Jersey Shore‘s Sammi and Ronny stay together or if the hot funeral director makes it to the end of The Bachelor, or if there is an end to The Bachelor at all this time…. Okay I do. (Also, I may or may not have a teeeeeny not-in-a-Clive-Owen-kind-of-way crush on The Situation.) But I couldn’t get through all this writing without some candeh. And these days it better be calorie- and chai-tea free reality TV….

Because…. I’m doing something MAJOR with Today’s Parent Magazine (both online and in June’s print issue). So you better be ready for it, Gorgeouses. I have to be as slim as possible, too, or this might be embarrassing. And that’s not being hard on myself.

So lots of sweaty ashtanga vinyasa yoga, and no CHAI…. And HAIRCUT and FACIAL and BABYSITTER. I need a BABYSITTER for the photoshoot and VIDEO. Did I mention VIDEO? Help.

Let’s not think too much about it yet, though, Gorgeouses — lest we start to freak right out….

To take our minds off it, I give you UNFLATTERING SNOW SHOEING PICS (to match last week’s Unflattering Skater Pics) from another weekend at my parents’ beautiful cottage. Checkit:

I love being on the frozen lake — in the middle of the frozen lake. At dusk. Who knew I would THRIVE being outdoors in that cold? It’s just everything is so VAST (I can breathe), alive, still, spinning. Maybe I was an explorer in a past life…. That jacket is still awful though.

Karate snowshoe mama. Hyuhh!

Betteh White…at dusk.

The Rascal in mini snowshoes — OY!

This blog is looking very Canadian lately, eh?


xo Haley-O

As many of you know by now, I am a woman of extremes. One day I’m letting it go, and the next, today, I’m reining it in. What is up with my karma, Gorgeouses? I have some major, major karma to deal with. I mean, obviously, it could be worse — like, Oedipus (dude had some bad Karma), Anne Boleyn or George Costanza…. But this is definitely a karmic situation. And I’m not talking this Situation, for the record….

Looove. Seriously. Not in a Clive Owen kind of way.

I just struggle. I really struggle with the day-to-day stuff. My problem is that I just want to do whatever I want. Period. I struggle between my intense desire to do whatever I want and my severe desire to live an ideal life. I get completely overwhelmed by the idea that there may be a balance between these two extremes — freedom and restriction — but, I know, there is freedom in restriction, and that there is so, so much restriction in, erm, gluttony….

Woahh, this is getting to heady for us.

Take my puppy Betty White, for example. She knows exactly what she wants or needs to do. She’s perfect at it if you think about it — running in the yard, eating when she’s hungry, attacking me with kisses while I’m driving…. She’s definitely one of my idols when it comes to my karmic situation. Not this Situation, for the record….

Looove. Seriously. Not in a Javier Bardem kind of way.

Before we continue our very important conversation here, can we talk about Mr. Bardem’s serious hotness in Eat, Pray, Love for a second? Omigosh, SWOON. Hold on a sec, here….


Sure, I’m one lucky woman. Not as lucky as Julia Roberts, who got to spoon Javier Bardem….

But she did it. Or, her character, Elizabeth Gilbert did it, or at least wrote the book about it. Elizabeth Gilbert — the same woman who reminds me that no woman, none of us, really knows what she’s doing these days. We have oodles of choices, and, having no oodles-of-choices predecessors, we struggle with what to do with these oodles. Here, let her say it herself….

No wonder, amid a sea of Eat, Pray, Love haters (I know you’re out there), I love Elizabeth Gilbert. She and I are, like, the same person: neurotic and struggling among the extremes of pleasure, restriction and relationships, and we are a wee bit obsessed with yoga, writing and eating. Fast forward to the last few minutes of the video….

Oh, heady again.

…When all I meant to write about was Betty White at the dinner table….

(Underbite.) She’s out of control!

(Tongue. Also chili.)

And he! He stole my favourite lip gloss!

(Bottom-teeth gap.)

And this. Between me and my macbook….

(Withkerth.) — You have to say that one out loud to understand it.

Out of control. Or, in Canadian speak, OOT of control. I’m starting to talk like that, Gorgeouses. For real life, eh? (“For real life” is actually Monkey speak for “For real” — FYI.)

Sighh. Anyway, I think I’m going on a diet (ish). And I’m doing Ashtanga yoga again — an hour or so every day but Saturdays and moon days.  Because it’s one or the other for me. I just feel like there’s freedom in it. In not having to choose all the time…. Dammit.

One day I’ll write the book on my karmic roller-coaster journey among extremes. And I’ll call it Dogs at the Dinner Table. It has a ring to it, right? On the cover, a picture of me and Betty White in downward-facing dog pose…. You can read it on your Kobos (my latest obsession. see twitter).

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

Once we have reached the desired end, we think, we will turn back to purify and consecrate the means. Once the war we’re fighting for peace is won, then the generals will become saints, the burned children will proclaim in the heaven that their suffering is well repaid, the poisoned forests will turn green again. Once we have peace, we say, or abundance or justice or truth, or comfort, everything will be right. Well, it’s an old dream.

It’s a vicious illusion. For the discipline of ends is no discipline at all. The end is preserved in the means; a desirable end may forever perish in the wrong means. Hope lives in the means, not in the end. Art does not survive in its revelations, or agriculture in its products, or craftsmanship in its artifacts, or civilization in its monuments, or faith in its relics.

– Wendell Berry

Forgive me, Gorgeouses, for I hath ingested NO CHAI LATTES in two whole days. In fact, I have not had a stitch of sugar, nor a drop of caffeine.

Forgive me, Gorgeouses, for I hath exhaustion, anger and frustration — all the usual “evil” emotions that come-out-come-out with detoxification, with withdrawal.

Forgive me, Gorgeouses, for I hath posted LONG QUOTE (above) that I totally want you to read. It came to me today via iPod, via him, as usual. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal, if I didn’t ALSO get an email from her with a similar message — reminding me not to focus so much on “goals,” dietary and otherwise, but instead to make “one self-supportive choice at a time”:

What prevents you from doing things for yourself is not a lack of goals or intentions as you probably know. What would it be like to simply be kind to yourself? To rest, to eat nourishing food, to take your body out for some fresh air and movement, to allow yourself to feel your emotions, to make space for quiet time, to pray…? To trust that wholeness is already here, and not something you have to create or find? (Email, Caroline Dupont)

To think, I’d get such similar messages in two days — two days sans chai latte. So I’m DONE with GOALS, the “old dream,” “vicious illusion.” We are now, officially, all about the means (even though this, too, can become a goal if taken too seriously). It’s like a total sea change for someone as goal-oriented as I am — my entire life.

One self-supporting choice at a time.

Am I wrong? Or, could many of us use this beautiful, sage reminder?

Tomorrow is Josh and my 7th wedding anniversary. SEVENTH. Will I have a chai latte? Probably. Because if I don’t, I might be as miserable as I was today….

Or I may make the ostensibly more self-supporting choice and have a cleansing swamp smoothie…. Or or OR…, maybe for tomorrow — my SEVENTH anniversary — cake and chai lattes are self-supporting, and definitely spouse-supporting, choices?

For our anniversary tomorrow, Josh and I are taking a staycation. My parents are bravely taking the kids all day and overnight, AND they set us up in a five-star hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto — breakfast and a “special package” included! We are going to relax, enjoy, savour, indulge, hold hands, see ALICE IN WONDERLAND in 3D….

So, anyway, yes, I’m taking all the sage advice that came barreling in, welcomed, these past couple of days.  I’m thinking about my exhausting, habitual, annoying goal-making — a habit that’s even stronger, to think, than the chai latte. Without creating another goal, I’m going to simply recognize this goal-making energy, the striving, reaching, the insatiable aiming high, and to gently rein it in, rein myself back….

Kind of like this blog….

Forgive me Gorgeouses, for I don’t always know why I blog here. And I do think about this often. I don’t know where this blog’s going, for how long, to what end…. And that’s finally okay. I may lose readers and gain readers, as the game goes. Yet I plow on. To no end. With no goal.

And, so, I. I put away the arrows. I stand on this ground. Being with what’s here. Like it, or not.


xo Haley-O

P.S.: Check Cheaty Goodies for a sweeeeet GIVEAWAY. Best facial in GTA, you could win — or fabulous products for the rest of you (Canada, US and beyond)!

Rascal’s sitting glued to me. I normally don’t open my computer much when he’s around. Especially since Florida. I’d made a pact with myself to limit work time to when the nanny’s here (4 mornings a week) and after the kids go to bed. But, he’s happy here sucking on his organic cherry lollipop. And we’re both sick. And the Monkey’s sick.

And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the large man who sat on top of beside me on the plane to Florida coughing into his FIST the whole way there. I knew I was done for when I noticed the fist. I mean, GOSH, when you cough into your FIST on a plane, where do you THINK your germs are going? Straight to me, and the other lucky person sitting under your other elbow and butt cheek. She, too, probably spent her vacation flummoxed by a mysterious rash that made her feel like she was dipped in acid. She, too, probably barfed all the way home from Disney World to West Palm Beach. And she, too, probably spent nights trying to swallow through spike-covered knives in her throat. And she, too, is probably still trying to recover, feverish, eyes burning, fingers aching while trying to type some semblance of a blog post. Although I’m not sure she has a son who’s also sick and sticking to her like glue all night long, or that she has a blog — but doesn’t everyone have a blog these days? — or, okay, she’s trying to facebook…. Facebooking. “Facebook”‘s a verb, now, right?

Not that I have anything against large people, OF COURSE. I mean, that guy on the plane, who boomeranged his virus off his fist and into my throat, wasn’t even really obese or anything, per se. He was just obscenely big boned — which is okay, and probably a good thing for a guy in any other situation. But, he wasn’t very friendly. He didn’t laugh at my jokes, or at the Rascal’s hand when it mysteriously appeared between the two seats in front of us, vroom-vrooming a new Thomas the Train that It’sgrandma and Papa’shere picked up at Target. I mean, GOSH.

So, now Minden’s sitting on my lap purring — well, he’s been on my lap this whole time, but I’ve only just noticed this because I’m so used to it. It’s OLD HAT. Yes, I’ve been sandwiched (in an awkward way) between Rascal and Minden this whole time. Rascal’s just discovered Minden’s shoulder blade, and now he loves bones:

“Mama, I yuf bones! I yuf bones! Mama, I wan wadah, I wan wadah, I wan wadah. I yuf bones. I wan wadah. NOW MAMA, I MADAH YOU!” (Trans. “I love bones”; “Mama, I want water!”; “Now, Mama, I’m mad at you.”)

He wants water and he wants it now. Good thing I can type without looking at the keyboard OR screen because he’s got my chin in his little hands now. He wants “wadah” and he wants it NOW. And I’m still typing.

After I get him his water, I’ll take him for a bath. He’ll get a book and go to bed — the new egg-shaped humidifier (which the Rascal thinks is making tea, as in “Make? Tea? Mama?”) humming. And then at 12 or 1am, he’ll scream the unbearable scream for me. And I’ll bring him to my bed, and he’ll lie glued on top of me for the rest of the night, like the large man on the airplane, and, alas, if it’s anything like last night, he’ll be coughing directly into my throat. But I won’t mind.

xo Haley-O

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