I’m back home from Florida, but with a bit of a heavy heart. Isn’t it always SO HARD coming back from a vacation? Isn’t it always SO HARD coming back to the snow and cold from a warm and OCEAN-y vacation?

Rascal: Mama, I yuf buhds. I yuf buhds. I yuf buhds. I yuf……… (Trans. “I love birds.”)

I’m welling up just writing this.

It was a weird vacation. It went really quickly, but really slowly at the same time — as if it was an entire lifetime, a flash of an entire lifetime. I’m not sure if it was the podcast I was listening to: yoga lectures by a guy who happens to have been my best friend when I was 4-6 years old, which totally resonated with me in, like, flabbergasting ways. Or, maybe it was the fact that I was surrounded by family the whole time. Or, maybe it was the fact that, relatively speaking, I didn’t do much work. Or, maybe it was that I didn’t so much as LOOK at my blackberry the whole time….

Maybe it was my aching throat that kept me up all night EVERY night, listening to stunning podcasts by my best friend when I was 4-6…. Maybe it was my aching throat that sent me, crying, frustrated, down the stairs for some tea in the wee hours of the morning, and that sent my mother down right after me. With back rubs, a blanket and some Tylenol.

Maybe it was this Monkey at the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique in Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. “It’s the best style, Mama!”….

Or this dog (Quincey!)….

Or this Rascal on this beach in these over-sized new clothes (TARGET)….

Or this new hoodie (TARGET)….

Or this new Superman shirt (TARGET)….

Or So You Think You Can Dance in this, our very own, living room….

Or my dad and The Monkey collecting shells on this beach….

Or this man in that Speedo whom I spoke to for a half an hour about banks and business and Long Island (I know, what the what?) while the extreme waves pushed and pulled and played tricks on me; or, that thing in the water that stung me on the ass and made my skin burn and forced me, finally, to dart out of the water (my friend in the Speedo probably thinking it was him), but was so worth it….

Or nightlife….

These trees….

This foot (Rascal)….

I don’t know what it was that made this trip so confusing, so life-changing and difficult to process as Monday emerges and I embark on ROUTINE again.

I’ve made it so my blackberry no longer blinks at me….

I’ve scheduled specific work hours for the week….

I made lentil and barley soup….

I’m going to bed before 11:00 11:30….

I’m breathing in and out and in and out.

My throat still hurts. It isn’t strep. But I feel rested and happy and exhausted and heavy-hearted, and new….


xo Haley-O

I have so much to tell you. But, I have zero energy. Believe it or not, I’ve been struggling with the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my life. Three days now. When we went to Disney World, yesterday, I popped one two many Tylenols (or so we think), and I threw up the whole drive home. (Was that TMI?) Among that, the mystery Fringe full-body rashes, and the worst sore throat of all time, I’ve been physically A MESS here in Florida. But, I don’t even care because I’m having a great time.

Without further ado, then, I give you a TASTE of what happened at Disney World yesterday. It was the best part, in my mind — when the Monkey got her hair, makeup and nails did at the “Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique” in Cinderella’s Castle….

Closeup at the beach this afternoon (and more to come)….

I know. WOW. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera when we took the Monkey and her hair to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner tonight. But, I will say, I was a little embarrassed walking around with her — NOT because of her, of course, because she looked beyond ADORABLE, and she was obviously feeling SO good about her li’l self (what more could a mother ask for – fahklempt)! No, I was embarrassed because everyone must have thought *I* did my daughter’s hair like that! Luckily they see lots of Disney Princess around these parts, so many people were bowing down to her highness and enjoying the sight with me.

Off to make some more CHAMOMILE tea. Blech. I hate chamomile tea, but it’s the only herbal tea they seem to have in Florida, and it’s been the only thing giving me any relief…!

This post was inspired by one of my favourite poems of all time: This Is Just to Say, by William Carlos Williams. Because things, just as they are, can be, among other things, errrrm, poetic.

Hi Gorgeouses! We’re having a great time in Florida! My parents are seriously amazing for bringing us here…. Thought I’d share a few vids – just a quick two. I had to split one video in two for unbloggably boring reasons. Bygones. Anyway, the weather’s been pretty good. Lots of sun today. A little rain here and there.

AND, without further ado, I give you my vids. You may want to take a Gravol before watching, though, because, as always in my vids, it’s gonna be a nauseatingly bumpy ride (I really must stop videoing and walking at the same time for you…)!

Video #1 – I don’t know WHAT is up with my voice in the beginning. I was trying too hard, I think. I was in no mood for vlogging, truth be told…. Or, maybe it was because, to reiterate what’s in the video, the yoga conference was FREE (that never happens).

Video #2 – WE CROSS THE STREET (told you this was exciting). Don’t worry, I was holding the video in front while I myself was looking fiercely to the right and left and all the way around, etc., etc. I was a MACHINE of road safety…. Listen for the Rascal’s pitter-pattering feet. DON’T listen to the Monkey throwing a fit “NOOO, I DON’T WANNA….”

More to come. Disney…. And, when I get back, remind me to tell you more exciting stories, like, about my spontaneous and inexplicable RASH — it was like an episode of Fringe, I tell you….

xo Haley-O

We’re leaving tomorrow afternoon, and we’re ALREADY packed — which, if you know me, is nothing less than astounding….

Just as astounding is the fact that my daughter — MY DAUGHTER — packed her own bag! See that there (above)? SHE did all that. And if you saw what MY bag looks like, you’d be astounded that any spawn of mine could pack such a bag. SURE, she packed a few two many pairs of flip flops, and forgot socks and underwear, and pants, but the presentation — LO…! I’m very proud. I left it to Josh to tell her we can’t actually take that bag with us….

So, off we go on a much-needed vacation. A much needed rendezvous with the ocean, palm trees and TARGET….

Seriously, I’m beyond excited to reconnect with the ocean. To breathe in and out in sync with the waves. My naturopath (Jennifer Baer) couldn’t have prescribed a better remedy for all my restlessness…. (Except maybe a yoga retreat in Costa Rica, or something, but this’ll do!)

Here’s hoping.

In the meantime, someone’s ALREADY missing his mama….

And someone else is PRETENDING she could care less (and reminds me, as we pondered in this week’s yoga class, “do cats have collar bones?”)….

Okay, back to packing. The monkey’s in bed now, and Josh and I are laughing hysterically about what she’s packed in her carry-on………

OH! And check my vacay reading….

First, Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia (which I’ve already started and am LOVING, even though am a vegan — the book is about so much more than food, of course)….

Second, because it’s Karen‘s pick for our T-Dot blogger book club, Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants….

Okay, I’m off. I’ll try to post at least a vlog or two while I’m away! And my post at Canada Moms Blog should be up today or tomorrow — it’s another intense one (surprise surprise).

I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORRRRRLD! (heh. couldn’t resist.)


xo Haley-O

The first day I got to the beautiful cottage we rented in Port Carling, Muskoka Lakes,* I jumped out of the hot tub and ran for the slide…. I was the second to go down the wobbly contraption, and not a bone in my body shivered or froze with the usual hesitancy whenever I try something new or remotely childish….


Lesson #1 of cottage week: PLAY, GODDAMMIT! For once in your life, Haley, PLAY. And, oh, I played. And every time I played, my Inner Child tsk-tsk’ed at my grumpy-arse Ego and huffed, “WATCH ME.” And then I jumped on the raft and tubed my li’l heart out while screaming in my brother’s ear the entire time…. Wheeee!


Lesson#2: FEAR BITES; CAN SUCKIT. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been terrified of the lake — or, more specifically, ever since I took flipper (flicker, remote control) in hand and stopped at a curious little movie, cocked my little head at sweet vision of father and son fishing, and then freaked the hell out when they caught — what? — a seaweed covered SKELETON. GAHH! I grew up fast after that.

Anyway, even though I have this deep-rooted fear of swimming in the lake, I swam 60 lengths from the big dock to the raft every day….


It helped a lot when Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train” came on and then Cold Play’s “Viva la Vida” — thanks to my brother’s infinite playlist. Pumped me right up. No, seriously, it was hard work combating that fear. Every time I swum out to the raft, the massive red-brown seaweed-covered ghost hand appeared beneath me, opening itself up like a venus fly trapper, menacingly threatening to grab me by the belly. I swum on. “You don’t scare me, Ghost Hand — Ride on the Peace Train… Oooo Ahhh Eeee Ahhh Oooo Wahhh…. Come on the Peace Train.” Yeah SWIMIT!

It was a metaphor for my life. Me and my compulsive fears all the time. What’s the point? LIVE ON. NEXT.

Lesson #3: Look before you walk RIGHT THROUGH a screen door. And then maybe you won’t tear it down and waste all the duct tape to fix it….




Lesson #4: If there is a Chip Wagon, Josh-O will find it….


Lesson #5: If you want good cuddles, get in the lake with your children — they will cling to you like Monkey’s half-eaten red lollipop to Josh-O’s leg hair *COUGH.*



Lesson #6: If you want your almost-2-year-old son to nap, take the family out for a canoe….

Lesson #7: HOT TUB GOOOOD.


Lesson #8: Shrek for the 56th time STILL GOOOOD.


Lesson #9: Family bonfires are da bomb even if you can’t eat the roasted marshmallows because you’re vegan and they didn’t buy the Kosher (sans-gelatin) ones but you’re not bitter.


Lesson #10: Always set your son loose in the local Blue Notes store to dance his li’l booty off.


Lesson #11: Don’t bother bringing your makeup kit to the cottage. Just wear big sunglasses.


Lesson #12: Celebrating your 35th birthday a week early is great. In theory…. But, for the record, I’m STILL not 35. Not ’til THURSDAY.

Note: Look at Rascal’s little head on the left…. Tenth percentile, BABY! OY! He’s very serious about the cake….

Lesson #5: Enjoy every freaking minute because, before you know it, Cottage ’09 is over and you’re left crying big bulbous tears at the exquisite sunset totally uncapturable by my Canon….


*Many thanks to CottageCountry.com for enabling us to find this truly magnificent cottage. It was perfect.


I can’t come to the blog right now…. Gone fishing….


Well, not REALLY fishing. Of course, no fish were harmed in the process of this fishing….



Also, can’t come to the blog because laying down on DOCK staring up at sky….


…and because am sliding down twisty slide into cold clear lake POST sweet stint in outdoor hottub…. Am CARAZAY!


Gorgeouses, it is stunningly beautiful here….


I’m in my element. My favourite element. WATER, TREES, BLUE SKIES, tons of LITTLE DOGS, and a RIDICULOUS COTTAGE. RIDICULOUS.

If only I didn’t have to WORK. Ah well. I’ll work by the water, when I have to. I have INTERNET STICK. Sweet, sweet internet stick.

I’m here ’til Friday and will definitely soak it all in — the sun, the water. Gift.

By the way — something to tide you over while I’m gone — BEST MONKEYISMS EVER LATELY:

1. Monkey notices Josh-O’s sunburn peeling and asks, “Dada? Are you going to be all bones?” BWAH!

2. My sister tells Monkey that “Mama went down the slide and into the lake.” Monkey starts to cry, and asks, “Is she going to come back?”


xo Haley-O


Minden missed me so much. While I was vacationing way out on my father in law’s farm near Montreal, he hid under the couch. My mother had to call the cat sitter who herself was nervous about his whereabouts. He was under the couch, or in the cupboard, while his sister, the uncharacteristically spry MARGE, gallivanted about the halls — soaking up the bliss of an empty, kidless house.

It’s a pretty farm. I’d say “pretty little farm,” but it’s far from little. Acres and acres of land on all sides. It’s beautiful — quite stunning, really, especially at my favourite time of day, dusk, when the sun is going down and brushing its pink, purple, orange strokes across the sky and along the hay-bale-dotted horizon. Ahhh…. Air. Country air. Enough to make you insane after a week of total isolation and no nanny.

Anyway…. C’mon, I’ll show you around….

The swimming pool…. We spent most of our time at the pool, and we have the sunburns to prove it. By the end of the trip, my dives were PERFECTION. We’re talking Chinese-Olympian PERFECTION.

The kiddie pool, aka the HOT TUB. Farmer Zaide has hot water in his hose, and we made good use of it.

You don’t need other peeps in the HOT TUB to have a HOT TUB PARTY!


TREE FROG! AT THE DOOR. I wanted to feed him but no one would let me. I love feeding the animals, but it’s not always recommended — especially in the country where there are more than just SQUIRRELS (Howard the Squirrel, since YOU ASKED, is thriving here in the city — I love him, too).

Tub o’ Fish. Happy, big-arse goldfish.



Romaine lettuce.

Zucchini! Did you know zucchini is a FLOWER?


Rascal. Not farming. Just fondling the UR-UR on his new shoes….

UR-UR. “Mama, lootz! UR-UR!” (Translation: “Mama, look! TRAIN!”)

Sunflower. In bloom.

Carrot FAIL.

We ate them anyway. They were difficult to peel.

Potatoes from the farm — so many from one single bush! Made up for the carrot fail.

ME! On the FARM. In my now officially SIGNATURE hat. Glowingish (but bitchy) from FULL-ON detox — more on that later.


Josh surprised me with a day trip to beautiful OTTAWA (an hour away)….


I wasn’t prepared for the trip AT ALL. I arrived in the big city wearing crocs and no makeup — total farmer. HENCE I insisted we hide from Chantal, Annie, and Loukia deep in the downtown market, which was fascinating, by the way….


The next day, we went to our beloved Montreal (1.5 hours away), where we found a water park….

Monkey loves her some water park….

So does Rascal. Those are shorts, by the way. 10th percentile, BABY!

Oh yeah….

When we got home Sunday evening, Minden came running to the door and jumped me like Dino when Fred Flintstone walks in the door. And he hasn’t really shut up since. I missed the little fluffball….


Little does he know we’re away NEXT WEEK, too….

TOTALLY missed you, too, Gorgeouses….


xo Haley-O

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