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!

Love!

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.


We had our own little cabin apart from the main cottage where the rest of my family — parents, sister’s family, brother’s family — stayed. I wish I had a picture of our little cabin, but the only one I took was of the kitchen clock with the words “Who Gives a Sh**?” Don’t believe me?

For the record, I totally gave a sh**. I could have stayed at that cottage for another week, month, year. Time ticked too fast. Because look….

And look….

Closer….

Look….

Look….

Look….

Look….

So….

Many….

Dogs….

That’s Olivia (above). She’s deaf. Betty White sat and barked at her for ages trying to work her up, and Olivia didn’t flinch.

We got there Wednesday afternoon, and I worked until 2:30am. And then I rested and totally, completely enjoyed myself and my family the rest of the time. There were just a few mini bites of anxiety due to, ALAS, potentially some JURY DUTY in my future. I say “potentially” because I just learned this morning that I may be able to get out of it. Since I only work until 1pm and don’t have childcare in the afternoon, AND Josh will be out of town on business, I may just be excused. And, hello? I better be. Because I can’t even watch Law and Order. That, and my “summons” takes place during Rascal’s 3rd birthday — and he talks about his birthday EVERY DAY. He want’s Lightening McQueen to come to the party….

Yeah, I know….

Aside from my jury jitters, I’m a little wordless today. Look….

I’m just so relaxed after my cottage adventure. My glass is full, you know? And I’m enjoying the buzz. Without words.

Who gives a sh**?

Love!

xo Haley-O


How ’bout this bedhead, Gorgeouses?

IMG_9425

It doesn’t translate so well in photo. It’s way cuter in real life. Nor does it translate into actual sleeping. HE. DOES NOT. SLEEP. anymore.

He DID NOT sleep AT ALL last night when I REALLY needed him to. I had a BIG DAY today. I had to chair a meeting with some of the most incredible women on the internet. And I had to do it shaking like a leaf after chugging a CHAI (yes) to stimulate me into semi-awareness, semi-functionality.

And, am I making sense? Because, OMG AM TIRED!? Like, nauseous, heart-thumping tired.

Yes, I am completely sleepless right now. Except for the 22 minutes I stole in the latter part of Igor — our rainy-day/crazay-work-day movie.

Because, yes, I’m a crazay working mom. A WAHM. And a WOHM. A WAHM-WOHM. WOHM-WAHM. But, mostly WAHM. It’s official. I work more hours at home than I do at the office. I work with the macbook on the kitchen counter as I cook meals, with little monkeys pulling at my pants and fighting with each other and screaming.

My new routine working full time (in and out of the home) has been a huge transition not only for me, but for the monkeys. They are feeling it. They’re not sleeping. They’re clingy. They’re NOT LISTENING. They’re pushing the nanny away before I leave for the office: “I DON’T WANT YOU, RACHEL!” (can you imagine?). And, HE’s screaming bloody murder when I drop him off at it’sgrandma’s house — which used to be his FAVOURITE second home — or when I leave him with Josh-O while I scoot off to the gym for an hour. Did I mention NOT SLEEPING?

It’s insane, chaotic MADNESS, this life. Balance yet to be attained. Always out of reach. A constant physical and emotional struggle. Guilt. Prioritizing. Compartmentalizing. HARD, man.

But, I figured out an analogy that helps me manage my own confusion and vexation around all this: BEING A WORK-AT-HOME-MOM IS LIKE HAVING ANOTHER CHILD. All of a sudden, Mama’s still HERE, but she’s putting a lot of her attention elsewhere…. Ooo, Email’s crying! Blackberry’s hungry! Macbook needs a diaper change! HARD, man. For all of us.

But, I’ll get it right. Am determined to TRY to make everyone happy happy happy. And sleeping through the night again.

Okay, to bed. But, one more thing quickly: Monkey has her first crush…. Squeeeeeeeee!

IMG00109

Squeeee, yes. But, she’s not even FOUR YEARS OLD. I’m in trouble, I know. “Mama, I want to invite C. over for a pajama party,” she tells me ALREADY IN HER PAJAMAS…in the middle of the day.

GOOD NIGHT! May we ALL sleep deep and all night long tonight. Pray for me!

Also, pray for me tomorrow when I have my first Ayurveda treatment. Eeek! Nostrils are ready and waiting. Nothing will surprise me…right…? right…?

Love!

xo Haley-O


Things are heating up at New Job. I actually had to drop Monkey off with Mary Poppins New Nanny after school today while “Mama went to work.”

Monkey: And Dada’s going to stay home?
Me: No, Monkey, you have a nanny now so MAMA can go to work, too.
Monkey: Can I come with you?
Me: No, Monkey, you have to stay with Rachel. But Mama will be home REALLY soon!

I got home about 2 hours later, excited about New Job and about the experience of going way DOWNTOWN (i.e., not just downtown, but WAY. WAY downtown) to CHICHI restaurant not far from the office.

I guess I must have been REALLY hungry after all these DAYS AND DAYS of being SICK AS A DAWG. Because I scarfed down my food — a vegetarian wrap — and took what I couldn’t finish (because had to leave early to rescue nanny) to go. I TOOK THE REST TO GO. I don’t like wasting food, but I never imagined myself taking food home from a company lunch…. Ahem.

I did manage to talk while scarfing, though. A lot. Something comes over me when I’m in unusual situations. I’m actually quite shy. But, put me in a room full of new people and I’m LOUD and giggling and TALKING TO EVERYONE.

You’d never guess I’m shy as [insert clever metaphor, i.e., a mouse? Albert Einstein? Carrie Underwood? — ALL SHY]!

Minden, on the other hand, is NOT SHY in any situation (and, no, this is not a gratuitous kitty picture — it is perfectly called for)….

That was Minden doing his best Adam Lambert….

Speaking of which….

I LOVED Danny Gokey this entire season of American Idol, and it was A GOOD season — the best in a long time….

But, after his breathtaking performance of Kanye West’s “Heartless,” I fell IN LOVE with Kris Allen. And so will you when you see for yourself….

…Okay, how CUTE is he????

So, anyway, as I was saying…. I’m more THRILLED that Kris Allen is in the finale than I am depressed that Danny Gokey is GONZO. Because Danny will be FINE. He has more talent than most of the Idol winners before him, and he’s got so much charisma, and he’s got THE STORY (his wife died shortly before the competition — “TRAGEDY TO TRIUMPH,” as he says). He’ll be FINE. And, personally? I blame Paula and her DIPPY song choice for Danny’s demise.

ERGO, Americans? Since I can’t vote, you’re going to have to vote FOR ME. And, since you can’t vote for Danny, vote for Kris Allen — and those quirky adorable faces he makes when he hits the high notes. OY!

I digress. A lot. As usual. It’s kind of my thang. When you come here, you learn to expect digression. And gratuitous kitty pictures….

So, I am loving New Job. I am loving chichi lunches and challenges to my shy self. I DO need new shoes, though, now that Josh-O and it’sgrandma have staged an INTERVENTION: no more winter boots. I am no longer permitted to wear my winter boots…, or they will have me committed.

Okay, this was fun, Gorgeouses. BACK TO WORK.

Have you checked Cheaty Goodies for the WINNER of our Emergency Preparedness contest?

LOVE!
xo Haley-O


Any idea what this is?

MY CUTLERY. LINED UP. PERFECTLY.

How ’bout this?

MY PANTRY, OMG…!

This?

MY T-SHIRT DRAWER HAS NEVER LOOKED LIKE THIS! EVER!

Know what this is?

JOSH AND MY CLOSET. PERFECTIONISM AT IT’S FINEST.

This?

THE MONKEY’S T-SHIRT DRAWER (talk about “depleting the inventory”…what’s that old blue “dog” shirt doing there still — a-bah-bye).

And, this….

RASCAL’S CLOSET. A thing of beauty….

Oh, and BEST OF ALL — as Monkey would say, LOOKADISS:

THE LINEN CLOSET. This was probably the MOST shocking…. I’d forgotten I even HAVE a lot of those linens….

I don’t know how she does it. She’s here three days a week, from 9 – 1:30. I’ve been working most mornings, but, when I’m not, she hands Rascal over to me and gets cleaning. When I am working, he’s following her around as she vacuums and tidies. And, somehow, she manages to take him out to the park or the toy store. It’s amazing. She’s amazing.

Of course…, as soon as she leaves….

THE TUPPERWARE on the windowsill….

RASCAL INTO THE CABINETS….

Not to mention this huge hairball on my couch….

MEEENNNOOO! (Lower lip…)

And….

THIS FACE! Oy.

&C….

&C….

I don’t know how long ago Monkey put the coffee filter on my feverish head…. But….

I’m a new woman.

I have a clean house.

I can find things.

I can work.

On my couch.

Or on my bed.

With piles of Kleenex for my sad red stuffed and scratchy nose.

I have NO VOICE, but still managed to get my thoughts into yet another exciting conference call for work today….

Yes, am loving New Job.

Yes, am aware that am seriously annoying you again by talking about New Job sans DEETS?

Am woman of MYSTERY.

In the meantime. To bed I go. Early tonight. After finishing up some freelance work (which is endless — but a good thing), and finalizing some Kids Deserve Art orders, including some charity donations am très excited about. More on this latah! Ooo, le mystère!

Anyway, LOVE.

Love New Nanny. Love New Job. Love Family. Love YOU. Love Couch. Love Bed. Love the part in Monkey’s favourite movie Alvin and the “Chick-munks” when Simon eats Theodore’s poop to prove to Dave it’s a raisin. Love Kitties….

Love!

xo Haley-O