One of the funniest things the Rascal ever said would occur in the backseat of our car on a fairly regular basis.

“Monkey,” he’d say, turning to his big sister (using her real name, of course), “you GAWBAGE.”

“You GAWBAGE, Monkey, you GAWBAGE,” he’d say. Josh-O and I used to look at each other in the front seat and try to laugh as quietly as possible. The Monkey would cry, of course.


Perhaps this traumatic event from the Monkey’s preschoolhood surfaced when she drew THIS hilarious masterpiece the other day….

The girl in the green is, I’m told, the Monkey. The girl in the purple is her friend Madison. And the sad little soul on hands and knees with the blond tuft of hair is her brother, the Rascal, “picking up garbage.” The green thing in the middle is the garbage can, by the way. And there’s an airplane overhead. The Monkey’s a stickler for detail….

The girls are dreaming of “being stars,” the Monkey explains. And the Rascal’s thinking “he wants to do something else.”

From the looks of things, garbage collecting, at least as a career, isn’t in the cards for our Rascal. At 4 years old, Gorgeouses, he can read! Or, well, he can “read.”

Now, I know you like when I post the odd video of the kids, and God knows the Rascal loves performing, so we videoed this just for you. It’s THE  RASCAL READING, or, well, “READING”! Enjoy…!

Hee! Now that I have an iPhone, I’ll be posting videos a little more, I think! It took NO TIME to upload it to YouTube!

Before I leave you to get back to my insane pre-holiday workload, which my amazing managing editor, Nadine Silverthorne, generously prioritized for me (Cheaty Monkey, of course, wasn’t on the list…but this is another QUICKIE post, and I’ve missed you…), I want to introduce you to the ladies who are successfully getting me to feed myself….

These are the brilliant, creative, gorgeous ladies behind the brand new Macrobiotic Centre of Toronto — and I’m so proud to call them my friends. That’s Miss Stan on the left, Alice in the centre, and Jill (the juicing guru!). Congrats, Ladies, on your amazing new venture. I look forward to many delicious takeout breakfasts and lunches, fresh juices, brunches, dinners, cooking lessons, weight loss, more energy, glowing skin, etc., etc.,  and FUN ahead. Psssst: join their Facebook group for all the inside scoop.

Back to work!


xo Haley-O

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 (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

Yes, my blog post about a curious white elephant and some news about my Today’s Parent Magazine After-Shot/Harley-Pasternak weight loss program will have to wait until tomorrow. Because the kids and I are doing this right now….

…Meanwhile Josh is out watching the Super Bowl with his buddies — and thinking he’s having a better time than we are.

Because Josh is cheering for the Steelers, we are cheering for the Packers. Well, actually, Josh is cheering for the white team, the Monkey and I are cheering for the green team, and the Rascal is cheering for the “yewwo” (yellow) team — and for himself as he whips a wee basketball around (not against the wall, Rascal, please!), and for the car in the commercial, and popcorn, and his organic gummy bears: “Yeahhhhh, popcohn! Go popcohn! Woohoo! Gummy beahs!” The Monkey’s simply yelling, “Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown! Mama, look!”

I’m not sure if the Super Bowl is age-appropriate for 3- and 5-year-olds, but I don’t really care. They’re very good at closing their eyes during the scary commercials, and they agreed with me that the Egg McMuffin (or whatever that was) didn’t look as delicious as the commercial made it seem.  So far so good.

They’ll go to bed after the half-time show. They’ll be tired from dancing to the Black-Eyed Peas….


Elephant tomorrow (or Wednesday — I have a cold, blergh)!


xo Haley-O

P.S.: The kids are in bed and my throat hurts from cheering (with a cold), and I just responded to, like, 25 comments to the past two posts below. I love seeing your comments pour in like they used to (before Twitter and Facebook existed — and I’m not bitter). THANK YOU! I’ll try HARD to respond more quickly to your comments. I’d email you, but I’ve decided to accept the impossibility of keeping up with email. It’s sort of like keeping up with the Kardashians (or not), only not as sexy….

Actually this blog is far from “regularly scheduled.” I write when the mood moves me. But this month has been certifiably insane. And I find myself. Depressed.

I’ll feel better tomorrow or the day after. It’s just hard. Between work and constantly-screaming children, I can’t relax. My body and mind are screaming over the children, “YOU NEED A BREAK! YOU NEED TO SLEEP! YOU NEED TO…PLAY AND I DON’T MEAN LEGO! You need a facial, massage, a vacation.” Somewhere warm like a deserted island. I can lie on a hammock and let the ocean rock me back and forth and back and forth and back and….

Right now the closest thing I have to a vacation is this….

She doesn’t demand much, our Betty White. Only to be let outside approximately every 6½ minutes, or any time I shift positions when I’m working on the couch. She owns it. Our backyard is her territory. She has balls and bones and probably old cat poop buried deep beneath the ground. Every 12½ minutes I let her in and wipe the black of digging off her face. Her beard.

I’d love to feel as joyful as Betty White. I watch her out my window. She scurries here and there and then just stops. Still. Listens. Espies. Stomps. Sees me. Comes running. Expects. Cookie.

She’s not the only one who loves the outdoors around here — especially when it’s snowing and below zero….

Snow angels! He can’t get enough of the snow. Which is totally how it should be when you’re 3 years old. Even as I watch his red little nose turn to purple and scrunch with the glee, I can’t even imagine.

Don’t worry, Gorgeouses. I’ll snap out of this. I get depressed. I don’t hide it well. This doesn’t mean I need to talk about it or go get help. Sometimes, in my case, depression’s okay. I’m like a big bear in the winter. I just want to cozy up on my favourite spot on the couch and be warm and still and…not tweet much.

It just so happens that all the beings I’m wholly responsible for 24/7 are the farthest thing from big bears in the winter. They’re more like those flippy little birds that stick around instead of flying south — the ones Betty White chases every 6½ minutes in the backyard. WHY NOT FLY TO FLORIDA? So I’m tired. And craving. A vacation. An island. A hammock. A good night’s sleep.

Good night, Gorgeouses.


xo Haley-O

One problem with blogging is that people think they know you — I mean, the whole you — based on the posts you write. It’s happened before that people have made assumptions about me based on this blog. And while I now have no problem with that, it’s still not the whole truth. It’s all true, of course, yes! But you’ll never get the whole truth from twice-weekly, or even daily, blog posts. Or even seeing someone in real life, for that matter. People are sort of different every time you see them, don’t you think? I may dislike someone one day and LOVE them the next. Everything’s fragments.

And still you come back here and you read, I guess, the truth of this moment. And how much do I love you for that? Because it does get lonely behind this screen sometimes.

So today I give you A BUNCH of truth fragments in one post, and then maybe I can take the rest of the week off because I am tired. That’s probably the whole truth right there. If you see me in real life, go right ahead and assume I AM TIRED.


1. At the end of my much-interrupted 6am yoga practice this morning, I lay down in savasana (or corpse pose), and Rascal stood over me and asked, “Mama, are you dead?”

2. He also asked if he could lie on my back while I was in a seated forward bend — nose to knees. I let him, of course. And he’s a feather. I felt nothing.

3. The Monkey is obsessed with Netflix’s preview of The Swan Princess, which is basically this song….

I’m telling you, plunk your kids down in front of that video, show them how to make it play again, and go make dinner, or read a novel (the whole thing), shave your legs…. You deserve a break.

4. Rascal says “rorot” instead of “forgot.” And he says it a lot — reminding me never-too-often of him….


5. He also calls my Macbook a “puter” (pronounced “pewdah.”)

6. Because 2 cats and a dog aren’t enough, we’ve adopted a new member of the family. Meet “Pixie Hollow”:

7. I may only be blogging here once or twice a week, but I’m blogging over HERE up to FOUR TIMES A DAY, sometimes even in a British accent.

8. I only APPEAR outgoing. I’m very very shy and uncomfortable at blogging events……

9. The Monkey’s been obsessed with drawing hair lately…. (Click to enlarge.)

10. Speaking of hair…, the Rascal wants his hair cut. But I say “no,” because there’s nothing like 3-year-old bed head. There just isn’t….

11. Betty White is apparently a very long dog. This jacket is size MEDIUM. She’s a tiny dog — there’s no way I’m getting her a large….

12. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. He…completes me….


xo Haley-O


[I hand the phone to Rascal and press the “on” button.]

Papa’shere (my dad): Hello? hello?

Rascal: Hi, Papa!

Papa’shere: Hi, Rascal, How are you?

Rascal: Good.

Papa’shere: What are you doing?

Rascal: I paying six an yaddahs by moysewf! [Trans. “I’m playing Snakes and Ladders by myself!”]

I’m swimming in what seems like a never-ending, black-with-purple-swirls sea of chaos. Everything from my childcare situation to the major celebrity mom I’m interviewing first thing Thursday (totally scared) morning in a Yorkville hotel room, to a whole mass of other confusions that I can’t get into right now partly because my eyes are glazing over and partly because your eyes would glaze over.

To navigate the purplish swirly sea of chaos I’m spinning in (dizzy), I have yoga. Except that I started bawling in yoga the other day. Well, after my teacher David Robson talked to me about why I find myself on the verge of tears after assisted twists. Something about my Samskaras, which I’m still trying to find time to research…. He tried to explain it to me, but I was trying to keep the tears from streaming and the lips from quivering embarrassingly. When he got to the “eating” part, though — something about “everything from our something-something to our experiences to our something-something to what we eat,” DING! — the lip got out of control. The tears at least waited until after he compassionately squeezed my arm and returned to the yoga class. Streamed and streamed, mixed pretty with the purple.


He’s watching me…!

While I’m working at the office all morning, someone’s thinking of me. He’s thinking of me. He’s thinking about me doing yoga. He’s painting me doing yoga. My HEART!

She’s on the table again. She thinks she’s a cat. But she’s sorely mistaken. She’s a Maltese. With a massive underbite that makes it hard for her to pick food up sometimes. When she’s not on top of the table, she’s downstairs burying her (vegetarian) bone in the cat litter. She comes out of the litter with a white nose. It’s terribly unhealthy, and I’m slightly anxious about her lungs. Ahh, anxiety. Samskara. Also, if she has to poop while we’re still sleeping or when she’s alone in the house, she’ll sometimes do it in the beside the cats’ litter box. Poor thing is so confused.

Just like her mama.


xo Haley-O

I’ve been loving this season’s So You Think You Can Dance. I wasn’t sure about the new “all-star” format, but it’s working for me. Love it. ANYWAY, if you happened to miss Billy and Ade’s contemporary piece last night, you must checkit — to borrow Mia’s words, it was “sheer perfection”….

Phenomenal. The artistry, the philosophy, the beauty, all speak to me. FAHKLEMPT!

Things are a bit insane around here as we plan for a 10-day trip — first to the in laws’ farm and then to the BIG APPLE for BLOGHER (talk about MAD WORLD…)!

We’re driving, so please wish me luck. If you knew my kids (like, in real life), you’d know I need all the luck I can get. As per my kids’ orders, I’ll be filling my iPod with various versions of this damn song that they both beg me for constantly (GGAHH!) — Rascal: “Mama, I wah ‘Aw da way up, aw da way down'”….

Don’t ask….

I’ll also make sure I have a good lineup of what the Rascal thinks are songs from his favourite movie Cars — but that are really all my favourite songs from the Glee soundtrack. Hee.

You can definitely find me on twitter throughout the week (say hi!), here at Cheaty Monkey as often as I can make it, and I’ll be keeping my celeb blog up to date at Today’s Parent, among other things there.

Oh, and guess who’s coming with us?

BETZ! Betty White is coming with us. And a cat sitter is staying with the kitties. You can see he’s thrilled about it….


Okay! I have a 6am Ashtanga yoga class to get up for. Good night!


xo Haley-O

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