Avoiding Cranky


The Noodle rocks a beet and kale shake moustache.

On Thursday I was a cranky, stressed-out grumpy pants, feeling frustrated with our lack of routine and our inability to make a schedule, even though we’d moved only less than a week ago. Sometimes I’m pretty unreasonable. I was short, weepy, and so wound up that I had to check the calendar to see if PMS was the cause. It was not.

In a moment where I perched on the edge of losing my temper, I suddenly changed direction and sent myself upstairs for a nap with the Noodle. That blissful hour of quiet, free from childcare responsibility and the chaos of setting up a home was heavenly, and I realized how essential it is to take time out.

These last couple of months I’ve been spoiled. My mom has been making the drive to Toronto once a week to spend the day with the Noodle while I get some work done and she would often sleep over and give me another half day of support. First my focus was on tax preparation, then on moving, but it was wonderful to just be able to switch off and know that baby was in good hands. I’d like to continue this awesome tradition and focus now on my writing, and homeschool prep because there just isn’t time in this busy house unless I carve it out. We now live much closer to mom, but I’m housebound, so I wonder how best to make this work? Maybe I could have a very early start with Mama S once a week where she drops me off in Hamilton for the day? Perhaps there is transit available to Hamilton? Maybe Daddy can zip me there? Man, I need a driver’s license, now more than ever!

My point is, everyone needs time alone to pursue their own interests or their burn out factor will be high. I need to know that there is space for me during each busy week to do whatever I like, and I don’t mean laundry, cooking, meal planning or chores. This isn’t selfish, or indulgent. It’s practical self-care and it makes me better in all of my roles.

When is the last time you took even an hour for yourself to just do something entirely for your own pleasure? Make it happen, even once a week, and tell your partners you need their support. Alone time is essential for recharging your batteries, and you’ll feel so much more capable. What are your favorite ways to spend your time alone?



Last night I was feeling a bit out of sorts, likely normal settling-in feelings, but I remarked that I felt like we were on the most boring vacation ever. I have the most wonderful sense of general relaxation here in the country, but also that feeling of unfamiliar territory that comes with vacationing, and we’ve only been able to do a lot of unpacking and laundry thus far – hence the boredom.

I finished setting up my room yesterday, except for hanging some art, and so I decided to take the kids on a little outing to explore some of the local hang outs. The weather threatened thunderstorms, so we chose the Dr. Huq Family Library, which is in a brand new compound that houses the Kiwanis Pool, and the whole thing is situated on the property of the Lester B. Pearson Park. Daddy had to be our chauffeur, but rather than drop us off, he decided to take advantage of the much faster Internet connection at the library and get some work done.

The facilities are beautiful, and built with sustainability in mind. You can check out the very clever specs here.
One thing I’ve really noticed in our few days of country life is how much friendlier people are than in the city. It’s very common for strangers to engage you in a conversation, especially when you have a very cute bunch of ice breakers. The girls each made a couple of friends and we’ve decided to take advantage of the pool with swimming lessons and swim memberships. It’s a great rainy-day refuge for all of us.


Ayla wanted to check out the playground, so she and Noodle and I went to explore while Hannah stayed indoors with Daddy and a book of Greek Mythology. We discovered an amazing splash pad outside that we will definitely visit next time, Ayla worked the playground like the best of schmoozers, and Noah considered the St. Catharine’s grass quality. I think Hannah was as taken with the mythology as Ayla was with the playground because on the trip home she regaled us with tales of Prometheus and Pandora, her eyes round with wonder. I love how much she loves reading and story telling. Ayla is following her lead too – she took home two books from the book sale pile at the library that she proudly pored through for the rest of the afternoon.


Daddy treated us to his delicious barbecue for dinner, marking the first official use of the grill gazebo. I’d say these photos convey just how delicious it was. He always grills to perfection, despite his fussing over the final product. How lucky am I that he takes such pride in his cooking?



So, settling into our new home will be just like a staycation in many ways. There’s so much to discover, it will easily eat up our summer, and I no longer feel like the girls need camp. It’s actually kind of exciting to look forward to so much time with them, and since I get bored as quickly as a child, it will be easy to keep things interesting.


Exploring the area with fun day trips, making the library our new hang out, hiking, grilling food outside, transforming our shaded shelter into a Moroccan paradise – there’s lots to do, and it’s going to be such a nice way to settle in!

Mommy’s To-Do List – Week of July 2nd

Uncle and baby nephew

Chacha and the Noodle build a grill gazebo

Weekend Highlights
Saturday night was date night with Mama S, and it’s the first time we’ve been out together in a very long while. I was nervous! We drove to Toronto and loaded the last bit of stuff from our old house into the van (I removed my heels for this) and then looked for a patio. I wouldn’t recommend following the 2012 blogTO patio reviews. We picked a place on Queen West recommended for it’s good atmosphere, and apparently that means you’ll have to walk through the kitchen to use the disgusting bathroom, and all you’ll be able to smell outside is KFC. Am I getting old, or what?

After the patio experiment, we hit Insomnia for dessert (cheesecake and crème brulé) and some caffeine. Dessert was delicious, and the atmosphere much more appealing there. Next up was the Boylesque T.O. show, their first in a long while. The show offered lots of laughs, and as always, I was completely blown away by Dew Lily. What a performer! Entertainers in the burlesque world really run the risk of being very self-indulgent, because few performers have a director to work with to help shape their acts, but Dew seems to know what his audience loves, and you can really tell that he’s there for their enjoyment. Every nuance is perfect, and he’s completely connected and engaged. It’s also such a delight to see someone so stunningly beautiful be able to laugh at himself and be completely silly. His sprinkling of acts throughout the show made the drive completely worth it. The boys are all very charming and fun. I’d love to get my director hands on them some day!

On Sunday, we enjoyed our first day in our new home together. No Daddies had to drive back to the city, and no Mamas ran away from home to see naked boys on stage. We had a lovely dinner, and then attempted our first bonfire. I say attempted because the mosquitoes assaulted us not long after we were all settled with marshmallows and sticks. They are outrageous here! I think we at least got a roasted marshmallow each before we ran into the house.

VIP Tasks this Week


I don’t think I’ll feel like myself until I have unpacked and set up my room. I’m very close to being done with this, but I need a couple of hours of baby wrangling help. My in-loves are very busy with their own household tasks, so perhaps I’ll have to send out the bat signal for my mom.

My sister-in-love on Mama S’ side arrives Sunday evening with her three wee boys, and we’re having a little get-together on Saturday to celebrate Fui’s birthday, so it will be important to get the house in order before then.

Personal Goals

I’d like to carve out some time to start thinking about what my daily routine could look like here. I need to incorporate some writing time, and some time planning for homeschooling in September once we’ve completed all of this unpacking. I’d also like to make sure that I have time with the girls and the baby each day for fun.

I need to complete some basic admin tasks, like changing my address so I can get a local library membership.

I’d like to start thinking about Les Coquettes Halloween show. I have some ideas rattling around in here, but I’d like to put them on paper and share them with the troupe.

Can you believe I’m still working on Thank You cards from one of Noah’s baby showers and his Bayat? I’m so embarrassed about this, but I’ve told myself that as long as they get in the mail before he’s 9 months old, it’s not the worst thing in the world. I have eleven days. Where did the time go??

Things to Look Forward To

My cousin’s lovely partner is visiting from B.C. with her mega-cute little boys Locke and Cache. I’m trying to figure out a day to bring my munchkins for a visit so they can all play together before the boys go home again.

Checking Out the Hood!
I’m going to insist on one outing with the girls this week, and I’d also like Daddy to take me for coffee downtown. I want to check out my new stomping ground. I need to get a driver’s license ASAP because being dependant on everyone to liberate me from the house is really going to be a drag.

Family Time!
Looks like the weekend will be full of fun family time, which is always low-key and always full of delicious food. We need to break in the grilling gazebo that dad just bought, and I think a second attempt at a bonfire is in order. Perhaps you can share some mosquito repellant tips?

A Clear Calendar!
I can’t remember the last time I looked at my Google Calendar and saw it completely blank. I will decide this is a blessing instead of something to make me feel panicked. Ha! Seriously though, it’s a wonderfully easy-paced new reality, and I’m going to seriously enjoy it.

What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to this week?

Kisses on your nose,