Judah has never been big on clothes. I distinctly remember thinking on the day he was born, that the weirdest thing was having to put clothes on him. Never mind the fact that he had practically been an internal organ only moments before and was now an independent, breathing little wonder. That wasn't weird at all....

No, it was the whole clothing on the baby thing that seemed wrong. He was so perfectly, naturally, nude. Who in their right mind would ever want to cover that gorgeous, untouched skin? No one, I thought! Judah agreed. Alas he was too tired to tell us on that particular day, so he's been trying to make it clear ever since. 

Judah would love it if we would allow him to be naked all the time. I blame his European roots, he may blame his somewhat geeky wardrobe. Although he prefers no clothes at all, if forced to choose, he will always lose the pants first. This has led to Judah having somewhat of a reputation for going about his business pantsless. 

I thought the turning of the season, from summer to fall, to winter, may deter his pantsless ways. I thought wrong. He put on a few extra pounds (for insulation, obviously) and went about his merry way. 

In the course of a day spent at home, Judah is likely to be pantsless about 50% of the time. Sometimes I swear he fills his diaper so he'll have an excuse to take his pants off and then run like a screaming pantsless banshee away from them.

To illustrate his passion for being pantsless, I've prepared a short pictorial history.

Judah pantsless in the park. His cousin Graham is duly horrified. 

Judah pantsless on the kitchen counter. He finds his culinary creations are more free when unfettered by a waistband.

Judah pantsless on the beach. To his credit, a lot of people appeared to be pantsless that day. 

Judah pantsless in Malawi. 
He has his order in for an "I've gone pantsless in two continents" bumper sticker.

And last, but not least, Judah proving once and for all that his love of the pantsless life knows no bounds: pantsless... outside... in February. 

I admire his commitment to being pantsless, but most of all I admire his circulation... and his cute little thighs.

Happy Pantsless Monday!


Love-Hate Wednesday: The wild-child edition

Happy Wednesday!!
I've been a bit neglectful of the blog this week, primarily because I've been on holiday! Hooray! 
One would think, with all my free holiday time, I'd have plenty of moments to blog. 
One would be wrong. I've been too blissfully, happily busy.

This past weekend Luke and I had our one-night getaway. It was lovely and is deserving of a post all its own, so I shall leave it for another date.

Yesterday I went to Brampton with two of my siblings to visit my grandparents. The result was an epic loveseat quest, which is also deserving of its own post, so you'll have to wait for the details.

For today, I shall focus on a few select, love-hate moments from our week. They are as follows:

Love #1 - Judah's skydiver reflex. 

Judah has several reflexes that have yet to be documented in developmental psychology or postnatal discourse. For example, when attempting to put Judah into a car seat, his back will automatically flex into an arch, making it impossible to secure the straps around him. This reflex also seems to be accompanied by a secondary reaction of a grimaced face and, often, a scream.

Judah also demonstrates the roller coaster reflex (picture arms suddenly thrust above the head and held there). This reflex manifests itself in any number of circumstances including: going down a slide, sitting on the couch, standing on mama and dada's bed, seeing a bus ... etc.

Judah's latest reflex is an entertaining one. A favourite past time for he and Luke is the daily toddler toss, in which Luke tosses Judah into the air above his head, Judah assumes his new pose and I once again mutter thanks for the high ceilings. What is this new pose you ask? We have affectionately named it The Skydiver.
It looks something like this...

Super cute, no?

Our one and only hate for the week...Judah's new animal wild-childness. Judah loves animals, he always has. His first 15 or so "words" were all animal sounds. He makes a very proficient bear growl. And now he also bites. Not just anything, oh no, he only bites his mother. They aren't angry bites, in fact they often occur when we're having a great conversation:

"Judah, would you like to read a book?"
"Ok, let's snuggle!"
"I love you."

Luckily, he restricts the bites to my clothing, but even so, my poor sweaters!

And the final love for the week, my dad's banana muffin recipe. This recipe is my ol' faithful stand by. It's what I make when I want something that tastes totally indulgent and delicious , but can also pass for breakfast food without too much guilt. I took dad's original recipe and added chocolate chips and cranberries- tastebud heaven!

This one is too good not to share, so go! Go rot some bananas and try this one out!

Judah/Len's World's Best Chocolate-Cranberry Banana Muffins

In one bowl:
mash up 3-4 overripe bananas (when ours go bad I just toss them in the freezer. Then, when I feel like whipping up some muffins I run hot water over them in a bowl, peel and go nuts). 
Add 1/3 cup of oil and
1 egg

In another bowl mix together:
1 1/2 cups of flour (I use whole wheat - white works too)
1 cup loose brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Combine the two bowls. Mix.

Now add in the extras of your choice. I like to add chocolate chips and frozen whole cranberries. You can add a lot. It should look like too much. Seriously. That's when you know it will be delicious.

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes (in our oven it takes the full 22).

Bon appetit!


Before and after: Judah gets a new room!

We've launched the start of our week of holidays with a little home makeover project. Judah's original room here was located at the back of the house. It gets sun all day (when Judah isn't here). And, some nights (when Judah is here), the smell of smoke from the tenant who partakes of her poison in the back (outside, but permeating nonetheless). So, we decided to do a switch. Move the office from the front of the house to the back, where I can enjoy the Southern exposure. Move Judah's room from the back of the house to the front, where I don't have to worry about him inhaling anything even close to second hand smoke. 

After a good breakfast, we got started. 

Some shelving we had previously removed from the office had never been painted behind and the room was the same colour as the nursery anyway (boring!), so we thought it would be nice to give Judah's new room a new colour. After much deliberation, we chose Benjamin Moore's Spring Mint (I chose it, Luke pretended to dislike it for my entertainment). 

The office before it became Judah's room...

Mr. Fix-it repairing the walls...

Let the painting party begin!

Judah helped...

Then he started painting the doors, so we kicked him out of the party.

He gave that decision a bad grade...

Many minutes later... The after!

Luke is so glad it's over...

Cool room dude.

And the old nursery which became the office...lovely and sunny :)

I think I've officially exhausted Luke's tolerance for re-dos at our place. Anyone else need a home makeover? :)


Love-Hate Wednesday: the blue, bird edition

Well, it's Wednesday again. I wish I could wish you a happy one, but I'm too blue to do so. This pretty much sums me up...

Sad...and cat like.

I know that I don't really have anything to be blue about. There are a lot more people out there with true justification to be out of sorts (I love that phrase) ...but I'm having a pity party anyway, because I'm just feeling that pathetic. 
I blame it all on February...sorry February, I know you're trying hard with your rodent day and your love day, but I'm not going to meet you half way. I'm going to wallow in despising you.

If spring doesn't arrive soon I'm going to start walking towards to equator. Seriously.

Alright, now that I've got that out of my system, on to some loves!

Although I still don't love waking up at the crack of dawn, I really don't mind it too much. And I LOVE when I get to see some beautiful sunrises. 
Check out the remnant pink from this morning. Now if only I could do away with the neighbours' houses so rudely blocking my view!


I love that the chickadees have finally discovered our birdfeeder! 
It took them almost two weeks to decide it wasn't a diabolical death trap, set by the screaming machine who occupies the adjacent home...
I'm referring to Judah, not me.

 Now I love to watch them! They are so full of personality! Yes, I'm that terribly uncool person- the one who likes watching birds...
I'll wait while you prepare to give me a wedgie.

And finally, most awesome of all...

 I love the tent that Judah and my mom built. It was like a harem of all Judah's favourite things: a pot, a bowl, a spoon, a book, a truck, a live house cat and a Morai.

My favourite part of the tent, however, was the crazy static hair it gave Judah.
Further proof he does in fact have a mop up top.

Now that I've shared all that great stuff, I'm feeling considerably less blue...  rather orange, in fact.

So, happy Wednesday world! 
If you have any advice on surviving February, I need would love to hear it!


Judah's view: Valentine's = chocolate cake!!!

"What have we here?"

"My, my, isn't this better than salad!"
"What? Why would I brush my teeth?"

"Whoa...a whole plate full!? This holiday is officially better than last week's...
What did you call that one again? Go to bed before mom goes crazy day?"

"I'd wish you all a happy Valentine's, but I'm going into a 
sugar-induced stupor now." 


Judah's view: my weekend

Apparently the last couple of days were the weekend. It seems the same as the week to me, except I have to hang out with my parents instead of my Morai. It's tough, but I cope.

On Saturday night, my buddy Tobin came over for a visit...


"And then I said to her, 'No seriously, this is the most hair I've ever had!' and she just laughed and left to find her sippy cup. Hilarious right?"

 "I know, this loveseat is awesome!! My roller-coaster reflex kicks in every time I sit on it!"

"Not the poop in the tub story again, honestly mother."

 "This is how I express my feelings about Valentine's Day." 

 "Ok Tob, we just need to write a classic nursery rhyme and then we can both retire and forget about the pressures of preschool."

On Sunday night, my aunts and Morai and Grandad came over for a big Valentine's supper. We all gained about 6 pounds.

I'm laughing because I'm the only one who thought to wear overalls. No waistband suckas! 

Happy weekend world!


Dead- to- the- world mama

My mother has five children, the first of which was born 30 years ago. Therefore, my mother has not slept soundly, from what I understand, for approximately 10,950 nights. Why, you may ask? Because she is what they call a good, maternal type. The type whose evolutionary "mama-bear", protect- my- baby- at- all- costs drive is crazy strong. As such, she sleeps just on the edge of consciousness, ready to attack anything that could potentially harm her offspring...even if they are all of legal voting age...

My genetic code is, it would seem, somewhat skewed in this department. Before Judah burst onto the scene, I was a fairly light sleeper. When a family of raccoons moved under the roof next to our bedroom, I spent many a night, wide-eyed, waiting for a clawed fist to come through the wall and offer me a  choice piece of garbage. For the past 18 months, however, the depth of my sleep is something akin to a coma - seriously.

Last night, for the fourth night in a row, Judah woke up before eleven and wanted to party hearty. We'd been successful at coaxing him to sleep the previous three nights, but last night he outwitted us.

I brought him to our bed, as Luke was busy trying to study for a mid-term.  I snuggled Judah in, thinking he'd be drowsy in moments and we could have a blissful bonding time. Ha! 

I fell asleep almost instantly.

Judah got out of bed, flung the door open, left the room and loudly shut said door. 

I kept sleeping.

He then found daddy, who could tell from the voluminous chatter and smiles that sleep was not coming anytime soon for the little three- footer. 

I kept sleeping.

They went downstairs and proceeded to loudly make a snack of melted cheese on crackers and apple slices (no wonder the kid likes to wake up at midnight). 

I kept sleeping.

Judah then proceeded to pull several, heavy pots and pans from the cupboard, line them up on the back of the couch and dramatically push them off onto the hardwood floor. Luke, who was studying at the table next to said couch, jumped out of his skin and...

I kept sleeping.

I like to think of my dead-to-the-world sleeping as a brilliant survival technique. If I woke up for every grunt, cry, deluge of pots and pans etc.  I would officially be a zombie. Heck, I still am several days a week, and that's with an amazing partner who gets Judah and brings him to our bed EVERY time he wakes up in the night. In reality though, if Luke ever starts going on out- of -town trips without us, I'm going to have to hire a night guard. After all, you never know when raccoon with a frying pan may come to attack your children. 


Love Hate Wednesday: The Valentine’s Edition

Valentine’s is only five days away and, although the critical sociological side of me is screaming “it’s just a marketing ploy!”, the romantic English-lit side of me is saying “love..." *happy sigh*.

The only thing I hate about Valentine’s day – besides the ugly plush bears and unethically produced, low- cocoa content chocolate – is the time of year at which it occurs. 

I mean, February!? Seriously?

When I think of love, I think of this...

Not this...


Alas, until I move closer to the equator, I’ll take what I can get.

My first love this week comes in the form of absolute, feminine, gorgeous, frilly, beauty! 

If you have never been on Etsy you’re missing out on a whole lot of wonderful. Go now...

If you have been on Etsy but haven’t been to the Ohhh Lulu store then you’re missing out on a whole lot of perfect, vintage-inspired pretty. Again, go... I’ll wait while you oooh and aaah.

I’ve been drooling over the Ohhh Lulu offerings for weeks now (I shared a Latin class with the talented proprietor) and finally had an occasion to permit myself to indulge in these...

Which leads me to love #2  (yes, lingerie is my segue) - our first romantic getaway in 6 months! That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we’re going away...without Judah! Luke’s reading week begins next weekend, as does a week of holidays for me. So I’ve planned a one-night retreat for us. I’d tell you all about it, but the destination is a surprise and Luke has been known to read the blog, so you too will have to wait. 

Judah will be left in the capable hands of my sisters, who I am confident will be way more fun than us and will probably leave him feeling wistful for the days when we were away, for some time to come. 

And my final love/hate for the day is just that- something I kind of love but kind of love but in a grimace-y sort of way...Judah’s barbershop quartet center part. Judah, as we have discussed, has hardly any hair and yet no matter how I comb it, it insists on parting right down the center in a manner that can only remind me of this...

See the resemblance?

I fear he comes by this part honestly. Luke’s dad has been known to sport the same style when his hair gets a bit long. Come to think of it, Luke’s probably would too if he didn’t frequently shear himself within an inch of his life. Anyway, no matter what Judah’s hairstyle, I’m glad I can claim him as one of my two amazing Valentines this year.

Happy lovin’ everyone!


Mouse or Toddler?

Upon discovering the fruit in your fruit bowl has been indiscriminately nibbled upon and then abandoned, one naturally asks the question, "Do I have a mouse or a toddler?"

To solve this conundrum, one must simply ponder a few simple inquiries. 

1. Is every piece of fruit in the bowl taste tested?
If so, you probably have a toddler.

2. Is there a small person running around your ankles with produce stickers stuck to their forehead?
If so, you probably have a toddler.

3. Has your baking chocolate also been taste tested, with melted remnants smeared on your cupboard doors?
If so, you probably have a toddler.

4. Does the rodent wake you at night, so they can enter your bed and hog your pillow?
If so, you probably have a toddler.

5. Is the varmint seemingly invisible, silent, and unobtrusive?
If so, you definitely don't have a toddler. Consider yourself lucky and buy yourself a mouse trap.

 Toddlerus Rascalimus


Eating out

Luke and I are pretty frugal, which is a good way to be when one of you is a full-time student, and you have a mortgage, and a car, and a kid, and a cat, and an aloe vera...you get the idea.

 We aren't big spenders when it comes to our vehicles. Our last car (Terrence the Toyota Tercel) had 400,000 kms, a broken windshield and a gas tank that didn't like to be filled past half, before we sold it for scrap to buy our new crapper. Sanjay the Subaru is 11 years old, nearing 250,000 kms and sporting a new and distinctly distrubing thumping everytime we get on a highway.


And yes, our cars often do solo polar expiditions.

We also don't spend much on our appearances (Does it show you ask? Yes, yes it does.).
I haven't bought a pair of jeans in approximately 3 years, as my sisters are good enough to have expendable income, good taste in clothes and small closets. Score one for me!

When we do buy clothes, we generally frequent Talize, also known as the most awesome second-hand store of all time. I can find amazing hippy-vibe vintage stuff for me, T-shirts with obscure Canadiana references for Luke, and clothes that will fit Judah for approximately 6 minutes (as all his clothes do) that don't cost you your firstborn...ater all, it would just be counter-productive to buy baby clothes that did.

So far Judah has grown practically no hair at all, which has saved us money in the barbering department. And Luke generally squats on the front step outside to buzz his hair, wherein he fulfills both his cheap Dutch, and environmental tendencies: free haircut and warm, soft padding for the nests of all the neighbourhood cardinals.

Our one weakness when it comes to our wallets, however, is eating out. As I have previously revealed, I'm a bit food-obsessed. As a result, the thought of going out for some great Vietnamese or Indian gets me way more excited than a new pair of shoes.

Before Judah came along, Luke and I would indulge in this weakness frequently, often meeting friends over sushi, dim sum, pizza or Ethiopian. Then Judah was born and it seemed as though we'd be able to keep up our social eating. He would generally fall asleep in his carseat on the way to the restaurant and we'd tuck him between us in a booth and carry on like two, wild and free, childless crazies!

Then Judah got a little older, a little less lethargic and a lot more vocal. We moved to London, away from most of our friends. Our nights out began to consist of baby-friendly dinners at my parents'. And the eating out dwindled and then stopped.

After Judah turned one, I thought it was high time to reintroduce him to the world of restaurant eating. I self-justified this thought saying Judah needed the exposure to different people and cultures and public bathrooms...but really I was just dying for some good Tom-Yum soup.

So, with some fear and trepidation, we started taking him out again. Some of our favourite haunts were more kid friendly than others. A wonderful Vietnamese joint near our old place, was nice and loud, brought your appetizers quick, and didn't flinch when Judah would carpet the floor around him with vermicelli noodles. It was a natural fit. Then we grew bolder, we tried a steakhouse...at 5 pm...they had large tv's playing curling, which coincidentally was Judah's favourite sport from a past life. Things went well.

Judah enthralled by the 8th end.

Then we started to get cocky. We reinstated our weekly Saturday morning greasy spoon tradition. We stocked up on toys, we ordered fast, we heaped his plate with scrambled eggs. Judah was a gem. We were, we thought, amazing parents... until Judah turned one and a half - also known as the magical age at which many children discover their strong wills and use them with a vengeance.  

Saturday morning, we settled ourselves into the booth at one of our regular egg and bacon stops, and eagerly anticipated the hot food and family bonding to come. Alas, Judah had other plans. Luke's coffee arrived- steaming and black- and Judah decided he needed to shake the mug. He didn't just want to hold the mug and shake it, he NEEDED to!
Daddy, being the tyrant that he is, refused the request.

Judah shouted
and then flailed
and then arched his back dramatically,
causing his as-of-yet gingantic head to dramatically crash into the wall behind him.
The wailing commenced.

I sat, trying to look nonchalant (while I inwardly died of embarrassment) as Luke calmly brought Judah to the front of the restaurant for some quiet discussion about the indelicacy of his behaviour.

From what I learned later, the conversation went something like this:

Luke: Judah, we don't shout and have tantrums in restaurants.

Judah: Grunt.

Luke: Daddy's coffee is hot. It can give Judah a big ouchie.

Judah: Grunt. *pout, begin to cry again*

Luke: Judah, do you need to go outside and back to the car until you can behave in the restaurant?

Judah: *points outside, smiles and nods head yes, he would rather play outside*

Luke: *This is not going according to plan*... Do you want to go see mommy again and eat some bacon.

Judah: Grunt *nod*

After this deep, conciliatory conversation was complete, the boys returned to our table and our newly arrived food. Judah benignly ate like a trooper. He flashed smiles at all the seniors in our vicinity, which could only be read as, "Oh no, I'm not the one who just had a raging fit, you must have some other toddler in mind." He flirted with the waitress. He kissed us spontaneously.
Unlucky for Judah, our memory isn't that short. It will be awhile before Judah is invited out to eat with Mama and Dada again. If not for the sake of our sanity, than for the sake of his gigantic head.



To combat the February blues this week, I ordered some local heirloom seeds for our summer garden!

If all goes well, we will have... .

Brandywine Tomatoes. How can they be bad with a name like that?

Feverfew. Lovely and excellent for treating migraines. Oh hello, best friend plant!

Heirloom, organic leaf lettuce

Jaune Flamme Tomatoes. The French lady of the cherry tomato world- you just know it's going to be passionately delicious!

Wild Lupine, to continue my ongoing quest to become Alice in the Lupine Lady book.

Oriental Poppies

 Garden sage- mmm!

And summer thyme.

And if all does not go well, we'll have something like this...

Start sending positive gardening vibes our way!