The way of the grass

11 10 2011

I’m a big fan of What Not to Wear and the advice that Stacy and Clinton give to the wardrobe-challenged guests who appear on their show.

Like always choose a darker wash denim, look for suit jackets that enhance your waist, don’t be afraid of colour and pattern.

One of their biggest advice shares – especially to moms – is to always look polished, even when running errands, taking the kids to the park, etc.

They don’t mean look glamorous at all times. It’s more about looking put together. Like you made an effort beyond grabbing the nearest yoga pants and slouchy t-shirt in arm’s reach.

And while I agree to an extent, sometimes looking polished is the least of my concerns.

It’s this thing called time constraints. Let me give you an example.

The race

Today, I rushed home from work, changed into my workout gear and headed to the park with my trainer to work on my fitness.

The park equals grass and working out equals getting on the ground and doing crunches and the like.

I forgot my yoga mat. Which means grass stuck to my butt. A lot of it.

I was able to brush most of it off, but not all of it. And at the end of my gruelling sweat-a-thon, I needed to hop in the car and run errands before DH and DD arrived home.

I had two choices: run inside to change and waste precious time getting myself presentable. Or hop into the car – grassed up as I was – and get those errands done.

I chose to go the way of the grass.

The consequence

While standing in line at my local Pizza Pizza (don’t judge…I worked out hard!) I felt a friendly tap on my shoulder. A kind young woman let me know I had grass on my butt.

I said, “Thanks, yes I know” with a bit of a self-deprecating laugh. She responded, “Oh, ha, ha” and red-faced, quickly turned away.

I think she was embarrassed for me.

Which just goes to show. Stacy and Clinton are obviously right about the importance of making an effort to look presentable.

The reward

But in the end, that grass-laden butt of mine saved me time. Which today at least, took precedence.

Confession: If I was going anywhere other than the local pizza joint and drugstore I probably would have changed. But don’t you agree that sometimes, what really counts is time and not the state of your wardrobe?

* Image sourced via Beyond the Fields We Know

Life with a toddler

14 09 2011

For this Wordless Wednesday I give you four photos that represent life with a toddler chez Gallant…

Trying on the the new coat from Grandma. My, don’t I look good!

Suddenly…the mood turns…

See the finger pointing in the bottom left frame?
A stern warning to Dolly. ‘Time out, Dolly. Time out.”

OK – let’s make silly faces in the camera!
Laugh and laugh…whew! Good mood returns.

Up…down…up…down. We all have those days. Good thing we can laugh about it at the end. 😉

Strange confession

30 08 2011

Here’s a strange confession. I’ve recently discovered that I love sniffing playdough. Weird, right? Let me explain.

For DD’s birthday her Nanny gave her some art supplies. Part of that art booty was some playdough. Not the homemade kind, the Hasbro kind. Which means it came scented. Like vanilla.

When we opened the playdough up, the scent literally overwhelmed me and I couldn’t resist sniffing it. Right away, it took me back to when I was little.

I guess that’s why ever since then I can’t stop sniffing it?

All I know is when DD says she wants ‘playdough’ I get a little giddy inside.

Here are some photos of our recent playdough fun. For your sake and mine, there are no ‘sniffing’ photos in the bunch. 😉


DD shaping her creation...


Some help from Dad...


I think it's a taco.


A massacred Angry Bird?

I found this recipe for making homemade playdough but haven’t tried to do it myself. Have you made homemade playdough before?

Let it ride

24 08 2011

When it comes to parenting, there is no balance. The simple fact is you juggle, and some things slip.

In the early months of DD’s life, it was sleep, daily showers and housework (never the laundry though. I was always doing laundry).

Later on it was time with friends, time to myself that got squeezed out. Making plans can seem a gargantuan effort when your friends’ schedules don’t mesh with your baby/toddler’s nap. And if they have their own children, it can be weeks, sometimes months before you can find a time that works.

And all those things I used to do, like workout whenever, read a book, and bake – well they end up being early morning or late at night activities. I do not thrive in the early morning and I don’t know about you but I’m tired at the end of a long workday.

The one thing about being a parent is you prioritize. While I love DD and I put her first before a lot of things, I realize that for both my own sanity and well-being (and thus hers), I need to prioritize my interests, my friendships.

I don’t see this as selfish, I see it as smart. Because I want to set a good example.

I want to show my daughter that I am more than just her ‘mommy’. I’m a full person in my own right with interests beyond motherhood. Because I want DD to know that she too has that right.

So frankly, if you come to my house you’ll see that sometimes the dishes aren’t done. The mail may not have been filed and that yes, at a higher frequency than I care to admit, dinner is takeout BBQ chicken and wedge fries from Loblaws (served with fresh veggies and dip!).

Instead, I’m spending time with my family and creating time for myself. Colouring with DD, hanging with DH, maybe blogging or working on my fitness.

If you’ve timed it right, your visit may coincide with homemade chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven. 🙂

I’m doing stuff for me. Everything else? I just let it ride.

Air Swing - Foire des Tuileries

Photo via Tavallai on Flickr.

Favourite place to be

16 08 2011

This is DD’s favourite place to be. At the park, yes. But more specifically, in a swing.

As I push her back and forth, she closes her eyes and let’s the breeze caress her face.

Back and forth. Back and forth – a light smile on her face.

While I am the agent of physics moving DD through the air, I’ve come to realize I’m not really a part of the moment.

This is DD’s quiet time.

Her meditation. Her favourite place to be.

What is your favourite place to be? In all honesty, my first response is anywhere I’m with my family. But if it’s a favourite place just for me, I’d say curled up on my couch with a glass of wine and a good book. 🙂

Mommy shoe

22 06 2011

When my daughter wants to play outside, she’ll sign and say, “Outside?” then run and bring me my shoes.

To be even more helpful she’ll say, “Mommy shoe” while thoughtfully plunking them down in front of me.

The adorable part?

The shoes she brings aren’t always the most practical for romping around in the great outdoors.

Example A:

DD selects my shoes-1

Example B:

DD selects mommy's shoes-2

Exhibit C:

DD selects Mommy's shoe-3

But when the little lady wants to go outside, she doesn’t care what shoes you wear, as long as you get them on your feet so she can get going. 🙂

Stain-busters like you

30 05 2011

I buy consignment clothing for DD. I learned to do this after she started daycare and would come home covered in dirt. Don’t get me wrong – I think dirt is a great thing. Dirt means she’s playing, exploring and having fun outside.

But um…as I’m sure you know – dirt stains. So does watermelon, blueberries and if you don’t act quick enough – tomato sauce.

So let’s talk laundry. I’d really like to know your stain removal tips and tricks.

Woman Doing Laundry by Henry Robert Morland. (And yes...I wear my finest gown when doing laundry too.)

I’ve tried the OxiClean route – no dice. I’m told it doesn’t work because I’m not soaking the clothes in hot enough water. That it is the hot water that activates the stain-fighting (ker-plow!) enzymes in OxiClean.

But I descend from a long line of people who believe in cold-water washing. My people taught me that hot water doesn’t release a stain – it sets a stain. (Not to mention shrinks the clothes too!)

So I’ve been sticking to the OxiClean Baby spray. It’s okay but you can’t let the spray dry on the clothes which means leaving the stained shirt/pants/shorts/tank in water to stink up the laundry room until laundry day. Blegh.

I also bought this neat kind of waxy stick that you wet and rub into the stain. Can’t remember the name of it because the label wore off but I got it at Boomerang Kidsin Kanata. It works okay too but isn’t 100% effective. I find I have to do a combination of the OxiClean Baby and the wax stick.

So what gives? How do all you parents – I really want to write mothers but am giving a shout-out to all you dads out there who do laundry – get the stains out of your children’s clothes?

Get them so clean you can drop your clothes off at the local consignment shop feeling tremendous pride over your ability to conquer the toughest grass stain, the meanest ketchup spill?

I’d really like to know so I can do the same thing.


9 05 2011

DD likes to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Except it’s no so much reading as it is her flipping to Saturday’s page, pointing at each bit of food that caterpillar eats and having us name it.

Chocolate cake, ice cream, pickle…and so on.

And so I always say, “No wonder that caterpillar got a tummy ache!”

I don’t think she gets it. But I say it anyway. Every time.

This entry is part of Monday Moments, a weekly series started by Brie at Capital Mom, where participants are invited to share a moment from their life. This week’s topic: repetition.

The best thing to do

18 04 2011

I’ve learned that when I need to get DD’s attention

To get her to focus on my words,

The best thing to do is hold her face between my hands

And ask her to look at mommy.

Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Toddlers are willful creatures. 🙂

Cute with a mind of her own. 🙂

This entry is part of Monday Moments, a weekly series started by Brie at Capital Mom, where participants are invited to share a moment from their life. This week’s topic: focusing.

The game

11 04 2011

Sitting in her chair at lunch DD puts her cup of milk down.

Looking at me, she says, “more, more” while touching her fingers together repeatedly to also sign the word.

“More milk?” I ask. And she responds, “peez”. (please)

I walk to the fridge with DD’s cup. As I pour in more milk, I glance over at her.

DD’s arms are covering her eyes and she waits quietly for the game to begin.

I say, “Chicken? Where are you?”

A giggle.

I call out, “Chicken…Chicken? Are you there?”

As I walk back with her milk, more giggles.

Beautiful brown eyes peek out at me between arms still raised.

A gentle poke to the belly as I set her milk down. DD pulls her arms away from her face and laughs in excitement.

“Oh, there you are!”

With small determined hands DD picks up her cup and drinks.

The game over for now. I hope it’s years before it ever gets old.

This entry is part of Monday Moments, a weekly series started by Brie at Capital Mom, where participants are invited to share a moment from their life. This week’s topic: hiding.