Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The best laid plans

So I'm all ready to go down the street to a playdate & yet, now I sit here typing this up. I'm unshowered but the hair is washed, dressed in un-sweatpants like fashion, even a wee bit of mascara on to make myself look more awake than I actually am. I've had 2 large cups of java to get myself going & the Doodles is all dressed & ready to go. While I was making myself presentable she was playing away in her crib, having fun with her musical guitar (I know, what is a guitar if not musical.... whatever, it makes noise and has no strings). I decide to see if she wants to nurse before we head out & she hoovers away at my boob until she falls asleep 3 minutes later.

Sleeping beauty

How can I wake that up?

So anyway, this week I am suffering once again from insomnia & am ready to kill the dog & anyone else that crosses me. It started when Calvin was gone for the weekend & the dog decided to stay up all night whining because he must've had a stomach ache. How do I know that? Because I had to let him outside at midnight, 1:30, 3:45, 4:50 & 6:00 am. Because even with doing that he still took a dump in the basement. Not something easy to pick up either. No it had to be the slimiest, most gag-inducing crap I've ever had the un-pleasure of trying to scrape into three layers of plastic bags & the biggest handful of industrial strength paper towels ever. After that the dog disturbance abated but my so did my sleep. I've been lying awake at night for hours thinking & ruminating over what chaos I might come across next. It's driving me bonkers.

Some of the chaos involves going on a plane tomorrow. Me, the Doodles, my friend & her 16 month old are about to fly to Halifax to visit another mutual friend. I'm super excited to go but a little nervous at how the plane ride will end up with a squirming 19 pound (?) monkey girl on my lap that likes to practice her operatic screeching whenever someone needs to concentrate. I've been going over what to pack, how the whole check-in security gate thing will work with her in a Bjorn & whether to give her a dose of Tempra / Gravol ? before we go. Dope her up? Nurse on take-off & landing? Bring earplugs for nearby passengers?

I gotta get some sleep man.
Like this preferably....

Sweet slumber. Posted by Picasa

Not sure if I'll get a chance to post over the next week while I'm gone so miss me ok?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

This is for Calvin..... (turn your speakers on silly. If you can't see it here's the link.)

We love you dude.
No matter what happens tomorrow, we're proud of you. But we know you are gonna do great!

Happiest of Father's Days also to my dearest, most generous Dad & to good ol' Kenny Boy. Sending you both love & kisses across the distance. Smooches from me & screeches from Freyja. Calvin probably just wants to send you beer.

To all the dads out there, happy day to you. Here's to you getting breakfast in bed, homemade cards from your kids & lots of ties.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Amma

Til hamingju med afmaelisdaginn! Posted by Picasa

P.S. Happy Belated Birthday Ruth!

Because I am busy "cleaning up my house" before I start an afternoon of drinking Margaritas on a patio somewhere I am being blog lazy & posting some fun links for you all to waste your time with. If you get bored, come join me & some other drinkin' mommies on our shady patio in the Glebe somewhere. Just look for the line up of strollers outside the bar.

You do not want to wake me up this way. Trust me. I would kill you if you tried any of this. That means you Todd.

Secret Agent Hasselhoff, Rhinestone Hasselhoff, Hooked on Hasselhoff & of course the Hasselhoffian Recursion. I know some of you have never seen these goodies before. Don't blame me if you go blind.

Dizzying drinking ska monkeys. Don't watch if you are hung over.

Can't go to Vegas to see the Bellagio Fountain? Here's a cheaper version. Mmmmmmmentos.

If you do have some money & can get to Paris on a Friday night, this looks totally awesome.

You've seen this stuff already haven't you? Too bad, it's cute & funny. Stuff on my cat. Cute Overload.

Plus all the things you never told your husband. True Wife Confessions. (via HBM - hillarious!)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I am alive

Plus I didn't hold up any traffic.

Us on the other side. (Please ignore the huge bags under my eyes - I am tired. Plus I am squinting from the sun. Oh, who am I kidding? They're always there.)

The evil bridge of which I spoke.

I would like to thank Alan Neal at CBC Radio for keeping my mind from focusing on what lay ahead. I would also like to thank the tailgater for backing off when we were on the bridge. As it was, I had to hum very loudly to cover the noise & tried not to think about how the metal grate below me was making my tires wobble.

The wave of relief that washed over me once we made it across was tremendous & I would've started crying except that I had to then drive into an underground parking garage. These also give me the creeps.

Yes, I know I am weird.

To distract you from my weirdness, here's a couple more pictures.

The view of Parliament from the Museum of Civilization.

Douglas Cardinal's Architecture Posted by Picasa

The exhibit? I went to see Petra: Lost City of Stone. It was quite good. Lots of carved stone, prints & artifacts. Most interesting was the Nabataean civilization's use of water from desert springs 5 km away that was ingeneously channeled through the canyon city. Really cool. If you are into that sort of thing. The displays were nicely organized & the well thought out graphically.

The Doodles was marvelously well behaved & once again got lots of attention since she was in the Bjorn. She had a great time trying to grab the letters off of the printed display boards in the exhibit & then sucked on some watermelon when we were done. We saw some ducks, some rabbits & a gorgeous yellow finch. All in all a great day.

P.S. Note to self. Avoid Children's Museum on a Tuesday afternoon in June. Those kids were wild I tell ya. Wild. And also, they did not look where they were going, ever.

P.P.S. I did not give my child a bath today. Nor did I do any crunches. I did eat some delicious pizza though. Just thought you should know.

Culture terror

I am about to do something that terrifies me.

In order to go see this exhibit, I must drive over this bridge. As I have explained before I have an irrational fear of driving on a bridge over water from which I might be flung to my (now our) deaths(s) at any moment say if I was rear-ended or something. Some bridges are fine, this one is not. It is high & makes weird noises. Sure I could take another bridge but that would take way too much time, burn more gas, etc. Plus, I should face my fears right?

So for those in Ottawa, if you hear that some moron is backing up traffic on the Alexandria bridge it's probably me.

If my fears come to fruition, just know that I loved you all.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Time warp meme

I am pretending I was tagged for a meme (though technically I think I qualify being from the Great White North) because I read over the memory I was going to post this morning & it needs some revision which I have no time for. Plus who am I kidding? I never get these things out in the morning unless I wrote them the night before & come evening lately I've been too exhausted to even think. Anyway, I thought this was kind of neat & I liked reading everyone else's time lines so here you go.... (I suck at games so if you want to do this then Tag you're it!)

20 years ago I was...
  • Trying to climb out of the hole I put myself in by skipping too many classes in Grade 11, being an angsty, depressed & surly teenager. I had been in a full International Baccalaureate program but had had a bit of trouble with the advanced math, primarily because I hated it & there were a couple of math genius boys in my class who would snicker & make fun of anyone who had trouble. Hence, withdrawal & daydreaming in class which led to not learning much which led to failing tests & eventually the class. In the end I only graduated with partial I.B. certificates. Oh well.
  • Dancing my heart out every day I could at RWB, trying my damndest to strengthen my weak ankles for pointe class. Eating only a couple of bran muffins during the day & maybe some taters from Taco Time in Eaton Place before ballet class with my friends. OK I was a bit of a mall rat, but it was the downtown mall with all the alternative weirdos so it was cool all right?
  • Involved with my first serious boyfriend. He was a mod. He had a couple of scooters that I never got to ride because they were always being repaired. He tried to get everyone to adopt a new nickname for him. Ace. It didn’t work. He tossed me in the snow once when I was at home sick in my pajamas. Turns out he was an ass.

10 Years ago...

  • Calvin & I were living in the Glebe, hanging out a lot at Irene’s & the Arrow & the Loon. Seeing a few bands, having fun.
  • I was working at a boutique-y women & children’s clothing / linens store called La Cache for this totally evil manager. Seriously, this woman a few screws loose. She thought everyone (especially me) was out to take her job away from her, she was a bitch to customers, treated the staff like idiots & was supposedly having an affair with some rich married gentleman who lived in Europe. She’d have strange conversations (with him?) on the phone & ignore people who came to the cash. This was the only job I ever quit. The owners were coming in so the night before I did I really good job tidying up. The next day she accused me of stabbing her in the back, etc., etc. I went to the stock room, changed my clothes & walked out the door. I never went back despite her calling me 20 million times after bedtime.

5 Years ago

  • I was graduating from Interior Design & stressing about my portfolio, organizing a grad show & worrying about getting a “real” job (still not done) after my work placement was done

3 Years ago...

  • I was about to celebrate our 1st anniversary of trying to call my boyfriend of 11 years my husband.
  • I was in London getting irritated & bored with our self-guided tour of Jack the Ripper hot spots. Getting excited about flying to Iceland in a few hours.

1 year ago...
  • I was feeling the bun move around in my belly
  • I was having the worst heartburn of my life that would not ever stop until a week after I pushed her out of my hoo-ha
  • I looked like this & obviously liked my dog a whole lot better

So far this year…

~ I’ve found immense pleasure in a tiny little thing that

  • lights up my day with a no longer totally gummy smile
  • sucks on her first two fingers of her left hand only
  • squeals with delight when I read her a book

~ I learned it was a lot harder to

  • breastfeed than I ever thought possible
  • leave my dear sweet baby alone with anyone not myself
  • let Daddy do it his way


  • we gave a newborn child a Moses action figure for her Christening
  • we took the long way home just to keep Doodles asleep
  • I wouldn’t let my hubby have a nap because I wanted to go for a walk

Today …

  • we went to the library & Starbucks (how cool am I?)
  • I read Mr. Brown Can Moo for the zillionth time & realized that neither of are sick of it yet
  • we came home to slimy dog shit in the baby’s room. I almost puked three times cleaning that stuff up.
  • I wrote this thing in chopped up bits of time that I snatched when Freyja finally napped


  • I will probably not do half the stuff I should
  • I will read Mr. Brown… & Owl Babies over & over again & like it
  • I will give my child a bath, promise
  • I will remind myself to do some crunches but then will promptly forget about doing them until the next day

This year…

  • We will eventually get the Doodles to eat some solid food so I can fill her up enough to sleep longer through the night & can therefore get her to sleep in her crib a bit longer
  • I will feel guilty for making my baby sleep in the room down the hall & will miss her little body snuggling in the crook of my arm
  • We will travel East & West to show off my chipmunk cheeked baby
  • We will hopefully be going on a big adventure that will bring on happiness & terror all at the same time.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

More of the same + Firefox blows goats

So I was once again interrupted whilst trying to blog last night. The silly baby turned over in her sleep again, woke herself up & hollered until I came to rescue her with some boob action. She did this about 8 times throughout the night & I had to get up & rock her around the house 3 times to get her to settle down again. Also gave her some Advil once because she kept rubbing her gums & grabbing her ears so I figured those sharp little teeth were bugging her again. It's been stupid just trying to blog this week. Blogger was down for a day & being totally dumb & then stupid Firefox kept crashing on me. Since it's been doing this for a while now I've been writing most of my posts in Word & then pasting them into Blogger so I don't lose everything I've written. If I don't do it this way I try to remember to hit the Save as Draft button every so often just in case. Of course I forgot to do this yesterday when I was typing away during the early evening slumber & lost everything. I am a dumbass. And Firefox can bite me. I don't care if it is a better web browser, it pisses me off.

Hi, I'm happy! I don't care about Firefox. Just give me a piano to bang on & everything's coming up Millhouse.


Happy happy joy joy! I am surrounded by things I can make noise to torture uncaffienated mummy with.

So ya, what else is new? I've covered the dog love, the Seacrest love, the love of twisting (my god the twisting!) & the crawling in her sleep. I've mentioned the teeth & her testing of what she can bite. She seems to know now that the boob is not for gnawing on for which I am ever thankful but everything else is fair game. We've made the foray into biscuits this week & she loves those but the slime trail they leave on her clothes leaves a lot to be desired. Even better, when she sticks her mushed up biscuit fingers in her hair. After an Arrowrot or Mum Mum episode she is covered in this gooey paste from head to toe so we've been getting a few more baths lately. Bathtime is a favorite except it means me also getting in the bath since she's too big for the infant one now & I kinda broke the convertible one that was on loan to us (sorry Barbie!). Calvin will bathe her leaning over the tub but my back just can't take that for any length of time so I just get in with her. She'll splash around like crazy & suck on her duck, cup or fish while I try to keep her from slipping out of my hands the entire time. It's like holding onto an eel with all the squirming.

Having a snack, getting some tail.

Bad snack!! Where has Eeyore been putting his tail?!

As for other eating endeavours we have been less successful as my sustenance is much preferred over anything that comes in a jar. I make attempts (in vain it seems) every day but as soon as I put her in the high chair the crying begins. I get maybe three, four if I'm lucky, spoonfuls in her mouth & then it clamps shut & she turns away, twisting once again in her chair to get as far away from the spoon as possible. It's just easier to give up & give her what she wants instead of fighting the little demon. I try & make it fun, I try different foods (except the meats - that's Calvin's job because that stuff makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I open a jar.), I am patient & persistent but it's just not going as well some of us would like. I was a bit stressed about it but the doctor assures me it is ok as long as I keep trying, others I talk to say it's fine & if it is still happening when she reaches 1 year then they'll start checking iron levels & such. She's growing so that's all that matters. I suppose we could just feed her biscuits for the rest of her life - there's gotta be some nutritional value to them. Right?

Let's see, what else.... did I tell you she squirms a lot? She's totally kicking my butt these days but apparently I'm not the only one so that makes me feel a little better. I get very little done during the day anymore due to the constant demands of my attention. This is communicated through screaming & shrieking at the top of her lungs. It's a barrel of fun let me tell you but I think I should get my hearing tested in the next few months because it's like living with Megadeath. With the new teeth she's been exploring her mouth with her tongue a bit more & experimenting with the noises she can make. Besides the shrieks she also produces this hillarious "mumumum ma ma ma ma" sound that makes my heart swell while I laugh at her, as well as a curious "ba-bo-bo" when she sees a book. This morning I swear she said "ruff" when I showed her the blue hexangonal dog toy so I know she's a total genius.

See, she already knows how to multitask.

"I am composing a letter to a Ms. Drover to see if she is indeed the long lost relative of a certain T. Drover who was unfortunately killed in an automobile accident along with the rest of his millionare family in Nigeria. She needs to send me her banking info so I can transfer an enormous sum of money into her account."
"Of course it's legit mum! Buzz off!"

Anyway, I'm sure there's more to tell all you good people, but for the life of me I can't remember anymore at this moment. She's beaten me to a snot & I hear her stirring once again so I better go rescue her before she rolls over one more time or the screeching starts up.

Chillin' Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 09, 2006

The old adage rings true + I hate Firefox

Time is flying.
Yesterday the Doodles turned 7 months old.

Around this time last year I was just beginning to feel you moving around in my belly. Thinking about that makes me feel so connected to you (I know it's cheesy but hey...) & when I spy your cute little bellybutton I wonder about our attachment to each other. It is staggering to think how deep within me you were & I know I will always feel that closeness even when you are far from me. There's been days in the last week when you are driving me crazy & I forget about it in my impatience (sorry my little kitten), but when we are just lying down together in that snoozy dream-like state it gives me a sense of peace.

And then anxiety.
Because the attachment breaks apart a little day by day as you grow bigger & more brilliant.

Sometimes I just sit & watch you & your little brain at work figuring out all the different ways you can smack one of your rattly toys against your leg or how to get those linked rings apart again after I've put them back together for the umpteenth time. The way your eyes light up & a huge grin crosses your face when I bring out Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? or when you talk & coo to the Owl Babies. Now you know what it means when I put you in the high chair (torture) or walk into your bedroom (baby jail) or when I get the car seat ready (acid bath) so I know you are remembering or associating places with some type of consequence. Sometimes you get all in a huff when I take you into your room, thinking I'm going to put you in the crib for a nap but surprise, you get a diaper change instead. Psych!

You are now completely in love with the dog & want him in your sights at all times. If you so much as hear the clicking of his nails on the hardwood floors down the hall, you whip around excitedly until he comes into the room & then you follow him with your eyes like a hawk. You will sing & screech at him if he so much as looks in your general direction & if he starts barking because his nemesis has walked by with his provoking owner or because the only person who still loves him comes home from work, you bounce up & down & cackle hysterically. He tolerates you pretty well & lets you poke his face & grab tufts of fur out of his back. Every once in a while he'll try to lick your face to show his appreciation but I try to prevent this as much as I can because a.) you break out in hives & b.) I know where his tongue has been.

The last few days you've been a bit of a pain in the ass (I tell you this with all the love in my heart) because nothing is making you happy. I'm not sure if it's those dang teeth or because you haven't passed anything besides the stinkiest farts known to mankind in the last 4 days. (Since it's taken me hours to get this out she's finally pooped much to both of our satisfaction.) In fact it all seemed to start on that evilest of evil days so I hope your behaviour isn't an Omen to anything more than some irascible behaviour. I certainly won't be hiring any nannies anytime soon so I think I'm safe, even though I'm a bit grumpy & worn out. I guess you are going through the stage where you realize I can walk away & leave you by yourself so you want me close to you all the time & are very demanding of all my attention. I used to be able to sit you on the floor playing with your toys while I read blogs did housework. Now you want me beside you all the time entertaining your every whim. That's fine but by the end of the day I've got nothing done & am completely exhausted. You will scream within 5 minutes of being placed in your car (exersaucer) & will try to scramble out of your bouncy seat by contortioning your body like some Cirque de Soleil performer. If I am holding you in my lap, you twist & turn & try to do back flips out of my ever strained arms & all hell breaks loose if I try to feed you while I'm sitting up.

I christen thee Twisty Mc Twists a Lot until further notice.

Your sleep habits have changed a bit as well & you are not going to bed as early as you were a couple of weeks ago. It's no big deal but it means I have to pvr all my shows so I can watch them the next day. Sometimes you'll stay up & watch them with me so that's cool. You seem to really like So You Think You Can Dance & I can't blame you as it is my new favorite, but I think you miss Ryan Seacrest who was your first great love before the dog. You would giggle at him every time he graced the screen with his gelled presence. You don't like Canada's Next Top Model as much as the American version & I have to agree that gorgeous as Tricia Helfer is, she just does not have that drag queen je ne sais quoi that Tyra Banks exudes. We also both wonder why does 90% of Canadian programming have to have that Canadian tv quality to it that makes it look like you are watching someone's home movies on network television. I've asked our friend in the biz this question but never got a straight answer so I call conspiracy.

Anyway back to the sleep patterns. The problem seems to lie in the fact that you are attempting to crawl in your sleep. It must be the best time to work out those complex problems but it's a bit frustrating for you when you are lying on your side almost zonked out & then you turn your head & finish the roll. This is when you either start crying because it woke you up from your light slumber or you turn to me & give me an impish grin because you get to stay up past your bedtime again. Once you are on your belly you then begin your Ashtanga series starting with the Cobra, then Cat/ Cow, followed by Downward Facing Dog, the Plank, Upward Facing Dog & finally end up with a modified Child's Pose & Happy Baby /Dead Bug. You are in better shape than I am that's for sure. No wonder I keep buying clothes for you instead of me. You look way better in them.

ok i will finish this tomorrow.... it's bedtime trouble again

Peek-a-boo! Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 05, 2006

Tramampoline! Trambopoline!

In grade eight I became champion in the trampoline war that was gym class. And I almost got my ass kicked for it.

I was always more of a geek than an athlete in school so I would get teased for being a bookworm or smarty-pants & almost always got picked last in gym class. Even though I knew it was coming it was always hurtful. There’s a certain sense of shame that goes along with this that you just aren’t good enough & when you believe it I think it just becomes this perpetual cycle of sucking. If you think you can’t hit that stupid t-ball you probably won’t. Don’t think you can play floor hockey because the boys hog the puck/ball then you most likely won’t take a chance to score a goal. Trust that the volleyball is going to hurt your wrists when some athletic classmate spikes the ball in your direction & it’s gonna smart like a bitch. So you end up standing back being utterly useless & fulfilling the presumption that you are not worthy of ever being picked first.

The gym teachers I had never tried to make a difference either. Just like in the movies there was the requisite butch lesbian who made us play golf & floor hockey, dodgeball & climb the dreaded ropes. There was the super hefty jock who made us run in circles & then play that evil volleyball game where the boys thought the goal was to hit the ball at any girl as hard as they could. Sometimes our geography teacher would come in make us do calisthenics until we all wanted to puke. Those were the worst days as he was a real masochist with a very quick temper. Once he threw a desk at this sweet kid named Aaron just because he passed a note in class. Anyway needless to say they weren’t the most supportive mentors to pathetic weakling students like me.

It also didn’t help that most of the kids in my new junior high had been together since kindergarten so they had their cliques & friends firmly established. It was like trying to break into a bank with a heavy security detail. The only way I found any sense of cool was being friends with the other new girl in school who had the most perfectly feathered hair, great clothes & pretty eyes that all the boys like. Plus she had a big sister who could kick all kinds of ass if she wanted to & she smoked so that made her ultra-cool. Turns out my new best friend was pretty good in gym class too so that gave me a little protection & with that a little more confidence. This I turned into a few decent performances such as running in those stupid circles. Seems I wasn’t the fastest runner but stamina I had plenty of & ended up running more laps than anyone else. I also lasted one of the longest in the first Jump Rope for Heart contest things in the school. So I was finally good at something other than reading & it felt pretty good. It didn’t make me any higher up the echelon in the picking order but it didn’t make me any enemies either.

That is until I found what I was really, really good at in gym class.

The trampoline was something everyone looked forward to all year long. We didn’t learn anything too fancy on it though some of the boys tried to do back flips when the teacher wasn’t directly looking at them. What we did on it was play a game. A game called Competition. Two people at opposite corners would jump three times then sit on their butt & then get up to jump again. It went on like this until someone couldn’t get up again. So it was 3 jumps – seat-drop - jump - seat-drop - jump - seat-drop, etc. like getting up from a chair & sitting back down repeatedly. Sounds silly & simple but there was an art to this game & it was in the timing. And the stare down. I perfected both & started demolishing my opponents. I’d give them the eye from my corner & then somehow with my super rhythm I’d get them off balance so they could not get up again no matter how hard they tried.

This was the best gym performance of my life & even the teachers were a little surprised that this nerdy scrawny little kid was kicking some major butt. So were the cool athletic girls who were my only real competition. I think there were about 5 of them & they were pissed that I was going to take the title away from their leader Mona. She was the only one that came close to beating me & our competition lasted for almost an entire gym class. I ended up winning but in doing so I was suddenly at the top of the cool girls list of people they wanted to beat up. I was terrified. Nowadays the stuff they did to me would qualify as bullying & might get them in shit but back then it was every kid for themselves. The only protection I had was in sticking close to my best friend & at the front of the class where I had several heads between them & myself to deflect the spitballs.

For some reason we traveled to another school for our home-ec / shops classes. They’d taunt me on the bus saying they would beat the crap out of me after school or at recess. In baking class I was put into a group with two of them & we were actually buddies until the trampoline incident. After that they made me absolutely miserable so I would try to help my friend’s group instead. The teacher would always make me go back to my own kitchen area with Maria & Angela where they wouldn’t let me do anything to help like add ingredients or even stir the bowl. All I got to do was wash the dishes & then to top it all off, they wouldn’t set a place for me at our table where we were supposed to partake of our delightful banana muffins, triticale honey bread or scrumptious yet healthy date squares. One time they all cornered me in the girl’s bathroom & I thought I was a goner but all they did was threaten me some more & pull my hair.

I think it finally escalated at recess one day when we were playing in the snow outside. Somehow they got me up against the fence & started yelling at me, calling me all kinds of names I’d never heard before & shoving my face into the snow. I was soaking wet & cold by the end of it but they never actually beat me up. All these threats they didn’t make good on. I finally knew they were as chicken as I was – they just had strength in numbers & even with that they still weren’t as tough as I thought they were. I told my best friend what happened when we went to band class & I think she told her sister. Who knows, maybe she threatened them or maybe they decided I wasn’t worth the effort. In any case they dropped most of the bullying after that, though I still had to deal with dirty looks. Then I got mono & when I came back to school I had my saving grace in the form of a sick note from the doctor that excused me from gym class for the rest of the year.

At least trampoline season was over & I went out on top like a champ.

Obviously I've missed a couple of my scheduled Monday Morning Memories but one of them was a holiday & the other, well I don't remember what happened. So this is me catching up, making amends so to speak. I know it's not morning once again so perhaps I should drop that from the moniker but I still like the way it sounds & there's nothing like a little guilty prodding to make me think I'll get in in before noon the next time.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Open Lobbies more like it

I get excited about this every year but it never seems to live up to my expectations. Next year I'll be more realistic & set my sights low.

What the hell am I talking about? Doors Open Ottawa. It's such a fantastic idea that buildings (businesses, places of worship, etc.) would open up their doors to visitors curious about the insides of places normally only seen from their exteriors. A wonderful way to "Promote[s] architectural literacy and strengthen[s] appreciation for the rich heritage that can be found and explored in our city's built landscape." Sure I guess but some of those doors need a bit of prying if you ask me.

We started the day determined to go to the original & newly re-opened Library of Parliament on the Hill. To do so we needed to get timed tickets to get into Centre Block even though we only wanted to see the Library. We go to the tent & find out it'll be an hour before we can go in so we decide to get the tix & go to the "new" Library on Sparks while we waited. Turns out someone forgot the tickets on the counter even though they managed to pick up bookmarks for everyone & none of us noticed until 1/2 an hour later so we figured it was too late to go back to try & reclaim them. Plus you don't really want to get caught trying to cut in line going into the building that seats your government. Could get you on a list or something eh? Anyway we were dissappointed not to see one of the sites we came downtown for though it was entirely our fault that we didn't.

The second place we stopped was the Library of Parliament which was formerly the Bank of Nova Scotia, a lovely Beaux-Arts building renovated to house the Parliamentary Library. The site says you are restricted to cordoned areas only. Ya , like about 12 square feet. It was good enough to see the atrium like interior but you couldn't get up close & personal with the cool girder system that was devised to hold the book shelves while not interfering with the original architecture. It's understandable that access is limited & that the books need protection from grimy bodily oils but still, it would've been nice to get a closer look. The librarian on duty must have gotten so bored by the end of the day repeating ad nauseum the answers to everyone's similar questions.

Library exterior

Let there be light in the library

Since the Doodles didn't like the enclosed space too much I went outside with her to get some fresh air & took a gander at the drizzly sky only to get a glimpse of a very cute face up yonder.

Hey ho. Ain't he cute? Kinda made up for the my slight dissapointment over the bank. We then ambled down Sparks Street in the drizzle with the baby in the Bjorn. That thing is a total magnet for smiling ladies & Grandpa's. (The younger men, not so much. Dang!) Too bad my back was done for at the end of the day.

Also on Sparks a weary steed in a tired pose.

We then made our way to the Connaught Building which is that castle looking building sandwiched between the old Daly building site & the American Embassy. This is what I was tempted with on the website & sadly this is what turned out to be the coolest thing about the place. Sure it's a nice coat of arms but sort of boring when you think you are going to walk into a cavernous castle-like interior. The bathroom was free to use so that was a good thing but it was a pretty lame lobby all the same.

Coat of arms

After this sad escapade we huddled under our umbrellas before deciding to try out the embassies on the list. A quick trip through the Chateau Laurier & into the car to make our way into Sandy Hill. I seem to remember more than two embassies on the list of buildings in previous years but all that was available were the Embassy of Algeria & the Embassy of Croatia. The plan was to try & get both of them in but we were running out of time. The Algerian Embassy was pretty stunning & made up for the previous lobbies only buildings. Too bad you weren't allowed to take interior photographs because the plaster work in the first room was fantastic. There weren't any guided tours like the website offered but that was made up for in hospitality by way of free wine & art.

Laneway between Wilbrod & Laurier.

No justice in the laneway.

Plus this bee person with funky shades.

Much happier we then made our way to Laurier House which had free admission for the weekend. I've seen this building plenty of times driving around Sandy Hill but stupidly never realized it was a National Historic Site that was open to the public & was previously home to Sir Wilfrid Laurier & Mackenzie King. And here I thought I was a pretty good tourist in my adopted city. Guess not. Anyway it was really quite interesting & there were lots of guides around to answer questions & give little info sessions in various rooms. Favorites were the player piano & the political cartoons but by the end of it the Bun was losing her cool so we hightailed it back to the car & whisked her home.

Lord Strathcona's Fountain Posted by Picasa

So I know I sounded a bit sour at the beginning & really when you read this I don't have much to complain about seeing as though we only got to 4 buildings & 2 of them were pretty great. It's just that we weren't the only ones complaining. Plenty of people we met along the way were grumbling about the lack of openness at a variety of sites. It's too bad because the potential of this event is huge & it would be so interesting to see more of the offered sites. The best ones we've experienced have been the ones with informed tour guides who seem pleased to tell you about the building's history & architecture. Even if the building itself is lackluster a good teller of tales can make a huge difference. I know I should be proactive if I want more out of this but it's kind of hard to volunteer when you've got a monkey child dependent on your boobs. I doubt it would go over very well if I was offering tours while suckling a ravenous baby who pulls off at any minor distraction delivering my rack up for inspection along with the woodwork details.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Fabulous Freyja Friday #2

Weekly baby roundup:
  • Cut two teeth & 1 nipple with crazy razor fangs (not bad - it just smarts a little).
  • In-laws visit done leaving the Doodles with some fancy new finery to dress her up in, an unfinished laundry room, and a tired baby recovering from all the quality grandparental time.
  • Brother-in-law visit also over with Calvin sporting several new huge bruises & scrapes all over his (shaved!) legs from some crazy freeriding. Also brought wonderful finery for the baby (super cute pictures to come).
  • Froze outside trying to drink a beer on our patio.
  • Checked out the Great Glebe Garage (Garbage) Sale & spent $13 on cute handmade (not the greatest quality but good price) dresses for the baby. Sweat a lot walking around looking at the odd piece of interesting junk that could be found amid the mounds of trashed toys, cheap 1980's IKEA furniture, used ski boots & shitty paperbacks.
  • Hung out on the secret patio of Irene's Pub afterwards definitely not freezing but probably getting high for free.
  • Took baby to her first wedding shower where she was held & tickled & loved by about 20 women.
  • Went out for delicious Greek food at Papagus but had to cajole monkey child the entire time by walking around the restaurant 300 times.
  • Went out for dim sum the next day & ate until bursting. Thankfully monkey child slept in her stroller until almost the end. Then had to keep tiny hands away from the tablecloth made out of a million layers of plastic sheeting - you know, the kind of plastic used to makethose stupid ugly flowers that you put up at prom or festoon your car with .
  • tried out her boyfriend Timothy's swing & received a rockin' pink tricycle that was then rode by someone who weighs more than 25 pounds & cracked the seat but it was so worth it just to see the Homie the clown trick.
  • Spent $12 going to the Experimental Farm so the baby could check out some smelly cow pies. It was fun & she seemed to enjoy looking at the animals until a loud sheep scared the crap out of her. We could tell she loved the horse the best because as with anyone she adores, she tried to stick her fingers up his nose.
  • Baby became beast with teeth that won't stop squirming. Mother exhausted from trying to not let baby squirm out of arms, picking up toys after being thrown on floor 47 times in a row & from having pablum bubbles blown in face.
  • Went to the newish War Museum with Roopa & Uma for some air conditioned semi-educational meandering. Probably would've been more learning if we hadn't chatted the entire time about the sleeping & eating habits of our little ones but hey who needs edumacation? Oh & fyi, there were no baby changing stations to be found anywhere. Grrr.
  • Went for lovely mosquito driven walk in Mer Bleue Bog. Took lots of pictures but most came out blurry due to necessity of swatting bugs combined with the impossibilty of stopping one's movement lest they be covered in encephalitic / West Nile harbouring bug bites. Oh ya, & the thunderstorm threatening to open the skies upon us at any moment & further fuel my paranoid fears of being struck by lightning since we were the tallest things out in the open surrounded by marshy water.
  • Tried to find a decent umbrella stroller for upcoming trip to Nova Scotia but got confused by the differences in the cheapies versues the quality ones & couldn't figure out what I should buy. Do I even need one or can we just Bjorn / sling her around the airport?
  • Helped daddy make some beer by playing with the stainless steel hops bowls & chewing on plastic bottles so as to make us look like completely assinine parents. Nothing new there right? Posted by Picasa