Daddy Dean Makes His Canadian Debut--Press Release On His New Gig Hits Music Mag Stands Next Week!

Why we moved to Canada--for those who missed the posts back in the fall or for just missed the recent international moving boat all together--in a nutshell, we found out we were preggo with numero dos and the 10 years of 60 hour work weeks for Papa Bear suddenly grew from unmanageable to plain and simply unthinkable. Woos from Dean's alma mater in London, Ontario, OIART (The Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology), drew us out of life in the Los Angeles fast lane and into a suburban 9-5 snowy Canadian adventure.

OIART has officially announced his arrival and I am so proud to follow suit. The press release will hit music mag stands next week. The article was kind of fun for me to read . . . following the last ten years of our lives as tracked via Dean's career through another person's lens.

The Press Release can be found here: http://www.oiart.org/industry/spotlight/dean-nelson/.

Congrats, Papa. We are so proud!


Beautiful Things: Wordless Wednesday Edition.

music man in the making.


All In A Good Weekend's Play: The Snowsnake & Winter Fest Edition.

This weekend is a three-day weekend here in Canada due to the celebration of "Family Day" on Monday. With Dean's new schedule, everyday feels family day for us lately--but heck, we'll take it anyway without complaint. Saturday was spent doing much needed house chores and market shopping for the week and tomorrow we have both brunch and lunch plans. So, today was our day to frolic and play--and that we surely did--in true Canada-style.

The Museum of Ontario Archeology was having its Annual Snowsnake and Winter Fest on the site of an Iroquoian settlement dating back to the 16th century A.D. Fun to be had by all included snowsnake competitions (throwing a carved stick down a small snow luge and seeing whose goes the furthest), dog sled riding (see the below poorly recorded video of our little stone-faced rider), snow shoeing and authentically prepared Iroquois bread snacking.

Now on to more fun and games tomorrow. In the meantime, happy "Family Day" to all!


Jour D'amour Heureux.

My littlest Valentine is snug in the oven, my toddling Valentine is blanketed in for a love-day nap, and my tummy is full of freshly made Valentine shortbread made at our Valentine playdate this morning. My bearded Valentine will be home this evening with take-out fingerling potato pizza and caesar salads with freshly baked croutons and we won't have any Valentine cooking or Valentine dishes to do.

This day of love is lovely indeed.

I hope that your Valentine's Day is shaping up to be that way too.

Happy Valentine's Day.


P.S. Thanks to my Los Angeles Valentine, Asami, for the cutest little red crocheted heart that has been warming my heart all day long.


Finding Home Beneath The Snow.

Noah, at home, in his new home.

Our new life here in Canada is just that, new--in so many ways more than just the weather. Sure the adjustment from 70 and sunny nearly every single day to downright bone chilling and snowy has not come without its challenges. But if our move to our new northern homestead was just limited to changes in the weather, I suppose it would have been less life altering. But, of course, nothing can be that simple or clear cut for the Surette-Nelson clan.

Dean, Beck & Cassidy.

This move has meant many changes on many fronts. Not only has Dean swapped soireeing with Malibu-side music greats as work (if you want to call it that--see above picture with your doubts) for the nobler and more humble profession of molding the minds of young engineers/mixers/producers-to-be in Canada, but he also has an entirely re-envisioned set of work hours. And by new, I don't mean subtly altered--I mean exchanging a 12-14 hour, 6-day a week workload to a 9:30ish until 5:00ish, 5-day a week light load. This means lots more of Daddy for Noey Finn and I.

With all this fresh and foreign "help time" that I am finding myself with, I have been cooking up a virtual storm. Now, cooking creative and massively complicated decadent meals are no longer saved until the sparse weekend hours. I have been meal planning (see my meal planning post on my other blog, Feeding Little Foodies, to find out what the heck I am talking about) my way into the most tantalizing series of nightly dishes--Lamb Tagine, Yellow Split Pea Soup With Yam & Cumin, Lamb Chops Over Garbanzo and Tomato Salad, Roasted Salmon with Roasted Fennel and Heirloom Tomatoes, etc. etc. In addition, I have a regular weekly pre-natal yoga escapes and even have time to push back my cuticles from time to time.

And, Dean. Ol' dear hubby has been soaking up the extra Noey hours with bread--playing and singing and dancing with the wee lad until dinner, after dinner, into the bathtub and off into bed. And, in between all of that, he's managing to finally catch up with all of the guitar and piano practice that just wasn't able to find its way into our previous time-strapped chaos.

We have several vacations planned, free midwife and home birth care, a two-story home--not an apartment or guesthouse--a huge yard, a room for Noey Finn and baby numero dos, plans to get a pup . . . and time--time to read, time to talk, time to play, time to watch movies, time to paint, time to be inspired, time to learn, time to tinker, time to think, time to just be, together, as a family.

A lazy day last summer on Leo Carrillo Beach, Malibu.

"Giddy'up Mama" I think he must be saying.
"Let's get thee to Canada and leave this all this beachy business behind."

So, in summary, can I say that we--I--miss California--Malibu--dearly . . . oh, ever so dearly? Yes, yes we can with utmost certainty. But can we also admit that all of the anticipated reasons for moving are coming to fruition slowly but surely as we dig our brains from beneath the permafrost? Yes, yes we can. Perhaps not yet with utmost certainty, but with certainty nevertheless.

Paul Bunyan and his snow shovel.

All In A Good Weekend's Play: The First London Edition.

Visiting Sunnivue Bio-Dynamic Farm just outside of London this past weekend
(6.5 months pregnant)

Noah Finn with costume hatbox finds and new friends.


His Royal Highness.

Who would have ever thought that "throning" the the king of challenges would ever have been so easy? I didn't. Noah Finn has been a beautiful blessing in so many ways--but there are bear essential aspects of rearing him that have not always been. Sleeping--oh my god, sleep--for example--as any of my earlier followers know--has never come easy for my fellow of the nursing night. He never slept through a single moondance until 21 months old, for example. So then, it was only natural for me to prepare for the worst when it came to potty training and weaning from the breast.

Though he's currently in the throws of the "temperamental two's", having just turned two in late December--tears, tantrums, testing and all--he potty trained himself at 18 months and very voluntarily and gently weaned at 21 months.

We're not all in the diaper clear for nap and bedtimes--perhaps if we hadn't moved or had the incredibly topsy turvy prior five months to contend beforehand with we could have supported that effort a little more. But nevertheless, we're 100% diaper-free during the day.

It's amazing, simply amazing what those little racing minds and bodies can master all on their very own. Sometimes even better so without our meddling or hampering their attempts.

Now, as far as how learning to read the toy catalog while working out yesterday's dinner came about . . . I am sure Daddy had nothing to do with that.


Grumps, Grunts and Grief: The Musings Of A Snow-Sullen Mama.

My good friend, Jessica, with Noah on her first visit to see us in our new Canadian home.

The very first thing out of most people's mouths, both Canadian and American, when they learn that we have just moved from Los Angeles to London is, "So, how do you like all of the snow?".

The fact of the matter is that the snow--and the bitter, freezing, perpetual cold--is not so bad. As long as my iGoogle page doesn't inform me of the devastating fact that the high in London last week was 4F and a perfectly sunny 74F in Los Angeles again, then I am just fine. No, the problem isn't the snow or cold at all--it's all of things that come with it--literally--it's the layers, the preparation for going outdoors, it's a toddler who isn't crazy about the snow (much less walking on his own in it), it's a pregnant mama with a big bulky belly whose winter shoes for the last several years have consisted of nothing more than an old pair of broken-in Tom's.

It's plain and simply all of the inconveniences that come with the snow and cold that we have yet to appreciate. It's remembering, finding and putting on the following e v e r y t i m e you want to go a n y w h e r e: thermals, two pair of socks, sweater, pants, snow pants, jacket, gloves, mittens, hat, scarf and snow boots. Multiply this by two, or three if Daddy is along for the ride, and you have a real fiasco at trying to get out of the door. Combine this with a toddler who never wants to walk anywhere in the snow, bags filled with emergency clothing supplies, an ice covered driveway, a huge pregnant belly, a car that needs substantial thawing and scraping, and a balking toddler that somehow needs to be strapped into a car seat whose straps barely accommodate artic layering. Did I mention that this was protocol procedure for each and every driveway departure? Makes you simply want to hibernate, eh?

Take a close look--see the expression on Noah's face in the picture above? That grimace--that smug and disparagingly scathing scowl--as he wonders why the hell he's standing on a sheet of ice while clothed in enough layers to outfit an entire African Village? Yeah, Noah's not such a fan of the snow and cold and I don't blame him. How can I? He's a SoCal boy whose last vivid memories of our past home was of a warm beachy Malibu paradise where he never had to clothe a single sand-caked cheek or little toe.

It will take some getting used to, I suppose. And maybe by the time this part of our "new home acclimation" is taking place it will be time for the big thaw. But then again, though next winter I won't have a big belly to manage around, I will have yet another set of multi-pieced snow gear. So, brace yourself. You may be seeing a very similar post come this time next year--with less jest and even more exasperated whine.

Happy February 1st!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin