Love, Squared.

So much effort is spent on wondering how to juggle more than one. But I find, more times than not, it's double the laughs and twice the love. Add a little bit of sunshine and it's immeasurable beauty.

Happy sunshiny Tuesday, mes amies!


Big City Blues: Toronto, We Love You.

We ventured to the big city this week--just the kids and I--to meet friends visiting from Los Angeles. I'll admit that it was a risky move. It could have gone horribly awry. But it didn't. It was delightfully enjoyable. And after the kids were tucked snug in their beds on the night we returned home back to London, I was researching Toronto rental properties on kijiji. That's right, I've got it bad--the big city blues.

It's no secret to frequent readers, friends and family, that I love the big city. It pained me to leave Los Angeles after more than a decade's habitation and my adjustment to London has taken more than half-hearted efforts. I finally like living here because of the friends and connections that we have made, but I do not like the city and I don't think that I ever will. So, I shall pledge to make the two hour and change trek to Toronto often so that I can get my urban fix--good food, inspired views, creative pulse, surprisingly incredibly kid-friendly locals and a much-anticipated stop at IKEA on the way home.

In the meantime, I'll hold on tightly to the memories made on this most recent voyage urban-ward until, alas, we trek again.
streetcar bum

Snack break at the Royal Ontario Museum.
A very sleepy Fern posing with prehistoric fish bones.


Of Dinosaurs + Armadillos.

The beginning of a new year brings with it a whole host of promises and possibility all punctuated by the constant fear that another year's end will come without any of them having come to fruition. And then, alas, they become the next's.

2011 brought us change on a grand scale. Though we snuck the move from California to Canada in just under the last nose hair of 2010 (having moved on December 12th), the year was still a transitional paramount. Aside from adjusting to the coldest, longest and snowiest winter that either of us had experienced in a long time--or ever seen, in the case of Noah--Dean and I, adjusted to a whole new host of factors that greatly altered the landscape of our home.

The past 12 months has brought a lot more Dean home than the last eleven years combined--and we lived together all 10+ of them. Hollywood engulfed him whole and left little time to nurture a budding family. Thus, the move to small town Canada where he's home, a lot, and well, that takes some adjusting to. I am used to a lot of independence, and he, the freedom to be totally immersed in his second love, making music. Now we resemble the model of a nuclear suburban family and it's bittersweet--the bitter and sweet taking turns for the more dominant seat. It's predictable, 9-5, and includes dinner being ready on the set table everyday by 6:00, the kids in bed by 8:00 and heavy drowsy eyelids that have us in a slumber around the time that we used to just be getting started. The town is simple, the people are sweet and our lives have taken on a rhythm that can't be denied as familial healthfulness--and that's exactly why we moved. But, I cannot honestly say that I do not miss the brisk, noisy, emphatic pace of the big city--with its museums and cafes and shops and bums and smelly dark alleys and allowances of anonymity, great global cuisine and urban edge.     

And then, Fern arrived in May with all her splendor, her peachy sweetness, her dove-y coos, her ability to sleep and smile and happily be a baby content with the world and her place in it. It's baby-ness so different from Noah's early months and it begs to make me wonder if it's not because of where she was born into--warm water, at home, and into the embrace of this new life. If so, then we made a wise choice.

As 2012 kicks off in full gear, I look only forward in anticipation to what this first settled year will bring--as a new family. I still often wonder whether we'll ever make it back to Los Angeles and if so, whether I will look back on our time here in London with as much forlorned heartache as I do the golden west coast now. In the weeks and months following our move here, there were certain songs that I could close my eyes while listening to and smell the ocean, feel its breeze and warmth of the Pacific sun. Their effect has faded as we coast into month 13 and I wonder if that's not such a bad thing.

Here's to looking ahead. Welcome, 2012.  
marble ramp
of dinosaurs and armadillos
break, fast
wooly hats and wiggly feet
Early morning monkey-wearing
avocado smiles


Ho, Ho, Hum, Another Year Is Done: Pizza Parties, Poutine + Loads Of Poop.

Oh the weather outside is frightful and the kids are undelightful, off to the drugstore we go, shovel the snow, shovel the snow, shovel the snow...

Though it's 4 degrees Fahrenheit outside with a -15 degrees windchill, our home is no more desirable a place to be. Fernie is in a fitful, sleepless, teething hell and Noah's as ferocious, unpredictable and temperamental as a wildebeest with a hangnail as he fights off whatever's ailing him.

I am dying to get outdoors--out into the nearly 2 feet of fresh snow recently dumped upon our Canadian homestead. There are snow angels and snowmen waiting to come alive and plowed powder drifts the height of Godzilla to jump our way into. But, alas, the sickies are keeping us cooped up inside with the stale, brittling tree and dusty holiday decor. All that's left to do is reflect upon the month that passed with such flurriful haste and bundle up enough courage to begin the great post-jolly-season-tidy.

Noah's 3rd birthday and preparing a Christmas morning for two, for the first time, kept me bustling a good part of December. Noah had a wee fĂȘte mid-month clad with a monkey mask craft, top-your-own homemade mini pizzas, pin the banana on the monkey and story time with "Curious George and the Pizza". It was a simply lovely time. Christmas morning, too, went by with lovely memories to keep and cherish but in our minds, only, as we didn't get the first picture of the grand gift opening affair--video only. What were we thinking? I wanted much of the present exchange with the kids to be homemade and though I didn't finish all of the projects that were on Santa's list, I'm happy with the outcome--consumer-free as it could be.

My Dad and sis hoofed the 16+ hour drive up from the Carolinas on the 26th and managed to forage their way up and out of the house only once (aside from a few grocery store ganders) to partake in Noah's first ice skating effort and an uniquely Canadian poutine feast (fries topped with cheese curd, gravy and any other vein clogging topping you can shake a defibrillator paddle at). Only shortly after our dining experience, they both took on differing but equally miserable ailments that rendered them couch bound for the rest of their short visit. New Year's Eve was equally non-eventful. We all managed up a game of scrabble with wine and made it to approximately 11:31 p.m. when Noah awoke crying from his first fever to date. After several trips upstairs to quell his moans and whimpers, I threw in the towel and spent the midnight hour scrunched in the dark in a sweaty toddler bed with not even a clock near to mark the arrival of 2012.

So, there you have it. 2011's laid to rest. 2012's here. What this year will bring remains a mystery and god willing, it's all pleasantries only.

Happy New Year to All!

Noah and his homemade birthday candle

Birthday Sis & Daddy
Storytime--"You naughty little monkey"
Christmas morning--Fernie shows interest in Keith Richard's new biography
Liking the wooden chew worm that Santa brought
Christmas snuggles
First time on the ice: "A" for effort
Victoria Park

Nursing a sick Pop Pop and Auntie Meg
Dueling guitars


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