Home, Sweet... Ugh.

So we came home. This is depressing because when I was in LA, I was convinced that it was SUMMER now! Even though I was still expecting sweater weather for Disneyland, I adapted pretty quickly to short sleeves and warm weather outfits. Divine. When we stayed with my aunt, we even walked to the grocery store (where we found and purchased full-fat honey greek yogurt, at 10 gr of fat per 4 oz, which was supposed to be for Gulliver but I easily ate over half of it). And here, now that we're home? It's snowing. A sad reminder that we still have at least three months before we catch up to the California weather.

Every time I visit southern California, I feel like I learn something new about my mom. Last time I was there, I think what I paid attention to the most was all the vegetation. All the different plants. Because I look at it all, and then I imagine my mom moving from Los Angeles up to Porcupine Ontario. Big, big change. And I'm not saying anything negative about where I grew up. What I am saying is that since I was born there and only ever knew my mom in that context, it's strange for me to visit the place where she actually grew up, and realize that her life was way way different than I could ever imagine it.

This time, I of course was struck by the weather. The fact that winter can entirely bypass a place that is in the continental United States still baffles me. When I've heard about people going to Florida in the winter, I guess I really have always imagined people going to a place where there is a milder winter. Now that I've visited LA in February... well, I realize that my mom made a big, BIG move, going to a place with -40 winters. I also understand a little better why my dad told her to get her head out of California when she walked to the end of the driveway in bare feet in the middle of the winter.

When I was talking to my mom about this big revelation, she said that when she first moved up to Canada, she asked my dad what kids did if they received a bike for Christmas. My dad told her that they would ride it around in the basement. He asked what kids in California would do. She said they'd ride it around outside in their pajamas.

Anyway. I'm ready to go back. Immediately. To California. I would quite happily leave THIS INSTANT if you told me that I could go and spend another week there. Or, you know. The rest of the winter there.


You know you're on the right path when you're eating in the same burrito bar as divinity.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Obligatory Disneyland nap picture

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Tower of Terror Hair

As promised, a picture of my hair today after two washings this morning and adding no new product.

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Astro Blasters!!

Gulliver beat me!

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Oh Shoot.

We are headed out of town to teach classes. A few days ago Murray suggested I cut my hair short. This earned him bonus points. It may have been on valentine's day.

I'm never afraid of short hair and I'm never afraid of trying something new. I'll try any hair stylist other than fantastic sam's (where I send Murray). So in an effort to get my hair cut before leaving town, I decided to just pop into the mall while Murray and Gullie ran errands at Costco.

Murray expressed concern that it might not be a good idea to get a mall cut RIGHT before going out of town for business, where lots of people would be seeing and interacting with me. I dismissed this, telling him it has been a long time since I had a bad hair cut.

You might think you know where this is going. But you don't.

The hair cut was okay although the style left a little something to be desired. That doesn't worry me. A quick shower and styling it on my own fixes that.

But last night we made a bit of a mistake. I had lots of work to finish up, so I got right to it with American Idol on in the background. And then we saw Ellen. And we both loved what her hair was doing... Almost faux hawk, but not. So we wondered if my hair could do the same thing.

"We'll have to use my dippity doo!" declared Murray. You may remember that a while ago I found a retro looking black man's hair product called Murray's something or other. And it cost $2. (Compare to Bed Head's $17 wax stick.) And Murray has sworn by it ever since.

So back to last night. I put some of the product in my hair and we tried to do the Ellen style, only to find that my bangs were too long. So then we wondered if we could get it to stick straight up. Like a mowhawk. Which we decided needed a lot of product. So we loaded my hair up with LOTS of product.

You may have an idea of where this is going now.

Yes, last night's hair fun was very entertaining. But this morning after 3 hair washings, I've discovered that this stuff doesn't actually come out.

So much for the hair stylist ruining my hair for my business trip. I was able to do that all by myself.

(pic taken in the car, as presentable as I can get...)

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

Gulliver Loves...

I'm in the middle of trying to do a million things, but Murray and I were just talking about animals we'd like to introduce Gulliver to. We're headed over to my aunt's house later this week, and in the past she's owned boa constrictors and ferrets (I don't think at the same time, though... although that could make for some serious ecosystem drama), so I was wondering if she had anything exotic right now that Gulliver would see for the first time. Then Murray said that he's particularly interested in showing Gulliver a real horse, which we're totally going to do in a couple of weeks, since Patience and Viktor own a horse. Which brings me to...

Gulliver Loves.

Gulliver Loves horses. Well, at least he loves the heavy metal (lead?) horse that is in his room. It's been in the family forever. I think that my dad and Mary Moo had it as kids, and then somehow El Senor inherited it, but it ended up in a box of my storage instead of his, and I happened to unpack it as we were getting Gulliver's nursery ready, and so I laid claim to it. When El Senor has children of his own, he can reclaim it. (Incentive?) Anyway, Gulliver loves it (despite the fact that it can be a brutal weapon if banged against other people's heads). And it's adorable because when he sees it, or when he wants it, he clacks his tongue. Clck clck clck clck clck! Sooo adorable. Murray just told me that Gulliver was playing with a stone rhino decoration we have the other day, and Gulliver was going clck clck clck clck clck clck. Murray tried to go, Mrrrrrr mrrrrrrrrrrr grrrrrrrrrrr. But Gulliver corrected him by going clck clck clck clck clck. Anyway, Gulliver loves horses.

Gulliver loves climbing on the yellow couch. The yellow couch that we never got properly scotch guarded or anything, and that shows any little spot that has ever been slightly moist... which means that it's now spotted with Gulliver's drool. But it's okay. I have vowed never to own furniture that I love more than my kids. And seeing him climb on it and play is just downright adorable.

Gulliver loves climbing on ALL the furniture. This is new. And I'm NOT as excited about it, in that it gives him access to previously inaccessible computers.

Gulliver walks. I can't say that he LOVES it yet, but he's working at it. He now sometimes uses walking as a legitimate form of transportation. In other news, we now have to actually put shoes on our baby when we go outside, because that is what parents of walking children should do. (Unlike the parents of the 5-year-old I saw at Cafe Rio the other day who was wearing pajamas, and no socks or shoes. In the middle of the winter. Insert judgment HERE.)

Gulliver loves to throw his food on the ground when he's done with it. One moment he's enjoying it. The next moment, he violently throws it on the ground. Awesome.

Gulliver loves stacking toys. He loves things that fit inside other things. He also loves leaving surprises in my shoes. Which warms my heart.

Gulliver says "Do what?" This is officially his first sentence. He knows it's a big winner for entertainment. It happened one day in the car when he said, "Whattt?" (It's a VERY pronounced T.) Then we repeated, "Whattt?" And then he said, "Dooooo Whattt??" And it has stuck. It's still my favorite thing to get him to say. We'll upload a video soon of him in action.

Gulliver says Thank You. Really, it's Doo doo. But it's pretty clear that it's Thank You. And he pretends to give you something when he says it. My mom taught him this in about 2 minutes and it has stuck. We have a very polite boy.

Gulliver says cracker. It sounds like Caahcaaah.

Gulliver says mummma and dadda, but I'm still not sure he always says this in reference to us. Dadda still seems to be his word for "That."

Gulliver loves technology. So does Murray. This creates problems. Like the time last week that we had all four of our computers up and running in the living room at the same time. That's four keyboards for Gulliver to choose from.

So I think that's a good recap of things right now... I'll have to add more as I think of it!

No Shleepin'

This, despite all my best efforts to keep him awake in the car by shaking his feet, yelling "No shleepin'!" and "Gullie-ullie-ullie-ullie-ullie!!"

He usually doesn't transition well from the car nap to the crib nap. But maybe he's growing up because today he transitioned no problem!

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.

He didn't go to Jared.

For Valentine's Day this year, Murray did not go to Jared. If I buy into what the commercial industry tells me, I should be pretty upset about this.

But how can I be upset when THIS is what Murray got me??

Lately, Murray and I have discovered the joy of the Dover publications of copyright-free art. Basically, they've amassed amazing collections of works in the public domain. So far, most of the stuff we've gotten is clip-art style black and white images. These are great for me because I can make them into vector art and use them in my projects. Love, love, love them. But this Sea Life book that Murray got me far surpasses the quality of any of the other books. This book contains almost 300 beautiful color illustrations of sea life. I'm going to have so much fun finding uses for these things. As it is, there are some that are beautiful enough for me to just print out and put up on my wall as-is! (I have a special weakness for sea life. And birds. And insects. And animals.)

AND Murray also made me my own painted, frameable Valentine (basically anytime he makes me something that can be framed, I am a happy girl).

He's started a new series just for me. It's a cool little painting of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and it says "You are the Frida to my Diego." He qualified that with the fact that they're both artists, and so that's one way that we're like them. We are NOT like them in that he does not beat me or have affairs with other women. Phew!

Take THAT, Jared.


Here is a somewhat faithful transcript of what Murray and I have talked about:

Murray: So, we have a problem. I looked up [the name of our business blog].com to see if we could buy the domain, and it's taken by a German or Swedish porn site.

Me: What?

Murray: Yes. If you just enter the name of our business blog, + .com, it's a porn site. So I think we just need to change the name of our business blog to just our business name.

Me: Oh. Yeah. Okay.

Murray: Just about anything is taken these days. I mean, like, anything you can think of is already taken. Like try.... poodles.... and.... pals.

[I type "poodlesandpals.com" into the url and up comes a legitimate website.]

Murray: See! See! I told you! Everything is already taken! Man, I was RIGHT!

Me: There are some things that aren't taken. Hmmmm.

Murray: Try "meet and greet."

Me: Well that one is OBVIOUSLY taken. I'll try meatandgreet.com. [Types in meatandgreet.com.] Taken!

Murray: bouncing baby boy

Me: Wow! That one IS actually available! (Who knew??) Let's try another one! Rainbows and ponies! ... Taken! Somethingelse.com. Taken! Someoneelse.com. Taken! Somebodyelse.com. Taken! Somewhereelse.com. Taken! Smoreselse.com. Hey. That's free!

Murray: Try Smoresnthings.

Me: Smoresnthings.com is free!

Murray: Okay. We should totally buy the site and make a site about smores.

Me: But all the facts that we put on about smores are completely false.

Murray: Like smores were invented during the French Revolution by a guy names Francois Smoresenfant.

Me: Or contrary to popular belief, smores don't actually mean "some more." Or, smores originated when a ship carrying chocolate crashed into a marshmallow factory and its neighbor, a graham cracker factory, and set off a fire.

Murray: And the resulting deliciousness was eaten by the firefighters.

So yeah. Just so that you know, not ALL the possible URLs in the world are already taken. And if someone is interested in smoresnthings.com, have at it!

The Office

Did I ever mention that Murray and I just got a new office? Right now, it's nothing to speak of. Just a place where I can work uninterrupted. In fact, I bring my iMac back and forth with me. Anyway. The heating doesn't work, and I'm still waiting for the space heater to kick in. For some reason it takes, like 20 minutes to boot up. Don't ask me why, only that it's from the '50s.

I'm a bad person.

So I haven't done a "Gulliver Loves" post in a little while. It's time for a new one. But before we talk about that, let's talk about what Gulliver does not love. Gulliver does not love getting his diaper changed. I don't understand this. What is so bad about getting your diaper changed? Gone are the days when he used to laugh when we wiped his butt. Now he twists and turns and wriggles so aggressively that you're lucky if you don't come out of the change room covered head to toe in baby poo.

Anyway. I'm a bad person because I can hear Murray wrestling with him upstairs, and it sounds like this.




Gosh DANG it, Gulliver!





And instead of going upstairs to help (it really is a two person job), I'm sitting down here laughing and blogging about it.

A Little Photo Gem

So over a year ago, Murray and I found this in a prize net at a local restaurant.

(Don't ask what restaurants we go to that have prizes.)

(Okay, it's IHOP.)

(I was reminded of this photo, and of the fact that I never blogged it, when I looked at Mighty Girl's blog today and laughed at her awesome find.)

(Also? You should look at Mighty Girl's posts yesterday. I beg you with every anonymous fiber of my being!)

Because I'm awesome like that.

Today was Gulliver's year appointment, where we learned the following:

height: 31.5" (95%)
weight: 22 lbs 11 oz (55%)
head: 47 cm (75%)

So he's doing pretty well. Still tall but not so much fat. We got to ask about his eating habits, most specifically the 2-3 yogurts he consumes daily. Which, turns out, is okay. Then I asked about the fact that we're giving him our yogurt, which means it's non-fat and full of artificial sweeteners. (Which is better for him anyway? Do we switch him to sugar?) She suggested that we at least get him on non-non-fat yogurt. Meaning fat yogurt.

Such a thing exists in Europe, but where exactly in America do you find full-fat yogurt?

So at the grocery store, I found 1 (count it: one) brand of yogurt that was neither low-fat nor non-fat. And of course it's plain. But that seems like a good thing to me because I worry about all the other stuff that is in the yogurt he's eating, like high fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, corn starch, "natural flavor," tricalcium phosphate, potassium sorbate added to maintain freshness, sucralose, beetle juice, Yellow #5, Red #40, etc. (Why are there three forms of corn in my son's yogurt??)

So I bought the plain. And then I bought some frozen fruit.

And just a few minutes ago, I blended a tub of yogurt with some cherries and agave nectar. Now my son's yogurt has three ingredients: Yogurt, cherries, agave nectar. That seems a lot better. We'll see later today how he likes this new concoction. I'll tell you one thing... it's kindof runny. Maybe I need to add some corn starch. Or kosher gelatin. But maybe it'll solidify a little more in the fridge... Plus, don't you pay EXTRA to have drinkable yogurt? Anyway. It's delicious, nutritious, and full-fat.

(Maybe next time, I'll just blend or chop the fruit and stir it in instead of blending it with the yogurt. But seriously. Add a little cumin and I'll have a cherry lassi, which hello, I wouldn't be complaining!)

(And lest you think that I am judging you below me from up on my pedestal here, for lunch, he had a cheddar cheese stick, a banana, a bite of chicken nugget [before rejecting it and throwing it all over the floor], and 3/4 of his first hot dog ever. Please don't ask me to list the ingredients in those things. The bananas are okay.)