Big Girl Tea

Growing up I always remember thinking tea was the epitome of a fancy extravagant event.   We had tea parties to celebrate big days, we had tea parties to celebrate weddings of fictional characters on tv, and we had tea parties for no reason at all.

Over the last two years Ariadne and I have had lots of tea parties.   But no fancy big girl tea parties.

So a few weeks ago, after realizing that we could officially call her potty trained, I asked Ariadne if she wanted a BIG GIRL tea party.

Of course she giddily said YES.

And so my mum and I planned a big girl, fancy pants tea party.

We brought out the fine china, the flowers, the linens (ironing not necessary), the fancy dresses and invited some of our favourite ladies over for a No Pee Tea Party (No Diaper Tea Party didn’t have quite the same ring to it)


It’s moments like these that you feel very much so the mother of a little girl.


At first, Ariadne didn’t quite know what to think of it.  She sipped her apple juice (tea!) delicately and nibbled on her Digestive biscuit.


For a few minutes I didn’t think she fully comprehended the awesomeness of a big girl tea party.

That was…until I asked her if she was ready for dessert.


She really appreciated the dessert course!

And it’s moments like these that I realize how very much I am thankful for the friends in my life who know me so well as to exclaim –

“Jaye, just don’t look down…just don’t” (referring to the apparent mass of melted chocolate, strawberry and apple juice pooled on the satin dress Ariadne wore)

It was a great tea party and we can’t wait to have another!

Brand Stinking New

Last weekend I bought a new car.

But not just any car.

I bought my muse.

The car I’ve had in the back of my mind every time I thought about buying a car within the last four years.

Enter Toothless, our brand new 2014 Ford Fusion.


Yes, I went outside the box with this one.  Usually we give cars feminine names, but after a friend mentioned how much she looked like Toothless the dragon – I couldn’t get it out of my mind every time I looked at the car.

She’s definitely Toothless (ignore the fact that Toothless in the movie is a boy – I mean, I’m a Jaye, so I can have a Toothless girl car)

It’s uncanny

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Right, RIGHT?!

So anyways, back to buying the car.

Let me just be clear, I hate car buying.  Back in 2011 we bought a VW Jetta and had an amazing experience.  So naturally I was concerned that our luck would run out and this experience would be anything but fun.

We left Saturday morning with a clear plan to buy a Honda CR-V.  For no particular reason other than that it seemed practical.  But I requested that we first stop and just check out my muse.

We hit up Ford nice and early, test drove a Fusion SE.  Both The Hubs and I had a moment of “this is totally the car for us.”  But it was pricey, and we were very committed to looking into the CR-V.  In typical car salesman fashion, our salesperson and his manager tried to get us to buy the car right then and there.  After fifteen hundred “no we want to keep looking, we’ll be in contact”‘s and a ridiculous offer to give us almost $9K on our trade in (which was worth MAYBE $1K) later, we walked out, telling them that we would be back, most likely, and they should find me THAT car (the SE) in a different colour (the one they had was red) and we’d talk.

Then we hit up Honda and got right down to business.   And I just wasn’t impressed.  But I tried to convince myself because it was the more practical option – more room for a family, amazing safety ratings, HONDA –  that if we could get the model we wanted down to $26K we would consider it.  Give it to my husband to completely trip up our salesguy at Honda with the following exchange –

Salesguy – “Okay, so here is our quote for the vehicle you just saw. ”

The Hubs and I review the quote, noticing that they quoted us MSRP.

The Hubs – “Well, we were really hoping for something more in the family of $25-26K.”

Salesguy – “You say your range is $25-26K?  A $25K car is the base model, not the luxury model you asked to see”

The Hubs – “True, but we don’t want a base model.”

Salesguy – “Uhh, well I could see if maybe my manager could give you another thousand on the trade in?”  (keep in mind that this would bring the trade in value to $3K, which was $6K less than the RIDICULOUS value Ford had just given us)

After a bit more dialogue, I just wasn’t feeling it, and The Hubs was the same.  Honda was definitely not catching our drift.  They wanted us to buy the $25K car for $25K and the $29K car for $29K….which in negotiator speak means NO DEAL.

We walked out both agreeing that the Fusion was the car for us.  So excitedly, we marched right back to Ford and found our salesguy to see if they’d found us our car in a different colour.

It turned out that apparently Ford Fusions are a super hot commodity right now, and the inventory around the entire city is low.  So after running through all of the options which didn’t equal us getting exactly what we wanted, our salesguy came out and asked us if we would consider a black Titanium that they had outside.

The Hubs – “Well, that will be more expensive right?”

Salesguy – “Yes, that car is a few thousand more”

The Hubs – “We’ll buy the Titanium for $500 more than we agreed on the SE”

And off the salesguy went.  Ten minutes later he was back, with an out the door price that was barely less than the initial quote.  This went back and forth for a few hours.  Apparently all of the sales managers were furious with us – I mean, they were agreeing to give us almost $9K on a car that they could sell at auction for maybe $1K.  But we held strong – the only reason we were even sitting here haggling about the Titanium version was because they couldn’t get us the one we wanted.  Not our problem.  We had options, we could go somewhere else.  Heck, we could buy the Honda.

After a few hours The Hubs and I had a serious talk.  We decided that if they could split the difference, we would raise budget by $750.

So, I flagged over our salesguy and wrote down a number.

And that my friends, was that.

After six hours in a car dealership, and a lot of stubborn indifference on The Hubs’ part, we bought more than my dream car – ridiculously below MSRP and less than $1K over budget from what we had agreed to for a much less equipped model.

Toothless is home!

Moral of the story?  Maybe we went a bit over budget – but we got a hell of a lot more car than I would have ever dreamed.  And we are SO HAPPY with it.  It is a beautiful machine.

A dealers price is never their price.  There is always room for haggling!


Updates d’Instagram

Since I’ve been gone for so long, I thought it would be appropriate to do a “so this is what’s up” post full of instagram pictures.


This is what’s up.

My kid is still obsessed with The Lorax.  She’s got Lorax-dar and can tell if she sees the Lorax as a tiny little one inch symbol on a big TV.

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We watch it about once a week.

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On the flip side, I’m obsessed with Tastefully Simple.  This stuff has changed my cooking life.

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And now my pantry is full of awesome.

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Ariadne got her very first hair cut.  She’s such a big deal that her personal stylist, Lisa, made a house call.

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And I learned how to curl my hair (and make it stay!) Now I wear it curly more often than not.

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Ariadne also transitioned to a Big Girl Bed!  It’s still a work in progress, but she is doing well.

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We paid off the Jetta!  It’s not really a huge deal since we had planned for it, but it’s nice to be back to having two fully paid off cars in the garage.  Even if it’s only for a short time.

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I finally convinced The Hubs to let me paint the kitchen cabinets white.  Which has led us on the search for some fun and bold curtains to brighten up all the crisp white that will be downstairs.  I’m hoping to have a big reveal within a month or so!

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I fell in love with Caramel Macchiatos.  They are so flipping heavenly.

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And most importantly – my kid continues to be the most spectacular thing ever.  The last few months have been interesting to say the least, and this little munchkin just keeps becoming more and more of a person!


A Fabulous Foonf

Over the last two years (maybe more) I’ve spent an insane amount of time researching car seat safety.  I’ve posted about our extended rear-facing intentions before, most notably when we purchased the stunning Peg Perego Primo Viaggo Convertible.

The law states that children must be kept rear-facing in the car until they are at least 20lbs AND 1 year of age.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear-facing until at minimum 2 years of age OR until the child hits the maximum rear-facing height/weight requirements of their convertible car seat.

When we bought our convertibles, we had planned to rear-face to age 2.  In the last few months we’ve been doing more research on car seat safety, and came to the conclusion that we were not comfortable forward facing at age 2.  This was a very personal decision for The Hubs and I, as it is for any family.

The only problem with our desire to keep Ariadne rear-facing?  She’s above the 98% for height and 90% for weight.   The Hubs and I are both tall, but neither of us expected her to be SO tall.

The Peg car seat we purchased because of it having the highest rear-facing weight limit on the market at the time, as well as one of the tallest harness heights (without going to the Diono Radian which I am not a huge fan of due to the low profile sides) and the most legroom, is unfortunately just not going to cut it any more.  Ariadne reached the highest setting for the harness height in rear-facing mode about a month ago.  This is such a disappointment  as I am in love with this seat and the wonderful leg space it provides.  It is truly a stunning seat, easy to use, has tons of leg room and appears to be very comfortable.  Did I mention, it’s gorgeous?

Our other seat is a Britax Boulevard 70CS.  A wonderful seat, but I’ll be honest, when we bought it, I didn’t do nearly enough research.  Even after researching for months, I still didn’t do enough.  This seat is again, wonderfully constructed, easy to use, and great for rear-facing.  But it is NOT for very very tall kiddos, if you want to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible.  We are also on the last leg for this seat and although the headrest has plenty of room to move up, the Britax is not cleared for rear-facing use when the child’s head is less than 1 inch from top of the shell.  Due to the construction of the shell, Ariadne has ended up having a little bit more room in this one than in the Peg, but she will outgrow it soon.

So knowing we were running out of space and time, I started frantically researching the options.  There are few car seats out there for extended rear-facing for big kids.  After researching the Diono RadianRXTGraco Size4Me70Chicco Nextfit, and The Clek Foonf, we ended up purchasing the Foonf.

This seat has been long awaited by a many car seat gurus.  It has the highest rear-facing weight limit on the market (50lbs) and the highest rear-facing height limit (1 inch from the top of the head rest, in its most extended position.)  It has a steel frame, utilizes REACT technology, as well as forward-facing rigid LATCH installation, a rebound bar for rear-facing and much much more.  This seat is a car seat guru’s wet dream.  Sorry, I had to go there.  I’ve been eyeing it for a few months now, but wasn’t really into it, until I started this 3-4 rear-facing thought process.  Right now, my biggest concern is keeping Ariadne safely rear-facing for as long as possible.  The Foonf, right now, is at the top of it’s game, and provides us the extensions we need to make that happen.  Unfortunately the Foonf has two major setbacks.  It’s price, 500 big ones – and I thought I was pushing those limits when we spent >$350 on the Peg (we got ours 20% off with a sale).  And it’s also a pretty giant seat.  Oh did I mention?  It’s CANADIAN.  Obviously I’m in love.

I was a little worried about it not fitting in our cars, since we both drive sedans.  Surprisingly though, it fits just fine!  In the Camry we can even fit it in the center seat!  It is one amazing seat.  Insanely solid (and heavy!) which makes me feel really comfortable about it for safety.  It was also super easy to install.

Ariadne LOVES her new seat.  She has so much more legroom now, and barely makes a peep since she sits up so high and can see out the windows.  We’ve had it for about a month now, and couldn’t be more in love with it.



So if you’re looking for a great seat forward facing or rear facing alike, I highly highly highly recommend The Foonf!


*dusts off blog*


Long time no see.

In many friendships there comes a day when you start questioning your commitment to that friendship.  You know what I’m talking about.  That friend that you let slip away little by little.   Maybe you don’t talk so often, maybe you’re drifting, maybe they just aren’t that into you… Sometimes it’s as simple as, that friendship is gone.  Sometimes  though, sometimes it’s all just a misunderstanding.

My friendship with this blog has been difficult in the last year.  I’ve struggled to figure out how much I should write.  What I should write about.  If I should bother writing.

And I never quite figured it out.

So many days.  weeks.



Slipped by between posts.

But the fact remains.

I miss my friend.  I miss this blog and writing about crap that no one but me cares about.  I miss having a reason to take pictures and post about how my kid is.

There.  I said it.

So now, maybe since it’s out there, I’ll actually do something about it.


This situation with this blog here, it’s just a misunderstanding.  We haven’t quite figured out all the kinks yet.  But we’re going to.  We’re recommitting.

Even if it’s just so I can post pictures of my kid all day.


More Than Love

Many eons ago, I envisioned myself being a mom.  But back then, I had no idea what it would feel like to look at my child, my daughter, my life force and watch her grown.

I look at this little person today, and she’s a real person.  She has likes and dislikes (namely, The Lorax and leaving the park) She has little quirks, like her messy hair that is just always all over the place, and her need to express hugs to everything she sees.  Bus?  Hug (and when I say Hug, I mean she opens her arms and says Hug) Kitty?  Hug.  Car?  Hug.  Park?  Hug.  But when I ask for a hug I need to pout to get one.


She laughs at things now.  Like for real laughing.  She thinks things are funny, and it tears me up inside that she’s old enough to actually understand what makes something funny.  My heart practically jumped out of my body when I heard that for the first time.

I want to pinch her cheeks and smother her in kisses.all.the.time.  Her smile, her pronunciation of “mElmo”, her bright eyes and the bounce in her step – all make me want to freeze time, relive it, replay it, over and over and over and over again.


My girl, she’s such a girl and loves picking out her clothes, painting her nails, have her hair blow dried, wearing pretty dresses and twirling.

Watching her become her own person makes me think that loving this child is not nearly enough.


If you know me, you know how passionately I feel about things – Game of Thrones, coffee, books, the rain.  I love those things.

Well I more than love this little child…


Part of me wishes that I would have had some level of understanding of what this all would be like.  But then I realize that this whole thing, this whole watching life grow thing, being a parent thing, loving someone more than life itself thing, is life’s biggest surprise.  And it’s a wonderful surprise.

Profound Moment Girl

If you could have one superpower, what would it be, and why?  (and yes, I am going to ignore the month long hiatus I’ve just taken and not bother with explanations)

This is something that I’ve been asked many times over my 26 years, and every single time I’ve been stumped.  Every possible answer seems so trivial.  Walk through walls – so I can rob a bank.  X-ray vision – BOOBS (said a man.)  Flying – I could get somewhere faster!

They’re all so trivial, and OBVIOUS.  And I’m anything but trivial and obvious.  I’ve never come up with an answer good enough.

Until now.

It came to me all of a sudden the other day when I had a truly profound moment.  I know, I sound so…profound by saying that.  But I did.  I had one of those moments in life where you want to shout from the rooftops and jump for joy, your heart free.

I had one of those moments you wish you could relive over and over, just to experience that euphoria, and not simply the memory, over and over.

And that’s when I realized it.  If I could have any superpower, I would want the ability to relive moments.  Moments of my choice (since I’m the superhero and all, I do get to decide that, you know) and enjoy them at my beck and call.

They would call me Profound Moment Girl.

Naturally, I began to think of all of the moments I would relive.  These are a just a few of the ones I came up with.

– Seeing the total solar eclipse with my family in Germany circa 1999.  Night in the middle of the day.  My skin crawls with the creepy-ness of how awesome it was.

– The moment I turned the corner to my senior year government class at 5am on the day we were starting our lesson on dictatorships.  I may not have been the only one who had plans to take over our class that morning to solidify their Dictatorship.  But I was the first one there.  (I will however, refrain from reliving the moment two days later when I had to step down from my mock dictatorship because I was apparently too good at it)  In case you were wondering, I also orchestrated the elaborate assassination of our monarchy during a different lesson.  I was really into government.

– The moment I saw my first (and so far only) positive pregnancy test and the moment 9 months later, when I met that little person.

– The first time I laid real-life eyes on The Hubs the first time he came to visit me.  I still get butterflies just thinking about it.

– The first time I heard Ariadne laugh because she thought something was funny, not just because she was reacting to us.

– Having my friend Brittany say that my new hair cut made me look like a superhero version of myself.  Umm awesome much?!

So what was that profound moment that made me realize my superhero power of choice?

– The moment that I realized that I could just be myself.  That I didn’t have to worry about if someone liked me, or if they didn’t.  The moment I realized that I actually really liked myself and that that was so much better than trying to make people like me.  Realizing that I spent the majority of my life trying to fit myself into other people’s lives was like a light bulb going off in my head.  How did it take me this long to figure this crap out?!

So in true get to know you fashion.  What moments would YOU relive?  I know you can’t beat my Dictatorship Takeover, but I encourage you to try.

A Holiday Gallbladder Story

There’s not many things that go as well together as the Holidays and Gallbladders, eh?

They’re like crackers and cheese, hugs and kisses.

Or not.

More like salted caramel on eggs (oh yea, that was for you Big Brother)

Let me tell you.  The last thing you want to deal with around the holiday season is any sort of gallbladder issue.

And boy oh boy do I know from experience.

It all started on Thanksgiving.

We had an amazing Thanksgiving this year.  It was so nice to have Ariadne at an age where she really is engaging in the holidays.  We played, we cooked, we ate.  It was fabulous.  Especially the food.  The food was fabulous.

And so after dinner, while the boys were clearing the kitchen (one of the major pluses of being one of the cooks, the men clean up!) I posted this picture to my Instagram feed with the caption – “Post thanksgiving dinner relaxing at its best”

And that right there sealed my fate.  But fate gave me a few more hours of bliss.

I’ve never been one for Black Friday shopping.

Maybe it was the wine.  Maybe the free spirit of a great day.  Maybe my minds way of knowing that something bad was about to happen.

Regardless, my Mum and I had the same thought at the same moment – “Let’s go Black Friday shopping!  You know, just to see what it’s all about”

So in the middle of the night we took off.   We shopped, nothing crazy, but this mama brought home a JCrew dress for uber cheap.

At about 1:30am, at Target, I started feeling off.

My chest started feeling tight.

It was a feeling I’d had about 7 times since birthing Ariadne.

Immediately I told my Mum we had to get home, because I knew exactly what was going to happen.

She asked me what all this was about, since I had not mentioned it over the last 18 months.  I just explained it was a weird pain, one I could only associate with my rib cage expanding during pregnancy.  That’s what I thought it was.  For the last 18 months I had drawn the conclusion that these episodes were just body pains, normal body pains.  They would come on every other month or so, always in the middle of the night while I was sleeping (or nursing, like the first time I felt it), would last about half an hour (time duration increasing with the frequency of the pain episodes) and nothing would make it better.  Nothing.

I got home, laid in bed and immediately started realizing it was worse than it had ever been.  I started to panic.  At this point I was in the most intense pain of my life and couldn’t get any relief.

I woke The Hubs and told him that it was happening, again.  We talked over my symptoms while I was trying to think through the pain, and came to the conclusion that it must be indigestion.  I begged him to run out to get me something for it, tums, antacid, something.

He woke up my Mum, who was thankgoodness spending the night that night.  She came in as I was now sobbing through it and immediately knew this was something more serious.

For the first time I heard the words gallbladder attack.

I had no idea what that was, or why I would be having it.  No, this was most definitely indigestion.

So The Hubs left to pick me up some relief.  But it didn’t do anything.

And then I started begging for an epidural.


Worse than childbirth people.

My smart Mum started googling “Gallbladder Attack”

And when she read the symptoms; chest pain, increasing intensity, happens at night, radiating around the back, pain.worse.than.childbirth – I went “That’s IT!”

The problem was, there were no recommendations for things to relieve the pain.  Just wait it out and then see a specialist to discuss having the organ removed.

Everything we read said that attacks shouldn’t last longer than three hours.  At this point I was hovering around the 3.5 hour mark.

I didn’t want to do it, but I made the call to go to the ER.  I just couldn’t do it anymore and started to worry that maybe I was having complications from the attack.

Off we went.

And wouldn’t you know, within five minutes of checking in, the pain disappeared.

But still, I found myself posting this picture

Immediately upon seeing the doctor and describing my symptoms, he nodded and replied “gallbladder.”  Multiple tests later, and we had a confirmed diagnosis.

I had pesky gallstones, which were causing my gallbladder to constrict painfully causing the attacks.  There was no known reason for the stones, although it is more common for pregnant women to develop stones, which makes sense to me since this all started right after I gave birth.

The only known treatment was surgery.   Otherwise, you just deal with the attacks.  I was given some muscle relaxants to take if I had another attack before having surgery.

Over the next few weeks I met with a surgeon, and heavily considered my options.  I didn’t want surgery.

But I was absolutely terrified of the next attack.   Would the next one last 6 hours?  I knew I couldn’t handle another attack if they kept getting worse.

I still couldn’t pull the trigger though.   So I scheduled surgery for late January, giving me time to process and cancel if I changed my mind.

Ten days later I had another attack.  And promptly decided that I couldn’t wait until January.

So I re-booked surgery, this time, for one week before Christmas.  Worst timing possible, but I just needed it out, as soon as they could.

I was truly lucky that I did that, because in the week before my surgery, I had two more attacks.  On surgery day, I practically ran into the O.R – begging “Just take it ouuuuut!”

It was sucky to have to get surgery right before Christmas, but honestly, it was the best decision I ever made.  Gallbladder attacks are scary, and ridiculously painful.  It’s really quite unfortunate that there is not much else to do, other than remove it. But luckily, with advanced surgical technology, and a very good surgeon, the aftermath of the surgery is not that bad.

Some patients have very bad episodes after having their gallbladder out – but I was lucky – after about a week, I was symptom free, and seriously feeling better than I had in years.

It’s funny how you can go so long without realizing that something was wrong, but as soon as the problem is eradicated  you realize how much of a problem it must have been.

Let this post serve as a warning – don’t ignore chest pains.

It’s not always indigestion.

Oh and if you need a really cute surgeon – errrr – I mean – a really talented surgeon… Shoot me a call…

The One Where I Embarrass My Future Teenager

I just have to do it.

There is too much adorableness in this picture than I can handle.

So, Future Teenage Ariadne, please forgive Mama.  I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have to.


Would it be wrong to print this on a huge canvas and hang it over the couch?


But it’s just SO CUTE.

Why is a toddler on a potty so uterus squeezingly adorable?


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It’s my duty as a parent to embarrass my child.

At least once.


Swings: Then and Now

Who doesn’t love swinging?

I look back on going to the park as a child with fond memories of swinging as high as I could.  I loved the swings.

So, when Ariadne was old enough to start testing out the baby swings, I thought she would love it.

Like many things in her babyhood, she decided she just was not impressed.

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But the thing about Ariadne is, she gives everything many chances to woo her.

It’s a good thing too.

If she hadn’t given swings another shot, she would have most certainly missed out on this


Yup, she’s a fan



I really had to fight the urge to sit down in the big kid swings and fly next to my girl.

Maybe next time.

Side note:  While searching for that first picture in my photo archives, I came across this gem

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Where did my baby go?!