Friday, August 14, 2009

Gingerbread Cafe Fans: 1 ME: zero

Okay, you win! I don't care any more, this is obviously a really big deal to those of you who posted rude comments about my blog entry, and honestly I couldn't care less who goes or doesn't go to the Gingerbread House Cafe!

For those of you who don't know (meaning you Mom, these people don't seem to get that you are the only one who reads this?!?!?!), I wrote a bad review about the Gingerbread House Cafe, and some people read it ( I know, so exciting, people other than my immediate family taking time to read my thoughts), and instead of responding in a similarly sarcastic and funny tone, or just letting me know their own ideas in a civilized way, they FREAKED OUT! Actually thinking that I was blaming the restaurant for the kid falling while I wasn't paying attention to her, and literally getting pissed that I didn't like the decor...I know! Who cares if I don't like it!....but apparently my opinion is very important to these anonymous people, and since I appear to be SO influential (what other reason could people have for going so far as to call me a bad parent for my review!) I thought I could either tell them where to go, or better than that not GIVE A SHIT! 

So there it is, I don't care, I give in, I blog for fun, you don't like it, get off my page and read something else!

...but I still don't like the place ( ...and that's okay, we are allowed to have differing opinions), and to be honest even if I were tempted to give it another try, now knowing a little bit more about the kind of people that hang out there...let's just say I like an easier going crowd, life's too short to be so uptight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Beached Baby

Finally summer seems to have arrived and no better way to commemorate a rain-free day than heading to the beach. Packed up the kid and headed to Toronto Island (YAY! Strike over!) with my brother and sister (happy birthday) for the afternoon....and to be honest I'm finding it hard to come up with any witty comments because there was really no part of the day I can complain about, and when I'm not complaining I really don't have much to say...just ask my husband (boo, bad joke!)

When I woke up this morning completely unprepared for the upcoming adventure I felt slightly overwhelmed, thinking I would need to organize a transport truck worth of supplies, I wasn't too sure how the day would go, but after 15 minutes had passed and I realized I had everything ready it kind of clicked that I wasn't heading off to some secluded tropical's a 15 minute ferry ride from where I parked my car.

Once we paid our $6.50 for return fare on the ferry and lined up I realized I was not the only genius mother of a baby that thought this would be a fun day trip, we were swarmed with strollers, I'm pretty sure their were more strollers than had a bit of children of the corn vibe, that is if we were to walk into that town about 8 years before the movie was made and the 'children' were in diapers...does that make sense??? lotsa babies, that's all I'm saying.

The boat docks and it's a mad exodus toward the water, and who the hell are we to think for ourselves, so we follow. Along the way I see a ton of picnic blankets swarming with kids and happy parents, a splashpad and playground, bike rentals, kids playing on the beach...even in the water, not something I would advice, but those 8 year old kids weren't glowing green when they came out of the water so what do I know.

After a small picnic we headed to Wards Island Beach, the walk over on the board walk was not only picturesque but for the first time in 4 months got the little one to fall asleep in her stroller and stay that way giving me a whole 45 minutes of uninterrupted tanning...pretty much that alone is why this will go down as one of my favourite summer places. The beach was great, busy enough that you didn't feel like you were trespassing on private property, but no annoying people playing soccer near your face and not running to catch the ball before it hits you on the head making you cry out in pain so everyone looks over and you get really embarrassed...not saying that it ever happened to me or anything...

Overall, great place to take the babies!

  • Parking will cost $15 cash
  • Ferry kiosk only takes cash
  • Cheap picnic food suggestion - chinatown bakery, we got pork bun/sticky rice/chicken pies/spring rolls/sausage bun (and 3 of each) for under $10...just ignore the fact that Chinatown is inundated with rats and you'll be fine
  • Lot of goose poo around, watch where the baby crawls

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Run, run, as fast as you can...


So I pull my hair into a messy bun, throw on some clothes, and leave the condo as quickly as possible to avoid really taking in all the mess I leave behind on a daily basis trying to get ready while an 11 month old who tries to climb everything is ransacking the place. I strap the kid in the car and we head north toward what has been deemed the new 'cool' place to hang out in Toronto, 'THE JUNCTION', basically developers are looking for a new area to build and sell tiny condos for crazy amounts of money and have decided that there aren't too many crack whores on Dundas west so let's make that the new 'it' neighbourhood...and who am I to go against the masses.  I am meeting a fellow new mom at the Gingerbread House Family Cafe. 

In my attempts to be good blogger I have been trying to follow some other blogs, most consist of celebrity gossip pages but I have been keeping tabs on one blog for Junction parents that has in the past raved about this place so I was quite excited to check it out. I like to think I'm an eclectic city girl who is just as comfortable in some dive bar as I am in some swank hipster lounge...XXX XXXXX XXX XXXXXX...XXX XXX XXXXXX.

When I first walk in I notice a large foam padded play area for kids, so far I'm in love. The decor is pretty minimal and the table and chair sets don't quite have the charm of a 50s diner, XXX XXXX XXXXX XXXX XXX XXX XXXXXX. There was one person behind the counter who was in the process of preparing food for 3 adults and 5 toddlers, so we knew there would be a wait, XXXXXX XXX XX XXXX XXXX XX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX  grilled cheese sandwiches and cut them into quarters...she might XXXX XX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX. At this point we were all still being positive, the kids were having fun, my friend's daughter was sitting quietly in the center of the toys...sitting a little too quietly, then we realized XXX XXX XXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXX, only to discover a XXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX XXX . After reassuring my friend that she was not an awful mom we get our food. When taking our order the cook/owner/waitress/counter help seemed very accommodating, substituting items and letting us pick any side we of course it had to be sweet potato fries...again, perhaps if I had known ahead of time that X XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXX X XXXXX I may have picked XXXXXXXXXX. We wolf down the food, which is what you do if you have a baby, and as I go to pay I decide I would leave my child holding herself up against the wall. Well apparently babies follow their moms around and as soon as I turn to pay she decides to come along, slipping and falling face first against the hard ceramic tiles. Scare #2. Now it was my turn to declare myself worst mother and be reassured by my friend that lots of moms leave their babies unattended standing on their own when they are barely old enough to know how to crawl properly. Later in the day I ended up having to take her to ER because her face swelled to elephant man status and I swear her eyes looked crossed, of course the ER staff did not see these symptoms, but they were there, I swear.

Overall, XXXXX decor, XXXXX kitchen, XXXX service, XXXXX portions, XXXXXXXXX size toys, ceramic tiles XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXX...basically I XXXX XX XXXX, but other people XXXX XX XXXX XX, you be the judge.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

leave - ing on a jet plane

Cheap and fun thing to do with the baby at the last minute, head to the airport to go watch planes. 

WHERE: 427 North, Exit at Dixon, Turn left, it will turn into Airport Rd, Park at WENDY'S parking lot and look up.

CAUTION: First time kid hears plane she may shake uncontrollably in fear, my suggestion - don't leave, just cover her ears, the convulsions will stop eventually - either they'll get used to it or lose their hearing temporarily, either way you don't have to leave:)

Not too long to LongPoint

In the fam's attempt to save money, or I should say not spend money we don't have, but still desperately needing some time away we decided to go camping. To give you an idea of my level of expertise in this field I should tell you that so far any one I have told about this trip has said, "what? you camping? are you serious????", suffice it to say if given the choice I would take 500 thread count, pay per view, and room service over air mattress, woodland creatures, and marshmellows that immediately catch on fire....but thus is the life of a new many sacrifices, woe is me.

I decided that I would try to make the most of this trip and agreed to camp as long as it was at the beach, my favourite place on earth, second only to under the Christmas Tree listening to Elvis Christmas Album after everyone has gone to bed (...and yes, that still is my favourite thing in the world...oh, and my baby, the tree thing and the baby). We headed to Long Point Provincial Park, just under three hours to get there. The place is uber-family, to the point where I was getting annoyed, not to mention that our late decision to take this mini-vacay meant every site, or good site I should say, was taken, leaving our wonderful home away from home, next to the playground and showers/washrooms. I fell asleep each night to the lovely wilderness sounds of 15 year olds playing on the swings while trying to say every curse word known to man before their parents called them back to the tent as well as the gentle hums of the toilets flushing.

There are a few valuable lessons I have learned about camping with a baby, at least at this place, which I will share:

  • there are only showers, no tubs, the kid hates showers and screams like she's being murdered in a bad 'b' horror movie...which  meant she didn't bathe for a know that wonderful 'baby-smell' everyone talks only has a shelf life of about 48 hours.
  • washrooms don't have change tables...and changing a very active baby on a half inflated air mattress in a tent means you have to sleep with the stench of baby crap all night...I swear, it's like she knows when she's gone poo and purposely flips over and rubs her but into any nearby fabric like a dog with worms.
  • protecting your baby from mosquitoes becomes your only purpose for living while camping, I think at one point I actually leaped over the car, did two somersaults, landed upside down next to her play pen just to be able to swat away a mosquito that was hovering dangerously close.
  • not all kids automatically know that sand is something which is played with and will still eat well as cigarette butts, weeds, ants, bottle caps...maybe it's just our kid, she does have a weight problem, she'll eat anything, I guess I can't really ignore it any more...but in all seriousness I sometimes wake up in a panic from nightmares of the kid being on Maury Povich alongside the other 400lbs 5 year olds...but I just can't stop feeding her those rolly polly thighs are just so damn cute!!!
  • campsites don't come with highchairs
  • when the baby cries in the condo I don't even think about the fact that my neighbours might hear her, but when the baby is crying in a paper thin tent and you can hear her cries echoing through the get a little self conscious.
Basically, you know if you could hack it, and if you think you can it's a super nice place, and if you can't it's worth the drive to the park just for a day trip to the beach.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baby reviews cross city limits!

Well in response to my own personal recession...meaning I've been on maternity leave for 10 months now and I AM BROKE, I need to take it easy on the restaurant visits and try to expand my time-wasting repertoire to activities that last longer than the length of a meal and cost less, and in order to do this I have had to look beyond my usual city limits...which to be honest are quite limiting, I have convinced myself that if I go north of St. Clair or East of Yonge St I will actually fall of the edge of the earth. Well last week I decided to risk it, with baby in tow of course (if I'm going down, she's coming with me) I commenced my ritualistic summer visits to any body of water that is bordered with sand, and even though the forecast called for rain I ventured on and headed to Professor's Lake.

Professor's Lake is a man made lake and beach in Brampton, you basically head up the 410 into the darkest depths of suburbia and when you think you can't handle seeing another esso/timhorton's combo, go a little deeper.

There are some definite advantages when taking baby along for a beach day...
  • big parking lot
  • change rooms with showers
  • washroom
  • snack bar
...I was able to drag the stroller packed with beach gear right onto the sand, the baby was thrown over my shoulder fireman style, reminded me of when I took her Christmas shopping for the first time.

Some of the disadvantages are...
  • the water has a greenish tint to it and is murky enough that you can't see your feet when you are only ankle deep...which could also double as a positive if you are too busy to get a pedicure and haven't tended to the care of your feet since you stopped being able to see them (for me that was by month 3 of pregnancy).
  • you have to pay to get in, $3.00 
Overall, close enough to head out when you only have a few hours to spare, and I have seen people swimming in the water...they even dunk their heads!

Not sure if the baby and I will head back there this summer, I have gone twice already and both times have been caught in the rain...the summer gods apparently are disappointed in my beach attempt considering I used to dawn a bikini from 3:30pm on the last day of school to Labour day and only leave the sand long enough to apply more baby oil, I guess I have really been slacking this year, but I swear I'm trying and so is the little it bad that my 10 month old already has tan lines....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dr. Who???

So the husband is away working, the babes is sleeping and in my attempts to keep up with my blogging I promised myself I would type up a post before I had declared my relaxation time to begin, which was 9pm, that gave me from 8 to 9 to write this up, well it's 8:34 and I got nothing. I have been trying to come up with a clever way to start talking about going to Dr. Generosity in Bloor West Village for brunch...basically I tried 3 different times, typed up an entire post, to just read it back to myself and delete it. I am all stressed about work, the house, money, all that stupid grown up shit that I don't feel ready to deal with yet (in my  head I'm still 16 years old...that was a good year...braces off, sweet sixteen, felt sort of okay enough with my body to wear a bikini, hadn't yet decided to give myself that awful haircut that made me look like an immigrant mexican villager that didn't grow out until 3rd year university). So, I'm finding it hard to come up with witty things to say, I just find myself being really bitchy...and more so than usual. Though I guess bitchy can be funny, as long as it's not directed toward you, alright, I'll give it a try, bitchiness and all, but if you own a restaurant in bloor west village please don't take this too personally, it comes with a lot of personal baggage...but take it a little personally.

Pretty much I believe that compared to other trendy neighbourhoods in Toronto, the culinary talent in Bloor West Village leaves much to be desired...okay, that wasn't too bitchy. I had lived in bloor west for at least 3 years, basically having gone to Sharkey's and hating it and then deciding everything else on the street was crap, when I finally gave Dr. Generosity a try for brunch and was pleasantly surprised, and remembered seeing lots of kids...okay before having my own kid, hearing one baby crying in a restaurant made it feel like I was in Chucky Cheese. 
Point is, now with baby in tow decided I would go there again....BIG MISTAKE!

The food had not changed, the decor was still the same, the difference was I now see the world through mommy-goggles and have no patience for stupid-idiots (here comes the crankiness). First of all, if I am standing with three other people and I tell the waiter "we need a table for four and..." then I look directly at the baby does that not mean there are actually 5 human beings being seated, one of which is the child in my arms...apparently not, so we got a four person table in the middle of the restaurant. I mentioned to him that we still needed a place for the baby he let me know that I should have told him this at the door he then turned away too quickly to notice me giving him the finger.  He got a high chair and placed it in the aisle, which I didn't mind, however the jackass manager seemed to have a problem with this, the same person who when I initially entered the restaurant said no strollers allowed (CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!!), he obviously hates children! So we squeezed two chairs and highchair on one side of a table that is meant for only two people. The baby decided to entertain us by doing that trick where you pull out the table cloth really quickly while leaving all the plates and cutlery on the table in their original places...well...she's not even a year old, she's still practising...the waiter did not GET this and seemed really annoyed when he had to replace everything at our table...I could tell he was annoyed because he huffed a lot every time he bent over as if it was really physically straining him to lean and pick up a fork, and he would stand up between each thing he picked up and then sigh again on his way down, very dramatic, he was doing a really good job delivering this performance, he should get an agent. 

We placed our orders, and of course my coffee took forever to arrive, the waiter obviously hated me because my baby is so much cuter than his children...if he has any...or his future children....I just hate him!

I had noticed the restaurant was pretty quiet, and when I looked around people looked very uninterested and bored...and well, I guess the baby picked up on this too, she is so perceptive, and decided to once again try to entertain everyone, this time with her vocal talents, so she starting singing...okay some people (like the stupid waiter and jackass manager) might call it screaming, but obviously they don't have the musical training I do (watching hours of much music daily as a child). Now this wasn't an angry or sad scream, she was smiling and waving her arms up and down, but it was definitely loud. (Okay, to be completely honest I was horrified, but in public I am very loyal to my family and always take their side, I gave her a good talking to at home about appropriate restaurant behaviour to which she replied by belching in my face then pulling off my glasses while smacking herself in the belly...she's a complex woman). By the end of our visit I had to have two cups of coffee cleaned that had spilled over, three replacement forks, and reluctantly apologize (multiple times) to the woman sitting behind us for having her hair pulled...and for some reason I got the feeling that the staff just didn't like us.

Point is, they made me feel like I was inconveniencing them by bringing a baby in during their busy weekend brunch time and so I will hate them forever and you should too! Stupid place and their stupid no stroller policy, there are a lot of eldery people in my condo, I'm going to send them all their next Saturday with their walkers and wheelchairs and see what the Dr. does about that, it will be complete chaos and I will be watching from outside point and laughing, "MhwaaaaHaaaHaaaHa!!!" 

...okay, I think I need to go relax a little....