Did I not mention? (a bunch of updates, and some news)

Phew, 2017. You’re a third over and I feel like I barely know you. Wait, have I said that before? Let’s just pretend I haven’t.

Arizona

It’s been one helluva year so far. We rang it in at Justin’s parents’ winter place in Arizona. It was a great trip. Arizona is … wow, you guys. It might as well be another planet. There are cacti and mesas and Republicans galore. Retirement communities and rock-bottom real estate prices and pretty great Mexican food. Swimming pools and scorpions and shops that sell signs like this:

Translation: Get off my property, pretty please.

(… or I’ll shoot you in the f*cking face.)

Wow, Arizona. You really are a trip. Pun 100% intended.

We had a lovely Christmas (cacti in Santa hats!), hung out with various members of Justin’s family, and ate like … well, like it was Christmas. Justin also had the opportunity to sample a whole bunch of great booze, which was waaay cheaper than it is at home because America. I abstained, though, because did I not mention?

Merry Cactmas. Yep, I went there and it isn’t even a good pun. Deal with it.

… and home.

Anyway, then it was back to work and all the nuttiness that entails (i.e. lots). Aside from that, in my fake job as a blogger, I cooked chicken, reviewed skincare products (discount code valid to June 30, all!), and mostly just moped around. Justin was in school and the small one continued to thrive at daycare, where she learned way more than we could ever teach her at home.

Also, it was cold. Really, really cold. Which isn’t unusual for most of Canada but is for here. The cherry blossoms are a full month late, all! And the pink magnolia trees that usually bloom in March have only just opened. Vancouver problems. Anyway, I didn’t get outside a lot because (a) it was cold, and (b) I spent a lot of time throwing up / feeling sorry for myself … because did I not mention?

The small one’s first real snow experience. The verdict: tastes great. Now can we please go back inside?

Chicago

We went to Chicago when Justin finished school at the end of February and we loved it!

I have to admit, Chicago was not at the top of my “must visit” list … or even on it. We booked the trip because our Air Miles were supposed to expire, plus Justin is the Blackhawks’ #1 fan (step aside, Vince Vaughn). Then Air Miles cancelled the expiry of their miles but we’d already booked the trip by then so we went anyway.

I’m pretty sure this is called the Cloud Gate or something but I couldn’t stop referring to it as The Bean. Anyway, here we are reflected in it.

I was wrong not to be excited about Chicago because it’s an amazing city. The small one adored it, mainly because we hung out with Justin’s friends who live there (and who are now my friends too, I’ve decided) and their two kids. I think the highlight of the trip for her was playing with them in their basement. Oh, and also all the modes of transportation — every night, now, her going-to-bed mantra is “a plane, and a bus, and a train, and an escalator, and an elevator, and a spinny door …” and so on. Whatever keeps her from screaming.

(Speaking of screaming, she’s finally sleeping through the night on a semi-consistent basis — Hallelujah! But also: why, oh why didn’t anyone tell me it could take this long? I thought you guys had my back here.)

We went to the zoo! She loved that, too.

As for us grown-ups, we went to a Blackhawks game, which I will grudgingly admit was a lot of fun. We walked everywhere, and ate all the food forever. I even had a Chicago style hot dog, despite the fact that I’ve been largely off meat lately, because did I not mention. Also, I had this song in my head the whole time so it was pretty much the best.

You can tell I took this in Chicago because when you buy this stuff at home it’s called “Chicago Mix.”
Deep dish pizza. Just as cheesy, disgusting, and satisfying as everyone says.
Seriously we had it like 3 times and we were only there a week.

Montreal (uh huh, I’ve been everrrywhere lately)

Not too long after we got back from Chicago, I went to a work conference in Montreal. It was my first time being away from the small one for more than one night. The conference was excellent, but my favourite part was probably watching TV and eating takeout uninterrupted in my hotel room. Also, I spent an extra day there after the conference was over so I did some sightseeing and (mostly) poutine-eating in Old Montreal.

I loved this sculpture in front of Notre-Dame Basilica.
This is the inside of Notre-Dame Basilica. Meh.

Montreal is wonderful, and if you haven’t been there you should totally go. If it weren’t for the mid-March blizzards and the fact that only 1/3 (soon to be 1/4, because did I not mention?) of my little family speaks French, I could totally see us living there.

The internet tells me this is not the best poutine place in Montreal, but they sure did give me a pile of fries with cheese curds and gravy so I was not complaining.

… and home again.

At the end of March I was invited to the launch party for Viemère, an online shop for maternity clothes you can wear before, during and after pregnancy. They had a wee fashion show which I watched with great interest (because did I not mention), and I had a chance to chat with Joyce, Viemère’s founder, about her vision. Sadly none of my pictures turned out, but it was a lovely evening out and they gave me the most darling floral scarf in my loot bag. It was also the first event I’ve attended as “media” — fancy, right?

And, holy moly, now it’s April. I’m working, Justin’s working, and the small one is learning, learning, learning.

She’s just about two now, you know. She is an avid furniture climber/jumper-off-er, and loves to sing, though she can’t yet carry a tune. Sometimes she teaches us songs she learns at daycare, by which I mean she starts singing (or … talking rhythmically?) and we Google a few key words to find the applicable YouTube video. That counts as her teaching us, right? Please just let me have this. Her vocabulary increases daily and she’s stringing more and more words together, which is very cool to witness. She says “I love you” and “holy smokes!” and “don’t do that, mummy! Stop, mummy! No, mummy!” and “baby sister” — because did I not mention?

Seriously though if you’ve gotten this far without figuring out the big news, I’m not sure what else I can do for you.

This past week, it suddenly feels like spring — almost summer, even.

Did I not mention?
It’s going to be a looooong patio season, friends.

So … what’s new with you?

Leave a Reply