March 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
This weekend, I flew to Toronto to see my friends and meet two of their new babies!
When I arrived Friday evening, I took the new Union Pearson Express train to Bloor station and headed over to Sarah, Phil & Alice’s place. I enjoyed it much more than a cab – cheaper, cleaner, and free wifi with elevated views of the city in the distance around the airport!
When I arrived at Sarah’s, I had hugs for Julia, Blake, and Sarah, then grabbed Alice for a selfie. She’s even more adorable in person!
After eating pizza at Sarah’s, I went home with Julia and Blake. Julia and I had a good old fashioned sleepover and shared a bed like little kids. Eventually Blake even joined us ;)
The next morning we went to La Cubana for brunch and were met by Sarah, Alice, Amy, and Karen.
What? She has a mouse hat too? Oh for goodness sake.
After we ate, we walked down past some cute Roncesvalles shops and arrived at Jana and Mike’s to meet Leo.
So adorably new and cute with amazing surfer baby hair!
Afterwards I met my sister at the hotel we were treating ourselves to that night. After lounging/catching up/charging our phones for a while, we took the subway to dinner at Burdock to meet Sarah, Phil, Alice, Julia, Karen, and Amy for dinner.
Jenn also fell under Alice’s spell (it’s not hard to).
The next morning, my brother Ryan and his wife Suzanne came to meet us at the hotel for breakfast.
Then Jenn and I had to visit Lululemon for some very last-minute yoga pants shopping before both heading home.
“Where were your boys in all this?” you may ask. These photos will answer your question.
Yeah, we all had a pretty great weekend.
January 7, 2016 § Leave a comment
Better late than never, here’s a look at this Christmas’ adventures and events!
Since our summer drive to Canada went pretty well, we decided to do the same thing for Christmas rather than fly there.
This time, we stopped in Syracuse to visit our friend Matt and to let Henry run around a mall (he wanted to buy all the dog calendars from one kiosk), but then we kept driving until we reached Watertown, New York and spent the night in a hotel.
We left fairly early the next morning (delayed only by Henry falling into some carpet glue workers were putting down right outside the elevator doors when they opened. *eye roll*) and then finished our drive to my parents’ cottage in Fenelon Falls, Ontario.
Usually, by the time Christmas comes around, the cottage is covered in snow and it’s very cold. This year we were very lucky to have warmer than normal temperatures. Henry was thrilled to still be able to play in the sandbox every day!
Our first night there, Henry scaled himself right out of the crib. We all stood around stunned for a while, then gave into the fact that I’d be sharing a bed with a toddler for the week. Look at those shifty eyes! He knew what he was doing.
The next afternoon, we had a visit from my friend Eli and his two sons!
Their mom was on-call midwife duty for the week and so the guys rented a mini van and drove all the way up to hang out with us. I was so glad to see them and that our kids could finally meet!
Arlo and Henry are starting a truck-themed kid band.
The next day was Christmas Eve. For the first time since my parents moved up to the cottage full-time, our family had our Christmas celebration there instead of at my sister’s place. With 5 grand kids, 3 of us “kids”, spouses, grandparents, and my parents, it was a full house.
It was fun to see Henry really get into Christmas this year. He still doesn’t know the Santa story, but was really excited to open all of his presents.
Jillian the veterinarian.
A coupla handsome Miller men.
The kids had an unplanned black t-shirt and blue jeans dress code. The twins did not want mom to put them down.
Colouring trucks with uncle Ryan and aunt Suzanne.
And some calm once 5 grand kids were reduced to just one.
As per our now Christmas Day tradition, we met Julia, Jay, and Blake in Oshawa. This is our third year of meeting up on Christmas Day and having our little dudes play!
We got to catch up while the little dudes shared snacks, toys, high fives and amazing hair tips.
We spent the last day at the cottage with my parents. It was so nice to see them and to see how Henry really remembers them every visit now. He really took to my dad this time! Grandpa got many, many hugs.
It was great to see everyone and to have Henry spend so much time with family and friends. Before long, he’s going to be asking when he gets to go to the cottage again, just like his cousins :)
July 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
This weekend, I took my second solo trip since Henry was born! I flew to Toronto Saturday morning and enjoyed reading, eating, and listening to music – basically a trip to the spa compared to flying with a small child ;)
I arrived downtown Toronto around 1:30 and met Sarah and Julia for a late lunch at Fresh, of course. Then they took me to a few cute new shops around Queen & Roncesvalles, including North Standard Trading Post. I’d been meaning to get Henry one of their cute hoodies and treated myself to a few things as well including one of Tami Noa Levy‘s provincial animal series prints.
Sarah hosted a few lady friends at her new house for cheese and snacks before we all headed out to dinner at Burdock. Her and Phil’s new place is very cute and the cheese was delicious! It was great to see more examples of the homes my friends are starting to own in Toronto because Nick & I are getting very used to the idea (and starting to plan) how to do the same thing in a year or two!
After dinner, we headed down the street to Bar Neon where Mike, Rob, and Tristan came to meet up with us.
Although it was only one afternoon and evening of spending time together, I appreciate any time I get to hang out with some of my favourite people in the world. Especially one pregnant Sarah Curtis! That night, my sister Jenn came to meet me for a sleepover at my hotel and although I didn’t get back there til 11:30, we still stayed up for a few hours chatting. I’ll take whatever I can get!
The next morning, I met my brother Ryan for breakfast at The Beast. After eating the giant plates of food and maple bacon donuts, I agree that it is aptly named!
After I left Ryan, I made one last attempt to enjoy the weak Canadian dollar before I went to the airport to fly home. Let’s just say, I am set for both yoga shorts and Canadian Dairy Milk for a while!
It was really nice to get away, even for just one night, but also wonderful to return home to these two guys. I got the best Henry hugs ever when I walked in the door!
See you again soon, Toronto!
February 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
This weekend was one worth mentioning: it was my first trip alone since Henry was born and so it was also my first night away from him. I know some mothers don’t go this long – and others go much longer – before they are able to spend a night away, but this seemed just right for us. Henry is 15 months old now, and although he still nurses, he doesn’t actually need to. I compiled a very detailed meal plan for Nick to follow in my absence, and from what I heard, it went quite well – or as well as planned meals with a toddler ever go…
What made me take the plunge and plan my first solo weekend away was an invitation to the Toronto wedding of two of my favourite friends, Karen and Matias! How could I miss it?
Their wedding was freakin’ wonderful and actually had a strict no social media rule so although I took photos of the party, this one of our cropped heads is all you get. (And no, Sarah wasn’t a naked bridesmaid.)
Deciding to fly to Canada on my own for 30 hours was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I stayed in a hotel alone for the first time and took full advantage of my free time – when I arrived 3 hours before I had to leave for the ceremony, I promptly practiced yoga, ordered pizza, and watched The Simpsons in bed. At the wedding, I had many moments of pure joy and felt so grateful for the friends I have in Toronto. They really are the best! I kept remembering “oh yeah – I DON’T live here anymore AND I have a husband and child waiting at home for me in another country!”
The boys had a great time together. Henry, as usual, surprised us in how well he can adapt to new situations. Nick had little problems putting him down for naps and bedtime. He even got this priceless shoulder nap on Sunday!
Here’s hoping my next solo Toronto trip is only a few months away…
January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
Happy New Year!
2013 was an incredible year for Nick and I for one very obvious reason: we had a son at the end of it. I got to experience pregnancy, and all the changes, compromises, preparedness, and the well-meaning funny/strange/weird advice that comes along with it. While this definitely dominated the year, there were still some great events that happened and memories made. Let’s review, if you’re interested.
Nick and I began 2013 in Paris!
30 Rock (this blog’s namesake) had its final episode :(
I dealt with a painful and annoying arm injury from yoga, but after many chiropractor appointments and changes made to some poses in my practice, I got it under control.
Julia and Jay came to visit from Toronto. Julia was nearly 3 months pregnant and knew we had been trying as well, but she didn’t realize that she’d be here the morning I had my positive pregnancy test! (Which was actually Family Day, for you Canadians. What a coincidence!)
My family celebrated my nephew Everett’s first Angel Day.
I got really into animating my friends.
I finally got to see Desaparecidos play. (They were great.)
I went for a very frigid visit up North to visit my family and friends – and waited a few days later until Nick joined me to tell them I was pregnant. It was hard to not tell my parents as soon as they picked me up from the airport, but I kind of just convinced myself I wasn’t pregnant and just lived the lie for two days to make things a bigger surprise when everyone was all together!
Saw a hilarious comedy show by Jim Jefferies.
The tragic Boston Marathon bombing happened.
Saw another great comedy show – Jim Norton at Caroline’s in Times Square.
Nick and I attended a very interesting and informative Choices In Childbirth meeting. It definitely inspired us to learn all we could about the birthing process so we could make the right decisions for us.
I tried acupuncture for the first time after my arm started flaring up again. It was actually very relaxing!
I went with Nick to Lancaster, PA’s Launch Music Festival and had a great time. (It’s also always pretty sexy to see your husband speaking as an expert on a panel ;)
Once we finally got past the first trimester, we announced our pregnancy to the world!
My wonderful parents came to visit us in Brooklyn.
Canada’s music industry lost an agent and the world lost an amazing guy – Paul Gourlie passed away.
The Banana Stand came to New York!
I saw an exceptionally great – and very exclusive – Creative Mornings talk by Seth Godin.
Super fun Toronto friends Jana, Mike, Amy, and Bettie came to town. Bettie was part of a very impressive furniture show in Chelsea!
Nick and I found out we were having a boy!
I got rid of my trademark platinum blonde hair.
My good friend Kate’s adorable son was born!
I hit the halfway mark of my pregnancy and started to feel Henry move and kick.
My mom and sister threw me a baby shower during my Toronto visit.
Saw Postal Service perform at Barclay’s Center. What a fun show!
Finally made use of my building’s party room and threw Kate a baby shower.
I visited Toronto again, this time with Nick, and it would be my last plane ride until Christmas. We attended the first ever TURF Festival.
6 months pregnant! Things were getting real. I started prenatal yoga and officially made the decision to give myself a Canadian maternity leave and take a year off once Henry was born.
Nick and I had our Babymoon in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.
We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with a steak dinner.
The third trimester began! We started to clear out a lot of records, books, and random stuff we didn’t really need to make room for Henry in the office. Nick started nesting enough for the both of us. A crib and stroller were chosen!
My Grandpa turned 80.
Nick and I played hooky one Friday to thoroughly enjoy each other’s company before there were three of us. We visited the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.
I had a great Brooklyn baby shower, hosted by my yoga studio!
Julia gave birth to her son Blake just 2 hours after her due date!
8 months pregnant! Doing more prenatal yoga than Ashtanga, walking slowly, toured our hospital, and Nick started reading to my belly nightly.
Was thrilled to be featured on Well Rounded NY’s Bump Envy series.
Two of my favourite Canadian girls came to visit me.
My due date month! All I want to eat is blueberry pancakes and I don’t care about my birthday. Nick was even out of town for it, so I just went for an indulgent Italian lunch with Kate that day.
Nerded out big time at the Wes Anderson Collection book launch.
Had a short and sweet visit from Angela in Williamsburg.
Did yoga and rode my bike up until my 38th week of pregnancy. Had to stop when I got painful sciatica in my right hip.
I thought I could just stay pregnant forever, but by my due date, I was so ready to have this baby!
It was like November 1st didn’t even happen. I went into labour on Halloween and 35 hours later, Henry Nichols was born!
We spent two nights in the hospital and about 20 minutes after we got home, my parents arrived to meet their new grandson. My Mom was a superhero and stayed to help us for two whole weeks. Best gift ever.
Our first night out as a family happened December 14th at Annie’s Christmas party. Henry slept in the Baby Bjorn the whole time, despite the party being so loud we had to shout to talk to each other. What a trooper!
After applying for a passport for Henry when he was just two weeks old, it arrived in time for us to all go to Canada for Christmas.
…And that brings us up to date! I hope your year was as fantastic as mine and that 2014 is even better!
December 29, 2013 § Leave a comment
This Christmas was a very special one – it was Henry’s first.
Nick, Henry, and I flew to Toronto on Sunday with no drama. Henry fell asleep as soon as we checked his car seat and put him in the Baby Bjorn. He stayed asleep pretty much until we were just half an hour away from my parents’ cottage, and in true Canadian style, chose a Tim Horton’s parking lot to decide he was hungry and take a dump.
We were welcomed to my parents’ with a dinner of chili and lots of hugs. My Mom and Henry are so sweet together – they had lots of cuddling to catch up on since she was last here.
It was really nice to spend the first few days of our trip just relaxing in Fenelon Falls, where my parents live in a wooded area on a river. It snowed every day and is always the best place to spend Christmas. My Mom spoils us with her cooking and baking, and it was great to have an extra couple sets of hands to hold Henry. (Long showers and Nick & I actually going to bed at the same time!)
On Christmas Eve, as is tradition, we all met at my sister’s house in Oshawa. It’s the only place big enough to comfortably hold us all.
Henry met his Great-Grandparents and cousins for the first time.
We watched lots of CP24. The Santa Tracker reports were very exciting!
On Christmas Day, we were thrilled to have a visit from the Gordons. The last time Julia and I were at my sister’s place, it was for my baby shower and we were both pregnant.
Blake is just 10 weeks older than Henry, but look at them together! It was so great for these two little hams to meet, even if they didn’t understand quite what was happening.
We spend our last few days back up at my parents’ cottage, apparently dressing in coordinating colours for each family.
We flew home yesterday and besides long lines at Pearson Airport, it was a breeze. Henry is a great traveler!
We had a great holiday and hope you did too!
August 14, 2013 § 2 Comments
If you lived in Southern Ontario or the American Northeast in the summer of 2003, chances are, you have a good story about the blackout of 2003. This blackout wasn’t your typical hot summer day, the grids are overheated sort of blackout. It affected more than 50 million people and for some, the power wasn’t restored for two days. Of course, it was the middle of August and also sweltering hot.
I will never forget where I was when the power went out. I had been working at The Agency Group for just two months and was on reception when I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me as the lighting was getting dimmer. When it finally went out, we all groaned and sat there, waiting for it to come back in a few minutes. When it didn’t, the guys went outside to play basketball while the ladies chatted. Soon, we could see out the window that people were just deciding work was finished for the day. Rather than join the traffic, most of the office just stayed put. We had actually been planning a company party bus trip to London for that weekend and already had a stash of alcohol and snacks waiting. Well, special circumstances dictated we needed to dip into our rations early!
Hours later and still no power, we realized we had probably start to figure out how to get home. Obviously the subways and streetcars weren’t viable options. I was going to walk, but Ralph, a SVP, offered me and Omar, an agent, a ride home. He was parked in the underground parking garage. As we entered, we could see it was dark down there, but there seemed to be some lighting once you got further in. Unfortunately, we were quite far in when we realized the lighting was headlights of a car and once it passed us, we were left in complete darkness.
The office had a huge box of Three Days Grace promo matches that we all kept handy. I had some in my purse and lit one, expecting it to be like a movie and give us some light. It did NOTHING. Ralph was carrying a NOW Magazine and dipped it into the match to use it as a torch. The thing burnt so quickly, he immediately dropped it on the floor. Omar lit his magazine and we got a bit farther before he dropped his too. Now the fire alarm is going off and we are just a bit closer to Ralph’s car. Ralph is growling about how he pays for this parking spot and there should be some goddamn emergency lighting. I don’t know how we got out of there alive, but by the time I got home, I faced another challenge: getting to my apartment on the 17th floor with no elevators.
Long story short, my boyfriend at the time and I had a dinner of peanut butter and crackers and went to bed hot and sweaty. The next morning, we had no running water for showers because the electricity couldn’t pump it that high up. I went to work the next day just to have somewhere to go that wasn’t a hot cement box in the sky. That day ended with the best idea we could think of though: going to see Freddy VS Jason in an air conditioned movie theatre while drinking smoothies.
Bonus photo: Adam Countryman, king of the party bus, (with Greg Henderson and Glenn Vogelsang) on our way to London to see Nickelback, August 16, 2003.
What’s your blackout story?
(Top photo: The CN Tower is silhouetted against the setting sun, as Toronto was faced with a massive power outage, Aug. 14, 2003. Reuters/David Lucas)
July 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
Nick and I flew up to Toronto for two days this past weekend for what would be our last trip home before Henry comes. Since it was such a short trip and we were actually going so that Nick could see some bands that he works with, we stayed downtown the whole time, which was a nice change.
Despite a delayed flight, a fight against traffic to get from the airport, and waiting for an hour to check into our hotel, we made it to Fort York’s Garrison Commons for the first ever Toronto Urban Roots Festival.
We saw one of Nick’s favourite clients, Frank Turner, play plus Matt Mays & El Torpedo, and a few others. The best part for me was seeing all the Canadian music industry friends I hadn’t seen in quite some time. It was overwhelming having my ex-coworkers and all the other great people there, each one a surprise to run into! One of the best moments: Nick telling me how much he loves to watch me interact with “my people”. Ha!
I also ran into some friends like Alex and her cute little family. Her daughter, Addie, is Frank Turner’s #1 fan.
On Sunday, we got lunch with Julia, Jay, and Karen at our favourite spot. Then I headed back to TURF without Nick to meet up with friends, even though the sky looked threatening…
I got there in time to see Yo La Tengo and meet up with Alex, Jana, Sarah, and more (thanks to Sarah for the photo!) We got in some hangs before the skies opened up.
That night, we headed to Lee’s Palace to see Frank Turner, Northcote, and Larry & His Flask. You may ask “Hey wait a minute, aren’t you nearly six months pregnant? Where did you find the energy to do all of this, plus attend a wedding on Friday night?” Well, I was just so excited to see as many people as possible that I pushed on through two days of festivals and two nights of club shows. By 9:30 on Sunday night though, my belly felt strained from yelling over loud music and I was getting a headache so I sent myself home.
Sadly, I didn’t get to see everyone I hoped to, but I didn’t want to hurt myself. I had such a great time there though, and I’m so glad we got back home to Brooklyn before the massive storm and flooding from Monday night!
I love you, Toronto! The Storches will be back when we can.