Its 9am. Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?

Childcare.  It makes me CRAZY.  I don’t know if its ‘cos we live in a big city or if its just my bad luck.  But man, its been hard.  Really hard.

We were lucky, we had a blessed two year reprieve from childcare woes when we found our beloved nanny, H.  She was (is) amazing and truly became an honorary member of our little family.  She was offered a great job abroad and we were happy for her to follow her passion, but we were sad to see her go.

So here we are back in the muck, fighting for good childcare options.  You see in this town, daycare spaces are few and far between.  You literally have to put your kid on waitlists in utero.  Seriously.  I did this.  For weeks, I filled in application forms and sent off cheques to cover administration fees.  Once Shorty #1 was born and my return to work was 3 months in sight, I started calling around to check our waitlist positions.  328, 127, 222 – we were miles from the finish line.  And then just as despair was setting in, #30.  We were close, with 3 months to go surely a spot could/ would open for us.  Next month I save myself the heartache and called this one centre to find out we were now #128.  What.  The.  F%^&.  Are you kidding me?  How did we go down?  So after writing a scathing email and requesting a refund of my paltry $10, I set off to explore other options.

We ended up with a disastrous combo of a nanny share where the other Mom was a nightmare and a home daycare situation with a woman who ended up being completely nuts.  She actually hurt our kid to teach her a lesson about biting.  (I know I can sometimes embellish for comedic effect – but this actually happened, in 2008, in Canada – I am not kidding).

Finally we ended up in a great daycare that was our home away from home (and still is).

When #2 was on her way, we decided that the smart thing to do was hire a full time Nanny.  This is when H arrived on the scene and saved the day!  All was great for 2 years, until our dear H moved on.

Here’s where things get interesting…

Enter the new Nanny.  At first she was great.  We thought she was amazing.  Kids liked her, she seemed sweet.  Then one day she texted (texted!) to say she wouldn’t be coming in for a week (!) because her son was sick in the hospital.  Three days later we realized she was in Vegas and hadn’t learned that you should log out of your Facebook account when you’re using your boss’ iPad.  We sent her a lovely email telling her she was terminated effective immediately and oh yeah, could she put $10 on red for us?

So we are back on the hunt.  My stress level is high.  We’ll keep you posted and wish us luck.  We need it… again!

Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted, Vacation Time to Get Away

Sorry for the radio silence.  The Rock and Roll Mom has been on a little summer holiday.  Was it fun?  Ummmmm, yeah.  Sorta.  Traveling with the Shorties is always an adventure so if you look at it like that, yeah, it was fun.

We flew across the country for a long weekend to hit up a major family reunion.  One hundred odd relatives collected in a campground.  The Shorties were in heaven… Then we flew all the way back across the country, packed up the car and drove 5 hours to the interior of BC (all in the same 18 hour travel day).  Thank God it was wine country!

The Shorties on Vacation

The Shorties on Vacation

The Okanagan Valley is a great place and worth another post for travel tips and suggestions.  This was a more tame visit as we stuck close to the pool in the 35 C degree heat.

So in a blink, our vacation adventure is now behind us and we’re back home staring down the barrel of back to school and the onset of fall aka the rainy season.  We managed to make decent time on the drive home and I successfully unpacked all the bags and did the groceries so we are well poised to get back in the swing of things.

I promise that blog-writing will be on the to do list now that we are home.



My Summer Playlist

vectorstock_1306020So here’s the deal.  As The Rock and Roll Mom, I figure that I should blog about music.  The trouble is, I’m not a music critic. I can’t do it,  hate the thought of it.  Its pretty much in complete opposition to who I am as a manager where my base instinct is to serve and protect.  So while I won’t be critical, I will let you know what I can’t stop listening to right now.  I’ll also give you a glimpse into what our Family A&R Woman (aka Shorty #1) is also into this summer.

LORDE – Lord, I f%^&ing LOVE Lorde.  She’s 16, she’s from New Zealand and she is kicking some ass.  I love ROYALS, J loves ROYALS, my boss loves ROYALS, Shorty #1 loves ROYALS.  I love Royals so much I kinda want to marry it.

DAFT PUNK – Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard GET LUCKY.  Its the hit of the summer and there’s a reason for that.  Its really catchy and fun.  I’ve been a Daft Punk fan for years thanks in part to their great Spike Jonze music videos – but they have seriously maintained relevancy on the pop music scene with Random Access Memories and to be honest (nerd alert) I think that the marketing plan for this album’s release should be a case study on how it should be done.  From launching Get Lucky at Coachella to the full-streaming of the album a week prior to release, its SMART!  PS – Pharrell Williams is kinda awesome too.  Shorty #1 says “I like the Robot who sings on this song.”

JAKE BUGG – Some might think he’s Baby Bob Dylan, but I like to think he’s taking a bit of a risk and is making some fun music that sounds a little bit like music people made in the 60s.  Lightning Bolt is great!  Shorty #1 rolls down the windows when this song comes on in the car.

ALT J – My J (no way affiliated with Alt J) discovered this band and turned me on to them.  I like that they are also taking risks and are making pretty eclectic music that’s being embraced by mainstream radio.  Yay for Alt J.  Oh yeah and BREEZEBLOCKS is bad ass!

WAKE OWL – Ok they are local, one of my colleagues is the manager, another colleague produced their first album so maybe I’m a little biased.  BUT WILD COUNTRY is beautiful.  So go buy* it.  Right now.  What are you waiting for?  Go now.

* – I still buy music.  Its a self-preservation tactic I suppose.

ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ROOTS – this record comes out Sept 17, but I’ve had a sneak peak here and there.  The first single from Wise Up Ghost is called WALK US UPTOWN.  This is a whole new side of Elvis Costello and it is super groovy, so mark your calendar!

And there you have it – some of my new favorite things to listen to this summer.  I hope you don’t mind my completely narcissistic viewpoint on what’s on the playlist at our house these days.

Why Oh Why Do I Love Paris…

Slight detour to Paris

Only slightly detoured en route to Paris

I just got back from a week on the road.  Not so bad when the road is a whirlwind trip to Paris!  It had a bit of a rocky start as the French Air Traffic Controllers decided to strike while I was en route.  Good news however, as I did finally make it with only a slight detour via Brussels (very charming – made a mental note to return!)

I love Paris.  Who doesn’t?  Its EXACTLY as you would expect.  Charming little streets and bustling boulevards.  Shopping, eating, culture, pain au chocolat – what’s not to aimer?

So here’s where I (very narcissistically) share my favorite places in Paris.  Hope you don’t mind?

I have been lucky enough to travel to Paris a handful of times, always on business.  So my experiences there are more related to eating, fast shopping and sleeping.


The Hôtel de Sers

Located in the 8th, around the corner from the legendary George V, The Hotel de Sers is a great little boutique property.  The rooms are petit (as are all in Paris) but I was lucky enough to have one facing the inner courtyard which offered a little peace in Central Paris.  The bed was comfy and the bath shower combo functioned well (save for the lack of a shower door which meant for some sopping up).  The decor was edgy but not annoying although we did take pity on the sole goldfish swimming in each flower vase in the lobby.

Just off Av George V, the hotel was a very quick walk to the shopping on the Champs Élysées to the left and the Seine/ Eiffel Tower to the right.

The restaurant was good and accommodating of my weird food issues and the hotel staff in general were fantastic.  Especially the Concierge staff who happily made reservations and tracked us down to help with deliveries.


L’As du Fallafel

A trip into the Marais is not complete without a falafel and this is arguably the best I’ve ever had.  A friend brought me here and shared the tip of dining in rather than waiting in the long line at the take-out window.  The falafel costs a few euros more when dining in – but its worth it.

Like burritos found in The Mission in San Francisco – there is nothing different about these falafels save for the freshest of ingredients.  Delicious roasted eggplant and crispy cabbage perfectly accent the delicately fried falafels.  Yum!  Plus at €8.00, its a pretty cheap meal.

Le Stella

On our last visit to Le Stella we discovered that its much better in the colder months when the raw seafood bar is set up in place of the sidewalk patio.  The selection of oysters and chilled prawns, langoustins and lobster was incredible.

Le Stella is located in the 16th on Av Victor-Hugo and seems to be a local for the neighborhood.  We were charmed by families enjoying Sunday dinner with the kids fast asleep at the table.

Our recent summer visit lead us to a delicious and fresh gazpacho and some beautifully grilled sole.  Oh yeah and the Sancerre was amazing!

Au Pied de Cochon & La Poule Au Pot  

In the music business, late night eating is the way it goes so its always good to have a couple of late/ all night places in your back pocket.  Both Au Pied Au Cochon and La Poule Au Pot are located in Les Halles and are reasonably good options in a city with surprisingly few late night dining options.  Both offer tuxedoed waiters serving delicious country bread, cheese and other typical French fare.  Au Pied Au Cochon was definitely the better of the two although they were out of the house specialty last time we were there… thank God!

Guy Savoy

Bread cart, cheese cart, dessert cart.  Foodie heaven.  Enough said.


Shopping in Paris is amazing.  I have had such little free time while there to actually properly shop (ouch, my diamond shoes are pinching).  But I have dabbled.


Located everywhere – just look for the green cross.  Any Pharmacie you come across is full of treasures.  French skincare lines are amazing.  Even the inexpensive drugstore brands rival what you’ll find in the department stores.  Embryolisse is the best!  Its a favorite of make-up artists on both sides of the pond and very inexpensive even when paying in euros.  I use their Crème Anti-Àge 1èr Rides (anti-aging cream) and it is amazing.  I also really like the Avene sunscreen line.  Its easy on the skin and smells great.

Galeries Lafayette

With its incredible domed Belle Epoque ceiling, this forerunner of the department store carries anything and everything including!  Its like a shopping cathedral!  The Longchamp boutique here has stanchions to manage the throngs of tourists picking up their trademark shoppers in every shade (I have two and I LOVE them).


The beautiful flagship at 22 Rue du Faubourg St Honoré is the original boutique opened by Jeanne Lanvin in 1889 (when Coco Chanel was a mere 6 years old!)  Mme Lanvin started her life in couture as a milliner and made dresses for her daughter.  As demand grew, Lanvin became one of the premiere fashion houses in Paris.  A luxury brand for sure, but definitely worth a visit to see Lanvin and the other fashion houses along the Rue du Faubourg St Honoré.

La Tour Eiffel

Paris is an incredible place.   The first time you see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night, sparkling like diamonds will take your breath away.  I can’t wait to go back.  À la prochaine!