Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things kids say...

My little guy is still working on pronunciation of some words, and sometimes words he says come out sounding a little bit perverted.  "Falcon" sounds like "f*cking", and "peacock" sounds like "big cock."  Oops.

On Canada Day, however, my son said the funniest thing.  We were in the womens' locker room changing to go swimming.  Naked women were everywhere.  As clear as a bell, he embraced the spirit of the day and said (loudly...), "I want a beaver!"  Yeah.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mommies and Wine

Let's face it.  I love a nice glass of wine from time-to-time.  Not daily, not monthly, just once in a while.  Maybe 4-5 times a year.  I love the taste of a crisp white, or a bold, fruity red, or the sweetness of an ice wine.  I have a small wine collection that would make some people weep with joy. (It's a collection because I buy wine and don't drink it, even though the wine is appealing to me).  Some of these bottles cost over $100.  Many are over $50.

I don't need a glass of wine every day.  Bottles are opened when appropriate or when I have a craving.  Or, quite frankly, when I need wine in a recipe.

Now it looks like wines are being marketed directly towards Moms.

The prevailing viewpoint seems to be that it's about time that women are targets of alcohol advertising.  Not primarily men. Potential for alcohol abuse seems to be confused with feminism.

There is a danger.  Women are now becoming addicted to substances more frequently than ever in history.  And, it's harder for women than men to quit once they become addicted to something.  Moms who drink and plan on having more children do put their future children at risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and developmental delays, if they are drinking while pregnant (before they know they are pregnant).

Also, there might be a link between parents who drink alcohol freely in front of their children and potential for alcohol abuse when the children are older.

Yes, women and Moms will drink alcohol, and I'm not against it. But, I tend to air on the side of caution when it comes to drinking in front of children or drinking to help "sooth nerves" at the end of a long day... And that holds true regardless of parental gender.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I know it's impossible, but I really wish my Dad could be here with us, not just spiritually, but physically too.

He'd love the fact that S and I are together, and he would have enjoyed conversations about their shared interests.  He would have helped with the house and enjoyed learning about all the details go in building our house.

He'd love all three of his grandkids and make them a priority.  He'd spend every moment he could with them, taking them for walks, telling them stories, and playing with toys - especially the train sets - with them.  We'd go to parks and the zoo, and experience outdoors together.

He'd love the similarities between T and him.  The way the both love hot pools, the mountains and cherries. 

He'd love his intensity and his desire to learn.

He'd love how T says, "I love books" and tells stories of his favourite things. 

He'd love watching T jump up and down, chase bubbles, 'cook' food, play inside his castle and try to be like Daddy.

Dad would love going to the Farmer's Markets, be amazed by the C-Train construction, and doing every day things like going to the bakery or visiting Cross Iron Mills (Bass Pro).

He'd appreciate a good cup of coffee from my favourite coffee shops, and love the new gourmet donut place I'm so fond of.

He'd listen, give advice, and be there whenever we needed him, just like he was when he was alive.

I miss you Dad...  There was so much more for you to experience here.  But, I'm  glad that we were able to enjoy the time we shared together when you were alive.  I treasure those moments in my heart, and look with your eyes at the magic around us.  Love you Dad!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


T is 100% Daddy.

Daddy is a plumber/gasfitter, so his standard uniform is a t-shirt, with a buttoned shirt on top.

On Friday, as I was getting T ready to go to the dayhome, I helped him put on a t-shirt, then he insisted I help him put a buttoned shirt on top too.  When I finished the top button, he smiled at me and said, "I'm handsome.  I'm handsome like Daddy."  I agreed with him and gave him a great big hug.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Miracle babies

Last week, when I finally took the little guy swimming again, I met the most beautiful little girl.  The nine month old, with big blue eyes, was so curious and couldn't stop smiling.

As Moms tend to do, we started to share our kid stories.  I learned that when the Mom was in her early 40s, she tried everything to conceive a child, and nothing happened. She and her husband gave up, and she followed her career path.  She excelled at work and was even offered a position in France.  Surprisingly, at 47, she discovered she was pregnant (totally unplanned and unexpected), and the world changed.  She finally conceived the baby she desperately wanted - the little girl playing before us.

It was obvious that this tiny miracle was going to do something special with her life and was an amazing gift.

When I hear stories like this or read stories about babies who are born despite struggles to conceive, like Calamity Jen's, it reinforces what miracles and gifts little babies are and that they should never be taken for granted.  It also reminds us that miracles can happen even when all hope is seemingly gone.  The world would be a much better place if more miracles could happen for people who would make loving parents.  And, I'm always praying for miracles.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Trying something new... sort of

Let's face it.  Being a somewhat large woman, organized sports or activities are frightening.  I'm clumsy, awkward and don't readily fit into the entire choreographed activity thing.

However, because I've been sick and not feeling any better, I decided I needed to try something to regain my strength.  I thought yoga might be a way to start.  For a person who isn't an insect stick figure and can barely touch her toes, the very act of signing up for a class - albeit a drop-in class - was terrifying.  Intimidated by the prospect, I still signed up on Tuesday for a 'beginner class' which runs on Fridays - with the hopes it would help my recovery.

I woke up this morning with a sense of dread.  Maybe I could find a way to get out of class today.  T did have a stuffy nose.  Maybe I could say my son was sick, and I could bail.  Besides, T REALLY wanted to go swimming - an activity far more appealing to me, as long as my little man was with me. Panic, panic, panic.  But, wait, I thought to myself.  I don't have yoga clothes or a yoga mat. Argh.  Yes. I did find stuff to wear... and if I needed a mat, I'm sure the registration lady would have mentioned it.

So, I dropped off my boy at the dayhome and ran some errands.  I was running behind, and worried I'd be late.  I returned to my Mom's, put on my outfit (vowed NEVER to wear this out in public unless I was going to a yoga class), and drove to the studio with my anxiety levels increasing the closer I got to my destination.

The class was scheduled for 2:00, and I arrived 10 minutes early.  I told the receptionist that I made it in pretty good time.  She looked confused.  What are you here for? Yoga.  Oops... she said.  I forgot to call you.  The class was cancelled today because the instructor was sick.

So much for my courage.  Sigh.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I know so many people going through such angst, heartache, strife and stress right now, that I sure don't feel sorry for those with a litany of First World complaints. Please cram some Perspective Pie down yon gullets.

No... I didn't write this. This was my sister-in-law's Facebook update this evening. 

Okay... she's notorious for writing somewhat inappropriate Facebook status updates.  Many bug me.  This is just the most recent.

Reading this makes me angry.  How can someone blatantly disregard and invalidate other people's feelings and issues without understanding context?

Yes. People complain.  Obviously, she's no exception.  Neither am I.  But, just because you're not going through something like an earthquake or nuclear meltdown, it doesn't mean a person's feelings are any less important than any others. 

Yes.  Perspective is important. Recognising that some of the things we moan about as a society may not be matters of life and death is part of this perspective.  However, we can't completely ignore our cultural understanding.  Things that may seem small on a global 'worry list' still may be very important within our cultural context.

Everyone has a different experience and is in a different space in their development and understanding of how the world works. You can't invalidate their feelings just because they don't conform to your own.

I have NO idea why she wrote this update... And, I'm not going to ask.  I'll just grit my teeth, and hope her words don't reflect what society in general thinks.  I'd like to think that people are more understanding of others and not so quick to judge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Making lemonade

Sick leave sucks.

I'm not a fan of sitting still, so being on sick leave kinda truly sucks.

For the most part, the little guy is at the dayhome next door to my Mom's. But, I feel guilty for not spending more quality time with him. So, I decided earlier this week that after my appointment today, I would take him 'swimming'. I went by my brother's house to pick up our swimming things (I really should be more organized), and on the drive back to pick up the munchkin, I noticed most of the lights along the main streets were out (including traffic lights). Of course, swimming pool A is along that route. I suspected the electricity in that neighbourhood was out or limited, so I thought we'd go to swimming destination B.

As T and I were driving to destination B, I noticed the traffic to the off-ramp was backed up considerably... I decided to keep driving and see how bad it really was... REALLY BAD... backed up for several kms.

So, I groaned. T was really excited about going swimming, and I didn't want to let him down.

I quickly called the local number to confirm that swimming pool A was closed... and I was right.

Hmm... What to do? What to do? I didn't want to spoil his special afternoon by not doing something special (esp. because I pulled him out of the dayhome where he was having fun dancing around). We then drove to the movie theatre near our home. Poo... The first movie wasn't set to start until early evening.

Okay... I started muttering about lemons... Then I remembered a rec centre near my father-in-laws. So, I drove over there. Fingers crossed.

We arrived. It was open and had multiple areas where we could practice our 'swimming.' What a relief! So, the little guy and I enjoyed our newly discovered recipe for the form of a local rec centre.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Officially off sick

Battling this virus and trying to minimise work-related stress has contributed to my neurological issues, so now I'm on sick leave until I feel better. I hope this fog lifts quickly. It's hard to feel sick and be a Mom of an active and energetic three year old. I can't meet his needs as much as I feel I should. But, I know I have to get better - if not for my own sake, for his.

Not sure how long I'll be off - at least until the end of the month, when I see my own doctor and complete insurance forms. When you're accustomed to working almost all of the time, sick leave isn't a welcome respite. It's a time wrought with guilt for not being able to get things done - either at the office or at home. All I want to do is get better, so things can go back to normal... My normal at least.

My fingers are crossed for a speedy recovery.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A few observations

Here are a few thoughts from today.

This week, I was off sick, still trying to fight the virus that T and I had in mid-February (still not better). I stayed at my Mom's for more than a week. Only a couple coworkers said I hope you feel better soon. Now how's that for the warm fuzzies? (To be fair, I'm not sure how many people knew I was away sick, and I get embarassed about being sick... so maybe this is an irrelevant point).

However...the Second Cup lady noticed that T and I hadn't been by for our hot chocolate for an entire week. Sigh.

But... Being sick means you lose weight without even trying. I'm down more than 10 pounds!

Argh... It's possible to "read" a book without reading a page. I started to read a book yesterday - I'm even about a quarter way through - and I have no idea what I read or what the book is about.

Huh?... Why is it that your hair never looks as good as it does when you leave the salon?

Next... Now that we're back at my brother's, my son brought be a carton of eggs. I was starting to question my sanity, wondering if I bought too many eggs, then I decided to check the fridge. Imagine my surprise to discover he took one dozen eggs that were in the fridge egg holder and placed them in the carton. Then, he decided to put the carton back into the Farmer's Market cart. Pretty cute and somewhat funny.

And... Sometimes, a short message can put a smile on your face. I received a FB message from someone I usually don't hear from, and it made me happy.

Then...It's nice to be home. Even if it is my temporary home. It's great to be surrounded by our own stuff... at least some of our stuff.

And, finally... My heart hurts for those in Japan right now. The earthquakes and tsunamis today are horrifying.

Three years ago today...

Three years ago today, my life changed.

Heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) pregnant with baby T, three years ago today I went into labour. After a difficult pregnancy (where I was in pain most of the time) and a few false starts, it was an odd realisation that the little twinges I felt every seven then five minutes a part might be the start of the magic moment when I could finally meet my little child.

We didn't officially know if we were going to have a baby boy or baby girl. In my heart, I knew T was going to be a boy. About a year and a half before he was born, I had a vision... right before falling asleep...of my man and I cuddling. In this vision, he put his hand on my belly and felt the baby move around, and we knew he was going to be a boy. This was a few months after my man and I started dating, so this vision was premature - to say the least. And, throughout my pregnancy, the little guy knew he was a boy. He'd kick like mad in hardware stores and stay very still in 'girl stores' like Sephora.

March 11, 2008 was a bit odd. My man and I went to apply for my EI, then decided to stop by my brother's house to visit him and my niece. I remember experiencing a few twinges and thinking 'Nah, this can't be it. I'd have to be in more pain." Of course, this is after visiting the hospital a few times with false labour.

It was almost surreal, and I was in total denial. My brother and my man both suggested we go to the hospital. I laughed, saying that I we'd be sent right back home. But, the baby was due on March 9th... so..

During the long drive(well, at least it felt like a long drive) to the hospital, I started to call folks and leave messages on people's voicemail - indicating we were on our way, but that we'd likely be calling to follow-up to say we were back home again.

When we went to the maternity ward, the nurse took one look at me and said, "You're not in labour. You're not in enough pain." At that moment, I KNEW I was in labour (I had to prove her wrong), and sure enough, I was about six or seven centimetres dilated (much to her apologetic shock). So, I checked in and they wheeled me into the delivery room.

I had hoped my Mom and my man would be my birth coaches, but unfortunately, it didn't work out that way. My Mom was very sick with the flu and couldn't make it. So, my man and I decided that his sister would be my co-coach.

My birth plan was pretty simple. I wanted a natural birth, but I would be okay with anything as long as it resulted in a healthy baby. At first, it was okay. Then I started to enjoy laughing gas to take the sting off.

But, then the baby was in distress. There was meconium in my amniotic fluid and his pulse rate started to be higher than acceptable. The doctor's decided to have an emergency C-section. In my pain-filled haze, I signed an okay to get the procedure done.

I was wheeled into the operating room, and my man was there with me along (so much for him taking breaks). He held my hand and watched as our baby boy was born. I didn't know what was going on; all I knew was that someone was feeling around my belly. Then, at 2:15 am on March 12, 2008, I heard the most magical sound ever. My baby was crying. I asked if it was a boy or a girl. He was a boy, and he was healthy. Both my man and I cried. Then after the doctors and nurses worked their magic, my man let me hold our baby for the first time.

He was beautiful in a wrinkly old man kind of way. We started to ask him what he wanted to be called. He had a slight smile at T and winced at the other names we suggested, so baby T was named.

In my exhausted haze, I fell in love with him. And, I continue to fall in love with him a little more everyday. He is the best gift I've ever received, and I'm so thankful to be his Mom.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

News stories that caught my eye today

Back at work again, so I have greater exposure to news stories. Here are a few that caught my eye today. The first one still makes me weep when I watch it (lack of sleep = over emotional responses).

Man Proposes to Girlfriend in a TV Commercial

Galliano Fired from Christian Dior

Waiting to pee can help you make better decisions

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Took the boy on an excursion today

The car is in the shop.

The car will be there until at least the end of work day tomorrow.

I miss my car.

However, I have an odd logic about things. I don't believe that any kid should spend the entire day in the house, unless they are very sick. So, even when the little guy is under the weather, I'll still drag him out for a little while, just so he can get some fresh air.

So what happens when my primary means of transportation is gone???

The house that we're building is in a very child-friendly community. We have playgrounds, coffee shops and stores in walking distance, so we can walk anywhere we need to go without necessarily being on high-traffic roads until we need to be.

Where we're living now - in my brother's basement - the only way to walk anywhere is to start on a main/heavy traffic street.

So today, I took a deep breath and decided I couldn't let the lack of vehicle and very close proximity to fun places stop us from getting out of the house and having a little adventure - specifically going to the nearby swimming pool.

The swimming pool is walking distance from where we're at, but the thought of going there with an almost three year old on a high-traffic route was a bit daunting. The thought of going to the pool in -16° C weather and carrying the accessories required was scary.

Then, I realised from my very sheltered viewpoint that Mommies do this every day. They pack up their little ones and either walk or take the bus to destinations - regardless of temperature or what they have to carry.

We did it. We walked about a half hour in bitterly cold temperatures to the swimming pool, where we played for about an hour and a half. Then we gathered our things, went for hot chocolate and a muffin, and took the bus home.

For me, it was a great accomplishment. Yes you can laugh at that statement. This very routine that other mothers do EVERYDAY. The Moms who do this all the time and make it look easy are my heroes. I think you’re amazing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I have a couple weeks off from work. 

Unfortunately, the first week was spent being sick and tending to the needs of a sick child.  The odd thing was that I didn't mind or notice that the week vanished with very little done.  We were too busy sleeping and trying to get healthy. I had hoped to go to the zoo (one of T's favourite things in the world to do), go to the mountains and visit a few exhibits.  Didn't do any of it.  I figured when we felt healthier, we could go.

Now, we're still housebound, but in a different way.  The clutch went on my car, and it will be repaired on Tuesday (Wednesday, at the latest I hope!).  What does this mean?  Once again, we'll be sitting still, or at the mercy of kindness from family for transportation. 

It's funny.  You don't realise how much you rely on your vehicle or value your ability to just pick up and go until you can't.  As much as I enjoy being with my little guy at home - doing crafts, learning ABC's and 123's and playing with his toys - there's something confining about not being able to just go somewhere - to the grocery store, park etc.

There's a lack of freedom that I haven't experienced in a long time.  Sure we could take the bus places, but the colder temperatures make it difficult to cart the little guy around.  And, suddenly there's a lack of spontaneity.  I can't just go grab a cup of coffee while the boys are gradually starting their morning.  It's an odd, somewhat unsettling feeling.   Thankfully, this lack of freedom is only temporary.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Entertainment v.s. Pleasure

Last night, I watched a bit of Eat, Pray, Love.  ('A bit' reflects reality... as a Mom, I rarely watch a movie from start to finish.  At least in one sitting).

A certain part resonated with me.  I couldn't find the actual quotes from the movie, but I found these:
 "Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure)."
"Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure.Ours is an entertainment seeking-nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one....This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype- the overstressed executive who goes on vacation, but who cannot relax."

This got me thinking: Do we as a society spend too much time looking to be entertained (passive) vs. seeking pleasure (active)?

We become numbed by our hectic lives, don't get a chance to recharge and wonder why all we have the energy for is to be entertained.   We've been running on that proverbial treadmill, unable to see and experience the everyday magic in our lives.

Earlier in the day, after a lovely spa-visit, my girlfriend and I drove by an area of town with fabulous shops.  When we were in high school and university, it was exciting to wander around the area, explore the architecture, and experience the neighbourhood. 

Now, I don't feel that same level of excitement.  Are we becoming tainted?  Have I experienced so much in my life that these things - these neighbourhoods - are being taken for granted?  Am I being numbed to the magic that once surrounded my daily adventures?

After I watched that portion of the movie, I poured water for my little guy's bath.  As the water was filling the tub, I ran my fingers through the water.  I consciously experienced the moment - the slight pressure against my fingers as I swirled the water about. 

And, it felt good.  Really good.

I was conscious in the moment.  Enjoying the sensation.

Perhaps that's the answer... Immerse yourself in the moment.

But, of course, the question is how?  In our 'go-go' culture, how can the numbness evaporate and become feeling and pleasure? 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

McDonald's for dinner... again

Saturday... McDonald's
Wednesday (today)...McDonald's

Kinda... well extremely... gross.

After a long day at work, I need to figure out healthier 'fast food' alternatives.  Not cool.  No wonder I'm wearing stretchy pants.

And, I have to be cognisant that food and mood are linked.  Recent research went as far as to indicate fast food was linked to depression.   Of course, the question is... Is it the food?  Or are people who take better care of themselves less prone to depression?  Just a thought.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My boy is starting to remember the strangest things...

Lately, I've noticed that T is starting to remember...

Yes he knows Tuesday is library day, and he's memorised the route to the zoo, and he knows there is a Thomas table at Indigo/Chapters. He also recognises the logos for Starbucks, Phil and Sebastien and Second Cup (all places to go for his special treat - hot chocolate).

His memory is now becoming more sophisticated.  Yesterday, he remembered he painted three items at the pottery place... a turtle, a pig and Daddy's special cup.  I unwrapped the first two, and he asked "Where is Dad's cup?", something I was hoping to hide/save until Valentine's Day.  Yes... we gave it to Dad early.

Then, while we were visiting my Mom today, I mentioned to Daddy that we needed more milk.  We had almost arrived home when he said, "Mommy forgot milk."  He got all upset because he realised we didn't get what we had planned on getting, so we drove to get milk.

He also told me all about his day at Sarah's house, saying, "I had fun at Sarah's house.  I played.  I played with blocks.  I had song."

I know all Mom's say this... but it absolutely amazes me at how much he learns... and how much he remembers.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some of T's favourite videos on YouTube

Elmo's World Theme

Original Song

Katy Perry on Sesame Street
Little Engines
Down by the Docks

Adventures begin again

After not being able to do much with the boy (crazy workload, adverse weather), we're finally starting to get back into the swing of things. 

We went to Gymboree again yesterday, and he loved it.  He was so determined to get out of the car to go play, that he said, "Take the buckles off, please" (referring to the car seat buckles).  He really enjoyed climbing all of the equipment and was more keen on participating in the group activities.

We then drove across town to visit his cousins.  They played and played... enjoying each other's company.  He didn't want to leave his best friends.

Today, we went to the Boat and Sports Show, where he tried his hand at archery, fishing and minnow racing.  He won a hockey stick and a fishing rod... He's definitely one lucky kid.  It was wonderful for the three of us - T, Daddy and me - to hang out.  A rare treat we look forward to doing more often.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My life is far from glamorous

Today, a coworker of mine and I laughed as we realised that we weren't expecting to be doing this while we were in university.

The 'this'?  Helping people pack-up their possessions from their flood-damaged apartments.  Hardly the glamorous lifestyle I anticipated when I was in school.

I'd always pictured myself wearing gorgeous clothes, flying around the world and hanging around in limos, drinking champagne.  Did a little bit of that earlier in my career (well, maybe not the fly around the world part, but the rest, I can easily say I did).  Now not so much.

Sure, I still do kinda cool stuff like spend time with well-known political types and some celebrities on occasion, but most of the time, I'm a bit closer to earth.

It's funny how our priorities change throughout life.  Now I think it's more important to make a difference in the community than have the external things that some people believe define their success.  My thoughts might change... especially because non-profit is non-profit for a reason.  But for now, I'm content being un-glamorous.

I do enjoy knowing the work I do makes a difference within our community, and that we show leadership so other places can lead even more change.

So maybe the life I envisioned while in university isn't the life I wanted to live after all.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Date With My Boy

It feels like it's been forever since my son and I have left the world of day-to-day errand running and did something special.

Despite heavy snowfall, we braved slippery driving conditions (I ended up slipping into the street, and my car was stuck for a short period at a 45 degree angle) to go to Gymboree.  He was mesmerized by all of the things to climb, balls to to throw and the slides and parachute.  He didn't particularly care for the other kids, but the opportunity to just go and play made him very happy.  He thought the parachute was particularly fun, and I think that Dad being there made it extra-special.

Daddy and I decided that even though our budget was particularly tight, we would enroll him in a weekly class to help him develop his social skills and give him time to just be a kid.

After the class, T and I went to paint pottery.   I was a little concerned about the roads, but the pottery place wasn't too far away, and I thought he'd enjoy it.  I was right.  He LOVED painting his turtle and pig... and something secret and special for Daddy for Valentine's Day... shhh...

Given the chilly temperatures, we decided to go for hot chocolate, run a few errands (we couldn't get away with not buying a few small grocery items), and head home... where he promptly took a nap.

It felt good to enjoy his company and explore again.  It reminded me how wonderful it is to be a Mom.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Today was a day of gremlins...

I thought I packed my Blackberry and cell phone.  No.  They were on the living room table. 

I thought I packed T's boots.  No.  They were left in the kitchen.

I thought T had enough diapers for his day home.  No.  One left.

And, of course, the traffic was particularly brutal on the way to work, so I was late.  Then, the on-line programs I was trying to use weren't working. Yipes!

But, the gremlins faded as the day progressed.  I was able to have an interview with a high-ranking elected official (a hard to get get... media were waiting almost outside his door, but he spoke with us first). Then, I did something I was dreading for about a week... I had a talk with my much-loved day home provider, indicating I had to find something more structured for my son.  She was sweet, lovely and respectful, saying my son was always welcome back. 

So despite little gremlins doing their thing this morning, everything worked out alright. (I'm still a bit sad about the day home provider.  I'm going to miss her).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Question of Ethics

In life, I'm the type of person who likes to feel confident in the outcome - regardless of it is - before I role the dice.

I dot my 'i's and cross my 't's. 

I like to know I'm being ethical and looking after all the details.

I've always considered protecting reputation and maintaining ethical behaviour at an organization to be part of my role - regardless of position on the totem pole.

But, what happens when you have a boss who doesn't value this trait?  The type of boss who says, 'get it done, regardless of consequence'.

There is an inherent, underlying tension between get it done and get it done right.  Often, there is a degree of compromise.  But not always.  I have a need to do the right thing - even if it causes delay.

The only practical solution seems to be to recognise the different needs and the roles being played... and to try not to mentally kill each other.  Embracing differences might be the key to survival.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Journalist Peggy Orenstein wrote a book called, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, criticising marketing towards little girls that encourages early sexualization and focus on appearance.

This has me thinking... The feminist movement is taking a giant step backwards with the burgeoning 'pink culture' targeted at little girls. What are we teaching our daughters - the future generation of women?  Through the propagation of 'pink culture' we're teaching our 'princesses' that beauty equates with personal value. 

The fairy tale mentality that we fought to overcome may be losing ground with this princess movement.  Will little girls start to internalise the myths? Women need to be rescued by men; we can change a man from a 'beast' to loving prince through our love; and beauty is equated with all that is good and 'ugly' is equated with all that is evil.

It's scary to think all of this marketing to youth will shape how they see themselves and ultimately the world and shape generations to come.  Hopefully, strong parenting, the willingness to discuss and defy stereotypes and encouragement to explore all facets of life will overcome the challenges of being a little girl in today's society.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Something that makes me smile...

Here are some things that make me smile as T's Mommy:
  • I've been wearing contact lenses lately, and he keeps asking, "Where are Mommy's glasses?"
  • When we order a "kid's" hot chocolate at Second Cup or Starbucks, he corrects me, saying "T [full name]'s hot chocolate."
  • Daddy and T have taken to morning pillow fights.  So, he'll toss a pillow at me and say, "pillow fight."
  • He loves "scary dinosaurs" and will growl every time he says it.
  • T likes to play hide and seek.  He'll crawl under the covers, saying "Where's T [full name]?" then pull them off exclaiming "Here I am?"

So Tired...

After a super-busy week, I am so tired.  Normally, Saturday's mean running errands, having adventures with my son and taking care of about a million things.  Today, I am so tired... very tired. I just want to take a nap.  Sigh.

Friday, January 21, 2011

They Cancelled Medium...


Okay, that's pretty hard language.  But, I really enjoyed the show; it was part of my must-see-TV.  I'd look forward to it every week, and I own several of the seasons.

There are very few shows that I have to see... and Medium was one.  I guess I have lots of memories of watching the program with my man.  We'd have lost weekends and watch episodes on DVD back-to-back. 

The program was about love. The relationship between Joe and Allison DuBois was always so supportive, and they survived tough times together... They were focused on each other and their girls as a family.

Now it's done.  I am sad. 

The Mommy Guilt

I found an article that makes me feel much less guilty about my 'Mommy Guilt'.

Okay, I still feel guilty about not being the perfect mother/wife/employee/daughter etc... But at least there's a method to my madness...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Today, I found myself in the strangest position.  I found myself envious of someone who had nothing... well very little... but she had the one thing I wanted: to stay home and focus on raising her kids for a while.

Yup... I have a secure, interesting job where I meet various folks - some well known, others not so much - but I'm always learning from them.  I have a gorgeous home, and a loving man and the perfect child...  But she has the one thing that's weighing on my heart the most: the ability to be a stay-at-home mom for a while.  Or at least - the ideal plan - to work much fewer hours and spend real time - quality time with my child.

I've worked hard all of my life to develop a career, but now that I have this little person, I want to be with him.  And, lately my job has involved long, long hours, and limited quality time with my child.  It breaks my heart.

The corporate environment where I'm work values long hours.  Before I had the little man, I didn't mind this sort of thing.  I was often the first person in my office and the last to leave.  Now, I don't want to do it anymore. I just want to put in my hours and rush home to be with him. (and no... I'm no longer the first to arrive/last to leave... but I still put in an astronomical number of hours).

The only solution I can think of is to figure out a way to work fewer hours and get paid the same/more.  How cliche!  But, it's true.  It would be a great way to balance life and work.  I'm tired of living to work... Been there done that. I want to work to live.  Really live and enjoy life.  Is there something wrong with that?


I've always played by the rules... I studied hard, did well in school, got good-ish jobs with pension and health care plans.  I met the love of my life, and now we have this gorgeous little man together.   I don't usually take risks without weighing my options very carefully.  (Case in point: I researched my most recent car purchase for months, then bought the most popular/award winning car I could afford... How's that for playing it safe?) Lately I wonder if playing it safe is really not getting me anywhere and if I should be taking more risks.

Would taking more risks lead to a more fulfilling life?

Life has gone by pretty fast, and I don't want to have regrets.  But, I have to ask myself.  What do I want?  And, what risks do I need to take to get there?

I have no answers... Just a thought... A hope... that the right idea will come to me when I need it to.  Then, I would be able to make the change and take the risk...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It's amazing how much of a difference liking someone can make when you hit a snag.  Today the woman (formerly known as 'Ice Princess?') admitted to a technical error, requiring a re-shoot.  Normally, given the cost, tight timelines, expectations etc, I would have freaked.  Instead, I said that these things happen, and we'd try to re-shoot the footage.  And, it worked out.  We were able to get the 'hard to gets' to shoot again.

Liking made the difference.  I might have reacted very differently if she wasn't someone who I didn't like.  Odd, huh?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ice Princess?

A week and a half ago, I was assigned the task on developing a video to promote our organization.  My role? Be the 'go to girl', working with the production crew.

My first meeting with the creative director didn't give me the warm fuzzies.  She was one of these really stylish, bohemian types... You know, with long dark hair that just emotes smugness.  She had a slight cockiness - like she was the expert, and ideas shouldn't be imposed upon her.

I was a bit concerned... Perhaps very concerned... that the creativity was going to over-ride the objectives of this little film.

The little film isn't complete yet, but after working with her on the shoots for a couple of days, I've learned a bit more about her. Things like she bites her lips when she gets nervous, and she has the skills to make a great video.  And, the ice princess suddenly isn't the ice princess after all.  I now suspect my initial impression of her was of someone trying to project herself as confident, rather than to portray a sense of smugness.

Believe it or not... she's actually fun to work with (not the pee your pants laughter kind, but more of an intense adventure/sense of accomplishment kind)... and, yes... I think she'll do a great job.  Looking forward to seeing the final cut.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Breastfeeding 'Rules'

I was one of the lucky ones who was able to nurse my child for as long as I could.  I followed the generally accepted rules at the time, and he didn't start eating solid foods until he was about six months old.  However, it seems the advice has changed now.  Apparently, there is new research out to suggest that children may develop better if they are exposed to solid foods earlier than that. Check out this story for details.

Reading new 'expert' advice seems to prove - once again - that no matter what we do as parents that we think is in the best interest of our child will have some research to prove it wrong. 

But, what is right?  How long should you breastfeed your child?

According to, you should nurse your child for as long as it makes sense for each of you.  And, it's not unheard of for cultures to nurse their kids for more than two years. 

When is it inappropriate to be nursing your child?  In a recent article, it noted that one woman was breastfeeding both her five month old and her six year old. The article generated more than 160 comments - many of them negative.

I don't know the right answer to when a child should stop nursing; all I know is what was right for our family.  Initially, I hoped to stop when he was one, but he became very ill, and the doctors said that breastfeeding him was the best was to keep him nourished and comforted.  He continued to nurse in the evenings before he fell asleep until he was a little older than two. It seemed the right time for both of us - my son and me.

The controversy over breastfeeding will continue - how long before introducing solid foods and when to stop.  My thoughts are: you know your kid better than anyone else... you have to do what you think is right.

My Funny and Fabulous Kid

Being a Mom, I sometimes stop and marvel at the big kid my little baby is becoming.

Here's a little about him:
  • T is almost three
  • He's an only child
  • He likes to have one sippy cup filled with apple juice and one with hot chocolate in each hand, so he can alternate sips
  • He loves Toy Story and re-enacts the scenes in the movie
  • He still isn't potty trained, likely because of Mommy and Daddy's laziness
  • T loves to play... with toys, outside... everywhere
  • He is fascinated by dinosaurs, cars and trains
  • He wants to drive Mommy's car
  • He's been swatting and hitting people lately (gasp... not quite sure how to stop that behaviour)
  • His cousins - G, one year older and X, one and a half years younger - are his best friends
  • He likes to sleep with Sid, a stuffed monkey I picked up years before he was born to accompany me on long road trips
  • Sometimes I think he's 100% his Dad, but every once in a while, I'll see a little bit of me in him
  • As a working Mom, I worry about spending enough time with him - I don't want to miss a thing, and I want him to be the best person he can be
  • He loves going to the zoo and knows the animals there
  • He's like a teenager... he always wants to stay up late and sleep in (groan)
  • He's a flirt... knows how to blow kisses and wink (Daddy taught him the latter)
  • Tuesday is library day, and he knows it
  • I love him, and his Dad, with all my heart
My little man is growing up so fast... I know that's a bit of a cliche, but it's true.  I treasure all the time we share together.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So tired...

With the cold, windy, snowy weather, I am feeling particularly lazy, tired and apathetic.  Is this normal?  I ran out for about an hour to get milk and bread while the boys stayed at home, lounging in their pjs, but beyond that, I've been lazing on the couch, eating snacks and basically doing nothing. 

When I wasn't a Mom, I was okay with these kinds of days. I'd spend much of the day in bed, watching movies, reading books, eating whatever I felt like picking on and sleeping... lots of sleeping.  I'd take long bubble baths, write and do very little of anything productive.  I would enjoy these lost weekends.  They were infrequent, but I loved them.

Now, I feel guilty.  Guilty for not spending enough time with my boy.  Guilty for eating too much (I eat to try to stay awake and get energised... not working).  Guilty for not cleaning. And, guilty for wanting to declare tomorrow a sick day, even though I'm not sick (despite the temptation, I won't do that...).

I know I need to re-charge.  But, I'm not sure how.