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.