Monday, 31 March 2008

One more day...

I have magnanimously decided to let my children live another day...through the hours of incessant crying and whining and clinging and screaming...

First Day of School

Today Colin and I started day one of homeschool! I was excited, nervous, unsure and hopeful all rolled up into one emotion bubbling in my stomach. The result of today's lesson was quite encouraging, and I think I just might venture into day two tomorrow!

Some of you might be wondering how on earth I start a two-year-old in school. It's not as crazy as it seems and not as time-consuming as it sounds. In then end, it became a necessity rather than a luxury. Our informal learning as been happening since Colin was born. He very naturally, and very quickly, picked up most of the things he should know to be ready for kindergarten. The question that came then was: what next?

Really, the program that I'm using is more about structure for me than him. To Colin, it will seem as though the day goes on as usual: we read, we sing, we play games, we colour, we learn about things around the house and in the world. The program allows me to make sure that his learning is consistent and varied, and does not neglect one area over another.

Each week has a theme (this week it is cows). Over the week, we read a different book about cows each day. We learn a song about cows. We learn a new word about cows ("calf"). We do gross motor (crawling around the house pretending to me cows, and mooing) and fine motor activities (pasting together a picture of a cow). Really, the theme is open ended, and we're encouraged to incorporate it in many different ways. Today Colin happened to ask for milk while we were learning, so we enjoyed a tall glass and watched a video online of a woman milking a cow, as we talked about how we get milk.

Each week we also learn (or review, in Colin's case) a letter, a number, a shape and a colour. There are various suggested activities to help reinforce different aspects of each of these areas.

Then I've added a scriptural component. Each week we'll read a bible story (that hopefully I can relate to the weekly theme. This week we're doing "Joseph's dream" - seven fat cows and seven skinny cows!)

We have a learning board which has a whole bunch of clear pockets on it, into which we put pictures of the things we learn during the week. I'll be sure to post a picture of it at the end of the week, so you can have a visual idea of what we're doing.

Colin seemed to really enjoy today's 'lesson'. It took less than 30 minutes, much of which was spent in our gross motor game (pretending to be cows). But after lunch, Colin came back and asked to read the cow book again, and to pretend to be cows again.

I'm also trying to more actively involve Colin in our home life, as a less formal type of homeschool. Today we swept the kitchen floor - Colin used the dustpan to sweep up my piles and then dispose of the dirt into the garbage, all on his own. (I had to resist sweeping up the last wayward crumbs, because I didn't want to undermine his work. He was so proud of it!) Tomorrow I plan to help create a day calendar with him, that includes a picture to represent an activity for each day of the week that makes it unique (ie: Sundays is church, Wednesdays is Playplace with his grandma, etc.).

This whole experience is a learning one for both Colin and I. I'm not sure how it will pan out, if the program will work for us, or even if homeschool will be a success. After a few weeks, I may abandon the lesson plans altogether. Either way, I'll at least have an idea on how to focus myself and Colin a little more and get much more out of our days.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Colin's Culinery Adventures

Generally I'm the one who makes dinner, however Caleb decided he needed feeding just as I was starting to make dinner, and so James took over for me. He was creating a delicious tomato sauce to pour over our pasta. As he sauteed onions and peppers and other vegetables, a great deal of smoke was rising up from the pan. Colin came into the kitchen:

Colin: Oooh! I'm scared! (as he clenches his hands under his chin and pretends to shake)
Mom: What are you scared of?
Colin The smoke!
Mom: Oh, honey, it's okay. Daddy is just cooking and the pan is making some smoke. I know it looks scary, but as long as Daddy is here it will be okay.
Colin: Okay.

Tentative but assured, Colin wandered off. Then, ten minutes later, I noticed Colin had pulled out his tupperware and spoons and was "cooking" with us in the kitchen.

Colin: Mom, I'm cooking!
Mom: It looks yummy! What are you making?
Colin: Smoke!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Round Two...

...goes to the virus. I got terribly annoyed with trying to catch up with the cleaning, James woke up this morning with the bug, and Colin threw up again last night. When will it end???!!!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Taking Back the House

We had a nasty visitor this past week - a stomach virus. It crept in unnoticed and hit Colin first, then Caleb, and then finally penetrated my incredible defense system. It also leaped to my mother's house (who had generously come to help out while James worked and the rest of us were ill).

It was five long days of tears and naps and being sick and sipping ginger ale and breathing stale air and calls to Telehealth and trips to the Emergency Room and the household chores falling behind and 3am laundry runs. I am ever so grateful for the health I have nearly all the time. (The last time I was sick was four years ago).

It was a pitiful time here. I now have a good way to describe what it is like for me to be pregnant (yes - I generally feel as though I have a 9 month stomach flu!). It was also a terrible thing to watch my children suffer in such a way. The nurse asked me if Colin was "less active than normal". If Colin is still more than five minutes, I know he's sick. Last week, he spent two days with arms draped around my neck, eyes staring in the distance, barely moving. And then to see a tiny 4 month baby sick - I pray you new mothers do not have to experience it. Caleb would be sent into these little crying fits, followed by several spasms of vomiting. He would gaze into my eyes with a woeful look and I could hear him pleading with me to make it stop.

And now I'm taking back the house. Be gone, you virus! I will mop you from the kitchen floors, wash you from the sheets, wipe you from the counters, and banish you out the windows as I let in the fresh air!

The usual doldrums of chores finally hold some excitement for me as I take the reins and get my house back in order. If it weren't snowing outside, I might have been in the mood to take on some "Spring Cleaning". However I think our calendar needs some readjusting, as clearly a snowy blizzard doesn't equate with our current season.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Mother-Daughter sports

I am easily inspired. My mind is constantly on the move, thinking of new things to try or change or implement. They're personal or familial, on a community level or world stage. Half of the time I actually take my ideas by the horns and do something about it, half the time it stays up there.

This one is worth too much not to record, even if it's just for myself. It's not something I can action immediately, but I'm afraid it will be lost forever in my terrible memory if I don't jot it down. One day in the not too distant future I hope to come across this idea again and have the chance to do something about it.

I was reading today an article about what girls today need in order to thrive. Aside from the differences in learning and education (a topic I'm always fascinated by), the author also talked about the importance of sports. I'm a big sports fan. Over the years I've participated in volleyball, basketball, field hockey, soccer, cross country running, swimming, gymnastics, skating and baseball. And those are just the formal teams. Sports is a natural love for me - there aren't many of my family members who enjoy it like I do. I was excited to read in this article the tracked benefits of girls who engage in sports.

The line that inspired me, however was this: "Kids are inspired by the people closest to them. That means you, Mom! We need moms to get out there and show girls how it's done."

Isn't that a great idea? And I don't just mean girls going out to watch their moms play - I think they should play with them! I'd love to organize a couple of mother-daughter teams to play sports. The girls (probably ages 10-16) would have a chance to play in a non-competitive environment, have a go at a couple of different sports, and get a chance to hang out with Mom one-on-one.

As excited as I am about this now, I know it's not the right time for me to start a project of this magnitude. But I know that when the time is right, this idea/journal entry will mysteriously surface again and I'll be re-inspired with this one.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

The incredible bendy mom

Come one and all to see the incredible bendy mom! See how she manages to split herself to go in different directions at the same time! Marvel at her ability to spread herself thin to the point of transparency! Discover her invisible third, fourth, and fifth arms! Take a look inside her multi-tasking brain, able to process multiple bits of information bombarding her simultaneously! Witness her incredible strength to carry and balance a 15 pound baby and a 25 pound toddler at the same time! Wonder as she easily creates carbon copies of herself to cook dinner, change a diaper, sweep the floor and answer the phone at the same time! And stay tuned for future engagements, as the number of children in her charge grows and she increases her bendability to maximum potential!

(sound familiar, moms?)

Someone please tell me the secret to creating a second "me" so that both my children can get my undivided attention that they both seem to need at the same time!!! Arrrrghhhh!

Ode to a Grandma

Grandmas are the very best creation.
Grandmas always have a huge smile for you when they see you
(and very often a little treat as well).
Grandmas take you on walks and jump in all the puddles
then give you a warm bath when you get home.
Grandmas take you to fun places like Playplace.
Even going to boring places like Wal-Mart are fun with a grandma along.
Grandmas get right down on the ground to play with you,
and like to hear about all my new toys.
Grandmas read books to you,
and do all the voices,
and always read "one more", even after "the last one".
Grandmas like to have you over for sleepovers
and keep a special place in their house for you to sleep,
your very own bed that makes you feel like
her house is your house, too.
Grandmas always make the yummiest food,
making eggs or macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese,
and then they have some cookies or granola bars
or another special treat to eat.
Grandmas are really smart,
and teach you lots of things during the day,
like what a "thermostat" is,
or which side of the road to walk on
or about the ants crawling in the sand.
Most of all, Grandmas love you.
They have so much love that they like to
kiss you
hug you
and remind you every time they see you
just how much they love you.
Well, I love you, too.


Monday, 17 March 2008

Colin's Favourite Games

"Chugga Chugga"
Players: Colin, and anyone who walks in the door. If someone new comes in while you are playing, don't be surprised if you are replaced by this newcomer.
How to play: Chase Colin around the main floor of the house, making train motions with your arms and repeating the words "chugga chugga". The occasional "toot toot" also goes over really well.


"Where's Tigger?"
Players: Colin, Tigger (stuffed animal) and one adult.
How to Play: Hide Tigger somewhere around the house. Ask Colin "Where's Tigger?" Follow Colin from room to room while he looks for him.
Variation: Colin will tell you where to hide Tigger. Colin will then go from room to room asking himself "Where's Tigger?" while looking for him. Bonus: if you can manage to move Tigger from the spot that Colin told you to hide him, Colin will become confused, but appreciate this added level to the game.


Players: Colin and an adult of his choice.
How to Play: Rules vary based on Colin's mood. Either he will build something and you are to watch, or he will instruct you to build something. If you are the one doing the building, when you are done, let Colin know. He will then randomly attach all leftover blocks to your creation before he pronounces it finished.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Just Caleb and I

The last two days have been an absolute joy for me in an unusual way - I had the chance to spend them solely with Caleb. My mom took Colin those two days to give me a little break. The idea was that I could actually have some time to myself without a two year old hanging off my every move.

I discovered two things. One - I cannot believe how much of my attention Colin takes up. I truely had no idea. Yesterday I awoke to a fresh loaf of homemade bread, baked banana bread, did the dishes, swept the kitchen, showered, dressed and prepped some Cuban chicken strips for dinner - all before 9am! Most mornings I'm lucky if the three of us are dressed by then.

The second thing I discovered was that it was incredible to spend some time alone with Caleb. Granted, he had a few naps during which I was able to get some precious reading time in, but while he was awake I snuggled with him, played the piano for him, played with him, bathed him, massaged him - and just generally spent some one-on-one time with him.

For those of you out there with more than one kid, I highly recommend trying to fit this kind of quality time in. Many of you have new babies, and I know how easy it is to keep transferring them from room to room and plop them in a swing, on a mat, or in a crib. But when you really get to give them your undivided attention, it will remind you of what it was like when your first was brand new, and it was just the two of you.

For those whose children are older, the one-on-one time is even more precious. I can still remember my father taking me on "Daddy-daughter dates" as a kid. I even remember the first one - I was five and we went to see the movie "Follow That Bird". (I can remember some of the scenes, and even remember it scaring me a little!) I love the idea of large families, and James and I definitely want more kids, but I hope that I'll be able to develop a special and different relationship with each one.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Venturing into Homeschooling

"Homeschooling" is a word that has been coming in and out of my life a lot lately. I had never considered the idea until a few acquaintances I have started mentioning their foray into educating their kids at home. Suddenly there was a whole new world opening up to me, with which I am deeply fascinated. Teaching is a career I've always had in the back of my mind, and numerous times I've looked into going back to Teacher's College. So I guess it's not all that surprising that I've developed an interest in it.

Public school is still a year and a half away for Colin, and I'm not sure that homeschooling when he gets to that age is something I want to do. But not only have I started hearing about it more and more from friends, my grandfather (noticing Colin's intelligence) even mentioned to me the other day that I might consider homeschooling him.

Having noticed several very specific personality traits of Colin's has caused me to start doing some investigating.

Colin is very bright. Yes, I'm his mother, and so of course I'm partial, but others have also made this observation. Mostly I attribute it to his memory, which is near photographic. But the other trait that caused me to consider homeschooling is that he is what I affectionately term a "spirited child". I close friend introduced me to this idea (she herself has a spirited boy) and I really identified with it. Colin is very active, is always on the move, and can act out when bored. All these characteristics could combine to mean he's "that child that just won't behave" in school, whom teachers plop in the back of the class because they don't have the time to deal with him. Yes, it's still early, and he's only two. But the nice thing about early recognition is that if I do have issues with public school, I've already gotten used to the idea of the alternatives, and am well educated about these possibilities.

But the more immediate use, for me, is that I'm stuck. My mother is an elementary school teacher, and she has remarked that Colin already knows much of what they teach in kindergarten. In fact, she has said that he knows more than some of these 4 or 5 year olds! So my question became - where do I go from here? I knew that I couldn't just let him stagnate for 2 years until he got to school. He's ready and willing to learn, and so I felt an obligation to respond.

My research so far has been exciting. I've found a few homeschooling forums where parents discuss the different curriculum they have followed, and how they have implemented it in their home. Many are "teaching" toddlers the same age as Colin. Homeschooling is a very holistic approach to learning. Mostly I just need to recognize the every day opportunities for learning!

I won't go into much more detail here (anyone interested in what I'm learning, feel free to correspond with me further!). I just wanted to share my excitement in what I'm finding. I've always struggled with the idea of wanting to both stay home with my children, and also work as a teacher. Perhaps I've found a way to do both!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

I Will Survive

Motherhood. The purest, rawest, most primal form of survival.

I hope some of you out there can sympathize with me.

This is more real than reality television. This is the ultimate episode of "Survivor". Except that you don't win a million dollars after a month, you can't chalk up your untidy home to "living in the wild" and you can't vote off your children when they drive you nuts.

And you do it all on three hours of sleep and with a smile.

Have any of you found that "survival" has meant that you do things you never dreamed of doing? We all had beautiful ideals of surviving gourmet organic homemade foods at every meal. Reality check - your two year old would eat an entire box of Kraft Dinner, if you let him. We all love the idea of rising before our kids wake, so that we've showered, dressed, enjoyed breakfast, and prayed for strength and guidance throughout the day before they get up. Cold , hard truth - how many pajama days have you had this month? I lost track, but Colin is starting to think his Lightning McQueen pajamas are just fine to wear to the store - and so am I! And all of us have vacuumed today, dusted this week, and have no dirty dishes in the sink. Yeah right - I just pulled a dirty diaper out from under the hope chest - and I don't know when or how it got there. But it might be the answer to that stale smell...

Okay, fellow mothers. You may not be guilty of the same survivor techniques that I am - but I'm sure you've all got enough tales to tell to write at least a novella, if not a full-blown novel. My motherhood war stories would rival Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. All I can say is: let's be sure to band together and realize that the only way we'll keep our sanity (if you haven't lost it already!) is if we throw off the shackles of appearances and realize that we're mothers now. Embrace the toy cars underfoot, the juice spills on the floor, and the fact that your nice sweaters are either going to be stained from spit-up or remain hidden in the closet forever. We are mothers! We are a force to be reckoned with, whether we make it out of our sweats and pony-tails or not.

I will survive!

PS: Honey, we're having Kraft Dinner tonight.

Matta Guitar

Colin's bedtime routine consists of reading books, spelling a few words on his alphabet mat, goodnight prayer, and then singing a few songs. We have sung everything from children's songs to Broadway tunes to church hymns to traditional lullabies to classical pieces - ensuring that Colin's music repertoire is vast and varied. Every few weeks he takes to a new favourite song that he requests faithfully each night.

About a month ago, he asked for "Matta Guitar". Having no idea which song he was referencing, I asked him to sing it for me. Without hesitation, he began a very definite melody, singing the words "matta guitar" over and over again. I was completely lost. I racked my brain for what song this could possibly be, and came up empty. Colin, however, knew exactly what it was.

After three nights of him asking for "Matta Guitar", I finally took things into my own hands. Following his lead, I began improvising a melody to the words of "Matta Guitar". It was an instant hit. Since then, every night he asks (and receives) a different rendition of the new classic. What is most amazing is that he sings along. Yup - I'm completely making up the tune on the spot, and yet he is able to anticipate where the melody is going.

He is really stretching my abilities as a musician - in a good way. Last night he asked for a song about "Lightning McQueen" (a character from a favourite film), and then he requested a Bach and a Beethoven piece! I think I might have the most cultured two-year old on the planet!

Friday, 7 March 2008

Sleep Training

Well, today we begin our wonderful journey into sleep training. This is a concept totally new to me, as Colin would fall asleep anywhere, anytime. Caleb, on the other hand, sleeps only 6 hours every 24 hours. And most of that is in half our catnaps.

We had his 4 month doctor's appointment today. I went in with a list James and I created of all Caleb's symptoms and problems - sleeping, eating, throwing up, and generally on edge all day. As it turns out, the doctor said the entire list can be attributed to not enough sleep! Apparently, he should be sleeping 14 hours every 24! No wonder he (and I) is exhausted!

Our doctor just returned from maternity leave, and had the exact same issues with her baby, so her advice was coming from a very personal experience. She walked me through what needs to be done, with the hope that in less than a week everything should be worked out. Poor Colin might also suffer, though, as we'll need to let Caleb fuss himself back to sleep during the night. Well, at this point I'm ready to try anything!

(Right now Caleb is screaming the house down. He woke up from his nap and is very obviously still exhausted. I rocked him back to sleep three times, which only lasted 5 minutes each time. So this time I'm going to wait it out a little bit).

This is new for me. I'm not normally of the "cry it out" parenting, but as nothing else seems to be working, I'm hoping this will. The few moments a week when Caleb is in a good mood, he's the happiest guy on the planet. He loves to laugh, and has a huge, great, big smile that twinkles in his cheeks and eyes. Once he starts to get enough sleep, this side of Caleb should emerge as his permanent character. Come on, bright and happy Caleb...I know you're in there!

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I have the best husband in the world. (I know you girls out there reading this all think that you have the best husband, and I'm sorry to burst your bubble.) We were reminiscing about one of our favourite funny moments (there are many!) in our past.

When I was pregnant with Colin, I went on a health food kick. I ate three toasted veggie sandwiches a day, and filled the rest of my diet with fruit. I was turned off of junk food altogether. And I don't think I ever had a "can you run to the store and pick up an ice cream sundae with chocolate fudge and a jar of pickles?" I was fairly self sufficient.

But one day I was feeling particularly lousy and so I called into the kitchen where James was getting himself a glass of water:

"Honey? Could your bring me some grapes when you come?"
"No problem" came the quick reply.

I sat up to eat. I waited. I waited and waited, and then waited a little longer. Feeling dizzy, I lied back down. And waited. (Well, you get the picture). Finally after about 10 minutes, I called back into the kitchen:

"Honey? Do you have my grapes?"

Silence. Then I see James' head peek into the living room.

"I'm almost done."
"Almost done? My grapes?"
"Grapes? I thought you said crepes!"

Yes, knowing my love for all things French, my incredible husband had thought I asked for crepes, and had dug out a cookbook, found a recipe, and was hard at work creating a meal of amazing crepes for his pregnant wife!

Yup - I have the best husband in the world.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Colin's surgery

This very early morning (5:30am) the four of us woke and battled through the snow up to the hospital in nearby Alliston to have day surgery done for Colin. Since birth his tear ducts have been blocked - which means his eyes get gummed up with mucus a lot. Sometimes it is to the point that he wakes in the morning with his eyes glued shut and we need to wipe them with hot water so he can open them. The doctor had hoped it would naturally correct itself, as it does in most cases. However, by the age of two it is very unlikely that it will improve further, and so we were sent for this surgery.

Because a patient having general anesthesia cannot eat or drink for 12 hours before, children are usually booked early in the morning. So after checking the weather and road conditions (snowy, but not icy) and shoveling out for half an hour, we loaded a sleepy, pajama-clad Colin and sleepy Caleb into the car and headed out.

We arrived before the main doors were even open, and silently thanked whoever put a tv in the patient waiting room. After convincing Colin at home about how fun it would be to get to wear his pajamas out, I had a hard time getting him into the hospital gown. He looked so tiny in that blue and white stripped covering as he paced around in his socked feet.

Colin was completely enthralled with all the "beeping" machines that took his weight, temperature and blood pressure. Each stage of the whole event we turned into a type of game, trying to entice him into the necessary steps for him to take. Generally, I had to go first, to show what was going to happen, and then he very trustingly would follow after.

When they finally called him, James took him halfway down the hall, where they whisked him away without any ceremony or goodbyes - probably for the best. And then the waiting game began. I had brought a few things to occupy myself with, but let me assure you, one has very little focus while your son is in surgery.

After what seemed like hours, but was probably no more than one, the nurse came to get me to be there when Colin awakes. "They can be a little unsure when they wake up," she said. 'A little unsure' was a complete understatement! I got halfway down the hall and I could hear hi screaming the hospital down! When I entered the recovery room a nurse was trying to hold him in her arms has he wiggled and squirmed and screamed. Colin hates to be restrained against his will, and his will usually is not to be held. As he was only just waking, though, he couldn't stand on his own, and so had to be held. He was transfered to my arms, and I spent the next 15 minutes trying in vain to get him to settle. We were then moved to the group recovery, where he continued to be nearly unmanageable. (I felt bad for the other patients waking to that kind of noise!) The nurse reminded me that part of the surgery involves spraying salt water in his nose, and explained that it feels much like when you're in the ocean and a huge wave gets water up your nose. So I understood his discomfort a little better. After another 15 minutes, I remembered I had, with my keen mother's sense of what's good for us, packed our new portable DVD player. Colin let his protests be known, but I put on a movie anyway and just let it play. Although he didn't completely settle for another half hour, he at least stopped kicking and screaming, and simply held onto my neck tightly as he watched. Once he stopped crying, he firmly announced "Want something to eat!" (That is apparently much like my grandfather (Poppy), who would ask for a steak sandwich after his surgery!) He had no interest in trying a popsicle, but gobbled up a blueberry muffin.

The surgery was partly successful. One eye was completely cleared, while the other only partially. The surgeon has instructed us to see how that eye goes over the next three months, after which we can decide if they should try the same procedure again, or if something a little more invasive is needed. Then he instructed us about the eye drops Colin needs in each eye, 4 times a day for the next ten days! (Clearly the surgeon hadn't seen/heard Colin's fit post-surgery! I don't think he'll ever let us near his eyes again!) Colin's eyes and cheeks were a little puffy, and there was a few tiny drops of blood, but other than that he recovered completely within that hour following the surgery. He was coaxed into his boots and coat on promise of a visit to the Playplace at our local McDonalds, and a hamburger and french fries for lunch.

On returning home, he was treated to a new gift James and I picked up for him - a brand new train set! His previous one has been broken for a few weeks, and the track was being held together by superglue, and so we thought this would be an appropriate time to buy a new one. His little green eyes lit up and that grin stole slowly across his face when he came upon it all set up in his play room. Priceless, pure joy.

Well, we're all glad the ordeal is over. We'll be praying hard that his second eye clears up on its own - I doubt we'll ever be able to convince Colin to set foot back in the hospital for a long, long time!

Thank you to all who have been thinking of Colin and keeping him in your prayers throughout this event. We certainly have felt of your love and concern for him and us. You may never know just how much your support has meant to us during this time. We are blessed to have so many friends.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

How Far They Come

This week, Colin has started to speak in full sentences, putting two thoughts together:

"Colin touch Cleo's (the cat) fingers, and Cleo hurt Colin."
"Thank you very much for changing diaper."
"Colin and Daddy went for walk, and saw the cars come in the gate."

I still marvel at how language comes to us. I think of how hard it is to learn a new language as an adult, considering all the aspects one needs to remember. Then I watch as Colin comes leaps and bounds each day as he masters new concepts. And to think that at 18 months, he only had two words: Mommy and Daddy.

Also, has anyone ever realized how difficult pronouns are? This is our latest challenge. Colin, hearing me use the word "you" in reference to himself, constantly uses it in sentences. For example: "Mommy pick you up?", when he wants me to pick him up. How do you explain that where I say "you", he says "I", and where I use "I", he needs to use "you"? Let's not even get into his and hers, although he does understand that sometimes he can call Mommy's things "hers". I try different tactics each day to help him understand the proper use of these grammatical aspects of language, remembering that in time he'll catch on - we all do.


Has anyone else loved the television writer's strike as much as me? I've never considered myself a tv junkie - I can only think of a handful of show I regularly tuned into over the years. But until this strike happened and the only thing on was repeats or reality shows (how I abhor how the industry exploits people in this way - and how people exploit themselves!) I didn't realize how often I flip on the big black box "just to see what's on" or "to relax".

For the first week or two, I would turn it on out of habit. It only took about 10 seconds for me to see that there was nothing I wanted to watch (we only get 3 channels - in good weather!) After breaking the initial reactive habit, I found myself picking up my book, Soduko puzzle, writing, or getting to some neglected tidying/cleaning.

Now that the writers are back to work and new episodes will soon be airing, I'm doing my best to keep myself out of the loop. I've enjoyed the freedom from television. Somehow I have gotten myself tied to the tv over the years, rushing home to catch a program, or cursing the VCR for not working again. So I'm not finding out when the shows start up again...I'll live in my fantasy world of repeats and reality as long as I can!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

One Year of Memories

Today marks one year of recording our daily family treasures online - and this also happens to be the 100th entry.

This journal started as a record to help the members of our family who live out of town be a part of our lives. I wanted it to be a collection of funny and moving moments, along with a few photos, all to capture what daily life at the Gawthroupes is. I wasn't sure that, in the end, anyone other than myself and my mother would be reading it, however I have discovered as of late that quite a few of my friends and family drop by to read my insights.

What I have discovered, however, is that this journal has turned into so much more than I first expected it would be. I have never been able to keep a regular written journal of my own, but somehow writing online has enabled me to stick to it for an entire year now! I intend to print out these entries and collect them on paper, so perhaps future generations or family members will be able to form a picture in their own minds of what we were like.

But more than this, I have found a place to think through different issues that have become important to me - emotional, mental and spiritual. Even though I am aware this is published online and open to anyone to read, I have been able to tap into a personal level and expose myself to friends and family in a way I don't often do in person. I hope that the content and style of my prose has helped them get to know me a little better. I feel that so often that as one's family grows, we tend to turn more and more inward, losing regular contact with both friends and relations. (Of course our family is most important and does require the majority of our attention.) As I read the online journals of other friends, I realize that they are naturally somewhat private thoughts that provide insight into the character and nature of these writers. And so I am grateful this blog has presented my readers a chance to get to know me on a level that otherwise might not have been attained.

I have thoroughly loved every minute of this diary of events and journal of thoughts, and have every intention of continuing for another year and 100 entries - at least!


Saturday fun at our place!