Thursday, 30 June 2011


Benjamin is singing his first song: "The Bells of Notre Dame" from the Disney film soundtrack "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." The soundtrack became popular first because it is one of James' favourites, and then because Caleb adopted the song "Out There" as his top pick for music. (It's so funny to hear Caleb belt out that song, especially the robust ending!)

But Benjamin picked up on the wonderfully complex opening number. A beautiful choir sings in Latin tones, creating wonderful harmonies. It certainly is a musical masterpiece, dramatic in every way. Benjamin forms his mouth into an open "ah" and in a soft, slightly husky voice sings along (in tune!) to the choral ahs: "ah ah ah, ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah aaaaaaahhhhhh!"

He generally is gazing out the window as he does it, taking in the outside world, showing that the song is second nature to him now. So cute.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Go to bed at 10pm

My kids are generally in bed and asleep around 7:30pm. I usually head up just before 11pm to watch the first 5 minutes of the 11:00 news.

As I have dragged on and on while waking up through the night with Benjamin, it occurred to me that I probably should just go to bed earlier. I'm often complaining come 9pm that I'm tired, I have a headache, I'm exhausted, or something in that vein. Then James turns to me and tells me to go to bed.

But I don't. You see, as an introvert, I need this time, awake, when I can just sit without people needing me. Time to read or write or do my own thing. I relish this time I have to myself, and I can't seem to give up that last hour yet! I keep telling myself why go to bed at 10pm when I will have to wake at 11:00 anyway to nurse Benjamin. I might as well just stay up.

So there exists this hazy goal/idea in the back of my mind that I really should readjust my thinking, watch the 10pm CBC news instead, and pack it in there. That way when I have to get up at 6am with the boys, I've at least be in bed for 8 hours. (Benjamin still nurses at 11pm, 2am and 5am, but that's a different matter.)

Sometimes I think we are masters of our own demises. I guess what this all really means is that if I insist on staying up, I should at least stop complaining.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I think we went a little overboard at the beginning of barbecue season this year. James LOVES to barbecue, and loves meat even more than that. Well, last Friday, I sat looking at a lovely steak and felt like I wanted to throw up. As I forced in bite after bite, I realized that there had just been too much meat in our diet lately.

So I vowed to do a mini-cleanse this week by going vegetarian. 7 days of no meat. When I hit the grocery store Friday night, my resolve was only strengthened as I nearly threw up again just at the smell of the meat counter. I filled up my cart with as much fruit and vegetables as I could, without any specific meal plans in mind. The plan was simply to cook and serve a whole lot of vegetables this week.

Day one was great. I resurrected an old favourite: Black bean tortilla casserole. Black beans and onions and tomatoes and corn all simmered up together, than layered in a casserole dish with cheese and soft tortilla shells, baked in the oven. So yummy, and a huge hit all around. Even Caleb, who regularly refuses to eat dinner, eventually tasted it and then gobbled it all up.

Last night was a little more experimental. In my tried and true cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens) I pulled out a recipe with broccoli, one with eggplant, and then a corn cakes one as well. The broccoli was crusted with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese and baked in the oven. The Eggplant Parmegiana involved frying up the eggplant slices and then smothering them with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and baking it in the oven. The corn cakes were sort of like corn bread patties. I'm really not a huge fan of the texture of eggplant, so I think I'll give up on that vegetable. But the broccoli was good and the corn cakes tasty, especially as they were made with fresh cilantro from my garden!

I have no idea what tonight will hold, but I'm inspired to flip through my cookbooks and search online to find some real tasty ideas. We're all feeling much better already with the start of this meat cleanse! Of course, there is no chance of leaving meat off completely. James is too much of a Scot to forgo his meat and potatoes, and I think chicken is one of the most versatile food out there. I am hoping that this venture will at least give me some more ideas to eat meat more sparingly around here in the future.

Monday, 27 June 2011


The other day I found Colin and Caleb playing "Star Trek." Colin was speaking in Klingon. And it actually sounded like Klingon.

It has probably been over a month since Benjamin has eaten a vegetable. I have not found one single way to get him to eat one. On my mother-in-law's suggestion, I found one of those new fruit fusion juices that also have vegetables in them. Benjamin LOVES his new juice. He drank two cups today. That's 4 servings of fruit, 2 servings of vegetables, and 54 grams of sugar. Okay, so it's not a permanent solution, but it works for now.

I need to start being VERY diligent in brushing Benjamin's teeth now.

Caleb is entering a defiant stage. Today he threw a piece of wood at a moving car. When I scolded him, he took off his sandal and threw it at another car. When I lost it again, he threw the other shoe. I made him walk home barefoot.

Crackdown tonight at Family Home Evening. I called a family council to put an end to the endless clutter around here. When the boys wake up tomorrow, they will only have one small box of toys in the play room. If they can play with and tidy up one box, they will get another the next day. They are aware of the plan, and on board. I really hope it works.

I did find a beautiful, girly, pink and green shirt that EXACTLY matches my new blog design. I love it.

I also found a pomegranate in the grocery store last week. I discovered them last fall, on the very last week they were in stock. Finally, the long wait is over and they are back again!

We are eating vegetarian this week. More on that later. Day one was a resounding success. Day two, okay. Hopefully we'll have more successes than failures.

I was feeling particularly nostalgic this morning, in a whole host of different areas, and for no particular reason at all. It was a lovely feeling.

Sunday, 26 June 2011


The power of music is that in three minutes it can capture more than you could speak or write in an hour. Here are the lyrics of Kenneth Cope's "Broken."

Broken clouds give rain
Broken soil grows grain
Broken bread feeds man for one more day
Broken storms yield light
The break of day heals night
Broken pride turns blindness into sight

Broken souls that need His mending
Broken hearts for offering
Could it be that God loves broken things?

Broken chains set free
Broken swords bring peace
Broken walls make friends of you and me
To break the ranks of sin
To break the news of Him
To put on Christ till His name feels broken in

Broken souls that need His mending
Broken hearts for offering
I believe that God loves broken things

And yet our broken faith, our broken promises
Sent love to the cross
And still, that broken flesh, that broken heart of His
Offers us such grace and mercy
Covers us with love undeserving

This broken soul that cries for mending
This broken heart for offering
I'm convinced that God loves broken me

Praise His name, my God loves broken things.


I love the progression of ideas:

"Could it be that God loves broken things?"
"I believe that God loves broken things."
"I'm convinced that God loves broken me."

I think this is indicative of the way we learn. A snatch of an idea hovers around us, and as we dwell on it, it takes a more and more definitive shape, evolving into deeper and deeper concepts until a nugget of truth emerges, like a diamond from a lump of coal.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Yep, that's me with the power tool

So after our bathroom reno fiasco (which is still ongoing) I have changed my mind about contractors and renovations. In a good way. I want to learn to do it myself.

I have been really charged about this in the past few weeks. We have really good friends who do lots of home renovations on their houses, and I half-jokingly (but only half!) mentioned that I'd love to apprentice for my friend's husband as he tackles some of the jobs. I'm a "learn by seeing/doing" type of person, and I pick things up really easily once I wrap my head around how it is supposed to work.

I've long had an interest in this kind of thing. Right before I got pregnant with Colin, I had signed up and attended the training workshops with 'Habitat for Humanity' and some of their Toronto building projects. I never got to go on site, because I got pregnant, but it is still something I hope to do one day.

At our local home improvement store, they offer different classes that show you how to "do-it-yourself" and so I have officially signed up for my first one! It's actually called a "do-it-herself" workshop, and no, I do not think the segregation is sexist in the least. In fact, I think it might be a little less intimidating. The workshop is called "The Power is Yours: Intro to Power Tools" where I will learn about the different types of tools out there, how to choose the right one for the right project, and how to safely use the tools. I really hope I'll also get a chance to use some of them, because that is the first fear I need to overcome. There is a lot of power behind a lot of the tools, and frankly I'm a tiny person! I do own my own reciprocating saw, from when I designed and built my own fence, but even using that still shakes me a little (literally!)

My long term goal? To renovate my own kitchen! I will be able to save between a third to a half of the cost by doing it myself. Of course, I will enlist the help of friends and professionals where necessary (think plumber!) but the more I look at the project, the easier the pieces become! It won't be for a few years down the road, but it will come a lot sooner if I can save that much by learning and doing it on my own!


Friday, 24 June 2011

New blog design (update)

It's so pretty, I click on it just to look. And I'm thinking of doing a little shopping while the boys are at a movie tonight, and I just might look for a pretty skirt or top inspired by those colours and patterns...

New Design

After five years of the same blog design, I decided to finally step out of the box.

The blogs I frequent all have the cutest backgrounds and graphics and photos. A couple months back I tried changing my own, but I was clearly too sleep deprived and after two hours of getting nowhere I gave up and restored the original.

But those are blogs were just so darn cute! And some were changing all the time, and it occurred to me that it really can't be that hard. Really. Seriously.

And it wasn't. Just stands as a witness of how sleep deprived I really am with Benjamin.

So new blog is here. Isn't she pretty? I was the biggest tomboy as a kid, but with raising three boys my inner girl is emerging more and more every day, trying to assert her femininity. (Do you know that right now, my toenails are actually painted? I haven't done that in as long as I can remember!) I was actually thinking of change the name of my blog to "pink slippers," because that was the first pink thing I ever really bought and loved. I am now on my third pair of pink slippers, all in the name of girl power. But I love my blog title; it really captures what my life is like raising my kids.

And don't be surprised if my blog design changes every couple of months. I like change, and just looking at this new, pretty blog makes me smile every time it loads. I love those little smiles of joy.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Breakfast in bed

I've never been a big breakfast in bed person. First of all, it's really tough to use a fork and knife on a rickety tray balancing on a soft, bouncy mattress. Second, odds are your juice will spill, and orange juice is my favourite part of breakfast. Third, you can never keep crumbs from getting lost in the sheets, which means changing the bed, doing a load of laundry, and making the bed again.

So for birthdays and special occasions, I've always requested my special breakfast be served at the table.

This past Father's Day, however, I had an awakening. James always makes breakfast in our house (and does a FANTASTIC job - I don't think he ever serves cold cereal, which is what I set out if he happens to be gone early. It's always pancakes or eggs and toast or the like.) but on Father's Day of course I step up to the plate. Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, toast, pineapple, juice, all served up on a breakfast tray. The boys and I took it all upstairs, set it down, and then we came back downstairs to eat our own food, at the kitchen table.

As I backed all the kids out of the room and left James sitting alone in bed to eat breakfast, that's when it hit me. Breakfast all by himself, with no toddler on your lap eating every other bite, and not having to get up every 5 seconds to get something more for the other kids, and not mopping up spilled water... yes, as I left him alone in that bed with his breakfast, I suddenly realized I had been missing out for all these years.

I have since requested breakfast in bed for my birthday.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Disheartened and then cheered

I have written a lot about Colin's experiences in school this year. I think about it almost every day. I think about moving schools or keeping him back in kindergarten again, or trying to make this class work. I think about my own experience in grade school. I think about Colin and his personality. It consumes many of my thoughts.

This morning we had a brief chat on the way to the bus. First he sadly stated that he wasn't good at anything. (That just breaks your heart as a mother.) No one told him that, he said he just feels it at school. So after dealing with that complete and utter falsehood, I asked him about the boys in his class and play time at recess. For a long time, they were making him always "it" during tag, and they are a lot bigger and faster than him, so he was "it" for a long time. But this morning Colin revealed that now he is no longer in "the group" and isn't allowed to play with them at all. He said he passes his recesses now sitting against the wall or walking around alone. (Heart breaking all over again!)

Needless to say, once again my thoughts were occupied all morning with this. My plan was to try and encourage a friendship with the boy that isn't the bully by getting Colin and him together a lot over the summer. Now I worried if that wasn't enough. Then again, Colin is a bit of an introvert. He likes his alone time. Maybe it's not as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be.

Then I ran into a friend this morning whose children also attend the school. I shared some of my concerns with her. There is also the added pressure of grade one next year (completely different way to spend the day than the play-based learning of kindergarten) and a teacher who isn't great with young kids. As my friend and I spoke, however, a lot of new things came to light I hadn't considered.

The teacher thing is a write-off. No matter where he goes, he could get a teacher who isn't great. And maybe Colin will actually do a lot better in grade one, where there are tasks he can work on independently rather than having to play in pairs. Finally, my friend reminded me that it is likely to be a grade 1/2 split class. I was excited for that, because I think split classes are a great way for younger kids to aspire up and the older kids to help the younger ones. But the added benefit that I hadn't realized is that with a grade 1/2 split, there should be at least 4 or 5 more boys in the class. So the dynamic of a trio should be erased.

I walked home after that conversation feeling a thousand times lighter. Even when Colin told me it hadn't been a great day again, and that he had been left out at recess, it kept running through my mind that there is only a week to go before summer is out and he can have a big break and then a fresh start in September.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Team photos

The boys had team photos for t-ball tonight. I wasn't there (Benjamin was melting down so I had to take him home.) Some parents were hoping for photos before the game. The game is played on a great field with this fantastic red dirt that dusts up even if you tiptoe around on it. An hour of playing later I'm sure they were covered from head to toe. Our photos were after the game.

I was glad. I think if the photos had been before, I would have told the boys to go roll in the dirt. I love dirt. I love the wall art that I've seen that says:

I think boys should regularly be covered with dirt. Mine are. I often am, as a mother of three boys. Sometimes (often!) the day gets away from us and I just roll the boys into bed without a bath, dirt and all. I hope they got good and dirty during their game: it would show they really got into it, played and good game and enjoyed every minute of it.

The Benjamin equation

Sleep, where art thou?

While I know that my body and mind must have adjusted to the severe lack of sleep, I still feel in a bit of a haze. I mean, with the amount I'm actually getting, I probably shouldn't even be able to function. And yet I not only function, but manage to keep a smile and positive attitude about me for the most part.

I still feel at a loss of what to do. What I want to do is just bring Benjam
in into bed with me. I would co-sleep in a nano-second if he would. Benjamin has been under the weather this past week, which has meant he's either been up until four am, or getting up at four am, and it's about killing me. Migraines and strep throat are onsetting again, a result of lack of sleep for me. But every time he weeps in the night, my heart simply breaks. I know he wants to sleep. I know he's angry and upset that he isn't. When I scoop him up into my arms, he curls right into my neck, closes his eyes and dozes off. Unfortunately, if I try to bring him into bed with me, he just likes to crawl around and explore, even at 4 in the morning. On the few occasions I've tried this, I always end up catching his leg just before h
e launches off the bed, or protecting myself from hair tugs and foot kicks in the face. All of my boys are big movers in bed, which doesn't make for happy, easy co-sleeping.

Does anyone remember the short lived TV show "Dinosaurs?"
The baby would often grab a frying pan and knock his father over his head, proclaiming "Not the mama!" He had on obvious preference for his mother, and wouldn't accept Dad as a replacement. I often feel this way. There are some times when James can distract Benjamin with a game long enough for my arms to rest from carrying him all day. But mostly Benjamin just cries with his face drawn into the saddest frown you ever saw, and eyes brimming with tears, as he silently proclaims "not the mama!"

James asked yesterday if I didn't love it secretly. Sure, I love the cuddles. But I really don't know if the endless sleepless nights, the carrying him every waking moment, and the nursing every time I sit down, is working for me right now. Isn't there something in between?

Monday, 20 June 2011

In three years

James and I have talked about me getting my Bachelor of Education once the kids are all in school full time. It would only take me one year (well, six months of actual work) and it would be a great thing to have in our back pocket, given the fact that James is self-employed. It would give me the option to supply teach to pick up a little extra money, or take a full time job if I needed to. Plus, as we have learned first hand lately, the benefits would be AWESOME!

I don't have any plans set in stone for the actual teaching work yet, but it is something I have always loved. Given my background in teaching, music, French, the gifted program, French Immersion, volunteering in schools and church, plus my deep interest and research into homeschooling and various teaching methods, I think I will probably be a shoo-in for a job.

The crazy thing to think about is that if Benjamin is our last baby, then he will have the option to start school full time in two years (come September.) Which means I could apply in a year and a half, be starting classes in two years, graduate in less than three, and have my first job in three years and two months.

Whoa. That is a whole different life change, and very strange to consider. More than likely I will only supply teach, because I have a real heart for volunteering in the classroom, the school, and the community. I have big dreams about free music programs for kids who don't have it in their school. Plus I'd love to do some theatre as well. A friend told me the other day that schools have money in reserve for special programs like these, and that much of that money goes unspent. It would be great to access it for some of my plans.

I'm a little excited about this all. This is the first time in a while that I have had some real, concrete long term goals, and it's given me a whole new focus.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dog days of summer

Anyone else really enjoying the beautiful weather we've had? I can't count the number of times we've stepped outside as a family and James just breathes in the summer air and proclaims the day absolutely perfect.

We've been frequenting the ice cream store a lot lately. Actually, it's called the Chocolate Shop (they make the most amazing homemade chocolates) but they also sell Kawartha Dairy ice cream - two huge scoops for $2. And the owner is so lovely, she used to give mini cones to our boys for free, until they got big enough to want their own, and now she splits the two scoops into two cones and only charges $1 each. $5 for ice cream for everyone. Sadly, she just informed me that the Kawartha Dairy has stopped making my absolutely favourite ice cream flavour ever. I am still not fully recovered. She used to stock it in her store especially for me. I have been enjoying Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake ice cream for more than ten years. I don't know what I'm going to do.

We picked up a season's day pass to our Provincial Parks. The closest one is 30 minutes away at our favourite local campground. They have a nice little beach with mucky, gross sand that the boys love, and is perfect for wading. I plan on taking them down for many mornings during the summer.

Band is over which means...kayaking season begins! I missed last week because we didn't have our act together early enough in the evening, but hopefully I'll be able to get out this week.

The countdown to school finishing is on. Caleb was able to go one day and participate in a story and craft time at the new school. He's really excited right now...I hope it lasts in September when he realizes he's supposed to go every day! I don't know how I'll feel about putting him on a bus. When Colin sits in his seat, his eyes barely reach the window, and he looks so small there, grinning and waving at me. Caleb may not even come up to the window!

Summer is filling up. We've already got three camping trips planned with friends. I plan on taking the boys myself a few times as well. At least two different weeks of summer camps that I've signed the boys up for. Then there's t-ball, which the boys love, including Benjamin, who I spend the whole time dragging off the field. I'm collecting toys for the backyard also, where I hope we'll spend most of our time when we're home.

The only hiccup to summer is Benjamin. He's still not doing great sleeping at night, and he's still nursing all the time. Every time I sit down, he climbs on my lap and tugs at my shirt. 3-4 times an hour, 20-30 times a day. He's nursing for comfort and out of boredom and to be close to me. And if I say no (like, for example, if I'm sitting in the middle of church and it's really not appropriate!) he throws a tantrum. But I don't know if I'm ready to wean him. What I wish is that he would just nurse in the morning and at night, like most 18 month olds. I can't cut him off completely, for fear of our camping trips. I really don't think the neighbouring campers would appreciate him screaming through the night, and I know I could just keep nursing him back to sleep.

At any rate, summer is looking great. This is the first summer I'm not confined to the house because of illness (pregnancy) or morning/afternoon naps with a newborn. So exciting!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Dabbling in visual art

I've never been a big visual artist, but I received a book called "The Artistic Mother" for Christmas that has me somewhat excited. My new bathroom walls are still bare, waiting for some original art or photographs by yours truly. I thought a long time about what to hang in there, knowing I did want art of some kind. But the more I thought about buying some art from a local store (Winners, Home Sense, etc.) the more I thought it was too impersonal. I mean, I could buy a piece of generic art because I like it, but it doesn't really mean that much to me or my family.

So the walls are still bare, waiting for my ideas to take shape. I do have one thing I already want to do, I just need to coordinate it (it involves finding someone with a really nice camera to come and take a photograph here with my family.) The second place I want something I haven't figured what to put there yet.

I am also dabbling a little in digital arts. I'm working on a (secret!) project right now that I am absolutely loving. I've had some years of experience playing around in Photoshop, which is so much fun. And a project I've wanted to do for a while has finally been coming together over the past few days, and I hope the final product will be as neat as the process has been.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A quandary about people

Completely by accident, I found out a woman I was befriending (because her son would be in Caleb's class next year) was caught redhanded stealing from someone's purse. I came to the knowledge because the victim happened to be a friend of mine. Not knowing I knew the other lady, she began to tell of her utter surprise of the situation, and how it happened at our local Early Years Centre, and how the woman's two sons were there with her.

As my friend dropped a few details about the woman, something in me twinged. They were small details, but immediately brought to mind this woman who I had met a handful of times at the centre. I gingerly posed a few questions, not wanting to engage in gossip, but also concerned about the situation I might find myself in. Sure enough, it is the same woman.

Now I find myself in a sticky spot. The woman and her family are new to town, she speaks little English and her children speak none. I thought it would be nice for her and her son to have an ally as they start school in the fall, but now I feel so apprehensive about it. When caught stealing, she broke down crying and admitted to being a kleptomaniac, unsure of why she engaged in such behaviour and feeling unable to stop. I hate to judge, but I also feel I need to be cautious. It is already affecting my own frame of mind; today we went to the school for a morning program for kids Caleb's age, and afraid that she might be there with her children, I left my own purse in the car.

It is amazing how easily we are controlled by our emotions. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it, and I can't even imagine what I will feel the next time we run into each other (inevitable next school year.) Can I trust her? Should I trust her? Can she change? How can I determine if she truly has? Might there be other issues and problems underneath? Should I write her off completely, or just for a short term? Funny how one small conversation, seemingly just a friend sharing a shocking experience, can all of a sudden change an aspect of your life so drastically.

Friday, 10 June 2011


This morning Colin was off on his own, building Lego, as he can often be found. But what he built astonished me, once again. He called me over to show me this:

This is a game he built. It is sort of a cross between Guess Who and Battleship with a twist of logic. Each person has a game board. The goal of the game is to find the other person's airplane and launch your missile at them. You hide your own airplane (represented by the little red stick you can see in the middle of the boards) somewhere on the board. Each lego piece on the board represents a land feature the airplane would come fly over. Features include the lava pit, the mountain, the runway, the plain, and the regular airspace (the grey circles.)

Each player takes a turn asking a question, trying to locate the other person's airplane. The questions Colin used as examples were ones like "is your airplane flying toward the lava pit?" Since the lava pit is the small red square at the top, middle of the board, you can see that if the answer is "no" it would eliminate any of the squares on the board in the top row or the middle column (anything in line with the lava pit.) You can see Colin's mind working as he created more complex questions than just "is your airplane on this specific square," instead opting for questions that would actually narrow down the location more quickly.

Once you think you have located your opponent's airplane, you launch your missile. Each board has a missile launch on the outside yellow border of the game, and you actually get to pick up the missile and physically launch it through the air and land it on your opponent's airplane.

Seriously, I think Colin could market this one. Funny enough, a five year old just created a game that he could market to children twice his age. I am constantly amazed.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Playoff hockey

Love it. I am such a hockey nut and these Stanley Cup playoffs are AWESOME! James and I have good laughs these days, since I'm the one whose such a hockey fan, I'm the one yelling at the TV, I'm the one whose pulse is going up and down like a roller coaster. Because I am not just an armchair athlete, I think my adrenaline gets going even more, since I know what it is like to be on the field, court or ice and be playing in the middle of it all.

Every now and then James tells me he wants to take me to a movie premiere (usually something sci-fi, and especially anything Star Trek.) So I told him I want to take him to a local restaurant for the elimination game of this Stanley Cup final, to watch the game in the midst of a huge crowd of hockey fans on a nine foot television, with wings and root beer flowing. Looks like it will be some time next week, and I'm so excited! The only thing better than watching playoff hockey is watching it with a hundred other fans!

Saturday, 4 June 2011


Before I got married, I figured I totally had the wife thing wrapped up. Seriously, I was going to be my husband's dream. Because I am a huge hockey fan. I was going to be right beside him through the season, rooting for the Toronto Maple Leafs, on the edge of our seats through the playoffs. I was going to be the wife that men wished their wives were like, with a spread of root beer and pizza and wings for Hockey Night in Canada.

Plus I love to play sports - any sport. I love the adrenaline of playing. I love a real competitive game. I am super competitive. (I may have been the only 14 year old girl to foul out of a church basketball game - more than once!) My husband was going to love that I love to get right into a team game, pickup game or just tossing the ball in the backyard.

Plus I love the outdoors. Camping, hiking, biking...this girl is not afraid to get dirty, leave behind my bed at home, live out of a duffle bag for a week.

Yes, I definitely had the wife thing in the bag.

Oh, the irony that I married a man who doesn't like watching sports, playing sports, or being outdoors. Sure, over the years, he's adapted. He really does like camping now, which is good, because otherwise he'd be staying home from a lot of camping vacations over the summer! And his friends have got him out playing floor hockey now and again, but he does it for the comradeship over the sports. And now and then he'll watch a hockey game with me. (Actually, that's the area that I sort of compromised in - I don't usually turn on many hockey games, other than a really good Leaf game during the season, and to watch a Canadian team during the playoffs.)

Now, I know that I'm still the woman of his dreams...just in a completely different way than I expected before we met!

Friday, 3 June 2011


Mommy: Caleb, turn around and lift up your feet so I can put your shoes on the right feet.
Caleb: Oh, Mommy. I can't lift up both my feet - then I would fall over! Unless I was a rocket that was human, then I could blast up in the air and you could put both my shoes on at the same time.


(overheard from our bedroom, by Caleb who was standing in the hallway)
Caleb: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. into the bathroom! (runs in, slams the door).

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Turning your life around

There's a great story in the Toronto Star today about a woman who turned her life around from working as an escort to becoming a lawyer. The day her daughter confronted her about her life choices, this woman quit and never looked back. The woman's also past included convictions and jail time for other offences, but she never let it get the better of her.

One comment she made made a particular impression on me.

"While interviewing for law school, Smithen says she never tried to hide any details of her past. "I was totally honest...because I was starting my life over again," Smithen says."

It might have been tempting to try and sweep it all under the rug and hope that no one found out. She may have worried that her past mistakes might have prevented her from finding honest work to support herself and her daughter. Some people out there may have been prejudiced against her, dubious of any real intent to change.

But Smithen makes an excellent point. She felt no need to hide any details of her past because she had truly had a change of heart. While she feels remorse for the consequences of her actions, she knows that her life journey brought her to this exact point, and that the journey still has places to go. How wonderful that others were able to see her genuine desire for change and gave her the chance to do so.

It makes me reflect on myself. It is a difficult thing to embrace past errors. Usually we would just rather they go away. We tuck them away into the dark recesses of our memory and push them down when they try to surface. It seems to me that Smithen's method seems much more freeing. Mistakes happens, everyone makes them. There is no shame in making a mistake, if you learn from it and move on, rather than letting it chain you to that spot.

It is heart-warming to read such stories in the news today.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

I don't wanna work...

...I just wanna bang on my drum all day.

And now I can!

Yes, I bought a drum. Okay, not a big drum set (although I did see a junior size one in our music store last fall, on a really really good sale, and seriously considered purchasing it for the boys! Yes, I am that kind of mom.) It's about as big and as heavy as Benjamin. And yes, it is a real hand-carved drum. I found it in our local outlet store, a place that carries whatever comes in. There are some fantastic and unique items in there, as well as handmade furniture by local artists. It's hard to go in with kids since the place is packed and everything is at baby-level and so much is breakable.

But today I went in because I bought a coupon that expired today. So there I was, wondering if I would pick up some decor for the house or cushions for the couch or a gift for Father's day...when I turned the last corner and saw this awesome drum! It will be fun for the boys and perfect for my children's music classes. It's worth over $100 and I paid $35. I can't wait to put it to good use!