Thursday, 6 June 2013


Things have been a-changin' lately...

Mostly me.  I think I alluded to my "bucket list" of items to accomplish some time ago- I managed to tick off another one: marathon- done.  42.2km of gruelling sweat, exertion, painful feet, euphoric highs and droopy lows, and definitely a few tears- I am now a "marathoner", having completed the Mississauga Marathon on May 5th (my 35th birthday!  What a gift to have my 3 loves of my life to cheer me on course-side in numerous spots to keep my motor running all the way to the finish!)

Other things have changed too- things that I had a hard time articulating a number of weeks ago, yet now seem not to define me as much as I thought they would...  Medtronic went through a restructuring, and I was officially "voted off the island" in mid-April.  Wow.  At the time- there were lots of emotions: confusion, hurt, anger, frustration, helplessness, and a lovely lowered immune system- which means I picked up every little bug and cold that crossed my path for the next few weeks!    Lo and behold tho- time passes, I achieve my big marathon goal, I age another year to my life, I go on vacation- and frankly, I'm feeling like I've been handed a gift.

I made the quick decision that we would pull the kids out of full-time daycare, and I would take this time as an opportunity to spend more time with Rowan & Georgia- and it has been like a 3rd mat leave, without having to get pregnant the 3rd time (bonus!).  We've done playdates, park tours, planted vegetable gardens, gone on nature walks, rainy day puddle hunts, cuddled, played "trains", dolls, babies, coloured, painted, crafted, hide and seeked about 1000 times over, rode bikes, rode scooters, baked cakes and banana muffins, and read book after book after book.  And I have loved it.  I've had to rework myself a bit- its hard to go from fast-paced-million-mile-a-minute, down to a smell-the-roses 4- and 2-year old appraoch to life, but truly- the adjustment has come easily.  The slow-down has allowed me to look at what I'd love to be doing with my kids on a grander scale- I'm finding new ways to "teach" them things- random chats about nature, how things work, space, and sometimes finding the odd mini-french lesson incorporated into sidewalk chalking or dinky car rallies.  Rowan loves his "home days", and Georgia just saps up any extra time she gets to spend with all of us. 

I'm learning things from them as much as I'm teaching them.  I'm getting the 2nd chance to sit back and watch them- not through the chaeos of a 2-day weekend that typically gets jam-packed with all the social stuff that doesn't fit into the work week - but truly the time to watch them experiment, discover and adventure.  And its truly amazing. 

This time truly is a gift.  And I'm tapping it for all I can...

Monday, 11 March 2013

Interactive Map for images from ISS

Uber-cool!  Another epic opportunity to share space with your kiddies...

All for the kiddies

Yikes.  This is bang-on.

And especially relevant, as I'm sitting in my hotel room in London having full-on mom guilt for missing bedtime with R & G.

{thanks to my good friend LJ for posting!}

Thoughts for the future...

"We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her
baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings."

-Author Unknown

Friday, 8 March 2013

outta this world...

Space has been given a whole new seat in our house.

Anyone else following our fellow Canadian, Chris Hadfield's, escapades at the International Space Station?   "Amazing" doesn't give his social outreach enough credit.  Com. Hadfield is online and in charge- tweeting (@Cmdr_Hadfield) 10+ times a day, sending down 8-10 images of the Earth in his view from space, and providing upteen educational opportunities to share with Canadian youth.  He is inspiring a nation, and bringing outer space right into our homefront.  Commander Hadfield is nothing short of a celebrity.

We have been taking this opportunity to share Chris Hadfield's images with Rowan (and Georgia).  To observe the awe on his face- the excitement he has every day when he runs in the door from school, asking: "Did Commander Hadfield send down more pictures today?  Can I see them?".  He's printed off images of space-view volcanos, Com Hadfield in his space suit, rocket launches- and brought them into school for "show & share".  His class has paper-mached planets and hung a solar system from the roof.  They built a "spaceship" out of cardboard and tin plates (and old computer monitors mounted on the inside!), and Rowan and his classmates take turns "launching" the rocket and flying through the atmosphere.  Rowan can now differentiate Hadfield's images: icebergs, clouds, ocean, desert, mountains, rock...all beautiful perspectives of the terra of our world- and he gets it.  He looks closer at the screen to discern some of the images that Hadfield describes in his photo commentary, and he constantly asks us to watch and re-watch his youtube vids depicting different aspects of life on the Space Station: nail clipping, hair cutting, hand washing, making lunch....  amazing.  And he's 4!

He can sing every word to the song "I.S.S.~ Is Someone Singing?", which Com Hadfield recorded LIVE from the International Space Station, with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and the Scarborough Gleeks.  (check it out below- the words will inspire!)

If you are a parent, and have not yet taken advantage of this educational opportunity- I strongly encourage you to sit down with your child and show them some is one of those magical places that captures the imagination of children, and gives them licence to dream to dream, make-believe and become our next generation of astronauts.

Com. Hadfield has done (and is doing) awesome stuff up there:

Interviewed William Shatner (Captain Kirk!)
He "caught a dragon" (spaceship) with the Canadarm II (youtube this!  awesome!)
He dropped the puck (virtually, of course) at a Hockey game!
His guitar pick (and how he got his guitar on his small ship all the way to ISS is beyond me!), but his pick matches his mission patch! 
He is hosting interviews with elementary schools, high schools and communities all over Canada
He sees 16 sun rises a day (could you imagine?)
...and he's taking control (as in "Commander") of the International Space Station in less than 2 weeks.  The 1st Canadian to ever do so.

He is truly inspiring a nation.

Thank-you, Chris.  You truly are Canada's Hero.

"Canada built the Canadarm2, and the Canadarm2 built this Space Station.  We should all be proud of that".
~Chris Hadfield

Monday, 28 January 2013

The BIG 4

He's 4, and not afraid to tell anyone that asks (or doesn't!).

We had Rowan's 4-year doctor's check-up today.  I was trying to remember, en route to the doctor's office, and I think this is the first time he's been seen at our family practitioner's office since last year.  I teetered between the feeling of "wow- Rowan must really be the picture of health" (and a small pat-on-the-back for being exceptional parents), and actually feeling like that had been a really.  long.  time.  1/4 of his life went by, and he hadn't seen his GP.  I guess this is what happens as your kids leave baby and toddler-hood, and move on up to being real little people. 

He got a perfect bill of health (minus the persistent chesty cough he's had for a few weeks now): just shy of 42" tall, and {almost} 40lbs.  And growing!

Interestingly, our doc noted that his speech is remarkable...most kids have the sound "eff" mixed up with the phonetics for "thhhh" until late kindergarten.  For example, Rowan can count with perfect sounds "One.  Two.  Three.  Four.  Five.", whereas many (apparently) kids his age will pronounce three with "free"...or maybe "fwee".  Likewise, the "L" is also a commonly mixed up letter of annunciation during toddlerhood, and can simply be be tested with the word "lollipop".  No problem for R, but some kids would say "wallwipop".  Good knowledge for us to monitor with Miss G (whom, due to her ear issues, is still significantly behind the curve with her speech!). 

Friday, 7 December 2012

...and, the FAMILY PICS!

The family pic...

(Lindsay's idea...and I LOVE IT!)


cute enough for a holiday card?

my angels

looking back...

wow- i love a good resolution, but keeping them seems to be my nemesis these days.  crazy- when i posted the halloween pics, i had great intentions to "get back at it" to my blog on a (very) regular i'm logging in, almost 5 weeks since my last post, and here we go again...

looking back...

wow- its been a busy one.  sometimes you just need to roll with life: the good and the bad, and the crazy, and the not-so-crazy.  work has been nuts.  kids have been amazing, and fun, and warm, and awesome...and a little crabby, tired, and draining at times too.  rowan is back to his night wake-ups- sometimes upwards of 4 times a night, and there is no "tuck and turn" to go back to my own warm bed...and its wearing on him too- early morning wake-ups since the "Fall Back" daylight savings time ended, have left him pretty darn tired at the end of the day.  But- we roll with it. 

georgia has been making slow strides (but strides nonetheless) with her speech since her surgery.  we got the great news from the ENT surgeon a few weeks back that noted her hearing was back to 100%- what fab news!  looking back- seeing her groove it out in the car seat to the radio tunes on day 2 post-surgery was awesome...she was boppin' to the music like it was the first time she'd ever heard it!  (and the sad part is- it probably was the first time she could ever hear it!).  its still a bit of a uphill battle- her speech isn't accelerating as fast as we had hoped, and she's essentially starting her sounds and word forming from an infant-level.  it'll come- just lots of practice ahead. 

as for interests- rowan is still using his train table like it is going out of style (the cost-per-use on that toy is down to half-pennys per day!), loves puzzles, books, playing outside, baking, crafting, and hide n' seek (new after-dinner-time family game- full-on 4-member hide n' seek in the basement!).  georgia has become quite the caregiver- loves her dollies, kitchen playset, and joins in (or torments?!?) with all rowan's trains and car play.  she's also a huge hide n' seeker...not so much into books, but will craft with the best of 'em. 

schedules have been busy lately- the holidays are up and coming, and we're busy with social schedules, prepping the house, and Glen's been putting together his Festival of Lights display (pics to follow!).  we've just mourned the passing of a feisty, friendly and vibrant lady- Gramma Parton- and looking forward to enjoying some time with family and friends over the holidays.

Glen isn't so much counting down the days 'till Christmas, as much as he's counting down the days till The Hobbit

i've been sewing like a fiend- wish i was better (and faster) to a) get all my holiday gifting and projects done; and b) to maybe start a little Etsy business (yikes- did I really just put that in writing???).  i am so in love with my new machine, and almost yearn for the nights that Glen is at hockey so I can have some uninterrupted "date" time with the stitcher! 

i've also recommitted to running- in the past, its been so hard to break the 10K mark (on a regular basis), without getting bored to tears.  thanks to my good friend amy and some stellar chatter, we barely noticed the (almost) 14K we logged yesterday!  around-the-bay and possible spring/fall marathon- here i come!

just had new family shots done (thanks to Lindsay Golden!  photographer extraordinaire!)- amazing job, as usual.  postings to follow...

and, that's a wrap (for now).  promise it won't be another 5 weeks before i blog it up!