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Showing posts from 2017

Twelve Days Ago

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Twelve days ago we moved into our new home.

Before we moved to our current house, we had lived in the same little house for just over eight years, so it had been a while since we’d moved and adjusted to a new place.

And there were a lot of things that I had forgotten about.

You see, I tend to be a bit naive of an optimist. When I thought about moving in to our house, I thought that we would just plop down the boxes, unload everything, put our furniture in place, and be good to go.

Nope.

In actuality, there have been several things that have surprised me about adjusting to a new house. I wouldn’t call them bad surprises. I’m actually really enjoying the process of making our house a home, and all of these things are part of that. But since I was sort of taken aback by some of these changes, I figured that others who are moving would experience them as well, so I thought I’d write them all down as a little “heads up” for people so you can know what to expect much more than I did.

Moving fro…

No, Ingen, Οχι, いいえ, Non...

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On my way out to get lunch yesterday, I passed a guy in his car who wasn’t wearing a shirt. The first question: where could he be going? Or, where could he be going that it would be appropriate to show up not wearing anything on the top half of his body? If we were near a shore town, maybe (and that’s a big maybe), it might happen that a man would need to get from one place to another fast and without his shirt. But on a sunny cool fall afternoon in Ottawa, I just don’t see the logic. I mean, he’s not going to a store or a restaurant because those kinds of places are clearly marked. You must wear a shirt. And shoes. It says so on the door. So, is he going to a friends house? And if so, does he really want to show up half naked? What if he and his friend decide they want to go to the store? Or a restaurant? Maybe he’s driving to a significant other’s house. And if that’s the scenario, shouldn’t he throw on a shirt anyway? For good manners? It says, “I respect you enough to assume we’r…

Because Three

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Insisting on being left alone "Give me some privacy" to poop with the door closed, and proceeding to unravel and entire roll of toilet paper and feed it into the toilet.

Singing Happy Birthday to the candle inside the jack-o-lantern.

Singing Happy Birthday when the Halloween lights turn on.

Insisting on singing "Down by the Bay" All. The. Time.

Singing the ABCs and completely messing up the LMNOP part.

Counting  but always calling eleven, eleventeen.

Playing make-believe with several monster trucks inside a giant box on the kitchen floor

Apologizing to his own toe for stubbing it. So-yee toe!

Carrying handfuls of recycling to the garage.

Yelling "I do it MYself" whenever anyone offers to help, or hands him something, or touches him.

Asking "What that noise?" for EVERY SINGLE SOUND EVER HEARD BY HUMANS.

Yelling "Mama" repeatedly when I lave the room until I come back.

Petting the couch.

Doing puzzles better than I do.

Running in giant, endless circl…

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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No, I will not lightly brush off my sweater. These toast crumbs are part of the outfit and I spent fifteen minutes carefully arranging them.

He Got It From His Mama

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This is going to sound ridiculous, but I used to find myself being envious of my cats. I would be leaving for work in the morning after having stayed up too late writing/watching late night TV and there they would be, cuddled on the bed, ready to take a luxurious, uninterrupted, hours-long nap. They have no job to worry about and no bills to pay. They never have to think:

“Hmmmm, what am I going to make for dinner tonight?”

Yes. Being a well cared for, domesticated, house cat seemed to have a lot of perks until I realized that much of my life would consist of sleeping and staying in-doors and that I would have to eat the same meal every day for the rest of my life. In fact, all my decisions would be made for me, and I would be vulnerable to my steward’s whim. Then, there’s the whole having to groom oneself and the pooping in a box and the shortened life span.

All of a sudden, it’s not all apple-pie and sunshine in the life of a cat.

Now that I have Lochlan, I often find myself thinking a…

Raising A Dreamer & Owing Your Weird

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I’m madly in love with the concept of raising creative children, of raising dreamers. Here’s what I’ve learned in my home that works for us to keep the hope and the dreaming going....
Space ~ Kids need room to explore and be and do. This could be inside or outside, their room or the family room. Anywhere that sshhh and too messy don’t apply. I'm excited about setting up "Lochlan's Space" when we move into our new home next month. Time ~ Kids need free time, as in unstructured, unplanned, unmonitored time. This is so hard to get some days as two working parents but it’s there if we zoom out and let them be sometimes.Tech/No Tech ~ Kids need access to the things that intrigue them. Some of what they want to create can be enhanced by cool things online. But they also need time in their own heads to explore and imagine and create. There’s a balance here of course but we do allow Lochlan to have the iPad on the weekends.“I can’t wait to see what you come up with” “You can …

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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What do you call a crying Camel?


A humpback wail ☺

Everyone Wants A Hug...Right?

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The other day I ran into someone I've met a handful of times. She is someone whose name I actually remember but I know her in only the strictest professional sense. We are polite. Cordial, even. But we are not chummy.

So it makes perfect sense that the following took place.

We say hello to each other.

And then she extends her arm.

Which I naturally take to mean she wants to hug me. I mean, sure I think it's weird. After all, we're polite. Cordial, even. But definitely not chummy. Certainly not huggers. Then I think, maybe she's resolved to give more hugs this year. Perhaps it was one of her 2017 New Year's Resolutions and time is running out to meet that goal...2018 will soon be here.  Not wanting to be the one who stands in the way of her fulfilling her New Year's Resolutions,

I...

Lean...

In...

I'm getting closer. It's almost time for our hug. And then I see her face.

And so it occurs to me...

She does not want to hug you! Abort! Abort! Do. Not. Hug. Her. …

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Thirty Six Reasons Why My Three Year Old Might Be Freaking Out

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Seems like it’s hard being a three year old... His sock is on wrong.His lip tastes salty.His shirt has a tag on it.The car seat is weird.He’s hungry, but he doesn't want to eat food.Someone touched his knee.He’s not allowed in the oven.I picked out the wrong pants.The cat looked at him.The other cat didn’t look at him.His hair is heavy.He doesn’t want to get out of the car.He wants to get out of the car by himself.His sleeve is touching his thumb.He doesn’t understand how popsicles are made.The inside of his nose stinks.Chicken is gross.A balloon he got six months ago is missing.The gummi vitamin is too firm.YouTube kids is slow.He jumped off the couch and we weren’t watching.He’s not allowed to touch fire.A shoe should fit either foot.I asked him a question.I'm talking.He can’t lift a dump truck.The cat is in his way.The cat won’t let him touch its eyeball.The inside of his cheek feels rough.Things take too long to cook.He has too much food in his mouth.He sneezed.Someone knoc…

Wordless Wednesday

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Then Verus Now

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Here are just a few of things that I've done in the past three years that I would not have done previously...
Put peanut butter on a piece of toast while peeing. Brush someone’s teeth against their will. Blow on food while it’s in someone else’s mouth. Help someone else blow on food while it’s in someone else’s mouth. Eat food that’s fallen out of someone else’s mouth. Eat food you found on the floor. Chase someone at full speed through Home Depot. Eat more then a dozen snack size chocolate bars at 4 am while watching Paw Patrol...alone. Sing the Paw Patrol theme song to yourself while driving...alone. Bribe someone to poop with a Dora fruit flavored gummy vitamin.Eat food you found under the table. Eat candy you found in a shoe. Wipe somebody’s nose with your bare hand. Eat baby food. Give yourself a crotch bath with baby wipes. Pretend you’re terrible at basketball using a toddler sized net. Finish someone else’s soggy cereal. Blame a fart on a child. Blame a child’s fart on your…

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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Imagine if your fridge did what you do everyday...every half hour goes to your room opens the door and stares at you for five minutes then leaves.



Love & Forgiveness

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I am not perfect. My parents, siblings, children, In-laws and friends are not perfect. People we love and those that love us, are supposed to love and forgive, but sometimes they don’t. We believe that we should feel appreciated and accepted and loved by our families, but love is not rooted in feelings. Love is rooted in action, and because love is bigger than forgiveness, we must first take the active step to forgive. I don’t know how this will manifest for you, but I think the way it must begin is on a very personal level. We must choose to forgive. It has to begin in our own heart. The words, “I forgive you” may never need to escape your lips, but when we forgive, we are changed, and it is because we are forgiven that we are changed.

Forgiveness tears down the walls of rejection and frees us up to love. It takes strength, and humility and endurance. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but it feels great. Love feels even better. Love and forgiveness are active choices and as we learn to l…

Baby Wipes Forever

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Lochlan is no longer a baby and has been potty trained for a while now and I should, at least traditionally, have no use for baby wipes. But I’m here to admit that I just bought a brand new box. On my list of priorities these days, “conserving paper” is right above “inventing a car that runs on pee.” Three years ago year ago (well, exactly 1109 days ago), when I changed a diaper, I would lay out a dozen of them, like I was setting up a game of wipe solitaire. I still have a container in nearly every room and use them now for a variety off-label uses.

Here are just a few...
Degreasing my phoneCrushing bugsMoistening a temporary tattooWipe-down the refrigerator handlesRemoving makeupWiping hair off the bathroom sinkCreate a moist mummy hand for picking up a yogurt-soaked crackerGiving myself a quick "bath"Cleaning dirt off dropped food before eatingWiping snot off the windowWiping snot off the iPadSpot-cleaning my jeansWiping butter off my hands after removing butter soaked toas…

Funny Face Friday

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Enjoy your weekend!

Kleenex?

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Here’s something I learned...I can only ask my wee son, “Do you need a Kleenex?” twenty three times within a four hour period before I give up.

Lochlan inherited a clean nose obsession from me. If I feel anything clinging or flapping around in there like a sad little prisoner, I can do nothing else until I free it. Usually I blow it into a Kleenex, but sometimes I pick my nose because I’m a grown ass woman who can do whatever she wants while sitting at a red light or standing in line at Walmart.

I don’t carry around a handkerchief because who wants a 14 square foot piece of cloth smattered with nasal goop in her purse? Also, I’m not eighty four years old. I recently watched a older woman (who I'm guessing was about eighty four years old) pluck a fairly used and tattered looking tissue out from inside the sleeve of her shirt that appeared like it was nestled comfortably against her wrist and I’m still upset about it. When I see a guy pull out a “hanky,” toot his giant man nose, and …

Reading, Darllen, Lecture, Läsning

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Reading to your child is one of life’s greatest gifts. But sometimes, as a result of fatigue, even a sweet opportunity can feel like a curse. Consider the following questions...
Have you read your child’s favorite book a hundred times? Is it making you insane? Do you frequently get caught trying to skip pages so you can get downstairs and eat a Beyond the Batter cupcake while watching Big brother? You’re not alone. Here are a few tools needed to turn a twenty two page story into an 11 page story. The Two Page Turn Children are extremely susceptible to slight of hand. Make use of it. While holding a book with your left hand, use the index finger, middle finger and thumb of your right hand to prep the next two pages. This will make the subsequent page flip appear seamless...like magic. And what kid doesn’t like magic? Warning...be ready to provide connective text to maintain the integrity of the story. “And then Chase tripped over a barrel of sandwiches, causing the kitty's mask to fal…

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

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I could communicate with a pod of dolphins via the clicking and popping sounds my body now makes in the morning when I get out of bed.

And Just Like That He's Three

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Dear Lochlan,

Today you turn three years old, and it's hard for me to believe where the years have gone. It's been...

94,780,800 seconds
1,579,680 minutes
26,328 hours
1097 days
156 weeks and 5 days

since the day you were born and I still remember delivering you in the hospital and seeing your big beautiful eyes look into mine for the very first time. "Hi Little Loch," I said with tears in my eyes, "I'm your mama. It's so nice to meet you!"

I remember being so worried about giving you love and attention around the clock and instilling good eating habits for later on in life. We sang songs, danced around the house, read books, played peek-a-boo. Those were the days that you relied on me for everything...

Now you're three years-old and have become quite the independent little boy. You look in the refrigerator to grab your own food when you're hungry (even if mom doesn't approve of your first choice), you insist on climbing the stairs all by y…

Curious George is Sweet & Curious...Right?

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Old-school fairy tales are terrifying.

An evil witch has an appetite for children. A mean lady is trying to kill the nice princess. All of the moms die and are replaced by evil stepmothers. Since our son Lochlan is just about three (big day is tomorrow), we are still trying to avoid these types of plotlines. Enter, Curious George. Loch has a deep affection for this little monkey. George is sweet and curious and likes to get into mischief, all of which I believe Lochlan identifies with on a personal level.

George takes over a pancake breakfast. So cute!

George accidentally let the baby bunny out of her cage. Adorable!

On a recent gander at my neighborhood Buy Nothing group , someone was giving away a box of vintage George books (circa late 1960s) and I snapped them up. I mean, Lochlan loves this curious little monkey. Once I had a chance to look at the books, I have to admit, I was surprised with the darker, tragedy laden, C.G. experience that I was unaware of.

Curious George Goes to th…

On The Brain

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I follow Lochlan as he runs into the bathroom. He has the awkward, unmistakable gait that accompanies an impending poop.

ME
Do you need some help with your pants?

LOCHLAN
Please! Hurry Mama!

ME
There you go.

Lochlan sits on the toilet, very still. He stares into the middle distance.

ME
Loch? Everything alright?

LOCHLAN
Mmm.

ME
Where’s your poo?

LOCHLAN
It’s nowhere.

ME
Nowhere?

LOCHLAN
I think it went back down to my brain.

Okay then.


The Deal

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Before long, we learn that in this life, we are not here forever. We learn through the changing of seasons, the loss of our pets in childhood, the death of a loved one. We have no guarantee of numbers. So many days under the sun or drizzly afternoons spent gazing out windows. We think they are infinite but they are not. One will be the last. And this is not the hardest part. The hardest is knowing those we cherish will share our fate; we can make no deal to change that.

We grow up when we know this. And this is the deal we get to be here. We don't ask, yet are given opportunity to love, to embrace, to wonder and be scared, to scream and kiss and run and lie still in the cool grass under the flickering stars on a cool evening. We go through this time, galloping or whispering across the years, with a vague knowledge of the end. We are born to love feverishly. To anguish and rebound. To flourish. We are born for each other.

It matters little where or when or how we are here. Our hearts…

Not an Option

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“How about We are the Champions?” he asks.

“Loch, I’m a little tired of listening to Queen. Is there something else you’d like to hear?” I say, glancing at him in the rearview mirror.

“How about Billy Idol?” he asks.

“You got it,” I say, tuning to track one on the album and turning up the volume.

I knew some day my son would start bossing me around, but I wasn’t prepared for it to happen before three.

He sits back there in his car seat, singing along, pausing to point out every truck, excavator, dump truck, and city bus (articulated and regular, the difference is important) along our route, happy until he decides that he’d like to listen to "Somebody to Love" like now.

Before the age of eighteen months, Lochlan didn’t have much in the way of opinions, aside from his disdain for tummy time, store bought milk, and socks. Except for the 27-pound stroller, the bulky infant car seat, and a bag filled with supplies we might need during a one-hour shopping trip to the mall, it was easy t…

Two Pigeons

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I’m not terribly skilled in the art of social graces. Well, hang on. Let me be clear. I’m definitely not a public belcher, farter or nose picker. I also know which fork to use and that one should eat with one’s mouth closed. So I get the basics right. But it’s the art of greeting people that has me in a flap lately...especially when an unexpected double kiss left me reeling like a newborn deer in high heels on a frozen pond.

On greeting the unbeknown double kisser, I went in for the humble single cheek peck. The airy kind, nice and dry, accompanied by the ‘gentle hand on one shoulder’ move, more for the sake of keeping my balance than anything else. Single cheek peck completed, I pulled away from the unbeknown double kisser, re-centering my balance.But then I saw his face coming towards me again.

For a moment, time stood still as I registered what was happening. The unbeknown double kisser hovered awkwardly on his front foot, his second cheek presented, patiently waiting for me to fini…

Five Reasons Why

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If one more of my friend tells me they need to lose weight now I will slap them... with love, of course. Because I just want to shake them (with love) and tell them, “Do you not need to lose weight. You're beautiful!” And I would shout this (with love), from the rooftops.

If you want to lose weight for health reasons, then go ahead. My point is that no one should feel that they have to, simply because we're in the midst of bathing suit season. Can you imagine if we all just said, “screw it, we’re fabulous” and didn’t get in “bikini body shape?” It would be awesome.

Because think of all the amazing things it can do for you
It walks. It dances. It runs. It digests food for you. It lets you dream. It gives you eyelids so you don’t have stuff stuck in your eyes all the time. Sounds way basic, huh? Who cares. You have to start appreciating your body somewhere. Appreciate your arms and your legs, because some people don’t have those, and would kill for your arms that you dislike for be…

Forty Seven

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Today is my parents 47th wedding anniversary. That’s right. For forty seven years they have been roommates, confidants, companions, shopping buddies, travel partners, support-systems, and teammates. In short, they are the best kind of best friends.

They raised five children, watched eight grandchildren grow from infants to self-sufficient young adults and one awesome little toddler, and they love to visit with and hear stories about their grandchildren. They are the centerpiece of every family gathering. All of the joy and generosity they put into loving all of us has multiplied exponentially, trickling down to our youngest family member, who often says:

“We FaceTime Nanny and Poppy now!”

As a unit, they have an awesome power. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t smile at the sound of their names or who doesn’t think they are just the greatest. They are a fixture of most of my happiest memories, and they are often the source of some of the funniest stories I have to tell. They are aff…