Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ready to Enjoy

It's been too long since I've been here, been writing, having any sort of normal day. We have been sick for over two weeks. Before Monday, there has never been a day when someone wasn't  home, sneezing, coughing, whining, fevering (yup, it's a word), throwing up, and other unmentionables. And I've been home, and also sick, through it all. With a dog. And without appetite for food or books, how ridiculous is that?

But. Kids are back at school. Scott is back at work. I am home (and back and forth at the library doing my shifts oh so lovingly) but I'm still sniffling and feeling sort of meh (another good new word for you). We need to get a tree, get our decorations up, although we have been having fun with Sinterklaas (fun Dutch Santa) and Lego Advent calenders.

                                                   Me. How it's been. Pretty snow.
                                                   Sinterklaas offerings last weekend.

So I'm not bursting out of the gates just yet, and maybe that's how December will be and I'm good with that. Recovering a little here and there, to enjoy the next three weeks as much as possible. And we will. I'll go crazy at New Years. Maybe.

Hope you're well. Are you well out there?

Oh! I've begun to read Sea of Poppies today by Amitav Ghosh, very excited.

<><

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Dog Days












So here we are, passing the day together, just us girls; Rose, me and the dog. Rose has the stomach flu but is hopefully on the mend now. At least well enough for some computer time, homemade trail mix and playing with Christmas decorations brand new to us this year from Nana. No one else has picked up the bug just yet, we're hoping this will be it.
It's a cozy day, time to check out those birthday presents and dig into the craft kits. I bought a 2012/2013 planner last week, and had this week all planned, done to the minute. Today was to be volunteering with home reading this morning at the school, dog walk in the forest with a friend and then writing all afternoon. So maybe not, but it's ok. Dog is happy running around backyard chasing her favourite soccer ball that Scott and I got almost eight years ago when we ordered a pizza in Toronto (no idea why we still have it!), home reading check- in will hold off another week (kids will continue to read), and I can write tonight when Scott's in class. In the meantime (while Rose is whining for me and more Netflix right now), I'll enjoy the quiet.
 
We hit the Santa Claus parade this weekend, with loads of friends helping us line the street just outside Vincenzo's where adults could duck in for coffee. Scott and I got to see James  Bond for his birthday, and the Christmas lights are up and on, the first on our block. It is a little early for us but we're ready and happy to extend Christmas time a little bit longer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Lost Diamond in the Rough

So this is the thing. I've decided that the past three months (since school began or since we got the dog, or both) have probably been some of our hardest months ever. We're fine, of course, but the thread of little lousy things that just keep on happening is never ending. Nothing major, we're healthy and happy, nothing to really complain about. However.

One thing that was, still is, practically painful is that I lost the diamond from my engagement ring. I loved that ring. It was perfect. Small enough, big enough, shiny enough. Scott chose it on his own, without me ever seeing it before the day he proposed.

I lost it on a day when there was no real chance of finding it. I'd taken the dog for a long walk, done laundry, changed the sheets on all the beds, gone to work.  Of course after work that evening, Scott and I stripped the beds and looked everywhere (including remnants of our dog's meals, on their way out if you get what I mean) but it was gone. 

I have such a strong image of this ring that comes to mind whenever I miss it. It's of a particular bike ride we were on in Toronto (we biked everywhere in Toronto, I feel I was much braver then). And I remember it being a perfect day, my fingers gripping the left handlebar as I rode happily, watching my ring sparkling away in the sun. That's one thing I think of, and why my stomach aches a little, everytime I remember that it's gone.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Birthday Day and Cozy Thoughts



Rose is now five and asleep, despite a dinner of sugar and not much else.  I had to work so she had to go to school, which she loved because she was the only one in the whole school with a birthday today so the only one mentioned on the announcements. And she got a plastic lizard from the office, 'Awesome Mommy'!
 
We were opening presents just after six this morning, which included Lego and footsie pajamas (pjs with feet). Needless to say I'm falling asleep yet wanting so desperately to write something worthy of this incredible child who was born exactly five years to this hour. There was a snowstorm that night, and she was born at 9pm. Because I had a wonderful midwife and everything went so so well, a new baby, Scott and I and a much smaller version of William were tucked up in our beds at home only two hours later. I love that thought tonight, after a day of the four of us being separated by work and school. The memory of us, tiny and very new to each other, fast alseep together, out of the snow.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Writing Wild (and leftovers from Halloween)

Tomorrow my daughter turns five. It felt like a big event when William did it, but this time round it has me really thinking. An important Eve for me, while perhaps not for Rose except that it means waiting one more night for the Lego she so desperately wants.

This weekend was amazing. Friday morning Scott and I said enough is enough and took the morning off together (I wasn't that brave, my shift at the library didn't start until 2pm so no hooky for me). He's been feeling overwhelmed with work and deadlines and working late nights, so we went out for breakfast together after dropping the kids off at school, then shopping for desired Lego and then a long walk for with the dog. It was perfect and what we needed but it went quickly. Like so much these days, a planned date, a visit with a friend, a long weekend, five years.

So that brings us to Saturday when my fabulous aunt Bonnie and I attended The New Quarterly's Wild Writers Literary Festival right here in Waterloo. There are 3 things that have stayed with me the most.

1. I know so many of these people now! These wonderful talented people that I've somehow (without being published yet) put one step into their group. I don't feel like a bystander but rather someone who these people (writers) know is there and perhaps (here's my imaginary part, ready?) are waiting impatiently for me to jump the heck in and swim with them!

2. Blog for only me because I love it! The master classes Bonnie and I went to were terrific. The first one was with Kerry Clare from picklemethis.com, a blog I've been reading forever. We've chatted online before but met for the first time this weekend and she was as lovely as I had imagined. Her talk was about blogging and doing it well and so here I am! No longer wasting time contemplating what route this blog should take because as she said, blogs change with you.

3. OK, this is a big one and ties all in with the stuff above about time. The Wild Writers women panel told me something I already knew, already have been thinking. Am I going to do this writing thing (more than I already am) or just wonder about it one day when it's too late? The kids show how fast time is going, so does working at the library and I'll explain how that works in another blog. But despite being inspiring and motivating, I sat listening thinking, I know this! I think that way about writing all the time and I know this stuff, and obviously it isn't going away anytime soon. I don't want it to because it isn't just a hobby.

So wild writing, check.
Organic blog, check.
All works in progress, check.
Working on a new story this afternoon, check and check.
Birthday to get ready for, on it!
Crazy dog to take care of, sure.
Other stuff, why not. 

Oh! And I didn't mention Elizabeth Hay! Her master class was wonderful and if I could have bottled up her Zen and taken it home with me, I would have. A perfect day.

An afterward: Obviously the picture above is not of soon-to-turn-5-daughter, but rather of old brother also known as the Batman.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Little Victories



So tonight I'm feeling strangely torn between feeling inspired and completely hollowed out.
Let's start with the high. My friend Carrie Snyder's wonderful book, The Juliet Stories, was nominated for the Governor General's Award today. Just reading her blog on hearing the big news was enough to make me want to go running for my office and my laptop. I felt so happy for her and a feeling of being able to do anything myself and I wanted to do it right then and there.

But I couldn't (and here is where I'll try not to sound grumpy) because I'd just come home from work, had to take out the dog and play with her, go get the kids from school and discover that what was a bit of swelling around Rose's eye this morning (from a mosquito bite I think) had gotten worse leaving her eye almost swollen shut. Why her teacher didn't call me is another story. Tonight has been dinner, finding medicine for said eye, going back and forth on what to do, doctor tonight or tomorrow, which we decided tomorrow, and medicine tonight. There was a very barky dog, a wonderfully helpful 7 year old (honestly, no sacrasm), and two somewhat grumpy with each other for no reason except for being tired, parents.

It's been a long three weeks with our dog Bingo, who really is quite wonderful. There's been stomach flus and swollen shut eyes and tiredness, and grumpiness. There's been missed homework and forgotten library books. Books sitting waiting for me to read but sadly I haven't had the time, and laundry that seems to be piling up more than before, or perhaps that's just because sock season has begun. There have been sick little cousins in hospital and worries about aunts and uncles far away. There has been only thoughts about a new story I began before Bingo entered our home.

There have been stolen naps between craziness and time of wanting or just not being able to do a thing. And yet, when today brings one more worry to our small (protected and very blessed and happy, albeit often taken for granted) clan, I am here. I am writing this while Scott is teaching and kids are happy and chattering away close by.  I am writing this while a dear friend insists on coming to visit tonight for tea despite what I may have first said.

I heard amazing news about a friend and her writing today and suddenly things don't feel so bad and I know that if a swollen eye and a new crazy puppy in the middle of swirling autumn colours and warm sunshine are my biggest problems, maybe I need to ease up and smile more at my wonderful and tired husband when he comes home.

<><

***One goal. I'm going to be somewhat easy on myself. One story, which is in the midst of existence at the moment. Finished for submission for November's CBC lit awards. Not to win, but to get it done.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer Reflections or Now What?

I haven't written here in such a long time, well before summer holiday began. And we had a perfect one, if not a very different one. I was working half the time, home with the kids until Wednesday when Scott would pick up where I left off. I love my job and am thankful for it, especially now that the both kids are back to school full time.

Our summer was full and often we were looking for down time, but the days keep rushing on. A trip from my uncle from England started things off, which meant time celebrating him as well as Nana and Boppa's big move. Then it was our anniversary, and Scott and I snuck off to Toronto and then Niagara Falls for some time to ourselves and yearly used book shopping. It got hot quick and that got us into the neighbours's pool, they are so good us. A week of summer camp each for the kids, followed by a beach day with friends and loads of day trips to fun places, mainly of course to the library. The best trip however was to Ottawa where we again enjoyed time and the Olympics with our Aunts. The end of that trip was to Montreal, where we surprised the kids with a visit to the Star Wars Exhibit downtown. The summer ended with a perfect weekend for the wedding of Scott's brother and his new bride. It was, like I said, perfect.

So I guess that leaves you wondering. OK, so she was busy. But so was I and I blogged? And it's true, of course I had time. I didn't blog because I didn't really want to. I've come to a crossroads with this blog where I don't know where it should go. Scott made the point that William's getting perhaps too old to have his personal stories and pictures thrown permanently out there for all to see. Of course my computer is chock-full of gorgeous pictures of the two of them that I'd love to share, and I have a little on facebook over the weeks, but maybe the time has come for this blog to either end (say it's ain't so) or become something else, something little different. What do you think? How do you feel about throwing your kids out into the world wide web?

So I agree that my above list of Summer 2012 was brief and rushed but I'm ready to move into fall and see what comes next (although I'm missing the kids something fierce today). I work only part-time, the kids are gone five days now and I am up against a wall (a happy looking wall) with a sign that says, guess there's nothing left to do but write.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Father's Day







An early and quick breakfast for him complete with hot sauce (and chocolate for later), before running off to see a new house for my Grandparents. We couldn't get over how possible it is to change houses but still have the same home. It felt just right. And there was time with another little one - my niece - who I just don't get to see enough.

This weekend, a trip to London to see their grandparents, and a trip to the park with time to wrestle with dad (it's so much fun to see them scheme together). Long days right now, we're ready to finish the school year so that my own little own doesn't have to cry and tell me she's just so tired anymore. We all are looking forward to a break.

<><

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When did it get to be Summer?




But we're glad it did!

Monday, June 11, 2012


He likes to drink peppermint tea in the mornings.
 

On his and his sister's birthday, we always decorate the kitchen table.

                                     
                                    He covers his mouth lately when he's excited or surprised.

                                    

                                                        He loves Lego, he loves Star Wars.
                                       He's read all the books the library has which give away every
                                          secret except one last surprise in Return of the Jedi.
 


                                                   
                                                           He loves pop on his birthday.

                                                               Hot dogs are always good.

                            
                                            And even when you'd think the day couldn't get
                                         any better, he's always waiting and looking out for more.

              
                                       He's 7 now. It seems so big. I have to get cross when he reads
                                       and ignores us (but I love it). He's learned so much french at school
                                       this year he's almost leaving Scott and I behind. He acts silly
                                       and goofy to make Rose laugh whenever she cries. He loves to
                                       cuddle still, but mostly at home. And Bingo, the stuffed Chocolate
                                       Lab we gave him for his first birthday and he hasn't slept a night
                                       without since.....there still isn't a better thing for him in the world.





And we're back and we're older!

I've been away so long that both William and I are a whole year older! No excuses, just simply haven't felt much like doing it. It happens I guess.

I had a great birthday, one that thanks to family, great friends and new work friends made me feel like a kid and properly spoiled all day, there was a lot of Vincenzo's going on.

 And the night was spent getting ready for William's party the next day. There were Light Sabers and cupcakes and a Death Star Pinata to make, most thanks to Scott. Five boys from his class came. It was wild but it was perfect, right down the the Padawan braid (Star War things) William had me do in the side of his hair to the unlimited amount of cheesies Rose consumed as her concession for being the only girl.






Wild but perfect, seems to be a theme these days.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Good Day


A great mother's day. I got to read in bed while kids and Scott made me a breakfast of croissants, strawberries, sausages and cappuccinos. There was chocolate too, along with cards from the kids that William had promised would 'break my heart'.  His explanation of this was 'you know Mommy, how you cry when you're happy. It'll do that." And it did. Sun and roughing around later on at Oma's and Gramp's house, while celebrating Neil and Becky's engagement and making plans for their wedding in August. Lots to look forward too!

<><

(That felt rushed, but the day itself was perfect and easy going, doing what I love best. And they know that.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Slurping and Skipping


Rosie being a monkey and William a kangaroo. He's learning to skip for the Jump Rope for Heart program at school. The day he showed me what he'd learned so far in gym class, I declared to Scott it was one of my favourite things ever. Just look at that tongue!

  
So proud to reach 150 nights of reading, even prouder to be in only kid in his class to do so.

  And it's muddy. Lots of mud around here thanks to the construction.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Still Flying








I love the feeling you get upcoming coming home from a holiday. You feel lighter, less likely to worry about the little things, and definitely relaxed. The problem is that it doesn't usually last too long. But I still feel it! Home for more than a week, I still have no immediate need to spend time on facebook, or the internet in general. Things still feel extra special. Special just like those Godiva chocolate Aunt Bonnie and I ate on 5th Ave, the chocolate restaurant Max Brenner (amazing!) we ate at twice, the shopping we did at Macy's, seeing War Horse at the Lincoln Centre that we rode to in a stretch limo (completely by luck, for $12), seeing 'The Columnist" on Broadway, Times Square at night, the walk we had through beautiful Central Park, the food, the bagels, the coffee...

Are you still my friend. : )

Thank you Aunt B for four days of Mother's Day and my birthday all rolled into one wonderful time away with you!!!

<><

ps - The differences between the pictures are that some were taken with my camera and others with a disposable camera. I took the memory card that held on five pictures and my vacation brain didn't tell me to just buy a new one.