Thursday, February 28, 2013

Up, Up and Away

Long day, very tired. About to go to bed. But really wanted to post these pictures. Best part of my day was snow this morning that kept a silly grin on my face. Especially when I took Bingo outside to play after kids were at school and we found this orange birthday balloon in our backyard, there were two others in our neighbour's. We had fun, dog and I, as you can see. Click on the pictures to see more.

Other things being thought about, ideas for other posts for other days. But for tonight, this is enough. 

ps - Yes, the balloon was popped.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What are you Reading?

Off in a few minutes to pick up one child from school, other is going to a friend's house for dinner. I'll be back home with first child where Scott has been working all day with me. I'll eat a quick dinner, say goodbye to child and Scott and head off for a three and a half hour shift at work.

When I come home, I'll kiss sleeping children, missing the one I didn't really get to see today and hope she had a good playdate, I'm sure to hear about it from Scott. He and I will catch up, play with dog and most likely settle in with our books before falling asleep.

I'll be reading "The Blondes" by Emily Schultz, it's the kind of book you want to have a snow day for.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Simply Reading

This is in no way me taking an opportunity to brag. Although, looking at that picture, she is pretty awesome.

I've just finished reading this blog post and it's left me feeling grateful and just very full. Rose loves to read. William does too, but very much for the purpose of gaining information, it's more of a practical act for him, and he is very selective. A friend recently told me that she said to him, 'You're so lucky to have your mom working at the library! She must bring you home great stuff!" To which he replied, "My mom doesn't know what I like to read." While that's not quite true, I don't get as excited about picking through comic books and lego manuals as I do a good story. I can grab anything, any topic right now and Rose will devour it the minute it hits her hands. Snakes, fairies, firefighters (she wants to be one when she grows up), baby mammals, Fancy Nancy, weather, anything and she reads it and reads it well. Just for the simple act and love of reading.

So when I read the post mentioned above, of course I thought about how Rose reads quite often now without me and how we too are moving away from those times spent cuddling and reading. But at the same time, we're in that safe zone where if I pick up any picture book, both kids will usually end up gravitating towards me and snuggling in. While I love the thought of Rose pouring over Harry and Anne and everything else on her own one day (and I'm sure William will as well), the post made me realize how quickly that time will come when they don't need me for reading anymore and that maybe I should bring home more books from work right now, sit down and pull them in, instead of using that time for something else. More living in the moment and reading. I do that with myself too. I complain about not having the time to read but when I think of the time I waste instead of just picking up my book. That was a long way of saying, family reading time is not over yet nor need it be for a long time and I should enjoy every minute of it while I can.

A cute side note from work last night. I loved hearing a little boy with a slight lisp getting excited about our display of Blue's Clues books which does not display a blue cartoon dog, but rather the Blue Spruce and other Forest of Readings nominations for this year. (Our favourite is Splinters by Kevin Sylvester, so great) It doesn't get much better than seeing kids excited about books, and sharing it with them makes it all the better. And I get to do it at home and at work.

Insert happy

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I'm wet after walking the dog this morning. Anyone who has left the house today won't be surprised. Last night, we were driving home after spending a wonderful Family Day with my grandparents in Whitby, and we were listening to what we always listen to in the car, the Vinyl Cafe. Scott and I have been listening to this CBC radio show for more than ten years having discovered it as a very young couple in Toronto. It made the big city feel small, a home for us. (I won't tell you about the time I came out of a hair dresser, with soaked hair because it was raining so why bother drying it and ran in the author, Stuart McLean. I won't tell you how excited I was, that I ran after him for half a block with Scott trailing behind me, until I caught up to him and probably didn't have much to say but rather stood there beaming. So don't ask.) I love how much the kids enjoy the stories now, especially William who laughs sometimes until he cries. Last night's story, Tobogganing, had a line in it that came back to me this morning. In the story, Stuart tells how beautiful the snow was one evening, coming down soft, the 'kind of snow that makes you stick out your tongue, rather than slouch deep into your coat', or something of the sort. This morning, when taking Bingo out, it wasn't a tongue-sticking out kind of snow, but a definite hide in your coat kind, but remembering the line made it easier to bare.

And that brings us to Family Day '13. We had a great time! Went to Nana and Boppa's still-newish place, tons of activities for the kids including an indoor zoo with enough bugs and snakes to keep our favourite entomologist Rose happy who as you can see, stood with a python wrapped around her neck and managed to find a Chilean Rose tarantula. Kids had cotton candy and popcorn, adults enjoyed tea and treats from the bake sale. It was just one of those perfect days, the kind that glows and keeps you warm the morning after when your boot leaks and your daughter loses her shoes at school.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Day Bingo Pulled Me Down

Here's a treat from guest blogger William.

Today I took my dog, Bingo, for a pee and the second I got outside she just started going crazy!! And she started pulling the leash and she pulled me over in the snow, I fell and she dragged me. I couldn't take her strength and I let go so she started going crazy in the yard running all over the place. We had to wait for her to calm down and Daddy got her. This is a picture of my boot in the snow where it fell off and this is why I am never going to take the dog for a pee, in the snow again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Don't Miss It!

Last night I was having a hot bath to try to unclog my head, it worked. I've had a cold the past few days, missed work once to avoid sneezing on books, and still feel ick today. But! When I got out of the bath the kids and Scott were listening to Bach on the computer, watching videos that showed the music notes dancing and moving as the music played. I joined Scott at the kitchen table to read the paper while the music kept playing. Enough time passed that suddenly I realized I hadn't been listening, hadn't heard a bit of it. I'd been reading and thinking and probably worrying about something. On my walk this morning with the dog, I realized I've spent a lot of time this month doing that. Walks without seeing the sun on the snow, or kids telling stories but not listening quite enough. Getting wrapped up in things that were making me grumpy or generally feeling down (it is February) but missing out on so much. Such as, I feel sick and I'm cold and have to be out with the dog but......the snow is falling perfectly around us and this walk will help dog to rest for awhile while I get to write.

Other very good things.
-Scott and kids proved there was time for sugar valentine cookies by surprsing me with them Wednesday morning. They'd made them when I was at work.
-Downton! We bought season 3 from itunes and finished it last night! So I know things you don't! It's been a fun treat after kids go to bed, with dog sleeping beside the couch or in front of the fire
-My writing, just need to do more
-Teaching dog tricks, she can put some toys away now in her basket (when she isn't eating the basket)
-Beautiful scenery outside my very own windows, how did I get so lucky!?
-Early swimming lessons for kids Saturday mornings followed up with a trip to Vincenzo's for weekend snacks (PUC chocolate orange cheese is the best!!)
-Grade 2's put on a french play this morning, which we went to and smuggled Rose out of kindergarten for a half hour to enjoy with us. William was a very cute petit chien, it was amazing hearing the kids speaking their line in french.
-My job, working nights now makes me feel a little distant from it but I love the people I work with, the community, the books!
-Blogging more, I've missed it

Things to look forward to
-First telephone conference with Elizabeth R at the end of the month about a story
-Visiting my grandparents for Family Day. Lots happening for kids where they live now.
-Overnight trip away with Aunt B to celebrate her birthday.
-Birthdays to celebrate, dinners out to celebrate, gifts to prepare!

And this summer....ENGLAND!! Scott is presenting a paper at a conference in Manchester, my wonderful mother and father in-law are taking the kids and dog for a week and I'm going with!

So yes. My throat hurts, I'm tired and coughing but things are pretty good :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


There is something fun to write about and tell. It's the beginning of something new for me. When I went to the TNQ Wild Writers Festival a few months back, I was taken by what writer Miranda Hill had to say on the topic of mothering and writing. In short, she said go for it. She talked about how there came a moment when her children were getting older and she thought either I do it now or the time will pass. And she did and out of that decision came a wonderful collection of stories entitled, Sleeping Funny, which I'm reading and loving now.

Coming from that day, feeling inspired and ready to go for it, I didn't. We got a puppy instead. But now that puppy is beginning to settle (a little despite being spayed last week) and I decided I needed to go for it in way of asking for help. I didn't want to do this alone anymore and by this I mean writing story after story, only to leave it without much editing and go on to the next idea. I wanted to feel like a writer and get something done.

I thought back to the last time I could really say I felt like a writer and it was before I had the kids, when we still lived in Toronto. I was teaching 6/7 and taking a short story writing class at George Brown taught by amazing author Elizabeth Ruth. Those months I was up by six at the latest each morning and writing until the last minute when I had to run off to teach. They were good times. From it, a writing group was born and continued for years until we moved back to Waterloo. So I went to her, before Christmas, and asked if she would be willing to start again with me and my writing, in the form of a mentorship and she said yes! It began this month in a quiet way of sending her some of my pages followed up with a phone call at the end of each month. We can change things as we go, we have agreed, if need be.

I didn't know if I wanted to blog about this news, feeling the need to protect this new endeavor as well as the stories and words I'm getting out there. I'm finding timing tricky, hard to write at home with the dog (she has peanut butter now), I've been sneaking away in the morning to a nearby coffee shop to write after I take the kids to school to escape the pup. But I do miss my cozy office. I've also agreed to more volunteering at the school which I love, but it eats up time. My work at the library is mostly only one afternoon and two evenings, so I couldn't ask for a better schedule there. The house is messy and not much extra is being baked or made, no sugar valentine cookies this year. But I think this is the decision I'm making, and everyone under my roof (ok, maybe not the dog) is all for it, amazingly and wonderfully so.

There are still things to decide. Do I write new things or rework old stories I've loved and put away? But I do know that a morning here and there is not enough and writing at coffee shops isn't free. I'll work it out, February is a rough month for resolutions, but what I've worked and made happen so far and what could come out of this, will be very worth it, possibly like nothing else.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Morning or How long will it Last?

Dog has since run for cover in her crate as kids have begun rolling around the floor in the sleeping bags. It's either that or a very whiny Rosie, for some reason this morning nothing seems to be going her way and that smile above has long disappeared.
Beautiful sun, a potential trip to Value Village this afternoon to play, and good recipes lined up for the week.