Monday, November 29, 2010

December is almost here

With our first, light snowfall upon us... Lu keeps asking.. "is it Christmas already?"

It is difficult trying to explain to a four year old that Christmas is still many sleeps away! But she is excited, oh so excited and Christmas day this year will be pretty exciting.

Even though December first is right around the corner... I still have yet to start my christmas shopping. I hope to get away to Toronto's One of a Kind show tomorrow... but that is still up in the air. Last year I was able to get a huge bulk of my christmas shopping complete at the one of a kind show... but I am not sure if I'll be able to do the same this year (can't give everyone a similar gift to last year).

We did order presents for all the husband's clients, as well as finalizing ideas for Lu's ECE teachers at preschool and her Kindergarten teacher.

I still have to decorate the house and get the wreaths and swag outside... and start baking... and why oh why am I so behind this year.... December has just crept up on me without warning.

But it will get done -- well.... it has to get done!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Painful Reminder

I knew the day would come. I knew it would be brutally hard; and truth be told... it is still brutally hard two years later.

It has been two years.. two painful years. We miss you Little Buddy. I miss your soft, silky fur and your expressive eyes. I miss how you loved to chase squirrels, frisbees, sticks, ducks and wheelbarrow wheels. I miss your slightly intense nature but loved the fact that in your eyes -- I was the best and only person alive on the planet.

How you loved when we went biking and hiking, or roller blading at midnight when we all lived in Kingston. You loved to snuggle in bed with us and you always positioned yourself close by -- whichever room we were in -- you were there to protect us.

Even though you were part Border Collie - you were deathly afraid of sheep (but that is our little secret). You loved your neck massaged, your belly rubbed and you just loved being with us; it made you feel secure and loved.

We spent virtually every single day together from when you were a mere 8 weeks old. You were by far the cutest puppy, the best companion and most loving senior dog in the world.

A part of me died with you. I will always remember you and love you.

Say hello to Tiamo for us.

We miss you dear Angus. Life is not the same....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I am sure there are a million blogs right now devoted to a child's first day of school. So of course I thought I would add mine.

I have to say... this first day of kindergarten was pretty ordinary - -there were no tears, no clinging, no anxiety..... she just walked into the classroom like she'd been there for years and years.

Now mind you, we had been preparing for this day for years and years! We started her at preschool about 2 years ago with the hopes that a structured, educational and fun preschool would be a great warm up to "real" school. We also sent Lu off to day camp for two weeks this year... so another first... another new thing to try.... another learning activity. She has taken it all in stride.

We also went to the junior kindergarten orientation which was held earlier in the summer at her new school. So Lu and I went through the classrooms and visited the library and gym and met the teachers. So again this was a great opportunity for Lu to see her new school and know that it isn't a scary place. She was also very lucky to have her friend Lizzie as a classmate -- I know this helped ease her transition from preschool to JK.

So what do we do now? She is growing up so quickly, right before our eyes. Lu dresses herself in the morning without prompting or pressure, she gets her shoes on and a warm sweater and launches herself out the door to the car. It has all been pretty darned easy.

But of course I think about her all day. I count the seconds until she and daddy pull up in the driveway and I can snuggle her warm and drowsy body into my arms and ask her a million questions about her day: How was your teacher today? what did you learn? Who did you play with outside today? How was your lunch? Did you get a new book from the library today? Did you make a new friend? What new thing did you learn today? and the list goes on....

Yes.. I miss her terribly. I know she is having fun, but I also know at school she will have sad days and meet some not-so-nice kids and maybe not feel well and wish she were home with me, and I know she is going to get tired... oh so tired.... So really all I can do is love her and be there for her and make sure she gets lots of sleep and washes her hands and helps me pick out lunches and snacks to make for her school meal... and, and and!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First riding lesson

Lu has always loved ponies -- as most little girls do. But surprisingly up until recently, she has been intimidated by the "real" thing; even though she loves playing with her "my little ponies" and other various horse-like dolls... she just did not appreciate the grandeur of a real, live pony.

She's had plenty of access to ponies... at grandma's house, at our neighbour's place, at the farm across the road from grandma,.... and the list goes on and on. But it wasn't until my dear friend Sian offered a pony ride at the stable she frequents. I happened to have a free Saturday morning, so Lu and I donned our best rubber boots and headed to the stable.

We arrived a bit early and Annabel was immediately drawn to the small, black pony - 'Beauty' - who was being groomed and polished by two young girls. Then... the pink saddle pad arrived... Lu was smitten... not only was this tiny, gentle pony nibbling her hands... but... she had a pink saddle pad. That pink saddle pad made everything in life perfect... and at that moment.. life was perfect.. perfect for a smitten four year old girl, with long, blond curly hair, held back in a french braid; a Vancouver Olympic t-shirt and grey leggings tucked into flowery pink rubber boots and a toothy grin that stretched from ear to ear.

Unfortunately, Beauty was being used in a lesson. But, Lu got to ride Sino the Palomino... and she just loved every single moment of life on top of that round palomino. She even walked over a few poles on the ground (yeah. her first jump) and trotted, each side, down the length of one wall (yeah, her first dressage test).

Soon her ride was over... but the euphoria of that special "first" still lives on - two days later - as Lu proudly tells anyone within ear shot of her first horse ride!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Anaphylactic Shock

I cannot get the image out of my head. The image of your tiny, frail body lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by wires and beeping machines and giant scratchy blankets under the grey-green glow of the fluorescent ceiling light.

I cannot get the image out of my head of your limp body in my arms while you vomited uncontrollably - your body trying to rid itself of the toxins within. I thought, at that instant, that we were going to lose you. It almost seemed as if your life was flowing out of you along with the sick. I thought at that instant I would collapse, overwhelmed by the uncertainty, the blind panic and unforgivable unknowns.

I cannot get the image of your swollen eyes, your hive covered body, of you clawing at your neck and screaming how it hurts. I was so helpless. What do you do? I had no idea. And for that I am sorry. I am supposed to save you from hurt, from pain and from everything bad. I didn't do my job very well.

Why. Why did your body react so severely. Why did this attack come on so suddenly. We had no history of allergies. Up until now, you had been the picture of perfect health in all your four year old glory. Yet this awful reaction almost felled you instantly. Instantly in my arms while I held you on the side of the road. Screaming at daddy to call an ambulance. To will an ambulance here. NOW.

I knew we couldn't waste anymore time. I urged daddy to get back in the car and drive. Drive like you've never driven before. We took a big risk rushing you to the hospital on our own. Driving like a maniac. Passing cars. Swearing at the oblivious drivers who had no idea the hell that was taking place in our car.

When I first saw the flashing lights of the ambulance, my heart lifted... ever. so. slightly. We pulled to the side of the road as the ambulance swung around to meet us. I was out of the car, instantly, with your shaking, in shock, limp body in my arms. The site of the angelic paramedics sent me to my knees. I was scared. I was crying. I was angry.

We were whisked to the hospital. You were taken care of so expertly, so thoroughly, so professionally and for that I am ever so grateful.

Now you must carry an epi pen everywhere. Now I must investigate every and all morsels to pass your lips. I will also wonder what else you might be allergic to? How can I protect you from all these unknowns.

I am scared. I am overwhelmed with sadness. I have tons of questions and I cannot stop thinking about all the unbelievably unthinkable 'what if' scenarios which could have easily played out Saturday night. I cannot even imagine what would have happened. What easily could have happened.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

When your parents divorce

When your parents divorce it hurts at any age.

I just recently found out that my father is going to leave my mom. I am overwrought with emotion. What do you do? What do you say? How do I control my anger, my sadness, my disbelief?

It is sad.. I am sad and angry.. hell no I am pissed beyond belief. It is a really long that actually started years and years ago... My father was seeing his high school sweet heart before he met my mother... the high school sweet heart ended up marrying someone else... My father (obviously) married my mother... but I guess my father and this woman never stopped seeing each other.. yup.. after all these years...

Fast forward to today... her husband is gone.. she is a fu**ed up, manipulative alcoholic.. dying in some halfway house.... none of her family will have anything to do with her (hmm.. can you say red flag?).. so she is languishing by herself in some home.... dying of the ravages of alcoholism and she has decided to keep her hook into my father during her final, dying days.

My father has chosen to turn his back on his family. And you know.. if it were a "simple" (not that anything like this is simple)... two people growing apart... moving on... you know.. I can get my head around that. But he has carried on this affair,.... carrying on this double life all the while anything I have known of growing up and who I thought my father was... that has all been thrown out the window.

But what really gets me is my daughter.. she doesn't understand. She was asking just yesterday where grandpa was. What was I supposed to tell her? That is what hurt the most... that my father is willing to walk away.. walk away from my mother... from my sister and I... and from his lovely granddaughter.

How am I supposed to deal with all of this?

And I am so sad for my mother. She doesn't deserve this. All I can do is tell her that I love her and that I am here for her... and I hope she can come out of this a stronger person... one with battle scars for sure. But there really is nothing else she can do but be strong. Be the bigger person.

I guess life is never simple... something always comes along to kick you in the teeth.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home from Holidays

We just spent a lovely week in Nova Scotia. We visited friends... drove around the countryside... shopped... slept... ate... spent lots of time at the beach and generally just enjoyed life.
The weather was perfect -- no rain in sight.
It was the perfect getaway!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Despite the call for thunderstorms and loads of rain, this weekend turned out to be quite lovely -- stinking hot... but lovely!

We headed to Falcon... our sailboat on Friday night for a lovely dinner onboard with a walk to the ice cream store after. We had a quick trip to the Farmer's market for Lu's favourite home made doughnuts on Saturday morning and a play at the playground. Back to the boat to watch the unsettled sky and decide whether it was safe to head out for a sail.

Sunday was Father's Day! After presents and a quick breakfast onboard.. .we took Lu and a friend to the beach to make sand castles, play tag and frolic in the slightly bone-chilling water. We made it back to Falcon by 10:30 -- just in time to tidy up before grandpa arrived... and out we set for a picture-perfect sail on Sunday. What a great way to spend Father's Day!

Grandpa arrived in his blue TR-7, but found the slow drive over was hot, sticky and a bit uncomfortable. So as much fun as convertibles look... I prefer my air conditioning.. esp. after a day like Sunday!

The lake was choppy and the wind was strong... so we were buffeted about ... but Lu is quickly learning her sea legs and she quite enjoyed the heel of the boat, the chop of the waves and the fast pace of a usually leisurely sail. I believe the best Father's Day present for the husband was the look of joy and confidence on Lu's face as we navigated the rough and slightly unpredictable lake.

Monday, June 7, 2010

She's Four!

Lu just turned four! I can barely believe it. They say time goes by so quickly when you have children. This statement is so true - you witness each day as your child grows and learns and matures and changes right before your eyes. It is truly amazing.

And four is an incredible age. This is the age when your child first starts to act more like a 'person' and not so much like the whiny, challenging, tantrum-y, tired, cranky, baffling toddler you're used to. For some reason when they hit the age of four they kind of turn into these mini comedians. They can be so funny that they leave you slapping your knees in wonder and awe and you ponder where they heck they came up with that. These amazing little life observers. So wise at this young age. And so cuddly. And so, well, agreeable. They just start to become a little more agreeable each day... and sometimes it's a shock as you brace yourself for the usual foot stomping rebellion only to be met by an angelic "ok mommy." And you think to yourself.. yeah.. ok mommy.. it IS ok!

Four. She is four. I struggled in the past with being a new mom. I struggled with finding me. I struggled re-establishing my business. I did it, though. I persevered, I faltered....often. But because of you I picked myself up more times than I wish to count and dusted myself off and started again. I cried. I was frustrated. And in the end I knew it would be ok... it would be ok mommy.

Here we are. You are four and wonderful and beautiful and smart and amazing and I have found myself again, just slightly ragged around the edges but I'm back.

Happy Birthday Lu! You have made me a stronger person.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Proud Mom of One

I am proud to be the mother of one.

I have one, beautiful, smart, funny, compassionate daughter and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world! Oh sure.. there were times when I have second guessed myself. There were times when I wondered if two would make things better. There have been times when I've been shamed by mothers of many that I am doing a grave disservice to my daughter for not providing her with siblings.

Sure it's a tough choice but it is a personal choice and one that I feel was chosen as it best suits myself, my daughter and my husband. It's our little family of three and we can pretty well do what we want, when we want and how we want. I have heard the endless concerns from larger families that our daughter must be bored, she must be lonely, she must be spoiled, she must be odd. And I scratch my head in wonder as to what gives others the right to be so bold, so cruel and so opinionated?

It hurts sometimes, but I can assure you my daughter is not lonely, nor is she bored, spoiled and she certainly is not odd. But because we have one, I can give my daughter the attention she deserves, the attention she needs and she knows that she is loved unequivocally. I have grand dreams for her - to grow up as a skilled and proud athlete and a kind and caring citizen of the earth and maybe, just maybe she will become a doctor... but alas these are my dreams for her. She must find her own way in the world and whatever path she chooses... I will love her all the same and support her and be there for her when she needs me.

And sure I know large families where the children all love each other and support each other. But I also know families that don't speak to one another... that haven't seen each other for years or been in contact for decades. I don't think there is a perfect size of family. It is based on your experience and your own personal choices. It should not be open for discussion or debate or wonder. This is the path I have chosen; perhaps chosen for medical reasons, perhaps chosen for financial reasons or perhaps just chosen because this is what we want. But it is our choice.. it is our family and we love our family of three.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Adventures of Earth Week

Another year, another earth week. I never go out of my way to do anything "earth-friendly" during this much-hyped day and week. I usually do these anyway, without much thought or motivation -- I just do it. I always have and always will.

Lu and I walked in the woods and marveled at the wonder of the arrival of spring; from the tiny, green buds on the trees to the honking geese overhead and the colourful varieties of flowers making their way through the newly warmed earth.

We gardened and raked and cleaned and organized. We lay on the grass and watched the clouds roll past us. We silently crept through the fields and down by the creek to spy on the animal families with the hope of catching a glimpse of any brand new arrivals. We inhaled the sweet, fragrant smells from apple blossoms and squished newly formed tent caterpillars between our gloved fingers. We ran as fast as we could and laughed out loud. We bundled ourselves against the strong yet chilly winds and stretched toward the warmth of the sun. We looked for faeries and pixies and other mystical creatures. We studied the difference between pine needles and cedar leaves. We happily said goodbye to the lady bugs who had called our window sills home. We ate our first popsicle. We dug in the earth and made sand castles in the sand.

And as per usual we planted 50 or so tree seedlings on the back hill, just as we have been doing for years. We found neat little homes for their far reaching roots, supplied the first watering and wished them much luck for decades and decades of successful growth!

And as usual we walked the road and peered into ditches; we pulled out Tim Horton's coffee cups, beer cans and whiskey bottles and a variety of garbage discarded from passing vehicles.

"Why is there garbage on the side of the road," asked Lu... Good question I thought.. why do people throw garbage out their windows? Is it convenience. Is it ignorance? Is it habit? Whatever the reason it still happens. It still happens after all the awareness, after all the pleading and after all the Earth Day celebrations - the garbage still piles up at the side of the road.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First Hair Cut

Well.. finally had to do it. Lu had to have her first hair cut. I was kind of hoping to let it grow just a teeny bit more... but brushing her hair of late was like sticking your arm into a viper pit. Not fun.

So here she is in all her blonde, curly glory... I was so traumatized! In the end, we all survived. And for now, brushing her hair is slightly less painful, slightly less vocal and just a little bit quicker.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Easter = Chocolate Overload

I really meant well. I didn't want to buy a lot of chocolate for Lu on Easter... and well that lasted for all of 2 minutes by the time I entered a certain box store and was overwhelmed by loads of brightly coloured foil, expertly packaged cream eggs and oh so sweet, oh so delicious Lindor Easter egg parcels.

What was I to do? I grabbed as many goodies as my arms could hold and dashed to the check out before my PMS-laden psyche overruled whatever sense of responsible snacking I could justify for a few small, measly even, chocolate treats. Indulgently I scarfed down a silky smooth Cadbury caramel egg before reaching the car. I, of course, was able to justify that indulgence because we had gone skiing on Saturday. Ok... a bit of a stretch... but it is all I could think of while dashing to the car in the hopes no one would see me or recognize me inhaling a large, chocolate and sickly sweet caramel-injected confection. It was all done before I reached the car; not one amber coloured morsel left on my fingers to savour, not a speck of sinfully sweet chocolate to melt on my tongue - all I had to show for it was a fistful of foil and a guilty conscience.

But the good thing is ... I didn't buy ALL chocolate goodies.... I did make it to a Craft store and purchased a few small items for Lu. And I did all this because I love the thrill of a good scavenger hunt. I have already mapped out, in my mind, where the Easter Bunny is hiding the goodies on the property. I have the Easter Bunny hiding items inside the barn, under a few trees, at the entrance to the forest, beside our wood pile, up a few trees close to the house and perhaps a few other spots I haven't thought of yet. So in the end it will all work out. And most importantly, I will monitor what and when and how much of the sugar Lu will ingest at one sitting. I also have some great craft ideas to finish both before and during this weekend festivity.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Skiing in Vermont

We're back... we're sore... we're exhausted but most importantly we are very happy. We all achieved our own personal bests on the hill at Smuggler's Notch -- a really wonderful and family friendly resort... so much to do in too little time.

We tried to take advantage of all the offerings as best we could: ski lessons for The Husband and I... ski camp every day for Lu... Funzone, swimming, snowshoeing, Top of the Notch candlelight dinner, snow-tubing, restaurants.. but I really should have had a massage... next time for sure.

Lu learned so much and we are oh so proud of her. She rocked the Cookie race and got to meet (and hug) her hero Mogul Mouse.

Definitely going back next year.

Lots of work to catch up on... and lots of memories to cherish.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Now that the Olympics are over.. I feel like I am experiencing a bit of withdrawal... no more yelling at the TV during close races... no more inspiration from the wonderful, talented and humble athletes, no more excitement and Patriot pride... and no more access to really great programming on tv!

It's back to the same old, same old. I love watching the Olympics.. any Olympics.. summer or winter... whatever is on. And it was nice too, this year we could watch with Lu... she was really getting into hockey and speed skating, but of course her favourite was watching the "princesses" dance on the ice, or watching the speed demons on the downhill races. It was all so thrilling and magical.

And heck.. you never know.. maybe years from now we will be watching our own daughter excelling at an Olympic game at whatever sport she chooses to pursue... you just never know.

And of course I just assume she will be a great athlete. We spend a lot of time outdoors - playing, walking, riding our bikes, playing games, gardening, shoveling the walk, throwing the frisbee for the dog, hiking, swimming, sailing and skiing... but whatever we do... it is outdoor. I think this is so important not only for Lu's overall development but to also impart a love of sport, activity, healthy lifestyle and love for the great outdoors in her growing mind. This is so very important to us as individuals and as a family.

Recently, I read an article about how to keep our kids active and healthy at the peak of an obesity epidemic in children throughout the western world. The article stated three simple things to do with your kids which will help keep them active and fit: prepare your meals at home from scratch; get outdoors and active with your kids and be sure to eat most meals together as a family.

This really puzzled me... what are people doing? To me, those three simple things were a no-brainer.. we already eat every meal together at the table, we already prepare 98% of our meals from scratch and we already pursue a healthy and active lifestyle. Is it really difficult for the average family to follow these three simple suggestions?

With a little planning and foresight... these three things are very easy to accomplish and ... well, SHOULD be accomplished. I can't understand why someone would allow their child to get fat.. to get lazy and to have such unhealthy and unrealistic expectations. Apparently it is more common than we all know - considering all the overweight kids I see, daily, at the grocery store, in Lu's dance class, waiting at the bus stop, going to the movies with friends...and the list goes on and on.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Agony of Living with a Withholder

This subject doesn't come up much in regular mommy conversations, let alone conversations in general.... I mean who wants to talk about poop.. and really.. who wants to talk about your kid who can't poop. It's tough.. you can't really appreciate what one goes through if you haven't experienced it yourself.

To the uninitiated... well.. heck.. so your kid can't/won't poop.. big deal.. the sun will still set... the earth will still rotate... it is really no biggie. Right?
My daughter has a fear of pooping. I don't know when or why or how this came to be - we never pushed potty training... she was eager to pee on the potty at the average age of potty training and has done this well ever since... and before then her daily constitutionals were as regular as one could expect from a baby... so I never, ever saw this coming. Until almost two years ago she started experiencing some constipation. But we were on top of that immediately.. to the doctor's... added mineral oil and more fibre to her diet (she already eats a very healthy diet as is... but we figured this couldn't hurt.) and life goes on.

Fast forward to this past summer... when it had already seemed like an eternity... we would cycle from severe constipation to finally getting some relief and then right back to the constipation. And this was no ordinary constipation.. this was raw and painful and bloated and cramping and nauseating... in a word this was bad! By this point too she was living on large doses of mineral oil so the constipation was baffling. Until we figured that she wasn't necessarily constipated, yet her fear of going poop on the toilet led to withholding for days.. which inevitably led to constipation and so on and so on. The cycle would continue and continue.

Finally our family doctor was tapped out of ideas so she sent us to a pediatric surgeon... he was confident at first -- heck.. he even promised that we would have this solved by Christmas (our first appointment was in October).. I was so elated... I could barely contain myself! We left the office that day with a renewed optimism and a prescription for Poly Ethyl Glycol -- a heavy duty laxative to clear her out and get her back on track -- the goal being to make it so she couldn't physically hold in her poop... and her poop would be of such soft consistency that she would be pooping regularly and would then realize it doesn't hurt and well.... pooping on the toilet would be the next logical step.

After multiple visits to the pedi's office... he was happy that the poly ethyl glycol was working. for the most part... and for the most part it was ... she wasn't in agony and constipated after weeks and weeks of withholding... she was willing to try to sit on the toilet (although still would not poop)... but all of these were wonderful positives that gave us hope. The pedi felt that he had done all that he could do.. and if we wanted to pursue this further.. it was time to take her to the bowel clinic.

The bowel clinic? There is such a beast? I had no idea.. and I had no idea that it would ever get to this.. that my sweet and mostly healthy, smart, happy, outgoing, athletic little girl was so afraid to poop on the toilet that she would rather writhe on the floor in extreme pain, all the while, holding back any urge to poop (unless she was desperate enough to put her own pull up on for relief). This has really gotten bad.

What do you do? We have tried everything.. ranging from taking away the diapers completely (which causes further withholding, and constipation as well as a piles of soiled underwear and clothing).. to rewards and bribes to talking, begging ... even pleading. We are so desperate now I don't even know which way is up.

And again.. unless you have been through this... it is not easy.. it is not fun... and it is downright mind-numbingly frustrating.

Our lives revolve around our daughter's bowels.. if the Poly Ethyl Glycol has been working as it should... and she isn't backed up.. we know we are good.. she won't be in agony and grumpy and disagreeable and afraid to leave the house in case of an accident... BUT if she has gone days and days and days again without pooping (despite the regular doses of laxative and other incentives)... you really can't go anywhere or do anything.. she will be tired and irritable and downright difficult.

You feel sorry for her.. you do.. you just want to wave a magic wand and make it all go away. How on earth could she pee on the potty with such confident ease.. and yet... the thought of a poop sends her screaming over the edge with fear and unconsolable sobs. This is really, really bad.

And to make matters worse.. I did the bad mother thing.. I was tired and frazzled and at my wit's end. I had spent two days home with Lu... the Poly Ethyl Glycol was burbling up in her system like a tsunami (she had gone 7 days at this point without I had to up her laxative.. and well.. she was about to blow)... and so she did... there was diarrhea all over the place for most of the first morning we were home... accidents galore... messes on the floor and up the stairs... two baths and counting and raw bums and chapped and sore hands from all the wiping and cleaning and clearing away the mess. By the time day two had rolled around I had literally had enough shit to deal with. Time to up the ante so to speak. Lu came to me with a fresh pull up full of poop.. she wanted me to change her.. I was done. I couldn't do it anymore. Please Lu, I begged... let's go and try to sit on the toilet. "NO!!!!!".. I can't....I'm afraid"

This eventually progressed into me taking all her toys outside and "calling" someone to come and take away her toys. The bawling and uncontrollable sobbing continued (from both of us)... after 10 mins or what seemed like an eternity, Lu came to me and said she would sit on the toilet. In we marched to the bathroom and I plopped Lu down on her cushioned seat. She cried and looked at me with her pleading eyes. Ok.. she sat on the toilet, I thought.. enough.. time to end this.

So I whisked her off the toilet and into her room.. got her cleaned up and she helped me bring her toys back inside. I gave her a really big hug after that -- more for me than her... but I still felt awful. I let it get this far, this bad, this out of control.
I am such a bad mom. How did I let it get to this. And how do I make it end? How do I get Lu to sit on the toilet and poop without fear or whatever it is that is holding her back?

I really would do anything to help her.. to get over this irrational fear and to get off this brutally difficult treadmill we are on.. this horrid unending cycle of "has she pooped, when was her last poop... please, please try to go on the toilet... mommy is begging you... mommy is proud of you... mommy is tired of all of this.... "

How do I make it stop? How do I reassure my daughter that all is fine.. she has nothing to fear.. and that she is a big girl now...
This has been going on for more time than I care to remember. and it is time to stop....

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Cat Came Back...

Why is it that some people won't take responsibility for their pets? Whether they neglect them or abuse them or refuse to have animals under their care spayed or neutered? I just don't get it. And these same people who probably use the excuse that spaying or neutering is too expensive... well they are probably saying that as they sit in front of a giant screen tv and a 24 of beer. I just don't get it.

Then these same people figure if it's an animal.. it can survive in the wild. Why anyone would think that a domesticated animal could survive out of doors, in the cold winter without any survival skills is beyond me. So what do these people do? They spinelessly drive out to the country in the middle of the night and drop off their unwanted pets. Why can't they take them to the humane society... or find another home for them. What makes them think that dropping off a kitten or loyal dog in the middle of nowhere, late at night, when the temperatures are dropping below -25 celsius... that everything will be fine. Or I guess in probability these people just don't care. I'd love to catch someone - red-handed - doing this cowardly deed. I'm not sure what I'd do... but for sure I'd get a license plate number and call the police.. and then fantasize about beating the crap out of said cowards!!

So this is one "perk" of living in the country - the constant stream of unwanted animals clamoring to your door. Over the years we have rescued countless dogs, tons of cats, and even one time a poor, starving, young mother cat with her litter of equally starving and frightened kittens. Luckily we caught all cats and were able to get them safely to the humane society for warmth, food and I am hoping, a happy home!

Just this past November we came across a starving black kitten and decided to get him healthy and keep him. He is very cute and lovable and now looks the picture of health. Chippy is one of the lucky ones. Then, just this past weekend when the weather was so unbelievably cold, we found yet another black kitten. We brought her in for the night and fed her and gave her a safe place to sleep. All the while we frantically called neighbours and anyone we could think of - Hey.. do you want a cat?? Unfortunately most everyone's cat buckets were full. So all we could do was take her to the local Humane Society. The Humane Society graciously took her in and we hope, will be able to find her a home.... soon.

For now, I hope we will be free of any unwanted kittens, cats and dogs for the next little while. And I would love to see, one day soon, a society who takes better care of our animal friends. Is this too much to ask?

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Little Off-Topic...

.. but is it just me or were the Grammy's really, painfully boring? I don't know, maybe I am too old and I just don't "Get" the music industry anymore... everyone seems so overly manufactured and insincere and well... untalented. Where are the independents and the ground-breaking new sounds and the truly talented? Nowadays it is about who has the biggest hair, the biggest boobs and can sell the most albums? And is most certainly NOT about the music because basically today's music just sucks.

Sure there are many stand out, unique and highly talented artists - and of course many, many are from Canada (too many to list here).. but the big names from the US who always shape the trends and of course make the most money are all so bad, and boring and bland and run of the mill.

I am sure (hope) I am not the only one to feel this way. But after watching barely an hour of the Grammy's last night, I had to turn it off. Good riddance!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Bloody Fr-fr-fr-eezing!!!

Winter has arrived in all her freezing, windy, bone-chilling, frosty, breath-stopping, bitter glory!

Thus far this winter we have had it fairly easy with moderate temperatures, little snow and easy driving conditions. I knew.. deep down inside... I knew this winter was finally going to arrive... the real winter.. not the mamby-pamby winter we have been experiencing.

Today's the day... the temperature has steadily been dropping, the wind has been picking up its crescendo like a crazed, blustery, frozen omen and the sky resembles the steel grey hull of a giant, imposing, monstrous cargo ship. And life doesn't stop -- it can't... wood will still have to be chopped and brought around for the wood stove (which has been churning out warmth and ambiance all day)... I will definitely want to feed the birds on a day like today and will need to go out for a walk with the dog. But alas Lu is still sleeping soundly in the next room and I'll have to wait until she wakes up in her usual grumpy stupor. It is days like today that you crave the warmth of an early summer sun.. walking outdoors with sandals and maybe a light jacket to keep the breeze from making you feel slightly chilly.

But not today... today winter has arrived and it is bloody well fr-fr-fr-eezing!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

sick and surgery

Just had surgery last week and I don't know what I was thinking. I figured I'd rest the day I got home and then I'd be good to go. Was I wrong!! It took what seemed to be forever to get over the anesthetic... I was dizzy for days and felt nauseous and was also just plain tired! It is amazing how surgery can just knock you off your feet.

But much to the husband's insistence.. I spent time in bed over the weekend with my leg elevated... and I slept too... probably too much... but I think I needed it... not only because I don't know when I had time off to just laze around... but I also felt the beginnings of a cold coming on (thanks to Lu who has had a horrific, rattly cough the past week). So I emailed people and read and just lazed about. Went for a couple of short walks just to keep things moving.. but other than that.. I think I needed to time to heal.

I feel a bit better today... still sore... but better!

Monday, January 11, 2010

walking and skiing and enjoying the snow

One of the best things about living in the country is the easy access to endless entertainment via Mother Nature! Right off the back porch we can take lengthy walks and never cross our original path; we can slap our cross country skis on and go for hours and hours... it is the best.

Wildlife sightings also add to the memorable times - from coyotes to deer and mink to birds galore; there is always something new to discover. And then of course there was the Sunday ski I went on ... alone at dusk with Chelsea the dog in tow and came across some fairly fresh bear tracks... I skied home pretty quickly -- but even throughout my initial fear I was also in awe of these large paw prints and who the proud owner was. I know I share the forest with many animals but I would like to keep the bear sightings to a paw print in the snow from now on.

Happy skiing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Christmas without mass produced products

Christmas is over and life has gotten back to reality - somewhat. So I am just reflecting on the past two weeks of family gatherings, presents, movies and breakfast in bed, friends over for visits, parties, and really good food. And the one thing that has really stayed with me is that I am so proud I never once set foot inside a big box store for any christmas gifts, etc. I proudly bought a few things through Etsy and the One of A Kind Show (supporting really wonderful and talented artisans), I picked up a few items at a locally owned toy store that only sells really high quality (Read: not made in China crap) toys and games at their store, Lu and I made some cookies and bath salts and gave those out as gifts and we also painted up some bird houses and wooden ornaments and gave those away too. We shopped online at World Wildlife Federation and made donations to World Vision and Medicines sans Frontiers - all three are such important organizations and we are proud to sponsor them - and I also did some last minute shopping at our local 10,000 villages store (money goes directly back to the third world artisan).

All in all it was a very "global" christmas and I am so happy I never once had to step foot in a Wal-Mart or other equally annoying large box store. I kept hearing people complaining about line ups and raging customers and low stock and dirty stores and I just had to laugh to myself and say... there is a better way... an easier way and a more important way. I think now is the time we have to stop looking at cheap solutions -- buying cheap toys, eating cheap sources of food -- it is just such an easy way out (or seemingly easy way out because the consequences are enormous). Just plan a little, think down the road a little and justify your cheap, easy purchase -- was it worth it? Really? Look beyond your safe reality and think long and hard about where that cheaply made toy came from, or the inexpensive steak on your plate... these are global issues now and we all need to start thinking globally as well and to stop taking the perceived easier way out!