Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dairy Free - Round Two

Alrighty… dairy kicked my ass in round 1 as I tried October 1st to go dairy free again. I’ve done it before and know I can do it again… but October was not a good month to be without my comfort food. So here I am approaching the beginning of another new month and thinking that it is time for round 2… and I’m optimistic this time. Yes, things are still rather stressful and full of change… but too much dairy isn’t helping matters.

It’s not that I am officially allergic to dairy or anything like that… but it isn’t good for me or to me. After I eat dairy I generally feel like crap and have less energy than I started. Not to mention the huge fat content in dairy! I’m not a milk drinker… and I’ve managed to cut out yogurt for a while now… my nemesis is cheese. Ok, maybe chocolate too. Just the thought of a big slice of cheesy pizza makes me smile - the lump in my stomach and the bloated feeling afterwards… not so much. And yes… Dr.Bovee was right when she told me that a dairy free lifestyle will greatly reduce my menstrual cramps. It worked the last time I went dairy free… so that alone should be incentive enough! Or at least save me some money on Advil!

Ok, so here goes again… cheese, thanks for the good times… see you around sometime.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Smarty Pants

So on Wednesday evening when I was picking up KEW from daycare, one of the gals says to me “She is so smart, sometimes it scares us.” Whew… good to know that I’m not alone with that sentiment. Ok, I know, every parent has a beautiful and bright child. But really, I’m not talking about this to brag or to boast… but to tell you how much this scares me!

KEW is a smart cookie… and oh, how amazingly observant she is! She has also been nick named the ‘Hall Monitor’ for a while now as she doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone and everyone what the rules are and how they are being broken. She is often a little organizer (ya ya, I know where she gets THAT from) and she doesn’t hesitate to tell you how she’s feeling or what she knows or what she sees (ok, I get it)… but the kid is only 2 ½ years old! Since it is just KEW and me on the home I really feel most days like this is how all toddler/preschoolers behave. But I’m learning more and more that this isn’t necessarily the case!

Ok, back to why this scares me. As a parent, it is my job to help her learn and grow and become a wonderful person. That she wants to learn and picks up on everything around her to advance is a great thing. But wait - what if I’m not doing enough? What if I am not controlling my own bad habits and have now passed them on to her? Is she balanced enough and getting a chance to get the people smarts as well as the book smarts? Will she throw a baseball “like a girl” or like a ball player? How to I make sure to continue to stimulate her so she does develop… and not become bored and frustrated with learning? There are so many things that we do… and so many more that we don’t do… and this unwritten competition among parents to ensure their kids can do it all adds even more to the pressure!


Ok, it’s out there… I’ve said it. I’m sure most parents have these same worries… but honestly, it feels way too often that there is a script of what we parents are or aren’t allowed to say or do to raise the perfect child. Most days I’m doing all we can to make it from beginning to end. But man oh man… I so want her to have all she deserves and learn everything that the world has to offer. For now, it seems to be working for us, so I have to cross my fingers that it continues!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

While dropping off KEW at Gingerbread this morning a small group of the girls were talking about bedtime stuff and one mentioned that she snuck in to her parents’ bed to sleep the night before. I said that KEW did that last night too. Then one of the girls said she did too and asked the last little girl if she snuck in to her Mommy and Daddy’s bed. To which she answered “My Daddy doesn’t live with me any more.” The other girl responded, without missing a beat, “Oh, then just your Mommy’s bed?”

I was a little stunned, and honestly… impressed. These little 3 and 4 year olds are wise beyond their years. It doesn’t faze them to have different family set ups… it is just ok and normal. I guess it could be considered sad that there are so many non-traditional families out there that this is somewhat normal now. But I am trying to look on the bright side and see that these kids aren’t picking this as a point for others to be noted as “different”.

It is so different from what I grew up around that it doesn’t feel normal to me. Families are so many things now… which is really a good thing… just different. I don’t want KEW to feel different because of our set up… so I think I’m over sensitive and careful about the expectations of her and others.

Explaining to KEW about why our family is different has and continues to be one of those things that I think about and worry about ever once in a while. She has never said anything about a Daddy… and so far doesn’t seem to care. Maybe she won’t ask for a while… as none of the other kids seem to be concerned about who has what when it comes to parents. I know I will have to talk about it one day… but after today I’m thinking that she is growing up in such an accepting environment that perhaps it isn’t going to be as tough of a conversation as I originally thought!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Afraid? Not me!

I just turned 39 this past weekend. And according to a lot of people out there this is my last good year as I’m so rapidly approaching 40!

Queue the “dun dun dun” evil music!

What is so scary about 40? Is someone going to come and visit me and take away all of the joy from my life? Does my time with chocolate expire at 40?

I must say that the thought of 40 doesn’t scare me. In fact, getting older all together doesn’t scare me nearly as much as it did at 27. Yes… 27 was my scary year… being in my late 20’s freaked the crap out of me. And turning 30 wasn’t so great… but I spent a lot of money on a piece of jewelry and that did make me feel better. Heading towards 40… meh, I’m not so worried.

Sure, at 39 I can no longer drink like I did in my 20’s… but now I drink the good wine and martinis instead of toxic Long Island Iced Teas and evil shooters.

At 39 I cherish every moment of sleep and get up at 5:30am to get ready for work… not like the days in my 20’s when going to sleep at 5:30am to catch a few hours before work was enough.

Now at 39 I look for sales on things like toilet paper, diapers and chicken nuggets. When I was 20 I don’ think I thought much about sales unless they were connected to cocktails!

At 39 my clothes don’t fit like they did in my 20’s… but now I really do understand that it’s what is on the inside that counts. Ok... I do admit that a great pair of shoes helps… a bit.

So c’mon 40 - I’m not afraid of you! I’ve worked hard these last 39 years and 2 days to learn a lot about life and the world and ultimately myself. I’ve gotten better with age and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I've Come A Long Way Baby!

There was a time… not so many years ago… that the thought of getting a shot made me queasy. When I had knee surgery in high school I never did have the pre-surgery check up and I didn’t say anything as I knew a blood test was supposed to be a part of that check up. I recall one time getting ready for the flu shots at work and I was literally on the verge of tears from fear.

In 2005 I got a Deep Vein Thrombosis also known as a DVT also know as a blood clot. This meant a LOT of blood tests and a LOT of shots while an out patient and on blood thinners.

In 2007 I got pregnant and the doctors decided that due to my DVT history I needed to be on a daily dose of blood thinners to prevent another clot during the pregnancy. As the oral blood thinners would pass through to the baby, this mean the doses had to be administered by injection. Since I was on my own, this mean I would be responsible for the injections. Yup – a shot once a day until the last month… and then twice a day.

Needless to say, I got a lot better with the whole needles thing. At the end of 2008 I even worked up the courage to go to acupuncture. Getting a shot is one thing… but lying there on a bed with needles stuck in all over… whoa. Not only were the needles a little creepy… but I honestly wondered what good they could do. Nearly 2 years later I am a firm believer in the help of acupuncture.

Dr.Bovee (my naturopath and acupuncturist) is amazing. She is a fabulous Doctor and has helped with many things – easy to talk to and has an array of suggestions and solutions. But even more impressive to me is how I can talk about something that is bothering me and she can work it in to the session and hit spots with amazing accuracy. I know, I know… that is her job and what she went to many years of school for… but you have to see and feel it to believe it. Whether it is a stuffed up nose or a sore back or some swelling in my DVT leg or stress or raging hormones and emotions… she knows the spots and finds the spots and occasionally makes me peep and cry out. I’ve had to breathe through a few spots that were especially sensitive… but in the end, I can feel the difference and know it is worth it. The biggest challenge I have with each and every session is keeping my nervous bladder in check so that I can lie still and relax for more than 20-30 minutes!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

TSNTP - Roxy

A while ago a friend posted on her blog about a TSN Turning Point in her life. This made me start to think of some of the pivotal points in my life. Moments when you knew something was going to change – good, bad or otherwise. Although the moment I’m going to share now isn’t the first changing moment in my life… it is one that is standing clear in my mind at this time… so here goes.

In 2000 I started working at Royal Roads University and there will be a TSN Turning Point blog for that whole change another time. I started there in a position called a Senior Learning Support Associate. I know, what the heck does that mean? Well, it wasn’t really clear to anyone what distinguished between the ranks of admin staff at the university, so they had struck a committee with HR and other admin staff in that rank to try and work through a process for advancement for staff. I honestly don’t remember much about the meetings or who else was on the committee… but I do remember my dear friend that we’ll call Roxy.

Roxy is one of those people who I connected with right away. Smart and funny and not afraid to speak her mind – a woman I could respect, admire and befriend. Since I was the newbie in the place I didn’t have as much to contribute (or at least wasn’t sure if I had much to contribute), but I remember her making me feel welcome. I can remember the moment coming out of one of the meetings on the third floor of the castle and stopping at the top of the circular staircase (she was going down a floor, I was continuing to the end of the hall). We were touching base about the meeting and then chatting. When we finished the conversation I remember saying to myself “I like her. I think we are going to get along great.”

I can’t tell you the exact moment we became such good friends, but I can tell you that as of today I consider her one of my best friends. She is loyal, hardworking, passionate and funny as hell. She loves books and animals more than anyone I know. She is smart as a whip but way too humble about it. She has the best shoe collection ever and makes me jealous of her amazing ability to walk around in 3-5 (or 6?) inch heels without nary a stumble or a complaint. She has a personality that draws a crowd… all the while wishing she was home with her books and her family (dogs, cats and D – in no specific order) around a roaring fire. We can easily go days (weeks?) without talking because we get too caught up in life… but then pick right up without a problem. If I ever have to get in to a fight, I pick her for my team. Best of all, she didn’t kick me out of the club when I told her MY big life changing news.

People like this don’t come in to your life often. The good this is that I know no matter where we are in the world… she will always be a part of my life.

‘Cause she knows I’ll hunt her down if she tries to hide!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Really? You're Gonna Charge Me For THAT?!?!

Wednesday morning I got in to Gigi the Wonder Jeep to have the tire pressure sensor going off and telling me a back tire was low. So ok, I can deal with this, I will stop at the Co-op on the way in to work and after dropping KEW at Gingerbread. I can put air in a tire… easy. Pull up, find the air and water station, put a whack of air in the tire, turn Gigi back on and yup, sensor is happy again.

Cut to end of day and me needing to go to acupuncture. Grandma is picking up KEW from Gingerbread, so I don’t need to rush like a mad woman this time. Turn on the Jeep and low and behold… the sensor is going off – again. Alrighty then… I must have a slow leak. No worries I think, there is a Petro Canada just down the road and on the way, so I can stop in to get some more air for the rest of my trip and until I can change the tire. I pull in, find the air and water station and see the sign about the price. The what? Yes, you read that correctly… they wanted a loonie (or four quarters) to get some air. Uh huh… you are being charged to use their machine.

Sweet Baby Jesus – is it not enough that I pay a buck-ten to get gas nowadays? Now you want to charge me for air? And no… don’t tell me how it’s all about the taxes and you gas stations are barely getting any cut of the fees. Y’all are stinking filthy rich. And did I mention greedy? Gone is the SERVICE station where you used to purchase gas and snacks and whatever you might need at that moment. What we have left is a cash grabbing gas station who will gladly give you some points on a pretty red card if you buy gas or “stuff” from them… but who won’t give you free air.

Sorry… I should clarify… Petro Canada is the greedy cash grabbing station. I drove off (since I wouldn’t pay for the air, even if I did have a loonie on me) and managed to make it to the next Co-Op station where I got some free air… and then barely made it to my appointment on time. So to Co-op, you’ve got my gas business… and perhaps the odd Slushie drink or two. Petro Canada… you will not see me buying gas or “stuff” from you again. Don't you know... air is FREE in Canada!

Monday, October 18, 2010


It has taken me a few weeks to really see the facts.

A lot of questions have been asked.

I have provided a lot of answers.

There is no end in sight.

It’s true… KEW and A have hit the “but why?” phase of life.

{heavy sigh}

I honestly didn’t realize it was happening as I am so used to KEW asking questions – a lot of questions. Enquiring minds want to know EVERYTHING! It wasn’t until just recently when a friend was mentioning how the “why” questions were driving her crazy that I started to make the connection. Yup - a lot of KEW’s questions where focused on why.

So far I have been lucky in that she is accepting of most of my answers and not continuing to ask why over and over again. I am, however, preparing myself for that day when I will have to respond with the classic “because, that’s why!”

And I’m not even thinking of the day when she is going to ask me where babies come from!

Or if she can go on a date.
And definitely not letting her go on a date if those two questions happen at the same time!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Change Cliché

That old saying about a change being as good as a rest has been powering through my head for the last while. I do agree with the sentiment… up to a point. After that point, change itself is exhausting! I have gone through a whole whack of changes over the last 6 months – from moving houses (twice) to significant changes at work and everything in between. When changes are happening in both the personal and professional world it can be overwhelming… and I am getting very close to that point!

The personal changes have, for the most part, been great and all for the right reasons. Moving has been a wonderful step forward, KEW’s new daycare is absolutely AMAZING and the little changes in routine and life with KEW are all a part of her growing up. As much as it is hard to see your baby grow, it is also rewarding and exciting. Ya ya, it can be pretty challenging to… and I know that I’m only getting a glimpse in to what lays ahead!

The work changes have been a lot more of a challenge. One of my bosses left in July which has its pros and cons…but our team is working through them and I think we’re doing pretty good. My other boss has only been gone for a week now and this one has/is a lot harder. I worked closely with him for 5 years and have known him for over 10. He has been a mentor and a friend so he is going to be missed. I fear that the chaos and huge workload for his backfill is going to create a lot of challenges over the coming months. And now, to top that off, I am being moved to a different office on campus. I think this is going to be one of the biggest changes for me to manage. I will be working in a totally new environment (the first time sharing an office in around 8 years), working closer with people that I haven’t been physically close to for a while and being away from others. My work style will have to change as a result, and that will take a lot of effort and energy.

Right now, I don’t feel like I will be getting the “rest” part of the change cliché.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review Time – Treehouse Shampoo and Bubbles

I will admit it right up front… I am pleasantly surprised by the Treehouse line of kid’s bath products produced by Nature Clean. Sure, it made me a little angry that the display of products is a kid eye level and full of bright colors and characters like Pablo and Ruby. It makes is REALLY hard to say no to your kid who is clambering for a bottle of anything with a Backyardigan on it.

But I’ve been turned… all is good. I read the fine print and was thrilled to see a product that is vegan and not tested on animals – woo hoo! I have tried to find kid friendly and animal friendly products over the last few years… and now I have some that my girl actually WANTS to use! Bath time has never been a real challenge, but the hair washing part has been known to be less than fun. Tonight however was a different case.

First I added the Max and Ruby Berry Bubbles and they smelled great. After some play time in the good pile of bubbles, it was time for the real work. The Pablo 2 in 1 shampoo was pulled out and KEW had no hesitation to get all lathered up! So thank you Treehouse and Nature Clean. Thank you for working together to take care of our kids and our planet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today I Learned...

… that I don’t know how to peel an orange. I’m not a huge orange fan as I just can’t handle the white stuff. It’s part of my whole texture thing when it comes to food. I like oranges themselves, but the hour it takes me to clean them up just isn’t worth it.

Anyhow, KEW asked for some oranges when we were shopping… so I picked up a couple of nice big navel oranges. After dinner I pulled one out and tried to pull back the peel… to no avail (that was one tough peel!). Then I remembered that I had one of those Tupperware orange peelers somewhere in a drawer. After a couple of tries I managed to get the thing to make a cut in the peel… but then I had to improvise to get the peel actually off of the orange. I literally did not know what I was supposed to do with the fracking peeler and the orange! I loved the orange scent in the kitchen and that was probably the only thing keeping me sane!

After about 10 minutes I did manage to get the peel off of the orange enough for KEW to start chowing down… but I was still feeling rather incompetent. I guess this is one skill that I won’t be passing on to my daughter. Do you think they offer classes in this somewhere?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gratitude Project

I have decided to participate in a Gratitude Project through Facebook. A friend and coworker did this before and has started it up again with perfect timing during this Thanksgiving season. It is very simple – at least once a day you post something that you are grateful for in your status.
I have to admit, this already has me thinking of things more positively and it has only been a day. When something good happens, I am already making a stronger mental note of the thing/situation/person/action/whatever so I can update my status. OK, so maybe it is because I am a little competetive... or a little too Type A... but whatever it takes!
The power of positive thinking really is amazing… not only can it change a mood (your own or others), but it draws to it like energy. So a big heads up to the world – put your best foot forward, because for the next month, that’s what I’m going to be doing!

Monday, October 11, 2010

What is in a name?

Every day I am a little less Mama and a lot more Mommy. It doesn’t sound like much, but it feels like a major shift in my relationship with my daughter. Every day she is less the little baby who NEEDS me and is more and more the big girl who wants to (and can) “do it MYSELF”.

It feels strange to be referred to by a different name. I am already wondering when I will become Mom and what that relationship shift will entail! I’ve heard the name already, but only every once in a while. It is usually the two syllable version: Maw-ohm. We all know what that sounds like – mostly because we have uttered those same syllables to our own mothers!

Now let’s just hope that I don’t hear the “Mu-ther” name too often!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today I had a bad day. It was a bad day for me and a bad day with KEW. These kinds of days aren’t fun and they can take some time to work through. I know they happen to every parent, but today was sticking with me in a different way. I’ve had a few people tell me lately that being a single parent is no different from a couple raising a child. I always try to be polite when I hear those kinds of statements… but today was the kind of day that makes me ready to fight back and say “Really?”

Today was one of those days when I really could have used another person there as a buffer. I needed someone else to listen to the whines and the whys. I needed someone else to help with the chores. I needed someone else be there so I could go to the washroom without an audience or so that I could shower without someone begging me to hurry up so they could get help with the shoe that was stuck. I needed someone else there so I could walk away from the frustration for 5 minutes and not leave my child alone. But most of all, I needed someone there for me.

You see, that is the big difference between being a single parent and being in a couple – the alone part. Even if you are the one in the relationship who does ALL of the chores and ALL of the child rearing “stuff” (and c’mon, really? If your partner doesn’t help out all ALL, then you need to have a talk)… you aren’t alone. You have another adult to talk to. You have someone else there who can help you feel better when you are in the dumps. You have someone else there who loves you. For you see, being a single parent isn’t just about raising your child alone… it also means that you have moments of being lonely.

So let’s be clear now.

I’m putting it out there.

ENOUGH with trying to tell me that “there really is no difference”.