Prompt: 1 is the loneliest number

by , on
November 30, 2011

November 24: Do you enjoy being alone? Would you rather be around other people?

I love being alone. I get irritable when I don’t have enough time alone.

I’ve always been this way. It’s never bothered me to have to entertain myself. I’ve eaten alone in restaurants and going to see movies alone is one of my favourite things. In fact, a lack of alone time was one of the things that scared me about being a parent. It was easy enough when she was teeny and I could lie her in her crib or in the playard when she was asleep and do my own thing, but as she’s grown it’s gotten harder and harder because she wants things all the time. She wants me to play with her and dance with her and pick her up and cuddle her and sometimes it’s absolutely wonderful, but by the end of the day I want some quiet time alone with no one touching me or asking for attention.

I will never be alone in quite the same way again, I don’t think, but I still enjoy the time I get. Taking a nice bath, reading a book, watching something terrible on TV. And sometimes Joe and I are even alone together.

Prompt: Gifting

by , on
November 29, 2011

For November 25: Do you like to buy presents ahead of time or right when you need to give them?

I am very bad at keeping surprises a surprise and secrets a secret. Very bad.

I am amazed that I currently have presents wrapped in the storage room and I haven’t spoiled any of them. Sometimes when I get a really good idea for a gift I find it hard to contain myself.

(Of course, this also extends to me wanting gifts being given to me right away).

Now that I’m a mom I think the design to see an immediate reaction extends to wanting to watch my daughter on Christmas morning. We get to surprise her with our gifts, and we get to see what her grandparents and aunts and uncles are sending for her. We get to sit around in our pajamas with the tree lights on, drinking our coffee, calling the grandparents and being a family.

That morning will be something very special and I can stand to hold on to my gifts a little longer to make that happen.

Year 2000

by , on
November 28, 2011

When I was 8 years old the House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000 – the year I was to graduate high school. One of their main goals is to “raise and protect the basic living standards of families in all regions of the country so that no child in Canada must ever live in poverty” as defined by Statistics Canada.

This week Campaign 2000 released their 20th report card, with an estimated 639,000 children living in poverty in 2011.

This is Canada. We are a social democratic society and we are supposed to support each other. Those who have provide for those who don’t – especially those who can’t fend for themselves. Every year I see the next report card and the title ‘Campaign 2000’ and it stings because we are failing our children.

More and more we are focused on the present more than on the future, more and more I am focused on the future. These kids deserve better education, better childcare, better health care, they deserve a better approach to justice and rehabilitation.

They deserve it and dammit we promised them a future 11 years ago.

Daddy’s Little Skater

by , on
November 27, 2011

On Saturday we went for a nice family drive. We stopped in Pakenham to buy cinnamon buns and then the Waterford Tea Room in Almonte for lunch. After lunch we stopped at Home Hardware and then made our way to Play It Again Sports in Barrhaven and did something Joe has been waiting for:

Fully outfitted

The kid starts skating lesson just after her second birthday. We found skates and a helmet that will fit her when the time comes and when she refused to take the skates off and we had to carry her to the car, Joe couldn’t get the smile off his face.

Stand tall

by , on
November 26, 2011

When I was a kid my grandmother (Tutu) always complimented my and my sister’s posture. She was very proud of how tall we were and told us that we should try to maintain a strong posture because we would be sorry to lose it.

I have always been happy to be tall. I am very excited that my kid is showing signs of being even taller than me. (I’m guessing she’ll hit 6 feet, Joe thinks 5’11”).

But my posture has lost out in my grown up life.

Every day as I sit at my desk, or with my laptop, even with my knitting, I feel my shoulders inching up towards my ears. If part of the reason I’m working on losing weight is to look better, then something must be done. No one looks great with a hunched back. My grandmother knew that because she had one, that’s why she warned us.

My main problems in this situation are: That I don’t have a strong back or strong abdomenals to force myself to sit up straight; that I’m not comfortable sitting ‘normally’ – I tend to sit with one of my legs under me, sometimes sideways on a chair; I’m often lazy and sitting up straight is hard.

So I will try to take up a posture challenge – part of getting back to the good place I was this summer. I will remind myself about sitting up straight and breathing deeply, just like I remind myself to take the stairs and eat healthily. I will push myself to get stronger as I grow older.


by , on
November 25, 2011

Today’s Parent is looking for some new bloggers. In order to apply, we’re supposed to write a post about what makes us unique as parent bloggers. The easy answer is that all parent bloggers are unique. No two parenting experiences are the same – which is the main reason I wanted to start this blog with Joe. I wanted to find out more about his parenting experience as we learn and grow with our daughter together.  It’s easy for me to blog over at Keep Your Head Up about all the various things that go through my mind as a mom, woman, thoughtful person, but I wanted to talk about situations as we shared them, and so The Adventures of Captain No-Nap was born.

Our pitch post is also supposed to include links to our best three posts. I, personally, am a fan of The Swaddle, Strong Women, Respectful Men and The God Question – which took the longest time to post about.  

Take this:

Add this:

Things get a lot more complicated.


Must… stick… to… format. Must… post… my… part… too… (what makes us unique? CHECK!)

Amy’s been amazing at blogging about her experiences as a mother on her site. But my site? It’s more about communications and web marketing and it’s rarely updated. Inspired by her work I started a posterous blog about parenthood but it was more about quick hits and cute photos than detailed thoughts.

It’s cliche to blame gender but in true man fashion, I didn’t know how I felt about opening myself up online. Amy’s drawn a great deal of strength from it but I never imagined I’d write posts like The Swaddle, The God Question and Bits and Pieces – posts that mostly stemmed from my staggering inadequacies as a father (links to three classic posts? CHECK!). But here we are.

Cause as much as we like to pretend we’re as hip and detached and cool as we once were (fact: I was never hip, detached or cool), we’re parents now. That changes things.

Photo representing our family life: CHECK! Mommy and Auntie Meaghan are dancing. Not because they want to. Because they were told to. We all know who really runs the show.




Call to action

by , on
November 25, 2011

There is not much I can say about Attawapiskat, except that if you don’t know that there are children living in Ontario who don’t have proper places to live, who have been going to school in portables because the land their school building is on was contaminated by a fuel spill.

They’re not getting help because the federal and provincial governments are fighting over who should be responsible.

Three weeks ago the community declared a state of emergency – families are living in tents and sheds without electricity or water and temperatures in Northern Ontario are about to go from cold to colder.

Charlie Angus has been fighting for the people of Attawapiskat for years. Read what he wrote, fight for their rights.

Demand to know why politicians in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park are ignoring an emergency situation.

Update: News reports yesterday and today indicate that the federal government is getting ready to help the people in Attawapiskat, but yesterday they denied the reports and today a provincial minister says John Duncan’s office is not returning phone calls. Hopefully there will be proposed solutions by the end of the day.

UPDATE: The Red Cross is taking action for the people of Attawapiskat and this just came over the CP wire:

Red Cross seeking aid for Attawapiskat; generators and winter clothing needed

Source: The Canadian Press
Nov 28, 2011 7:37

TORONTO _ The Canadian Red Cross is mobilizing to help the remote northern Ontario First Nations community of Attawapiskat with its housing crisis.

The Red Cross says it’s working closely with public authorities and the community to identify and address urgent, short-term needs.

At the request of the community, the Red Cross says it is taking on a donation management role to support the community’s needs.

Red Cross spokesman John Saunders says some of the needs currently identified include generators, heaters, insulated sleeping mats, blankets and winter clothing.

Last week, an Ontario nurses’ group called on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to intervene in the housing crisis on the James Bay reserve.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario called some of the living conditions in Attawapiskat deplorable and dangerous.

Saunders said the Red Cross is working closely with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence to assess her community’s needs.

“Chief Spence has asked that the Red Cross provide support with donation management as the community has been inundated with offers of assistance,” said Saunders.

The Red Cross will “make arrangements to get supplies into the community as soon as possible,” he said.

Last month, Spence had asked that her community be evacuated before winter because lives were at risk.

Area MP Charlie Angus said five families are living in tents, while another 19 families are living in sheds without running water.

The community was in debt because it was forced to pay for an evacuation two years ago when a sewage backup left 100 people homeless, Angus said.

“They had to pay for the cost of looking after their own people because they had no place to put them in the community,” said Angus.

(The Canadian Press, APTN)

The new season

by , on
November 24, 2011

Wednesday morning started off badly.

I slept in and woke up about 20 minutes before I was supposed to be at work. I looked out the window and saw snow – the first snow – on top of what I had heard was supposed to be freezing rain. I quickly got dressed, threw my things together and went to wake up the kid.

You see, Joe is away and I was planning on being up and at work early because the kid has to come with me and I have to leave early to take her to the doctor.


So I got her out of bed and got her dressed and downstairs, telling her I had a surprise for her that would hopefully make her less angry and confused about being rushed out of bed and not getting to pick her own clothes.

I pulled back the curtain and immediately wished her Dadd had been there: “OOOOOH SNOW!”

The kid loved snow last year. She loved playing in it and going our in her sled. She didn’t mind the cold one bit and when her Daddy took her “skating” she laughed and laughed.

All the way down the highway she would see things covered with snow and get excited all over again.

It’s hard to hate winter with someone so cute being so excited about everything.

Two inch heels

by , on
November 23, 2011

I have always loved the sound of heels on wood or tile floor. I loved hearing female teachers approach when I was younger. It was as though you could hear the authority in their step. They sounded strong click-clacking their way to their classrooms.

I don’t often wear heels, (Note: I wore Converse sneakers for my wedding). I only own two or three pairs right now, but when I do I feel strong, tall, authoritative, grown up. (Assuming I’m doing alright walking in them, which I may not be). My heels do not go higher than two inches, and they are always a decent thickness.

I have trouble finding heels that I love – that are a not too tall and not too thin, and comfortable and not ugly, and the fact that I’m a size 9-10 doesn’t really help. My purple heels are my greatest shoe find ever. I love my purple heels.

One of the consequences of working with a lot of women, is that a lot of them have really great style and great shoes. I am jealous of their ability to put themselves together – something I’ve never mastered.

And definitely jealous of their ability to walk quickly in heels.



My New Philosophy

by , on
November 22, 2011

I was listening to CBC’s Tapestry today and they were talking about philosophy. Something that the guest said struck me – that when hockey players are making that great play they aren’t thinking about that great play. They aren’t thinking about the end or themselves or being great, they are just doing.

I started to think about where I am when I lose myself, and the answer was quite simple.

On Saturday night I finished my #NaNoWriMo novel – 50,013 words in a story that surprised me all the way through. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to write and been carried away to the point that my characters start doing things I didn’t expect (like coming out of the closet and dying in this particular story) and it felt really, really good.

I love typing without thinking, I love putting pen to paper – which is where this story started – and just writing.

I think the simple answer to your happiness is doing what draws you in to the point when you’re not thinking about what you’re doing, you’re just doing it.

I lose myself when I writing, when I’m walking and listening to music. Sometimes when I’m at work I lose myself in the data I’m collecting or the news I’m watching. And when I think about my baby,  and spend time reading to her or playing with her, I lose track of time.

I’m going to spend more time focused on those things.

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