The smell of fall

by , on
September 30, 2012

A little while ago I wrote this post about what I want to cook in the fall

This fall my goal is to try to make my own:

  • Pea soup
  • Tomato sauce
  • Apple sauce
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Butternut Squash soup
  • Broccoli and cheese soup
  • Cauliflower and cheese soup
  • Lemon square (my mom used to make a good one).
  • Lentil soup

So far I have made awesome tomato sauce and a fantastic lemon square. Next week for Thanksgiving I’ll be making an apple pie (and probably do applesauce, since it’s orchard time).

Standing Out

by , on
September 29, 2012

Last week we took the kid to her first dance class and I cried when she walked into the room all by herself, sat like she was supposed to, listened when her name was called. She just walked into a strange place with no one she knew and got through the class. I was so proud.

This week I got teary during her class again and I couldn’t quite figure out why. I watched her go through the stretches and follow the teacher as best she could. She hopped and bounced like she always does. She talked to the teacher, she waved and smiled at me.

Suddenly it dawned on me.

Watching her, by herself, following along, doing what she does, being herself, trying to understand. It’s not just that she’s older now and she’s growing up so fast.

My daughter, in a room full of girls (and one boy) her age is just a little bit different. She’s a little bit not the same as the other kids. She’s a little bit something.

Watching her in that room, following along, doing her best, standing a bit apart, I got teary because I realized that she’s going to be an amazing person but she’s got a struggle ahead of her. She’s going to fight, and she’ll probably win, but it’s going to be hard for all of us. Watching her in that room full of little girls (and one boy) who are all a little bit different, I saw my little girl might be the most different of all.

Perchance to dream

by , on
September 27, 2012

Sometimes it breaks my heart to know just how much the kid is like me.

Today she was driving me crazy. She was all over the place. She would be in a good mood and then flip out on me. She would demand to be in my lap and then squirm. She wouldn’t let me be in the bathroom by myself. She was talking back and testing me. She was being a toddler.

I knew bedtime was going to be a fight. It often is. She wants one more story, she needs this or that.

Tonight she wanted to change out of her pajamas into just a onesie, then she told Grandma she wanted her pajamas back on. Then I went back in and suddenly she needs to go to the bathroom and we can’t say no to that (and she actually did go, so she wasn’t lying this time).

Then I said goodnight and left and she started crying for me.

I was irritated at this point. It was a day of little things and then I couldn’t find my book and the kid would not just go to sleep. I went back into her room ready for a fight.

And she looked up at me and she said “I don’t know how to sleep.”

And I almost burst into tears.

She broke my heart uttering those words in her little voice. How many times in my 31 years have I thought the exact same thing? How hard is it for me to convince myself to shut off and lie down and just try to sleep?

And how on earth am I supposed to help her when I can’t give her any answers?


My name is Amy and I’m a Twitter addict

by , on
September 26, 2012

I’ve said it before – Twitter changed my life. I used it to form bonds with other mothers when I needed them most. We found our financial advisor, our mortgage broker and our mortgage lawyer on Twitter. Since 2008 I have used Twitter to connect with new friends, I’ve used it for work, I’ve found new services, I’ve learned about events. It’s where I go first.

This morning I went to a networking event. It was a bit difficult for me because you go into a room and assume that everyone knows someone else. As it turned out there were a lot of new people there, I had some good conversations and learned about some businesses and services.

So I got home, I signed on to my computer and I went to form some new online connections. I found a couple of people on LinkedIn and a couple on Twitter, but one business isn’t on Twitter.

I find myself a lot more confused than I really should have been. I bookmarked the web page, and that was it. I want to connect, I want to learn more, but all I can do is read through their web page.

It’s so strange to realize how much my life has become who I tweet with. Now I sit here wondering if I’ll remember about this local business and what I found interesting about them and check back on that bookmark.


by , on
September 24, 2012

I have been wearing glasses since I was 12. Joe has been wearing his glasses even longer. My whole family wears glasses, most of his family wears glasses.

Photo bombed

I put a bet down on our daughter wearing glasses by the time she’s 10.

Knowing my family history I decided to take the kid to the eye doctor. I was due for a check-up, which I was reminded of when my mother had her own appointment, and the kid is covered under OHIP. She’s going to be dealing with eye doctors for the rest if her life, so I thought an early introduction would be good for her.

I had no idea what to expect from either my daughter or the optometrist but I was hoping for the best.

I came out of that appointment impressed with my doctor and very proud of my kid.

The tests were full of colours and pictures and cute little glasses with flip up covers so each eye could be tested. The letters on the charts were transformed into symbols and the optometrist made sure she could identify each of them before asking her to name them in the test.

She was an excellent patient and we have now set a baseline that her optometrist can follow up on as the years go by.

Next week: The dentist.



Family First

by , on
September 21, 2012

Before I ever had a child I knew about the challenges Canadian parents face (especially the single parents – 1.5 million Canadians according to the newly released 2011 census numbers).

Once I became a parent, I realized just how lucky I was. I got a year of leave, topped up so I was making my salary while I was off. We were very, very lucky to find a wonderful childcare provider. I had a very understanding boss who let me take my daughter in to work with me when it was either that or lose time at work. (When my husband was travelling and I started work at 7 but daycare didn’t open until 8).

Still, even with a great daycare provider, one of my two monthly paycheques was going straight to that, and her 8-4 hours caused some difficulties for us. If we decided to have a second child there would be no point in me working at all. And I’m already thinking about how high university tuition might be when my daughter is ready to go.

This government, of course, is focussed on the “economy.” They also believe that $100 a month is enough to cover child-related costs. Yeah, thanks.

Now an expert has said that Canada’s dwindling birth rate – presumably caused at least in part by the cost of having a child – could be a risk to Canada’s economy.

To maintain its economy, David Foot says that Canada must have a birth rate of at least 2.2 children per family. Right now it stands at 1.7.

Foot told the Canadian Press “…if you don’t have an extensive child-care program to support women raising their children, you’ll watch your fertility rate continue to decline.”

Will the Prime Minister listen? Likely not.



Four generations

by , on
September 21, 2012

Before Joe proposed to me he met with my grandfather and asked for his blessing. Nothing could have proven to me more that he knew me well. (Though the ring he chose was a pretty good indication).

My grandfather has been, for a long time, one of the most important people in my life. He’s 92 now. He’s been a widower for almost ten years. He walks with a cane that he made himself. He still sketches beautiful pictures and plays the mandolin to keep his brain working.

This Saturday, the wonderful Sara McConnell will be taking our photos. My Gramps, my mother, my daughter and me. I relish this opportunity. I live for every moment he spends with her.

She will know him, maybe just a little bit, the same way I remember my great-grandparents, but she will know him and we will have beautiful pictures forever.

Apathy and Energy

by , on
September 19, 2012

In May I left my job in politics, returning home to care for my daughter and recover from four years working in a very tough industry.

Politics is totally exhausting, every day is a new fight. Some fights are longer and harder than others.

Today, the third day after the House returned for the fall session, I know about a few of the things going on, I know that there are more things I should know more about. The trouble is I’m outside of it now. I’m here, living day to day, figuring out work and bills and taking care of my family and it’s hard to keep up. It’s very hard to keep up. I was inside it all and now I’m decidedly outside.

No wonder so many Canadians just give up, take things as they are presented, vote or don’t. No wonder.

This Conservative government uses that. They manipulate the truth, they fudge, they present things in one specific way and then repeat their message over and over (and over and over). They make things sound simple, and that makes it easier for so many people.

The trouble is, many of those people that don’t have the time or energy for anything but face value are the same people that would benefit from putting up a fight.

Canadians are losing and the fight needs to happen. So many little changes that will result in big problems. So much focus on the present when we need to focus on the future.

How do you teach the need to listen?

Raining, Pouring

by , on
September 19, 2012

I sat with my doctor yesterday and as we talked she told me something that I’ve heard before, something that Joe repeats often – I need to stop focussing on the future and think about the present.

I’m worried about the future and what I’ll be and what my kid will be. I think weeks, months, years into the future. And worry.

It was raining yesterday. I decided maybe we should have some fun. I let go of the future for a few minutes.

Quiet thought

by , on
September 18, 2012

Every once in a while I catch just a glimpse of myself in my kid. It’s interesting and worrisome for me, given the problems I’ve had with confidence and depression in the past.

Today she went to preschool and when we picked her up and asked about her day she didn’t have much to say. We asked about her snack and playing with other kids and circle time and she didn’t seem interested in answering.

We went about our day, she watched a movie with Grandma while I went to an appointment, we went out to play for a bit, and then I was giving her a bath, out of nowhere: “I like the teachers.”

I guess she needed a little while to mull it over. She also sang a song that she learned in circle time – something about a frog.

It’s one of the reasons I love just sitting back to watch her. You can realize all of a sudden that she’s been thinking about something – something you might not even remember talking about.

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