Wednesday, May 30, 2007


  • I love you, I love Daddy, I love Julia, I love McPurr ...
  • Grrr, you're driving me crazy
  • I'm not tired!!!
  • You're ruining my life (okay, he's only said this once but it stands out - it was over something silly like Jason telling him which shoes to wear)
  • Can you read me that story again?
  • I need someone to snuggle me.
  • Tell me that song again, no I'll tell it. Once upon a time there was a dinosaur...
  • I'm going to snuggle my sword tonight, okay mom?
  • You're my favourite mommy in the whole wide world.
  • What kind of day is it today? Is it a swimming day? A Lisa's day? A gymnastics day?
  • Ha ha ha butthead.
  • Actually, it's a pteranadon not a pteradactyl (or an ATV not a quad, or a sweater not a coat, or some other such correction)
  • Perhaps... e.g. Perhaps we should go to the park today.
  • I love you soo much. I love you to the sun and back.
  • Aww, cool.
  • I can do that.
  • I'm the fastest!
  • When I get bigger...
  • Want to race?
  • It's okay Julia, big brother is here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Jumping Off for a Few Days

Will be in and around Edmonton for a few days so am signing off for a couple days. Sod part of yard is finished and looking great (I think). Will post some before and afters when I'm back on-line. Oh and don't worry we have a neighbour looking after the new sod while we're gone.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ugh Update

Been dreading this, it's not going so great. Down 24lbs since baby, if you do the math it means only 2lbs this month. This has meant moments of despair in the last month and fear that I'm now going to be this weight as I've never had trouble losing weight before (at least not until I get to a certain point). On the up side, those moments seem to be passing in recent days and I'm feeling stronger.

My Facebook Post

I've been thinking about posting about facebook for a while now (other than the odd reference to it as a time sucking black hole that is causing me to neglect my house, family, real life friends, and blog - yes it, not me). I have been avoiding posting about it because it seems bad enough to spend time on facebook let alone take time to blog about it. But seeing as three other bloggers that I read have done it and the kids are in bed, I figure what the hell.

Initially, my post was going to be titled things I've learned from facebook and it was going to be a bulleted list with the first bullet being it's not wasting time if you learn something. Then I thought it would be clever to throw it into a briefing note format but I couldn't think of a proper issue statement or crystallizing question so I've decided to just subject you to my usual disorganized ramblings.

Here's how it works in a nutshell. The addiction basically starts with someone convincing you to join (or several someones). At first you don't really understand the point because you add friends that you are already talking to (or reading their blogs), but then someone you haven't thought about or heard from in years adds you as a friend or sends you a note and you remember why you adored that person so much when you knew him/her, then it happens again, then you start searching for people you wonder what happened to and when you find them you find three other people you haven't thought about in forever, and on and on it goes.

There is a lot of freedom with the word friend on facebook - friend for some people (those with like 600 friends I'm assuming) seems to be as open as I met you once at a party in highschool, or I remember that name from somewhere, for others I think there is some thought going in to who they add as friends but because there are so many friend collectors it's really not so scary putting yourself out there and asking will you accept me as your friend. Now that we are all grown ups rejection rarely happens. Though to be honest I did contemplate rejecting the odd request until Jason convinced me otherwise (then went and rejected someone himself!). I think the freedom with the word friend is a good thing and I'm glad I listened to Jason even if he didn't take his own advice.

It has been amazing catching up with some people and visibly seeing just how much life goes on even if I still remember them as someone I can't even imagine keeping a job let alone having a house, a wife, and kids, or that someone I had imagined having that very life is leading the most amazing Bohemian (for lack of a better word) lifestyle. It's been interesting to see how the choices people have made have taken them to places I'm sure they never imagined. Talking to people in very different places now than they were then, it's easy to remember what drew me to them then because regardless of where they were then and where they are now their core is the same. The same is true for those that I wasn't so drawn to then; I'm not all that inclined to chat with them now. There are people that I had lost with touch with when they were struggling through choices and decisions that were easy to criticize and I'm proud that my capacity for compassion and understanding has grown as I've aged (though I think compassion is much easier when we talk to each other even if it is only through facebook).

It's caused me to reflect and to realize that I am content with the friends I have had and do have, with the things I have done, and with where I am and who I am now. It's nice to look back with no regrets and to feel optimistic about the future and it's even nicer to see that others are too.


I've been getting some enjoyable grief from some folks about dressing Julia in girly girl clothes so have to post this picture of her in non girly-girl jammies so that people know she is really my daughter.
I have to admit that I do enjoy dressing her in the little outfits. I may have actually been even worse when Hunter was a babe. The truth is I have to enjoy it now because if she's anything like Hunter once she hits three it won't matter how I dress her because invariably she'll end up with food, marker, paint or some other such thing on herself and look like no one cares for her. Same reason I don't own white (or light) clothes myself.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It Sodding Snowed

Not here, thank goodness (here it just went from +28 to +5 in a span of about three hours). But in Shellbrook where our sod was supposed to come from, they got 4cm of snow. This means we are now (fingers crossed) getting our sod delivered Thursday morning instead. It also means that we are really wishing we hadn't postponed our visit to Edmonton and Boyle for a week though by next week at this time after madly planting sod and figuring out how to time sprinklers while we're gone, we're probably really going to need it.

On the plus side, we have three days we didn't plan on to do other things. And there are plenty of other home improvement type things that need done - like finally getting the trim in Hunter's room painted white, finishing the paint job in the bathroom, finally toning down the colour in the spare room, the list could go on but we do only have three days and we don't want to spend them all inside painting.

In August we will have owned our house for five years. This means we have all sorts of fun mortgage renewal stuff coming up and also that we are at a point where we can no longer blame the previous owners for the scuffs on the hardwood floor, lino rolling up, or any of the other things we've been meaning to get to since we moved in. We're now to blame for the stuff we don't like so we either have to stop complaining about it or do something about it. Of course if home improvements were free, easy, and didn't take any time to complete I'm quite sure we would have everything just how we like it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

You Know You're a Parent When

Instead of looking forward to May long weekend for all the partying, you look forward to it because it's when the much much much anticipated Shrek 3 comes to theatres.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Missing Post

An explanation of sorts. I've temporarily pulled my policy-parenting parallels post (how's that for alliteration?). I really wanted to write it because I had been thinking about it for a week or so (and in my head it could be funny at least for other wonks) so instead of finishing it and having it say what I wanted to say I hit that magical publish button before I was really finished. The asterisk on the bottom, those things were going to be compared too, and then the fact that the main thing that parenting and policy have in common, that I'm just guessing and don't really know what I'm doing half the time in either case (and am quite sure that's true for others too), would be evident. How's that for inspiring confidence? Hmm, now that I've explained it a re-work may not be necessary and will likely only fail to live up to what I'm trying to achieve. We'll see. Have I mentioned that I've had wicked insomnia lately?

Phone Works!

Crown Corp sent another repair-person to look into the non-functioning phone today and it turns out it was as simple as a stripped wire completely visible in the backyard. Thankfully they didn't rip into the drywall before they figured it out. I'm so excited I could almost pick up the phone and call someone! Almost.

Just Ranting

I totally get the rationale for crown corporations - natural monopolies with high infrastructure start up costs that decrease over time that also happen to provide a public good - but that doesn't mean I can't rage at a certain crown telephone company that has got to have the worst customer service ever. Our phone is basically non functioning every time it rains, is windy, or just generally storms. We've phoned them several times about this over the last number of years and finally got someone to come out on Monday because they could barely hear us when we phoned. Problem is they sent a trainee who wasn't sure what he was doing (I'm all for trainees, I just like them better when they are actually supported by like a trainer or something). Anyway, he showed up Monday looked around, disconnected all the filters in an attempt to improve the situation and basically made it so the phone is unusable. He thinks an important piece of the puzzle may be buried somewhere in the drywall but isn't sure where (I'm unclear how the problem could be inside when the phone static is predictable by the weather but what do I know). He did tell us that a supervisor would be coming by to have a look only that was three days ago and still no one has been here. Worst part is you can't threaten to switch companies though there is VOIP... I'll give them another day or so.

Posting it*

Policy and Parenting Parallels

I've been thinking a bit about why I am missing work less with this maternity leave than I did when Hunter was born when I enjoy the job I have now more than I enjoyed the last one. I think I've figured it out. With the type of work I was doing when Hunter was born (providing social assistance) there was crisis and instant gratification on a daily basis - client has no food, I take action, client can buy food.

Policy, on the other hand, is a lot like parenting. With policy work you think about the outcome you want** (or the outcome you've been told to want), research interventions and theories about how to alter behaviours so as to create said outcome, examine what other jurisdictions are doing and assess the effectiveness, consult with stakeholders (ideally), choose the policy instrument (often based as much on instinct as research), implement it (if the electeds give you the okay), and while you periodically evaluate your intervention and make adjustments, the true implications of your choice are not known for years and unintended consequences are likely. All the while people are judging your intervention confident that if you had just consulted with them you would have made a much more effective choice.

With parenting you are trying to create healthy, well-adjusted adults. You read a ridiculous amount of books with theories and case studies, talk to other parents, assess (i.e. judge) the effectiveness of what those around you have done, and eventually go with your gut and make choices about how you're going to raise your children, when your approach isn't working you adjust it and in twenty years or so you know if you have created a well-adjusted healthy adult. Of course, as is the case with policy interventions, you don't control all the actors so can't completely own the successes but you're likely to wear the failures (at least somewhat).

Upon further consideration, though, there is a lot of instant gratification like I love yous, hugs, kisses, smiles, and homemade pictures; and there is definitely (minor) crisis management. Maybe I should just enjoy it and not question it.

** Policy wonks of course know that this is only one approach - there are gap-based models, problem centred approaches, etc. but this is the approach that fits so I'm going with it. If I had the inclination I'm sure I could make the other approaches fit too but you get the idea.

* This is a repost. I deleted because it wasn't quite right but I've decided it speaks to what I thought in the moment so am putting it back up.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Time Keeps on Slipping, Slipping, Slipping

Julia is three months old already. Crazy. I think my blog is generally capturing all the wonderful stuff she has been learning but there are a few things I may have missed: she's blowing bubbles like crazy, next up should be raspberries; she's discovered her fingers and now doesn't have much interest in her sucky (soother, nuk, binky, whatever you want to call it) meaning there is no need to panic when I hear it fall out of her cradle in the middle of the night; she's soon going to be too big for her cradle and need to graduate to her crib (not so much too big as too active); she's rolled the other way (back to front) once; she's had the odd day where I'm sure she's mastered rolling tummy to back but then the next day she'll just get frustrated with it again; she's been doing those face lighting up smiles for a while now and those little laughs (huh huh huh); she's cooing; and her personality is becoming more and more evident all the time. I think she is definitely going to give me a run for my money as she seems to be a lot more stubborn and opinionated (if that's possible already) than her usually mellow, older brother. I cannot imagine where that might have come from?

Yann and Stephen's Book Club

I still haven't gotten my hands on a copy of The Death of Ivan Ilych and the next selection is already up! This time, Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I'm glad to see it's an Agatha Christie because it will force me to attempt to read her again (a failed attempt at 11 or 12 turned me off what might otherwise have been a staple). Will need to do some thinking about pace, order, etc. with this whole book club whim but I have concluded that a sidebar link makes sense. Progress, no?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

For Mum

Thanks for putting up with pre-school dropping-out; messy rooms; the pink-hair, piercings, punk rock years; the know-it-all (if only you knew what I know you'd think what I think) University years; panicked phone calls about blown tires, tuition, etc.; teenage years part two before the wedding; perpetual procrastination; and all the other things best forgotten. Thank-you for purple popsicles; homemade cookies, pies, cakes, etc.; the best Halloween costumes ever (for the grandkids too); family dinners; Barbie clothes, weddings, parties; doll birthdays; and believing in Santa. Thanks for coming to games, plays, concerts, and bake sales. Thanks for introducing me to puzzles, books, birds, and gardening. Thank you for working hard outside the home and showing me that women are defined by more than their children and husband. Thank you for demonstrating partnership. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for demonstrating that balance of ambition, work ethic, and dreaming. Happy Mother's Day to the woman who shaped who I am, accepts the choices I make, and loves me anyway. I can only hope to be as good a mother and grandmother as you.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Another One Busts the Dust

Hunter has always been interested in all types of music, which has been nice because it has meant that we don't have to play children's music all the time when we're driving but instead listen to it intermittently on long trips and only occasionally when driving in the city. A couple of weeks ago, Jason borrowed a Queen CD from the library and now Hunter is completely addicted. Every time we get in the car he wants to listen to "another one busts the dust" (it doesn't matter how many times we tell him it's bites the dust, it's bust the dust to him), or "that crazy frog song" (translation - We are the Champions), or "that loud one" (translation - We Will Rock You). I knew it was true love when I offered to put in Philadelphia Chickens (best children's CD ever and Hunter's old standby) and he turned it down in favour of more Queen, more, more, more. And while it might be driving Jason crazy (and filling him with regret that he ever took that particular CD out from the library), I don't mind obsessive CD listening in the least because I have the exact same pathology. When I buy a new CD I usually listen to it for about two weeks straight (at least) then put it away for a long, long time. Doing that means that most CDs (and certain songs on the CDs that got even more play) transport me to other places and times because that's the comforting song I played 42 thousand times when my brother died ("let it be"), or that's the song I was singing along to when I got in the stupidest car accident ever ("punk rock girl"), or that I used to wake up to every morning when I was 16 ("a day in the life" - damn that rooster crowing), or that we listened to on that awesome road trip to Edmonton (Violent Femmes - self-titled), or that we listened to on that first drive to, and for quite a while when, we moved to Banff ("killing in the name of"). Sometimes when I listen to Sgt. Pepper's, I am momentarily transported back to my teenage room and can even vividly recollect the smell of those horrendous herbal cigarettes I purchased for some reason I can't remember. No, I don't mind Hunter's addiction to Queen at all, because I know that every time I hear "Fat Bottomed Girls", "Queen Bee", or any of the other songs on Classic Queen I will vividly remember these moments too.

No Em, It's Not Just You, It's Hilarious

It could start with the Hummer chart, though.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

If I can pull myself away from the evil that is facebook

I am so going to do this.

Luckily, I've already read Animal Farm too, so only have to worry about catching up on the first one and it's only 60 pages so should be manageable (why did this story only make the news after the second book was sent anyway?).

Any other takers?