Monday, December 20, 2010

Erm, Maybe in 2011

So I committed to do lots of stuff in 2010. Here's a refresher:
* Run 21K in a row, like a half marathon - this was later replaced with run 1000K in 2010. I did neither. I probably ran 500K in total mostly because I took a six month break. I'll plan to bump both of these to 2011.
* Finish my MPA - Yes! This one I did. I am finally done school. Forever. Forever!
* Learn how to do a bulleted list in blogger. I learned it but I don't apply it (like now, I'm totally not doing it).
* Blog more frequently. Compared to not at all I guess I can claim success. Clearly this is a limited success.
* Get my passport. Not yet, but there's still time (well to apply anyway).

I still think these things are worth achieving so I'm going to bump those I've yet to do (if you're counting it's all but one) to 2011. 2010 has been a good year for my career. The blog doesn't reflect this but once I got through the winter blahs, had a nice vacation and got a big promotion, things have been looking up. Considerably. 2011 will be about getting comfortable in the new role and getting my staff in place so I can delegate and improve my work-life balance. 2011 is going to be about focusing on what really matters, my family. I'm looking forward to another good year.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Smiles

* A bike ride through the park (Hunter can now confidently ride his bike)
* Gymnastics Julia
* Yoga with the monkeys
* A spirited game of tag
* Still, warm air

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Office Space

I'll admit it, I googled can't work here any more just to see what would come up. Among other things, I found a reminder of why Office Space is one of my favourite movies of all time:

Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.

Bob Porter: Don't... don't care?

Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?

Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.

Bob Slydell: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

Things I Learned Today (or maybe this morning and yesterday afternoon)

• I am not a professional. I don’t even like being professional.

• University is killing my self esteem. My job is killing my self esteem. Soon I will have no self esteem and will just start wearing sweat pants to work (dress sweats, if you will).

• I agree with the following as proposed by a friend:

o Your high school diploma will now be called your bachelor/bachelorette (it’s going to be uber feminism, baby) degree, your BA will be a Masters and further education will be known as elite douche-baggery.

o Upon seeking further clarification, a bachelorette can also be achieved by appearing on trashy reality TV shows but it is then referred to as a bachelorette with distinction.

• Douglas Coupland is my new literary hero (move over Vonnegut and Palahniuk). A prof recently told me you are what you read. Apparently I’m a subversive, job-hating depressive. I suppose that’s as accurate as anything.

• Despite being in a tiny bit of constant pain as a result of my stupid car v. bus accident, I appear to be climbing out of at least three months of depression. Woo hoo!

Oh yeah, as an aside... Hunter's Seven! post is in the works. I just need to add pictures then will get it posted.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Dear Hunter:
18 days ago you turned seven, wonderful, wonderful seven. It really seems like a fantastic age and overall I think we are going to have a good year. In the last few months it seems that you have really transitioned into a mature boy and I can see less and less of my baby boy all the time. It's okay because the mature boy you are becoming is great and you continue to teach me so much. Sometimes what you teach is factual because you continue to love facts and science. You make me wish I had been a paleontoligist because I'm falling in love with the things you love too. That weekend, we had a lego party to celebrate the big day. A few friends came over and you built bionicles, raced lego cars and had a building plus story telling contes. It was fun and reflective of your favourite things right now - building, bionicles and friends (I should have said buddies).

Hunter my sweet, not so little, man, I love you forever and always.

Love Mum

Things Heard in the Car

Hunter: That sign says stop line. S T O P stop. L I N E line.
Hunter: I can spell lots of words (proceeds to listing and spelling them).
Julia: I can spell pee... P. I can spell car wah wah wah

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Three, Three, Three!

Dear Julia:

Just over a week ago you turned three. Not one or seven like you keep telling us, but three. I know, I can't hardly believe it either. You are really three! You are always one of my daily smiles (even when I don't write them down); how can I possibly begin to capture everything you are right now? Maybe I'll begin with a small list of the little things you do that are just so, well, you:

• You give fantastic hugs. Squeeze hugs. That is, tight hugs that include a small grunt. You've done this for as long as I can remember and let me tell you, these are the best kind of hugs especially from someone that comes in such a small package, like you.

• You have the most wonderfully expressive eyebrows. My favourite is when you express how something makes absolutely no sense to you. You lift your hands, repeat what you heard in an inquisitive, higher pitched voice and raise one eyebrow higher than the other practically closing one eye.

• One of the less precious, but nonetheless notable things you do happens when you don’t get the answer you are looking for. Your first line of defence is typically to continue repeating the question louder and louder until you get what you want. When this invariably fails, you stomp your foot and declare that you hate whatever answer we have given you.

This whole insisting you are seven thing relates to just how much you adore and idolize your brother, I think. For a while now you have wanted to do everything "just like Hunter." He's turning seven so naturally you expect that you should be seven like Hunter. When you insist you are one I have to conclude that this is because you know it's on one side of two (you love numbers)- you've just got the wrong side, that's all.

Besides your brother being one of your favourite toys, you've got a few others: you really love trains and puzzles and books and dress-up.

You've got the most incredible imagination.

You love to play picnic or take care of babies or go to school "just like Hunter". You also have an ongoing obsession with giving babies or stuffies medicine. I don't know where it comes from because you've only needed real medicine once, but giving babies or stuffies medicine is just one of those things that you love to do. You continue to love animals. Luckily for you, Shadow tolerates you well.

Our newest cat Benson hasn't fully adjusted. His strategy is escape, but I'm sure he'll come around. Speaking of Benson, another side of your personality presented itself when we first got him. The two cats got into a fight, which made Hunter cry but was somehow exciting to you! When things settled down, you were waving your arms in a cat fighting motion announcing that the kitties were "rarring like tigers"! Like Tigers! Clearly, you're going to be just fine with conflict. It's probably not a bad trait. I'm sure it will mean that you are resilient but believe me, I am not worried about that. You are the definition of tough.

Julia, my crazy mazy, you are the best Valentine's Day present a girl could ever have. I love you more than you can imagine for ever and always. Huggies! Kissies!

Love Mum

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Today's Smiles

* Valentine's cards with Hunter
* A whiteboard poem
* Jeans and dresses (together of course)
* A warm dinner waiting on a cold day
* Turning the corner at work (have been having so. much. trouble. staying engaged)

Checking In

Ack, I'm falling back into old patterns. Blog entries are few and far between. I've got some things in my head I'd like to get written so will endeavour to make the time and space soon. Right now we're busy getting ready for Julia's big third birthday party and so I'm looking forward to writing a letter to my girl - it's been a long time. Anyway, on to the reason for posting - an update on my goals:
* 1000KMin2010 - I'm at 145 (woo hoo);
* Lose last of baby weight before the monkey turns three - okay, I knew this wasn't entirely realistic but I'm getting there (about a third of the way but it clearly won't happen before Sunday when she's three unless I get deathly ill);
* Finish Masters in 2010 - two classes well underway, two to go;
* Passports - erm, I did pick up the forms;
* Figure out how to do bullets in blogger - um, I've figured out a method just haven't employed it; and,
* Blog more frequently (and update family album) - getting there on the blogging, still have to update family album.

Clearly, some distance to go still. I'll keep plugging away.

Monday, February 1, 2010

1000KMin2010 Update

To keep somewhat accountable, I'm going to try to update this thing every week. I seem to be dropping about 5km a week, which is okay when I start at 35km but is not so good when I get down to around 20km. Anyway, so far I'm up to 115km.

Things Overheard at the Office

* Do we really want to title the agreement something that makes the acronym NWA?
* I prefer whores to prostitutes.
* I'm not sure we need to provide an official comment on the wild dog story but maybe that's just me.

I claim two out of three these suggest that sometimes logic prevails.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oh Yeah, This Too

It's a horse fly. Thanks to TyMcM for posting this on his site.

These are a Few of My Favourite Things

FYI - this is easier to do with more frequency. Anyway, here are a few I was reminded of this weekend:

* Spa night with Julia/Boys night at hockey (btw, I think I'm due for a real spa day)
* Post-secret Sunday
* Fruit Loops
* "I love you mummy - kissy? huggy?" (Julia)
* Colouring with Hunter
* Stories
* Sleeping in (even if only until 8 o'clock, I still appreciate it)
* Snow days.

90 Down 910 to Go

Okay, this week was a bit slower but I still managed to get 25k in, which brings me to a grand total of 90k (per the title).

Having run 15 in one stretch I know I currently do not have the stamina to do 21 in a row at a non-embarrassing speed. Must work on speed and endurance. Again, still haven't started on a formal program and am just basically screwing around at the moment. That's probably why I like the idea of doing 1000 in 2010 as a goal.

Don't worry, I'm not totally letting myself off the half marathon hook just yet. Once I'm no longer exhausted on a daily basis I'll start following a program (why am I so tired, I thought all this exercising and shedding of excess pounds would help?). Must find more time for sleep. And I suppose I should try to get a physical one of these days.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Things that are Making me Smile

* Getting stronger, I can feel it even if I can't see it yet.

* Taking two good classes - good for entirely different reasons. The Friday one because it has all these full time students in it that remind me what it was like to have a million ideas for what you want to do when you grow up and just be hoping that someone will give you a chance. The Saturday one because it has a bunch of colleagues (indirect ones) in it and is taught by a political scientist. It's been a while since I've taken a class from a political scientist, it's refreshing. It's also great to experience the colleagues in a totally different environment.

* My monkeys, as always. Julia continues in her Hunter adoration and it's so much fun to watch. I think the whole copying what he is saying thing may be getting on his nerves a bit but I think he's also a little bit proud that it is he who she admires. Hunter's love for school continues to amaze me - he's actually excited to do his homework each night. It's also amazing to see how much his reading is improving (and I love that he reads to Julia and not only for selfish reasons).

* My wonderful and supportive Jason. I couldn't live this crazy life without him.

* Less important things like Glee and the Hangover winning awards. I must be getting older because stuff I watch is actually winning awards now. I maintain that this weekend sucked for football, though (okay maybe just two games in particular).

Checking in

Ack, week two in and I'm already falling behind on keeping this thing up. I blame being stupidly busy. I say stupidly because it's stuff I've brought on myself. Basically, I've upped my running (65k so far this month), I've also started 30 day shred, which is brutal and I'm taking two classes this semester in an attempt to finally get my damn masters done. The classes are intellectually stimulating but involve a tonne of reading and because they are stimulating are also draining. If I can just survive the next three and a half months I will be much further along towards reaching my December resolutions. Upon reflection, applying for my passport would probaby a much easier check mark on that list.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Weekend Smiles

* Sliding, fireworks and some unexpected Olympic spirit
* "A kiss for mummy, a kiss for Hunter, a kiss for daddy, a kiss for Shadow and a kiss for Julia" (Julia after walking around giving everyone a kiss then one for herself)
* "It was awesome!! I knew what you were going to ask" (Hunter running in the door upon returning from sliding with his friend)

Not only this but both Dallas and Arizona won.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Today's Smiles

* A husband that is willing to start the car for me in -37c weather. This is especially appreciated since he otherwise wouldn't have had to brave the cold. Incidentally, this only somewhat counterbalances the whole it's -37c, is this even human, thing.

* Watching the cat knock Julia's princess castle onto herself. It's one of those pop-up, tent-type things with a long tube to crawl in and out of. It has two doors. The cat loves it because she can hide in there and attack people who walk by or hide from the kids when they aren't playing in it. Today she leaped out of it and knocked it on to herself. Totally serves her right for trying to attack me. I swear that cat is crazy.

* Hearing from my Mum that there might be an Adrian Mole book out that I haven't yet. I love Adrian Mole!

* Crazy family dinners. These are an everyday occurrence, I'm just appreciating it today. One of the best parts of my day even though half of it is usually spent trying to get at least one of the kids to eat at least something on their plate and the other half is usually spent trying to instill some sort of manners.

* Blogs. In case it's not evident, I'm so happy to have rediscovered this medium.

* I almost forgot (how could I?) - there is a whole new person in this world. My friend had a healthy just under 4lbs baby boy today. After much worrying and an intentionally early arrival, the little dude is doing fabulous.

It's Four O'Clock Think

* Would it be reasonable for me to leave now even though I was a half hour late this morning? I mean, it is cold out and there was a two hour conference call over lunch today. Two. hours. Over. lunch. Really, really long and painful. Over lunch, for two hours.

* It's cool that you can now pre-draft posts and post 'em later. Yes, that's right, this was drafted at 10pm last night anticipating what I might be thinking about at 4pm today. Guaranteed I could predict how I'd feel about that conference call.

* My legs are so. sore. Stupid running. Should have taken a rest day yesterday. Must rest today. Guaranteed I'll be writing the exact same thing tomorrow. Really need to follow a program instead of winging it. A four day program probably makes the most sense.

* I've got soo much to do I should really get working on something. On the other hand, it is 4, with an hour left in the day does it really make sense to start something new? Maybe I should just make a list of things to work on tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ooh, ooh More Little Things that Made Me Smile Today

* Cracking brand spanking new text books full of ideas and potential
* My wonderful, exhausted, Julia actually going to bed on time (and it only took cutting out her nap and a couple hours of napless crankiness) - there really is nothing sweeter than sleeping children
* Hunter's palpable excitement about going back to school tomorrow
* An afternoon much better than the morning

All in all, a net positive.

It's the little things

* Squeeze hugs
* Purring cat
* A warm bath
* A great run
* Fluffy snow

Optimist Project

Savvy reader(s) may have noticed that I tagged my yesterday post Optimist Project. I am not naturally optimistic. I'm cynical, pessimistic and a chronic worrier.

I've been thinking that I have a million little things to be greatful for and that if I focus attention to consciously taking note of the little things that make me smile each day, I might not only hit the pillow more content each night but I might also, over time, condition myself to become more optimistic. You can expect to see these reflected on my blog.

Here's the trouble: I still have lots of things that make me crazy and there are going to be days where I just need to whine about the shit that is making me want to say fuck it and jump in my car and drive away.

Today is one of those days.

I don't want to drive away from family, I just want to escape from the job. Some days, it is the general soul-crushing nature of working in a bureaucracy that gets me. Today, however, it is the little things.
* It's the annoying Director from another ministry that calls my boss instead of me because his title is Executive Director - totally disregarding the reality that he won't know the answer to her questions because I am actually the contact for her ministry and on this file. The sense that it's the title that matters not the knowledge makes me nuts.
* It's the paper-flow processes that aren't working.
* It's the lack of clarity.

It's the sense of resignation all these things together create in me.

Huh. It's kind of like the opposite of my little optimist project. If the little positives together are what makes life worth living, maybe there is value in paying attention to the little negatives coupled together and thinking about what they, put together, do to me too. Huh. Need to file this away for further reflection.

To counterbalance the negative, this made me smile this morning:
* "Mummy, you look great!"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Things that Made Me Smile Today

* High five wars with Hunter
* Julia's "I want to do [insert activity here] just like Hunter"
* Coming home to painted trim (thank you, Jason)
* First day back at work not being nearly as bad as I had anticipated
* Feeling more excited about what I might learn than overwhelmed by the workload of the two classes I'm registered in
* Feeling like I can't run another minute at 5K then making it to 10K

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's January so...

It's time to inevitable commit to losing the last of the baby pounds (plus a few more I'd put on before that pregnancy). I'm not sure that the twenty remaining pounds from the last pregnancy really count as the remainder of the baby weight any more, but thinking of it that way gives me a bit of a timeline for unloading it - Julia will be three on February 14th - three years is long enough to carry that extra twenty so I'm going to aim to get rid of it by then. It may not be entirely realistic but it gives me something to shoot for so time to get on it. Instead of any fad approach I'm just going to eat healthier, try to get more sleep and exercise more (including as a stress reliever). Training for the half marathon should help (I've got a long way to go, 10K is about what I'm capable of running now and I want to be much faster). Anyway, I'll keep blogland posted on both counts - I hope not to disappoint.

Additional To Do

Earlier this month, Jason and I went through all of the pictures on Family Album and I realized how much I value what I have captured there (and mostly without words). It's neat to look back and see just how much the kids have grown. It definitely escapes you day to day. We listened to Hunter singing at his pre-school Christmas concert and couldn't believe how much his voice has changed in just a couple years. I wish I had more of Julia's voice captured as she has changed tremendously (her Huhus are now Hunters, banas are now bananas, etc., etc.). I regret not updating it much more than I regret not updating this blog. Pictures are coloured only with each of our memories and not just the voice of one story-teller. As an add-on to my to do list, I'm going to catch up some photos over on family album and plan to post a couple every couple of weeks.