Sunday, April 20, 2008


Jonathan was away Friday night. At some point during the night Elijah crawled into bed with Jeremy and I. They were actually really cute together as they cuddled each other like puppies while they slept. In the morning I woke up to find an apple was also in our bed. Elijah had brought it with him, "just in case he got hungry during the night". Jeremy saw the apple and wanted it. (Usually, he eats apples in the form of applesauce or tiny cut up cubes.) When I saw how much he wanted it, I sent Elijah into the kitchen to bring Jeremy his own apple. Oh my gosh, were they ever cute about this. Elijah gave Jeremy his apple and then proceded to give his little brother a lesson in how to eat an apple. "Watch me Jeremy, you have to bite a hole in it, and then you keep biting anound the apple for your pieces, like this" CHOMP! Really Jeremy just kinda knawed at his, breaking the skin through only once and then spitting it out, because apple skin really isn't too appealing when you are only one. But did he have a hoot. He kept his eyes on his apple and his brother the whole time...wanting to do exactly what Elijah was doing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

messy, messy, messy

I made a HUGE error in judgement yesterday, while putting Jeremy down for his afternoon nap, I too fell asleep. This really shouldn't equal a problem except that Jeremy and I slept for 2 hours. Elijah's Backyardigan's DVD is only an hour and a half (or thereabouts). Somewhere in the midst of him being hungry and seeking out some raisins in the kitchen cupboard, he decided to choose an apple instead. He also decided that the apple needed to be facepainted.
I don't exactly know the path of his 3 year old logic from there...needless to say I woke up to not only facepainted apples (with all of the food coloring poured out of the dye bottles) but also shaving cream everywhere in the bathroom and kitchen eating area. Yes, this mess spread over 2 rooms. He told me he needed a shave.
I don't even know where to begin describing what I saw. I really didn't even know where to start with him and keep Jeremy out of it all.
I did wade through it all. It took about an hour to clean it all up and get everything back in order (including bleaching out my new, white bathmat). I thought about taking pictures to record it all, but I really didn't want to encourage a repeat episode in any way, shape or form. Elijah did feel the sting of his actions too. His logical consequence?... he had to buy Daddy a new can of shaving cream out of his own saved up money.

More Camera Fun

This is my attempt at capturing a moment in Elijah's life...he loves his hockey cards.

I took a few pictures of these daisies, playing around with the different settings of my camera.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

park politics

Today we returned, finally, to Rockwood park. It has been a very long winter. I don't think that the playgrounds are officially opened yet in the city (I know the school ones aren't) but it's April, it's over 10 degrees and it's been 6 months since we have been to the park.
The park is still pretty quiet, but we weren't the only one's there. There are two major differences that I noticed with the park. The first is obvious, last spring and summer, Jeremy was a little baby who stayed sleeping in the stroller while his brother played. Today he was a very interactive almost toddler who wanted to go everywhere and try everything. Loves the swing, loves the whale rocker seat, and yes, loves to put the gravel in his mouth. More importantly, loves the idea of walking (near running really). Still holding my hands, but going, going, going. I thought this might happen. At home he doesn't really see the point of walking, he gets where he wants to go quickly by scooting around. The park is not nearly as scooter friendly as our hardwood floors. I think a couple more trips outdoors and he's going on his own.
The second difference was with Elijah's park mobility. Last year he was still very cautious and had definate limitations on the playground. Today, it was so completely different. There isn't an aspect he can't tackle successfully on the jungle gym. Climing everything, running everywhere, and having a blast! It was such a joy to watch him...particularily on the sliding pole, "look at me mom, I'm a fire-fighter" he said as he slid down. He did this about 5 times in a row until...another little boy and his mom showed up. This little boy is at least 1, if not 2 years older than Elijah. I think truly this little boy wanted to have a good time on the playground. He stood in front of the sliding pole with longing eyes as his mother began to talk to me about how scary that sliding pole was. So much so that when she asked her son if he was going down, because Mommy could never do such a scary thing, he said, no. He then tried to block Elijah from taking a turn, saying that he was in charge of the pole and it was for bigger boys. Elijah was very good and used his manners to ask the boy to step aside, which he did and Elijah slid down once more, but this time, had a tiny stumble on the end. He then decided that it was time to go back to the gravel area to dig and build rock-castles. When we returned to the jungle gym a little while later, Elijah headed to the sliding pole once again. He reached out, hesitated, then stopped and said he couldn't go down, it was too scary and opted for the slide instead. He repeated this cycle a few more times and I asked him what was wrong. He just kept repeating that it was too scary and burst into tears. I couldn't believe it. He had been having a ball with this earlier and had been so proud of himself at how much he could do on the playground now that he was a big boy. Fortunately, I was able to convince him that he could go down, I would hold onto him and he'd be fine. We adjusted various stages of this, allowing him to let go of me more and more until finally he was able to go down the pole completely by himself again. I'm glad he did, and I'm glad he worked through it. In the midst of the process of normalising the sliding pole he did tell me that it was that lady that said the pole was scary and that her boy wouldn't slide down because he'd get hurt. I was so frustrated by this...not that Elijah had picked up on her fears, but that she would be so vocal to put fear into these little ones about something that is a part of childhood. There is a definate difference between being cautious and being over-protective and this mother definately fell into the over-protective category. I'm so glad that I was able to help Elijah through that today and plan on taking him back on the next sunny day to encourage him in his play again. But I'm going to be praying for her and her little boy in the meantime...he's going to need it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still fascinating after all these years...

...all 500 of them. Yes, it's the Tudor's. I'm re-reading the book that really started my interest in them, Margaret George's "The Autobiography of Henry VIII, with notes by his fool, Will Somers". Absolutely gorgeous writing...get over the sheer size of the book (it's over 900 pages) and dig in, the pages just fly by. But why? Why, oh why? Of all of England's kings and queens, why does the Tudor era stand out? Was it the politics of the time? Was it the church reform? Was it simply the sheer number of wives Henry had? Or, conversely, the lack of husbands his daughter Elizabeth had? Yes, yes and yes! Tudor England had it all. The greatest story-tellers in the world couldn't come up with as many interesting characters in an equivocal time of political and religious turmoil. Debate still rages over who these people really were. Katherine of Aragon...often portayed as a devout, religious, stubborn old-fashioned woman. How many Jane Averages, dabbling in history look to who she was before Henry wanted her cast aside, desparate for a male heir? The daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, arguably the most dynamic and powerful ruling couple in Europe's history. When you look to her upbringing, Katherine of Aragon goes from a boring old woman to an intreguingly strong young lady.
And of her successor, Anne Boleyn? Sometimes cast as a witch, sometimes cast as a wronged symbol of feminism. Both women very different...but both women very strong and powerful, but women unable to deliver the desparately needed male heir, to take a shaky throne.
Looking to the wives of Henry the eighth is just the begining. What of the rest of the supporting cast? Thomas More, Cardinal Wolsey, Charles Brandon...what an amazingly diverse lot the surrounded the king.
And as for the man himself? Intended for the church, put on the throne after his brother's untimely death. Tall, handsome, and dynamic. Longing to make England a powerhouse of Europe. I'm surprised that Margaret George's Book (written from Henry's perspective) wasn't longer.
Oh sure, the Tudor's have an edge of cool on them once again, thanks in part to Showtime's new series, and Philippa Gregory's fiction. Both storytold well, but with significant historical flaws. But truly, where else in history are you going to find a better real-life soap opera. Intreguing and compelling.

Tonight I Cried

I think most of you who know me, know that I keep my writing pretty light. My husband calls me a dreamer at times with my head in the clouds. Ever the optimist. But every so often something touches at my heart and I just cry out at the injustice that exists in our fallen world. Tonight this video was such an example. It's the kind of movie that you don't want to watch, you want to pretend that this kind of abuse doesn't really happen, but it does.
Over the past 15 years that I've been involved in schools, I've gotten to know children whose only safe haven is the time they enter the school building until the time that they leave. I've known children whose lives are so twisted that the concept of just relaxing and enjoying a simple game of Simon Says is so foreign that they can't get that right. I remember one boy in particular, 5 years old, who was so angry because of the life he lived at home that most mornings we set up a cozy chair for him in the book area of the classroom, and let him hug a pillow. We coached him in anger management, because let's face it, you aren't going to learn your letters and numbers when you mind is so completely elsewhere.
I remember my first call to a social worker as a student teacher in Victoria, I was so nervous and so upset that my hands shook. The school counsellor led me through it every step of the way and gave me a big hug after. I was so upset, because child abuse is something you hear about in the news that you can turn off...when you are face to face with it with a child you know, it's an awakening. I still think about that little girl and wonder where she is now and pray that her life is better now at 17 than it was when she was 5.
Unfortunately, that first phone call was not to be my last, and dealing with social workers has become a regular occurance in my career. I wish it were not so. Perhaps though, we can each take some time to remember these childen and move to do something about it. Not just brush it aside and pretend that it doesn't exist, but work towards a change. Please take 5 minutes out of your day to watch this video. The more we can be aware of these little ones who suffer in silence, perhaps we can pevent another such tragedy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Capturing the Moment

As Jeremy was feasting on some veggie sticks this evening, the sunlight coming into the window hit him just right. I caught him in the perfect baby mood for pictures, well rested and playful. So I played a little peek-a-boo behind the camera and just kept shooting. Here's my attempt at capturing the moment.


At our last PD Day, Angela showed us a DVD about celebrating what is right in the world (the latest kick our school district is on). The fellow hosting it, Dewitt Jones, is a National Geographic photographer turned motivational speaker. As I was watching this, I just kept thinking, man, I should get more into photography. I so much enjoyed his pictures. I really enjoy taking pictures myself...especially now that everything is digital, so I can just shoot picture after picture, capturing the moment. Jonathan gave me a beautiful Olympus camera for Christmas 06 and it is a treasure to me. I would love to learn more of how I can become better at photography. Here are a few of Dewitt Jones' pictures for a little creative inspiration.

Elijah's Blog

Elijah has become quite proficient at using YouTube. He loves it. His favorites are music videos and hockey highlights. I do have to do the typing for him, but after that, he's all good. Well, to make my life a little easier, I've created his own blog site with his favorite music videos (saves me some typing)
Here's the link if you are interested Elijah's Music He's very much into Elvis and county music as you will see. Interestingly enough, he really does have his own taste. He loves Corb Lund's songs...which Jonathan and I can give or take. He's pretty smart about it too. Last week was the first time we'd heard his new single Family Reunion. About 4 bars in, he looks at me and says, Hey Mom, this is the man who sings Truck Got Stuck isn't it? Yep.
He also loves Taylor Swift (I think he has a little crush on her). I enjoy her songs, although, I do have some difficulty believing that a girl that young and pretty would have experienced all the heartbreak she sings about. Here's a couple of picutres of Elijah watching her song Picture to Burn over and over and over again.

what the heck is that and why am I blogging about it?

This, my the first bud coming up from the bulbs Elijah and I planted last fall! I have never been so happy to see flowers coming up as I am about these ones. I know, it's April...we still have some lingering snow, which is too much for this BC born girl. Hope is on the horizon, after all, it's only been winter here since October...that's going on 8 months.

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