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Category Archives: Books

Kangaroo Mating

That’s right folks, I am here to discuss Kangaroo mating. Why?  Because that was the subject of a recent conversation with my 7-year old daughter. Say what??

So Katie has suddenly discovered the non-fiction section of the library. She typically brings home books about cats and then goes on and on about how she wishes we could get a cat (her brother is allergic). Yesterday she brought home a book about the life cycle of a kangaroo. So there we are, both reading our respective books, when she says “Mommy, what does ‘mating’ mean?”

I quickly discover why she is asking:

image

Now I’m all for answering your kids questions in a truthful manner. She’s asked before about babies and I’ve told her as much as I deemed truthful yet age appropriate. So after a thoughtful pause I replied “what do you think it means” she read the page over again and decided it meant that two boy kangaroos both liked the girl kangaroo. And I decided I would just leave it at that for the day. She was pretty excited because the next page went on about the two kangaroos stood on their tails and kicked each other. Well there you have it then.

I sent this picture to my brother. His response “I had the same problem in high school”

Until I write again…

x Shay

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Pain in the Back

Pain in my Back.  “Seriously?!” was the thought going through my head tonight as I felt the incision on my back rip open after picking up my 38 pound son. I reached down the back of my shirt trying to feel where my scar should be.  Nope, lovely gaping hole in my back. So gross. I showed my husband, hoping that my fears were wrong. My daughter was quite enthralled “let me see!”. “I have to go to the doctor” I told my kids. My son replied “Why?” “Because she split open her back!” my daughter informed him. So off to the doctor I went. We tried to walk-in clinic down the street first in hopes that we wouldn’t be spending another night in the ER. As luck would have it I was in and out in under an hour. Unfortunately the doctor informed me that wound was too deep to glue and too fragile re-stitch so he and the nurse, taped it together as best they could. “Try to keep it held together for at least 10 more days” he informed me. Hmmm, I just pulled my socks on and could already feel one piece of tape slipping. This is truly a ‘pain in my back’.

Eating out with Kids. Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of going on a double date with my brother and his wife.  Rather than swap gift cards (as we have in the past), we decided it would be much more enjoyable to forgo gifts between siblings and enjoy a rare night out together.

Before I get into our night out let me tell you about our adventure getting to our night out. You see yesterday the west coast was blanketed with snow. This is not typical (from what I’m told) December weather and thus caused massive traffic problems. On the way to meet my husband I was tuned into the traffic report. I heard countless stories of downed trees and large chunks of ice falling from one of the bridges on to cars below. At one point the reporter said “if there’s a hill, just assume there is a problem”.

When I arrived at my husband’s work, I got to meet his boss, who flew in from the east coast. He told me that he had been working on his laptop during his flight and when he closed it up as they were about to land, he looked out the window at all the snow and for a moment wondered if he was on the wrong plane!

My sister-in-law was coming to meet us from the city. She had to take a bus to the skytrain station and then should have had a short commute. But it ended up taking her nearly two hours to meet us. As she was walking to the bus station she first noticed that there were at least 50 people also waiting for the bus and no busses in sight. She then noticed that people walking faster than cars were driving so she ended up just walking all the way to the train. Her feet got completely soaked from the slushy snow and she was sprayed again and again by passing cars. At one point she had to stop at a store and buy extra pairs of socks because her poor feet were so wet. She said it was like walking in a slurpee cup.

In the end we were all able to meet up, despite the weather. We went to the Keg for dinner, one of my favourite restaurants. I mentioned to my brother that I hadn’t been there since last year’s Christmas double-date. “But there’s one just down the street from your house” he replied. I then had to explain how going out for meals is just not something we do with two kids. “But your kids always seem so well-behaved when we go out.” he said. It’s not that they are not well-behaved, it’s that we are constantly on edge when we are out. We know they are not likely to want anything from the menu and if we do splurge and get them a meal, they end up complaining that it’s too hot or say something like “these chicken nuggets are not the same as McDonald’s”. Inevitably we end up pulled out fishy crackers or an assortment of other snacks to keep them quiet…I mean fed. The ONE colouring page the restaurant supplies the kids keeps them entertained for about three minutes and then after that we are spending the remaining time finding other things to entertain them. And no matter how many toys you pack, it seems that they are ‘bored’ within about 30 minutes.  That’s when shoes come off and kids start climbing, under, over or through the table. At some point they are likely going to start singing loudly, especially if there the guests sitting next to you who are having a business dinner/lunch. Today my Mom and I hit up our favourite Mexican restaurant while we were shopping in the States. Again, it was a special treat to be out for a meal. But within 20 minutes I found myself saying “Jack, you can’t do somersaults in the restaurant ” “Why?” he replied. And yes this was right in front of the table beside us where two gentlemen were having a business lunch. See it never fails. So as “good” as my kids may seem to my brother. We are constantly on edge, watching the time, wondering how long until we have to grab everything and go. So going out for a leisurely dinner on a double-date, with actual adult conversation is a true pleasure!

Quick Book Review. After dinner we all went to the theatre to see the movie Life of Pi. I’m a big fan of the book. I read it earlier this fall after my brother convinced me it was worth reading. You see I have a tendency to give up on a book after about 20 pages if it doesn’t capture me. Life of Pi kind of bored me until half way through and after that I couldn’t read it fast enough. The ending (no spoilers) made the book and I thought the movie did a great job of capturing the beauty of the story. I’m not sure if my husband appreciated the movie as much as I did but perhaps he is just a little sad that I seem to be the only person on the planet not interested in seeing the Hobbit.

Until I write again…

Shay

Book Worms

Book Worms.  I’m a reader. I love reading novels. I’ve been known to stay up late and read a book in a few days.  When I used to work downtown, I had a long 45 minute commute each way but I didn’t mind so much. I would sit back, relax and read. When my husband and I moved to a new city and I got to drive to work, I found that I truly missed that time I used to spend on the bus. Nowadays, with two kids and working from home I don’t have nearly as much free time for things like reading but I still find time for it each night before I go to bed. Some days I may only get in a few pages before the words start to blur on the pages and I’m finding myself re-reading the same sentence over and over again. But most nights, I still pull out a book and curl up in bed before I go to sleep.

I started reading Goodnight Moon to both my kids when they were newborns. We read bedtime stories to the kids every night and often during the day as well. We go to the library each week and select a dozen new books. My son likes to pretend to read. His favourite stories right now are “Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes” and “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”. We’ve read them so many times that he will say the words even before we turn the page.

My enjoyment of reading has now reached a new level. My daughter has started to read. It began last spring when she wrote the words “cat” and “bat” on a napkin. I was not only shocked to learn that she could spell but also that she could read. I bought her a selection of Barbie phonics books as a preschool graduation gift and we’ve had a lot of fun working our way through them. It is so much fun to go through this stage with her. I love watching her excitement as she tries to read new words. Recently her teachers started sending her home additional reading homework. Sight words written on strips of paper attached to a key ring. Some days she finds the words easy and other days she struggles a bit. It’s amazing to hear her sound out new words and read ones I think she couldn’t possibly know. “Because”, “always”, “were” are her most recent triumphs. At bedtime she will now sometimes ask if she can read the books to us. It takes much longer but it’s worth every minute.

A Bit of Gratitude.  Today I am grateful for hand-me-down clothes.  When I was a kid we used to go to visit my Grandma every summer. A part of our tradition was handing down clothes to the younger cousins. I was always so excited to open my box and see all the new clothes from my cousin Tanya!

When I had my daughter I didn’t really know anyone with older girls. I quickly learned how fast kids grow out or stain clothes and how many times you sometimes have to change a newborn’s outfit in a day. With my son things are a bit different. I am extremely fortunate to have friends and family who have older boys and whom are handing me down their clothes, shoes, coats and toys. Just the other day I had a friend give me a giant bag of clothes she didn’t need. It brought back that great childhood memory as I dug through the bag and got so excited at all the clothes for my son. So thank you to everyone who has given me a hand-me-downs. It’s new to me and I love and appreciate it more than you know!

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