Raising a Daughter

A and I were chatting the other day. About what exactly I can’t remember (shocker!) but he did utter one thing that stayed with me, mostly because the force with which he said it made me laugh:

I don’t want my daughter to dress like a woman

A father’s love for his daughter 🙂

And to be honest, a mothers love as well. If I had my way, she’d live at home forever, safe and protected in our arms tucked away from the many ills of society. My greatest hope is that she’s a nerd when she’s older, and doesn’t get caught up in drugs, drinking and sex as a teen.

But it got me thinking. Right now, Molly’s needs are few. Eat, sleep, poop and love. Those are her basic requirements. As she grows though, it’s going to be our responsibility to help her become the woman we’d like her to be. We’ll need to introduce the morals and values that will help her make the right choices when faced with life’s challenges, and to help her face the consequences when mistakes are inevitably made.

It’s overwhelming at times, to think of our influence on how she develops.

Made at Home

One of the things that A and I have in common and love to plan and talk about, is our desire to use more locally made products. Not just produce, but products. It’s not easy, not by a long shot, but we’re always on the lookout for things that were Made In Canada. Heck, we’ll settle for Made in North America! Environmentally, economically and socially, those are better alternatives to things made overseas.

Food is a little easier to find from local sources, though the winter months are difficult. Despite living in southern Ontario which boasts a lot of farms, our growing season is not that long. It’s almost May though and Farmer’s Market’s will be opening up soon, and we plan on frequenting such places for our produce.

In the meantime, we’ve been buying frozen locally grown items when possible from various markets around where we live, and just last week I bought a voucher from Web Piggy for $400 worth of organic and naturally raised meat/poultry/fish from local sources for only $100! That will go a long way for us.

There is also the option of growing my own vegetables at some point. I just need my neighbours to finish building our fence…the holes are there, and have been since last fall, but otherwise, nada. I can’t plant anything until that goes in.

Our goal is to get ourselves out of the habit of shopping at large grocery stores and into local markets and even grow our own. We want to know where our food comes from. My own personal goal is to start canning and preserving (I might start with beets) and maybe even make my own bread!

I’ll keep y’all posted on our efforts. It will be an adventure!

Home

Last Friday I was driving home with my itunes on shuffle. I was singing along to some of my faves and having a fabulous time! I sing in tune (quite well, I think) but I’m a mess with lyrics. It’s almost criminal how wrong I am sometimes. But I don’t care, I have a blast doing it!

So there I was, bopping along when Chantal Kreviazuk’s version of Feels Like Home came on.

And I started to cry.

Not because I was sad, but because I was happy! This song has always had meaning for me. I remember the first time I heard it. I was driving back to University after a weekend at home. I cried then too, because the lyrics expressed exactly how I’d always dreamed of feeling when I was in the right relationship: like I was at home with someone.

That’s exactly how I feel with A, and when I realized it last week, well. On came the waterworks!

Today isn’t any particular special day in our relationship. No anniversary, no milestone. But I’ll be going home to him tonight and that means more to me than anything.

Happy Weekend all!

Weekend Wind-Up

I had a great weekend! There was lots to do and I accomplished almost all of what I wanted done. Here’s the best of the past couple of days.

Best Health

I don’t know if it’s the ginseng, the probiotics or the antibiotics, but I woke up Saturday morning feeling amazing! I was so chipper I started to annoy A (haha!).

Best Spring Clean

My closets (I have several, seeing as I have a three bedrooms) have been needing a serious makeover and I finally got around to that yesterday. I tossed a bunch of stuff, set aside a whole garbage bag of clothes for the Goodwill and organized, making room for some of A’s things.

Best New Word

Saturday afternoon, A and I headed over to my sister’s to pick up CJ for a few hours. Since we were heading to the mall with her, we needed to bring the stroller. I’m useless when it comes to setting it up it (seriously, I have no idea why I can’t manage it!). I suggested to my brother-in-law that he show A how to use it, since he’s more mechanically inclined than I am. My BIL’s response? “Ah A! Looks like you’ve just been volun-told!”

Best New Skill

I drove standard!! Well, sort of. A’s car is standard and he’s suggested several times over the past 2.5 months that I should learn. When he’s suggested it as an activity in the past, I would say ‘not today’, but on Saturday I agreed! I found myself in an empty school parking lot learning the basics: Turn the car on…check! Put the car into first gear….check! Lay off the clutch and move forward without stalling….uh, failed the first time, but the second time I managed it! Check! I didn’t go very far, and the whole pressing the clutch thing gets me (I’m not the most coordinated when it comes to such things), but with practice I’ll at least be able to move his car in and out of the driveway if necessary.

Best Game

A few weeks ago, A introduced me to Civilizations IV on the PC. The premise of the game is to build your own civilization over the course of several thousand years. You develop your world from early stone age practices all the way up to the space age. To win, you can do several things including conquering other civilizations. Being the pacifist that I am, I chose to win by being the first to complete a spaceship. Last week I started playing Civilizations: Colonization, which has the same premise, but instead you’re building a colony in the New World and your goal is to become independent from your home country in Europe. I. Love. It! I don’t think I’ll win this time around, because I didn’t discover the way to win until too late in the game (serves me right for not reading the instructions completely), but next time I’m going to kick some Royal ass!

Best Moment. Period.

We BBQ’d Saturday night and I looked up from chopping my green beans to find A writing this message for me on the window:

Ignoring the fact that my windows are FILTHY (note to self: add clean windows to To Do list for this weekend), how lucky am I to have the best boyfriend ever?

 

Weekend Wind-Up

It’s Monday folks. And not just any ol’ Monday, it’s the Monday after the clocks flew forward an hour, meaning that when our alarm went off this morning at 6am, it was really 5am according to my sad, tired body.

Ouch.

I had intended to work out as part of my commitment to getting healthy (which I just realized I’ve yet to complete the post I was composing on this…TBC), but the tiredness was just too much. That and when we pressed snooze it didn’t work for some reason and we ended up getting up too late to exercise. Too bad, so sad 😉

The only good thing I can glean about the time change is that it will no longer be dark when I get home from work at 6:30 and I can’t tell you how that boosts my mood! Summer is just around the corner!

I had a great weekend and here are the highlights:

Twoniversary

A and I celebrated two months together on Friday. Yes, I know. We’re disgustingly cute….I love it!

We went to an Asian restaurant near my house. It has a variety of Asian foods: Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese. We shared the dim sum platter, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it (BBQ pork buns…yum!), it wasn’t exactly a stellar culinary experience for A. Not his cup of tea, but I appreciate him trying for me!

After dinner we went glow-in-the-dark mini-putting and I admit I had my butt-kicked. The first 9 we were on par with each other, but after that things went a bit downhill for me. I blame my purse. I should have left it in the car but didn’t think of it and gave up handing it to A to hold after the first 10 holes. That’s right, ya, it was my purse, see. It caused me to go six over par. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Games!

A and I headed up to visit his parents for the weekend and we played a lot of games, which was awesome. Even more awesome is the fact that I am not the bad loser I used to be, since I did horribly on most of the games we played. I no longer toss boards and their pieces up in exasperation nor throw instruction manuals across the room (I hate playing Risk). Wouldn’t THAT make a great impression? 🙂

We played Wizard, Careers and In and Out. In and Out was a new one for me. You start with a score of 21 and depending on the cards you’re dealt, along with the trump card turned up by the dealer, you need to determine if you will play (in) or not (out). Your goal is to score tricks by having either the highest card of the suit played in each round, or a trump card. If you play, you need to get a trick to decrease your score (your goal is to reach zero) or else your score increases by 5. Uh huh. At one point I hit 40 points, but towards the end I managed to redeem myself and though I didn’t win, vengeance was mine as I uprooted the favourites to win: A and his brother-in-law, R. I took four of the five tricks and bumped their single-digit scores up over 10!!

Boo-ya!

Movies

The men-folk wanted to go see Battle Los Angeles on Saturday. I’m always up for alien-invasion flicks, so a couple of us gals tagged along. It was solidly entertaining and I enjoyed it. There are some elements that seem standard in alien-invasion movies these days:

  1. The aliens all seem to look alike lately. The aliens in Battle LA strongly resembled those in Independence Day and Signs (they made that creepy noise! Aaah!).
  2. The capture and torture of the alien to determine what kills it
  3. Someone gets alien guts spewed all over their face
  4. The sufficiently cheesy motivational speech by the hero to increase the troops morale
  5. The USA discovers the way to bring them down

I hope everyone had a great weekend! The weather is supposed to warm up this week. There is light people. There is light!

Giving

Rather than scour the shops this year, looking for the perfect gift for each of my loved ones, I chose instead to make a donation to the Children’s Aid Foundation Surrogate Santa Program. I believe strongly in this program, which takes my donation and buys a meal and gifts for a family in need. My family is blessed. There is no question of that and I have never taken it for granted. I’m reminded of that as I sit here watching President Obama address the funeral for the victims of last weeks shooting in Arizona (tears).

We don’t need anything, so I make the choice to give to those who do.

But I didn’t want to show up completely empty handed! I considered making a knitted ornament for my family; I even went so far as to buy the wool, but after making  sample, I wasn’t pleased with the results (I’m a bit of a perfectionist). I’m not particularly crafty without a pattern, and for awhile I was stumped as to what to make. And then I remembered this post I had read on one of my favourite blogs, Oh She Glows awhile back. It was the suggestion to give a jar of dry ingredients with an accompanying recipe to make Peppermint Walnut Crunch Blondies, and I thought it was something different and unique. Perfect to pull together at the last minute and give to my family. So I gave it a go and loved how they turned out:

Cute, yes?

Celine Dion Saved Me Today

I was feeling a little glum on the drive home today. Part of it was that my day started off to a visit to the dentist, which is quite possibly my least favourite thing. The poking and prodding and polishing always makes me feel sick. Part of it was weather. It was a grey, wet day here in Toronto. Luckily, the temperature was 14, otherwise it would have been a cold, grey, wet day.

But part of it was thinking about being single. As positive as I like to be, it’s normal to get blue. And today as I was reading an article about how being in love reduces physical pain, I was reminded of all the other articles I’ve seen lately about how being partnered and coupled enhances your life:

  • Regular sex is good for your health and will extend your life
  • Three of the ten ways to be happier in life involve having a mate
  • You save more money when you’re part of a couple. Singles spend more because they only have one income.

Le sigh. These days there doesn’t seem to be much positive media about being single. It’s as if it’s a curse rather than the blessing it can be on occasion.

My glum was made even glummier by a stream of sad Christmas songs. Blue Christmas, Please Come Home For Christmas, Last Christmas….they’re all sad! But then Celine Dion came on. I mentioned the other day how my taste in Christmas music knows no discrimination and I absolutely adore her Christmas album. She sings a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night, but it was this song that really changed my mood:

She has it right. ‘Tis the season to be jolly and be thankful for all that we have. I may be single, but I am not, nor will I ever be, alone. Christmas just enhances that for me. Thanks Celine! You pulled me out of my glum and into the world of the happy again 🙂

What’s their story?

I watched Date Night a few weeks ago. Funny movie! What stuck with me though, was that on their dates, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell’s characters played “what’s their story?” where they pointed out couples sitting at adjacent tables and assigned them an identity and created a fictional life for them.

Today at lunch (with a former co-worker I miss dearly), a couple were seated next to us. Partway through our lunch, M looked at me and mumbled without moving her lips “the girl next to us is crying’. I subtly look over (without turning my head) and sure enough, the poor girl was sniffling and hiding her head. What was going on? Were they breaking up? Had they had a fight? Something was off, because the guy was avoiding eye contact with her, playing with his phone not saying a word while she sniffled away. Hmm. I wonder…

Do you ever do that? Wonder what people are up to? Whenever my work takes me out of the office and I’m traveling the city during office hours, I always wonder about the sheer number of people I see out and about. Who are they? What are they doing out during the work day? Do they work nights? Are they in school? Are they ‘professionals’ (wink wink)?

The possibilities are endless and sometimes I’m quite envious of their ability to just roam (seemingly) free throughout the city! I suppose though, that when I’m on staycation, people wonder the same thing about me. What’s her story?

Here’s an idea…

How about introducing  mandatory classes in high school and university/college about dealing with the opposite sex? Expose men and women to the inner workings of their counterpart, so that future dealings would be a lot easier to handle and work through.

If women understood how men worked and operated, we wouldn’t become so crazy and push them away. And if men understood why we because so crazy, maybe they’d be able to stick around and wait it out. We need to be able to understand the others needs and work with them in order to maintain happy, healthy relationships.

Why aren’t we taught THAT in school?? Aren’t they supposed to be preparing us for life?