Creature of habit

I love my local Tim Hortons. It’s handy in that it is walking distance from my house, but in the opposite direction to my office. Still I go there on the two days that I travel into the office, even if it delays me. It’s not the food, or the coffee that keeps me coming back, although I do like the mildness of Tim’s coffee. The people there are what makes it worthwhile.

It’s one of those Timmies where the drive-thru is always lined up onto the road (I realize that this does not narrow it down at all), so I opt to go inside. Inside, where I get to meet the great people who work there. They are always happy to see me, greeting me with a smile and hello, and asking after my family and me. They miss me when I don’t come in, and worry if I am gone for more than a week without warning them. On the rare occasion that I have brought Woo and Goose in, they make a big fuss over them, and sneak them as many timbits as they can. They are just really kind people.

This month they have been training a new guy on the cash, and this was his first week working it solo. On his first day, I walked in and gave him my order of two coffees. Yes, two coffees, both for me. The coffee at my office is terrible. He started pouring and was stopped by one of his colleagues, who told him that I wanted extra larges, my usual. I let her know that it was OK, that was my order today. I also reassured the next person who tried to correct him, and the next, and the next. Four people were concerned enough to about my order that they needed to correct him. That is why I love my Timmies.

New guy wasn’t there the next day. I hope I didn’t have anything to do with that, I am sure that he is really nice.



Wordless Wednesday – Halfway


183:365, January 11, 2011



Best Friends

When Woo started daycare at N’s there was just one other little person there, Cecil. We met him when we went to interview her, and the two dudes hit it off right away. He is just two months older than Woo, and very similar in temperament and disposition. He was Woo’s first friend, and they quickly became inseparable, best friends. Shortly after we started, two little girls joined the group and we thought that things would change. They didn’t. Woo and Cecil tolerated the girls and played with them, but they were really happiest in each other’s company.

N calls them her two old men, as they love to sit and chat for long periods of time. When they are not playing, they are usually on a bench, talking and snickering about who knows what. This wasn’t always the case though. When they first met Cecil wasn’t much of a talker. So they still sat, but Woo did all the talking.

They eat beside each other, sleep beside each other and play together constantly. They play hard too, running and rolling around, always laughing. About the same size, they are a good match. They know each others limits, and don’t often push them. The little girls try to join in on their tomfoolery, but it doesn’t always work out for them.

Then Goose was born, and a year later joined the little group. We wondered what would happen, and I worried that she might be the odd one out. She wasn’t though, she just joined right in with Woo and Cecil. The duo became a trio and they were happy playing together. She could keep up with their craziness, and contributed some of her own.

As they have gotten older, and started to play with each other outside of daycare, we’ve gotten to see more how their friendship works The biggest thing that we have noticed is just how important Goose is to Cecil, and how little it bothers Woo. He makes room for her, happily sharing his best bud with his little sister. I love this.

1 comment


Big Day

There is something monumental happening in our house right now. It’s a load of laundry. Something I have done every second day for the last almost four years, but that I won’t be doing after today. I’m washing diapers, giving them their last super wash before I find new homes for them. We don’t need them anymore, as our little girl is now a big girl. One that only uses the “potty”.

She started just before Christmas, declaring that she was ready to wear underwear. We had been talking it up for weeks, and were pleased that she was buying in. We put them on her the first day of the holidays, curious to see what would happen. We have not looked back. She was a little timid at first, only going to the washroom when asked told that she needed to go, and sometimes fighting us on it. She has gradually started telling us, and we are at the point where we don’t need to ask her anymore, unless we are out of the house. She just tells us. Or pulls her pants and undies down in the middle of the room to let us know.

She had her fair share of accidents though, but no more than two in one day. Those accidents freaked her out too. She did not like the mess that she made, and was quite ashamed when it happened. With her last accident she begged Daddy not to tell Mommy. This was not because she thought I would get upset, but because she didn’t want anyone else to know. We’ve now gone ten days with only one accident!

She loves all the fun undies, and hates to take them off. From the start, we had to leave them on under her diaper that she wore for naps because she refused to let them be removed. She has started asking to do the same at night, although we know she is not ready for that quite yet. We are encouraged by the semi-regular night wakings with calls of “need to pee” that we have had this week.

This is so liberating. I have loved cloth diapering, but the washing can be a chore at times. We don’t need a diaper bag when we go out anymore, except maybe to carry spare clothes for the time being. Travel just got easier too, as we don’t have to figure out laundry or pack diapers. There are bonuses for her too. Her wardrobe has expanded, as she can wear jeans and cords now, most of which aren’t cut for cloth. She will have to learn that there is less padding there now. As I remember from Woo, those first few falls hurt a lot!

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think this might really be the end of our daytime diapers!



Wordless Wednesday, some my favourites from 2010

12/12 Decisions, decisions (6:30 PM)
Decisions, decisions

Woe is Woo
Woe is Woo

Good day
Good Day

2/10, Frosty Dock (8:00am)
Frosty Dock

Memorial Ride
Memorial Ride

When Queen Anne's Lace dies
When Queen Anne’s Lace dies

Three Strikes
Three Strikes

My grandfather, husband and daughter.
My grandfather, husband and daughter

X is for Xcited
X is for Xcited




Just like me

Goose looks like me. She is a virtual twin of me at the same age (though she has my sister’s nose). I am told that she has my disposition, which makes sense given that she is so smiley and happy all of the time. I love that she is my mini-me, and can’t wait to see her grow and mature, and see if we remain similar, though I have no expectation that she will be like me at all. Still, in some ways it will be like watching myself grow up.

I have this problem though. I am stubborn. Not just the a little stuck in my ways stubborn, but the dig your heels in – I will never back down kind of stubborn. I come from a long line of stubborn people, on both sides of my family. My mom and my father’s father are probably the most stubborn of the bunch, which explains why they do not get along. This week it has become abundantly clear that I have passed this little trait on to Goose.

At this time of year, I expect to have small battles with the lils about their winter clothing, but the lure of outside usually wins and they get dressed and we go to play. Occasionally hats and mittens come off in the course of that play, but the cold air and wet snow convince them to put them back on and we continue to play. Goose has been going through a phase of late where she refuses to wear her mittens outside for very long and it gets worse with every trip. I previously thought that she would give up and put them back on when her hands got cold, but it has become clear that I was far to optimistic. She continues to play until her hands are little icebergs and the tears start.

Today I took a stand, and told her that she was not going outside without the mittens on her hands. She kept insisting that she would not, but I kept dressing her, knowing that she would relent when she saw that I was serious and she wasn’t getting out without them. Once the boots were on she marched to the door and asked that I open it. “Not without your mittens”, I said, and held one up. She shook her head and stamped her feet and insisted that there would be not mittens. I tried a few more times, but her answer never changed. Even when I walked away, she stood quietly by the door, fully dressed including her hat and scarf, and she waited. A couple of times we played the game where I asked if she wanted out and she said yes, only to refuse her mittens. Finally I told her that she had to either put the mittens on or stay in. “NO MITTENS” was her response.

So I undressed her and told her she could go outside tomorrow, if she wore her mittens. “Yes, Mama”, she said, and went running off to play. A few minutes later I noticed that she was playing with her new baking set, and wearing her oven mitts.

Happy house builder
Goose, AKA mini-me



Good Riddance

It is fitting that the last day of 2010 started out with me cleaning vomit out of one child’s bed, and pee out of the other’s. It’s like they were puking and pissing all over the last day of the year, something that I wish I could have done too. As far as years go, last year was especially crappy. Crappy for me, for Willy, for his family, my family, our friends. I hate that I cried almost every day last year, and that I can barely remember any good memories, they are so clouded by the bad.

Willy and I were talking to friends last night, and were pressed to come up with the best thing about the year. We were able to pin that down fairly quickly, with both of us agreeing that my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding in Jamaica was wonderful. I am so glad that they got married (after twenty-two years!!!), that it was in Jamaica, and that they wanted us all to be there. It was a great trip for us all, one that we often talk about as a family. The trip brought my extended family together, something that has rarely happened since. The relationships that my mother has with all three of her children are disjointed and dysfunctional at best. It hurts me to see that she is hurting all of us, and that she won’t take a step back to look at how her words and actions hurt everyone, but especially my siblings and their families, who have also had difficult and crappy years. I’ve tried to play peacemaker, tried not caring, tried talking to her… None has worked, and have left me sadder and have damaged my relationship with my siblings and their spouses.

The lowest point of our year was when we lost Willy’s Dad, after an eighteen month battle with cancer. It was rough on all of us, particularly in the last few months when we were here, and his family was in Toronto. We made lots of road trips, but not enough. I don’t wish that on anyone, watching someone who you love slowly lose their fight with cancer. It’s still very raw. Sadly, two of Willy’s closest friends lost their fathers shortly after, then one of those same friends lost the Uncle who had raised him. It was hard watching their families go through the same sadness that we were still going through.

The lils and I spent much of the first four months of the year sick. They caught everything that was going, and managed to pass most on to me. I lost count, but Woo had croup at least eight times and Goose twice between January and March, meaning many a sleepless night for all of us. They also had their fair share of ear infections, lung infections, a bout of Roseola for Goose and an asthma diagnosis for Woo. The late winter and early spring was not fun in this house. It is too bad that our doctor, the pharmacy and the after-hours clinic don’t give out loyalty points, as we were frequent fliers. I have gotten to the point where I flinch every time one of the lils sneezes or coughs, expecting the sickness to return.

We had our fair share of injuries this year, from my spectacularly awesome ability to not catch a ball and end up with a broken nose, to Woo’s myriad of head injuries, including one the other night where he fell off the couch into the glass coffee table, Willy’s herniated disk in his back and separated shoulder, and the time that Woo sent Goose to the hospital after pushing her over in her highchair. She didn’t suffer any great injury, but it left a lasting impression on me.

My job has also been a source of stress and unhappiness, not because I am unhappy in my job, but because the agency that I work for is without core, sustaining funding. Instead of helping people, one of my top priorities is now finding projects and grants that can be used to help us carry out our work and keep our doors open. It is not fulfilling, and makes going to work suck some days.

I am not going to pin my hopes on 2011 being a better year, but I am going to slam the door on 2010. There is very little that I want to look back on, so I am going to move forward and build on the positives in my life. Willy and I are happy. We have a wonderful little family that amuses and amazes us daily. My extended family is still very much in my life, and I do love having them there. I have good friends who care for and support me, for which I am grateful. Thanks to twitter and some local blogs that I read, I have met some wonderful people who I would not have otherwise met, and that is both great and cool. I have also rediscovered a love of taking pictures, and this will continue to be my escape and my favourite hobby. You won’t see me complaining about last year anymore though, as I am locking the door on all this crappy stuff.


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