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Showing posts from May, 2015

The Heart Behind the Sell, or Here's My Pitch to You

Remember the old adage (attributed to Theodore Roosevelt):"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" ? I'm starting to think that this has some serious application to sales, specifically my new journey into Usborne books and independent sales consulting.

In the past, I've been approached more than a few times to "become a rep" or "build a business" buying and selling for various different at-home companies. Some were legit, some were shady MLM's, but all of them had an element of sales involved in both the "pitch" and the product(s).

What I always found unappealing, not to mention insulting, was the aggressiveness of the seller in approaching me and then following up with me to get me to buy in. Sometimes it was in how frequently I was being bombarded with the sell; in at least one instance, it bordered on harassment, particularly when it would recur even after my explicit requests for it to cease. Ot…

Apologies and Labels

Just a quick "I'm so sorry" to every reader who may have me on an RSS feed or "reader" app, who has had to endure an uninvited walk down this blog's memory lane today (and the last few days). I have been trying to add labels to my old posts, and for whatever reason some of them ended up being republished when I did so. It's probably user error, and I am fully willing to shoulder the blame of that, since I've been dealing with insomnia since 2:50 am this morning. It's now 7:00 am, and I'm blurry-eyed and a little delirious. Therefore it's highly likely that I screwed something up or pressed some button in error, thereby causing those posts to republish.

Regardless, thank you for your indulgence.


Now that the unpacking is under control (only a few more boxes to go), and we have had a few days and nights to settle into our new home, I finally get to enjoy a little bit of breathing room. *phew*

I have to admit, while I hate the moving experience, I am absolutely in love with our new home and new neighborhood. It's cheesy to say this, but everything has been absolutely perfect. Too perfect, really; it can only be attributed to God's grace on our undeserving family, and nothing that we could have possibly accomplished by our own effort.

Now if you recall, I was quite concerned about leaving Yaletown (a family-friendly district of the downtown core). I hated to part ways with our breathtaking views and proximity to absolutely everything that we needed, and I grieved the fact that the Aquabus and Canada Line wouldn't be a stone's throw from our place anymore. I also worried about Little L's adjustment, since she is a kid who will sometimes have a meltdown if you …

Full Frontal, and Other Developments and Little L-isms

Got your attention, didn't I? But I'm not talking about nudity here (sorry to disappoint); I'm talking about where to sit when you're in a vehicle.

Up until just a few weeks ago, Hubbs had been our family chauffeur and Little L and I were permanent residents of the back seat. On rare occasion, I would sneak up to the front to keep my man company, but never on long distances and usually, only if Little L was in a particularly great mood. These were infrequent instances, indeed; I'm pretty sure I could count the number of times I've sat in the front seat in the past three years on one hand. Instead, I was relegated to back seat status, held captive by my desire to keep my kid entertained during long rides. When she was really little, I sang songs and read stories and held up toys and offered snacks. When she got a little older, I provided her with board book after board book during our drives. Once she was finally old enough to start using the iPad, I was her te…

My C-Section Success Story - a Retrospective

As longtime readers, friends and family know, my birth plan for Little L was very crunchy/granola/natural (which is so completely unlike me). I had wanted an old-fashioned, through-the-hooha experience devoid of any drugs (save for nitrous oxide) or induction. I was prepared to breathe through the pain, endure a ring of fire, and even get torn in the process of pushing. I was ready to give birth!

But not ready for any other possible scenario. My pregnancy had been so smooth and uneventful that it didn't even occur to me that something might go awry during labour. I mean, there were no red flags for birth defects, no gestational diabetes, no pre-eclampsia - not even morning sickness. And yet, the labour was all sorts of bad. Little L was lying on my spine, her head was tilted to one side, and I was reverse dilating. Her heart rate got too steady (yes, too steady) and I was running out of time due to having had my water broken. A C-section was really my only option 47 hours later, e…

Low Rise: A Big Problem

Little L is a fairly tall and big child for her age. She weighs nearly 37 pounds and reaches almost 39" in height. Her clothing size is fairly consistently a 4T, although depending on fit she can wear anything from a 3T to an XS (4-5) in the girls' department.

A problem I've noticed recently is that when Little L wears certain pants (and sometimes even when she wears leggings), she risks revealing some bum crack. The top of her underpants often end up showing, as does that section of her tailbone that leads to her bottom.

This is immensely disturbing to me, because she's 3 years old, and the people who design and make her clothing should (in theory) be cognizant that the consumers of their bottoms would be very young. Some kids her age still wear diapers, so one would think that the problem would be one of excess material around the butt, or pants with too high a rise to accommodate puffy diapers, not the opposite.

It also pisses me off because our society, as a whol…


So... we are moving.

And I don't mean from one part of downtown to another. I mean, from the bustling heart of the city to a quaint and quiet little suburb 45 minutes away.

And I don't mean from one high-rise to another, either. I'm talking about going from concierge services and multi-floor dwellings to a multi-floor, single-family townhouse with a double garage and carpeting (!!!).

I haven't lived in a single family home in two decades. So, like, more than half of my life has been in some sort of high-rise. I also haven't lived in a 'burb in almost as many years.

I feel a little disoriented.

Now, some would say that this is a good thing, that we are moving for Little L to be closer to school, and that we are going into a larger, less costly, and more upscale space in a close-knit community that really is lovely. Our new home is also very close to water, and to playgrounds, and to amenities and Starbucks (3 blocks). Really, it's everything that we could as…

6 Hours, Or My Body Hates Me

Little L sleeps through the night. She usually goes for a solid 9-11 hours before she wakes up, usually talking and laughing and using her outside voice right beside my ear (good thing it's my right ear, which happens to be the deaf one).

I, however, do not sleep through the night. I wake up after six consecutive hours of slumber, like clockwork. It matters not that I went to bed at 10:00 pm (a normal bedtime), or 2:30 am (a vampire bedtime). Add six hours, and I'm up. It's not like one of those half-alert kinds of wake-ups, too. I'm talking about a full-blown, brain-engaged, time-to-get-up alertness that prevents me from returning to blissful rest for at least a few hours. Trust me, I've tried everything to get back to sleep (well, not medication, but just about everything else). You can't turn off a brain that wants to be awake.

(As an aside, this is why I don't force Little L to sleep when she isn't ready. Have you tried sleeping when you weren't…

Truth, Lies and The Bully at Jenny

I think I mentioned before that this blog is cathartic; sometimes it is my little therapist's couch, a safe haven for venting and a place to work through my emotional baggage.

Such is the case today. 
I've long harboured a burden that I no longer wish to bear, a shame that I have carried for a decade but am releasing after this post.
Truth: I was the victim of workplace bullying, and I didn't stand up for myself.
When I returned from teaching overseas, I wanted to get a job to help pay for my upcoming wedding. I had successfully lost 60 pounds through good old fashioned diet and exercise, and I felt like I could share my experience with others and help them lose weight too. 
I applied, and was quickly hired, to be a consultant at a Jenny Craig in Edmonton; my duties included signing up and subsequently meeting with clients on a weekly basis, encouraging them on their weight loss journeys and selling them the Jenny Craig method of weight loss (spoiler alert: it's the pre…

More Little L-isms and Fruit Discrimination

Me:  You sound stuffy! Maybe we need to spray your nose.
Little L:  No, I'm not stuffy! I'm runny!!!

After I fart in the bathroom...
Oh, it's so stinky in here!! (*Little L covers her nose*) Mommy's bathroom smells like a Daddy bathroom!!

Me (to Hubbs):  Hon, can you please turn up the A/C?
Little L: He's gonna turn up the ABC!!

I'm cuddling Little L and not letting her go...
In a panicked voice: I don't want to be stuck forever!! I just want to be stuck for a little minute.

(Hahk-sik is the Canto pronunciation of the colour black)
It's getting hahk-sik-er and hahk-sik-er and hahk-sik-er outside!

Me: Simon says touch your nose! Simon says touch your ear. Touch your tongue! Hey! I didn't say Simon says to touch your tongue!
Little L: (Completely deadpan) Simon says no.
End game.

While brushing our teeth...
Me:  It's Mommy's turn to brush your teeth!
(As I start to brush, she gets panicky)
Little L:  I can't ta…

1095 Day / 156 Weeks / 36 Month Retrospective

She's three!

Seriously, sometimes it seems like only yesterday that I was lying in the post-op clean-up room, marveling at the little ruddy monkey girl in my arms. And now she's three?!?

I'm sure I will post a bazillion other age-3 related things in the next couple of weeks, but for now I am just trying to process the reality that my only baby is most definitely no longer a baby or even a toddler, but a full-blown preschooler little girl.

Enjoy the pics. I can't say that I didn't cry a little as I went through them (especially the videos).

The Last Little Birthday Party?

We decided to go low-key for Little L's birthday, but even we were not expecting it to be quite so, ahem, low-key. We had decorated with a banner and balloons in anticipation of the big day, per Little L's request. We asked our nanny to come in for just the morning so that Hubbs and I could hit the gym together before spending the rest of the day pampering our little monkey. Our dear nanny surprised Little L with some more balloons and a pink sock monkey that our little one absolutely *loves.* Why am I not surprised? ;)

As we worked out, the birthday girl enjoyed her giant lollipop and breakfast with the nanny. Afterwards the two of them baked, iced and decorated cupcakes. The fruits of their labour were enjoyed by all just before lunch. 

Then we picked up the cake. Little L was so excited to see it and eat it that we sang her the Happy Birthday song and let her have cake before lunch; it was her birthday, after all. It was while I was setting up for the cake cutting that I r…

Learning and Teaching and Where to Draw the Line

Now that Little L is three (3!), I am starting to get some extra free time on my hands. She can play more independently, she sometimes wants to be alone, and she is physically capable of doing more without my assistance. Just today she ran off to use the washroom without telling me; she whipped off her own undies and found herself a seat on the potty.

With this extra time and mental energy, my teacher brain has started to kick into gear. I'm thinking about curriculum, lesson plans, and learning objectives. I'm missing the classroom and the energy of eager learners discovering new things. I'm itching to drop some serious money at the local educational supply retailers and dollar stores. And I'm feeling a little restless.

The problem is, I'm not Little L's teacher. I'm her mother. And while of course I should be helping her learn new skills and developmentally-appropriate tasks, I want home to be a sanctuary and a place to relax, not a classroom. She will be…

Access Granted?

Who do you allow on your social media accounts? Family only? Friends? Acquaintances? Fans? Colleagues? Everyone?!
While my Twitter is of course public, my FB is not. I've done some culling and it is now limited to just friends and family and a limited number of acquaintances. I might share an article or two publicly, but for the most part my information, status updates, and images are only accessible to a select few ;)
IG is a funny thing, though. It seems to exist in a middle ground between FB and Twitter. While it has a privacy setting to approve or deny people from following one's feeds, there is also a culture that accepts, and even encourages, being "followed" and "following" people like celebrities and fellow bloggers. It's not quite designed to be a private gallery space, but rather a partially public bulletin board.
It is in this space that I wrestle a bit with boundaries. I know that sometimes, there are people who read this blog who wish to se…

On Torture and Toddlers

Okay, that title sounds bad, like in a psycho-violent sort of way. I am not referring here to acts of violence on children (which I absolutely do not support), nor am I referring to the suffering that they sometimes give us when they wake up at 4:30 to start the day (which I also do not support).

I am referencing an emotional and mental torture, the kind that one blogger puts as gaslighting. In her blog post, she makes a very strong argument for parents to stop and consider what some of our social obligations and expectations are doing to our kids. Please read her article and if you want, come back here to consider my musings.


Okay, finished reading?

I came across this article almost a week ago, and I've been chewing on it ever since. Although I don't necessarily agree with her analogy or use of the term gaslighting, her article did resonate with me, mostly because it fits with my approach to child-rearing, and because I've felt some of that weird tension that comes …

Happy Fallowe'en, 2014

I'm pretty sure that when we left for Maui less than a month ago, it still felt like summer in these parts. Then we were treated to 3 weeks of blistering hot and humid tropical weather. When we returned, half the trees on our street had already stripped themselves bare, and we needed to wear jackets and socks with our shoes again. I guess fall arrived sometime during our absence, and now it's mere days from Hallowe'en.

Usually, this is my favourite time of year. Back to school campaigns and all of the lovely memories that it conjures would inevitably lead to the Thanksgiving displays and then Hallowe'en. From that point, it's a mad rush toward Christmas and the gloriousness of that holiday season. On most Septembers and Octobers, I'm sipping my PSL's and enjoying the beautiful warm colours and crisp air of the season.

This year, however, the entire experience was somehow pre-empted, not only by our Maui trip, but by the sudden passing of our beloved grann…

Pumpkin Schmumpkin - The Halloween Scrooge

Bah hallowumbug! I am *not* gonna carve a pumpkin this year. Even if all the mommas do it, even if it makes me look like the least festive mother around, I absolutely refuse to do it again this year. I have my reasons.

1) No matter what super fancy pumpkin carving tools I purchase, it's still not sharp enough to make a nice clean cut on the pumpkin's facial features. That shell is hard, y'all. And thick. I honestly don't know how anyone does 90 degree angles on their pumpkin pictures with sharp, straight-lined precision. That's some surgeon-level skill right there. Mine always ends up looking like it belongs on those "Nailed It" Pinterest fail sites.

2) Using those carving tools is always a dangerous feat, no matter what anyone tells you. Those little blades aren't safe! (And if they are safe, they're not sharp enough to be piercing hard pumpkin shells). I'm always imagining the sharp little blade piercing through my left index finger or slici…