Sunday, November 28, 2010

Innate Wisdom

Indulge me while I share yet another story about Scarlett.

She is all about labeling things these days. All females are mommies. Males are daddies. Little creatures are babies (this includes toys, animals in pictures, humans, etc.) with the big creatures being parents and either mommies or daddies. We have talked about mommies are females, and daddies are males but she still calls them mommies and daddies.

Hopefully you are following this so far.

This morning while sitting on my lap, she starting to call her left foot mommy, over and over again. I finally thought I'd play along, and said, "Your left foot is mommy?". Nods yes. Then she starts to point at her right foot and says "daddy". And goes back and forth pointing at her left foot, saying mommy, right foot, daddy.

Which may seem odd, but then I told Scott as it started to dawn on me.

The left side of our body is commonly associated with our feminine; our right side with our masculine. Our left side (right brain) is creativity, nurturing, intuition; our right side (left brain)our warrior, rational and analytical thought.

Coincidence? Just ask your kid which is the male and which is the female.

Friday, November 26, 2010


We just got back from our Friday night in Bowness (and yes, I'm writing this at precisely 7:45 pm).

Fortunately, Scarlett and I also had our hair done this afternoon, so we were ready for our big night out. (First hair cut for Scarlett!)

We decided to go for dinner at the Dell cafe-if it was open. We've been meaning to go for a few years now, but always try to go there on Sunday when it's closed. We loaded ourselves into the car and drove the block and a half to the cafe. We took the car just in case it was already closed and we need to drive to Angels.

It was open! Until 7:30 that is, so we had enough time to order and eat, with time to spare.
I had a bacon cheeseburger with soup, and Scott had Chinese-sweet and sour chicken and pork with noodles and rice. Good food.

It was fun and it is a diner-the TV was on, loads of photos on the wall, and tables and chairs circa 1970's. (plus or minus the decade). And yes, Canadian and Chinese food in case you can't decide. There is a breakfast menu on the wall, but who doesn't love that to the cynical critic I read online when I was searching for the hours. Customers actually talk to each other; or some sit alone and drink their coffee or eat their soup or fries; and the family/staff were very friendly.
To add to the evening, the staff/family/owners all sat down and ate their dinners at the table beside us. While in my head I reminisced on my one summer waitressing when we would do the same.

Then the owner appeared with this little doll and gave it to Scarlett. I swear we can't take her anywhere without her getting little gifts. (Ok, that was just in Italy.) He said it was from the Hillhurst Flea Market. Isn't she pretty? We have named her Della.
Then he came back and asked us if we were from Bowness. Of course! And he took our picture on his camera. We're not really sure why, except he made mention of the customers at the table in the corner that are writing a book on the history of Bowness.

That's our evening. Why did it take us until now to actually make it there? I've lived in Bowness since 2001.

To sum, I would recommend the Dell Cafe. If you want to meet me there, let me know. I'm just around the corner and could walk over there. If you don't know where it is-its by the Esso on Bowness Road, which is by the Bownesian Grocer, which is in the same parking lot as the Boys and Girls club, the video store, the bakery, the dollar store... See you there!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photos of our Winner from Eons ago.

Remember the blog give-away that I did months and months ago? We drew for a photo shoot with It took a while to get the photos done, but Jenny and her family, and Scott were out this weekend and snapped some family photos.

Here they are!

They're a brave bunch for enduring the -18 degree weather that we had. I think they look pretty good!

Dinner Happens

What is the quote? "Life happens when we are making other plans."?

I just realized that in our house, dinner happens while I am making... dinner?

Scarlett is a snacker-when I can get her to eat real food that is. Her afternoon snacks seems to meld into pre-dinner time dinner, until I suddenly realize that she's eaten dinner before I've even finished cooking. Such as the "meal" above. One half eaten pear that she worked on for close to an hour. Then kidney beans and sausage. By the time dinner rolled around, she just ate the rice to complete her meal.

Is this why parents sometimes feed the kids around 5 pm at night? (And not the 6:30 to 7 pm in our household.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Switch to Gratitude

Sorry to complain about the weather, but it is another of those days. Today was one dead car battery, 2 trips to and from work by 1 pm, a treck across the parking lot with a really heavy, new car battery, and -20 weather (plus wind chill of course). Gotta love it. My car is resisting the car weather. Just like its owner.

I was complaining in my head when I realized I had better change my attitude or I'd have worse to complain about. So, yes, I am grateful I have a car to drive; that I'm warm in this weather; and that we are all healthy. The house is fine with the cold weather; the office is good. I covered the basics there.

Then I let Scarlett play outside until her face was only mildly red. (And my non-snowpanted legs were just starting to cry out). It seemed to help her burn off some toddler steam.

Then we got mail! Scarlett had a late birthday present from her Auntie. I'm dying to take pictures of the book because it has the most beautiful illustrations-the book is called Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman and Pamela Zagarenski.

I tried to take photos but there is one camera with a battery that's dead, and one camera with the settings too complicated to work. (Thanks photographic husband!). So, the pictures will come later. The book and the snazzy sparkly sneakers and hair clips for Scarlett made me smile.

Today was a little reminder that things do get better when we come from a place of gratitude. Thanks for the gentle reminder and only gentle reminders please!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Snow Day

I feel suspiciously absent from my blog and I was thinking about why.

The snow is very pretty when I look out my window. Scarlett and Raven looked so cute playing in the backyard (especially Scarlett in her brand new, purple, 2 sizes too big, marshmallow snowsuit), and it does feel a little like Christmas. I even shovelled a little bit without complaining.

But an hour commute to get to work? Really? I should have declared it a snow day and let everyone who was booked in to see me, off the hook. I was anxious about driving to work in my freshly home from the auto body shop, new paint and all-car-and Scott said to just drive slowly. But 5 km/hour? I hope he didn't mean that. The winter tires will be on the car soon; we're just a little delayed by the hail repairs and our trip. (By the way, I wasn't the reason, and there appeared to be no reason aside from snow, for the 5 km/hr drive.)

I'm a little grumpy about the weather, although I like the excuse to hibernate for the moment. Until Scarlett's class in the morning, and my afternoon of work tomorrow.

Does anyone else have a hard time finishing the holiday and getting back to real life? Our jet lag is done, we've faced the weather, work is back to usual, Christmas feels like its coming soon. Maybe I need some more reminiscing about the trip still, or to help Scott with his upcoming photo book! Maybe I'll need to discover (or rediscover) the charms of this frozen city.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reality of Travel with a Toddler

I thought you may enjoy seeing some real photos of what it's like to travel with a 2 year old.

They don't cooperate for photos. Or understand why they can't explore.

They will still make shy. Even if moments before they were begging to see Pinocchio.

They run.

Dogs, puddles, and pigeons are more exciting than cathedrals or things like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

They tantrum.

And they eat all of your gelato.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 12, 2010

The places I have nursed

A rare photo of me breastfeeding.

Travelling expanded my breastfeeding experience. I have now nursed Scarlett in many more places than I ever expected:

  • In Airports
  • On Airplanes. And on Airplanes with Scarlett belted into her seat and me belted into mine.
  • On Trains. With a stranger at my elbow.
  • On a boat? (I actually can't remember if I needed to breastfeed on the vaporetto or not. Scott?).
  • In the car of course. That one wasn't new.
  • On the grounds of the Vatican.
  • Outside churches and Cathedrals.
  • In squares, piazzas, steps, and on benches.
  • At mealtime. Most memorably at dinner in Rome, at a sidewalk cafe.

Maybe that's all. And I kept watching, but I never saw any other mother nursing in public. Until I reached my seminar in Como, and another mom who was from the UK was nursing her baby.

Does that mean that they don't breastfeed or that they only breastfeed behind closed doors?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Little Worried

Is it a bad thing when your 2 year old is napping at 10:30 in the morning? (After no morning nap since spring or so?). And I meant to nap with her too, to help get through this jet lag, but I can't possibly nap this early in the day. Maybe she'll nap into the afternoon?

I've been waking up at 5:30/6 am and finding that I'm getting a lot done in the mornings. It makes me consider that I should try to keep it up after the jet lag is gone. Unfortunately, I don't think I could maintain this for long. And who can really go to bed by 9pm anyways?

Our transition home is going very smoothly. The plane brought us home on time; we both had 2 days of work and Scott is now on Day 3; laundry is mostly done; we have groceries in the house; Scarlett has diapers; I almost cleaned up my mail and email. We've even looked at the almost 2000 photos that Scott shot. And we're mainly unpacked.

I am missing my car, which appears to be held hostage at the auto body shop. We were supposed to have it back the day we arrived home, but I'm still waiting. Just a little hiccup before we're back to life as usual.

Now it looks like we should be getting ready for Christmas. The immersion into the Christmas spirit is a bit of a shock after the void of Christmas commercialism in Italy. I'll try wrapping my brain around generating some seasonal joy!

We're sad to have left Italy, but it's always nice to come home. All 5 of us are together again (that includes Sabrina and Raven who had their own holidays) muddling around and trying to find our routines again. And I'm planning more posts and photos from our trip, to come!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Tooth

If you have a sweet tooth, Italy is your place. Unless you're trying to curb the addiction. I have almost sworn off gelato, except I have a tiny fear I may never experience such perfection again!

May I list all of this foods I either loved, or wish I had more of?

Meringues. Brioches. Chocolate croissants. Pasteries with jam or with icing sugar sprinkled on top.

Espresso that requires a packet of sugar. And you should see the size of the bowl of sugar packages that I saw today at lunch-it was like a punch bowl of sugar! Scarlett has taken to dipping her finger into the half empty sugar pack, which will end tomorrow.

Candies at my seminar, fruit candies at the B&B. Cake for breakfast. Pie for breakfast. Cookies for breakfast.

Desserts. Always offered at every meal, and definitely eaten the past 5 days in Como-tiramassu, cakes, panna cotta, I can't spell any of them and no, my Italian hasn't improved.

Windows of pastry shops and chocolate or candy stores. On every other block, in addition to the bars and cafes. Of course they all look very pretty with the perfectly wrapped candy baskets, or displays of baked goods.

What happens when I leave all of this indulgence? Will I bake? Shop at our local bakery? Cut the sugar out?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Photos from Italy

We're currently en route to Como (I'm now 5 days past starting this post.) which is the last leg of our journey. Didn't I plan to write and post photos more often? Of course, but despite my best intentions, holidays and a toddler intervened!

The last few days we were in Lucca, Tuscany. We stayed in a little bed and breakfast called Casa Alba-53 steps up from the main street!

Here's the view from our room-yes, rain!

Here we are in Florence in Piazza Duomo. We did a day trip to Florence-we took the train in for about 5 euros each (so cheap!) and saw David and the Uffizi.

We also took a quick drive over to Pisa-which was fun and campy. Seeing the leaning tower for the first time is quite impressive.

Can I get any more touristy that this? I'm getting eager to see all of our photos-not just the iPhone ones...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad