Monthly Archives: February 2014

Smartie-cakes Cutie


Daughter’s favourite – FAVOURITE – activity is wrapping presents. “Presents” = anything, particularly random pieces of paper, loose office supplies, balloons or small toys.

Tonight she said (for the 4th or 5th time today), “I want to wrap some presents!”
Attempting to postpone the inevitable, I asked her what kind of present she wanted to wrap.

“A gift that happerates.”
pause …
“What kind of gift?”
“It happerates.”
“A gift that happerates …”
“Yeah, a gift that happerates. That means it makes happy all the kids that come here.”

Now, these gifts needed cards.
“What kind of card should we make?”
“One that happerates them.”

There you have it. I hope I have happerated you with this post.


Living with less


As we go through a family conversation about what we’re doing and how we want to live our lives, my spouse and I are also taking time for our favourite activity: decluttering.

Unfortunately, we’re stalled part-way through the process with piles of cardboard boxes, stacks of stuff, and half-filled give-away boxes all over. We’ve been busy, and I need a push to get to the next stage or I will have a personal melt-down over the mess.

We’ve already made some great progress. Over the past number of months we’ve got rid of bags, piles of clothes, a couple stacks of books (wow … imagine that!), a stack of towels, a box of large-size reusable diapers, and extra/ icky/ cracked dishes. We now have a bunch of things for sale on Castanet or about to be, and the progress is exciting.

Now for the next push. Inspired by this article on what to declutter, here’s what I think I will try to get rid of now:

  • Books I’m not going to read or re-read. I love having some books to pass on or “just in case” I want to look into them, but that’s not good enough anymore.
  • Office supplies we won’t use. For example, I can’t stand mechanical pencils, and we have a stack of them on our counter. Good-bye!
  • Toys. Especially because getting these put away can be hard. Probably less-popular stuffies, and ones that just don’t get pulled out. I did promise our daughter I would involve her in the process … so I’ll try and do that.
  • Things we’ve made. Yes, this is an awful statement on the value of creativity and self-sufficiency, but the mobile our daughter cut out and painted for the solstice will not be around for next year’s events. Or some of my clothing refashions that failed. Or anything else for that matter.
  • Freezer food. And all other food that has been sitting there uneaten. Some of it is edible and will be consumed, the rest is out of there. I’m looking for a clean sweep of our food supplies.
  • Paper. I need to go through our filing cabinet again and chuck or digitize whatever I can.
  • Craft & sewing supplies. If I’m not going to refashion it or use it in the next year, I don’t need to keep it around.
  • Clothes, round 157. I still have clothes in my closet that I don’t wear, and often feel like I don’t have enough clothes. Only ones I wear and love can stay. Repeat after me.

Here’s hoping for a clean, spacious space as spring arrives! Few things energize me more than a lovely space.

Bye bye, Ballet


Like all good mothers, I enrolled our daughter in ballet recently. She was so excited! Dance slippers, tutus, a dance class (no, wait: “ballet class, not dance class!”) with a teacher.

So what went wrong?

  • The teacher didn’t do enough to bring our quiet child into the classroom. She was always at back of the line or the outside the circle
  • In the first class, someone knocked her over
  • In the second class, someone knocked her over and fell on her.
  • She listened so carefully to the teacher, but the teacher didn’t give clear transitions – so our girl was left standing with her arms in the air, wondering what was happening
  • There was a lot more “princess” “tiara” and “holding up your pretty skirt and walking carefully” stuff than I was lead to expect. Very gendered and felt overly restrictive for a 3 year old
  • She only looked happy in the class when she was running around in circles, which the teacher discouraged
  • We could see her joy of life and her confidence diminishing with every moment in the class

I took her to an open gym class on Friday, and she had a great time running around. Then yesterday, I had the conversation with her that I’d been dreading:
“So you had ballet class and that was fun.”
“And we went to gymnastics, and you liked that too.”
“So dada & I were thinking of taking you out of ballet and finding a way for you to have more gymnastics classes. What do you think?”