Archive for June, 2009

Today I cried with happiness because my boys were accepted into the University of Calgary day care. That might seem a bit of an extreme reaction, but Dair has been on the waiting list since he was 6 months old, so for almost 3.5 years.  As it happens, the universe was looking out for me with that one – until now I couldn’t have afforded to pay for the heinously expensive program, nor would I have been content to put the boys in care for so long each week until the ages they’re now at.

I am really feeling like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders tonight. The childcare we had this past winter was very far from ideal (and in fact once we were no longer there we found out that they slap their chidren, often in front of our boys!). I thought I had found a better solution in the dayhome we trialed in June, but unfortunately they were not emotionally prepared to deal with the developmental stage Dair is at, nor provide the comforting care Mackie needs. I know that there will be hiccups with the Daycare as well, but at least there I know I’ll be dealing with trained impartial professionals. I’ll also be paying through the nose, so I’ll have no qualms bringing up the slightest concern!

It’s funny though, how one solution always leads to another question. Now I am wondering about our plans for the future. I can’t afford the childcare without my TA salary, and I can’t afford to lose our spot by taking the boys out for a year while I have a baby. So Rockbaby #3 is going to have to wait a while, and that brings with it a whole host of other questions.

But the point is that despite my irritation at waiting so very, very long on the list, it worked out exactly when I needed it and could manage it. So thank you very much, universe.


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The other day I was explaining the boys’ middle names to my sister-in-law and I mentioned that if we have a third boy someday I’m going to have to go farther afield to find appropriate namesakes as we’ve used up the immediate grandpas and great grandpas. The conversation got me thinking about the many men whose lines led to mine and how little we often know of the actual people our ancestors were. If we’re lucky we know their names, even luckier and we know a few details about where they were from and what they did for a living.  In my family we are blessed with a journal written by my maternal grandmother’s paternal grandmother (got that?!) and I adore reading it and thinking about her as an actual person rather than just a name and some dates. Yet in most families even 2 generations and the personalities begin to fade – how many of us really know what our great-grandparents were like? Stories and spoken anecdotes may keep them alive to some degree of course. But step out another generation, to your great great grandparents and is there anything left of the gentle man who loved to watch the leaves change and teach children to play the fiddle, or the bright strident woman who had a place for everything and a sharp word for any misdemeanour? Rarely.

How different it will be for our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our generation inundates itself with details about our daily lives, our thoughts and opinions, the minutiae of our emotions. My great grandkids, were they to find BNABBT archives, would be able to read about nursing sores on my nipples and my opinions on an eighteen year old’s facial tattoos. And yet I find it rather unlikely that they would want to know those things. The information we put out there about ourselves these days isn’t like an old journal where personality is distilled by consistent phrases and a particular was of recording facts. It’s a life in entirety, and it would be as difficult to get to know the essential person behind it all as it is to get to know someone in real life. I wonder whether our grandchildren will bother to try, or if they’ll prefer the anecdotes.

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Bees and Bounce

Today my mom’s friend Judy sent her a link about all the possible uses for Bounce (the dryer sheets). Among them was the ability to repell bees and wasps if worn on your person. Sounds good, right?

Until you start thinking about why it repells them. Those chemicals which stop your clothes from clinging together keep the pollinators away. (They also cause nasty rashes on my legs when sprayed on directly. Gross). I’ve been told before about the purported evils of dryer sheets, and I dutifully bought dryer balls which worked reasonably but not fantastically well until they split in half about 2 months later. I guiltily went back to using dryer sheets (and trying not to breathe in when I rip them in thirds) – scent free, of course. Today’s link kicked my butt to buy dryer balls again.

I find it exhausting trying to keep up with all of the good, clean, un-chemical-y, environmentally friendly ways to live.  I do it because I don’t want cancer (and more importantly don’t want my boys to get sick) and because I want the world to be at least as beautiful and liveable for my boys when they’re grown as it has been for me. The City of Calgary helped me out by starting a door-to-door recycling program, replacing my half-hearted attempts to make it to the giant recycling bins every few weeks months. I don’t heat anything in plastic, we drink from stainless steel water bottles, we eat organic when we can manage it. And every time I feel like I’m getting a handle on it, something new (or something I’ve relegated to the back of my mind, like in this case!) comes along.

So my first thought when I read about the Bounce was “Oh no. Now I have to get drier balls”. As in, “I can’t believe I have another thing to think about”. But after thinking it over, I’ve come back to the conclusion I almost always do come to. So what if it’s a minor inconvenience? So what if it takes more effort? It might be a new or different way of doing things, but if I do it not only will my family be healthier as a whole, but  for my boys it will be the normal, straightforward way, and their lives will be better for it. Or at least they’ll only have their own list of “oh no, that too?!!” to deal with!

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Hello world!

I think I’ll try my hand at this. I imagine I’ll be good at updating often for short periods. I do have some discussions in mind already, so there will be at least 3 entries!

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