Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Busy Week!

All right, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Henry now seems to be officially over his cold. He has slept through the night again the past couple of nights. Which I appreciate since this week has been down-right busy.

Monday: Henry's 6 month check-up & shots. He is now 20lbs and is in the top percentage of length and weight. His head circumference is off the chart at 47cm. His eyes, teeth, ears are all fine and he's been given the ok to try most any food except for egg whites, nuts and honey. But still stick to purees for the next month.

Tuesday: We ran errands and chilled out in the coffee-shop.

Wednesday: Basement was torn apart. Here's the before and after photos:

The work should be completed by tomorrow at 5pm. We walked down to the beaches to get away from the noisy jack-hammering. It was lovely and sunny and around 5 degrees. We had lunch down there which was a nice change.

The workmen discovered that the floor in S's basement office was raised not because it was insulated, but because water had previously been seeping in. The genius solution employed by the previous owners/workmen was to drill holes in the concrete so that the water would drain out. But as was explained to me and should be obvious nevertheless, water can just as easily come right back up. So they found mould, took it away, and are fixing the problem by sealing up the floor, installing drain pipes and a sump pump. There is a fine layer of dust over the whole basement and main floor. Nothing like cement dust to jump-start that spring clean!

Thursday: More avoiding of the workmen in the morning. And then we are going to the daycare in the afternoon for orientation.

Friday: We go back to the doctor's office to get my ultrasound results. I may have a hernia from the c-section. We'll find out, all this and more! Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mommy Brain

I need to get a manicure. People judge you by your nails.

How do other women avoid raggedy hands? Dish gloves? Vaseline underneath cotton gloves at night?


Henry is going to need a lunch box. Do I need to start recording his food? Does he need a cute little spiral notebook? How are they going to feed him at daycare? In a high chair? How many bibs to pack? Will he care that it's different from home? Perhaps not.


I can't think. My brain is like white noise.

Instead of typing this I should be dusting.

I can NOT read another book this coming week, I get obsessive and forget to cook and clean.

No more scones! No chocolate cookies! I need to go clothes shopping.

Shall I go to bed early tonight (9pm) or stay up and read the newspaper?


The choices I made as a teenager were informed by the constraints of my personality and experience at the time. Could I have done anything differently? Would I want to do anything differently? What are my regrets?


Spring (i.e. warm weather) will be here soon. I must learn how to grow food by reading a book.


Where can I get cheap iron patio furniture?

I must sterilize Henry's bottles.

Looks like I'll never scrape the paint splatter off the floor like I had planned to do with my maternity leave.

How will I spend my final week with Henry?

When will I ever learn to appreciate classical music and wine?

Is it really bad to smoke one or two cigarettes here and there?

I should leave my yoga mat on the floor to remind me to stretch. But then it would get dirty.


I really have a very good life if these are my disjointed thoughts. Why are some people not satisfied with enough?

There will be an election in Canada soon. I vote to reject the entire system. Especially the corporate culture part. Nothing wrong with corporate culture within the corporate world so long as it does not extend into the public and private and social spheres. Too late?

I am one of these fools who would reject wealth in order to pursue art and self-actualization. Why do people make fun of this?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To Every Season Learn, Learn, Learn

Henry will start daycare officially 18th April. He will be exactly 7 months old.

We will have spent 7 intense and formative months together, forgoing the last possible 5.

I've been preparing for this possibility so it does not come as a shock. Instead, it is a wake-up call. My little boy slips through my fingers ever so slowly. I thought that I could hold onto him until I was ready to move on.

Life moves on whether we are ready or not.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Today Henry is six months old. Hitting this milestone has helped to pull me up out of my funky routine.

Six months old means a few things to me. Henry is now officially allowed to eat solids and will continue to eat a wider variety of foods. Some of his next milestones will be to crawl or more probably stand and teeter. He will start forming basic words or sounds. And then his 1st birthday. Little birdy is learning to fly. This leaves me feeling a mixture of joy, sadness and pride.

Six months also means that he could be whisked to daycare at any time. We are currently playing phone tag with the daycare as they called yesterday.

Having recently been getting tired of being at home, I am now reminded to cherish every minute again. And it being warm outside will help for us both to enjoy each day.

Another milestone will be celebrated this evening, Emily (Henry's cousin), is turning 2 years old. We're having a party at our house this evening with my dad, brothers and aunt and uncle.

Last week we celebrated my mother in law's 65th birthday which was very special.

I am notoriously bad at wrapping. But the birthday girl dealt with a cardboard box and scarves as wrapping paper with aplomb.

And I'm looking towards my own milestone of turning 30 in about 4 months.

This is the stuff of life. Milestones that force us to reflect on where we are, who we've become and what our hopes are for the future. And I feel very fortunate to have friends and family around to mark these occasions with.

And here is the little bird with one of his latest tricks:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


My head is a jumble. Somehow I've got too much going on and yet I feel like I'm doing so little.

Thoughts are eclipsed by the massive crisis in Japan and in the Middle East.

And yet, I don't know how to affect change in my local neighborhood, or possibly just lack the confidence.

So life ticks on.

I've joined the church choir which I quite enjoy.

Lots of family events this and next month. Lots of friends to see too...but where's the time?

In other news, we have to repair the water seeping up through the foundation wall.

Dishonest contractors I revile. I was told the only way to fix the basement was to spend $20K digging up the side of the house & replacing the waterproofing. "Don't worry, you just think you don't have the money." Thanks.

Then the second contractor, part of a large American company, says they can work from the inside, install a sump-pump and drainage pipes all for $6K AND they will tear out and replace the drywall that he noticed was soaked.

Thanks contractor #1 for wanting to charge us 3.5 times more, spend 3 times as much time, interrupting our neighbours lives and after all is said and done, leaving us with soggy drywall and mould in the basement.

Work takes place for 2 days at the end of the month.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Henry Bonanza


The day starts at 6:00 with a diaper change, a bottle and then sitting in the kitchen watching mummy prepare breakfast.

Henry needs a coffee just about as much as his parents.

Then at 7:00am daddy wakes up and plods downstairs to make his breakfast. At which time Henry has already eaten some apple or banana and perhaps taken a turn in the Jumparoo. Usually daddy takes the occasion of breakfast to do a little Henry-holding.

After these pleasantries, Henry can expect to get dressed and have his face washed.

We have a set routine since about the 1st month for washing his face.

Then its time to check emails, Skype or play!

After a while it's time to change his diaper...

After Henry goes down for a nap, I quickly touch base with the house. Then, Uncle Josh came over for a visit. When Henry woke up there were two faces peering into his crib!

We then had to bustle to Canadian Tire in Josh's car to get another dehumidifier for the basement (see future Homeowners blog entry).

We then had lunch: me quiche, Henry, avocado.

Usually, we would try to get out in the afternoon, but it was both raining and snowing yesterday. YUCK!

So we stayed indoors and played. Sometimes, mommy got tired and played Wii and surfed the net.

And after 4 hours, I thought surely Henry's ready for a nap now! But nope, wide awake... so we play.

Finally Henry does nap for 45 min. Daddy is coming home late so I feed Henry some sweet potato, give him a bath and put him to bed. Henry wakes up at 8:30 and then at 9:30 crying, probably gas. Mommy collapses into bed.


Playing in his crib this morning.

The next video is from a couple of weeks ago.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Value of a Human Life

What an enormous idea to be contained in only six words.

This idea is often further reduced into numbers. 10s, 100s, 1000s, 1,000,000s... this is even more efficient than those six words.

"The value of a human life" is not a complete sentence. There needs to be a verb. And the verb invariably is "to be".

The value of a human life IS xxxxxxx.


What IS the value of a human life?


The value of a human life IS not the same from country to country.


The value of a human life IS universal.

There is not just one way to approach answering the question. One can talk about human life in terms of monetary worth or spiritual worth or simply the emotional worth a person has to others.

The approach to the question that I wish to take right now is, why does it seem that Western lives are more important than everyone else's?

I am following this line of thought after reading the book The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover. A friend of mine shoved it into my hands upon learning I had not read it. It has an Oprah Book Club sticker on the front. I try to steer clear. But I trust my friend's literary taste amongst other things and so quickly devoured the novel (my jigsaw substitute).

For those of you who have read the novel, you will understand immediately why I'm asking the question about human life.

For those of you who have not read the novel, without giving anything away, here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the Democratic Republic of Congo:

"Although citizens of the DRC are among the poorest in the world, having the second lowest nominal GDP per capita, the Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$ 24 trillion.[8][9][10] This is the equivalent of the gross domestic product of the United States of America and Europe combined."

Did you know this?

This simple fact illustrates perfectly how human lives have been reduced to mere numbers in order to benefit those with more power and crave material wealth.

How do we even being to start redressing the balance?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

As promised, I am highlighting the 2010 Nobel Prize winners throughout the year and I purposely gave myself a year to do this!

This entry is dedicated to the three men who were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry:

Richard F. Heck
Ei-ichi Negishi (love the name)
Akira Suzuki

These gentlemen (where are the female chemists?), yes, these gentlemen developed "palladium-catalyzed cross coupling."

That should be pretty self-explanatory n'est pas?

So here's what I understand about what this means:

What's so great: This allows scientists to develop new drugs and electronics, among other things, by facilitating more efficient linking of carbon atoms.

What's cross-coupling: a catch-all term for reactions in chemistry when two hydrocarbon fragments are coupled with the aid of a metal catalyst supported by suitable ligands. If you want to know more about this, click here.

Some background details: This discovery is simply a tool. It is a tool for chemists to more effectively create more sophisticated chemicals, using carbon. Carbon, as you may recall from school, is the basis of life. It is a very stable element and therefore difficult to manipulate. Examples of carbon in nature is colour in flowers, snake poison and the bacteria used in penicillin. Chemists have taken carbon and built new compounds that become items such as medicines and plastics. Previously, chemists working with carbon have found it difficult to turn it into anything very sophisticated without a lot of unwanted bi-products. But now with this method of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling, it is much easier and more efficient for chemists to work with carbon.

I used this link to obtain most of the above information.

That is just enough science to make me dizzy!