Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Round-Up

The Decline of Media

This week two significant journalistic gems are disappearing for good:

1.  Dispatches (CBC radio 1)

The Canadian federal government is slashing 650 jobs at CBC over 3 years, and around 250 jobs are being terminated this year.  Dispatches is an unfortunate casualty.  If you've never listened to the show, it is a show premised on long-form journalism, where correspondents are literally dispatched across the globe to find out first-hand the issues of the day.  This not only helps journalists develop, but provides an invaluable service to the public giving them a window to the world in as unbiased a fashion as possible.

The Montreal Mirror was the premier English free weekly that kept anglos connected to the culture of the city.  Something will inevitably have to fill that gap.


Yesterday we drove down to Grand Island, NY to visit my brother's family.  Henry understood that he was going to ride in a car to see Emily, his 3 year old cousin.  He had not yet met his 3 month old cousin Peter.  

Henry couldn't wait to get in the car.  He did not fuss in the car seat, and alternated saying "zoom" and "truck" for the first 10 minutes.  By 20 minutes he said "All done."  And when it did not produce the outcome desired, he started to fuss.  Fuss  fuss fuss, until "Bllurrrp"  The boy threw up on himself, mercifully sparing Mr. Pickles.  

Luckily he fit into some of the old clothes that we were bring down for Peter.

We had a grand time and the two older cousins were running around amusing themselves and clambering on the sofa. 

Henry found his old baby gym and did some bonding.  

Eating homemade popsicles.

"Playing soccer"

Touching the baby.

The next hurdle was having forgotten to bring his bottle, which he doesn't normally have during the day as he gets a sippy cup at daycare.  However, we also assumed that he would be ok skipping his nap.  

By 3:00pm he lost it and we quickly threw everything into the car and set off for home.  Henry almost instantly fell asleep.  

He woke up at the border and held it together fairly well.  

But by the time we entered the outer reaches of the city,  "Bllurrp".  He threw up again.  We stopped, cleaned him up and the car seat and then continued on with Henry in just his diaper.  

He fell asleep again and then was home.

So Mr. Henry has motion sickness, which I remember having as a child and certainly have sometimes to this day.  

I'm not sure if we had a car if he would get used to it, but thankfully for now, if we need to drive somewhere and he throws up, at least it will be a rental and someone else can do the clean-up!

Days Off

A week ago Friday, I took the day off from work to spend an extra day with Henry.  S & I agreed that we would try to take one day off a month to spend more time with him.  So in the morning we took the streetcar to Riverdale Farm where we met up with Sally and had a good run around the necropolis.  Here is Henry having a snack while staring lovingly at the tractor in front of him.

Late in the morning we met up with Uncle Tim, who arranged to also take the day off and spend time with Henry.  We ordered some take-out sushi and Henry was given the royal treatment.  

After lunch and Henry's nap, Uncle Tim, Henry & I took the bus down to Ashbridges Bay for more adventures with rocks and water.  A great day by any measure.

But by Sunday, Henry had a barking cough and ended up staying at home with daddy for 2 days.  Daddy took him to the doctor on Monday morning and discovered that he had the early stages of bronchitis.  Poor little guy spent the next 3 nights waking up every 1-2 hours coughing.  

And so did we.  

But all is now right as rain and the young Master has had his fill of more beach, rocks, wagons, cars and buses.  Goodnight lil' chap!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Music and Love

Today is Stephen's & my 9th wedding anniversary.  To celebrate, we're planning to both take a day off of work in the near future and make a day of seeing the Picasso exhibit at the AGO, and most likely have a nice lunch.  So to celebrate today, I brought home strawberries from the farmers market, and Stephen brought home a box of Berocca.

What can I say here about love and my most intimate relationship?

Love is a garden.  You must be present.  You must work and learn, improve and grow.  That is, if you are to yield the tantalizing mixture of wild and tame, bold and understated, practical and pleasurable.  

And I'm a terrible gardener, thank god it's just an analogy...right?

But truly, I have great admiration and respect for my husband, without whom I'd still be whole, still be myself, but a lesser version of me.  A flower with fewer blooms.

Here is our mini Mozart in action... Baby Einstein eat your heart out with a fork!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Flat Roofs and War

I should be in bed.  Instead, I fantasize about eating chocolate and being a skinny lounge singer.  

It is June and I'm not ready for summer.  It means I should know when my holidays are booked, where we're going on holiday, are we going on holiday?  

We are blessed with many friends and family.  How are we going to see everyone?  When am I going to relax?  

The more time I take off work, the more work I have to do when I get back.

So the balance tips, wobbles and with the help of a few good friends (or a few stiff drinks), rights itself for a moment, and the circle continues to spin.

Meanwhile, Henry grows, develops and possibly said his first full sentence at daycare today.  He has started chattering to his stuffed animals and pushing his trucks around on the floor independently.  He loves Smarties and bubbles.

There hasn't been much park playing or wagon pulling lately as we've had about as much rain as we have had sun.  

Not good for a flat roof that was shoddily built almost 10 years ago.  A couple weeks ago our neighbor informed us that we had a hole in the roof.  

Oh.  So those markings I suspected were growing on the ceiling in Henry's bedroom all winter were not just the results of a bad paint job.  

Wishful thinking.

Luckily, we had booked roofers to repair the roof before the rain started.  Saturday morning we saw our first brown stain on the ceiling in Henry's room, throwing our day into a tailspin.  Because we had signed the work order, the roofer made an emergency weekend visit to temporarily patch the roof (took 10 minutes) and the amount will simply be deducted from the original quote...no extra charge overall.  Nice.

I'm reading "The Great War for Civilization:  The Conquest of the Middle East" by Robert Fisk.  To me, this book holds the dedication, blood sweat and tears that would normally be poured into a marriage and raising a family.  Instead, this man has dedicated his life to journalism and to truly uphold the integrity of the profession.  The painstaking details must all be captured in order to present the truth in a way that combats the strongest cynics, deniers and spin-doctors.  It is a monster of a book, but a treasure that is harrowing to read.  

It reveals how utterly expendable life can be and truly how little we care in the West about anyone other than our collective selves.

Does it have to be?  

Shifting gears, I love Sinead's version of this song.