Always Come Back

There's always something to do in your own backyard, grab a Glass of Rose. I'll be here

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Little A and I spent a few days visiting my mom and dad while my husband was also out of town promoting and celebrating his short film.

I couldn’t believe how much better my mom was doing.  She’s not 100% yet but compared to a month ago there is a huge difference, I was so relieved  and proud of her progress.

Over the weekend we did regular everyday things.  It was like winning the lottery.  We enjoyed a visit to the park, watching Little A run across a field with a kite dancing behind her.  My mom tired easily but was happy to simply watch Little A play tag with her new found friends in the playground. I was happy to be sitting beside my mom laughing and chatting on a bench in the sunshine.  Little A was happy just to be near her Nana, yelling at her to “Watch this Nana” as she climbed, jumped and ran about.

We also went to our favourite place (Hello Toast) for a latte and a treat. There happened to be a street performer across the street playing and as I sat there listening to him I became absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude for all that was good at that exact moment in my life.  My mom sat down with the drinks and I jumped out of my seat, gave her a huge hug and said ” Thank you mom, for fighting so hard to get healthy” holding back tears.

Unfortunately during her dialysis run that weekend they took off too much water and warned her she may feel ill as a result over the next few days.  The last day of our visit as predicted Nana became ill.  She spent the morning in bed and moved to the couch to spend a bit time with us before we had to drive back home.

Little A climbed up on the couch to cuddle with her Nana, understanding that Nana wasn’t feeling well. Cuddles always make Nana feel better.

Cuddling with Nana

Cuddling with Nana

It was during her cuddling that Little A noticed the dialysis catheter and asked Nana what it was.  My mom said, ” Well that is where they give me medicine to make my blood cleaner”.

Little A thought for a minute then climbed off the couch.  My mom and I watched her silently wondering what she was up to.  She went over to her Doctors kit and said ,”I need one too.”  She sifted thru her play doctors bag and found what looked the most like Nana’s catheter to her.  She put it in her shirt  adjusting it so that it was sticking out a bit and would stay in while she walked around -just like her Nana.

“Look Nana, I can have clean blood too.” she said walking back and forth between us ever so proud.

I need one too

I need one too

Wowed us with her sensitivity

Wowed us with her sensitivity

She’s wowed all of us.

During our last visit when my mom was in the hospital and heavily sedated Little A walked into her room and gently patted her hand saying “It’s ok Nana, don’t worry , everything will be Ok.  Don’t Worry”.  Guess we should have listened closer to my little 3 year old.

 Honestly – how were we so blessed to have little A in our life.

Her innocence to be so what we need.

The healing power of little ones is special.


Bedtime stories

My mom read my daughter a good night story, I pretended it was being read to me.

I may have asked her every night we visited saying “her granddaughter” wanted a story.

I lied it was for me. We all cuddled under blankets with little A between us. I lay against my pillow closed my eyes and listened to like I was 5 years old

Everyone needs their mommy.



The post I never wanted to write about.

My mom has cancer…


This is the 5th time she is being forced to face this crazed opponent in an engagement.

My mom’s first comment to me after I heard the news from my brother and dad was

“Here we go again”

No one should think Cancer is routine.  When its come back time and time again, it is how you deal with it.  But still.

My stomach drops. The underlying tone of her statement is so loaded with mixed emotions.  How is that even fair that my mom must face this disease for a fifth time?  Wasn’t cervical, breast, colon and kidney enough! It has to have another go at her other kidney – seriously cancer – GFYS! Give me the burden; she doesn’t deserve it.

While I’d give anything to take this tumor from my mom I can’t.  I feel powerless, I am scared, I am mad, I am things I can’t find words for.  The tears start well up, I crush my eyes closed, Breathe in, Breathe out.  I take one more big inhale and exhale,  look up to the sky and think – We are never powerless, our courage comes from the depth of our hearts, our brains, our stomach, our nerves – We dig deep.

She is an All Star Champion.   Each time she’s stepped into the octagon previously she submitted Cancer and got the tap out.  She wears several scars as badges and is missing a few body parts due to her matches in her cancer octagon.  But She is a survivor!  That is her power.

I am her cornerman. This is my power.

I will give her that little fighters stool in the corner to sit down on, I will cool her back with ice packs and hold her up when she needs it. I’ll whisper words of empowerment, health and strength, talk about future adventures and family fun to come.  I will cry, scream, and beg if I have to.

My mom is a fighter; stronger than any woman I have met or will ever meet.  She will do the only thing you can do – look that crappy disease head on and force it into submission. She holds the power.

My Mom - Love you lots

My Mom – Love you lots

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What did she say?

I have a storyteller on my hands.  She has a great memory and will tell me about family outings from a year ago or recall parts of stories that I don’t remember reading.

Driving home the other day she says, “Daddy look dark clouds, you know what that means?”

Dad, “What’s that mean?”

With a brooding expression she replies, “A STORM is COMING!”

Took me weeks to realize it was from an Olivia book, I was impressed she could relate that part of the book with real storm clouds in the distance.

Dark Clouds Above

Dark Clouds Above

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Firelog channel please don’t go

I love the firelog channel.  I don’t have a fireplace currently but grew up with fireplaces in most of my homes and enjoying bonfires.  My mom and I would alternate standing in front of our fireplace warming ourselves or getting so hot we couldn’t stand to be in front of the crackling fire any longer.

I like the firelog channel so much a good friend bought me a DVD of the fire log and I love a quiet evening alone reading with the firelog crackling in the background.  But I mainly obsess over the firelog when it is the holiday season and I can flip to the channel for an hour here or there.

Soon that channel will be gone.  I am sad. The firelog represents near zero schedules, relaxed days, family time, I am not ready for that to end, I am not ready to get into the swing of 2013.

Nothing beats a warm fire crackling

Nothing beats a warm fire crackling

I want more holiday time.

I want casual fun days with my hubby and Little A.

I want slow mornings.

I want to wake  after 8 am and the first noise to hear to be that of my daughter calling my name, not the annoying chime of the alarm clock.

I want to sing christmas carols and listen to holiday stations.

I want mid day walks with our dog collecting chestnuts, twigs, rock and other things to give to the squirrels.

I want to hang out with my extended family, laughing and eating.

I want to share late night conversations with my husband and some great wine.

That is what the firelog means to me. It makes me physically warmer and keeps me connected to the happiness of the holidays. I will flip to the firedog a few more times throughout January to help me ease back into the full swing of the new year.

Enjoy some firedog

Happy New Year

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Beginning Advent Calendar Days

PHEW I made it.  Finished filling Little A’s special Advent Calendar just in time.

December 1 came up so quickly this year.  Times certainly does NOT stand still when you have a toddler.

My husband and I are now quietly reading while Little A sleeps, but I’m bursting inside wanting her to wake up and see the Advent Calendar.  It looks like the Advent and the Chair are ready to go too.

Advent Calendar

Advent and Chair – ready for Little A

Isn’t it beautiful.  My sister-in-law and her husband made it for Little A last year.  I was astonished when they brought it out and presented to her. I was beyond words thinking about all the time, and energy that would have gone into making this advent calendar.   Hand crafted and every box filled with homemade, personal gifts from my wonderful in-laws.  Little A’s cousins helped by making finger puppets and writing stories and other gifts.  Beyond thoughtful!  Aurora is so lucky to be loved by my extended family.  I was so very touched by this gift.

Advent Calendar

Auntie showing Little A how to look for goodies in the Advent Calendar

Little A with her cousin playing match 2 - pair of cards each a photo of family members

Little A with her cousin playing match 2 – pair of cards each a photo of family members

 Little A figuring out how to open her advent gift

Little A figuring out how to open her advent gift

Little A opening her animal flash cards

Princess Butterfly gets to open finger puppets (notice the hockey in the background. sigh)

Princess Butterfly gets to open finger puppets (notice the hockey in the background. sigh)

Quietly colouring in her handy dandy notebook after opening box number 18

I could go on and on because last year I was obsessed with taking a photo every day when Little A opened them.  This year I will still take pictures but I want to enjoy the moments not behind the lens but beside her.  With Christmases to come I hope to make better and better choices with the items I put in the advent Calendar  -the inaugural Advent Calendar bar was set very high.  While this year my gifts are all store bought, for me the point was that  I did it, I followed thru and continued the tradition, that was important to me.

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Toddler Best Pals — Watching relationships develop

As a parant you have the privilege of watching your child grow and develop into their own person.  Sure Little A is currently in the “terrible 2’s” stage but I think it is so much more than just the temper tantrums  – it is also a new stage where they begin to develop relationships with other children.

As a full time working mom I don’t get much time to do a lot of play dates on the weekends.  Now so many of my friends with kids have full weekends running to soccer, ballet or swimming on top of grocery shopping, laundry and visiting family.

Lucky us – this past weekend we had a play date with one of Little A’s friends.  Isla and Little A have known each other all their lives (hahah cracks me up) but never really did much interacting previously.

In my opinion, early infant play dates are more about mommies getting together to bond and talk about the development of their kids, the lack of sleep etc.  Their kids usually play with the toys, only noticing their playmates beside them every once in a while.  This is because at that age they can only focus at one thing at a time and out of site really is “out of site, out of mind”.

Battle of the Bounce

Battle of the Bounce


The first of many Lunch dates

Sharing Snacks .. but not hanging out yet

Sharing Snacks .. but not hanging out yet

But now in they’re 3 (Isla) and 2 1/2 (Little A). They are beginning to co-play it is absolutely entertaining to watch.

When children extend their knowledge and play experiences they move into “Associative Play”.  In this stage kids start playing together albeit in a loosey goosey fashion rather than in any organized way.

Little A is learning to play tag. Isla being a bit older knows the game well.  We spent a good part of an afternoon together at the park watching these two laugh hysterically as they chased each other all around the playground and took turns being it.

Near the end of our visit us we asked if the girls wanted to give each other hugs.  The comedy with these two never ends.   They not only hug but they hug with vigour and pizzaz! There is true passion in their friendship.  The car ride home was the loudest car ride ever, they were egging each other on on who could say silly words loudest.

An instant hug from Little A

An instant hug from Little A

Then came the love reaction from Isla

Then came the love reaction from Isla

I do believe these two will have a long friendship and continue to have many laughs for years to come.

Best of Pals for sure

Best of Pals for sure