December 2008

2008: a meme of review

by DaniGirl on December 31, 2008 · 7 comments

in Memes

It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to do this end-of-year meme. It’s not as lovely in narrative flow as last year’s seemed to be, but then again, this was a kind of disjointed year, from a bloggy perspective. A lovely, full, hectic, but ultimately wonderful year. It’s hard to imagine that this time last year, we were still a family of four, waiting (im)patiently for the Player to be Named Later to make his big entrance. So, for the sake of tradition, here it is: the first line of the first post of every month in 2008.

  1. Those of you who know me well know I don’t usually bother with resolutions.
  2. Okay, I admit it: it’s been fun dragging y’all along on this crazy ride with us.
  3. The boys laughed uproariously when we watched a preview of Mr Bean’s Holiday at the theatre, so Beloved thought it would be a good Sunday-afternoon family movie to rent.
  4. Lucas and Tristan have had a lot in common.
  5. We’ve talked about circumcision and strollers, breast and bottle, slings and baby carriers.
  6. Sorry about the downtime.
  7. It was one of the hottest days I can remember, the steamy tropically oppressive kind of heat that reminds me of my childhood summers in Southern Ontario.
  8. It seems mildly ridiculous to me that I have three strollers and yet am shopping for another.
  9. You know how when you don’t have kids, and especially if you go through a period when you’re not sure that it will ever happen, you have these images in your head of what life with your kids will be like?
  10. Not a day goes by that I am not amazed by the simple fact of their love for each other.
  11. With Halloween barely put to bed (with a sore belly from all that candy, no doubt) we’ve nary the time for a breath of air before the season of Santa Claus parades is upon us.
  12. Uh oh. Cue REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

Happy New Year to all of you who have taken a moment to read, to eavesdrop, and especially to contribute to the chatter around here. I wish all of you a new year filled with joy, laughter, and wishes fulfilled!


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I’ve been trying to get to the computer to write this post for a few days, but we’re having a very social and very sleepless holiday over here. It’s an, um, interesting combination!

This Christmas, there were only a few things I asked for. One was one of those organizational calendars with separate spaces for the whole family. (Thanks, Mom!) One was the Twilight series of books by Stephanie Meyer. (Thanks, Beloved!) (Ahem, and yet another reason the blogging has been sporadic. Review pending, but damn, I’m seriously hooked!) And one was an inexpensive little point-and-shoot digital camera that I could comfortably tuck into my pocket or bag to carry around with me. You know I adore my Nikon D40, and it takes glorious photos. But it’s pretty bulky, and when my arms are often already juggling a baby and who knows what else, it’s sometimes a bit of a pain to lug around with me. Plus, I wanted something I could take to the beach or the park, or out in less than favourable weather, without having to worry about protecting it.

Anyway, colour me spoiled, I know, but I got exactly what I asked for. Beloved got me a lovely little Canon PowerShot A470, and he even got me a Canon photo printer in matching pink. Does he rock or what?

I loved it, it was perfect and exactly what I asked for, but yesterday I took it back to the store. How’s this for ironic? On Christmas Eve morning, at about 10:30, I checked my e-mail and found a note from Kate, of the blog My Name is Kate. (Great Canadian social media and marketing blog, if you haven’t been over there. One of my favourites!) Kate had been running a contest to win aFuji Finepix S2000HD, a fancy-assed high-end point-and-shoot with HD still and video capability. To enter the draw, she had commenters leave a note with their favourite Christmas song. She said for 10 chances to win, upload a video somewhere on the interwebs of you singing that song. Well, it seems unfair to subject anyone to me singing anything anywhere for any reason, so I decided to exploit my children instead, and uploaded this tiny clip of the three of them singing a bit of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I won!

Who would have guessed that winning a free, way-cool digital camera could make me feel so uncomfortable? I had an idea that Beloved had got the camera for me, as he can’t keep a secret to save his life (smooch) but he wouldn’t confirm or deny until I opened the box Christmas Eve. I waffled for a while, sentimentalist that I am, but in the end we decided to take back the Canon mostly because it doesn’t have the video capability that the Fuji does (and if you peek at the video I uploaded of the boys singing, you can see that my little flash camcorder doesn’t do much of a job on that, either.)

So I’ve got a quick question for y’all: do you have one of those dedicated photo printers, and do you find it’s worthwhile? Beloved and I are debating whether to keep or return the printer (it was part of a package with the Canon) and whether it’s more cost-effective to just print the photos at Loblaws for 20 cents each or if it’s still cheaper to do it at home, once you factor in the cost of paper and ink. And any thoughts on quality would also be appreciated!


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Congratulations to Holly of Humpty Dumpty House, the big winner of the $25 gift certificate from CanadaHelps.org. Sometimes it pays to be number two!

(And this time, I double checked to make sure I had the right commenter. Twice!)

Thanks to CanadaHelps.org for sponsoring this contest, and thanks to all of you who shared comments of people who made a difference in your day, or in your life. Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to turn around someone’s day with a simple act of kindness?


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Don’t even ask where I ran the cord from

by DaniGirl on December 29, 2008 · 7 comments

in Ah, me boys

The boys are engaged in an ongoing battle of one-upmanship. Whatever one can do, the other can do better.

A snippet of conversation from today:

Tristan: “Yeah, well, I know more Pokémon characters than you do!”

Simon: “No you don’t!”

Tristan: “Yes I do!”

**fast forward through six rounds of “No you don’t!”/”Yes I do!”**

Simon: “I’ve been watching Pokémon longer than you!”

Tristan: “No you haven’t. I’m older, I’ve been watching Pokémon longer than you!”

Simon: “No you haven’t. I’ve been watching Pokémon since I was in mommy’s belly!”

Beloved, after the laughter of grownups subsides: “Sheesh, you didn’t tell me you had cable in there. No wonder they were all so reluctant to come out!”


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I’ve got a couple of posts to share with you, neither of which is quite ready for public consumption. But I got an email last night about another great giveaway for me to share with you, and I wanted to post about it right away.

Let me tell you about CanadaHelps.org, a registered Canadian charity that helps other Canadian charities by acting as a portal website, fostering giving by making it easy for donors to find Canadian charities and make a donation online.

They are the first and only registered charity that makes giving to your favourite charities easy with secure tools for donating via credit card, gift card or even stocks and mutual funds. With CanadaHelps, it’s easy to find a cause you’re passionate about by searching the 83,000 Canadian charities. Here’s some information from their website:

For donors, CanadaHelps.org simplifies the donating process, making it easy, quick and secure. On any pages where you share personal information or perform financial transactions, CanadaHelps.org encrypts your data using Secure Socket Layers (SSL), allowing you to send and receive information without the worry of having it intercepted. Put simply, donors go online, select as many charities as they wish, make their donation and receive a tax receipt for each donation immediately.

For charities, CanadaHelps.org provides a cost effective alternative to setting up their own online donations facilities: there is no set up fee, no annual charges and charities receive immediate notification when a donation is received. Charities are only charged when a donation is actually made, thereby ensuring a charity is not paying for a service that is not being used.

Recognizing the benefits of online giving to both donors and charities, CanadaHelps launched its first website in 2000. Today, more than five years later, CanadaHelps facilitates over $10 million in donations to Canadian charities annually.

I wish I’d known about this before Christmas. This year, instead of teacher gifts we donated a backpack full of school supplies to a Canadian child in need in the name of each of the boys’ teachers through WorldVision. A gift card from CanadaHelps would have been another excellent way to share the gift of giving.

And now, thanks to CanadaHelps.org, I have a $25 charitable gift card to share with you. Leave me a comment telling me about a time someone made a difference in your life — big or small — and I’ll enter your name in a random draw for the $25 gift card. You’ll be able to use the gift card on the CanadaHelps.org site to make a donation to a Canadian charity of your choice. They were kind enough to offer a CanadaHelps gift card for me, too. Isn’t that great? They give to us, I give to you, and we each give to our favourite charities through CanadaHelps.org. Contest closes end of day on Monday, December 29. FYI, the deadline for making a donation that will be deductible on your 2008 income tax return is December 31 of this year. You can get more information about donations and tax deductions on the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Note: If you win, I’ll need your full name and e-mail address, which will be given to CanadaHelps.org solely for the purposes of sending you the gift card.


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Christmas 2008


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A Christmas Traditions Meme

21 December 2008 Happy holidays

I was stuck in traffic recently (please let this ridiculous transit strike end soon!) and this meme presented itself to me. Most of it was originally scribbled on the back of a coupon for dog food, braced on the steering wheel of the car while Lucas snoozed in the car seat behind me. Feel free […]

16 comments Read the full article →

iTunes winner!

19 December 2008 Reviews, promotions and giveaways

Hooray! We have a winner for the iTunes gift card! Congratulations to the tenth commenter on the original post, Madeleine!!! (Bonus points for her 80s reference, and for the cost-saving tip that you can buy gift cards at Costco for less than their face value. I had no idea!!) Thanks to iTunes Canada and their […]

4 comments Read the full article →

On public service, partisanship and social media

19 December 2008 Meta-blogging

Let’s say I have a hypothetical friend. She’s a lot like me, but let me stress this — she’s not me. We have a lot in common, though. We both view our jobs with the public service as something of a noble calling and a privilege to serve Canadians. She is such an amazing boss […]

15 comments Read the full article →

Do you have the time?

18 December 2008 It IS all about me

Of all the things about having a baby in the house, I think the thing that has been the toughest is the intensity of it — the absolute lack of time for anything that isn’t caring for the baby, or making dinner, or doing laundry, or tidying up, or somehow caring for the bigger boys. […]

11 comments Read the full article →