April 2010

Yesterday, I alluded to a blog post I’d scrawled on a post-office receipt, and I suppose if I just take a second to decipher my chicken-scratch and publish it, I can stop worrying that I’m going to lose lose the damn thing! (Not that it’s a particularly inspiring blog post or anything — don’t want to get your hopes up. It’s really kind of ordinary, actually, but I liked the idea. Not that it’s not worth reading, either. I mean, um, maybe I should just get on with it?)

Anyway, ahem, I was puttering about in the car one Saturday afternoon, listening to Definitely Not the Opera on CBC Radio, and Sook Yin Lee was asking people, “if your life was a movie, what film genre would it be?”

I immediately loved this question. It took just a few seconds of considering various genres — black comedy, film noir, three-hanky drama, slasher fest, bromance or buddy pic — when I realized with a rather delightful jolt that I knew exactly what kind of film genre my life story would be: one of those John Hughes or Cameron Crowe quirky comedies.

C’mon, you know the ones — a cast of quirky but loveable *coughmisfitcough* characters, lots of snappy dialogue and smiles, moments of poignant drama, but an overall uplifting experience that leaves everyone happy and better off in the end. That’s totally how I (chose to) see my life.

What about you? If your life was a movie, what genre would it be and why?


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I have a lot of blog posts in my head, a few in my drafts folder, and one scrawled on a receipt from the post office and stuffed into my wallet. And you won’t be treated to any of them tonight because I’ve decided that rather than stay here with my nose pressed to the monitor where I would prefer to be (it’s a hell of a lot less work to just wag my fingers over the keyboard than to actually get off the couch and take care of all the things that are demanding my attention) instead I’m going to shut it down and go take the boys for an after-dinner walk.

Before I do, though, I have a quick question about my poor Lucas. We went back to the doctor today, and despite his having a clear chest and ears on Sunday, now he has an ear infection and some kind of chest infection. I wanted to ask you guys about something: the doc (not his usual) said: he has asthma caused by an allergic reaction to a virus. WTF? Not bronchitis, which is what it sounds like to me, but asthma, even though he has never had any sort of similar thing. ??? I asked if this was now a chronic condition and she kind of shrugged and said it’s the first time, we’ll have to see if and when it shows up again.

He’s got antibiotics for the ear infection, and two different puffers. Yeesh, just when you think you’ve got it all figured it, something new to contend with.

Anyway, your puffer and asthma and “allergic reaction to a virus” stories are welcome. Thanks!


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If you’ve been around for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Cooper and Emily, creators of the blog Been There and the online community called “The Motherhood“. Now, this spectacular duo and their labour of love have been nominated for a (squeeee!!) Webby Award, and I need you to vote for them!

I’ve blogged about The Motherhood and my undying affection and admiration for Cooper and Emily before. In fact, what I wrote three years ago when The Motherhood was launched is still as true and fresh as the day I wrote it:

I first “met” Cooper and Emily through their blog Been There in early 2005. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in the summer of 2005, Cooper and Emily set up a clearing house where people who wanted to help could connect with people in need, and I was in awe of the power of two mom bloggers to make a real and concrete difference in the lives of people in devastating circumstances.

In the subsequent years, Cooper and Emily have raised awareness about (and even serve on the executive committee of) Moms Rising.org, and have recently spearheaded the BlogHer’s Act, a “year-long initiative to harness the incredible power of women online.” And they’ve even inspired a Canadian version.

As if being in the centre of all this hasn’t been amazing and incredible and enough to exhaust an entire cabal of bloggers, there is more! After more than a year of hard work, they’ve just launched another pet project, “The MotherHood.”


What is The MotherHood? In Cooper and Emily’s own words: “We asked ourselves — what if we built a big, beautiful tent where mothers can find, share and talk about all the interesting, hilarious, intriguing, inspiring, mobilizing, good stuff on the web, and, more importantly, find each other? And, with that, the heart and soul of The Motherhood was born.” There are link lists, discussion groups, favourite blogs, and much more on the way. It’s a great concept, and I know with Cooper and Emily behind it, it will be a wonderful place to hang out online.

Not only do I love and admire Cooper and Emily, but I’m simply dazzled by them. And more importantly, I’m inspired by them. All modesty aside, even this simple little blog can be a tool for change, and I can start – in my own small ways – making a difference.

Apparently I’m not the only ones who think Cooper and Emily are doing an amazing job of making the world a better place, because The Motherhood has been nominated for a Webby! How cool is that? A Webby is like the Oscars of the Internet — that’s the big time, peeps, and I’m dazzled to know someone who has been nominated.

The voting ends tomorrow, and I’m making a special appeal to you. First of all, if you haven’t already, go check out the new and improved Motherhood. More importantly, though, could you please take a moment to register and vote for The Motherhood in the Webby Awards?

Voting for Cooper and Emily is not just a nod of appreciation to two girls who have worked their collective butts off to make our corner of the Internet a better place. It’s a vote to tell the world that you have confidence in an Internet that is collaborative, inclusive and creative — all the things embodied in The Motherhood. I support Emily and Cooper’s work with my whole heart, and I think you should, too!


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Before I do the big reveal and tell you who won the set of two TOON books for beginning readers, I have to take a moment to tell you all how much I enjoyed reading your comments about your favourite childhood books! Some of those books I haven’t thought about in years — Ramona Quimby! How awesome was that? And the Bobsey Twins? Great stuff!

Congratulations to (Gliding?) Lara of Mommy for Lara (and recently many other places on the Web!), you won the set of TOON books for beginning readers! Yay!

In case you missed it, Ngoc of TOON books posted a comment on the blog a few days ago and mentioned this:

Also, ‘Benny and Penny’ author Geoffrey Hayes will be launching his interactive blog with the mice characters. The blog allows kids to color, arrange a story, and write dialogue for Benny and Penny. You can check it out on the TOON Books website next week.

Oh, and a few of you asked about availability in Canada — they all seem to be in the $10 to $15 range on chapters.ca. Thanks to Rebecca and Ngoc of TOON books for the wonderful books and the great giveaway!

Stay tuned, I’ve got another excellent giveaway for my bloggy peeps next week!


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Okay, bloggy peeps — time to check in with your push-up progress! I’m so tickled to see another handful of brave souls have joined the challenge. *waves to Liisa and Shannon and Ingrid and Andrea and Brenda and maybe Lynn, too*

So here’s my confession for the week: I only barely made it to Week 3. I didn’t realize until this week that there’s a test (a test!) every two weeks, and if you can’t make the minimum threshold then you are supposed to go back and re-do the previous week or two. I’ve been using the iPod app to track my progress, and when I switched it on to begin Week 3 last night, it told me I should do an exhaustion test — that is, do as many push-ups in a row as I could.

On the one hand, I was pretty pleased that I could do 16 good-form push-ups in a row. (Remember, less than a month ago I could do only one!) On the other hand, I only barely made it into Week 3 — the app and the web site both suggest that you progress with Week 3 only if you can do more than 15 push-ups in your exhaustion test.

And exhausted is right! As soon as I finished the exhaustion test and figured out where I was supposed to be, I tried to go ahead with the Week 3 Day 1 program of 10, 12, 7, 7 and 9 push-ups and could barely squeak out a set of 8 before collapsing in a quivering heap on the carpet. So I’m officially starting Week 3 tonight with a fresh run at it.

How are y’all doing? Making progress? I took a peek ahead, and I may be stuck in Weeks 3 and 4 for quite some time — you’re supposed to be able to do a minimum of 30 in a row (!!) before you progress to Week 5. This may be a longer six weeks than I thought!!


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Wow, it looks like a lot of people are as excited about the new Ottawa water park as I am! Thanks to all of you who entered, and for your comments on the sneak peek pictures. It looks like so much fun, doesn’t it?

Congratulations to day pass winners Holly Stardom and Kathleen Priestman. Yay! I’ll send you an e-mail for your addresses, and the passes will be in the mail this week.

Thanks to Calypso Water Park for the sneak peek and the free passes. You’ll be seeing a lot of us this summer!

(Hey y’all, how about a bloggy picnic at the water park some time this summer? Wouldn’t that be fun??)

There is still one giveaway for TOON books going on, and tune in next week for yet another awesome giveaway — you’ll love this one!

Edited to add: looking for more information about Calypso? You can read about our visit to Calypso park the first week it opened. Fun! And check my “Ottawa Family Fun” archives for more suggestions on great things to see and do in Ottawa!


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In which her two-year-old reminds her of the important things in life

25 April 2010 Lucas

Lucas has been sick for a couple of days now — fever, snot, cough, and holding his ears on and off. He’s been getting worse instead of better, and fearing ear infections or other bacterial infections, I made an appointment with the on-call ped today. Even though he has not previously had any problems with […]

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Book giveaway – TOON comics for beginning readers

24 April 2010 Books

Back in December 2008, I blogged about a set of books I’d been offered by TOON Books. Back then, I was enamoured by the concept of TOON books, and even more impressed by the product themselves. Here’s what I said back then: They sent us three books: Jack and the Box, Mo and Jo, and […]

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Calypso water park sneak peek and giveaway!!

21 April 2010 Ottawa Family Fun

Are you ready? Less than 50 days remain until Ottawa’s hottest summer ticket opens: the Calypso Water Park east of Ottawa near Limoges. We’ve been waiting (im)patiently for more than two years for this park to open — did you know it will be Canada’s largest water park? And on a warm day late in […]

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The 100 Push-ups Challenge – Week 2

20 April 2010 It IS all about me

Well, this push-up thing has taken on a life of its own — as seems to be the case in an alarming number of things in my life! What started out as a poorly formed idea to be able to do *some* proper, full-body push-ups, with perhaps the capability to do some unspecified amount of […]

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