Monday, April 25, 2016

We're nearing the end...

Today we watched some old home movies; from back in 2000. I couldn't help but notice my baby girl Roma in the videos...so robust and playful. Full of energy and mischief.
It's hard to believe we've been blessed with nearly 17 years with this beautiful girl. Quite a life for a Labrador Retriever. 
She's so ingrained in our lives that I don't know life without her. 
I had just turned 22 when we took her home; a baby myself. 
Waching these home movies, she's a fixture in them all. She is in the background either walking around or laying on the floor...she's everywhere.  The backdrop of our life.  
Her water bowl stands by our backdoor. Her bed tucks neatly near the living room wall. Her pee has stained our grass in the front yard.  Her hair relentlessly travels throughout the house.
What will we do when she's not here?
I'm dreading that day with every fiber of my being. 
I know it's drawing close. 
Her days are spent sleeping.
She walks with a distinct limp.
She wears a diaper. 
She's not the same dog we once knew. 
But are any of we, as we age? 
Am I the same as I was at 22? Of course not. 
I look different. I act different. I think different. I am different. 
We can expect no less of our pets as they age. 
We're lucky at times to get glimpse of the old Roma, especially when there's food around. 
She's definitely still a Lab. 
As the days creep closer to the inevitable end, I'm trying so hard to enjoy the now. 
Her eyes. Her soft fur. Her presence. 
God knows I'll miss her more than ever. 
Not too sure how I'll go on without her.
 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why So Many Single People?

I have no idea why but there's been a pressing issue weighing on my mind. I've been thinking about this blog post for a couple of days, and contemplating if I should even write it. It may offend or strike a chord with some people. But I figured, this is my platform and my freedom to share my thoughts!
Here is the question: Why are there so many single people? And to add to that, why are people holding off on marriage and children? 
I feel it is a real epidemic...singletons. 
My theories are threefold:
First, I think chivalry has been lost in our society. Young men are just not being assertive and gentlemen-like.  Gone are the days of men wooing women and pursuing them in a noble fashion. With feminism being so up, front and centre, perhaps males are shying away or feeling inferior? My other thought is that they're not encouraged to be gallant anymore. They themselves were coddled and attended to and therefore don't have the courage or desire to be honourable towards the opposite sex. Instead of approaching a woman face to face...they're on their computer typing out their bio for a dating site or superficially judging a girl from her picture. What is going on? Do these young people have no social skills anymore? Breaking up via text? You can't get more impersonal than that.
My second idea is that young people are living in a very narcissistic age. With selfies and likes and duck lips etc... Everyone is focused on themselves. How could they possibly put someone ahead of themselves? Love is being selfless and I truly believe this generation lacks this. They don't know how to put their needs aside for someone else. This may be why so many relationships fail. What can you do for me is the ultimate question they ask of one another! 
My final premise is cohabitation has led to many couples deterring from commitment and ultimately marriage. If we don't get married then we have an easy out if things don't work. Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? 
Gone are the days of a lady demure who would take nothing less than a ring on her finger before she would live with her partner. My grandmother was a prime example of this...she dated my grandfather for 7 long years while he was in the war. When he came to Canada and said for her to follow...she refused till he agreed to marry her. She would not leave her family or her country till she had the ultimate commitment; marriage. So they were married by proxy just prior to her arriving here. Now that's what I call feminism!  Expecting nothing less than to be treated like a lady. And she spent her life serving him whether it be cooking his meals or cleaning their home. She was selfless in her acts of love for him and he treated her like a queen! He always reminded me that she was his queen. And he worked hard for her in return. What great examples they were to all of us! 
I've promised myself to raise my boys to be gentlemen. To be strong, confident and capable men that will be able to provide for their future family. I will also raise my daughter to have self-confidence and to recognize when a man is being honourable and courteous.
These are just my thoughts and observations. My intention is not to offend anyone or to make anyone feel bad. We all have a freedom to choose what we want out of life and my hope is that we choose to serve others and remember marriage and family is a beautiful thing. Let's not forget that!
.
 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Letter to My Son...

Tomorrow you turn 8! EIGHT...I cannot believe that! 

I remember like it was yesterday, stroking your full black head of hair and gazing into your big blue eyes. 

These 8 years have been full.  Full of adventure and wonder and curiosity. You are my inquisitive one. You can't help but ask questions about EVERYTHING. Your tenaciousness is both tiring and admirable. 

You persist with such a drive. We always say you'll be a lawyer or gosh forbid a politician. 


You have the sweetest soul and the most affectionate heart; I love that about you. 

My prayer for you is to stay the kind boy that you are and always know that you are loved. 

Keep your empathy and love for others and never lose that spark that makes you who you are. 

I love you my sweet boy, to the moon and back! 

Your loving Mommy

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I'm Going to Have a Teenager!



In a few months (5 to be exact) I will have a teenager dwelling in our household.  
How did this happen???  
I remember like it was yesterday, my sweet baby boy singing "Twinkle, Twinkle", 
sipping on sippy cups and toddling his Pooh Bear around. 
 I think we've done a pretty good job, raising this boy of ours.  
He's kind, bright, athletic, compassionate and responsible.  
I do well with the young years.  
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, primary years etc...  
I'm not so sure about the teenage years though. 
I'm scared. 
8 months pregnant with my first baby.
 This is unchartered territory and I'm terrified.  I've never done this before!  
The early years were easy.  
Read stories, play Lego, watch Treehouse, eat Cheerios... I could distract and prevent tantrums...
I could wipe away their tears and kiss "boo boos" better.  
Now, it's not so easy.  
There are hormones and pimples and independence and friends...  
I've always enjoyed having my children near me, hence my homeschooling them.  
I've never felt the need to be away from my children for long stretches at a time.  
It's just not who I am; I thrive when they are around.  
My baby at 2 weeks old.  Couldn't believe he was mine.
As my eldest is getting older, I can feel the shift to autonomy.  He doesn't want to listen to the same music as his siblings do.  He doesn't like the same TV shows they like.  He pulls away when his Mama wants to kiss or hold his hand in public...YES, I'm one of those moms!!!  There's an air of "coolness" about him.  His hair has to be done just right, his soccer boots have to be a certain brand name and he wants connectedness with peers.  
It's all normal and expected but oh so hard...for his Mama.  
5 years old.
I am savouring his cuddles, kisses and hugs...and willingness to talk to me in the quiet of the night when everyone is in bed.  
Just me and him.  
Him wanting to know about the world.  "Did you have a boyfriend in grade 7 Mom?" 
"When did you first kiss a boy?"  "How did you know you loved Daddy?"  
Lots of questions. 
 Lots of curiousness.  
It's fun but also scary at the same time.  
Do I answer with censorship or candidness?  
It's all so new. 
I'm lucky to have a deep, authentic relationship with my son.  
He feels comfortable asking me those uncomfortable questions.  
He wants to know EVERYTHING...and I mean EVERYTHING! 
I know one day when he is a grown man, I will look back on these days and wish I could go back.  
It's all so relative right?!  
I need to cherish these remaining years of him transitioning into the man he will ultimately be.  
My baby.  
My boy. 
 My son.
My 7th grader!
 I just love him so very much and am so amazed that I was chosen to be his Mama.  
We will charter these teenage years together...hand in hand...

whether he wants to hold it or not! LOL 

                                          

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy February 1st!

Yay! February is here, which means January is over! Yippee! Closer and closer to spring!
These dreary days with rain pounding and grey clouds overcast can really damper my spirits. I sometimes think I was meant to live down south. But alas, Vancouver springtime and summer will remedy my winter blues. 
Our days have been ordinary but I like that. I like the routine and structure that the weekdays bring. Musical theatre, jazz, piano, soccer, art, swimming etc...they pull us in all directions but it's our normal and I feel drawn to it. 
I think at this time of year, homeschoolers often evaluate how their "school year" is going. Have we done enough? Should I do more? Should we drop this? Or start a new curriculum? Two of my kids are doing the FSA's (Foundations Skills Assessment) which is an assessment of a students' academic skills. I have until the 19th to administer the test to my 4th and 7th graders. 
We have a couple of field trips this
month: one to the VSO (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) and the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (Japanese Canadian History and Culture). 
The spring will bring trips to the Greater Vancouver Zoo and Maplewood Farm. The field trip I'm most excited about is to SAINTS (Senior Animals in Need Today Society). It is a sanctuary for elderly and unwanted pets. My children and I have a soft spot for animals. We love all of them. Ultimately, I would like for us to volunteer at SAINTS once a month. 
Here are the websites for the above mentioned places:
http://www.vancouversymphony.ca
http://centre.nikkeiplace.org
http://gvzoo.com
http://maplewoodfarm.bc.ca
http://www.saintsrescue.ca

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

He came home sad and upset.
Someone wounded my boy's heart. It was the typical bullying stuff. 
Calling names. Teasing etc... 
My boy's not used to it. He hasn't faced this kind of treatment before. 
So, it shook him at his core. 
It was a time for discussion and resolve. He was faced with the sad reality of cruelty and the meanness that sometimes engulfs our youth. 
After tears and hugs and reassurance, we made chocolate chip cookies together. 
He cracked the eggs and found the baking soda. He ate the cookie dough off the whisk. 
He was happy again. And safe. 
The tears of sadness had dried up and he was content to be with his mama in the kitchen baking. 
People often ask me why I homeschool and if I think I'm sheltering my kids too much. 
They wonder if they are socialized enough. 
They question if my kids have friends. 
My answer is yes. They are sheltered. They are socialized. And they have enough friends. 
Heartache will creep into our house just as it does yours, whether my kids are in school or not. 
Bullying will penetrate our walls as yours too. We can't keep the world at bay; try as we might, it can't happen. 
I teach my children fortitude and resilience, empathy and forgiveness. 
We cannot control the actions of others but we CAN control our reactions to them. 
My boy learned that life isn't always fair and sometimes our feelings get hurt, but he also was reminded that home is a refuge and the people here are full of love for him...and maybe some chocolate chip cookies on the side. ;)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hiatus

I canNOT believe I haven't blogged since April...that is unbelievably brutal!
There are no excuses, except maybe missed opportunities. Or laziness. 
Life has been progressing at a steady pace and we've had some adventures along the way. 
Earlier this month we traveled to Canim Lake, BC. It was so nice to get away and vedge lakeside as the kiddies splashed and played in the lake water. We all got a chance to do some water sports including knee boarding and tubing.
It was a blast. 
My favourite part was coming together around the campfire at night to roast marshmallows, eats s'mores and laugh. Great memories. 
In a couple of days we're off on another escapade to Mill Bay, BC. We're going with my mom and grandmother; it's our yearly vacation together. 
I'm excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store for us. It's my favourite season by far!
Hope your summer is going well!