Tuesday, October 27, 2009

my babies

With my daughter quickly approaching her first birthday, I reflect on what an incredible year it has been since her birth. There's a part of me that still mourns the displacement of my first baby... meaning Jacob. He is, and always will remain, the most significant little man in my life. I know it was hard initially when his little sister came along since all of a sudden he was the big brother and he was barely two years old at the time. But they are thick as thieves now, and best of friends. He dotes on her and it is beautiful to watch. See him brushing her hair?

Maiya continues to be the ever-smiling dolly and having a daughter makes me feel this joy that I cannot describe. I am amazed at how my children are thriving... the world to them is a place of wonderment and exploration. I should learn to look at the world through my children's eyes and take life a lot less seriously. They are their own little beings that are as perfect as the morning sun. Even with my mistakes they are gentle, and forgiving in my mommy meltdowns. And like my husband, my children are incredibly patient with me. And through them, I am healing my tumultuous past. They love me simply because I am their mother and they love me even in those moments when I don't love myself. I cannot take credit for how delicious they are because I am simply following their lead and merely guiding them in a way that I hope one day makes them proud that I am their mama. Because I am beyond proud of them. And perhaps I am getting soft as I get older or maybe I am just feeling sensitive becauase I am tired and sleep deprived but writing this post brings a tear to my eye. I have said it before and I will say it again, I am on lucky lady and I have no idea what I've done to deserve this. xo

Monday, October 26, 2009

loving the dark


I must say I am LOVING life as the days get shorter. Autumn has always been my favourite time of year... no bugs, no hayfever, no sticky, hot, humid grumpy days... just cool and crisp and fresh and crunchy with all the fallen leaves. But what I love most about fall is that with night falling sooner my children are in bed EARLY. Maiya now begs for sleep by 7pm and Jacob follows at 8. During the summer they would be up till 9 and 10pm respectively. Now I can actually have some me time. (insert happy dance here) xo

Sunday, October 25, 2009

the bucket list

There's a movie out there called The Bucket List. It's about doing things you've always dreamed of before you kick it. Here are some of mine that I"ve accomplished or have yet to accomplish.

-become a firefighter.... check
-kiss Mark Wahlberg.... check (don't worry... this was pre-husband...although I wouldn't say no given the change again... lol..)
-have natural homebirths.... check (although there were moments narcotics might have been nice)
=have children... check (although there are days I wish they would go live at grandma and grandpa's)
-live in a loft.... check
-work in Europe, Africa, Asia..... check
-have some property for my children to roam.... working on it
-travel extensively within my own country.... the places that I really want to see are Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, PEI, the Rockies/Lake Louise...
-see the Northern Lights... I can't believe with all the camping I've done I still have yet to see them.
-work in an orphanage in my retirement

That's a good list for now..... there are always other things I would love to do but working on the above will keep me busy for awhile. All are attainable I think. Oh yeah... there's one more thing I would love... and perhaps not so attainable right now....... I would LOVE to get 8 straight hours of sleep. There are days I wonder if I will ever get a full night's rest before I kick it. One can hope though....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

country bumpkin

I know without a doubt I could solve the world's energy crisis if I could just figure out how to harness Jacob's energy. He is a Wiggle Bum. He does not sit still and is constantly moving through space like a superhero that never tires. I have never known my son to walk. He runs at breakneck speed or at the very least skips when I tell him to slow down, but meander along... nope... not my kid. You should see him on his bike now.... Lance Armstrong... you may have met your match. He's fast. Thankfully, Jacob knows how to read the Stop signs and crossing signals. But it's the always-in-a-rush-talking-on-their-stupid-cellphone drivers at busy intersections that terrify me.

Sometimes I wonder if we should move to the sticks. I grew up in farm country where there were swamps and ponds and creeks and miles and miles of forest. You could play amidst the crops and feed farm animals. I could run like the wind and pick wild strawberries, and read by the light of fireflies that I'd caught in a jar. As a child, I had the freedom to roam.... how much trouble could I get into running through a field? And I'd get dirty... but it was good clean dirt. Not the city grime and pollution and weird people that I am beginning to tire of. It's strange how the city never bothered me until I became a mother. My husband and I are country folk hooked on the convenience of downtown living. We love the fact that we everything we need is within walking distance... schools, groceries, post office, gym, bakery, butcher, coffee shop, shopping..... But I miss having space and growing my own food. And is it weird that I want my own chickens? And an alpaca or three?

So we'll see. Thankfully children thrive wherever you place their roots. And Jacob is one of the happiest children I know. That's all I could ever ask for.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'll pass on the cake thank you

As some of you may know, I am known as the resident baker at my station. My task prior to going off on mat leave was to make as many sweet things that I could out of the 25lb sack of flour someone brought in. For all of you Paleo-ites and worshipppers lean body mass blah blah, this is when I say screw it.... a little sugar and flour go a long way for morale at work. When you've been getting dirty at calls, there is nothing like the smell of fresh baking and a cup of hot tea back at the station.

A friend and fellow firefighter thought he'd send me this link. He said it vaguely reminded him of me even though I wasn't going to China anytime soon. Now as a huge fan of baked goods there is no way I would get near that cake. That hose. I couldn't eat a bite with a straight face.

I'm sticking with plain ol' oatmeal cookies. ;)

Monday, October 19, 2009

oh brother

Most people I work with are a joy. However, there are a few fellas I find exasperating. There's Lance Romance and Scottie Too Hottie who are always flexing their muscles and shaving their chests and constantly talking about their latest conquests. There's Chair Mold... who won't budge an inch to help out with chores. And I can't forget about Ten to Ken... he's the one who is the last one to start shift, and the first one to leave. Pig Pen's the guy whose locker is a mess and leaves a trail of clothing-magazines-equipment everywhere he goes... even the helmet he wears is askew. I am sure I have more than a few qualities that the boys, in turn, find completely annoying, but that's part of communal living I suppose. I don't have any brothers but with me being on the fire department, it seems I have hundreds of brother siblings. Some annoy the heck out of me, some nurture, some make me laugh, but we're all bonded by what we do. And that makes us often closer to one another than real blood siblings. And just like in real families, there are times when we may not like each other, but when push comes to shove, we always have each others backs. We have to. Our lives depend on it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Fire is physical, spiritual, and metaphysical all rolled into one giant ball of burning energy. There is nothing like standing in the middle of an inferno watching the flames roll over my head. It's hot, but not unbearable. And I thank my lucky stars that the bunker gear, which is just as thick as a winter coat, is doing its job keeping me from being vaporized. It still blows my mind that I can basically stand in a furnace and feel fine. And sometimes during the middle of a fire I will stand stock-still for a split second and stare at the flames in amazement because more often than not in the next split second everything will get smoky with zero visibility and I'll have to drop to my hands and knees and feel my way around while never letting go of the hoseline. I was taught to never, ever let go of the hose...although heavy and awkward to manoevre, it's the only protection you have against the flame.... and it's my lifeline leading me back outside to safety. When the fire is finally extinguished, as strange as it sounds, it's a bit of a letdown when it's over. I am not sure if it's the fatigue from the physical exertion, or the slump after the adrenaline surge. All I know is that once one fire is out, every firefighter is waiting eagerly for the next one to start. I guess we're just weird that way.

Friday, October 16, 2009


As sleep deprived as I am, I feel completely refreshed right now even though it's late. You see, I was in a funk from really missing some friends and finally got to see them tonight. At a pub. Sans kids. My husband was a doll and stayed home with them and for the first time in a long time I felt like me again. Not mom me. Not firefighter me. Just me. And some great pals. With great conversation. So without getting too mushy, Lady G, Sweet Pete, T Dot Sio, Daddy Ty, and my favourite militia man for making the 4 and half hour drive to join us, thanks for a lovely evening. And of course Mighty Mouse for getting the gang together. Sorry I had to leave early... got a text saying that Miss Maiya was awake and looking for moi... or rather, my boob. So of course I rushed home and she'd already fallen fast asleep again. Just as well I'm home now I guess because mornings come quick around here and at the stroke of midnight I turn into a pumpkin anyway. Actually, I turn into a mean ogre when the kids are up at 6 so off to bed.......

hugs and love... gnight... xo

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Today is one of those days that I can't 'figure me out'. At work, I can run into a burning building to try and save life, limb, or property but I find it virtually impossible to ask for help at home in my private life. Stopping a house from burning down, preventing someone's heart from never beating again, and putting my life at risk during a rescue is something that I don't think twice about. But it is difficult for me to ask for help at home whether it be from family members or babysitters. I am not sure why that is. Perhaps it is this fierce 'I want to do it on my own' sense that I've had ever since I was old enough to tie my shoes. We have never had a nanny and we hired a cleaning lady briefly because as lovely as she was, I felt odd that someone else was cleaning my mess and moreover, it was a bit uncomfortable having someone in 'my space'. I have always been fiercely independent and I think my weakness is the backwards thinking that asking for help is, well, a weakness. I crave more hours during the day when I can lounge in a hot bubble bath or read the newspaper uninterrupted or enjoy a cup of tea before it turns stone cold. I get to 'escape' for a few hours here and there but often, soon as I am away from the babes I start missing them. The fact is, I love spending time with my children. I just need a breather now and then. Especially on days like yesterday when mobile Maiya decided to use the dresser drawers as steps and ended up stuck. So with my husband working overtime last night and me alone with both children, I decided to give my parents a call to come over and give me a hand. I cannot tell you how smoothly the evening went and how I didn't have to say the word NO at all. :) This asking for help thing.... I will be doing it alot more from now on. And if my fairygodmother presented me with a personal chef and a chauffeur, I definitely would consider it. ;)


Ok. I think I get it now. I was totally dumbstruck by the giant tv my husband brought home as per my last post. But I guess it's all in how you look at it. Rewind some 18 hours ago, my vacuum decided to blow up. It was a 10 year old vacuum so it was time... especially with the fact that I am obsessive about clean floors. Soooooo. I bought one of these. Yup. It's a Dyson. Creme de la Creme of vacuums. Leaves Hoovers and Dirt Devils in the dust. If he can have his tv... I can have my vacuum. ha ha.

Monday, October 12, 2009

go big or go home?

We've been without a television for almost 3 years and a I must say that I didn't miss it much. With all the drivel and bad news on tv what was there to miss? And my favourite shows I could stream on the computer. I was happy listening to CBC radio. But my husband, not content with that, decided to come home with a new tv. 52 inches at that. Flat screen, LCD, blue ray... blah blah blah and a bunch of other lingo that I don't understand. All I know is that this huge monstrosity is in my den and I worry that my kids will get irradiated and go cross-eyed because that screen is so massive. Oh well. I should know my husband by now. He means well. He thought I'd be impressed but honestly, I'd be more impressed if he scrubbed out the toilet once in awhile. Like I said, oh well... you know boys and their toys.........

Thursday, October 8, 2009

happy anniversary

Between diaper changes and dinner duty, and our overall crazy busy lives, my husband completely forgot our wedding anniversary. You'd think I'd give him crap for forgetting but the truth is, I did too. Not only did I forget our anniversary, I have forgotten the date we were married. It was either October 3/04 or October 4/03. I think it was the latter but I will have to look at an old wedding invite or something to make sure. We lived together for a few years before getting married so it's a bit of a blur. The last time we celebrated our anniversary we were in Venice, Italy and we stayed on the nearby island of Murano, where I sat and watched glass blowers for hours on end. It was the year before Jacob was born. Since we've had children, we don't get out much. But that is more by choice. The children are small for such a short period of time that we're trying to drink it all in. If I look back on our wedding day, apart from the birth of my children and getting the phone call that I was hired on the fire department, it was one of the best days of my life. I am not the easiest person to be married to and I thank my lucky stars my husband has always been incredibly patient with me on my sleep deprived grumpy days and is always an incredibly hands-on father. He is ready to jump in like the cavalry on the days I am slowly going crazy with the children, when I'm pulling out the increasing and alarming number of grey hairs on my head. So, nope, we didn't do anything this year but I think the 'celebration' is living life one day at a time, getting through the ups and downs as a working married couple with young children, and keeping our sanity through it all. This to me is worth more than a fancy dinner in a snooty restaurant. As I type this I can hear my husband reading Jacob a bedtime story in his best Lowly the Worm voice and Jacob giggling softly. I think this is how our love grows... steadily and sometimes even shakingly as we both raise our children.

Now for a walk down memory lane:

Doesn't this picture make us look so young and un-tired?

Happy belated Anniversary. I'll try to remember next year once I figure out what day it was. xo

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

scary face

This picture totally cracks me up:

It's a picture of yours truly taken during a Crossfit Fight Gone Bad workout. You can read the details of the workout on this page. (This Crossfit website by the way is the best and most comprehensive site I have ever seen in terms of training. I highly recommend giving it a go.)

Now back to the picture, I was on my last round of sumo deadlift highpulls and just trying to suck back some air into my lungs. The look on my face is pretty scary but like I said, the grimace is from simple oxygen deprivation. But I will remember this face and save it for when my kids are misbehavin'. That face will stop them in their tracks, that's for sure. ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009

just one of the boys

I found it mildly amusing when I first became a firefighter that the moment I walked in, an uncomfortable silence would descend. The guys all of a sudden would start minding their p's and q's and conversations would shift. Some of the guys would actually leave the room. Not exactly great for my ego. Was it my ponytail? My lipstick? The fact that I would be sharing a dorm and a locker room with them? That they would feel like they had to wear clean socks and underwear? That management installed a sanitary napkin dispenser in the station? What was the big deal? All these men had wives, sisters, daughters, girlfriends.... I thought they'd be used to some estrogen in the firehouse. So there were days that I'd be sitting by myself reading while they would be standing outside the bay in a huddle smoking their Colts. I should not have been so naive to think that I would immediately become accepted to this boys club. After all, there never were any women in the fire service up until quite recently. It was their 'place' to just hang, and work and be men and itch and scratch and do whatever the heck men do when women aren't around. And in some small way, I felt guilty that I was 'upsetting the apple cart'. And after awhile during all that 'alone' time during which I did some heavy thinking, it finally dawned on me that I had earned my badge just like the rest of them. With that realization, I started to feel comfortable in my skin and knew that I deserved to be there as much as the firefighter next to me. And it's true, once I was confident in my work, they became confident with me. Once they saw how I performed at calls, they forgot about the 'girl' and instead I was just another firefighter and became part of the 'brotherhood'. I think they all breathed a collective sigh of relief the first time I dropped the F-bomb.... it meant they didn't have to worry about minding their language anymore.

Oh... and it wasn't until years later that I found out why some of the guys would leave the room when I walked in.... it was because they had to fart and were too embarrassed to do it in front of me. lol....