Saturday, August 6, 2011


{This post was written by 7 year old Maya.}

Marley is my ten month old puppy. He is very big. He is very strong also and has very sharp claws. Marley is a terrier cross puppy. We don't know what he is crossed with though. We got him from the Humane Society. He was at a home and back and a home and back. We brought him home because he was so adorable. He was puppy eyes were so cute. Whenever I visited his cage he would jump up and it was so amazing.

Today there was a thunderstorm. Marley stayed out for just the beginning. When he came inside he was so scared. He was going really fast and it was like he was going "huh? huh? What's happening?" He was getting so scared but then he calmed and now the storm is over.

We are going to go on a trip and Marley has to stay home with Daddy. I am going to miss him when we are gone, but I am still going to have fun.

I'm super happy that we have a puppy named Marley. Thanks for listening!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Grammy Jammies

A parcel arrived today. It was addressed to me with a return address from my parents. Suh-weet! We ripped it open on the deck this afternoon, excited to see the treasures Grammy and Grandpa sent the family.

There were a new pair of Grammy Jammies for each of the kids, a hand-knit lavender sweater for Maya, a book for each of the kids, and three new movies for the kids. Ben and Maya both cheered when each gem emerged from the package. Seconds later they sat silently, snuggling with their new jammies on their laps, engrossed in their books.

Grammy Jammies are the handiwork of my mom. Each of the grandkids has several pairs of pyjamas sewn by Grammy. She makes jammies for all weather: fleece and flannel for icy winter nights, lightweight cotton and seersucker for hot summer sleeps. Fabric is carefully chosen for each of the kids; today there were pink flowers for Maya and Thomas the Tank Engine for Ben. Maya prefers the nightgowns Grammy sews, while Ben loves to wear different patterned tops and bottoms (or as he calls it, "mich-match").

Ben couldn't wait until bedtime to get into his new threads. He quickly ran inside, changed, and proudly came back out. His friend across the street saw him riding his tricycle on the sidewalk (in his pyjamas) and came out to join him. "Like my new 'ammies? Gammy make 'em for me!" They both oohed and ahhed over the trains.

Maya waited until after dinner to put hers on. She came into the living room with a slightly teary grin on her face. "They still kinda smell like Grammy," she said. I drew her close to me and sure enough, there was the faint aroma of my mom's perfume. It was comforting and heart-wrenching all at the same time.

After seeing the kids in their new Grammy Jammies, Eric asked "so. . . was there anything in there for you or I in the package?" Hmm, maybe he was on to something. After all, the package was addressed to me.

I checked the envelope again. Nada. Yeah, they're pretty much over us. They have been ever since those two short people came along.

I can't say I blame Mom and Dad. Just look at these two little monsters. They are pretty irresistible. And I say that as a completely unbiased person.

Truly though, I couldn't have asked for better folks. And the best part of having my mom and dad as parents is my kids having them as Grammy and Grandpa.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Our kids had a gift from a very generous family this week. One of the incredible education assistants I get to work with told me that her kids had outgrown their trampoline. She wanted to know if Maya and Ben would like it. Gratis.

Um, yes please.

On Saturday morning Eric went out back to set up the trampoline, or as Ben calls it, the pompoleen. The tubes frame all went together quite easily. It took all of 5 minutes for Eric to put the frame together. The kids put the springs on the frame. Everything was going smoothly. Everyone was smiling. Everyone was excited to jump on the pompoleen.

Until we tried to attach the mat to the frame.

It took over an hour to attach the mat. We would get halfway done, but then the mat would pull so tightly in one direction we couldn't attach it on the other side. After about three different tries, 46 curse words, and 11 cigarettes, Eric finally relented and googled trampoline assembly. Ten minutes later Maya and Ben were bouncing happily. Eric and I were collapsed in lawn chairs, totally spent from the sheer effort.

We had a hot and sunny long weekend, so the two monsters had plenty of time to jump their hearts out. It didn't take long for word to spread through the neighbourhood that Ben and Maya have a trampoline. Soon our yard was swimming with children all wanting a turn. I innocently stepped into the backyard with a cup of coffee and my laptop, hoping to enjoy a bit of sun while watching the kids revel in their new toy, perhaps even get a little blogging and planning done. When I walked behind the house I found fourteen children back there.

Seriously. There were fourteen kids in the yard. And I only knew the names of about three of those children, including my own.

All hopes of a relaxing spring afternoon were gone as I was instantly transformed into the role of yard supervisor. To keep my own sanity amongst the chaos, I actually started a Word document to record a waitlist of names and used an online stopwatch to keep track of the time.

On the up side, I now know the names of the neighbourhood riff raff. Maya and Ben both made some new friends. After watching all of them play I know who  will and won't be invited back to play.

On the down side, it was crazy, chaotic, and definitely not the relaxing Sunday afternoon I had in mind. My arm is still aching from pulling on the springs while trying to attach the mat.

But seeing how much those two crazy kids of mine love the pompoleen makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wise Beyond Her Years

Out of the blue yesterday, Maya asked me "Mama, who's that Bin Laden guy I keep hearing about?"

Ugh. What a kick in the gut. I was hoping I wouldn't have to explain to my seven year old quite yet about the evils of the world. I was hoping to shelter her from the fact that world is sucky place sometimes, shelter her from ideas of terrorism and hatred.

However, I am a firm believer in giving age appropriate answers to all questions my kids ask. She asked, so I did my best to explain to my sweet girl about a man who claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks and the ten year hunt that ensued. We talked about why people choose to terrorize others and how it might feel to be on both sides of that terrorism. I told her about how the US Navy Seals had been watching a home for months and decided to swarm and kill the man they believed to be Osama Bin Laden.

She listened very quietly while I told her about how sucky the world can be sometimes and then said "but Mom, that doesn't make any sense."

Crap. I thought I had done a pretty decent job explaining the situation in terms she could understand. I needed to find out what she was confused about so I could clarify it for her.

"Mom, it doesn't make any sense that they would just burst in and kill him. Why didn't they take him to jail and then talk him through it?"

So wise beyond her seven years. Children have such a simple, innocent, and yet thoughtful view of the world and solving conflict. When do we cross over to cynical and jaded views of the world? And how can I help her hold on to this incredible judicious wisdom?

Maybe I don't need to shelter her from the world at all. The world needs to hear her seven year old voice.