Summertime is My Time #FreeTheirImagination

It is days away from the end of the school year. Thursday afternoon will mark the graduation of my oldest daughter’s time as a kindergartener.  I will admit there have been days that I have enjoyed a quieter house. Days that I was happy to walk her to school so she can enjoy  time with her friends. The past ten months have flown. While summer may well fly just as fast, I am looking forward to slowing down with both my daughters.

I have made  a conscious effort to take less work on, made less plans for all of us and will take each day one by one.   As I write this I realize that I have missed spending time with my daughters, and not being bound by the school schedules.  It has become more important since I became older than my mother who died when I was ten years old. I thrive at working on memories for my girls.

For sunny or cloudy days I have a list of local parks and farms to explore locally and within cities nearby. There will be a park pack in my trunk filled with bathing suits, sunscreen, bubbles, sidewalk chalk and non-perishable snacks. We also have the beauty of our backyard in the complex that has a playground and a trampoline. We can kill hours outside. We even have a small fridge by our back door with chilled waters and popsicles to extend our enjoyment.

For rainy days I have a box filled with indoor fun like new games, activity books and art project kits.  We make the wet days outside fun with camp-like activities including forts in the living room to watch a favorite movie.  Then we finger paint wrapping paper or work on upcoming birthday cards for friends.  Once we dressed up and had tea on Mars. We adore our time together.

Summer times are a great time to re-connect with your kids. It takes me back to my own childhood of idleness under the sun.

I am pleased to announce that Energizer is kicking off their Energizer Free Their Imagination contest on Facebook as of today until October 1, 2012. Like them and use the pin code BePrepared hourly to win over 2000 prizes! You can receive more pin codes hourly to win!  It is that simple to win prizes to enjoy with your kids!

I spy on the calendar that September looms all too quickly, just like my girls are growing up. It is my honour and joy to spend as much play time with my girls as possible.  I also do it for my girls and myself because my mom could not.  Freeing my daughters’ imagination is priceless, yet rich in my heart forever.


Disclosure-I am participating in the Energizer program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation for my
participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Sort Of Young and Restless


Earlier this year I became older than what my mother lived. That was a hard state of emotions to manage.  Every breath I took I became all too aware on how I understood my mom more than I actually knew her. So many times, of the past almost 28 years since she died, I have been in a state of sorrow. I ache to know or ask her a million questions.


I began writing to carve my stories for my daughters in case I met the same fate as my mom. I penned tales of our older cat, Harley, so my oldest would remember him and my youngest would get to know him. I then began to write to fill a void of missing my mother. The blogging community welcomed me and I found many motherless moms like me. Some only knew their moms through pictures.

I started three years ago without knowing a thing about blogging. It was a name pulled out of thin air.  For years I would sign notes Just, D. It just stuck. I am not a celebrity. I am just me. A daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother trying to figure out what to do.  And I still don’t.

I am at a crossroads, restless and still sort of young. I do not know if a new writing chapter is ready to emerge. Or if a name change is imminent. All I know is I love to write. I bare what I can to respect my children and my marriage. I write to figure out who am I now that I am older than my mother. In October I turn 39. She did not make it to that birthday. With all the tests and pro-activeness my future looks promising.

Please bear with me. I thank you for reading my blog and guest blogs. I adore it when you leave a comment or personal message. You validate that the blogging community is a kind and supportive one. I hope we can meet again soon.

Ciao for now,



Walmart Mother of the Year Award: Is it you? #MOTY

Little did I know when I was pregnant with my first child that motherhood will be the hardest and thrilling job ever. Mothers come in all shapes, sizes and a vast amount of unconditional love.  If there are five people to have dessert and only four pieces a mom will say that she didn’t care for pie. Mother’s Day is only one day to spoil and allow oneself to be spoiled. The wonderful folks at Walmart Canada have begun their search for The Mother of the Year award program to recognize all what moms do.

My mom died in 1984 of Breast Cancer. I was ten years old. She kept a brave face on despite being so sick to hear my stories.  I miss her terribly to this day. For many years I became close to her best friend since university who eventually became my foster mom. When I came to live with Judy I was allowed to have a real childhood.  I was able to date and have a huge group of friends. I was safe and secure in her home which also became mine.

As I grew older and got married we maintained a tight bond. She accepted my husband as part of her family because he was my family. Her unconditional nature was a great life lesson.  We celebrated her on Mother’s Day. When I became a mom for the first time a new grandma was born too. The two were great companions. When my second pregnancy became difficult to maintain travel, we still kept in contact by phone. Her health began to slip. Shortly after my second daughter was born Judy died.

It was like my mom died all over again. Only Judy was the mom I knew the longest. Without question she was my girls’ grandma a great friend to me. If she were here today, I would nominate her for Mom of the Year. She embodied that blood may be thicker than water but love makes a family not just genes.

Judy May Schafhauser, my fairy godmother, mother for life and beyond.

Who will you nominate?

Mom of the Year Award will become an annual program to celebrate all that Mom does and shine a light on what is important to her.

Nominations will be accepted from now through July 8, 2012 and can be submitted through Anyone can vote for their mom or a community member.

Eight finalists will be selected and notified in mid-August and will be treated to an award celebration weekend in September. The Mom of the Year Award recipient will receive $10,000 for personal use and $100,000 to their cause or charity of choice. The remaining seven finalists will each receive $10,000 for personal use and $10,000 to their cause or charity of choice. Can you imagine the impact you could have on your favourite charity with that much money!!

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Disclosure: I’m part of the Walmart program by Mom Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own. Mom of the Year Award: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY Internet access and valid email account required. Nominations open May 10, 2012 to July 8, 2012 for legal residents of Canada over the age of majority. Entrants cannot nominate themselves. One (1) grand prize available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $100,000 donation by Wal-Mart Canada Corp. to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Seven (7) runner-up prizes available to be won consisting of $10,000 cash, a $10,000 donation to charity/cause and a trip to Toronto (ARV $22,000). Charity/cause subject to verification and final approval by Wal-Mart Canada Corp., at its sole discretion. Odds of winning depend on how the judging panel evaluates each entry according to the criteria. For Official Contest Rules and to nominate an entrant, visit

The first time she called me Mama

My shoulders feel heavy. My arms are worn out. I am chatting with my husband in the kitchen as we unpack the groceries I just got home with. After being up in the middle of the night with our three-year-old I was thrilled with going grocery shopping alone. I will take a break wherever and whenever.

Our youngest has autism and is non-verbal. Her diagnosis came with relief and apprehension. There are no guarantees what she will accomplish through her therapy. We can only wait and hope withholding our own expectations. It is possible that her night wake-ups are triggered by her wiring. We are waiting for genetic results to find more answers to help her progress. She is a great daughter. I feel like I am not doing enough.

After being told by three doctors I could not have children due to medical issues, I did not expect to get pregnant once, let alone twice. Both our girls teach us that they are different, yet the same. We are honored to be their parents. Every day I long to share them with my mom despite the fact that she died over 27 years ago.

I am about to turn around and leave the kitchen when my darling three-year–old finds me and lifts her arms to indicate she wants up. I oblige her despite my tired arms. She gives me a bear hug and says, ‘Mama.’ My stunned heart does not know what to do. My husband confirms that I did hear what she just said. My heart and soul fill with happy tears. It is the best belated Mother’s Day gift ever to hear her call me mama after all this time.