Thank you CIBC and #TeamYMC

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to walk in the CIBC Run for a Cure with my whole family and new friends.
If you are new to my blog, feel free to read more about my story. I would like to share some pics from this wonderful morning.

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Thank you #TeamYMC!
Thank you to those who donate time and/or money to find a cure. It can happen in my daughters lifetime.

CIBC Run for the Cure Works!

In 1998 I got the call that stopped my world, my young sister has cancer. After all the losses we have had in our family, this one ripped my heart out. Ever since our mom died when we were kids the word CANCER loomed above our shoulders. As the oldest sibling I was convinced it would be me next. Biology had another idea.

After a year of sleepless nights, chemo and many, many appointments she was clear! The relief was impalpable. So in 1999 I became more aware of my own health. I also wanted to find a way to give back to the universe. To have my best girlfriend alive and well filled my days with gratitude.

One day I was in the CIBC bank for work. I spied a brochure for the CIBC Run for The Cure. Immediately I knew what I had to do. I registered and began fundraising. I traveled alone on the sky train full of emotion, when I saw the other women and kids wearing the Run shirt and clearly going to the same stop as I was. When I got to the Start line the tears fell fast. I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was not alone. Cancer has affected a lot of people.

I dared myself to do the 5K. It took me a long time between walking and running. I saw the finish line and sprinted to it. As I crossed there were cheers. I thought that was odd. I did not know anyone here. This community of Cancer Warriors is warm and accepting. We are all here for a reason.

Years passed and my husband, sister and her husband joined me. I was honored and proud of the money we raised to help more families like ours. The motivation is that what if the next dollar raised helps to cure the evil disease. The answer is no one knows. We do need to find a cure so families can stop losing loved ones.

When I became a mom the desire for my girls to not have the same fate of losing a mom too soon made me bring them along to the runs. With the stroller we can walk/run, and this year we have joined a team. Please consider giving up one coffee and donate. You never know if the next dollar can save your family.

Thank you.

This year I have the pleasure joining the wonderful Yummy Mummy Club team with my family on September 30th, 2012 . #TeamYMC.  Please donate here. Thank you.

Bringing Back The Break, My Way

 

This is an entry to the Yummy Mummy Club contest they held recently. Obviously, I lost. I wanted to share with you what I do to give myself a break. J

We are in the kitchen of one my mommy friends. I just took a bite of a canapé she ‘just whipped up.’ My mouth waters at the just-enough melted cheese on top. I spy lunch fixings near her stove. My inner-mind shakes at the amazing feast she has planned. She has a part-time job and cooks. I am amazed that we are friends.

Full confession: I am not a cook, nor a baker. I flunked Home Economics twice. The teacher took pity on me and gave me a pass finally. I grew up with TV dinners and packaged foods. I think I turned out okay.

When I became a mom twice over, I was scared. Visions of what Supermom means gripped my panic full blown. I tried to bake and cook every day. After many failed attempts, I am still getting the smoke stains out of the ceiling. What worried me most was that if I was spending so much time in the kitchen, I was not playing with my young children. Time is going too fast.

That realization hurt my mama heart. I let go of Supermom ideal that I thought I could be. I am me. I am their mom, flaws and all. So, I began to think of what I could do to provide meals for my family and still play with my kids. Below are my now-not-secrets on how I do it.

1. I began to resort to making big batches of my limited recipes and freezing extras for a later date. For example:  I would take a veggie chili from the freezer to put it on top of a pan of tortilla chips, spread grated cheese and viola, chili nachos.

2. We have themed food days. Macaroni Mondays. Waffle Weekends. French Fry Fridays. Our kids know they can have their favorite foods this time of the week.

3. When time is super-crunched or sicknesses have run through the house, I utilize a local speciality food store called M&M Meat shop. They have an extensive menu. You can order online and pick it up at the closest location. Quick and fresh appies, main entrees to desserts makes it worth the reasonable price. You can freeze what you do not need right away.

4. Every Friday we have pizza and a movie at dinner time. If we do not have a pizza ready to be made at home, we do order out. At the end-of-the-week, I am done.

5. I am not June Cleaver, and nor Kathy Buckworth. However, I shade on the side of Peggy Bundy and purchase fruit bowls and veggie plates at the grocery store to balance my family’s nutrition.

I do not use a microwave and I do not know how to bake or cook from scratch easily.  I love spending as much time as possible with my children.

We continue to enjoy the feast our friend has made. She is a natural in the kitchen.  I am not despairing that I cannot reciprocate the delectable lunch. I know it is not in my genes to be Supermom (whatever that is.) It is my mantra that we all deserve a break. We need to let go of what we think we “should” do and live in the moment.

 

 

I Had To Stop Comparing My Kids

As posted on The Yummy Mummy YMC

Watching my two daughters playing on the playground, it strikes me how different they are. In the early days of my youngest, I would compare her to her older sister. When she wouldn’t hit the milestones like her sister, I worried. I thought there was something wrong.

My oldest daughter didn’t crawl. At one year old, she began running and talking in sentences. Today she acts years older than her five years of age. My youngest crawled at thirteen months and walked at fifteen months. My youngest at almost three years old doesn’t speak much. And when she does speak, it is baby babble. She is like a child of the age of 18 months.

I see my oldest racing around with other kids at the park, squealing with delight. I look over to spy my youngest playing by herself in the sand. She is happy as well doing her own thing. I need to remember this moment.

As we go through the painfully slow process to see if our youngest may be autistic or if she is just globally delayed, I feel that I can’t complain. I have two beautiful daughters. It began to feel like by comparing them, I was judging them. They are precious in their own unique ways. Taking a side-step and just enjoying my girls is freeing.

I ask them both if they are hungry. They race to me. As I dish out the goldfish crackers, I look at them standing side-by-side. I embrace their uniqueness. They’re amazing in their own path.

I am the voter

As a tweetaholic I have seen the buzz surrounding #momthevote. I can appreciate the need to get moms to the polls. We need to vote for what is best for our families. It was not the same for our parents. Many households now have both parents working just to survive. Costs have sky rocketed. At least 30% of the families I polled have a RESPs but not RRSPs.

The government absolves the pay raises they give themselves by throwing drabs of money to families in under the cover of The Child Care Credit. $100 per child per month does not help even cover daycare. It stops when they are of school age (six years old.) So the message they send us that kids are cheaper and easier when they start school? Really? Right.

One issue that is propelling my vote is not one that is mom related at all but as a registered Canadian voter. This year I had the misfortune to watch my sister go through multiple surgeries to fight cancer; I saw the burden of her income falling to 55% of her salary. After only 16 weeks of fighting to get healthy her benefits ran out. She will be going back to work before getting a clean bill of health. An average Stage1 or 2 of cancer takes at least 10-12 months to heal. . It breaks my heart to see her go back to soon and it should a politician’s. If a candidate is making a promise to help the failing health care system in BC and in Canada, I would pay attention. There should be an allowance for doctors to extend patients leave if needed without forcing them to go back to work too soon.

For everyone running in this election please take away this: walk your neighborhood to find out what is important to voters. If you make a promise-keep it!!!

I really wish there was a performance review for candidates who get elected. If you fail you get a warning or fired by the public. If you are elected it should be in a written contract with repercussions should you fail.

I have taken my young girls to vote. My oldest knows why it is vital for her future that I vote. She makes a ballot at home and practices when she can at the age of majority.

One of my happy places

In two days I will be participating in one of my favorite things to do. Book Club. It is the best kind because I will be at home, in front of the computer and tweeting with my fellow book lovers. At the helm will be Wanda (aka @YMCBookalicious).

There is no need for a babysitter or for myself to drive at night. Hubby will be down in the playroom with the kids while I cozy up to the keyboard with a glass of Chardonnay.

It never matters the book, the picks are always good. It is a bi-monthly treat for me to talk online with people I may never have met. As a work-at-home mom my outside contacts are at the playground or school drop-off. Adult conversation face to face is a rarity. It just is that way right now.

For about an hour, we converse with specifics about the read and get off topic occasionally. Before I know it, it is time for me to get the kids to bed. It always goes to fast.

We all need to take time in a happy place. I have felt better in carving a wee bit of space for me. It is always written on the calendar in pen. There is no excuse to miss it since I don’t need to leave home.

Have you carved out time for yourself? What is your happy place?

Happy Blogaversary to me…

Where has the time gone? I began this blog after a few months taking an online class with The Momoir Project back on January 4th,2010.  I used pieces that I worked on in class and I was off. I was impressed with myself that I could even start an essay. I was shy to start as an adult after an English Teacher put a negative cloud on my writing. There is where my writing and grammar lessons stopped. It is a flaw that you will see today and I don’t care.

Writing all year has saved me from the isolating world of being a stay-at-home mom. The motivation fueled by the fear that I will not be here to tell my daughters stories like my mom is not here. Being a motherless mother used to be my private shame. I saw everyone around me enjoy their moms gushing over their grandchildren. So I dared to write and hit publish. The overwhelming response came through the comments was the hug and validation I craved.

A blog is many things to many people: a journal, a rant or a portfolio for a future career. Mine became all of the above. I wrote from the heart which led to writing jobs with The Momoir Project, Women’s Post, Oh Baby Magazine, Wonder Moms and guest blogged on The Yummy Mummy Club. When I ranted about how unfair that my sister’s cancer has returned, people responded. I adore this blog. It is an unconditional friend that I typed as if no one was reading. Now I have many readers that I never would have met if not for my beginning. Now, I read their blogs of tribulations and triumphs.

A special place in my writing has been passionately derived from Twitter. The relationships that I have made through the social media ‘water cooler’ have been amazing. Yes there have been the negative people. The positive has shined so bright. Quite a few of those relationships have spilled into real life. I could not be happier.

I still fear for turning the age my mom was when she died. By allowing myself free to say it out loud has freed me to live in the moment now.

Thank you for the laughs, the cries and the good times. I raise my glass to you in thanks.

Cheers to all of you.

I can’t wait to see what is to come.

 Yes, there could be more grammar mistakes. One of my goals is to work on that this year.

Thanksgiving and my Birthday

What I am most thankful for:

1. My healthy household who surprises me everyday.

2. My sister who faces each medical test with courage.

3. My online friends through The Momoir Project, The Yummy Mummy club, Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

4. Reaching my 37th birthday since my mom only got 38.

5. Going a whole day on my birthday not changing a diaper.

Happy Thanksgiving.