{November 30, 2009}   Disgusted

I’m going to own here that I am liberal-ish in my politics; at LEAST a centrist. I vote Liberal here in Canada, and had I been an American citizen, I would have voted for Barack Obama in last year’s United States presidential election. Anyone who has read my blog heretofore, knows these things. It is not a secret.

Having said that, I heard mention today of t-shirts and bumper stickers with the following quote:

Thinking OK … I wonder about this … I turned to my bible. The quote?

β€œLet his days be few; and let another take his office.” The next verse goes on to wish that “his children be fatherless, let his wife be a widow”.

Let me make this clear – despite being an Obama supporter myself, I know, love and respect many more conservative thinkers than myself. I often take the conservative ‘devil’s advocate’ approach when discussion with my husband and in-laws turns political; just as I feel the need to remind my conservative loved ones there is another side, ditto my more liberal ones. I am accepting of any and all political views, much to the annoyance of friends and family of both stripes sometimes, so long as a coherent and cogent argument can be made.

However, as much damage as George W. Bush’s presidency caused over 8 years, I can honestly say that while I wished him impeached, voted out of office, shamed and humiliated and the Republican ‘base’ buried politically for decades, I never, ever wished him dead (admittedly, in some part because the prospect of a Dick Cheney presidency, and the fallout of a presidential assassination simply scared me more); I recognized if nothing else he was a husband and father with a family, and he nor they deserved that kind of grief. Had anyone issued effectively unveiled threats of death and revolution as many conservatives – and mainstream ones at that – toward him, that would be, rightfully, seen as treasonous.

Disagreement and disapproval of political figures is democracy in action; death threats are not. They are crimes, and should be treated as such. This is absolutely disgusting to me and I believe anyone wearing these shirts, sporting these bumper stickers, or any other similarly veiled threat, needs to at least have a nice little sit-down with some secret-service types about just what the repercussions of threatening the president’s life include. Under George Bush, or John McCain had he won last year, the GOP would expect no less. Being sore losers is one thing; it’s immature and unbecoming, but allowed. This, on the other hand, is not. And it’s time for Democrats to stop playing nice and remind that this kind of extremist language is unacceptable, lest some wingnut somewhere someday take it seriously, and the US’s greatest hope in a decade is lost due to not wanting to ruffle feathers. Note: you don’t need to suck up to these people. They will not support you anyway. Encourage and allow free speech … NOT hate speech.

/End rant – thanks for listening.

{November 27, 2009}   Barbie

I was randomly surfing youtube and came across this video of an ad for what I’m pretty sure was the first Barbie I’ve ever owned. Feeling nostalgic, I checked it out:

lol So very cheesy 80s camp, so funny and wonderful. But just one quibble? “Looking this great, it’s GOTTA be a date!”? I think I’ll stick with the other 80s Barbie slogan, the one *I* grew up with: “We girls can do anything, right Barbie?” lol.

{November 26, 2009}   NEW LAYOUT!!! And more.

Hi all – first off an “I’m sorry” I’ve been such a lame blogger this week; this happens every so often that family, chores, and work (YES! WORK! I am finally a working teacher, having strung together TWO, yes TWO supply teaching days in a row, today and tomorrow!) kind of get overwhelming and in the way. I try to minimize that, or at LEAST post that I won’t be posting much lol, but this time real-life really got away with me (the nerve!). Not much to talk about, it’s either too personal/boring outside of those who know me to get into, or too just ‘more of the same’ – I’m a mom wife and teacher, these things take up a certain amount of time and I for one am just impressed never go more than 3 days without blogging nonetheless sometimes lol.

Secondly, a big thank you to Alex at MY LIFE MY GLORY (too lazy to link, lol, but she’s in my blogroll at the right), for sending me along the new template which I feel so very much reflects my family and my team these days. πŸ™‚ It is a particularly special template as it was ‘Premade for a Purpose’ – click the button below. Lena is a blog template designer seeking to adopt her first baby. Proceeds from templates ordered from this site go towards their adoption fund. As an adoptive mommy myself, I think that is so cool and thank Alex so much for supporting Lena in my name. Next time I decide to change up my template, I will have to do the same! Again … the buttons for both her main design site, and her Premade for a Purpose site are at the bottom of this entry.

I think that was it … nothing … oh right! Some Happy Birthdays! First, to my wonderful husband Ari who celebrated 28 yesterday. Yesterday was also the 1-year anniversary of our Met-ya day with Little Tyke … Ari’s birthday will always be incredibly special now I think in both of our memories, as not only has it brought our family Ari, but also LT. Another important birthday shout-out to my grandpa Cal, who turns 86 years young tomorrow, and is healthier than he’s been in a few years now. Two of the most important men in my life, both celebrating birthdays this week – wishing both a fabulous year ahead.

Lena’s buttons:

{November 23, 2009}   Busy weekend – back into routine

So it was Little Tyke’s birthday party (one week late) this weekend. On Friday before the festivities even began he had his 12-month well-baby visit after a bit of a cold on Thursday; he did well, having quadrupled his birth weight to 20 lbs. and being a brave little man for his shots (he complained later as his arms were sensitive, but was tremendous in the moment). His receptive language (understanding of his name and following of one-step instructions – ‘come here’, ‘put the toy down’, ‘get your ball) needs *some* work but we have, upon careful observation since being told this, come to realize we think he perhaps UNDERSTANDS more than he OBEYS … hmmm … lol, still something to work on, but he is otherwise coming along quite nicely. Also, we transitioned him to milk!

The party itself was great; Little Tyke’s grandparents were there, as well as my cousin Alli who put me up this summer when I got work in Ottawa before we had a home, and my brother, LT’s favourite uncle Kyle. We had the predictable time watching him play intently before opening even MORE toys and clothes to play with, and then we did the ‘Cake Thing’, including necessary messy shirtless baby eating of said cake; and then ordered a pizza before the birthday boy’s bedtime, and everyone dispersing around that time. My in-laws, who had prepared him a song based on his superhero nickname of Dimpleman, to the tune of Spiderman, were staying over and weren’t up much later than the party; neither were Ari and I to be honest, after they went upstairs we did the usual ‘recap of the party’ gossip thing, collected all the mess to the kitchen so it was contained, decided we were too tired to handle it and headed to bed.

Today was a pretty tired day I didn’t want to face in some ways – I hate Sundays, especially after busy weekends (even great ones!) because you start realizing over the day that it’s over and back to the grind the next day; but this week’s grind might involve work, really for the first time since moving now that I’m on a substitute teaching list (with the French schoolboard here in Ottawa) and ready to go as soon as my direct deposit is set up, and Little Tyke is never hard to spend the day with anyway if I’m NOT working. πŸ™‚ So I’m looking forward to an alright week, with Ari’s birthday on Tuesday as well, and my grampa’s on Thursday (no travels to Montreal to see him as we just did, but at least a call of course), and I hope you all are too! Wishing everyone good luck facing their Mondays. πŸ™‚

{November 19, 2009}   So …

It’s been a quiet week. They all seem to be quiet weeks these days. But Little Tyke at least had one of those perfect days where he was either awake and happy and easy to play with and entertain, or asleep, giving Mommy a chance to do some housework and be productive. He was hard to feed today for both Ari and I – and has had some trouble eating-wise with his sitter too, this week – so I’m thinking he might be teething, which would make his mouth sensitive … he seems okay in every other way though.

Tonight he ate – or rather played with – some pasta and tomato sauce. SO funny, until he got some in his eyes … not so fun, waterworks ensue of course, but the bath, with his new bath toys we bought him for his birthday, more than made up for it I think – his first bath in the Big Boy Tub. πŸ™‚ Yep … I will be happy for regular work and a steady paycheck, but meanwhile this focus on what I do have, being a mom etc. thing is pretty awesome. πŸ˜€ Lovesit. Hope the week’s going okay for everyone else out there too – looking forward to seeing Little Tyke’s grandparents … which I guess sorta kinda means Ari’s and my parents – on the weekend to belatedly celebrate his birthday. πŸ™‚ I will try to post Friday but in case I don’t get the chance, it might be a few days until my next post so please bear with and have a great rest of the week, and possibly weekend. Xs and Os from Ottawa.

{November 17, 2009}   A Warm Fuzzy for a Friend

I wanted to express my love and pride in my friend Alex today …

Over the last year at different times we’ve both had plenty of wonderful moments, and plenty of stressful moments; it comes with being parents, it comes with being married, it comes with working, it comes with not working … it comes, in short, with being an adult. Of late, as I’ve been particularly frustrated with not having enough hours in a day to keep a beautiful home AND find a great job AND be an awesome wife AND be the fabulous mom I want to be, she has had the attitude that I need; the ‘enough!’ attitude, the ‘look around and see what wonderful things you have and appreciate them’ attitude. We’ve both talked each other through some ups and downs since re-becoming friends a couple of years back, and I am so proud to see how much she’s grown even just in that time, and I can only hope to do the same! So … today as I’ve been frustrated with being sick, with how the chores never end, and with the lack of work, I’m going to take a page from Ms. Alex’s book and say …

  • I am thankful I have a wonderful 1-year-old son, to whom I am a good mom; of that list above, I know my house can be a pigsty sometimes, I know I’m still looking for work, and I know those things sometimes get taken out on the hubby, making me a less-than-ideal wife; but I KNOW I’m a good mom to Little Tyke. At the end of my days even if there aren’t many things I can add to my list of ‘I was wonderful at …’, ‘being mommy’ will be the one I will ensure DOES make the list.
  • I am thankful for Ari who is patient even when I am not (see above), and who even accepts my sometimes distracted, mind-wandery, less than productive days. I am the stay-at-homer right now, so a lot around here falls on me; but he does more than his share when he is home and gives me a break and I love him for that.
  • For that matter I’ll just say I’m lucky for all the family and friends I have; we all have our ups and downs but the people who are in my life now have been there when the chips have been down; through countless moves, through the stops-and-starts of an early teaching career, through parenthood; they appreciate my good qualities and forgive the less-than-good, and for that I am thankful and do the same in return. Especially those I have struggled with, that they have stuck around and taken the time to work through said struggles, and given me the opportunity to do the same – I appreciate that.
  • I am thankful for my education and my career; as frustrating as it is now, there is little more fulfilling from a professional standpoint than having a job in which you know you’ve done good at the end of the day; Ari is experiencing this now with his new job, and I experience it every time I am in a classroom. I love working with children and young adults, and I can only hope I impact them and teach them as much as they do me!
  • I am thankful for my lovely home and vow to show it more love and appreciation lol.

And so much more … I am lucky to have the material things I do; cars, TVs, computers … heck, even food, toiletries, etc. … aren’t to be taken for granted .. my pets … my very cool new hometown, and my ‘other home’ to which I love returning … all of these things last; those which frustrate me, don’t. And Alex? Thank you for teaching me that by example. πŸ™‚ Love you!

{November 15, 2009}   Happy Birthday Little Tyke

A year ago our son was born …
We didn’t even know it,
Not for a week later almost.
The wee hours of Nov. 15.
We met him on Ari’s birthday,
Nov. 24. And tomorrow
We’ll be celebrating both
Birthdays, as well as my grandpa’s,
in Montreal, with Little Tyke’s
Great Grandparents.
Next week, the same,
With his grandparents,
My dear friend Alex (hopefully)
And my cousin Allison.
Such a loved little guy,
So far from the 5 lb. bundle
Who fit easily in one arm
And wouldn’t eat.
Happy Birthday my baby boy …
And somewhere out there,
I know there’s someone else
Thinking of this day,
Who won’t be here to celebrate,
But to whom we are
Eternally Grateful.
From one mother to another,
For my son,
For our son,
From the bottom of my heart,
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

{November 12, 2009}   CNN Shakeup

Lou Dobbs was the one remaining original anchor from CNN who had been there the entire 29 (I think?) years since its inception; having begun his roots as an economy/business reporter, and having won a Peabody award for his coverage of the 1980s stock market crash, of late he has taken a real step towards the reactionary conservative role. Particularly harsh have been his attacks on Latino-American immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, as he expresses his support for the Minutemen, a civilian vigilante ‘border patrol’ in many southern border states. He has also given validity to the widely-discredited ‘birther’ movement questioning whether or not US President Barack Obama was born inside the United States, thus bringing into question his eligibility for the office of President to begin with (such accusations stem from the fact he was born in Hawaii before it became an official state; some question the authenticity of his Hawaiian birth certificate outright).

After months of activism, particularly from the Latino community, Lou Dobbs last night announced he was leaving the CNN network effective immediately to pursue other opportunities. Some speculate he might get directly involved in political movements; more than a few suggest he’s heading over to CNN’s ultraconservative rival, Fox News. Only the future will show just where Mr. Dobbs is heading. But I for one am relieved it is not CNN, and here’s why.

CNN has a certain legitimacy; sure, everyone makes fun of it in the big picture that it invented the 24-hour news cycle that has led to heightened awareness of trivial news; celebrity pop culture, isolated school bus crashes, etc. However, of the 24-hour cable news networks, it is the original, and the one with the most legitimacy behind it. It is ‘go to’ programming when big events occur – from September 11, through the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, through almost any election. It is highly impartial (the fact that Republicans accuse it of having a strong liberal bias, and Democrats, including my in-laws and husband, still feel it has a fairly clear conservative leaning, shows that obviously the editorial policy of CNN can’t be pigeonholed easily), and while it was very much of the ‘fall in line’ variety of media outlet after 9/11 as the Bush administration used that tragedy to pursue their own agendas, it has strived very hard since then to regain its legitimacy.

They are also the home of an incredible reporting team – intelligent reporters like Anderson Cooper and Campbell Brown, legends like Wolf Blitzer and Larry King, and solid pundits of both political stripes such as Ed Rollins and Donna Brazille, Mary Matalin and the legendary political team of Paul Begala and James Carville. OK, so Candy Crowley and Dana Bash still drive me nuts sometimes, but wonderkind 40-year-old neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta and the legendary Christiane Amanpour make up for that. The one holdout, to me, to CNN’s credibility was Lou Dobbs – I had developed a great respect for the direction in which the company was going, and I felt the one last step necessary was to get rid of this racist reactionary; while it sounds like the split was disappointingly (from a gossip point of view) amicable and mutual, the fact that the last real impediment to my taking CNN seriously as an objective news source has now been removed. The 7pm primetime slot occupied by Dobbs will be taken over by Sunday Morning ‘State of the Union’ anchor John King in the new year.

{November 11, 2009}   Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day here in Canada …

Tomorrow morning we will be going to the National War Memorial, where HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be observing the occasion with us; we will then be going to the Canadian War Museum. Of course, in there, I will be calling my grandfather, a World War II vet who I make a point of always thanking every Nov. 11.

I hope everyone takes some time tomorrow and think of the sacrifices the men and women of our military, and their families, have made for us and continue to make for us and others in this world. My brother is a reservist and knows at least a few of the fallen from the Afghanistan campaign, and has played at at least a few funerals that I know of. All these brave men and women, and those they leave behind, should be remembered and thanked. I know they are in my heart; I couldn’t be the outspoken peacenik I am trying to keep them home and safe if they hadn’t done what they did, and if they didn’t do what they do. My love and my prayers to everyone who has been at war, has been lost at war, has lost a loved one to war, and/or is currently serving or loves someone who is serving.

Lest we forget …

{November 9, 2009}   Weekend and Taylor Swift

So … it’s been an eventful yet quiet weekend all at the same time if that’s possible; yesterday we went to Synagogue here in Ottawa. Definitely an interesting experience but I’m not sure if it’s quite where Ari feels like pitching his tent yet religiously or culturally speaking so we’ll be trying out another one in a couple of weeks to see if it’s a better fit. Meanwhile though it was fun and the people there were lovely; not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning. Today I went to the Remembrance service at my new church, focusing on the sacrifices that women, too, have made in wartime as well as child soldiers. Lots coming up at the church too that excites me very much. I think I’ve found myself a new spiritual home and I hope Ari does as well. It being a nice day after church I picked up Ari and Little Tyke and we spent the day out at the park and then at the mall Christmas list-making/window shopping. So as I said … lots we’ve been doing but nothing too strenuous or stressful.

The week ahead, looking slightly more eventful than the last lol. I’m on a list of substitute teachers now (or will be as of tomorrow when my paperwork goes through), so I could get calls for work anytime (or a ways into the future … all depends as usual). And there’s always the usual run-around-ness of being a mom should work not pop up. LT is on the verge of walking (he can stand on his own for longer and longer periods of time now), so that’s just made my job all new kinds of interesting lol. Speaking of him, he’ll be the star next weekend as it’s his birthday. We’ll be going to church and then to Montreal for the afternoon to celebrate his birthday, as well as Ari’s a week later, and my grandpa’s a few days after that, with my grandparents, and LT’s grandparents and my brother will be up the following weekend for his actual first birthday party. I can’t believe the little 5-pound lie-about we took home from the hospital in December last year is going to be one; it’s absolutely fabulous! πŸ™‚ So exciting.

So bottom line, I should be blogging as we go next week, but if I did get busy and miss a few days on which I’d have normally blogged, I’m letting you know why now. πŸ™‚ In the meantime, feast your eyes and ears on this hilarious bit of fun from Taylor Swift hosting last night’s Saturday Night Live episode. πŸ™‚ She is SO cute and funny and absolutely doesn’t take herself too seriously, no pretentions, she is incredibly refreshing and fun. Sure, I suppose namechecking guys in songs is a bit of an immature and teenage thing to do but hey, if they did dirt first, I have to admit to a lack of sympathy on that front. And it makes for some cute and well-written pieces of music that actually looks more honestly than many people older than her at teenage relationships and what they’re all about – good AND bad. πŸ™‚ Anyway what was I … oh right. Taylor Swift on SNL last night. Here’s the video:

Last but not least, by the way, a major congrats to our friends down south of the border for getting healthcare reform past the first hurdle last night in an incredibly close vote in the house of representatives. May the Senate and the committees charged with seeing this through the rest of the way have the wisdom their congressional peers did. Godspeed, Obamacare. πŸ˜€

et cetera