Monday, November 26, 2012

What's in a name?

I think that picking a name for your kids is one of the hardest things a parent has to do. It’s a huge responsibility.

And I had the extra challenge of making sure that our name worked in both English and Spanish and we had to pick a boys and a girls name because we didn’t know what we were having.

I agonized over the process…poring over baby name books and conducting endless internet searches…all in the hopes of finding that perfect name. Or rather the perfect 3 names because I was convinced I should have a shortlist of 3 and then when I saw my child for the first time I would just KNOW which name was the right one.

You know what they say about the best laid plans…

With my first child I got my shortlist down to about 11 and then I couldn’t bear to cut any more.  And then one day hubby says to me all too casually “What about Malia for a girl?”

The other 11 on my girls list just disappeared…hubby had chosen the perfect name.  I was in love.  Thank goodness we had a girl…

With our second child I recycled many of the favourites on my first list (of course) and again got to the point where I just couldn’t edit it down anymore.

Once again hubby stepped in with the winner.  Casually email to say “hey I found this website of Latina girls names…what about Téa?”

Done deal.

So here – in no particular order because it’s been way too long – are some of the other names we considered.

Juliana – this was a very close 2nd place finisher for our 2nd daughter. But we thought it was just a little too formal.

Amaya – a name I could never drop from the list completely…but I was pretty sure we would never use.

Alicia – pronounced A-lee-see-ah.  And the fact that I had to sound out the pronunciation phonetically is exactly why we dropped it.

Trevor – but we thought it would be weird to name our son after the only man I am allowed to leave my hubby for. One day Mr. Linden…one day…

Lucas – this was always at the top of the boys list.

Adrian – another solid boys choice…although kind of a girly sounding boys name in my humble opinion.  (apologies to any male Adrian’s that may have stumbled upon this post…it’s nothing personal.)

Luciana – I have met 2 Luciana’s in my life and they are both amazing women. I love the name.

Ava – a top contender until we noticed it was the 2nd most popular name that year.  I went to school with too many Kelly’s (number one name in my year) and didn’t want to do that to my kids.

-- and finally the history on the winning names --

Malia – pronounced Ma-lee-ah (like Maria but with an L) – her name is often mis-pronounced and she gets pretty testy about that. It’s Polynesian and means `calm and peaceful`.  Hmmm…I guess descriptions aren’t always accurate. 

Téa –keeping the traditional latin spelling with the é proved to be a bit of a mistake.  No one knows what the accent means and she often gets call Tea (as in do you want a cup of…)  When this happens I get pretty testy myself…I mean why would I name my kid Tea?  Then I remember that anything goes these days. (I’m looking at you – parents of Audio Science and Moxie Crimefighter.)

Despite their minor challenges I absolutely ADORE my daughter’s names…and they suit them both to a T. I think we did all right with our huge responsibility.  I’m just glad I won’t have to do it again!

And there you have it…the answer to what’s in a name…

Linking up with the Stasha for another MondayListicles.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Because sometimes you don't need to confuse things with words.

It was a good weekend...

Hip Hop superstar in the making.

Playing Memory.  the little one's a cheater...

sunny days in November are meant for bike riding.

how my kids "text" each other.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am lucky to be blessed with an amazing extended family...some of whom I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. This is especially true of my cousin Virginia - who relocated to jolly old England a few years back and who we now see in person once a year (if we are lucky).

And on Monday...we were that lucky. 

We made the loooooonnnggg trek out to my brother and sister-in-law's house for dinner and a visit with the lovely V. It was a fantastic night as cousins...both the younger generation and us caught up.

The night ended far too soon...but the memories will have to last us for another 12 months... 

Little cousins playing dress-up...

...and the older cousins catching up:

We miss you already V! Come home again soon...

Monday, November 19, 2012

10 Things I Learned in 2012

1. Disneyland truly is the happiest place on earth.

2. Grade 1 attitude is way more annoying than Kindergarten attitude. Even the eye rolls and hands on hips gestures get more pronounced.

3. Blogging makes me really happy and I should have started ages ago. Oh and since most of my readers have found me through a Google search for "turkey clipart" - I know to always have some of that on my blog.

4. I am blessed with amazing friends.  Seriously wonderful people that keep me sane.

5. If you ask your 3 year old to help you pick out "fancy shoes for work" this is what they will choose:

what does she think I do for work?
6. There really does come a point where too much bad news becomes laughable.  Literally. And out loud.

7. Money isn’t everything – but it sure makes everything a lot easier.

8. Shit happens. And sometimes the only thing you can do to make yourself feel better is go out with friends and get really...really drunk.

2 people in this picture had no idea of the fun going on behind them...

9. Project positivity is really hard…but necessary.

10. These 2 faces remind me everyday that I am actually the luckiest woman in the world.

Linking up with Stasha at The Good Life for another great Monday Listicles.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back to the Grindstone

My vacation is at an end. My time of doing whatever I wanted – mainly spent in my pajamas and the comfort of my living room – is over.

Tomorrow I will be back at it – struggling to get out the door on time, fighting morning rush hour traffic and facing my overflowing in-box.


But all of that is still a good 10 hours away – good god is that all? – and for now I can milk the last few hours of my freedom and play ignorant of the fact that my alarm will go off tomorrow morning for the first time in 10 days.

It has been a very good run with a few of the early days being spent getting some stuff done – house cleaning & organizing, etc… - and the later days being spent giving myself a long needed break – both mental and physical.

And it worked. I wasn’t sure that taking this time would give me what I needed emotionally. I didn’t think it would be enough to rejuvenate my spirit. Turns out I was wrong.

I have come to accept that while there are many things about my life that I don’t like – I am powerless to change most of them. I can only change how I react to them. And how much I let them get under my skin.

So while I don’t want to go back to work tomorrow – another week of vacation would suit me just fine – I feel prepared to do so.

The frustrations will still be there. The little things that annoy me so will not have changed. But I am better equipped to face them. With a smile on my face and my rose coloured glasses firmly perched on the end of my nose.

It should be one hell of an interesting Monday…


Highlights from the week that was:

starting Christmas wish lists..  Little one wants "a dinosaur - a real one...and maybe some playdoh."

Hanging ornaments on Santa's tree at the mall.

A lovely view on a random Thursday morning...

Taking a detour to say hi to our old friend Minoru.

Sisters. Fall. Love. Enough said...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Good Day...

Today marks the halfway point of my oh-so necessary 10-day staycation. And I am feeling relaxed and grateful. You might even say my glass is three-quarters full.

Turns out that all I needed to be grounded again was quality time with my little family.

Movie dates with the hubby, games of Memory and Candy Land with my youngest and lots of book reading with my oldest.

Drinking a cup of tea by the fire, finally sorting through the piles of papers on my kitchen table and catching up on my PVR'd shows helped too.

I hope the next 5 days live up to the standard of the past 5. Maybe then - come Monday - my glass will be full again.

Here's hoping.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The 3 R’s – Roadtrip, Responsibility & Remembrance

I can’t believe my last post was almost 2 weeks ago.  That is as sure a sign as any that my life is out of control…when I haven’t even been able to find the time to write.  Because that means I haven’t had an outlet for my emotions…and I've just been bottling it all up.  And that is all kinds of not good…for me and those around me.

A quick disclaimer: I am trying so hard to live up to my promise of sucking it up and facing life with a positive frame of mind.  But damned if life isn't making that nearly impossible.  So – as a result – this post will contain quite a few “woe is me” moments.  However, I hope you will agree they are totally justified.

Let’s just say – the last 2 weeks have been some of the most trying of my entire life.

And – as usual – I have been struggling to find perspective.  To find reassurance that it really isn't all that bad.  That this too shall pass.  And when I look at it that way I am able to find the good in life and can – just for a small moment – forget my reality.

A roadtrip up to Whistler with my ‘sisters’ was just one of those times.  From the moment we left the city I felt a weight leave my shoulders. I knew that the next 24 hours were mine to do with what I wanted. And what I wanted to do was sing out loud, dance like a maniac and drink like a fish.  Oh – and complexly changing my outward appearance with a radical hair dye job.

(Nothing too Freudian about that huh…)

The drive up the scenic Sea to Sky was one of my favourites – we laughed about ridiculous and insignificant things (dirty car floors, jug bands, and puffer fish to name a few) and we sang out loud to some road trip faves (like Be With You by Mr. Big).

Kicking off the trip...first of many self portraits from the weekend.
Once up in Whistler – we broke out the vodka, hit the hot tub, ate dinner with the gray-haired crowd at 5:30, dyed my hair... 

First time I have ever chosen a colour with "brown" in the name.

Totally in love with the results. Phew...
...drank more vodka, painted our nails, and hit the club.

I LOVE this photo - how cool are our Halloween goblets from WalMart?

And we danced (in a near empty night club) to fantastic music until we all decided it was time to call it a night. As we left the club at just after 1am – we were unfortunate enough to walk right into the middle of a fist fight.  J and I were smart and steered clear of the melee…but C just couldn't help herself and dove right into help.

It was a really crappy way to end what had been a really great night.  C wound up with blood spattered pants as thanks for her intervention and we all felt equally disappointed in the kids that were fighting, the lack of action from the ‘security’ detail outside the club to break it up and the slow, meandering response from the Whistler PD.

I just figured this my bad luck had finally found where I was staying…felt like par for the course at this point.

And when I returned home the next day – still trying to ride a bit of the high of my day of freedom (and my new auburn coloured do) – I was hit by yet more reality.  Hubby had separated his shoulder in his soccer game.

So what should have been a family night of swimming and dinner turned into him heading to the ER for 5 hours and me taking the girls solo to swim class.  And at that point I was just getting real angry.  I had no one to direct my anger at of course because there was no one person I could blame.  And I didn't want to take it all out on the easiest targets – my poor kids. 

And so – as soon as we got in the car – I told them that Mummy needed them to be quiet for 5 minutes or I was really going to lose it and I didn't want to get mad at them when this wasn't their fault.  Turned out they really do know when it’s in their best interest to do what I ask – that was the quietest I have ever heard them.

And it helped – I worked through things in my head…re-focused my self…and by the time we arrived at the pool I was composed again. 

This past week was all about responsibility.  With an injured husband and only one car – because of course our 2nd vehicle crapped out last week too – it was up to me to handle all drop-offs and pick-ups for the girls.  And I had a daycare AGM (I'm president of the board) to prepare for.  As well as a huge pile of work to complete in preparation for a very necessary week off of work.

Honestly…the amount of work I have to do to be able to go on vacation almost makes it not worth it.

(By the way…this is the woe is me part if you hadn't figured that out.)

So by the time Thursday rolled around I was completely burnt out.  I was frazzled…snapping at family and co-workers alike…pretty much almost getting myself fired.  I worked until after 11pm that night – just to ensure that I could take the next 10 days off without anyone having to bug me about anything.  I wanted to just unplug.

Earlier in the day on Thursday a colleague asked me what I was planning to do with my week off, was I going anywhere fun…any real exciting plans.   And that innocent question almost brought me to tears – because my answer was crap.  Not going anywhere…need to deal with our housing crisis…maybe even meet with a bankrupty lawyer about our options…oh and we’ll probably go to a movie or something.

Awesome stuff.

Hubby (still off work with his injured shoulder) and I went our oldest daughter’s school to watch her sing in their Remembrance Day assembly on Friday.  She was very serious about the entire event – “you can’t clap Mummy.” She said repeatedly – and I was really struck by the sincerity all the kids showed during every part of the assembly. 

Does the AV set up take you back or what?

Side note – I was also pretty damn impressed with myself as I realized I still had all the words to In Flanders Fields committed to memory.  That was the high point of my day…says something right there…

We talked quite a bit about Remembrance Day over the weekend leading up to the 2 minutes of silence this morning as we watched the veterans standing proudly at the downtown Cenotaph.   We talked about how my Poppa had fought in the war – he came home – and how their Nanny’s first husband fought as well – he wasn't so lucky.  We talked about freedom and death and war.  We talked about why it’s important to never forget the past and that is why we have Remembrance Day every year.

I feel like I have been through an emotional war these past few weeks. Trying to show strength when I really have none left.  Waiting for the next ‘bomb’ to drop – because I know its coming but I don’t know where it will hit.  Looking for my best strategic next move that will help us get through with minimal damage.

That is the plan of attack this week – we are on an intel gathering mission.  Talk to as many professionals as we can that might be able to help.  And figure out what the hell we are going to do.

And no matter what journey life is about to take us on…we will hit it straight on and as a family.  As long as I have them with me… I'm good.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

It was rainy...we got soaked...but no one cared. For the first time we went out with a group of friends from our complex and the girls had a great time.  We trick or treated for almost 2 hours and they could have kept going. 

We have enough candy to last us a lifetime...

Mermaid and flower fairy pre-rain...

sorted by any good OCD mum would do. 

Let's do it all again next year.