Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Terrific Twos

I love two year olds. They get a bad rap but really they are wonderful. Who else are so willing to help that they will insist that they can unload the dish washer even when they clearly cannot reach the top draw.

 When else in our life are we so confident that we clearly can do anything anyone else can, like ice skating with out help, doing up our own seat belt and playing the piano really loudly.

Two year olds are very zen. They live in the moment, this moment, all the time. So in this moment of trying to get the big kids off to school and lunches packed, of course she wants the fig bar that her brother is getting in his lunch, right now. No, not later, now. When it is explained that those are for lunch, she asks if she can have lunch right now.

Who else is so free to feel proud of their achievements. With no shame, will tell everyone she sees that she pooped in the potty. And why should she not, it is a big deal and they will clearly want to join in the celebrations!

It is too bad that we unlearn all this.Yes, patience and putting others before oneself is very important, but I wish we could learn those virtues while still keeping that confidence, magnanimity, and sense of the present.

Not to mention other people thinking that your fat thighs are really cute.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Life long dream becoming true

When I was about three years old I saw a fiddler at a music festival. I don't remember much about the festival but I remember telling my parents that I wanted to learn to play like that man. But I never took the idea any farther. I did lots of stuff as a kids, piano lessons, voice lessons, ballet, jazz and modern dance. I was very involved in acting in high school but I never purposed fiddle. I did not really know any people that played the fiddle, nor did my parents. But the idea never left me. It was always there in the back ground.

As an adult I sort of thought that that dream was dead. First of all, who can learn to play an instrument as an adult? I was told that if you had not learned the violin before the age of 5 there is no point in starting. Plus, I did not have time. I had little kids at home that needed me. I could not take time for my self to do something frivolous like learn the fiddle. (Heck, I could not take time for something as boring as a hair cut!) And plus, we could not afford it.

Well something changed a few months ago. Actually, the idea came to me when I was in the hospital with the loss of our baby. I don't know why then and there but I thought hey maybe I can take some of this energy/grief and learn the fiddle. Stupid me, I said this out loud to my husband. I should know by now that if I say something to Ryan, he will hold me to it.

Well, actually he did more then that. I found me a teacher.

I was so nervous that first lesson. What would she think of me, a grown women trying to learn to play an instrument? You know what, she was awesome, so supportive and enthusiastic. She told me that of all her students she loves teaching adults the most because they actually want to be there, are motivated to learn and practice.

I can not tell you how much I love playing. So far I have learned two fiddle tunes, two Christmas carols and my 2-year-old's favourite, Twinkle-twinkle Little Star.

On days when grief comes in its surprising, mysterious way playing my fiddle really is balm to my soul. On the ever-increasing days where grief is far way playing makes me even happier. I can't keep from smiling while playing such fun music. If I miss playing one day, every one around me can tell: I am way more grumpy!

I love making music that makes my kids dance around me and makes people laugh. I love being able to make something beautiful, just to add beauty to the world.

And as I have heard before but never believed, having something I do just for me, just for fun, makes me a better mom, wife and friend.

So here is my challenge to you. What have you always wanted to do but where too old, too poor, too scared to do?  What did you use to love as a kids that you have forgotten about? What are you going to do today, just for you, just for fun? Go and do it. Trust me, your family will be glad you did.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Take Two

On my birthday we were in the middle for the Plague. OK it was not the plague but it was the worst cold/flu/infection either of us has had in a long time. So we decided to postpone my birthday until we could at least eat the cake.
So this Saturday we celebrated my birthday. It was a wonderful day. We went down town to the river. This beautiful, wonderful city of ours makes a ice rink every year in the park by the river. Imagine this, skating beside the river, surrounded by beautiful buildings, trees and lightly falling snow. Laughter and music fills the air. If we get cold we can go into the warming hut where a wood stove is ablaze. It is probably the most romantic place on earth. And it is free. Yes, free, even the skate rentals. What a wonderful city.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Steps to Getting out at -35

Many people have asked me how we are surviving the winter. And it has been quite the winter (so far). But I thought that I would give you the steps to getting ready to walk to school at -35.

1: Under ware
2: Long under ware pants and shirt
3: Pants and Shirt
4: Sweater
5: Socks
6: Snow pants
7: Jacket
8: Hat
9: Scarf
10: Boots
11: Mitts
12: Backpack
13: Now open the door and get out as fast as you can so not to let all the hot air out of the house.

This is our morning every day for the three school kids. But if they do all that and walk fast they survive.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Lesson 2: Wind Chill

I have heard the term wind chill since I was a kid. I sort of got what it meant. It was colder then it said on the thermometer.

Well, now I understand what wind chill means. Everyone here really understands, on a almost spiritual level what wind chill means. We can feel it in our bones, literally!

According to CBC news,  because we don't experience cold as the air temperature but instead our skin temperature, how fast the wind removes the heat from our skin changes how we feel the cold (and how fast our skin freezes, and yes that really happens here) http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/the-science-of-wind-chill-1.819530

For example, this warning was issued by Environment Canada a few hours ago.

Extreme wind chills colder than minus 40 over the weekend.

Northwest winds behind yesterday's storm system will usher in much colder temperatures for the weekend. Wind chills of minus 40 to minus 45 are likely across Southern Saskatchewan for the next day or so. The coldest wind chills are expected on Sunday morning, when widespread wind chills between minus 45 and minus 50 are expected.

So Sunday morning the air temperature will be -33. This is really cold. So cold that it is like being slapped in the face when you walk out side. But because of the wind stealing what warmth my body can make, it will feel like -48! I am not sure what that feels like. Probably like me covering my face with a scarf and running as fast as I can into the church doors. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

On the mend

Thank you so much to all of you who sent us your prayers, thoughts and helpful advice. To Anna's mom a special thank you for the throat tea recipe.

We are on the mend. Ryan is almost recovered. He still has a sore throat but he can talk and eat. And being that amazing Dad he is took the kids out sledding today. He mostly stayed in the van and the kids got cold so fast and wanted to come home that it did not take too much out of him.

I am getting better. I still have the worst soar throat I think I have ever had. But I ate some pureed soup today. This is a wonderful gift.

I hope you do not think we were very gravely ill. Yes, it was bad but I new I would get better and I have all the support to make it as easy as possible. But it has got me thinking of all the people that don't have those things. Lots of people are living with terminal illness, in pain that has no cure, or in conditions that means a bad cold CAN kill you. May the angles give them comfort. May we see how blessed we are.