Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Break

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Earlier in the week I thought that I might struggle with having Annie by myself for the whole day, as Markus works on Saturdays. So I called in the grandparent cavalry, which I don’t do often.

They took Annie from 10:00 to 4:00, and I had a lovely, lovely day alone at home. I worked a bit, crafted a lot, and just chilled out. I finished a scrapbook page and then painted a bit in a new art journal. I’m just playing around with colours, not even attempting to paint anything real, but I still really enjoy it. Maybe I’ll try a painting class in the future.

When I picked up Annie I stayed and talked with Oma and Opa for almost two hours. It was good to connect with them again, as the relationship between the family has been strained. Ah well, such is life.

Tomorrow is our family day. It has been a long, stressful week for Markus, so I imagine we won’t do much. But a totally do-nothing weekend is fine with me once in a while.

I’ll go back to being busy and industrious on Monday.

A Nice Evening

Friday, November 25th, 2011

The stress level at our house has been, to put it mildly, in the red. The first thing that happens when I’m anxious is I lose all patience with Annie. Poor duck.

So I’m grateful that we had a nice, easy evening together. I picked Annie up at 2:00 and we talked about making a domino set. She had cut one out of a kids magazine, but didn’t quite get the concept of a domino and so cut each square out individually instead of keeping two connected. She asked about taping them together, which we could have, but instead I suggested finding a printable one on the Internet. I love the Internet. It is absolutely magic, and especially for anything kid’s-craft related.

I found a zillion choices, so we picked one that had flower pictures and one that had the alphabet. There was an option to print them out black and white and colour them in ourselves (smart!) so that is what we did. Annie ran around with Dad for a bit on errands, and then when she got home we started colouring and cutting while listening to music. Between crafting and playing and dinner, over two hours flew by. Books and teeth and bed and it was an easy, easy evening that we both totally enjoyed.

I very much look forward to more of the same once things reach some level of normal again. I’m ready.

Not much today…

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

The writing part of my brain isn’t feeling very creative today. It was a good day, with some work projects completed, a nice walk to the store in crisp fall weather, and lots of snuggles with Annie.

But now I’m just ready to turn on Q and do some crafting.  More tomorrow.

Fluid IQ

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

I watched the Tedx video by Gabe Zichermann, one of the current leaders on gamification.

I don’t agree with everything he says…like the value of reading books!…but it is a thought-provoking perspective on how games can actually support a child’s education instead of working against it.

My favourite part is the five things that increase fluid intelligence (good for problem solving). They are:

  • Seek novelty
  • Challenge yourself
  • Think creatively
  • Do things the hard way
  • Network

I’m really an expert at number four! But actually, I do most of these five things frequently, and I’m a pretty good problem solver in a work context. Now if I could only use that super-power to figure out some of my other life challenges….

There is always next year….

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Darn. I forgot to post yesterday. I’m surprisingly disappointed. I’ll keep going through the month, though, because I’m enjoying daily posting and I like the feedback from friends and family.

Annie and I were eating waffles for breakfast. She was talking, non-stop, as usual. She said something a bit odd and I asked, “Why did you say that?”

“It just popped out, Mom. Sometime I think something in my head and I try hard to hold it there (grunting face) but it just goes down into my mouth and pops out!”

I know that feeling well, honey, I know it well.

Birth Story

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

At Annie’s last parent-teacher meeting, the director of the school wondered if there had been issues when Annie was born. She mentioned it because Annie has a high need for physical contact and also to be the center of attention, and was suggesting that sometimes those early days can have a lingering effect. I believe probably a large part of that need is Annie’s personality that came hard-wired, but it got me thinking.

I asked my friend, Margriet, who is a psychologist, what she thought. She suggested I talk to Annie about what happened at her birth. I didn’t make a big plan, but a couple of days ago we were snuggling in bed and it just seemed like the right time. I told her how she was born and how Dad and Rebecca and I were so happy, and then I described the problems that happened. She was able to follow along and asked questions that showed she understood what I was saying and was curious. I asked her how she imagined she must have felt not really seeing her momma for the first couple of days of her life. She wasn’t as interested in the emotional part as in the story itself, so I stayed with that.

I don’t know how these things work, if those first memories are stored in the body or affect personality. I don’t think anyone can say for sure. But it felt right to talk to Annie about what happened when she was born, and I think the topic will come up again sometime, either by her or I initiating it. And it was a good process to start, because there are other difficult things I know Annie needs to know about her world as time goes by, and it opens up the path to discuss those times as well.

It also follows my very deep belief that you can’t shelter anyone, child or adult, from the difficulties or pain of life. You can only help provide the tools and strength to deal with it at the time, and work through it once it is over. Talking about the events and emotions that happen in life, both good and bad, is absolutely the first step.

Too Much Blogging

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

I’ve spent a good chunk of today writing a guest blog post for a gamification at work blog. Well, mostly editing it, as my original draft was 3 times too long. Yikes.

I’m afraid that has sucked my blogging spirit out of me for the day. Tomorrow I’ll try to write something in the morning when I’ve got more creative energy. Maybe I need a guest blogger…anyone? Anyone?

Off to Hamburg

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

I’m getting on an airport shuttle to Munich in an hour and then flying to Hamburg. My presentation is tonight and then back tomorrow. Which is a good thing, as the Latern Fest is on Thursday, and I don’t want to miss that!

So I’m afraid that is all for today.


Monday, October 31st, 2011

Well friends and family (as after the incredibly infrequent blogging I’m sure that you are the only ones left standing), I’ve decided to try to post again every day in November.

So much is going on with our lives these days, and I want to put some effort into recording it. Posts may be short, but at least they will contain some information about what is happening in our world and/or in my mind.

The cafe is closed today, so Markus and Annie are out and about on errands as I try to catch up on some work. Annie is going to a Halloween party this afternoon (no door-to-door trick-or-treating in this part of the world). I’ll post some pics tomorrow.

Here we go….!


Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

It started when Annie and best friend Chloe couldn’t get into the same swim class in May. The only June class that worked was an intensive, three-times-per-week course.

At the same time, Annie’s dance class was putting on their year-end performance. Two very long dress rehearsals and then four evening performances over a couple of weekends were scheduled.

Added to that I realized that there was only 4 weeks left until we departed for the whole summer to Canada. Annie is a very late bloomer in the night-time no-diaper department, as she is a deep, deep sleeper. But I just dreaded the thought of hauling diapers for our insanely scheduled trip — 2 days in Vancouver, 4 in Victoria, one full day travelling to Savary Island, two days on Savary, one full day travelling to Vancouver, one night in Vancouver and then off to Manitoba for a month — so I threw weaning off diapers into the mix.

And of course there was the regular round of Kindergarten, hikes and outings, play dates, etc., plus my work. It was a crazy, crazy June. Annie pulled through it all with only a few over-the-top tired and cranky days, which were solved by some marathon afternoon naps. She even slept in until 7:30 one morning!

In the end, Annie is swimming fairly well now…up to a few minutes without water wings and swimming several seconds under the water. She enjoyed performing, although I have to say, Markus and I weren’t overly impressed with the show. Since I put my mom through 13 years of dancing, I’m not sure whether to thank her for putting up with the crappy shows, or thank my dance teachers for doing a better job. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. And Annie is making it most nights without a diaper, although she isn’t allowed to drink anything after 5:00 p.m., which is difficult for my thirsty girl.

So we are beat in this little house. I’m really hoping that once I hit Manitoba there will be some recovery time. Finger’s crossed!


On an unrelated, untimely note…at the beginning of the month I gave Annie a card blank, 3 letters and a big box of supplies, and suggested she make a Father’s Day card. I came back a little while later and saw the result:

I’m so impressed! Sweet arrangement of the butterflies, good balance of sticker placement, and using the reverse of the punched paper is an advanced crafting technique, for sure. What I was most astonished by was the restraint. I’d put out a dozen punches, glitter glue, sparkly gel pens, a big stack of coloured paper and a bowl full of stickers among other things. Let me tell you, a year ago there wouldn’t have been any white-space left on the card. (O.K., so we need to work a wee bit on which way is up with the letter “D”, but minor point.) I foresee some awesome crafting together for years to come.