Friday, September 25, 2009

Dancing With the ..... local chick!

For those of you who know me well, you know that I can be shy and tend to keep to myself. I am uncomfortable in new surroundings and like to take my time assessing things and formulating my opinions. I don't like to be the centre of attention at all. For this very reason, when I got married, I decided to have a private ceremony with 9 people (including me and Ron) and then have a quaint cocktail reception afterwards, instead of having a full blown wedding with 150 guests.  

This leads me to my big question that's been racing through my mind for the past week or so.... WHAT THE H. E. DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS POSSESSED ME TO TAKE PART IN DANCING WITH THE STARS?????? For those of you who don't know I have now been training since the end of April, and on October 16 will showcase a Rumba and a Quickstep in front of approximately 800 - 900 people as I compete in a charity event, based on the popular ABC TV show, to raise money for the Hopespring Cancer Support Centre !!!!! 

When I started this adventure, I was so excited. I attended the gala event last year and was so inspired by all of the dancers. I begged and begged my good friend, Trish to get me in the show. (Trish is responsible for all of the dance training and choreography for the event... God bless her!) I just kept thinking how much fun it looked like, what great shape I could be in by the end of it and how, if I really tried hard, I could just win this thing! And hey, it's for an excellent cause as well. What a perfect combo. So, these are the thoughts that have kept me motivated throughout the past 5 months of training. 

However, it is now less than 3 weeks away. Suddenly the "what the hell was I thinking" factor is coming into full swing!!!!! I am having trouble sleeping at night, my heart starts racing when I think of the the night and last week at our very first full rehearsal, my knees were shaking uncontrollably!!!!!! YIKES! Anyone got any spare Valium kicking around??????

And here's the worst part... way back in May when I was feeling oh so confident about this whole thing, I sold tickets to practically everyone I know to come and see me shake my stuff!!!! Now I have 44 of my closest friends, family and colleagues who will be there to witness my demise! Again... what was I thinking???? 

So I guess all I have left to say is this: to those of you who were kind enough to have faith in me and have purchased tickets, I have trained so hard, I really have learned a ton and I'm really hoping that I can focus enough on that night to give you a great show! I am going to try my best to win this thing for all of you who have supported me. I just ask that if you see my knees shaking from way across the ballroom at Bingeman's you ignore it and just hoot and holler even louder!!!!

Wish me luck! And let's just say, come 11:30pm on October 16th, I'll be happy to accept any free drinks you're offering to buy me!!!!!

PS... for more information on this event, go to and go to their Calendar of Events.

Friday, September 11, 2009

There's nothing like reading!

I grew up in a house without colour TV and cable. In fact, until I was in high school, we had one small black and white television (I know... it sounds like I was completely deprived!) that we used to fight over. Imagine watching the Muppets in black and white!!!! 

What our house never lacked though was a good book. Both of my parents have been avid readers for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough as a child to inherit the "book loving" gene! From what I'm told, my mum even taught me to read before I went to kindergarten. Fast forward to my adult life and it would seem that books had almost completely disappeared from my life. Every so often I'd pick up a book in the airport book store and read it, but as far as my everyday life went, books weren't that high on the priority list. Sure there have been the odd times that I've read books along the way, but it's definitely not like I always had a book on the go like when I was a kid. I'm not sure when this shift happened. I think it may have something to do with spending 6 years in university studying music history and researching for my thesis and being forced to be constantly reading that took the fun out of it for me. 

But whatever the reason was that I stopped reading regularly, I realized when Evan was born how important it is to read to him from the very beginning. When he was just a few weeks old, I remember rocking him and nursing him and reading to him from his big Curious George anthology. He's had stories before bed since day one and as a result, he loves books. He wants me to read to him all the time and he's very excited about learning his letters. 

I think that I've thought for the past 3 1/2 years that I'd been doing a pretty good job making sure books and reading were a big part of his life. That is until a few months ago when I said something about the "library" to Evan and he said back to me "What's the library, mummy"!!!!! I was shocked.  After all, I can remember spending hours and hours at the library as a child. Had I been failing my peanut all this time??? If my university professor mum had been there to hear that, she would have been absolutely mortified! So, the very next day, I picked Evan up from daycare and we drove straight to the local library, got ourselves a new library card and got Evan some books to enjoy for the week. 

Since that day, we've gone to the library once a week, every week. Evan usually picks a special movie and a few books to bring home and I tag along helping him decide what to pick, not really concerning myself much with the "grown up" books on the shelf. That is, until about a month or two ago, when I was at the checkout desk and noticed the "New Fiction" shelf right by the door. I grabbed a book off the shelf and read it in a few days! That was it... I was hooked. The next week, I grabbed another one. I've been doing it each week since. There's just something so fantastic about a book that can make you laugh out loud or cry uncontrollably. The fact that you can get lost in the pages of a good book and forget all about what's going on around you makes reading addictive. 

I tend to gravitate towards the fluffy books... not quite the Harlequin romances, but definitely not Dickens or Tolstoy! You know the type... Confessions of a Shopaholic (I admit to having read all of them), Twilight (yes I know they were written for teenagers, but I admit to being madly in love with Edward!) and now, my latest favourite... Souvenir by Therese Fowler. I picked up this book last Friday. I've been reading it each night before bed and have just finished the last page today. If you're in the mood for a good cry, I highly recommend this book. I literally was crying on each page of this entire novel. In fact, as I was straightening my hair this morning, my teardrops were falling on the pages. This, to me, is the sign of a good book! 

So, I guess that really is my point. A book can give you a glimpse of other ways of life you've never experienced before; a book can let you travel to parts of the world you never thought you'd get to; a book can introduce you to people you might not otherwise ever meet; a book can allow you to explore emotions and confront your own vulnerabilities; and sometimes, a book can just make you laugh at a time when you just really needed to. There really is nothing quite like a good book! 

Gee, my mum would be so proud of me for writing this!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It seems like just yesterday!

This past week my tiny little peanut began his transition from baby to grown up by moving into the kindergarten room of his daycare. Suddenly he has to line up with all of the big kids to go outside, he has a "quiet time" instead of a nap and he no longer is bringing his favourite blankie with him each day. All this change in a matter of a couple of days. When I left him on Tuesday morning, I started to cry. There he was in the lineup and he was by far the smallest little one there. It lead me to wonder if this big change is coming way too soon. Is he ready for all of this? Am I?

And this is just the beginning... Over the course of the next 2 weeks, he and I will be integrated into the public school system. We start with our "meet the teacher" interview this Wednesday morning. I anticipate that this will be a half hour session where I will grill the teacher about the safety and general well being of my most precious possession. Mrs. Archdeacon has not seen the likes of this psycho mama!!!! I want to know everything... I want to know who will meet his school bus and get him to his classroom, I want to know if anyone will comfort my sensitive little man if he's sad or finding the transition difficult, I especially want to know if I can volunteer in his class just so I can make sure he's not being bullied or pushed around by some massive SK'er... And that's just the start... I fully anticipate that I may be "one of those mums" who gets talked about in the staff room!!!!

Once the interview is complete, we will have our first day of JK on the following Monday. This is when the water works will be in full operation I'm sure! This will be his first trip to school on the big yellow bus! He's so excited about it... I am petrified. I will definitely be following the bus on that first day, and maybe the second too and who knows how long after that! I just can't help but think of the chaos that will greet him once that bus gets to the school. I am overcome with emotion when I think of how scary and overwhelming that might be for him. 

I ask all of you veteran mamas out there... am I normal? Is it normal to want to follow the school bus each day until he's 14? Is it normal to want to be there every day just to make sure he's okay without me? Why am I so worried? I mean he's been in daycare full time since he was 13 months old. Why am I now freaking out about him not being under my watch 24 hours a day? Perhaps it's because I know how independent he has to be now that's going to "big boy school" and I'm worried he's not up for the challenge. But why would I think that? He's proven to me time and time again that he's a smart little cookie and can handle almost everything life throws his way. I guess maybe it's just that I know that once he enters the walls of Brigadoon Public, he's not really my baby any more and I'm not really ready to deal with that quite yet! 

So, I'll close today by just asking all of my friends, colleagues, mamas around me, family and anyone else who happens to encounter me over the next few weeks... Be kind to me. Offer me a tissue if you catch me getting teary. And don't worry, I'm sure by the time we enter Grade 2, I'll be back to normal!!!