Monthly Archives: November 2017

Excess

I’m currently reading (and scanning) through the letters my grandfather sent his parents as he went off to college and then enlisted in the military during the Second World War. One thing that strikes me is how little he had. He lost his one pen. He wants his brother to make him a lamp, as store bought ones are expensive. While it certainly sounds as though money was tight, it also points to the vast excess that our lives today.

Do I really need 50 some-odd pairs of shoes? How many pairs of jeans is really necessary? And why, when there is a big event, is my first thought “I have to buy something new?”

We recently shuffled around some rooms in our house. Nothing makes you aware of your excess as much as having to move it. Even though we regularly donate boxes upon boxes to the thrift store, we have more and more that we don’t use. And we shouldn’t pat ourselves on the back for “helping out the less fortunate by donating to charity” without acknowledging our own privilege of buying more than we need, and the simple truth that there is also a decent chance that our stuff may just be picked up by someone comfortably sitting in the middle class to add to their collection of things they probably don’t need either.

I’m wrestling with this idea of excess as we move into the Christmas season. I’m set to go Christmas shopping for the girls this weekend. Socks, a book, pyjamas, a small toy and a big toy from Santa. A gift from each other. A gift from us. The mind boggles at how much these two girls will be getting, especially so close to their birthdays where they were inundated with so much, as well.

I don’t have a plan or solution. It’s easier to crave “the simpler lifestyle” at 1:45 in the morning from a place of relative financial comfort than to actually cull our possessions, restrain our urge to purchase, and limit the generosity of holidays.

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Categories: The new identity | 3 Comments

October Books

I’m trying to revisit C’s library books on a monthly basis, rather than every 6 months. This month, we read 11 library books, and many many more of our own.

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Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean and Kimberly Dean
I hate Pete the Cat, but at least this one didn’t have a song that she made me sing. It’s also a good introduction to math, with a frog eating the cupcakes.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney
I love Llama Llama, and this is a good one for reminding me that sometimes, when we’re dragging our kids around on errands and they’re so not going for it that it really helps to just level with them that it’s not fun for us either.

Baby Love by Angela DiTerlizzi and Brooke Boynton-Hughes
This is a sweet book and was our choice for Madeline this week. It’s very sweet and well illustrated — probably the best example of the parents appearing as real people rather than just stock “mother”and “father” images.

Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman and K. G. Campbell
This book wasn’t a favourite, but that’s not to say it’s bad. C could definitely relate to the bear doing something she didn’t want to all for the promise of a cookie.

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Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen and Kelly Murphy
I don’t know about this one. The illustrations were fun, but the story? It was like there were two books smushed into one, and only the first would have been suitable as a winding-down bedtime story.

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma by Jacky Davis and David Soman
This was cute, and I enjoy that grabbing seasonal/holiday books often introduces you to a new series. Ladybug Girl has to decide on a costume for Halloween, which she ponders as her family going apple picking, on a hay ride and through a corn maze — can you get more quintessential fall?

Scaredy Squirrel Has A Birthday Party by Mélanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel is currently part of the McDonald’s Happy Meal book options, and while the format bugs me, Charlotte liked the original so we went ahead and got another one from the series. I still don’t like the format. Maybe it will be better once C can read herself?

The Scarecrow’s Dance by Jane Yolen and Bagram Ibatoulline
These were beautiful pages with a dancing rhyme. As much as there is an important lesson in it, its a beautiful, calming read. C was slow to warm up to it, but loved it in time.

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Olivia and the Haunted Hotel by Jodie Shepherd and Patrick Spaziante
I should know by now to steer clear of any non-Ian Falconer written Olivia books. The ones based on the show are disjointed and poorly written. It’s much easier to jump around from scene to scene in a show than in a book. Hard pass on this one, guys.

Pete the Cat Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean
For an “adaptation” of the classic kids rhyme, it sure doesn’t wander far from the original. Sure, C loved it, but really? Was this just a lazy attempt at cashing in on a holiday.

Categories: The new identity | 3 Comments

Currently: In November

All right, now I’m all about time moving forward quickly now. We’re getting “practice snow” (or so we’ve been calling it for C who doesn’t understand that season changes aren’t automatic) and I’m ready to check out until spring is back, thank you very much. So hello, November! This month, I am…

Currently November

Realizing: my baby is turning one in just a few days. It’s felt like she’s been a part of our family for an eternity, but that she was just born yesterday.

Stirring: apple cinnamon muffin batter. It’s egg-free for the allergy baby, mixed with baby cereal for additional nutrients for the picky toddler, and basically no sugar, so I don’t feel bad when it’s all my kids want to eat.

Appreciating: relatively healthy kids. We will be taking M to see her allergist finally to confirm her FPIES disgnosis, hopefully get a plan for any accidental exposures to chicken and egg, as well as a schedule for food challenges since you can’t test for FPIES allergies with skin prick or blood tests. It sounds daunting until I remember that the most effective treatment is diligence, and that’s a whole lot better than a lot of other health issues we could be having.

Investigating: different strategies for keeping M’s feet warm this winter. Despite being a year old, her feet are tiny. The size of the average 3 month old. You know what they don’t make? Legit snow boots for 3 month olds. I’m leaning towards Stonz, because I love the pair we got for C, so I might as well try their infant version.

Following: not my resolution to take some time for me. I’m not sleeping enough, I ‘m not drinking enough water, and I’m not taking time to intentionally take time to do something for me.  I get grumpy when I’m sleepy, dehydrated and trying to put too much into a day. Imagine that!

Thanks to Anne of In Residence and Julie of A Hopeful Hood for another month of Currently!

Categories: The new identity | 5 Comments

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