Saturday, December 5, 2009

How Empty Words Can Be

It's been a fight this week. A true fight to stay where you can see me and not succumb to the darkness creeping in around the edges. To fight for equilibrium, to temper the anger and hurt and pain, the sharp and constant pain and accept the quiet. I'm barely hanging on sometimes, going minute to minute, reeling from emptiness to acquiescence just to lurch back again.

At some points, the minutes fly by while I stare blankly at the wall or the television, and I'm suddenly frightened by the passage of so much time. Time where I was gone somewhere, back into a minute, a place when things were easier. Other times the moments tick by excruciatingly slow - taking with them another small piece of a shattered me. Notching up the panic bit by bit until it's crushing me and I can't catch my breath between heaving sobs.

The days slide by in a haze while the nights drag on forever. I find myself just dozing off in time to awaken to the melodic tone of your presence. I answer, I doze, I read and answer again. I cannot permit myself to go to the depths of sleep in the chance you might need me. Sleep eludes me, it's too dark, it's too quiet, it's too lonely. The lights and the fan and the movie playing cycles on the laptop do not compensate for your breath as you sleep beside me, the weight of your arm on my waist, our fingers entwined beneath my pillow. Between the sheets I cannot find your radiating warmth, instead I feel only trapped coldness. My mornings are empty and humbling, I stumble around the room searching for the scent of your cologne in the bathroom after you've gone to work. No matter how hard I search I cannot find enough of you to sustain me.

Friends reach out, and they share with me those phrases they think will comfort me most. We've all said them, "you're better off", "this too shall pass", "time heals all wounds." These are emptier than the spaces next to me. They do not allow me to shatter, to feel crushed, to miss and to fall apart. They have no allowance for the good times, the fun things, how sweet the music is with you. They do not comfort me, but leave me colder than the winter wind whistling past my quiet window. They cannot chase from me the dream - that somewhere you murmured that my kisses were the sweetest thing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Beaten.

We crossed the line
Who pushed who over?
It doesn't matter to you
It matters to me
We're cut adrift
We're still floating
I'm only hanging on
To watch you go down
My love.

What he doesn't know is there is no further down to go.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

You Can't Stop Me

HA! It's Friday night (or Saturday morning I'm not sure). It took me a few tries to sign in, but here I is. I've been hurting and fighting and drowning and tonight - drinking. I'm sure I'll regret this post in the morning but for now, here it is.

You can't stop me. Tonight I was filled with so much ugliness it boiled over my head. It scrambled my brain and whispered in my ears. It made me want to scream at the heavens and tear holes in the universe just to see my own damage. I wanted to jump from the balcony and stand in the parking lot and scream until my voice had deserted me. I wanted to rip out my fingernails just to feel tangible pain and escape the hell in my head.
But I didn't. Instead, I got quiet.
I quietly sat there while she demanded attention, hovered at the entrances and navel-gazed. I sat in the corner, shrouded in darkness and twiddled the fringe of my scarf to avoid scratching out my own eyes. I sat and I listened and I grew quiet and I grew calm. You couldn't stop me.
I drank and I felt and I fuzzed and grew warm at the center. I read and I wrote and I laughed and I cried and somehow, somewhere I died. But you couldn't stop me.
So I stumbled in the door and across the bedroom floor where I found your discarded t-shirt and I donned it. I sprayed it with your cologne and I marveled at the line I drew around myself, lost in the comfort I made and you couldn't stop me.
Tonight I am safe and I am held, even in the absence of your arms. The world is spinney and the bed is empty but I'm ok.
And you couldn't stop me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Routine

Routine is slowly swallowing me whole.

Every morning I wake at 530 am to begin preparing for the day. Lately, 530 am brings with it a feeling of despair, stress, worry and I spend the next ten minutes contesting my muscles. They want to sleep. I want to sleep. Collectively we would prefer to hide under the mocha duvet, finding comfort and security snuggled in the down. We want to spend the day curled around the heat of last night's sleeping bodies.

The mornings are getting colder now. The floors are cold on my warm toes, frigid whispers of winter's promise. The children protest against my gentle murmers, wanting to remain in the vestiges of sleep where dreams become adventures. I pull them from their reveries with bowls of steaming oatmeal. Bleary-eyed and rosy cheeked, they slowly wind towards the day with complaints dormant on their lips.

It is moments like this that I wonder when I will be able to enjoy them. This. Life. When will the spinning top come screeching to a halt and rust, stuck in the moment. When will I have a chance to pause. Take in. Breathe. Will there come a day that I greet the morning with optimism, pushing up from the calm and not feeling the pressures to perform, dance, create - obtain.

Excellence.

Demanded.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blurred

We dance, he and I.
We dance in and out of the real,
the imagined,
and tear at the seams.
I reach for him and he skips away,
A shadow of yesterdays.
I feel him slipping,
the whisper of clothing sliding between my fingers.
Hands cramping and fingers splayed I scrabble in desperation.
Bring him closer.

We dance, he and I.
It is ugly and broken.
Our limbs akimbo, we gyrate and sweat.
We curse, we grimace and we hate.
I struggle for the fluid motions of moments gone
While he struggles to find what he has lost.
We spin and the world melts to blur,
Images doubled and distorted, trailing away like the laughter of innocence.

We fall, he and I.
In a jumble of arms and legs we lie piecemeal,
kneeling on pride and crushing spirit.
In a heap I dig,
Fingernails ragged and dirty
Searching.
Beneath the hate and the ugly and the arms and the legs.
Seeping from between hurt pride and broken spirits I know it hides.
Haunting.

We cry, he and I.
Shattered and crushed beneath turmoil and fear.
Panic flutters in his breast and helplessness stays my heart.
We drown in the layers I've exposed,
ugly and broken.
In a chemical haze, we tumble.
Darkened. Lost. Looking.
For the elusive Mickey Blue.


Don't worry. Mommy will find you once again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

October Wedding

I recently shot a wedding for my cousin in Niagara. It was a beautiful
fall day. Thought I'd share one or two from a truly lovely fall wedding.


DAG







Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Epic Illness

Sick.

Sick.Sick.Sick. On my back for the last six days, sweating, swearing, crying. My eyes are like two orbs of molten lava, dripping hot, sticky pain into my body. My skin hurts to look at, prickly, chilled. But no actual fever. Body aches, leg pain, back, arm, jaw (WTF?! JAW??). Tired, so very tired. The walls of my stomach throb dully and the world continues to turn on a off-kilter axis. I'm sick.

Other than making great relationships with school secretaries and university office answering machines - I'm hardly upright.


Send soup.

Or death.


DAG

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Parenting Journey

I've shared a little here and there about the struggles I've had with my 8 year old son (Thing One). For the last two years the struggle has been to try and get some psychiatric assessment for him in the face of a referral based health system.

Finally, I was able to get that. After a long hard road, I took him to be evaluated and here are the results. Thing One has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). These are companion disorders, and they are wreaking havoc in our home. We now have him taking 25mg of Zoloft (a SSRI to help ease the anxiety), and I am now currently enrolled in a Triple P (positive parenting) class for one on one tutoring in behaviour modification. In theory, these classes should help me to condition him to remove the "unwanted behaviours" and reinforce the positive ones. But - I am warned, this is a long process and behaviours are hard to change.

I can see that the Zoloft helps him (however minimally) to control his anxiety levels. Where he was once the child who needed to hear the fire safety plan every night for 8 months, he now accepts things more easily. He transferred to a new school and before school program this year with ease. Gone were the tell-tale signs of stress and repetitive behaviours (for the most part). But, now we see an increase in the oppositional and defiant behaviours.

It is so very difficult to look at this eight year old boy, right into his baby blue eyes and feel all of the love I have for him at that moment, at every moment, and accept the ugly words coming from his mouth. I've heard it all, been told to shut up, to leave him the "f" alone, that he hates me, wants to live somewhere else. All because I asked him to please brush his teeth. I have experienced his hate, his rage, his fists. Been pinched and slapped and watched him destroy my possessions. All because I told him we couldn't buy two boxes of cereal.

I've seen him walk by Thing Two and push her, slap her, pinch her, just because he's angry and she happens to be there. I've sent him for time outs exhaustingly, taken away his favorite possessions, retracted treats and special outings and gotten absolutely nowhere. I'm at the end of my rope with this kid and I don't know what to do. I fear that his life, social/emotional/home/school will be so deeply affected that he'll never experience true happiness. My heart is heavy and my reserves are empty.

Yesterday, the Aftermath asked me "How much of this are we supposed to take?"


My answer?

All of it.
Until there is no more.

Because that is the depth of a mother's love.

Sigh.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got...

Yes Hi (rapid breath)....

*gasp*

Ok - sorry, I've been gone, missing, AWOL or otherwise engaged. I've been BURIED under the enormous undertaking that is Teacher's College, trying desperately to find my way, my niche and my god- DAMNED day planner.

I'm an organizational nightmare.

That is all.

DAG.

Friday, August 28, 2009

And So We Begin Again

Today marks the day that I've officially been found just as long as I was unofficially lost. Today it has been fifteen years since I first met my dad, and I was fifteen on that day. We're equal - reached stasis - our equilibrium is restored. We've been building, rebuilding, restoring and breaking down until we're calmed in this dual symbiosis.

For those of you interested, you may have read HERE about the day I met my dad. This a true account, written many moons ago about the day that changed my life. And kept it changing.

Now, I'm an adult. With children of my own. Children who have Mommies and Daddies in their lives and haven't experienced the pain of not knowing where they've come from. I'm proud to say I've worked hard to prevent them from that black hole. More importantly, they have a "Papa" who loves them dearly and they're little lives are enriched because of it. I cannot imagine being here, being me (albeit a constant shifting definition of me) without my dad.

When I was broken and untrusting, lost inside myself - hiding from the world and its hurts - he reached for me. He held out an unwavering hand and doled out love in copious amounts. He drowned me in it, although at first I couldn't swim. He dove in and supported me, never overburdened, never tiring. When I started to cut through that water with more confidence he stepped back, but always right behind me. Out of the ashes I was reborn - the pheonix, the teenager, then the woman. His love makes me a better Mom, a better daughter, a better friend. He has shown me that although the world can hurt - and DOES, it is better to be hurt and experience greatness than to bunk down in the bogs of fear.

Today, and all other days of my life - I thank him. Thankyou Dad, for restoring myself, my confidence, my worth. For seeing that which was lacking and filling those fractures, quenching my thirsts - driving me on. Without you, I am only a scared girl on a cold street in a strange town. I love you.

We've come a long road, the long way round. Here's to a smoother path together.

My father has written his own post on this momentous day - you can read it here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde

The Aftermath and I got excited and pulled out the photography equipment last night for some late night fun...




Friday, July 17, 2009

Randoms

I have writers block. Words evade me, slipping around corners and dancing just outside my peripherals. I feel like I don't have anything to say to the world, or perhaps I just have too much.

Something is damming up the flow I've never struggled for, clogging the recesses of my brain and turning me to inward silence. Stresses hover all around, finances, health, relationships, children. They are there, as they always are - but I can't get around them. They fall like granite boulders and crush the brittle reservoir of words. They crumble to dust that runs silkily between my fingers to the beyond. Perhaps they were empty to begin with.

I've tried to keep my emotions out of this corner of space - after the "thing which we will not talk about" happened and I came humbly back to this wee blog. It may not be much, but it's all mine. I fear that somehow those things I expose, the soft underside of the real me will again be gutted by those I loved and trusted. Correction - those I still love and miss terribly. I worry that exposing myself again will lead to the same terrible conclusion. How frightening to think that those things you are most worried about, those things that make you cry out in your sleep - those insecurities you try bravely to hide - become ammunition in a game of one-uppance. My fingers are still scorched.

I've seen my readers go, numbers dwindle down into single digits. I've grieved those losses, thinking that those who returned to read my little words - things I've tossed out into space, read me (as I do them) for the pleasure, or commiseration or understanding flowing out of them. I've come to understand that perhaps those who failed to return to this page really weren't invested in those words anyhow. I've accepted that those few that return do so from choice, not obligations to those they know or social circles they travel within. I'm ok with that, and to those that are here reading this - I want you to know that I appreciate you. Even those that lurk and never comment - thank-you for reading my measly thoughts. It makes me feel a little better to know that I'm not truly talking to myself.

In the battle I've been fighting for my son I am travelling in endless circles. From clinic to clinic I jump, begging for someone to step in and help this little boy with all the anxiety that crushes his spirit everyday. To take the pain from his voice and fill his life with self-confidence, friends and joy. I long to reach behind that which is broken inside him and tinker - adjust, bring to him all the joy I promised him as a newborn babe in my arms. I'm desperate to see him happy. I'm crushed with the guilt of failure. For if Mommy can't help - who can?

Perhaps I did have something to say after all, as I read through these meandering paragraphs. I don't know what they mean, or if they truly ever went anywhere. But they're here, and they are not empty ashes of yesterdays. They're cold truths, hard as diamonds that block my heart.


DAG

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When Life Costs A Quarter

It's only a piece of paper.

It's a piece of orange paper with a phone number on it. It might not even be him. It could be anyone, right?

Clutching my quarter, I left the white brick apartment building and walked down the worn grey sidewalk. I turned the idea around in my head, my heart thudding in my chest.

What are the chances? One picture. Some guy saw one picture in a cheesy florescent-lit dispatcher's office at some lousy money pit of a taxi company. How could a stranger know? Looking at an old picture of a kid that doesn't even look like me anymore? It's practically impossible.

Maybe possible. Maybe I look really distinguishable. It could be him, right? Thousands of things like this happen every day.

Wait a minute. Why am I getting my hopes up so high? I've been waiting fifteen years for this day, and it's my luck that its the wrong number. How could anyone now from a picture anyway??

Struggling with my own feelings, I brought the quarter up to my face. It was a nineteen-eighty-five quarter. I could smell the tangy metal smell. The antlers on the caribou were worn off. I turned it over in my hand and rubbed the raised head of Queen Elizabeth the Second herself with my thumb. The quarter was dirty. I put it back in my pocket.

I stopped halfway down the street and leaned on a big maple tree. The August air was thick and humid. Maybe it will rain soon. It was supposed to rain four days ago but I'm glad that it didn't. It was a beautiful day for the drive to Toronto and the trek through the CNE. I'd even picked up a cool pair of sunglasses to replace the ones I'd lost the year before. The drive back was nice too. Clear and sunny. There was a beautiful sunset when we stopped at that Italian place for dinner and, of course, it was topped off with a cake and fifteen candles. One more year until Sweet Sixteen.

I examined my shoes and chewed on my lower lip. Should I bother? Could everything SHE said be true?

I kicked at the raised edge of the sidewalk. I wonder if you could sue the city if you tripped over these things. It could be dangerous. You could break a toe or something. I broke my baby toe once. My babysitter put my shoes on the wrong feet. I also broke my collarbone once, falling off a Fisher-Price slide.

My palms began to sweat in the heat. I looked down and saw that the number on that orange piece of paper had transferred itself to my hand. If this doesn't turn out the way that I'm hoping, it will be my tattoo of rejection.

I bent down to tie my shoelaces. Stupid laces. Tie them in double knots and they still come undone. I wish Velcro shoes were fashionable. Well, maybe I do.

I turned and walked further up the road, and came to the corner of East Main Street and Lyons. I can see the phone booth from here. My fingers began to tremble and there were butterflies in my stomach. I wish I was calmer.

I looked up at the sky. It was darkening as clouds shifted to block out the sun. There are lots of cars on East Main Street today. Sunday's aren't usually this busy. I guess people wanted to enjoy what had been a beautiful day. Waiting for the light to turn green, I thought everyone back at the apartment were probably wondering what is taking me so long.

The light turned, I crossed.

The phone booth is about ten steps away now. It's right in front of the corner store. I am not ready. I need some chocolate. Do you ever notice that when you're stressed out you make a bee-line for sugary courage? I sauntered down the aisles and took in the sights. Peanut butter cups, sour candies, corn chips ... OH! Swedish Berries! I used to eat those when I was a kid. Get a hundred for a dollar. I purchased some rosebuds and I left. Two steps from the phone booth and counting.

While the sweet happiness melted on my tongue, I took the warm, dirty, worn quarter from my pocket and pondered one last time. When it slid into the slot with a satisfying click, the first heavy drops of rain fell from the sky. With a quivering hand I punched in the phone number.

"Hello?" I said. "This? Is your daughter."

That was the end of the the beginning of my life.




DAG (circa 1998)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dusting off the Pentax

I went out to the Pioneer Village this weekend with my family. I brought my camera, and revived an old passion that has lain dormant over the last six months. Here's a few of the days accomplishments. Whatever you think, it was rewarding to find in myself something that defines a part of who I am. Moving from the shadows back into the light. One baby step at a time...






DAG

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tough Breaks

I've been trying to get across the horrific nature of Thing Two's accident, however I continue to get incredulity and misunderstanding from my fellow folks.

SO-

I decided to post these x-rays. The surgeon in Niagara Falls gave us her information on CD, and Aftermath played around with it until he was able to extract these images. These are the ACTUAL X-RAYS of my daughter's left arm, taken before surgery on Sat., June 6th 2009.


**** WARNING - Not really for the squeamish ****

Just in case you didn't notice the warning above, I'll start off with manageable images.





My Friend Jenny

Everyone has one. One friend who you can count on in a pinch, who can make you laugh when life isn't funny, who you never tire of, never see enough. One person who you can travel with, share a double bed with, laugh until you're sick with. The person who you'd give the shirt off your back to, who's already given you hers, who acts like a surrogate mother to your kids and makes the two hour trek to see you anytime she can. The one who calls you when she's in pain, cries with you, laughs with you, and one that you'd drop anything to be by her side at a time of crisis.

That's my Jenny (aka Tink).

I met Jenny one day in college. We happened to sit side by side in a huge auditorium on the first day of orientation. We sat next to each other, giggling at the outdated hairstyles and clothing of the school officials, making note of the extraordinary people sitting around us in a failed attempt to feel comfortable in the midst of a new experience in life. We only shared a couple of classes together, but we'd sit there in psych class, whispering, laughing and attacking each other with toe socks. Alright, maybe that was just me. My Jenny hates feet. Which makes it THAT much more inviting.

We'd meet at the doors and chat, Jenny shredding her sweater and me juggling my backpack, anxious to get to the daycare and get (then 1 and 2) Thing One and Thing Two. She'd come by my place, listen to music, laugh at my children and bond. We became inseperable - doing everything together and loathing when we had to be apart. When my 25h birthday rolled around she planned a surprise birthday party with my boyfriend and another friend Sarah, taking the greatest pains to keep it secret and surprise the pants of me. She succeeded. We've gone to countless concerts, trips to Ottawa and on her 25th birthday: New York City. On her birthday the previous year we got tattoos on our feet - hers a dragonfly, mine ladybugs. It was my gift to her. I appreciate Jen, I've always appreciated her and loved her like a sister. But this past week has shown me not only her deep commitment to our friendship, but her love for my children.

I was with Jenny when we got the phone call for Thing Two's accident a week ago, and she rushed me to the hospital. She immediately took over care of Thing One until my mother could come and collect him, and then she stood by my side, followed us in the ambulance and set up camp for the difficult night while Tay was in surgery. She left the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, just to return at nine am, on a Sunday morning with coffee and a bouquet of flowers. She drove myself and my grandparents back to London that evening for Monday mornings graduation - and she cancelled her shifts at work to help me care for wee Taylor. She operated like a second mom, helping her to the bathroom, assisting me in getting her medication, changing her clothes, sponge baths. When I ran out of money she gave me her last 60 dollars to buy groceries and activities for Tay while she was on bedrest. She stayed an extra day just to accompany me to the surgeon, so that she could help us out with the transportation and to learn about Taylor's progress. She gave of herself SO willingly, I feel I need to honour her in some way.

Thank-you Jenny, dear friend, confidant, travel companion and co-mom for all that you have done. I know you told me not to thank you anymore - that your love for my family drove you to do it, not thinking of yourself, but them - and me. You are a rare jewel, and I appreciate you everyday. Without you, my heart would crumple. I love you, my sister.

Oh, and by the way Jen - Enter to win Ben Stein's food stamps! Who the f*ck IS Ben Stein? And why are his eyes so dry anyway??



DAG

Monday, June 15, 2009

Touche Pussycat

Kid with Broken Arm: Mom, can I play on the computer?

Overworked Mom: Yes KWBA, here you go.

KWBA: Thanks. Can I have that game?

OWM: Coming up.. hang on.

KWBA: Can I have a drink too?

OWM: Yes, lemme just ...

KWBA: Can you help me move this over here? And pass me that? Oh, and ...

OWM: Just a sec Tay! I only have two hands!!

... Complete silence while KWBA contemplates ...

KWBA: Well ... I only have one.


Touche pussycat. Touche.

The Little Things ...

Yesterday was the first day that Thing Two was able to spend "outside". Of course, that is limited at this point, and really just refers to outside of our apartment. We went out to see the movie UP, (omg - bawled my eyes out. WTF Disney?!?!) and then headed over to a friend's house while the boys went for a bike ride.

It's difficult to try to find things that she CAN do - for instance she is jealous that she can't ride her bike with the boys, but I thought at least getting her some outside time would be beneficial. Heather is a wonderful friend and her and her fabulous husband put together a little get well gift bag for Taylor. They included movies, crafts (that she could do one handed), paper, stampers and a shirt that had button straps so that she could fit it on over her cast. I cannot tell you how sweet this was. I don't think I've ever appreciated my friends more than right now - when I see how unselfishly they give of themselves in the face of a small crisis. I owe them many first borns ...

Anyway, Heather had a plan for Tay, and we spent the afternoon in the backyard putting flowers in a planter intended for our balcony. Poor Taylor wasn't able to get her hands dirty, so Heather spread out the soil and encouraged her to stomp in it with her feet. Watching my baby enjoying the feel of cool dirt between her toes reminded me that there are still some pleasures she can enjoy. Heather buried and uncovered her feet over and over, made dirt balls she could throw with one hand and giggled in the afternoon sun. Once Tay's feet were inky black, Heather suggested her special foot spa to clean up those piggies.

It is amazing how little things can be so much fun. Squishing your toes in the earth, laughing in the sunshine, walking through the grass - and blowing huge bubbles that come from the depths of a foot spa! Heather added a dollop of body wash which turned out to spawn wall after growing wall of excellent bubbles and foam! Taylor, Heather, Ally and I blew bubbles in each other's faces, on our hair, on Ally. We threw them at Kyle while he took pictures of the fiasco - all the while laughing and laughing until our sides hurt.

Taylor forgot all about her limitations yesterday afternoon, and for that I am grateful. Someday, in someway, I'll be able to repay Heather with the joy she paid to my daughter at a time when she needed it. For now - I just want to say thank-you to the T-R family. We love you so much.

My father has been inspired to begin his own blog adventure - and so if you have the chance, please hop over to his page and check it out! He could use some beginners support. His account of the worst day of my life as a mother is touching.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So TIRED...

Nurse DAG is running on fumes these days. Taylor is doing so-so, she had a really rough night last night, waking at 130am and 4am crying for some pain relief. I'm still sleeping on the floor next to her bed in order to assist her in the night. This morning didn't fare much better, the advil seemed to not be touching the pain and I actually prepped her with some Gravol so that if it came to it, she could have some Tylenol with codeine. It makes her stomach so nauseous, we're doing what we can to avoid vomiting up important medications. She is still on a high dose of antibiotics to combat infection (from the grass and dirt the surgeon found inside her arm). So far no fever, and with exception to last night and this morning, she has been in pretty good spirits. Considering she is on strict bedrest and cannot leave the house or walk around, she's been a trooper.

I've officially been off work for the full week, which is problematic. With Taylor's condition as such, I obviously cannot work either of my jobs. It's going to be tough going come rent time. I don't know yet when I can return to work, tomorrow we see the new pediatric surgeon, so I may have a better idea of when she can return to normal activities. To be honest, I'm hoping she has another fews days because I can't imagine her (in her present condition) attending a full day of school and daycare. She seems so fragile still. One step at a time.

Thankyou for your comments and concern, I appreciate each and every one of them.


DAG

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Refitting the Pieces

Taylor has come home! We are very happy that she is back home from the hospital and in our care. According to the orthopedic surgeon, she is very fragile and must remain on bed rest until Friday when we can see our new pediatric surgeon here in our town. She came home Monday night, after I walked across the stage and was officially convocated. While my family lunched and toasted my graduation I stood outside on my cell phone arranging for a new surgeon so that Taylor could be released from Niagara Falls. She had a rough night on Monday due to extreme nausea from the codeine, and another rough morning on Tuesday. We've since switched her to children's advil, which seems to keep her pain in check and her small tummy happy.

She is resting comfortably in the living room (where we have moved her bed) and although I'm sleeping on the floor next to her in case she needs me in the night, it's a small exchange for getting her home. We see the doctor on Friday, at which time I'll have more information on when the pin will be removed from her elbow and when we'll be getting a more stable cast. Little miracles.

I just want to say a BIG thank-you to all of you who unselfishly came running in her time on need, including Dad, Aftermath, Tink and Heather. You've all given us immeasurable help and support at a difficult time.

Until I know more ....



DAG

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Taylor lies broken...

This weekend Thing Two had a terrible accident while she was visiting Daddy for the weekend. While no one was watching, she stood up on a swingset and fell, dislocating her elbow and fracturing her arm.

This is not a little thing. She had an open fracture, where the bone broke through the skin and then back in, taking with it grass and dirt from the backyard. I met them at the hospital right away, where I watched, in awe, my tiny little peanut be the bravest little girl I've ever seen. Despite horrific pain, she allowed the doctors and nurses to do what was necessary, recieved her first IV WITHOUT MAKING A SOUND, had her first ambulance ride to another hospital and had her first surgery.

Currently, they've backed her off the morphine and demerol and she is resting uncomfortably on tylenol with codeine. She has a pin that goes from the outside of her elbow through to connect her broken bones, and two incision sites necessary to clean the wound of grass and dirt and the other to set the bones. She also has a laceration that has been sutured from where the bone exited her arm.

Tomorrow is graduation day. I am supposed to proudly walk across a stage and recieve my award for the last four years of hard work. I returned to London reluctantly, at the urging of my family and left my Taylor in Niagara Falls hospital with her papa. I know she is well taken care of, but it feels wrong to be away from my peanut when life hurts. According to the surgeon, she should come home tomorrow. It cannot come soon enough.

Thinking of you Taylor Boo.


DAG

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York Day Four - FAO Schwarz

Today was Jenny's birthday. For her birthday she wanted to cruise Madison Avenue, hit FAO Schwarz and Times Square. Fun for everyone!!!


Make Your Own Muppet Workshop!!!


Pierre the singing pottery man!


The helicopter flyer dude!


Giant Piano - UH HUH we did it BIG style!

Good Times!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

NYC - Rain Rain Go Away...

It's raining in New York City. It's been drizzling for the last two days, prompting us to purchase an umbrella from the nearest "tourist shop" the other day. It's hanging out in my purse, coming out when it's really raining and Jenny and I are lamenting our frizzy hair and weather unluckiness.

For that reason, I've also held off on taking any "real" photographs. I've taken a few of the neighbourhood, a brownstone here and there but for the most part I've only squeezed off "tourist" photos. This is a big disappointment for me at the moment. I was really looking forward to taking my camera out and loving up the big city DAG style. And according to the weather - it's gonna rain today and maybe some of tomorrow. Regardless, it's coming out today and tomorrow - because we're leaving on Sunday morning!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the sun comes out for our day in Central Park. For today (Happy Birthday Jenny!), I'm taking it along to Fifth Avenue and Times Square. C'mon weather. Let's get it together!!



DAG

NYC Day Three - The World Trade Center Memorial Museum

Yesterday we visited the World Trade Center Memorial Site. There really are no words for such a humbling place - so instead I just present you with some photos from the day.


DAG









Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day Two - FDNY Baby!!

New York Journal - Day Two!!

Yesterday Jen and I decided to hit SOHO, NOHO and Tribeca to see what we could see. And buy. As it turns out, the best thing we saw that day is firefighters. Also, Jen and I rode the subway for the very first time -OMG that thing is filthy. We'd like to personally thank the little ole lady in orange wellies who told us to go to Century 21 - which was horrible, overcrowded and teeming with mice. Thanks crazy. Have a New Yorker day. Anyway, back to the important things:

Hot. FDNY.

After joking around that they charge per photo and assuring us that their asses look much better OUT of uniform (to which we wholeheartedly disagreed), they were kind enough to allow us to photograph their hotness. Sorta.




We canNOT tell you how exciting this was!!! Viva FDNY!!

SOHO was a very interesting place to be. Lots of exciting (and expensive) shops to peruse and a lot of things to look at. We ate at the SOHO Cafe, great big sandwiches at good prices. All in all we spent around six hours walking around. Until our feet begged for mercy and we hunted around for the rush hour subway.

What a day. A hot, FDNY, hose me off kind of day. More to come!!



Ps - after our hurting ourselves business on Tuesday, I photographed Jen's bruises. Wanna see what disembarking does to Canadians??? LOL....



Peace out!!

DAG

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NYC!

Wow, what a day yesterday was! I was up and on my way to the Buffalo airport at 6 am yesterday to begin this journey with my girl Jenny. Although I don't have any pics YET, there is plenty of time to get all those duckies in a row. Right now, we're still making sure all our pieces are together.

Flying scared the ever lovin' sh*t out of me, can I just tell you. I've never flown (except for a trip at 3 that I cannot remember), and neither had Jenny. We were two loose canons at the gate, the dueling panic twins... LOL. Strangely enough, once we were ON the plane, there was no getting out of it, so I sorta settled. (Thanks Jenny for holding my hand :)) In fact, everything went almost without a hitch - until I stood up to exit the plane.

....and smashed my head on the carry-on compartment over my head. In all fairness, I still had jello legs from the anxiety of the trip, AND the compartment was empty and so it SOUNDED a lot worse than it was....

Of course, I laughed at myself and resumed disembarking - but Jenny? Oh that Jenny couldn't stop laughing at my stupidity. She laughed and laughed at my expense, but you know that saying: Karma is a bitch to those that need the lesson? OMG - did she get learned. As she giggled away behind me on the stairs out of the plane, she laughed so hard she slipped, fell down four stairs and landed on all four on the tarmac. In front of ten people, with twenty more behind her. And airport staff chasing her down and yelling "MAM! ARE YOU OK?!?!" OMFG. Sweet baby Jesus did we laugh. Way to represent Canada. LMFAO.

After we licked our wounds (in Jenny's case - put cold paper towels on the road rash and bruises), we walked out of the terminal. We had a slight issue at baggage claim - mainly that all our baggage came EXCEPT Jenny's plaid suitcase (which appeared some twenty minutes later) but we survived that too. This guy stood at the exit and was asking us "do we want a cab?". We followed him outside, but then he grabbed my luggage (not Jen's) and headed off at warp speed past all the cabs and towards the parking lot. We were having none of that, so we ran ahead, rescued my luggage and climbed into a legit yellow cab (No Mr. Stranger in a green Aerostar, I DO NOT want a ride).

Needless to say, we made it into Manhattan and to the TINIEST room I've ever seen (seriously, wait till I post some photos). We're living in a closet. A closet with a cubbyhole for a closet. It's not even as wide as my shoulders. BUT - who cares! It's New York bitch!!!

Headed out to Greenwich Village, Soho and Ground Zero today. Look out Manhattan - the Canadian crashers are coming....


DAG

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Weekends are for the Weak

Whoever decided there should be a long weekend in Canadian spring should be shot. No one goes away. It's too damn cold. And so - despite the long weekend I was working. And every child in this city of 350,000 showed up for my shift.

I was fortunate enough to see both my children off to Daddy's house - a rarity for an off visitation weekend. After they left, I reveled in my newfound freedom. Then? I went to bed at 9 pm. Gawd I'm old. Or something. Instead of painting the town red I was snuggled up in bed because I had to work on Saturday morning. At. 8:45. AM. Of course after I looked after the bazillion children home for the long weekend, I was too tired to paint the town ANYTHING on Saturday night.

Silver lining, Jen came up Saturday night, bringing with her the giant suitcase I'm taking to New York next week. So we rented movies, loaded up on sugar and salt and went straight to work on doing absolutely nothing. I love that girl. She can laze with the best of them. Work ethic is seriously overrated.

Sunday was rather lovely - Jen, myself and the Aftermath headed downtown with our cameras to do some random shooting. After three hours of wandering around we stepped into a coffee house for a latte and some rest. Of course, after placing the order my bank card was declined for insufficient funds - isn't THAT great. The girl who works two jobs - jobs that hold pay for almost a FRIGGIN MONTH before I get my first pay. Now I can't even afford a latte. God help me. I attempted to loop my camera strap around my neck after I climbed up on the barstool but the damn barista refused to kick out the chair. Probably cause she knew I couldn't tip her. Thankfully, the Aftermath swooped in with paper tender and I went on with my life.

I worked Monday. With a bazillion more children. Then my children came home. Goodbye long weekend.

C'mon New York. Seven days and counting . . .

Until then, I leave you with this. Aftermath took the original photo. I cropped it and had some photoshop fun with it. Enjoy . . .

Friday, May 8, 2009

This is what happens.

Sigh.

So, the other day while I was cleaning up at job one, I cracked my gel nail right through the middle. Which? HURT. Also, I was worried that I might lose half my nail in the process so I promptly attached a bandaid to the fracture and went about my day.

The other day I shared with you my list of vacation "do's". Notice that nowhere did I mention spending the morning of your day off in the nail salon being tortured. And....this is what I get for not observing my own rules.

This morning I went down to have the nails removed since job two requires me to work with children and involves frequent handwashing. Oh, and because one was BROKEN. I walked in the salon, expressed my request for removal and sat STUPIFIED while a "technician" (I use this word loosely) yanked them off my fingers. For ten dollars.

Call me crazy, but I'm thinkin' I could have done this myself at home. For free. But I digress.

As I sat there, she grabbed an unused "tip" and jammed it between my fingernail and the gel overlay and ripped it across my finger. Which means? Sixteen layers of natural nail being viciously peeled off. Seriously? Technician? Aren't we supposed to be soaking and grinding? Oddly, it wasn't the broken one I needed to worry about. When she met the still secured nail on the middle finger (ironic, I know) on my right hand, instead of stopping when she met resistance, she tugged HARDER, which resulted in ALL layers of natural nail being ripped from the nail bed and dripping blood on her pretty white towel.

Blood. BLOOD. The bitch made me BLEED! AND?!?! I'm paying for this!!!

Imagine my surprise when she turned to me and asked:

"You want new nail again?"

UM. NO. But I'll take your "technician certificate" off the wall to staunch the bleeding.

Sigh. This is what I get for abandoning my ass groove. Duly noted world. Duly noted.



ps. Although I have restored this blog to white, I am still carrying Maddie in my heart. We have not forgotten. I will never.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

No Moss Growing Under This Fat Ass!

After four CHALLENGING years at university, I am finally reaping the over-worked rewards. My last exam was April 28th, and immediately after I launched campaign "Get a job loser". I have to say, it is a success! As of yesterday I am in possession of two summer jobs.

At least I know the kids will eat for the summer.

That out of the way, I've been L--A--Z--Y! My second job hasn't started yet, so I'm only working occasional nights and weekends at the first. This leaves my days free to accomplish all those things I ignored during the school year. After revising the new "bucket list" for this vacation, I decided I should share it with you!

1. Become re-aquainted with the couch. This takes a tremendous amount of time. Ass grooves don't contour themselves after all.

2. Ingest copious amounts of snack foods. This must be weighed carefully to ensure a balance between chocolate, salty snacks and those of the frozen variety. Thankfully the Canadian weather has warmed enough to allow drumsticks back into my life.

3. Faithfully ignore mounting household chores, including dusting, vacuuming and especially laundry. All three of these things will interrupt completion of #1.

4. Aim to spend the day in pyjamas. In order to observe #3. effectively, it is best to have one outfit set aside to wear daily when you drop off the children at school and pick up morning coffee.

5. While working at #1., it is best to watch a line up of Mystery Diagnosis, Most Daring, Cops and Beach Patrol. This way, you can be fully informed on health issues, social politics and criminal behaviour while enforcing what you already know about the stupidity of other people.

6. Take frequent naps. Television becomes much more interesting if you take small breaks to rest your eyes. Blankets and pillows make this much more effective.

7. Catch up on phone calls. Spend hours chatting to your friends back home while painting toenails and eating snack foods. Although your ass is growing by the minute, there is no excuse for a bad pedicure. In addition, avoid phone calls of the responsible variety. Do not accept calls from bill payments, parents or telemarketers. These are all things that require complete attention and moderate mental acrobatics.

8. Lastly, and most importantly, when spouse and children return home, sigh deeply and claim exhaustion due to your busy, busy days. Give little detail and moderate complaint. Never let them see you relax. Dispose of all snack food wrappers, toenail polish and napping paraphernalia.

Enjoy your vacation!


DAG

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring Fever

I don't know about the rest of you, but we're all about outside suddenly. The weather has turned lovely up here in Canada, buds shaking loose from the trees and grass sprouting from the warming earth. Yesterday we took the kids out to play around with bubbles and other random activities.

Here are the results:







Enjoy!

DAG

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Me, Myself and Laundry

For the last two months I have been sidestepping a hallway landmine.

Between final papers, catchup reading and general life in the agent's scope, I've been seriously neglecting my inner laundress. Every week I set aside just enough clothing to get us through that week, ignoring the ever growing, sock devouring double laundry bin hiding in the back hall. Until today.

Armed with two rolls of loonies and a new bottle of Gain - I planned to sneak attack the cotton blob plotting to take over the world. Fueled singly by my tiny little family. I must tell you that laundry sucks my will to live. Costing four dollars a load, and taking over two hours to complete one - I avoid laundry purgatory like the bubonic plague. However, seeing that my children are rotating the same outfits and sporting mismatched socks - I felt it was time to stop risking their social development and sort the pile of doom.

It is AMAZING what you can find in a pile of laundry. I am baffled by the ten or more pairs of pants sized four and under (since my kids have almost exited 6X), with holes in the knees and chapstick in the pockets. How long have they BEEN there? Are they breeding? In my initial sort alone I ditched two BAGS of clothing based on size. And then there were the socks. THE SOCKS. A whole load of socks alone!! *shudder*

I've got two loads washing, and another four staring me in the face. I'm convinced that my children own more clothing than myself and the Aftermath combined! I'm confused as to why my son and I argue everyday over the same plaid shirt! He only has 500!!!

Someone save me from the laundry life. Please. Or at least toss me a roll of loonies. It's gonna be a long day.

**I still feel somewhat wrong for posting on the mundane details of life after the devastating loss of little Maddie. Please, donate today. They say it takes a village ... and if anything, I've learned that the internet is today's community. I am truly proud to be part of a community who rallies together and gives their everything to a family in distress**

Friday, April 17, 2009

Purple

Yesterday I logged into my computer for the first time in a few days. I wandered around, read some blog bits and stumbled across the saddest thing I may ever read. I don't have words for the amount of sadness, the heartbreak. My heart goes out to the Spohr family.

Even though I've never met or spoken to Heather or Mike, the Newborn Identity was the very first blog I started to follow regularly. When I first discovered it, I spent hours searching through the archives. I couldn't get enough of the adventures of Maddie, and soon enough I was reading both Heather and Mike's blogs religiously. I enjoyed the stories of the Spohr family adventures, the silly pictures with Maddie pulling faces, beaming at the camera, loving life with those big, blue eyes.

I am shocked and heartbroken over her death, and I can NOT imagine the pain her parents are experiencing. I can't say I understand. I do not. I extend my love to Heather and Mike and all those touched by their daughter. I wish you peace.

Like many others, The Agent is appearing in purple in memory of that beautiful chick pea.

Save Travels Maddie. You are missed.

DAG




Please take time to donate to the Spohr family. Every little bit helps in such a difficult time.






Friday, April 10, 2009

Mistrusting the Multitude

Hey all, today I'm over at GNMParents talking about the fine details of life and the trouble in trusting a wounded heart with a new danger. Come on over!

DAG

Friday, April 3, 2009

Life in Limbo

Hello all - today I'm over at GNMParents talking about choices and change. Come on over!!!!

DAG

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ACCEPTED!!!!!!

After a long and very challenging six years, I am about to see my ultimate goal realized.

From the very start, some six years ago - I dreamed of becoming a primary school teacher. After two years at college, four years of university, being a single mother of two young children and volunteering until my eyes popped from my head: I've been accepted.

This very morning, I received email notification that I have been extended letters of admission to both the University of Nippissing (North Bay) and The University of Western Ontario's Althouse (London) teacher's colleges. I'm waiting on Trent (Peterborough) and Sir Wilfrid Laurier (Kitchener-Waterloo) to round out the applications, but that is no matter.

I'M IN! I? Am GOING TO BE A TEACHER!! It's official!!!!!

This? Is dizzying.

DAG.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dream a little Dream...

Last night, after a very LONG and challenging day, I fell asleep.
No, really...

After a late dinner, while my dad was visiting in the very same living room, I fell asleep. At 7:30 pm. And I slept all night long. I slept the sleep of the dead, and woke at 5:30 am to find myself?

Tired.

Will there never be a morning that I wake up ready for the day? Where I climb from my bed, wipe the slumber from my bleary eyes and think: Good morning! I couldn't sleep one more wink? Why is the necessary condition of adulthood sleep deprivation? I swear that after an entire day in the academic life, of challenging my brain to acrobatic feats of theory and conjecture, after stuffing it full of all that the world has to offer - it doesn't turn off. I'm becoming convinced that while my body sleeps, my mind twists and turns, reformulating, assimilating and regurgitating those concepts into understanding. So that when I wake, I am aware of the simplicity of these theories, aware of their relationship to WHICH EVER essay I'm working on - asking myself new questions while more sophisticated arguments are spinning from the yarn of yesterday.

But, DAMMIT. I'm tired. And I don't care!

Wishing to sleep the sleep of the insane...

DAG.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mondays Shall Die a Slow and Uncomfortable Death

Mondays? Suck.

Donkeys.

Yesterday was the Friday 13th of all Mondays. It started out bad and ended worse. While getting my face on (and believe me, you wouldn't want to see me without it - all nerves and muscles and junk) I dropped my eyelash curler into the toilet.

Um.

Ew.

After I fished it out, I secretly wondered if perhaps soaking it in a vat of lysol, it may actually be salvageable. Maybe. Let us remember it was 6:30 am. I've had this curler for FIVE years. It's awesome. It's small, compact, one of those plastic ones with a lever instead of pincers that pull out your eyelashes one by one in a torturous dance. It rocked. Anyway, I digress.

As I stood there with this bacteria laden thing in my hand, contemplating it's future in my makeup bag, I dropped it onto the ceramic tiles where it shattered into thousands of tiny pieces. I *should,* at this point, have gone back to bed. The day was a write off already, I assure you.

However, I pulled up my argyle socks, donned the plaid hightops and hit the streets. After a freezing walk to my class building on a sunny, sunny day - I entered the english department with my backpack in place and sunglasses over my eyes. At which time, I got a text message. Which, sounds like the day was looking up, right? Popularity can rescue the worst of all Mondays. I was actually feeling better as I traipsed down the stairs. Right before I stepped out into thin air and came crashing down on the marble floor.

Yes. I? Fell. Down the stairs. In front of other people. I smashed my knee and twisted my ankle, and the damned 45 lb backpack pulled a muscle in my shoulder. Oh, and I smashed my pride. Of course. Pulverized like a little clove of garlic. It truly had no chance.

I won't go on - cause I can't top it. My knee hurts - but it looks pretty. If you like purple and blue. The rest of the day went to hell in a handbasket. It ended with me curled up in the armchair in my living room - crying like a baby.

F*ck Monday.

DAG.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bare Legalities

Hello faithful friends!

Life has been extremely busy these days. I'm floating from week to week in a haze of late night essay writing binges. The end is near - I can taste it. Freedom!!

In the meantime, you can find me over here at GNMParents, discussing my rights as a parent to keep health care sites "family oriented". Come on over!

I'd love to hear your thoughts....

DAG

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mommy knows best...

Today I'm over at GNMParents talking about safety nets. Sometimes I wonder if knowing you'll land on your feet stops you from truly jumping. Come on over - tell me what you think...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Photography Thursday



It's been awhile since I've done this, but I thought I'd share a few images from a recent shoot. These clients are an awesome family with an adorable baby who've signed on for a year of photographs with me. Bless them!

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Guy Friday? Hates me.

Hello Friday. I'd like you to know that no matter what you have in store for me, I'm not in the least bit interested. Keep your fate and your karma and your crap to yourself. In fact - talk to Monday. You may have more in common than you think.

In the meantime, I've been over at GNMParents asking some questions about blended families. Come on over and join in~ I'd love to hear what you think.

Until then, I'll be hiding under the mattress wishing the week away.

DAG

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mystery Diagnose Me

Hello, my name is DAG and I think I have a problem.
I am horribly and irrevocably addicted to the television show: Mystery Diagnosis. The Aftermath hates it, and actively tries to hide my remote. But I'm on to him.

I discovered this beauty a few months ago by accident and have been hooked ever since. Who knew that simple salt cravings could indicate a deadly disease?? Ok maybe not simple - consuming an entire bowl of rock salt cannot EVER be good. Or that I could actually wake up one morning and discover my joints are locked in odd positions for ever and ever? Hello! Nice to meet you! I'm the incredible popping princess! Listen, if any of you should witness- say - nocturnal vomiting and drooling? I'm probably dying and you should make sure the doctors take you seriously. Please, save me. I'll thank you later. Probably by listing all your symptoms and assigning you a serious disorder - misery loves company.

In the meantime, I've taken to limiting my salt intake (in case I should miss something important) and have taken to sleeping completely flat with my arms straight out and over Aftermath's face. Just in case.

Cause I have no desire to become a permanent ass scratcher. Kthnxbai.

Sicko!

Hello all. It's Friday - yet AGAIN, and I still haven't managed to get one decent word down on these blog pages. But, I did discuss my tango with el-flu bug over at GNMParents. Come on over!

Exciting things are happening... and when the horror of my final term eases up, I'll be able to get back to this thing I used to call writing. I hope.

In the meantime - burn the mortar boards.

DAG

Friday, February 20, 2009

Devil's Advocate

Good morning and happy Friday! Today I am playing devil's advocate over at GNMParents. I am throwing my hat in the ring concerning the debate over the Suleman Octuplets. Join me!

Next, a little housecleaning. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had been selected to interview with a University for a place in Teacher's College. I have to tell you all that I had that interview on Tuesday afternoon and it went exceptionally well. I was lucky enough to be able to answer their four prepared questions concisely and avoided the dreaded "Um..." and "Ah...". Thank you to all who kept me in their thoughts during this nerve wracking hour!

The flu is taking a small break in the house, I've recovered as has the Aftermath. I am praying that it goes dormant and dies and does not spread to the children. Lord knows I don't have the time for two more unknowing pukers. It's going around - wash wash wash your hands!!!! I'm rounding out the end of my spring break at University, and although I spent it all sick or caring for the sick, it's about time to get back. Nevermind the pile of work I didn't get done. It's really nothing new!

Last, I have a new photoshoot this weekend! I'm excited to try my hand at photographing a baby around four months old. It's a new challenge and I'll let you know how that goes!

Enjoy the weekend!

DAG

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Thing Two

Your special day has come and gone little one, but these words have lived inside me since. I watched you solve the puzzle clues and retrieve your presents and I laughed. I laughed because at seven you are still every bit the go-getter you were as an infant.

I thought about carrying you deep inside me, warm and protected while my life roared around you. Everything changed, turned upside down and inside out but your presence remained. Like your brother, you kicked me incessantly and gave me hideous heartburn - rolling and undulating like an alien child beneath my skin. And I loved you from the moment I knew you were there. I remember the hours of active labour, seventeen hours with no dilation, living in Taylor time. And then, suddenly - as is only your way - you came crashing into the world unexpectedly within forty-five minutes. I can still hear the sounds of crashing metal as the nurses ran to deliver you in my hospital room.

I remember how different you were from your older brother, not caring for cuddling and carrying but preferring to lay on your own to observe the world. I thought about the way you would squirm if I held you too long, longing to be just you in your own space. How you were insatiably hungry, never getting enough - wanting food every hour of your little life.

I thought about how, at five months old, you crawled. Determined to chase your brother you moved about "commando" style, interested to see, hear, touch and taste all the colours of your brother's world. I thought about the out and out battles we had, getting dressed, cleaning up your toys, eating dinner. I can still hear "ME DO IT, BY SELF" echoing in the hallways of my heart. But I also remember the sweet stillness of night, while I rocked your damp curls in the crook of my arm, heart to heart with your thumb in your mouth. Your fountains of ponytails on the top of your head - those big beautiful eyes and straight from the gut laughter.

There was a time you were very sick, very often - nights of rocking your feverish body to sleep in the muted lights of the hospital, praying as I kissed your hot forehead that the fever would break. I remember taking you to the emergency room for your first stitches - and holding your wee arm for your first broken bone. Your frenzied energy has always steered you at breakneck speed, and I've been right here (and will be) to help you pick up the consequential pieces.

I still remember your first day of kindergarten, watching you run FROM me to the line up, throwing a cursory "I love you" over your shoulder. You didn't need me to mediate your world anymore than you did as an infant. You love purely with every fibre of your being and with a fierceness that takes my breath away. You are all go and no stop - and by GOD do I love you sweet girl.

Happy Birthday Peanut.

There Was A Young Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

Happy Friday all! Today you can find me, once again, over at GNMParents writing about some things circling the family camp.

DAG

Friday, February 6, 2009

Transitions

Hello all! I'm working on a post to celebrate Thing Two's birthday, but until then, you can find me over at GNMParents writing about the constant fear of change.

See you all soon!

DAG

Monday, February 2, 2009

Let the Games Begin!!!

I am so incredibly excited, I thought I'd share the great news with all of you!

As some of you know, I'm rounding up my last year in university and hoping to go forward to teacher's college. In Ontario, teacher education is fairly competitive and so I've been biting my nails since I sent away my applications in November.

Unfortunately, there is no word on your progress in the selection process until you receive an acceptance or rejection letter in April - leaving you no time for plan B. But, I'm one of the lucky ones. I've been selected for an interview at a great university here in Ontario. I'm very excited to know that I'm at least being considered, which gives me hope for the other three schools I've floated my application to.

Today I will call to schedule an interview! In the meantime, if anyone out there has been through a process such as this, would you be kind enough to share some tips on what to expect in the interview?

DAG

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fading Moments

Today I'm writing my weekly contribution over at GNMParents. Come on over and have a read!

DAG

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Thing One

The birthday came and went on Monday with the usual fanfare.
You were excited to find all your presents and tear through the paper.
I was content to tear through the memories.

You, my darling, were my first. A little boy taking residence deep inside my soul. You kicked my ribs and gave me unbearable heartburn and scared the living crap out of me. You refused to get out on time but once labor began you were quick to make an exit. After only nine hours I had a bundle of blond hair and blue eyes, my very own little apple head and I fell hopelessly and eternally in love.

On Monday - you were eight. But I thought about your first smile, your stinky baby farts, the way you used to snuggle up on my chest and go to sleep for hours. I dared not move, but committed every sigh to my emotional memory bank. The sweet smell of damp curls and pablum still makes my eyes water.

I thought about the first time you held my hand, how you cried every day for eight months when you went to daycare - how no one could satisfy you but Mom. I thought about your intensity when you play with your little cars - lined up in traffic, run over by emergency vehicles - sounds, lights and traffic cones. I thought about how much you loved your little sister, even though you were only one year old when she came crashing into your life.

I thought about your sensitivities. How loving and emotional you are - and how much you are an opposite of your baby sister. That one word or gesture can wound you indefinitely, how important those that you love are to you. The way you clung to me for dear life when you went off to kindergarten. How you begged me not to leave you in the unfamiliar line for the first grade. How I walked you to your class and told you that you were brave and then watched you run off with your best friend. How I went to my car and sobbed and sobbed.

I thought about how even though you are independent and eight, with your own room and your own stuff, organized in your own way. How you like your socks just a certain way, or hate the colour green in a shirt. How your all "growed" up but when bed time comes - you want Mom to tuck you in just the same.

I love you my child. Happy birthday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rzzzzzzz....

Me so tired!
I know, it's been awhile since I've written anything. Also, I seem to still be neglecting the design on this horrid looking blog. I'll get there, my pretty. I'm just swamped!

Can you believe that instead of taking a much needed nap this afternoon and working on my essay and seminar, I actually have to submit to a "tour" of the campus library? During class time?!? As if an english literature student in her fourth year doesn't know her way around?!?! Snore.

I guess it could be worse - I could be a student at York University, losing my tuition and my academic year due to a teacher strike. Heaven forbid. Five grand is a lot to pay to sit around and do nothing for seven months.

Anway - just a few things here and there. I'm still over here writing at GNMParents, a lovely weekly article that Megin offered to me. I'm still honored! Look for me on Friday mornings, and read around, there are some very lovely writers on those pages with relevant things to say (unlike me). I fantasize about being the Great Carrie Bradshaw and writing witty, funny and god-that-makes-me-think commentary about life love and relationships. But- academics you get. LOL.

Yesterday was Thing One's eighth birthday. A realization that left my womb aching and my heart sore. There must have been some time lost between then and now, I'm sure that eight years could not have gone by. Somewhere, I misplaced the moments between infancy and psuedo-adult. It was wonderful to celebrate with him, taking part in our traditional birthday festivities. Every year I create a scavenger/treasure hunt, and hide all his presents. He LOVES reading the silly riddles and searching for the presents. It's something they talk about all year.

This Friday, it is Thing Two's seventh birthday, and I think that will be the thing to really push me over the edge. Truly. My lovely little babies are growing up. And I think that I missed the whole thing! T. One's new thing is to pepper his speech with the word "apparently" and T. Two is really starting to gain her independence through her style of dress. Who knew that Leopard print skirts and black, pink and green argyle tights don't go together? Old mom of course!

Anyway, I'm tired, working hard and playing harder. At the moment I'm getting the stink eye from a professor - I'm supposed to be awe-ing over some baroque artwork and music. I feel the head bobs coming...

Rzz..
Rzzzzz....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Need An Academic Stunt Double

I really do.
Honest.

I'm entering my last term in my BA with honors. Come April, I will be able to wash my hands of English Literature - at least in the academic sense. Except from now until then? I'll be the walking dead.

Usually, the last term is loaded in March. With reading week in the middle of it, us students are the ones you see scurrying about, books laden with arms, papers shoved between our teeth. That's us, sleep deprived, hungry and unwashed. Because? Papers are due. This term, the professors have played an ugly UGLY trick on me.

Each professor (in three of my four classes), had the bright idea of minimizing the March craze by front loading February. Yeah. So two weeks from now - I'm staring down the barrel of four essays, two midterms and a seminar presentation. I'm pretty sure that in about one week, I'll be mumbling incoherent sentences on twitter, neglecting my blog and yours, living in that old student standby: the hoodie. I will not eat three meals a day, I will not have fresh smelling hair and more than likely, someone should pry my drivers licence from my decrepit claw-like typing hands before I kill someone.

I need an academic stunt double. On the double.

DAG

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Resolute!

Hello all.. and welcome back to the original blogger site.

Please - excuse the look of things around here. I've just reopened it and it needs A LOT of design tweaking! I'm working on making it look much nicer and more like home.

As many of you know - I have resigned my old blog (doubleagentgirl.com) for reasons unknown. I don't wish to kick sand in the sandbox, and so I prefer to walk away from a bad situation with feelings hurt but dignity intact. This is where I'll do the majority of my writing from now on.

As for my photography, I will continue to post here, most likely once a week, some new things I'm working on. I have set up photoblog here where my submissions appear as a whole. I hope to continue sharing my experience on this strange and wonderful sphere - and I hope you continue to read and enjoy those experiences.

I also contribute to GNMParents regularly, and am honored to accept a new offer of a weekly column. Also, I continue to write my introspective and dark meanderings of the inner agent here. I hope you will enjoy them.

I look forward to reading your comments and blogs once more - a new year is upon us. Here's to forging real friendships and appreciating those you have!

Cheers!

DAG