Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year

A few years ago I stopped having resolutions for the new year - they enver worked and weren't worth the eventual guilt. This year, however, Ben and I are planning something new for the new year.

We're going to do a 3 month no-spend. Inspired by this blog we're going to stop spending money. Thankfully, Ben and I don't have a debt problem - the government is paying back my school loan via my child tax credit and universal childcare benefit (take THAT people who refused to give me a government loan!) and our mortgage is less than a lot of people pay for rent. We don't have cable or cell phones and so have no guilt with our phone and internet plans. We're already fairly frugal with spending, but do have a weakness for junk food and Starbucks.

So here is the plan:
- groceries once every two weeks, max 150$ each trip.
This is higher than our usual grocery budget (120 every two weeks) but we usually eat out once a week and make weekend runs for snacks. I figure raising the groceries slightly will still cost less than what we were doing.

- 120$ a month for bulk.
This includes meat (we shop at Costco) and pasta, rice, nuts etc. I get at Bulk Barn. I doubt we'll spend that much, as we don't get everything every time we shop, but that's the max I can spend at one time to replenish.

- Formula for Eli and Diapers for Hana
Eli is full time in cloth, so that's not an issue. Hana was in cloth, then potty trained, and then peeing on my floor. We're trying different methods of pottying with Hana, but she needs disposables at night, otherwise she and the bed are both soaked in the morning.

- Go to the Gym
I have a membership and I will use it twice a week minimum. I'd like to be going three times a week, but we'll start slow.

Everything else is off limits. There is nothing else we need. At the end of the three months we'll see how things are going and move forward from there. I'm hoping I'll be able to cut back even more, but again, we're starting small. The hope is that we'll save enough to be able to get new flooring and paint for the house. We've been here over a year and the walls are still bare.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas is very different than it has ever been for me. It has more meaning, more wonder, more awe and mystery. I look at my kids and I think of the sacrifice of God - incarnate, helpless, sent to be killed. I can't fathom it. It seems so odd, so wrong. I can't imagine an existance away from my kids, can't fathom sacrificing them for anything. And then I have a profound thought.

I am not God.

It's easy for me to become cynical about things this time of year, I admit. It's hard to reconcile peace on earth while war rages, hard to reflect on sacrifice while lives of excess are glorified, hard to celebrate the birth of a baby when so many children are starving to death. There are so many things I don't understand, that I can't even begin to reconcile, things I would do differently if I was, but I am not God.

And that is what brings me to my knees, gets me to a place where I can worship, where I can trust, where I can reflect on who He is. God incarnate, God who heals, Father God.

And the God who will make a way.

No matter what the cost, no matter how long it takes, God will make a way. There will be peace on earth, there will be comfort for those who mourn, those who ask will receive, because God will make a way, has made a way and is making a way each moment that passes.

I worship a God of mystery, of wonder, a God who seems illogical, who is above my understanding, a God who cares, who lives, a God of love, of sacrifice, a God who weeps, a God who understands. I don't have to understand, or agree, or be able to explain it. No matter how much I question, how frustrated the process makes me, I am always brought to this place. He is God, I am not, and I worship Him.

Friday, December 19, 2008

No one can call me lazy

Well, actually they could, and some days they would even be right, but not lately. Lately I've been crafty, and not even in the diabolical way.

I've been crocheting diaper covers for Eli, here's one, isn't it cute

And I made a sock monkey for Hana

(face to come later)

I've got another cover made and I'm going to start another one tonight. In other words, I'm trying to justify putting off wrapping Christmas gifts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My blog is getting neglected.

It's not for lack of ideas - I have so many things I want to say. In fact, there is more than one half written draft just waiting for me to finish and publish. But I don't.
I get halfway through a thought and then wonder if it really matters, if it's worth my time to write about it, or yours to read it.

Plus I'm averaging about 6 hrs of sleep a night, and so I've been taking advantage of the days when both kids nap at the same time and sleep myself. When Hana is up and she sees me on here, she asks to play the typing game too. Ah well, it's good for her letter recognition I guess.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Why I Like Yarn

- Yarn allows me to be in control and does not require a detailed explanation in order to feel it has a say in what I'm going to do with it
- Yarn does not demand anything from me and then punctuate that demand with "pah-leeze!
- Yarn does not make any sort of mess on itself and require me to clean it
- Yarn does not wake me up in the middle of the night and then sedate me with an adorable little coo
- When interacting with yarn I have no fear of being covered in bodily fluids (aside from my own)

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Sparked by a discussion on one of my message boards, and reading this article, I want to share the following:

I am a feminist. I tried to convince myself (and others) that I wasn't for a long time, but then I realized that it was the way feminist ideas are presented that I didn't agree with, not the ideas themselves.

For instance, I think women and men are inherently equal partners, but different partners with complimentary strengths and weaknesses. These aren't just the obvious physical differences either. Men and women are so vastly different and these differences can show in any way imaginable and still be distinctly feminine or distinctly male. So many times it seems that the feminist movement tries to make women more masculine - "stronger", more forceful, less emotional and sympathetic, basically stripping them of the things that make them feminine. Except for their sexuality, of course.

Sexuality is portrayed as some sort of power card that equalizes. Unfortunately women don't realize that this is just another way for men to think they own us. There's talk of women being free to express and share their sexuality freely with anyone they choose, but if really given the choice, would they share it so freely? Sensuality should be celebrated, not used.

I fully agree that men and women should get equal pay for equal work, and that there shouldn't be vocational limits put on a person because of gender roles. At the same time, I believe men and women have inherently different traits (that manifest to different degrees depending on the person) and that these traits should be explored and used in whatever vocation a person chooses, not hidden or undermined. No doors should be closed based on gender as gender has no ties to ability, intelligence, skill or desire.

I believe in "girl power" - the power to create life, to birth, to nurture, to think with the heart. There is so much about being a woman that has been forgotten and overlooked. In Western culture the power of the feminine has been pushed aside and hidden to the point that those who talk about it are seen as some sort of fanatics. Even the power to be sensual has been taken from us and exploited to the point where women feel uncomfortable in their own skin and ashamed of their sexuality.

I feel that the cultural view of women, especially "strong" women only compounds the problem. Women are constantly feeling pressure and tension, torn between their emotions, their desires and the ideals they feel laid out in front of them by traditions, beliefs, media and society. At times it can feel that no matter what choice she makes someone is being let down or betrayed, usually it turns out that it is the woman herself.

I am a feminist. I am a woman with a degree who has chosen to stay at home with my children. I am a wife who chooses to submit to her husband and defer to his decisions, even when I disagree. I am slowly finding peace with my body and my sexuality as it is and not comparing it to the standard that the male-driven world tries to hold me to.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

So not boreing

With all the chaos that goes with American politics, Canadian politics (like the Canadian version of far too many things...) often get overlooked. Well, no one can say that Canadian politics are boring now.

Not when the Governer General - the Queen's figurehead in Canada - is required to cut a trip short in order to settle things down in Parliament. It's basically the equivalent of mom turning the car around.

Harper's strategy of "agree with me or go dissolve government" backfired, and now things are getting messy. Everyone else has an idea how to clean up the mess - a proposed coalition government - but we're still a democracy, and it's up to the GG to decide if the Canadian people have a say in this.

I do not envy her position right now.

I was surprised when I heard about the proposed coalition, especially after the NDP focused so much on how Dion was not fit to be PM. Hrm. Kinda shot themselves in the foot there, haven't they....

The majority of Canada didn't want Harper back in power (actually, the majority didn't want him there in the first place), but since we can't agree on who we do want leading the country, Harper is what we got. There is no guarantee that if things go to vote as they are (with the Liberals and NDP as separate parties) things would be any different.

I talked to my dad about this (my personal political scientist) and his dream would be for Harper to step down and his Deputy to come into power. Then there's no more Harper and no Dion, everybody wins. Well, in his mind at least.

THis is just a bad time for this to be happening. Any decision the GG makes will postpone government taking any action on the economic crisis. To go to the polls again costs an astronomical amount (tho not nearly as much as the US elections).

It's such a mess I don't even know what I would like to see happen, it seems either way we're screwed.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hana - 25 months

The last month has been an interesting one. Sleep is hard to come by at night again - some nights we're up two or three times. Yesterday she technically slept all night, which is great, except that it was 4 am when she got up. Ah well, like all else this is a phase I'm sure. Naps however are going great. For the first time in a long time Hana is asking to be worn for her naps. It's wonderful to be able to snuggle and comfort her as she drifts off to sleep, and heartwarming to hear her ask for it.

Language has taken a huge leap forward this month (which we suspect is the reason for the lack of sleep). She has conversations now, tells stories, comes up with funny things to say. It's wonderful and so much fun. I have to keep reminding myself that she's only two, that she doesn't always know how to say what she means or ask for what she wants. We don't always understand what she's trying to say, and it's very frustrating for her.

She shows so much compassion and love for all of us. When Eli cries she talks to him or offers one of her toys and says he needs a big hug or some milk. She's stuck on Ben right now which can make things a bit difficult when he's at work and all she wants is a hug from Daddy. She's also quite taken with the giraffe with the shiny nose (aka Rudolf).

She is so much fun right now - challenging of course, but fun. Right now she would much rather watch Sesame Street than have me type, and so I'll have to cut my praise of her short. Just one of those days.