Archives for May 2006

No, No, No

Any mom can tell you that ‘no’ is usually a toddler’s favourite word. Before I had a toddler myself I thought it was because they were contrarian by nature, asserting their independence. However, I now believe it’s because they hear this word so much.

Listening to myself the other day, I say ‘no’ to Hannah every few minutes. Whether she’s perching precariously on the edge of a stair, pouring something on the floor, or tormenting the cat, she hears ‘no’ from me pretty much more than any other word except for maybe her name (and that’s only because I usually add her name when I yell out ‘no’). 😉

It’s a little bit disappointing, because I would like the world to be a welcoming place for my little explorer. However, I am also aware that there are limits, and safety issues, and just plain social conventions that she needs to learn. And, one of the big ways that she learns them is by doing something and hearing ‘no.’

Bad Gardener

This week I have had an epiphany–you either have a calling as a gardener, or you do not.  If you have a calling, then you love it, it’s in your soul.  Digging in the dirt, fertilizing, feeding, weeding, mulching and so forth are things that you enjoy, or at least you do gladly because of all of the rewards you gain watching your garden grow, or eating your harvest.

Unfortunately for me, I do not have this calling.  I like flowers, and fresh fruits and veggies.  I enjoy looking at a beautiful garden.  However, I don’t feel inclined to do what it takes to achieve these things, for the most part.  With the various demands on my time, working outdoors is just another chore.  Perhaps one day I will come to appreciate time spent on my knees in the dirt, but that day is not today, I’m afraid.

As further evidence of my ineptitude, I have a confession to make.  This weekend, digging out the jungle of weeds that my garden has become I came across a plant that I couldn’t be sure was an actual plant.  I’m probably around 75% sure that it’s some sort of daisy, but there is a significant shot that it’s just another weed.  So, I transplanted it and gave it a home, because in my world, you don’t discard something that has survived the dandelion jungle on a whim.  Hardiness is a necessary quality in my garden, so this plant’s a keeper, regardless of its origin.

Big Comfy Couch

I have found a way to entertain Hannah for 15 minutes at a stretch, and its name is Big Comfy Couch.  When the theme song starts, Hannah claps and throws her hands in the air excitedly.  She will sit raptly on the couch and watch Loonette bounce and sing.  Not only does this give me a few minutes to do things that really need doing, but it also gives me a chance to clip Hannah’s fingernails, or do her hair, or brush her teeth without screaming and struggling.

On the one hand, no parent wants to raise a couch potato.  On the other hand, a children’s show with no commercials seems to be the best compromise I can make.  And, with the miracle of Tivo, we have episodes at our fingertips at all times.  Now if only I could get the dratted theme song out of my head. 😉

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing

I’m sewing, sewing, sewing baby carriers. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d better get back to it!


As a birthday gift, Jon bought me a Tivo while he was in Everett.  In two short weeks, we have come to love this box.  You can set it up to record your favourite shows, every time they air.  You can use it to pause live TV.  You tell it what you like and don’t like, and it automatically records things that it thinks you might like.  Really, Tivo is just great.

As good as our Tivo was, unfortunately it only had one tuner in it.  This means that if you’re recording something, you can only watch that channel (although you could also watch previously recorded shows at the same time).  It also means that you can only record one show at a time.  Like an answer from the Tivo gods, though, they released a dual-tuner unit last week, and Jon exchanged our existing unit for a fancy new one today.

The only downside to Tivo is that while you can subscribe to the service in Canada, you can’t actually buy the box here.  For whatever reason, it’s not available in retail outlets on this side of the border.  Thanks to the Everett Silvertips and their playoff run, though, that has not been an impediment to TV viewing in the Strocel house. 🙂

Flaky Mama

When Hannah was a newborn, I had to get used to the idea of being late for things.  I did my best, but sometimes a baby has a blowout as you’re walking out the door, or naps a little longer than expected, and there’s only so much that you can do about it.  After a while, and seeing all the other moms struggling to hold things together and often failing, I cut myself some slack.

Unfortunately, returning to work and sewing baby carriers has made the problem that much worse.  Between my job, commute, Hannah, my house, and the occasional evening spent sewing, I can’t do anything else.  I’m letting things slip, and I don’t like it.  I suppose that over time I’ll become more accustomed to the current state of affairs, and I’ll also get better at organizing my time.  At the moment, though, I feel like a total flake.  Luckily, most people with kids understand. 

Half a Lifetime

15 years ago, Jon and I started dating.  Here we were in 1991:

Half of my life has passed since that day.  In the interim we graduated from high school:


We moved away from home and started university, graduated, and got married:

We bought a house, renovated, and had a baby:

What can you say about half a lifetime?  I realize that I am still fairly young, but that doesn’t diminish the years together, the life changes, the joy and the sorrow.  My entire adult life, and most of my adolescence, has been lived in concert with Jon.  I can say with confidence that he is the best person I know, and that a day doesn’t go by when I am not grateful for the gift of such a marvelous life companion.

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