24.12.12

That Simple

"I can't wait for tomorrow...it's Christmas!!!

I actually wish that yesterday was today!"

my eight year old


Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and an Amazing New Year!

23.12.12

Checking It Twice

My 3 year old has been asking for one specific gift this Christmas season.

She wants a "girl baby doll with blue hair".

Every time I've asked, she has confirmed the same thing.

Earlier today I decided to check in to see if there was anything she wanted to add to her request.

"Do you have anything else that you wanted for Christmas Salome?"

"Yes!"

"What's that?"

"A nice girl baby doll with blue hair..."

"A skateboard..."

"You have one?"

"A real one."

"It's not real?"

"No"

"Ok?"

"...and a donkey!"

Foiled again.







19.12.12

That's a Rap!


We had our Christmas presentation the other night at church...the big kids rapped.  They are awesome!



C - Christ came in the form of a babe

H - Heralds sing "Glorious they proclaim!"

R - Righteousness is a part of His name

I - Immanuel He is with us today

S - Saviour, Redeemer, Deliverer!

T - The wise men and kings came to minister

M - Mary marvelled at all that was happening

A - All because they believed - How flattering!

S - a Son is born, a Son is given!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

(I'm loving the instrumental!)

CJ

17.12.12

#giveback

Went carolling with my son's scout group last week.

It was at a nursing home.

The time came to sing.

He kind of panicked when he was handed a book of carols...he thought he "just came to sing".

He pulled me away from the group and in a very persistent whisper...

"Mom, I can't read in English!"

"Don't worry babe...no one knows all the words...I mostly make them up as I go...You'll do great!"

It seemed to soothe him and they sang on the tippy tops of their little lungs.


One lady I talked to thanked me for showing up with my kids at the end.

She said it was good to see us. 

I'm no scout leader - she said watching me "take care" (chase) my daughter while the older kids sang made her remember what it was like when her children were their age and she smiled.

She mentioned that it gets really lonely for her personally this time of year when everyone seems so busy with everything that pretty much makes their seasonal clocks tick.

I'm reminded to keep it simple and sincere this season.

How do you, have you or will you #giveback this season?

CJ

14.12.12

The Trouble With Santa

It's probably the age.

8.

He said there was only one boy left in the class that said he believed.

His best friend.

I advised him not to wreck it for him.

He said he wouldn't.

He reasons a lot.

This year more than ever...the Claus has become his December muse.

He acknowledges you little to none, but constantly uses your name to keep you engaged in his conversation and his mouth often times has a bout of a challenge keeping up with the speed of his brain.

This happened the other night while we were driving:

Him:  "Mom, I don't know how people can actually believe in Santa!"

Him:  "Don't they know that we don't even have a chimney?  Mom?"

Him:  "I mean...We don't even have a chimney Mom!"

Him:  "What's he gonna do?"

Me: quick blank stare from behind the wheel

Him:  "Buzz?"

I don't argue I just listen.


CJ





10.12.12

Tis the Season...

I received this card last week in the mail. 

It caught me by surprise...the envelope was a royal purple, the handwriting was unfamiliar...my husband guessed that it was from "Indonesia or somewhere?" (how exotic!).

Our first Christmas card of 2012.

Its contents warmed my heart.  

It contained a handful of special words.

It was sent from my cousins in England and attached was lots of love.

It sincerely made my day.


It's not often we get a lot of good news passing through our mailbox.

Engraved by human hands and warm beating hearts.

I've never posted Christmas cards so this year will be my first.


I'm reminded to keep it simple and sincere this season.

I'm mostly thankful this Monday.


CJ


7.12.12

Santa Who?

I was asked the other day by a friend how we celebrate Christmas...if we did Santa, about traditions, and really just things we enjoy during the holiday season.

Last year boxing week, I went out with my "Santa Enthusiast" mother and then 2 year old daughter to a few shops to snag some buys.  The last store we visited had a handful of Santas on display.

My Mom caught a glimpse of them and proceeded to do what she always does whenever she sees anything "North Pole" related and any verbiage that follows usually starts with a huge inhale...

It typically goes like this:

"Who's that?" (in a voice way to excitable for a grown adult)

and  "What does Santa Say?" (grinning ear to ear)

Most times you'd get a HO HO HO, Merry Christmas...but not that Thursday.


My Mom: "Salome who's that?"

Salome: "Geeeth-ushh" (in English this means JESUS)

The look on my mother's face.

Absolutely Priceless!


So to answer the question...


We talk about the birth of Jesus, we visit manger scenes, we carol, go to services and spark conversation with our very young family.  

We go to Santa Claus parades, decorate trees, give gifts, feast and other fun holiday things but we make it a priority to make sure the baby at the root of all the celebrating remains bigger.


So we get it in...kids, culture, family traditions and our beliefs.  Obviously a work in progress but this is all a part of the growing up process.

How do you celebrate?


Living to embrace it,
CJ


14.11.12

Know Your Worth

Today my 3 year old daughter left the apartment wearing a crown.

I have no problem with this- she wears it well.

I asked "Salome do you know what you look like?"

She answered me immediately "I AM a princess!"

It was cool.

She was sure.

Her quickness let me know my opinion on her appearance didn't mean a thing...and I'm very ok with this.

Don't get me wrong she loves it when I call her princess...but it's nice to know she's got it to date without my input.

She's sweet.

She's blooming.

I'm glad to be around for the journey.

#goodanswer #goodmorning #knowyourworth

CJ

6.11.12

Give Her Candy!

"I made two new friends yesterday!"

"Cool!"

He continued...

"Mom they are in Grade 2!"

"WOW Buddy!- not even in your grade eh?"

"And actually only one is a new friend...and the one that I say is a not so new friend is because I actually have met her before and she told me today that she knows me but she just forgot my name!" (spoken at lightening fast speed with humongous grin)

"Oh...Ok!" (I'm learning to just listen)

"So the one that forgot my name..."

"Uh Huh?"

"Tomorrow I will bring her candy!"



I'm sure he's onto something...I'm just not quite sure what yet...but he's got my vote for office.

CJ


1.11.12

we need more women...

Today I saw a friend in the elevator.

Not a real friend of course.

More a neighbour that I've seen grow up for the last 7 years we've lived in this building.

She smiled, greeted my daughter and smiled at the boys...then the elevator door closed.

I asked her if she was in Grade 8 yet she laughed...

Her: "No! (as if I was silly)...I'm in Grade 6!'

Me: "I don't believe it, you look like you are almost, almost grown up!"

(my big son looked at me like...Mom stop talking to my potential friends)

Me: "And how's school?"

Her: "Really good!"

Me: "You're enjoying it?"

Her: "Oh Yes!"

I looked a little deeper into her eyes...

Me: "You got any plans for what you want to be when you grow up."

She smiled and I don't know what I expected her answer to be...but she spoke it...

Her: "I'm thinking about being a doctor."

Me: "I think that's amazing!"

Me: "We need more women..."

(I paused for a second to save myself from a moment...they seem to come quite suddenly these days)

Me: "...doctors."

Me: "See you D!...this is our floor..."

I'm impressed by conversations that last for a moment but have the potential to inspire for a lifetime. #perspective

with my little woman in training...seems like I am always taking notes these days...


CJ

8.10.12

A Pocket Full of Privacy?


The other day in the midst of a mostly terrible Fat Albert impersonation by my 8 year old, my daughter walks up to him and says..."excuse me do you have a spiderman ball down your shirt?" and proceeds to punch him in his stuffed stomach.

Not wanting to give up the secret to his almost instant plumpness he answers...

"No! No! No!- PLEASE EXCUSE ME!!!....Can I have some privacy?" as she tries to whip up his hockey jersey...

The girl then takes a step back reaches into an imaginary pocket and holds out a closed fist looking like it was ready to drop a pound of change into her big brothers hand...and answers..."here you go...I have some privacy....now let me see!"

He looked at me quick and then at her and laughed...."No Way!"

I left the room.

I thought to myself...she really thinks it's that simple eh?

It was one of those moments where you get brought back down to earth.

Like those times when you say really simple things to your kiddies (at least simple in the eye of your mind) and just assume that they get it...and the reality is they don't.

She really has no clue what I am talking about when I call yell through the bathroom door "I just need some privacy- leave me alone for a few minutes!!!"

Usually when I leave the bathroom she runs down a list of activities that I could have been partaking in while behind closed doors and does not stop her interrogation until I give her a pretty in depth explanation.

So defining the word privacy is on our to-do list for this week but man....they really are blank slates when we get them!

Here's to innocence, responsibility and the gift of a child's heart.

I'm mostly baffled by the depth of it all and am taking extra care these days that all the words and experiences I am in charge of inscribing on their little beings are light, encouraging, full of love, wisdom and dreaming.

#thisisimportant

CJ

5.10.12

Last night with the spider slayer...

The child is nocturnal!

10:55 p.m.

I told her to be quiet and get back in bed and in the dimness of the light - she gave me the "rude" look and started chanting in her "serious" voice:

"DOWN CAME THE RAIN AND WASHED THE SPIDER OUT!"
(Repeatedly) 

I guess I do have that affect on people.

I'll try not to take it personally...I'm open for suggestions and admittedly miss the colour of the inside of my eyelids sometimes.

I also was kind of nervous about falling asleep before she did...

Decided not to take it personally.

We both passed out...COLD!

And now it is morning...

And a good Friday to you!


CJ

8.9.12

Back to Cool...

The school yard Tuesday morning was buzzing to say the least and as a parent that is probably way too hooked on elementary school and the potential for the memories and experiences that can be created there...there was no other place on the planet that I would have rather been.

One was pumped to see his friends...

One was mildly bummed he couldn't wear his new "fall" gear (SMH) and had to wear the same shorts he'd been wearing all summer long...

I think they are awesomely amazing...through and through!

If I had it to do again I would have been a teacher or probably anything that would let me work with kids all day long...#justsaying #randomrambling

pre-buzzing...we got there early!


CJ :)

21.8.12

Don't Forget to Tell Your Daughters


I met a girl in the park.

I found out she was starting high school in the fall and she thought it was going to be fun but she was kind of nervous because it was going to be "hard".

I told her she seemed really quick and that I was sure she would do great if she just stayed caught up and focused.

She kind of rolled her eyes (not at me I'm too cool for school- remember?) the staying focused part.

I asked her what she wanted to be when she was finished growing up.

She said she didn't know.

I asked her if there was anything that she liked to do.  (I've learned this to be a clue of what we may want to do with the rest of our days)

She thought for a moment while she swung...

"I don't know what I like to do."

"No Hobbies?"

"None!"

"What kind of books are you into?"

"I don't read a lot."

At this point Myles piped in "what about Robert Munsch? - He is a good author!"

The girl and I caught glances and laughed (very, very, hard).

I told her she seemed really strong.

She smiled.

We left it at that and returned to chatting about the schoolyard we were hanging out in and the neighborhood.

It's funny she reminded me a lot of myself when I was that age.

I hope she has someone at home that will realize her full potential and encourage her toward it.

Not everybody has that and it is very important.

I'm a fan of and contributor to community.



Listen here.


'The Paper Bag Princess' -One of my favourite Munsch works by far.


Kids stuff?

Not so much.

CJ

16.7.12

The Good, The Bad & The Monday



"THE GOOD"

Hot sun+warm sand+cold beach+mild children = sheer awesomeness.

1 of 2 belong to me.
It's been a Monday for the books.

This was my happy thought that got me through.



"THE BAD"

...wasn't really so bad more like utterly inconvenient.

I woke up feeling on top of the world.

Got dressed not taking the weather into account. (T-Shirt and Jeans)

Got dressed not taking my job into account. (T-Shirt and Jeans)

Left my place not taking my transportation into account. (No tokens)

Walked a quarter of a block in absolutely blazing A.M. weather not taking my physical state into account (sweated buckets)

Bought an instant noodle cup (which for the record I utterly detest) but I reasoned I was taking my budget into account (nasty - mostly the magic chicken and veggies that appeared when I inserted the "flavour pack")


"THE MONDAY"

I still made it to my office feeling good.  I kind of missed the morning traffic and only my desk and desk mate were impressed by my fine threads on this fine Monday.

Was absolutely starving by about 11:45 so I prepared the noodle cup (sigh).

Dropped some on my shirt figured it would disappear- it unfortunately didn't.

Kept checking my email because I applied for an opportunity last week and was waiting diligently for an interview time later this week.

The email came and I got the interview "YES!" but it was for later on this very Monday! (Interesting)

Sucked it up went to the interview anyway. 

The rest is simply Monday and clearly to be continued...

17.6.12

the last couple of months...

This  tune pretty much sums it all up...

Our schedules are out of this world.  Between work play and more play and giving our everything to keep the pendulum swinging...."Sweet JESUS!"(that statement totally not in vain) between Him and my family.  We are holding it together.

I'm back to blogging.  Things have not so much thinned out but they have become a little less of a wild fire.

We are in the midst of dropping some music that is absolutely near and dear to our heart and that's what the break has been for.  As indie folk we are in charge of most of the things surrounding the tunes we put out there.  This equals late nights, our regular 9-5's, part-time gigs, shows, miscellaneous wonders and our beautiful little arrows absolutely consume us these days.

Probably not as dramatic as it is reading out but that's what we have been up to- (remember I promised an update).

I wish this post was poetic and fun- but I've had this song on repeat for the last 15 minutes and I've been pushed by an influential someone to take some time out to delight in other things that I love #writing.

So no matter how non-sensical or erratic- I'm back.

 Thanks for hanging out!

Actually a bunch of funny things have happened in the last few months and I've learned a bunch so maybe I'll back track a bit...yes I think this would be delightful...

18.4.12

WTF?


Funny Right?

So I think it is officially happening.

I've had a lot of these moments recently.

I'm not sure what to call it.

On second thought....I know that it is happening.

He's been eight for less than a month...


Public Displays of affection have officially been cancelled until further notice.

My getting in with conversations with his buddies- can barely even consider it now.

(The next statement will probably be more for me than you but here we go anyway.)

Don't get me wrong he loves to hang out and kick it with his Mommy but in a nutshell as of late he has this certain heir about him that blatantly says :

"Mom you're cool and all...but I got this!"

Independence? (It was bound to happen!)
Confidence? (every parents desire)
Me losing my "cool"? (damn near impossible but I'm sure a pig just flew by my window)

In many ways I do not believe that either of us are old enough for this.

He communicates it often though...HE IS MAN AND ABLE! (or at least the blooming of)

Walking down the hallway in our apartment building a couple days ago after school:

Me: How was school buddy?

Him: Good!

Me:  But how was it?

Him: Good!

Me: What'd you do?

Him: Nothing!

Me: But it was good?

Him: Yes!

(He thought for a split second and I think he hinted in on my digging)

Him: We had art class today.

Me: Awesome- what did you do?

Him: Art!

Me: Oh Ya?

Him: Ya! (the word finished with a bit of a rise and I felt like I was on to something he was about to bless me with his experience)

Him: We learned about an artist named Jackson Pollock today.

Me: Cool! What was his name again?

Him: JACKSON POLLOCK (not yelling but firm).  He's an artist but an artist you don't know.  He's not that kind of artist Mom.

(This statement almost offended the underground hip-hop enthusiast that dwells within me)

Him: He's an artist that paints. There are different kinds of artists. (Thanks for the info kid!)

Him: He paints with colours that reflect his emotions and people like his art a lot.  The art I created today I called it "Splat! Splat!" but my teacher thought I called it "Splash! Splash! (insert 8 year old giggle here ______.)

Me: (feeling educated by now) That sounds great!  Maybe we can google him later and you can show me some of his stuff-that would be cool!)

Him: Maybe-I have homework! (OUCH!)

He's just maturing and growing and changing but all of my kids are and hopefully I am too with their guidance, assistance and love.

It just gets real when your kid accuses you of snorting when you laugh in passing conversation with the exhausted pregnant lady who hands you you're smoothie when you're exiting the drive through.  (For the record I have nothing against people who snort when they laugh- I just have never been a snorter although I have snorted on occasion but never recall doing so in what I call public.)

Or when you tell him at least 6 times leading up to his birthday that you are going to swing by with some treats for his class to celebrate his birthday show up with a bag clearly full of popsicles on the day of his birth 1.5 hours after dropping him off at school, bag in hand...spotted by classmates and teacher and greeted with big smile and invited into the class by the teacher only to have him turn around identify me from his position in the classroom (the next reaction was probably because his little sister was there...right?) almost mortified without the decency to even mouth the words says "What are you doing here?" causing me to freeze in the doorway and shooting a look at the teacher and holding back an inner chuckle and fighting the feeling of running into the class grabbing him and planting a big wet one on his forehead.

Kid didn't even have the decency to call me Mom!


LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!


I hope you know this post is all in good fun and coming to an end like now...I tell you the truth the boy is awesome.  He's becoming and this makes me glad.  He is really respectful and intelligent and I couldn't have chosen a better 8 year old to be mine but to say the least we've had our share of moments this month but I'm soooooo looking forward to the next chapter.

 CJ

BALL HOCKEYING (He loves playing in net!)

My Prayer:

Dear Jesus

Give me the grace and the ability to glide like you do through life situations and relationships of all kinds.  I can appreciate that we only get out of relationships as much as we put in so help me to do this always- GIVE!

And one other thing that is quite important at least to me in this moment of time...I ask that you would allow me to be COOL or at least be able to maintain the appearance of....

Your status seeking daughter for parenting purposes only
Chris

AMEN

4.4.12

"March Broken" MID WEEK CONFESSIONS

March was almost absolutely draining for me- the kids had "March Break" and I on more than one occasion referred to it as "March Broken".

(Did you notice I only posted once last month and it was the remnants of a very eventful February)

Life gets loud sometimes and the only thing that can turn that sucker down a notch is the voice of wisdom. (I've learned this the "hard" way)

I'm learning that parenting is not easy or for the faint of heart.

I'm learning that I am just about half the mother that I would like to be- but my children assure me that I am doing an OK job and remind me often that I am the best Mom they have ever had.  (Thanks Guys!)

I love my husband deeply- he does an outstanding job with our seedlings.  Last month he travelled to Austin, Texas for a week to play some gigs and I was a awarded a week off of work to fill his role on the day shift with the mild of exception of neither of the boys being in school. 

I played it almost cool in the day but come the P.M. I crumbled...like crumbled.  I don't know if it was my lack of organization (probably) or just my lack of sleep working on stuff in the wee hours of the morning-but wow-Hats off to you Derek!...(I'm still in recovery mode)

Sal and My: she had it rough this month two birthdays back to back and neither of them hers...her face says it all "My Bafoons!" (thanks for the pic Auntie Jackie)

Both of the boys got bumped a year up this past month on the 18th and 19th (no we didn't plan for that-how would you really plan that?)

More Confessions:

I am now the mother of an 8, 6 and 2.5 year old (this is intense at least for me).

My big son and I bang heads often.  (I'm not OK with this)

My little big son is an accomplished chatterbox. (I'm mostly OK with this)

My daughter is his devote disciple. (This mostly makes me nervous-OK?)

I love my kids more than my life. (OK!)

I would do anything for my family. (Yup!)

They make me strong. (The End)

CJ


Here's a taste of the kind of music my husband makes in case you were wondering-it's becoming a bit of a family affair ;)

ENJOY!


This post has been brought to you by the letter 'S' for Sanity (of course) and




14.3.12

Out With A Bang

Here are some pics from the last couple of weeks-

We got to check out the SOWETO Gospel Choir at the Sony Centre - we got some crazy orchestra pit tickets for Christmas...It was amazing- The sound and performance was stellar...a good way to wrap up Black History Month the boys really enjoyed themselves.

Intermission-ing

Aidan's favourite song was Shosholoza it was cool because when they introduced it he gave himself a smack in the forehead like "this is cool and I actually know some of the songs that they are singing" and immediately engaged.  Myles is usually consumed by most things loud and musical and by the end of the show was dancing in the aisles (yes plural).

Saying Thanks After The Show
Afterward we hung out at The Old Spaghetti Factory for a VERY after hours late night pasta run = #goodtimes.

Here's to "deer in the headlight not so smartphone shots" and monstrous spicy meatballs!

We attended The African Heritage Assembly at the kids' school once again blew my mind.  Honestly this is quickly becoming one of the highlights of my year.


There are usually tears, many laughs, countless giggles and just really good feelings coming out of the presentation the staff and students at the school put on.  This year- so goooooooood!

My tears usually start when I walk in the gym and the place is absolutely decked out.  Beautiful Art everywhere- this year was nothing different to say the least.  I'll stop talking- check out a few pics:




There was poetry, traditional dances, segments of speeches, comedic routines, movies made in class that were projected on the "big screen" teaching us about fables of old, readings...I honestly could go on...but I will stop right after the Michael Jackson tribute....Yeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!

A boy, a love interest, multiple zombies some tombstones---"THRILLER!!!!" and I mean Thriller!...I honestly didn't see it coming (made me feel quite old actually) the kids rocked it----HARD!

Micheal Jackson TRIBUTE- so out of this planet.

and of course my biggest little man...Xylophones Rock!

And to close a song that I was hearing all February long that just won't leave my brain...#lovethis
February was pretty rad!

CJ

1.3.12

03/01/2012


Dear Thursday

I know it's been a while since we have talked or seen eye to eye about anything.  This fact has drawn from me more than my attention and we need to set some things straight.

It's been going on for weeks now and I've been trying to work through my conflict- I've reached the point in my struggle for resolve where I cannot go on any further without letting you know how my heart feels.

You show up like you're some other day every week- and every week I believe you.

I hear them say your name...I reason to myself "Not my Jeudi"...I listen closer and they confirm it's you.

Your masquerade is becoming redundant .  A Friday on first glance but upon looking in-you lack luster more times than not.  Your embrace fleets and you become no more to me than the sharp pain of a cold Tuesday morning after a spectacular long weekend.

In all my saying-I will say I claim my blame in all of this.  It's not fair of me to criticize you for being something that you are not.  We both know we would be fools to believe that the thrill of a Saturday could be forever- But in my pondering I believe that you have the potential to be so much more than that. 

Everything within me longs to love you for you...Thursday.

Without the misunderstandings, hype and unreal expectations.

Let's work on being real with each other again.  I long to highlight, circle and star you on the calender of my heart .

Let's find out what our relationship could really be.


Bound to you until forever,
CJ

23.2.12

My First Time


We used to have swim meets, track meets, play hockey in the underground parking garage, soccer in the courtyard, basketball against the lightpost, build bridges to cross the creek, play on the tarzan swing, pool hop, run from security, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, shoplift from the conveinence store...light fires, steal smokes...ummm I know you are intrigued but I will stop here.  (#goodtimes in a nutshell before the age of 13 in the area that I grew up in-)

"Christine's tough she can play in net"...I'd nod my head yes, stand in the net- they would tell me "You're too young to play!" but I'd stand there anyway and they would once again agree and let me do so under the condition that if I ever got hit in the face- I wouldn't cry (good deal!)

I remember the first day I got hit in the face with a soccer ball but on second thought it probably wasn't the first day...to this day my legs are covered in scars and scratches.

I still have indents in the back of my leg from the time I was trying to stunt down a huge gravel hill on my BMX when I was about 8 and braked too hard (darn).

I remember people getting into fights and myself in particular getting into "fist fights" (remember those?)- I always hung around the older boys so it was a good deal - they'd encourage me to fight the other boys my age (even though I was not one) but let me know if at anytime if it even looked like I was getting beat up they would bring a stop to things PROMPTLY.

I remember this one time I was fighting this kid and I don't know how it got broken up but it did- it ended with him running upstairs to get a parent or something.

I remember when he came back down stairs he stood at the top of the steps that overlooked the little courtyard we were playing ball in and he held a broken hockey stick.

He was red (his face) you could tell he'd been crying and he stood at the top of the stairs looked down at me and in a very broken and cracking voice he yelled "I have a N&^%#rR Beater and I'm gonna beat you with it."

I heard the word before but this was the first time I was called it (as per my previous post)- was never too impressed by it and it held no power in my life so I wasn't moved-

My mom  had previously told me that it meant ignorant and she taught me that I was not ignorant there for this term did not and would never apply to me- I was OK with this.

So when the kid did that while we were outside playing, I kind of shrugged it off. But the other boys turned from the soccer match, looked at me and asked if I had heard what he just said to me.

I said, "I did" but didn't care- I wasn't one!

My dad told me that none of the people I ever met were- so you could understand the passivity here as one of the interesting dynamics. The other interesting thing was all the boys that I was hanging out with were white and this always stands out in my mind.

I remember telling them I didn't care- I remember one of them telling me it didn't matter if I didn't care I could never let anybody call me that.

So I darted up the stairs straight towards him got to the top and I looked him in the face and asked him, "what's in your hand?"

He said it again...

I told him he was wrong it was just a broken hockey stick! (with very sharp and pointy edge I might add it made me nervous)

I kind of looked down to see where the big guys were at this point and they were standing in the middle of the stairs that I had just ran up...the kid corrected me and told me what it was again and he went to take a swing and I remember one of the guys saying "don't you dare hit her" and I grabbed it from him and I swung-

I remember holding it in my hand and being almost mad as the fury of hell or at least the 8 year old equivalent- but wasn't really sure why and I asked him a question after I hit him twice with it..."So what is it now?"

The kid ran upstairs to his apartment- I remember one of the guys telling me I was strong and then me asking if we could back down into the courtyard to finish playing soccer...they agreed and not too long after my Mom called me from off the balcony so I went upstairs to get some lunch.

When I came back down- everyone was still out there and they were like "Ohhhhhhh Christine, ______'s Dad is looking for you- he said when he found you he was gonna kick your black and white a** all across the parking lot!"

Heavy right?  (I was 7 or 8 at this time I want to say the summer before I started grade 2 but am not 100% sure) And often, often, often around where I grew up parents got into it with kids and vice verse (kind of crazy looking back).

They told me he was walking around the building looking for me and he was M-A-D.

Another thing my mom told me was if any one's mom or dad was looking for me I was to come home first...so that's what I did...I went upstairs and told my mom the story.

I remember her calling his mom and telling her the story and his mom getting bent out of shape because I had no right hitting her kid with a hockey stick...and my dad coming over and giving me the "N" word talk and the verbal permission to if they weren't bigger than me beat the snot out of anyone that used the term against me.

For the record it never got that out of hand again.

I was a smart kid.


We desire to bequest two things to our children -- the first one is roots; the other one is wings.
~Sudanese Proverb


CJ



9.2.12

"I'm a mixed kid" - MID WEEK CONFESSIONS -#BHM Edition


Growing up I never had a clue of what #BHM (Black History Month) was- I actually concluded that it was just a poster in my elementary school and a few good quotes on the morning announcements.

I wonder when #BHM started?
-I will look into finding out.

I joined the Black History Club in highschool as an attempt to miss class and get free food-it lasted about a day(I was obviously not that interested or hungry and clearly missed the point).


I'm a "mixed" kid.

I was raised for the most part by my mother to never care too much for race or colour-but have had undeniable experiences through the years of my life that have seemed to be related and have caused me to look outside of this upbringing.

I remember the first time someone referred to my hair as "good".

I remember in that same experience the hairdresser referred to my sisters as "not so" and suggested a relaxer (It was probably around the second grade this would have put her in kindergarten).

I remember the first time someone suggested that I was "mullato"

I remember the time I concluded that I was a "half-breed" and my mother quickly educated me that term was mostly reserved for dogs and the like.

I remember the first time someone called me "white girl".

I remember the first time someone told me I wasn't really "that black" as a compliment.

I remember the first time someone called me the "N" word.

I remember saying the word a couple of handfuls of times "the cool way" and concluding in my heart that it just wasn't right and not even mildly cool even though a lot of the music I was brought up on was saturated with it (I'm assuming in an attempt to rob it of it's power.)- p.s. I will never be yours.

To this day I still dig artists that use the term and chalk it up to artistic freedom- I just can't relate all the time.

One of my best friends (Akeicha) wished me a Happy Black HISandHERstory month this week and asked me what I had done to celebrate so far- I didn't have a definite answer but was proud of myself that I added a banner to my blog and decided on sharing about most things "Black" even if not that historic-and even at the risk of isolating some of my readers (I've heard it).

I'm going to do it for the rest of the month-share some of my experiences probably.

#BHM has become important to me because I have kids now and my kids have been classed in the school yard and have asked me questions.

I've banned them from using Black, White or Yellow etc. when describing their friends to me. I tell them to find out the country they are from or sometimes ask them if they look like anyone else we know...sometimes colours are just to primary.

I still sing the song "Jesus loves the Little Children" to my kids.

I understand that race is a very important issue and I am not politically correct by any means so please if I write something insensitive or not that clear- understand it's only my simple opinion and take on my experiences (or leave a comment I'd love to talk about it further with you).

My Mom is white and I am relatively "light" skinned and my oldest son is much like me and a lot of this started when he caught my attention when I heard him telling his little brother "I'm white like Mom and Nana and your black like Dad, Grandma and Grandpa."

I let them know that they are Bajan, Jamaican, British and Scottish but would mostly be called Canadian when we were in Canada but if anyone called them a colour it would probably be "black"- I'm ok with this.

Conclusion:
In this month I am committed even if it does not show up in a post on this blog to considering as much of the whole story of my "Black History" as possible.

I know a ton about my "White/European" history and there has never been a month dedicated to it- I don't believe in a mandate secretly established by a certain society to blanket the Black Experience...but I believe that in every culture of the world, painful pasts can be easily overlooked or better left unspoken and the wrong people get the credit for right deeds (don't be mistaken I am not trying to downplay slavery or anything related at all-like at all!)

I know this topic is a touchy one but in my Canadian experience it's one that needs to be embraced.

I've chosen to be "hands on" in this season...as I celebrate a legacy that is not so much a colour as it is a people.

thanks to:

a blog that I dig for encouraging this week's confession. :)

1.2.12

My Desire For My Daughter


She brings definition to the term "Vision of Loveliness"

She kisses my face and she tells me she loves me

She's the princess of the castle and at times we butt heads for the role of queen- my love doesn't change

They tell me she reminds them of me when I toddled and I am thankful for the compliment

She has my heart and in those moments when I catch a glimpse of the inside of hers I am intrigued by the wonderful mix of lioness and lamb contained in her tiny being

She is my privilege

My hope is she would always be Salome Noa- "nothing missing, lacking or broken, always moving and continually evolving"

The girl who will agree that her hair looks pretty and then conclude "But Mommy OWWWW!" and rip the hair ties from her crown

That she would see perfection every time that she looks through big brown, slightly slanted eyes and want to be no one but herself

That she would never desire a skin tone deeper or even a half shade lighter-but that she would know rest

That they would never call her names based on her ethnicity, body shape, their ignorance or the fuel that drives their lust

Just Salome, Queen or Beautiful

That she would know herself, never compromise and be a catalyst for the change her heart desires

That she would play and be the gift of song she is and is becoming more of everyday...effortlessly.



CJ

p.s.
Let me be the first to wish you a Happy Black History/African Heritage Month-this time of year excites me!

26.1.12

chill

Sometimes I fly off the handle...not crazy off the handle but it definitely hits the fan...I usually internalize my stuff but sometimes I will give warning to my company before it gets too hot.

Myles is almost my exact match but a little more dramatic (in my opinion don't ask my husband for his though). Let's talk about our ability to go from a 2 to a 10 on the "losing my cool as a cucumber status" scale if you get us at the right moment.

Explosions happen sometimes.

I'm ok with this for the most part-everyone should have a right to express their feelings right?

We have a few things that we remind him of before and in the midst of his explosions and the techniques that I try to incorporate into my everyday living also (shameless):

1. It's ok to get mad just remember to respect other people- aka don't hurt anyone and this includes yourself...we never tell them not to cry but often ask the question if the issue at hand is really worth all the tears (once the moment has almost past of course).

2. Control- "Please control yourself brother!" I have observed in my life and the lives of others that I've grown with that an angry man with no composure is a war waiting to happen while an angry man with composure is a passionate man on the brink of great things. (I wonder if I practiced more if Mrs. Wing would consider me as one of her writers? #random)


3. Breathe I would have to say I learned this from Poko breathing is our version of the "Hug a monkey hug him tight, hug him til you feel alright!" This might be wrong on our side as I am not the best at reading on parenting techniques for rearing children but will not hesitate to admit I have learned a thing or two (or three) from some good children's animation (thanks @kidscbc). My kids are encouraged not to tell us their take on things until they catch their breath or can take at least three huge breathes without choking on their saliva, snot and or tears.

I've been reading my past posts and they seem pretty "outside looking in-ish" when it comes to my family, the behaviour of my kids and my relationships- but honestly we're just doing us and I try to write from a place of appreciation and gain some perspective from all of our lives together. More specifically- what you read is the whole truth but not our entire experience. Parts of random weeks which consist of random days that are composed of random moments ;).

I try to get these times down in front of me as a point of reference or better a memory in script that I can look back on and really build on for the future.

So earlier this week I was in the living room at our place with 2/3 children and I promise I must have cleaned up the same toys in the span of 15 minutes about 7 times.

Me: "Honestly, brother!...I'm about to get really grumpy...like really grumpy...I keep picking up this stuff because I can't walk anywhere and I'm going to hurt myself. I know you and Salome are ok with this- but man!- I'm gonna get mad or get hurt can we please just keep the stuff in the box if we are not going to play with it?- like you do in school?...I'm about to lose it Myles..." (exasperated)

Myles: "It's ok if you get mad Mom, I can understand that. Just remember to always be yourself!" (kisses me on face)

Sweetheart right?- you're exactly correct and his empathy sleighed my dragon yesterday- I'm not sure if it was a bad attitude I picked up on the way home from work or me just being over tired or something?...anything?

What I really wanted was for them to pick up the stuff but I got a dose of my own medicine and once again I have been successfully rebuked by my kids and put in my "proverbial" place.

(the end of the illustration is I shut up and stubbed my toe twice before banishing them to the boys' room)

I'm learning (often the hard way) that it is so super duper important to chill sometimes and am continually being encouraged all the more to fill my kids and just my life and the things that i commit my heart to with good things. At the end of the day when the squeeze is put on us the only thing that is going to come out is what we have stored up inside.


CJ

18.1.12

Peanut Butter Brilliant

He's an intellect- an avid chatterbox and his listening skills appear on a somewhat voluntary basis but some how he never seems to miss a beat.

He finds great delight in using big words that he is convinced he understands the meaning of and as many words as possible in a breathe. As of late he's taken a liking to the words "awkward", "explaining" and the term "actually" both in and out of context.

Me: "What do you want for lunch Myles, peanut butter and jam?"

Myles: "Actually I would like to have just peanut butter on two halves and then two halves with just jam only!"

Me: "OK, so I think you wont eat 4 halves so I will give you two halves with what you asked for."

voice from kitchen "We're out of bread!"

Me: "OK, there is no bread Myles."

Myles: "OK then that's easy I will just have jam and cream cheese on my sandwich!"

Me: "What?"


One of his favourite cartoons to catch on the fly is anything Charlie Brown "because they are just so serious Mom!".

We chatted with one of his teachers at an interview and we asked how he was doing and she said sometimes she felt like he didn't belong there, she sees the kids busy working away in class and thinks to herself this kid belongs on a street corner somewhere playing a saxophone...and this is just naturally Myles. (Mom he is doing well, don't worry!)

He's a beautiful thing- when I consider his attitude and uniqueness.

He tells me he will be an inventor, a singer or something like a painter or an author when he grows up. He actually referred to the roles he has interests in as "Community Helpers" and when he did at age 4 although they probably learned the term in school...he turned something on, on the inside of me.

He's a lover of fashion and swears off of the colour pink but tells me he will wear it anyway because "it looks good on me!" (smh).

He wears ties all of the time- at home even with t-shirts because he knows what he likes.

He makes my day, like everyday.

I'm learning to savour the flavour of my little giftlings and just really cultivate an attitude of thankfulness for and towards them.

I'm not sure where he gets it from...(hopefully me) but I highly doubt it- I'm still chasing that kind of cool...

CJ

And a note of thanks for the works, life and sacrifice of the late great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was celebrated globally this week- You inspire me!

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


How will you live this quote for you and inspire it in the little ones in your circles?

11.1.12

MID WEEK CONFESSIONS

I saw this feature on a few blogs that I dig and I honestly had to get in on it:

MID-Week Confessions Much?


#1- I never run for the bus and although at times I have been known to walk quite briskly I only do so when I make firm eye contact with the driver and I can pull off an authentic limp...bad right?

I have never been left by a driver with this technique but am saying it out loud as to hopefully force myself out of performing this downright trickery again.

I will admit that this act in a way always feels a little liberating to me at times (smh). I feel like I am taking one for the team of people I have seen left in not so mad rushes when it would have been ok at least in my simple opinion to just hold the doors open a few seconds longer.

Me = "Robin of the Hood" Scarborough Edition?

(Please don't get me wrong in this I am a #ttc enthusiast I have two Uncles on the force)
;)

#2- This Tuesday in almost a panic to not miss my bus I noticed that I was out of time and couldn't throw together a half decent lunch so I grabbed an entire box of cereal and jammed it into my bag (backpack)- with a spoon and a very plastic bowl as an instant meal plan.

Makes sense right?-I'd eat cereal all day-I've done it before and I'm sure my metabolism could use the break even if only for a day.

I got to work and kind of settled in and reached for my cereal. "I have no milk!" but in that same moment of time (here's #3) I felt absolutely no shame in using the 2% creamers that are usually stacked in abundance in our staff kitchen at the office that almost immediately came to mind (kinda makes you think I have done this before eh?).

For the record here comes confession #3b) I have done this once before but in my defence in case anyone from my job reads this- I use the same amount of milk in my cereal as I have seen individuals use in a coffee 6...yes 6...

His confession:
Buddy of mine walked by and saw the cereal on my desk and I told him that he was welcome to it if he was hungry he almost passed and started with (we can call this one #3 c) for me or #4) for the post) "I have no milk" and I was like "Honestly...fridge...creamers...same difference..."

I wondered if I had downgraded my "ratings" with him and he started to laugh and was like "I won't lie I have done it before too!".

#4- I was almost upset when I went to the fridge and there were no 2% creamers left but I figured it safe to assume where they all were and I have since settled in my heart that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I can't hate on anybody for getting theirs on.

#5- My throat and eyeballs have been on fire for almost the entire week and I have straight up lied to everyone I have answered "I'm fine" too when asked "How are you doing?"

#6- Hoodies make me quite happy and although I have only watched the show a few times, if I ever became one of the hoarding people and I had a choice of the item I lived to capture, the things would be hoodies and it would be autumn all year long (fantasy hoarding much?)

#7- This New Year has caused me to think of my risk taking friends and family so far quite often- specifically who have moved across their countries or are in the process of doing so in pursuit of their dreams in the last couple of months.

@botanystudio, @sammypanama, @DENEKAdesignCo and Abbie- You inspire me and cause me and probably everyone around you to reach higher...you emanate greatness and in the back of my mind I hope that God translates my thoughts and excitement that are contained in my heart toward you to prayers and empowerment on your behalf because in the midst of all this confessing I have concluded that I definitely do not pray enough.

I feel better now #confession is definitely good for the soul!


CJ
@growinguptdot

p.s. I borrowed the awesome shot of the creamers from talkinghead.ca

6.1.12

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


(A little late I know but I also know that you are a forgiving friend)

I honestly started four different posts for the New Year but none of them really felt right.

I was going to write about some of the New Years Resolutions I made.

Like my commitment to a gym and my first day there this week and the way they broke my mind, body, and soul- but I will probably do this a little farther down the road right now it still hurts too bad and has not become quite humorous yet.

I am nursing my first throat infection of the year and hoping to see no more for the remaining and as a result I am totally drained by the head aches, ear aches, chills and fever that accompany it. (I'm actually lying in bed at this moment so I decided to write)

I was so excited for the New Year and don't get me wrong I still am it's just the feet wetting ceremony for this year has been...YUCK!

One resolution I can share sanely right now is my commitment to Growing Up Toronto. I have desired that it be one of those amazing, consistent blogs that I faithfully follow like Sleeping is for Losers but right now with my family and the hats we wear- It's tough!

I want to blog so bad-(like really bad) but I am becoming accepting of the fact that it may not be like some of the other blogs out there (that I respect immensely) and I am learning to become OK with that.

So as I grow I look forward to a year of discovery, reinvention or maybe better put...finding my place in the Blogmosphere.

I've been so encouraged by people that dig the blog and are faithful to share and tell a friend about it so this actually brings me to another one of my resolutions.

I committed to being more thankful this year and really appreciating the people that are around me, that support and encourage me and be that same person to them.

I just wanted to say thanks for Growing with Us...I'm in it for the long-run!

Last thing, for the record and to once again maintain some of the random themes that run through this blog...my son Myles has a mean Dougie and I swore against Zumba when I registered for the gym but if I hear this track I may need to get in on that...(for the children of course!)



CJ

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