22.12.14

She knows Santas!



She knows he's not Santa...he only works for the real one!

When he asked her if she had hockey earlier that day...she looked at me like....How'd he know that?!!?

Then he asked what she wanted for Christmas...

She told him "It's a secret!"


CJ

23.9.14

On Bedtimes and Chicken Balls


I feel like bedtime is the occasion where the most random questions are asked, confessions are made and they start to let go of today and brace themselves for sleep and one thousand tomorrows.


click this link for more info on chicken balls - Wikipedia
Myles: What are chicken balls made of?

Me: What do they look like Myles?

Myles: Good!

I'm guessing they've started health at school and it's a given every day in September is a pretty long one.

Don't you think?  

CJ


3.9.14

First Days!


I've had a good handful of "first days".

Do you remember...

The horrors?
The pleasures?
The knots in your tummy?
The hopes?
The fears?

Me either...well maybe!

My kids were up all night - the night before this "first day"...They couldn't sleep because of all of the afore mentioned and then some.

They were thirsty, they were hungry, they forgot to pack their summer borrowed books and would surely forget them in the morning...one couldn't sleep because he had a ton of questions that he needed to have answered.  The last one I recalled was...

"Mom last question...what year was the movie Rapunzel released?"

"Honestly...have we ever seen Rapunzel?"

"No...but I was just wondering..."

I'm hoping they enjoy this next year as much as you do with you and yours whether it is full of first days or not!

CJ



3.8.14

Happy Holiday Monday?

It's already the Civic?

We are still trying to decide what to do for the Holiday tomorrow.

Here's some of the things we had in mind...in case you were still looking for a cool place for hot family or not so family date.

HorseCapades - Exhibition Place
"This year, the program is bigger than ever and includes a new Trick Riding Show called HorsePower Livein the Horse Palace Ring (two shows daily at 11:30 am & 1 pm)!"

Cost: FREE!


ISLAND SOUL - Harbourfront Centre -
We've done it a bunch of times...Totally laid back.
Free concerts & entertainment, activities for the kids and an international marketplace.  A good day (or night) for every age group!


HIGH PARK - We Love High Park!
We usually get a really good walk, can pull off a half descent picnic and have an amazing go at the Adventure Park.

Check out the link there is sooo much to do here and it is very pet friendly too!


SCARBOROUGH RIBFEST - we went last night, definetley not on the free side.  We got to check out the "Good Brothers" last night...live music no matter what the genre usually is pretty banging and these guys could bang!

BBQ BEEF RIBS! #thatisall


Got some footage of the middle boy being an absolute CLOWN!



When in Scarborough do as the Scarbarians do!


Please, Please Please...let us know if you have any other options for a Happy Holiday Monday!

Leave them in the comments or our Facebook Page.

Sharing is Caring!

CJ

31.7.14

On Sunblock & Running Away

I was coming out of the grocery store on a particularly hot day.

Like hot.

I was in a rush but not really. (You know those days?)

I seen a lady uncomfortably attempting to get out of earshot of an older man.

He was awkwardly wearing a pair of prescription aviator glasses with no tint, an exhausted trucker hat with a white mesh back that you could tell on first glance had seen many a sweaty day, a long sleeve dress shirt with a striped pattern, and some wind pants (the unbreathable kind), socks and a pair of work boot type sneaker looking shoes.

He had a couple of plastic bags hanging from his wrist they were empty.  

The lady rushed into the grocery store - it's like there was an invisible force field blocking the entrance to the store for the man and he immediately turned around and caught my eye as she entered...I was about 50 metres away.

I was in a rush but not really.

I felt really catching up though.

"Excuse me Miss can I talk to you?"

I kinda gave a look to the sky with my back turned as I packed my box of groceries into the passenger side of my car through my drivers-side door.

I turned to face him.."Definitely!"

He looked at me like really?

"Thank You!" he said.

He proceeded to tell me that he'd been walking around for the last few weeks asking people about sunblock, skin cancer, and was wondering if I had bought any sunblock today and was almost consumed with his research on how sunblock had not been proven to prevent skin cancer but we are buying it up anyway.

He told me "not to buy and just cover up."

"What kind of sunblock do animals use?" - he finished this train of thought with an "exactly". 

He asked me if I had ever heard anything on the topic.

There were moments when he had a tear in his eyes and his misunderstood passion was made vulnerable and he spoke so much.

I wasn't really in a rush.

He thanked me for listening.  

I thanked him for his research and his willingness to be out on a day like today sharing his knowledge.

He thanked me for listening again.  He peered into my grocery box and complimented my hot dog purchase...I told him they were on sale.  He looked at me sincerely pleased.

"You know, I tried to talk to a lady about the same things we discussed yesterday and she told me to get away.  I kept talking and explaining to her that I wasn't going to hurt her I just wanted to talk to ask her about sunblock."

"It was at that intersection right over there!"

I nodded.

"Can you believe she ran away?"

I shook my head no.

"She really ran away!"

of course we are parked!
I shot him a look of unbelief.

"When the light turned green she ran across the street to two men and started telling them something."

I once again confirmed my disbelief.

"I was standing at those lights and I watched her and then one of the men came across the street like he was really going to hurt me.  He was mad.  He asked me why I was bothering the lady.  I explained to him I was just educating her on the fact that sunblock has never been linked to preventing skin cancer.  He told me to leave and not talk to anybody anymore."

I was glad he disobeyed.

"I apologized and explained I meant no harm."

He looked at me by now I was sitting in my drivers seat with my legs hanging out of the car kind of hunched over staring up at him as he spoke to me with his head staring straight into the sun.

I interrupted him with an apology, that I was a little pressed for time but grateful that he had some moments to share with me and that I had to go for an appointment I needed to make.

I let him know I would consider my reasons behind purchasing and using sunblock the next time I was on the market for some.

He looked at me one last time and I swear that in another life he was an Isaac Newton or a 12th grade chemistry teacher...before life was interrupted.

He said, I really want to thank you for not running away.

I let him know it was no worries at all and he was nothing worth running away from.

Point taken.

CJ

30.5.14

Dr. Maya Angelou

I visited a high school earlier this year.  I was conducting a poetry writing workshop.

I received an email a week or so later - more like an interview from one of the girls at the school for a project that she was doing for Black History Month.  

She asked a lot of questions that I had previously never thought of an answer for.  One of the questions was:

Q: Who are your inspirations?

A:  I'm inspired by my family.  

I also am inspired by Maya Angelou, the work of Martin Luther King Jr, I'm inspired really by people that chase their dreams and follow their convictions. 

That was my answer. 

When I read her work it felt like she was a woman that knew more about me than I did about myself. Her honesty, transparency and love for a people has marked me for an eternity. 



Sincerely.


30.4.14

Witch!

My son's feet

They make me laugh. 

I sometimes make fun of them. 

Not bad fun. 

Good fun!

Yesterday he got me...

I was cutting his nails...not my favourite thing to do but mandatory for this child (all children). 

They were flying everywhere. 

Everywhere!

Me: Buddy! Your toenails are wild today! What's up with that?

Him: What do you mean?

Me: They're flying everywhere! They are weapons they are even in my hair! Shoots look at other son for some laughter...

Him:  They're in your hair probally cause you are a witch!

Me: What's that even supposed to mean?? (Thinking to myself that was well played)

Him: Catches glances with his brother...hysterics. 

He was probally right that night...maybe. 

;)

10 and 8 to date have been interesting...I love them!  Lol!!! I'm laughing while I write this. They have this funny dry borderline sarcastic humor that is in it's early stages. They still laugh like 4 year olds and try to act big but are still almost absolutely clueless to all things adult! 

I love them. 



18.4.14

TGIGF!

This Good Friday has been a very Good Day!

A day to slow it down.

A day to reflect.











A day to hang out with family.















A day to eat some amazingly amazing fish!



We had fish and chips for lunch.

We used to do it every Good Friday- like the whole family when my Grandad was alive.  He'd tell us about the Fish and Chips back home, the way they changed hands over the years and this would be the opener to a few seemingly choice stories about the way things used to be.  Nana would nod and smile - but never touch a piece of fish.  To this day she tells me she hates it but her and my Grandad had this "opposites attract" chemistry and I'm sure, DOUBLE SURE she would not even put it to her lips because it would somehow detract from this love thang they had going on for decades! 

The quote of the day as spoken at our after lunch walk by the beach:

"When we went for the chips & chips Mom...I really liked that chicken."
                                      
                                                                                       Salome



She's picky.  

She assumed- I didn't call it a thing.

If she was a crayon she would be this super magnetic pink mixed with a majestic lavender laced with flecks of lime green.

She mostly makes my day.

We had Saltfish & Ackee for dinner. "We" means Him and I.  The kids...Mac n' Cheese, Veggies and Dip. 

It felt right!

Two things I would never force my kids to eat are fast food and Saltfish and Ackee.  The first out of conscience the second mostly out of greed. (I should really find another word for greed!)

Believe the Hype!

Give Thanks!

Happy Easter!

CJ




1.4.14

Middle Style

Can't you tell I'm different?

                                 I'm not like them   -   I have style.

Like, style!


I need my own closet.

For my style.


                            hang       up
I don't want to just        stuff    in the closet.


                            hang       up
I don't want to just        stuff    in the closet.



I need my own closet.

For my style.


I want to hang my stuff up in style.


My Outfits.   One Hanger.   Together.


Can't you tell I'm different?

                                 I'm not like them   -   I have style.

Like, style!


In fact they should share.


The next time we eat popcorn, watch us!
They stick handfuls in their mouths,
I put mine in one or two pieces at a time.

Style.


i heart him.


28.3.14

It's Friday!

You know that girl at your job that just lives for Friday?

The person that you greet cheerily on a Wednesday and you ask casually how they are doing.  You're not really looking for an answer but you're too late to withdraw the question because you have already asked and you mostly get strange and sometimes mumble-ish answers that you care not decipher, about some kind of anything.

About the way she forgot to open her sugar and threw the whole packet into her coffee cup, stirred and then recognized the paper floating in the top and went to buy a fresh k-cup but was out of change.

You know her?

The amazing lunch she packed the night before- but got so caught up in catching up on some email on the train that morning that she totally left it in the seat beside her in her haste to pocket her not so smartphone and engage in a light jog from the subway to her office in an effort to beat the clock.

No?

But you some how catch the end wind up because it's clear and true..."But it's almost Friday, two more sleeps!  And she walks away with an uneasy wink and or nod.

It didn't take long.

It snuck up on   me   her.

Let her know you have good news for her today...It's Friday!

CJ



24.3.14

Trip Down Memory Lane?

It felt like it.

In February I had the privilege of visiting the Kindergarten students at Ionview Public School for Black History Month.

We talked history, we talked culture, we talked poetry and got into some spoken word- we also did some drama and got a double dose of dance fever!


It was a good day.

And then get this...


To my absolute delight I got an email inviting me back the week after March Break to get a dose of every single grade level in the school. (I usually share and talk to bigger kids)

I didn't think the one good day in February could be topped and on second thought it wasn't even topped - rather multiplied by SIX!

For the last week I have been sharing my love for poetry, spoken word and a little bit of hip-hop on a daily basis.  I've been presenting original works, speaking on the topic of your words coming alive but even greater inspiring and being inspired by an absolutely wonderful group of staff and students.

DELIGHT!
(did I say that?)

COMMUNITY!
(yup!)

BUILDING
(exactly!)

The poetry that the Ionview students have shared with me and songs they have presented me with during the sessions have been over the top.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to share with such an enthusiastic and respectful group of kids.

Here's a poem that I wrote about my week:

Poems About
(Inspired by the writings of the students at Ionview P.S.)

I've heard poems about honey,
poems about money,
poems about fruit,
and dance moves.

Poems about racing,
poems about chasing,
about dancing 
and musical toots!

Poems about dreaming,
poems about reading,
poems about writing
and food.

Poems about feelings,
poems about greetings,
poems that have left me quite moved!


So back to the part about the trip down Memory Lane...I used to be an Ionview Student.  I attended from Junior Kindergarten until the end of the Seventh Grade.  I felt like I saw and got to hang out with a lot of my old friends that week, who might I mention have turned out to be some really #goodpeople.

CJ





9.3.14

March Break

I wanted to share a comprehensive link for the City Of Toronto's program listing that have been made available pretty much on a dime.

Here you go...thank your city later!


Click the link:

TORONTO (The GOOD) Activites for March Break to keep your from breaking!





Not from Toronto or have other tips on mastering your Spring Break?...please feel free to post them in the comments! 

I'm listening!


CJ


8.3.14

International Women's Day!

Wishing you and all of yours a very 


Here's a piece of a project that I have been working on...let me know what you think! :)

21.2.14

A Tree

Got the opportunity to hang out with 4 kindergarten classes earlier this week...we rapped about all things, black history month, words, rhymes and music. I started all four sessions off with the poem that follows accompanied by some great little actors and actresses...it was great!
Super beat (tired) right now so I haven't had a lot of time to reflect...but I'll be posting some more details soon!
February is my favourite month!
How was your family day?

 Click the link to have a listen.


CJ

9.2.14

Dear Freedom

To kick off Black History Month, I was invited to share some poetry I wrote and conduct a writing workshop on all things poetry (more specifically spoken word and hip-hop) at Branksome Hall, an amazing school in the heart of the city (Toronto of course!).

I appreciate their community welcoming me.

I appreciate the girls that listened that day.

I appreciate the culture so deeply.

Here's the spoken word piece that I shared in the assembly:


Thank You!
CJ

If you are still looking for someone for your #BHM happenings feel free to contact me at growinguptoronto@gmail.com I'd love to help out! :)

good day!