One week

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It’s been one week since two soldiers were killed in two separate attacks.

Their lives were taken, senselessly.

It seems crazy to me that this could happen. And I feel overwhelmed with sadness. I feel sorrow for their families, friends and Military families.

I feel sorrow for my country. I am grateful for those men and women who serve our country and protect us.

My heart breaks for a little boy who will not know his father, or a man whose mother never imagined her worst nightmare of burying her son.

I am grateful to those on both scenes who sprang into action and did their best to help the wounded.

Watching the images on my television of people lining the Highway of Heroes to pay their respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, brings tears to my eyes as I type. I feel the agony of the family waiting to bury Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent next week.

There is a huge hole in the hearts of Canadians, and I believe that we will stand a little taller and a little closer together as we all search for answers.

Rest in peace, Nathan and Patrice. Thank you for everything you have done for us and our country.





Compilation: God Only Knows

I grew up on the oldies.

Well, that’s what I called the music my parents liked; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and more.

It felt like torture at the time to be locked in a car, on our way to somebody’s house, having to listen to this music, my parents sang together in the front seat. All the while my brother and I wanted nothing more than to hear Michael Jackson or some Culture Club!

My father rarely gave in and changed the channel. We could choose the music when we owned our own car!

Those tunes eventually became part of my life.

I connect those songs to certain memories of my parents. I am grateful for this torture exposure to these great songs from some of the world’s greatest musicians.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this video on Facebook and other social media sites and it made me smile.

Here is what do you get when you make a beautiful video with a Beach Boys’ song, a compilation of artists and a good cause.

Thanks BBC for putting this together. I thorough enjoy watching it.


Must-do vs. want-to



It feels a little rusty to type the words as they flow from my brain. The words are always there, but the time always isn’t.

I have been busy. And that means that unfortunately I have to put aside what I love to do most – writing. It’s the usual suspects; work, school, kids’ activities. They just all seem heightened, more encompassing at this moment.

I can’t choose what’s the most important, but I have to choose something to let fall back a little.

Work has taken on a frenzy like never before. There are not enough hours in the day to do all the things on my to do list. And while that is always the case, it seems to be a little different at the moment. There is no down-time, no time to think, or strategize or plan. It all seems reactive.

I don’t do well with only being reactive. But I’m trying to get a handle on things.

I’ve enrolled in my final course in order to get my certificate. The catch? It’s a Public Speaking and Presentation course, which means I’m driving to downtown Toronto every week to be in a classroom and put on a presentation. I like the class and I’m already learning a lot.

But the drive is taxing, it’s rained every time I’ve attended this class and there is homework to do, which means more time away from writing.

Swimming has started again for the kids, and they are both doing great! There’s also karate for the Little Bird, which she loves. So add another 3 nights for these activities and I’m down to having one night a week with nothing to do.

That’s the night Grey’s Anatomy is on, yet I’ve seemed to miss the last show and a half!

I am not making excuses; I am actually upset that I haven’t found a slice of time for something so important to me. And I know that there are peaks and valleys for every family, it feels like since last month, the peak is getting higher but I’m not at the top yet.

There is so much to write about too! We took our first family vacation to Disney World (tacked onto the back of a work conference). I was part of my first Blog Ambassador program – and it was a good one! I met one of my husband’s aunts for the first time. The Little Mouse is fully potty trained. The Little Bird is doing wonderful in school this year! And I just celebrated my nine year anniversary.

I’m going to find a way to stop the clock…

Okay, maybe I’ll just try a little harder to find some time to write more.

Please bear with me…I am here, just struggling with balancing it all at the moment.


Do you struggle to do it all? How do you find the time to balance your must-do’s with your want-to’s? I’d love to hear from you.


The annual tradition of doing tomatoes is something my husband and his family has been doing forever. My sister-in-law told me she remembered being little and her and her cousins would wear handkerchiefs on their heads, and cut up the tomatoes by hand. Child labour laws don’t apply to Italians during tomato season!

Luckily technology has provided some help, and we no longer need to peel or cut them by hand, we just need to wash them, boil them and squish them.

Jar them and boil again and voila!

Sugo for the rest of the year.

My family has never partaken in this ritual, as growing up in a condo left us no place to do it, or store it. It has only been since meeting D that I learned how it was done first hand. I had always heard stories, of how it took all day or how you were a hostage to the garage until every jar was sealed and bucket was cleaned.

I helped once, after the Little Bird was born, but they only gave me the job of sealing the jars; which I found very boring. Ever since then, they haven’t needed me. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

This year, not only did I show up, but GamerBoy wanted to help too, so while we had too many cooks in the kitchen again, it was best not to overwork my in-laws. And my in-laws moved the production to the backyard, so we had more room. So L (my sister-in-law) washed and sealed the jars, D did the heavy lifting of baskets full of tomatoes and squished the boiled tomatoes and GamerBoy helped scrape the squisher and kept everything moving smoothly. Eventually F, our oldest nephew pitched in too, filling the drum.

(Sorry, I don’t actually know all the proper terms)

As for me, I jarred.

We finished by lunchtime and now the cantina is lined with jars of tomatoes ready to be transformed into delicious sugo.



Tomatoes ready to be transformed!


L and I washing tomatoes



My father-in-law boiling the tomatoes


They look ready!


Time to take them out and let them drain



Let the squishing begin!


It can get a little messy!



Evidence of my hard work!


So many jars, and GamerBoy and D are still hard at work!


C, F and GamerBoy filling the drum!


Almost full!


Two drums boil away!


Empty baskets and supplies!


Enjoying an espresso now that the work is complete!


I’ll take some cheese with her whine


As I left my house one Friday morning, I pointed out to my mom and bi-weekly caregiver where I keep the headache medication, since the Little Mouse was deep in whining mode.

Who am I kidding, she’s been whining since she turned three!

In February!

For those of you who say that the two’s are terrible, I challenge you to take my three year old. The two’s were a peach in comparison. The problem is she walks the tight rope of ‘baby’ versus ‘big girl’, changing her mood, reactions, actions and mind, depending on the minute.

You thought I was going to say, day, didn’t you?

Nope. We are definitely talking minute. Some days it is 1,440 minutes of straight whining. Some days we get a break for twenty minutes here and there.

This particular morning she woke up at 5:09, for reasons unknown, and I told her it was still nighttime and she had to go back to bed. She did, but woke up ripe for the picking at 6:15. From there, it all went downhill and sounded something like this:

I don’t want to sleep anymore, waaaaaaaah. I want to go downstairs and have milk, waaaaaah. I want the light on, waaaaah. I don’t like purple, waaaaah. Why is my room purple? Waaaaah. I don’t want to get dressed today, waaaah. I’m don’t like this bear anymore, waaaah


(She literally makes the ”waaaaah” sound after every sentence.)


We got up and went downstairs, and like she does every morning, she started crying because she wants to turn the television on (before her sister does), and then she’s crying because she doesn’t want the “yeh-yo” (yellow) cup, she wants the purple cup.

This morning, the Little Bird pointed out to her that she just said upstairs that she didn’t like purple anymore, to which the Little Mouse responded, “yes I do, waaaaah”. She then launched into other complaints;

You said that the Little Bird is staying with Nonna and I have to go to daycare, waaaah.

Me: No. You are both staying home with Nonna today.

I don’t like going to daycare, waaaah.

Me: Sorry honey, Nonna can’t come every day to watch you.

I don’t want to wear my running shoes today, waaaah

Me: Okay, wear your sandals

I don’t want to eat cereal, waaaah.

Me: Do you want toast?

Can I have some cake? Waaaah

Me: You cannot eat cake for breakfast.

I need a tissue, waaaah. I want more milk, waaaah. I can wipe my own nose, waaah. I want chocolate chips, waaaah. Can I watch Sheriff Callie? I want to watch the “pie-fief” one, waaah.

By now, I had a headache and no amount of talking to, scolding or helping would end the madness. It doesn’t end. It continues all day long and over everything. I know she will grow up and out of this stage, but may there be divine intervention to help me cope. It’s the continuous sound of that cry that could send me and D over the edge.

On this particular morning, I bailed. I felt horrible for leaving my mother, who already had the look of fear in her eyes, and the Little Bird who already knew her sister’s behaviour was going to change the course of the day.

I felt worse for not being able to take it. As parents we’re supposed to handle it all, right? Well, I think I found my weak spot (or at least another one) in my skills as a parent. I can’t take it. I am trying not to get too optimistic over a trick I tried, telling her that I had her smile in my pocket and she needs to put it back on, because she whines about not knowing how to put it back on. So until that trick is perfected, I think the only things I can do is pop more Advil and cry with her.