The Mouse turns 5!



To my Little Mouse. My skunkaroo.

Where has the time gone? How did we already get to your 5th Birthday?

I am amazed and astonished by you. You make me, and everyone who crosses your path, smile every day. You are a bundle of joy, and your zest for life is contagious.

And your smile can pretty much get you whatever you want.

And you know it, too!

You still teeter between big girl and toddler, depending on what you want, where you are and how close it is it your bedtime. But for the most part, you’re a big girl who loves your sister, your friends, school, playing and singing.

I love that you run to the door to give everyone hugs and kisses before we have to go out, how you stick your tongue out of your mouth when you concentrate on doing homework or the fact that your favourite stuffed animal is that seal you got at SeaWorld almost 2 years ago.

You look up to your sister, and can’t wait to play with her. The two of you, sitting head to head, sharing your toys, making up voices, dressing up, singing and more. Nothing makes me happier than hearing the two of you lost in play together.

You love pizza, and like your daddy would eat it every day if we let you. You also love cucumbers and chocolate.

Your favourite songs include Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, Somebody to You by The Vamps, Bad Blood by Taylor Swift, Cheerleader by OMI and the entire Up All Night album from One Direction. You sing with gusto whenever any of these songs come on.

You hate to clean, and will find any way possible to get out of it. You have zero interest in keeping things organized, which drive your sister and father crazy.

I can’t believe you are five. It feels like yesterday that you were just a little baby in my arms.


I thought I’d have a little fun with her, so I asked her 20 Questions:

  1. What is your name? The Little Mouse
  2. How old are you?: 5!
  3. What grade are you in? SK? No! I can’t remember which one. Wait! I’m in JK!
  4. What is your favouite colour? Purple
  5. What is your favourite food? Chocolate ice cream cake.
  6. What is your favourite dessert? Chocolate cupcakes. Also chocolate cake!
  7. What is your favourite song? The Vamps, Girls on TV
  8. What is your favourite TV show? Gravity Falls
  9. What is your favourite movie? The Chipmunks
  10. What is your favourite toy? Shopkins
  11. What do you want to be when you grow up? A Shopkins maker. I want to build my own little Shopkins, paint them with different colours and put them in a box and then people can buy it!
  12. At what age does a person become an adult? 20
  13. If you could change one rule we have as a family, what would it be? (She didn’t really understand this question, however I think if she did she would extend the 1 hour rule on the tablets.
  14. What is something that makes your family special? That mommy and daddy hug and kiss us and do lots of special things for us.
  15. Are you a good friend? Why? Because I am nice to people.
  16. What is the hardest thing about being a kid? It’s hard to hold a real glass on my own so I don’t break it.
  17. What is your favourite place in the whole world? (She whispered to her sister and asked her what the place was called where they went with her cousins. The Little Bird whispered back the cottage and then the Little Mouse answered) Playcious. (an indoor playground)
  18. What is the best thing about being you? That I have a sister. And I have lots of toys.
  19. If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be? To live in a Shopkins house 2. To have lots of candy. 3. If Santa could bring me even more toys.
  20. Now that you are 5, what do you think you can do now that you couldn’t do when you were 4? I’m going to be able to reach high things!


You made us laugh with these answers. As you do for most things.

We all love you so much, Little Mouse and hope you have an amazing day today, filled with fun, chocolate, and good times.

And yes, Shopkins too!


Imagine you love to bake and it turns out you’re really good at it.

Imagine you decide to start baking, giving most away, but suddenly people start asking you for orders.

Imagine that at the end of the day, you barely make enough money to break even, but what you do make you are able to put aside.

Imagine you do all of this with one leg.

This is my friend Patty’s story.

She started her own little home bakery, initially as therapy, to put money aside is to buy a new prosthetic leg, which cost about $60,000.

In 2007, Patty was diagnosed with cancer (malignant melanoma) and lost her leg, just above her knee.

Patty is a single mother of three kids.

And she has been cancer free for four years now!

She is strong, selfless, creative and inspiring. She’ll be the first one to have your back and the last one to ask for help.

After the Health Department forced her to shut down her hobby bakery, her friends and neighbours stepped in and started a GoFundMe page.

Patty needs this leg.

She deserves it.


Please watch the video and donate what you can. Every little bit will help. Then, please share so we can make her dream of walking again come true!


Blue Jay Fever #cometogether



So it’s on! It’s do or die time for the Toronto Blue Jays.

I am not a huge sports fan (anymore). I barely watch or follow any team, but will fully admit to jumping on the baseball pennant race bandwagon. It’s a pretty exciting time in Toronto.

The city is draped in blue and white, and you can’t escape it. And we’ve won this race before; twice – in 1992 and 1993. So we’ve tasted victory in the realms of baseball, and we want it again!

In fact, I can honestly say that I was a true fan back in the day. The team was amazing, with the likes of Roberto Alomar, Dave Winfield, Joe Carter, Pat Borders and more.

I have fond memories of a kid and going to baseball games at Exhibition Stadium, then SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) with my family. So watching the games was a family affair back then.


I was in my senior year of high school and remember watching the winning game with my parents! It was amazing, exciting and fun. My father was super excited! So when they announced that the Blue Jays would do a fan celebration at SkyDome a couple of days later, I was going. No matter what!

Except that I had a test in my Business class.

I decided to skip the test (something I had never done before) and went with my brother to cheer on our new champs! We had so much fun cheering our favourite players, in the streets and a packed stadium.
Photo by: BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR The celebrations for the Toronto Blue Jays 1992 (pictured) and 1993 World Series transformed the downtown core into a sea of true blue Jays fans.

Of course, the next day, I went back to school and had to face my Business teacher. So I thought I would ask her if she would let me write the test again.

I will never forget the look on her face at my request. And then she asked me, “Well Tania, I will let you write the test depending on your answer to my next question.”

“Okay,” I said.

“Were you sick yesterday? Or did you have Blue Jay Fever?” She asked me.

I remember looking her right in her eye, contemplating for a single second on if I should tell her the truth or not. She was an admitted fan of the sport and the Blue Jays, so I sucked it up and told her the truth, “I had Blue Jay Fever.”

She nodded and said, “Alright. You bring me a note tomorrow morning that your parents knew you had a test, but let you go to the parade anyway, and I’ll let you rewrite the test.”

No problem!

I brought in my note the next morning, signed by my dad and she honoured her word and let me write the test again.

Win-win all around!


Go Jays Go!


One decade

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!

10 years!

10 years? How did that happen?

CN Tower
The night D proposed

D has made me so happy these past 3,650 days. Yes, there are moments, but aren’t there always; in every marriage? At the end of the day, as my head hits the pillow at night, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

He was meant to be by my side. He was meant to listen to me yap and tell my stories, even if it’s the 27th time he’s heard it.

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He makes me laugh, often.

He is such an amazing father and partner.

He’s also a great brother, son, in-law and friend.

He’s picked me up, dusted me off and pepped-talked me back into the world.

He can do a mean load of laundry and keeps us well-organized with his mild case of OCD. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, seeing as I am on the opposite spectrum, with my mild case of organized chaos.

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In the past 10 years, we have done a lot together!

First and foremost, we created two beautiful girls, who love and adore him with all their hearts.

We have renovated a house and build a home.

We have survived two job losses (mine) and a stolen car (his).

We have seen St. Maarten, Cuba, New York, Florida and France together.

We have driven a total of 6 cars between us.

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I consider this a major milestone! So when I looked up ideas on what to do, I was puzzled that the traditional gift is tin or aluminum. But when I saw the reason why, I understood:

Tin or aluminum. The pliability of tin and aluminum is a symbol of how a successful marriage needs to be flexible and durable and how it can be bent without being broken.

Makes sense, right? You don’t get to 10 years, without being flexible. Everyday can be a challenge, and I know that there are days when we don’t make time for each other. But I love our daily emails. It makes me happy to know he’s there, on the other side of that send button.

I count my lucky stars every day that I met him. I can only hope that I make him as happy as he makes me. I know that we don’t have the time to express it like we used to; there are no hours alone, talks over dinner or drives in the car, without a Little Bird chirping or a Little Mouse squeaking in the back seat. It’s hard to squeeze in alone time, with so many activities for the kids, or things to do around the house; but I hope that he can look back on the past 10 years with a smile.

Our family of 4.

I wouldn’t change the path we’ve chosen, the road we’re on or the direction we are headed for anything else.

A decade down, D! Bring on forever!


Adjust – part 2


Adjust [uhjuhst]

verb (used with object)

  1. to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapt; accommodate:

to adjust expenses to income.

  1. to put in good working order; regulate; bring to a proper state or position:

to adjust an instrument.

  1. to settle or bring to a satisfactory state, so that parties are agreed in the result

to adjust our differences.

The definition of adjust is to change (something) so that it fits, corresponds, or conforms; adapts; accommodates. Well, sometimes in life, that takes time.

No, you’re not seeing things. This is how my post started yesterday. I thought I would continue on the theme of adjusting and explain a little about why I haven’t been around here much lately.

It’s not that I don’t want to write; or think about pretty much every single day, it’s just that I decided after almost six years at my place of employment, to find a new job.

While I needed a change; a new challenge, I didn’t realize how much it would impact my life.

I learned a long time ago, that humans are creatures of habit. We like to sit in the same GO Train seat, get on the same subway car, even eat the same thing on Taco Tuesday. So for the past five years and 10 months, I’ve gotten up at the same time, brought my kids to school/daycare and gotten to work at 8:00 a.m.

Then I did my job. I did it well, I would like to add. And went home at 4:00 p.m., in an easy commute home to make dinner at a reasonable hour for my small children and went on with my life, getting them to after school activities, such as karate and swimming.

Well, I guess I’m not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

Now I’m waking up earlier, which means waking the kids up earlier. They are not really big fans of waking up early on weekdays. Only on the weekends, it seems. I drop them off earlier at school and make my way to work. I still like coming in at 8:00 a.m., so I can get myself sorted for the day, but I don’t leave until 4:30 p.m.

Since I’m in a different location, I have highway traffic to deal with, major city construction and I’m not getting home at my usual descent hour anymore. It’s a rush to get dinner cooked and eaten, so we can then rush off to the above said activities.

Then it’s back home, rush to get things organized for the next day. Most days I try to prepare the kids’ lunches for the next day, so I can eliminate one thing to do in the morning. Some days, I’m too tired.

I know, I probably sound like a brat. Whining about rushing around with my kids, when I know full well that there are moms and dads who do that on a daily basis, and they work longer hours and farther from home than me.

But this is my world that has changed, and it’s really taking some time to adjust to it all.

By the time I get the kids to bed, and sit on the couch, I’m honestly not in the mood to do anything. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to clean, and sometimes, I don’t want to talk.

I can see that my kids are tired, don’t really like all the rushing and running around. I don’t get to cook anything too complicated or time consuming, since we are usually on the clock three days a week, so it’s been quick and easy meals.

One positive is that I’ve started experimenting with my slow cooker. It’s time that I get an extra set of hands, and having dinner ready when you get home has been great. I just need to find some more recipes.

The truth of the matter is that I am happy for the change. I was looking for a new challenge, and boy did I get one. The new job is going great and now it’s just a matter of everyone getting used to the new normal.

It will take time, I’m aware of this. But I guess I’ve just never been much of a patient person.

Do you have any tips to surviving the chaos? Any great slow cooker recipes?

I’d love to hear them!