Monday, November 30, 2009
Today’s speakers were Moms behind the Headlines: Andrea Vance, Publisher of WestCoast Families; and Tamara Taggart, CTV Weathercaster.
Andrea talked about her path to becoming an entrepreneur and publisher. Tamara talked more about how she makes it work today.
It was interesting to hear Andrea talk about her late days and nights working at EA. How that lead to a late night life discussion over Rum and Cokes, with her now husband. And how that led to her quitting her high paying job with nothing to go to and no plan.
- Learning to work from home. How to get out of bed and out of your PJs everyday. She realized she had to think about it as ‘work’ and to prepare herself for each day, as she was going to the office. And some days that might mean staying in her sweats for the day.
- Thought she could plan her transition to being a parent. She had 9 months to get organized. She isn’t a big planner, but feels that her work plan went well. The home plan did not go to plan, and the anticipated labour distribution plan had to be adjusted after the baby was born.
It was interesting listening to Tamara and really relating to a number of the things she said about her life. She works in the ‘soul sucking business of TV’ (I used to work in the soul sucking business of advertising). And she waited until she was older to have kids, only because she didn’t meet the right person until she was older (same story for me). She is a worry wart and had challenges realizing that when you have kids you have to give up some of the control (amen sister).
She addressed why she went back to work after 4 months after both children - “because they needed the money”. It is the most expensive time of your life and you only qualify for EI. So she went back to work. I appreciated that while not everyone in the room would agree with her, she was unapologetic. It was her choice for her family. She doesn’t judge others decisions and she doesn’t expect anyone should judge hers. (note to those who want to express their opinion to her in the grocery store – make sure she isn’t holding a jug of milk).
- She has a team. Her mom, a part time nanny and of course her husband.
- Being home for bedtime is mandatory. Most nights both parents are home for bedtime, but there is always at least one of them there.
- Prioritizing her time – cause frankly she’d rather shop for the kids than herself these days.
- Nothing comes before her family. And work knows this. "It is what it is". Although she does have to remind herself of that every so often.
Both Tamara and Andrea seem, like most parents, to take it day by day and try to make the best decisions for their families and themselves. Doing something you are patient about is key no matter what you do.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I've seen Blue Rodeo about six times in my life, and they never fail to please. My first time was during University and I don't remember too much about it except that I loved loved loved Greg Keeler's voice (Diamond Mine is still my favourite song).
Then there was the time we saw them in Malkin Bowl at Stanley Park. We were in the 6th or 7th row and we arrived just as Blue Rodeo was taking stage. I watched Jim and Greg eye my 9 month pregnant belly as I sidled into my seat. Luckily for everyone there wasn't an unexpected and unticketed guest delivered that night. He waited another week to arrive. But boy did he ever dance around in my stomach that night.
And then one year later, we celebrated one of our first night's out without the little man with another Blue Rodeo concert.
This time we saw them at The Centre. It is a lovely venue, but in my opinion too stiff for Blue Rodeo. I want to DANCE when I see Blue Rodeo live. And there is no dancing at the Centre - unless you have tickets in the rafters. You can dance at Malkin Bowl, but only on the sides. I want to stand at my seat and dance (well except the time I was 9 months pregnant and then I was happy everyone in front of me was sitting until the encore).
Jim Cuddy doesn't age. The only thing that seems to change is that little bit of extra grey at his temples. And in case you didn't notice how attractive he is, he wears the skinny jeans to ensure you notice. Then there is Greg Keeler, who has that really charming I don't give a f@*ck attitude. Funny thing is that given the chance I'd rather pinch Greg's butt. But this night Greg didn't seem quite himself. He tripped over an amp in the first song, was chewing gum, and looked grumpier than usual through much of the night. His voice still sounded great, and he seemed to warm up a bit by the end. Still LOVE LOVE LOVE him though. We all have nights when we leave our sense of humour at home.
The surprise was the new harmony guy Wayne Petti (from Cuff the Duke). He is "all over the new album" to quote Jim. I really loved how his voice mixed with the rest of them. And he was a really nice piece of eye candy on stage (and I know I wasn't the only one who noticed). But he seemed uncomfortable of his place on stage. He stood on the side until it was time to sing, then he slid into place. He had a few laughs with Bob Egan, but generally seemed like the
'new' guy who wanted to fit in, but didn't want to disturb the status quo. Then he put on his guitar and it was like night and day.
Quick note about the opening act. The Skydiggers is one of those Canadian bands I used to love, and had completely forgotten about. What a charming, funny and entertaining opening act. Still think the lead singer is doing an Austin Power impression when he dances, but that just added to his charm.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
More photos of how full hubbie stuffed our vehicle with Lego.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Raspberrykids.com Run by Sue Sinclair this blog provides helpful tips, news about interesting products and the odd update on Sue's crazy life as Chief Executive Mom of Raspberrykids.com. Sue is one of the few people I have met who really gets customer service. She is all about building relationships. To many it may seem she spends a lot of effort of 'non-sales' oriented relationships. But this is what she gets that other don't. She is building loyal relationships and that always translates into a stronger business in the long run. Plus, she is just so darn nice. @raspberrykids
The Yummy Mummy Club. This blog was founded by Erica Ehmn of Much Music fame. Erica and her group of real life mommy bloggers provide a wealth of topics and blogs that all mommy's can relate to. We are all moms, but we are also women, wives, girlfriends, daughters, party goers/givers, runners, dancers, wine appreciators, readers, etc. Join the club and follow all the ladies on twitter @yummymummyclub, @ymcbuzz, @sharondv, @earnestgirl , @ymcbookalicious (the book club) and many more. If you are a member of the yummy mummy team add a comment with your twitter handle.
Notes from the Cookie Jar. Another west coast mom. Scattered mom is a mom to a teenage boy, and I look to her and see my future. Her stories make me laugh and I see there is hope for those teenage years. She also posts the best recipes (of course mine never turn out looking like her fantastic pictures). @Scatteredmom.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I'm happy she is home. Can't wait for the long picture slide show to come - really truly because the FB pictures from her phone were so fantastic I can't wait to see what her camera captured.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thanks also to Mary Murphy for giving props to Frankie Manning.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Today I'm just running. Last minute pieces to organize for any media attending tonight's Women in Leadership gala and none of the technology seems to be cooperating. Thankfully FedEx Kinko's is open on Saturdays.
Off to iron dress, hair, make-up, dress and then run downtown.
Tomorrow I'll hopefully have some fun pics and highlights of the evening.
Couldn't figure out how to get the flickr album to show up inside the blog, so just click below to find the album. Flickr Shoe Set
Friday, November 20, 2009
Plus you have to LOVE any sight that has herbadmother.com as a contributor. I will follow that bloggess to the ends of the earth. She gives her take on motherhood and life with her usual biting humour intact. Be warned this one is not for the faint of heart. She always lays it out there with honesty and if it too hard for you to read... well that would be your problem. @herbadmother on twitter.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Gala is now in 2 days. So my choices are:
- Hand sew it myself (my sewing machine is broken).
- Find something else to wear. And yes, I do have other dresses, but I've worn them lots of times and really wanted to wear my new dress.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
We finished off our evening by watching 2 parts of the original original (pilot episodes) Doctor Who. It always amazes me to see how far the series has come. And I don't just mean the improved sets.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
So yeah, it was a bit busy. Mostly with parents (and a large percentage of Dads) getting out of the house with the kids. First stop was the kids area for the family time at 10:30 - and stroller parking.
The stroller seemed like a good decision when I was racing through the wet rainy parking lot. It helped us keep up a decent pace. I didn't have to chase him everywhere and he could sit and snack between attractions. But I had to lift him in and out of the stroller a lot of times. Plus it was crowded and waiting for elevators is annoying. There were a lot of other young kids running/walking/being carried around without a stroller. And I wondered if perhaps that would have been a smarter choice.
We aren't stroller dependent folks. And our little guy likes to walk. What do you think? With a 2 year old. Do you take the stroller or go free at the aquarium?
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- Begging for a treat and then not eating it - he carries it around like a little treasure. Which is okay if the treat is an organic oatmeal cranberry mini cookie, but not when it is one of the few Halloween treats he has been given.
- He is careful to avoid any misunderstanding saying 'in his mouth' and pointing to it at the same time when he asks for a treat.
- His favourite thing to read while sitting on the toilet is the lego holiday catalogue.
- He LOVES his books. He loves to take them all off the bookshelf and then sit and read... he is sometimes happy to sit and read his books to himself for 15 minutes. 15 wonderful, quiet and blissful minutes. (he also likes to rip all the adult books off the shelf in the hallways. His favs are harry potter and anne rice - for some reason the tolkien doesn't appeal to him. )
- Loves to sing... he knows enough words and melody for us to know when he is singing twinkle, twinkle.... old mcdonald and zoom zoom zoom
- Whenever he counts to 3 he ends it with 'blast off' and a jump in the air.
- He cries like the world is ending when he gets a booger.
- He wanted to walk my Dad's dog when we were in Victoria last weekend. So cute the little white Bijon Frise pulling the 2yo along.
Friday, November 13, 2009
That Running Guy: Races to Finish Optimistic observations and commentaries on life from my interconnected worlds of running, driving, working, cooking and giving.
Chris is also a very astute marketer. Check out his observations on the marketing world at Morales & Associates. His specialty is building brand value by creating breakthroughs for his clients.
You can also follow Chris on twitter @Chris_Morales.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
What is left to do? Everything it seems. Media pitches for pre-event interviews. Media invitations to attend the event. Design and assemble media kits. Finalize signage. Finalize program. Confirm guest blogger (done @lovesocial is confirmed). Tweet. Twitter contest. Facebook updates...... Thankfully I have two passionate and energetic volunteers who take direction well and work well on their own.
The last few weeks is always a rush of adrenaline.... then event night... then the post event let down.
The event is shaping up to be a really fun night of washed hair, adult shoes, a pretty dress, inspirational speaker (Andrea Holmes of the 2010 paralympic alpine team), celebration of SuperWoman of the year award winner, fashion show, drinks, dinner... and oh yeah celebrating the SuperWoman in each of us!!!
Get together some girlfriends and buy some tickets. 4 or more tickets are $145. Okay so I switched from blog to sell mode. Sue me - I have a lot to do. http://www.womeninleadership.ca/.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The trip didn't start out well when I bought tickets for the wrong ferry. Thankfully Dad had walked us to the ferry and could watch the little man. Meanwhile I SPRINTED back to the ticket desk to get them fixed before the 10 minute cut off. I don't sprint often and certainly not that distance, so I was pretty out of breath. But I got there in time. I guess the run must have dried my throat out because as we were standing in the cafeteria line up I started to cough... just that gotta get that tickle out of my throat kind of cough. Which of course only goes away when you either get out a really good cough. Or you get water. So the people around us in line gave us lots of space, leary that I was going to give them some plague or something.
For both ferry rides we rode one of the new ferries. It certainly was fresh and shiny new. Not sure that I love the layout. But I may just need to get used to it.
Some pluses on the new ferries:
- 2 separate play areas
- seats within the play around and just outside so those of us with smaller kids can stay close
- parents room - was nice to have a larger space washroom to take the little guy when he said he had to go (of course once there he was much more interested in the shiny new bathroom. And then the flush scared the crap out of him - I had to laugh as he jumped).
- Sun deck was fun, although windy.
- You have to walk outside a pretty long way when you enter/depart the boat. Not a big deal normally, but when you have a 2yo dying to touch everything and everything blowing in the wind it was a pain in the butt.
- Seemed like I had to walk a lot of stairs.
The big lesson is that a 3rd or 4th arm is really helpful when dealing with a toddler and travelling.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
So thought would be fun to post a picture from the very wet park near my Dad's place in Victoria. How the little guy kept his socks dry I'll never know.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
So we fill our November with activities to keep us extra busy. And we try to enjoy the nice periods when they come. All we have to do is make it to that first Holiday party or activity and we are usually golden.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I thought I'd take the twitter idea of Follow Friday into my blog world and recommend a couple of bloggers to follow each Friday.
The first is a regular blogger - I don't know how she does it while chasing 2 young kids around - but she blogs almost everyday. She stirs the inner hippie in my urban girlie girl and she is just so darn smart. And real. The tagline for her blog is "keeping it real in the suburbs". http://www.strocel.com/
The second blogs infrequently, but when she does it is so worth it. She is a writer by trade, having just finished her first novel (to be published in 2010), so she has that working for her. But if can you read her recent blog about her library escapade without peeing your pants you are a better woman than me. http://savingtheworldinsensibleshoes.blogspot.com/
Finally, my favourite daddy blog. Often short in delivery. But always a great slice of Daddy life offered straight up - no mixer or ice required. http://jasperchronicles.blogspot.com/
And I thought I would be remiss if I didn't include my fellow brave NaBloPoMo bloggers.
- @Nicole013 at http://resolvingtimelineissues.wordpress.com/.
- @miss_Scarlett99 at http://rogoclan.blogspot.com/
Then I began to wonder when this city girlie-girl got so hooked on sci-fi. Sure sci-fi isn’t new to me, I was a dedicated Buck Rogers, Star Trek and Battlestar Gallatica fan in the 70’s. But I never considered myself a sci-fi fan because I never read a lot of sci-fi, I was more likely to be pouring over a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys book.
But when I look at my favorite tv shows today it runs like a long list of sci-fi and fantasy (with a little vampire thrown in for fun).
Those that know my husband well will likely blame him. One of my favorite memories is him walking down the aisle at our wedding doubled over laughing, because I played the Doctor Who theme for his procession (and yes it was at that moment that his family knew he had married the right woman). While he may have introduced me to the Doctor - he didn’t force me to watch close to 30 years of episodes.
So when did I become such a fan? I’m the one who follows the Doctor Who fan groups and surfs online to find out the next bit of news or future air dates. I’m the one who reports updates on new companions. I’m the one who reminds hubbie to download the latest Sarah Jane Adventures. I'm the one emailing my MIL dalek cake pictures for little guy's next birthday. I’m even the one who suggested if we had a girl we’d call her Teagan, after my favourite companion. I even looked for a Doctor Who related boy name (never found one we liked). I can name my favourite Doctor (Jon Pertwee, followed closely by David Tennant), my favourite villain (The Master), my favourite cheesy effect (the actors jumping around the set whenever the tardis crashed).
My sci-fi geekiness has gotten so bad I have a Red Dwarf quote on my facebook profile (and I know I own my geekiness because I’ve watched every episode of Red Dwarf – many of them twice).
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I had been volunteering at a variety of different events for different organizations, trying to find an organization where I wanted to dedicate my volunteer time. So when WIL asked me to take a role on their advisory board and help with their marketing & communications I said yes.
Why did I agree to give up some of my valuable time to volunteer? I had both personal and professional reasons.
Personally I have always had a strong affinity to supporting and mentoring women. WIL is a young dynamic organization that does not ‘preach’ down to its members. Its mission is to advance women’s leadership. They have a positive, collaborative approach which allows every person involved to inspire, support and empower each other. I sum up the essence of their brand as “inspiring each other”.
Professionally this gave me an opportunity to exercise and grow my marketing muscle, which grown a bit sluggish while at home on maternity leave. I’m passionate about marketing and this gave me opportunities to do what I love. In addition to developing WIL’s brand strategy, I built and grew a volunteer team of 10 young, passionate, smart women. I am inspired by each of them every day.
I have also been able to grow my communications skills with more PR focused projects and social media. The social media in particular allows me to combine my planning skills with my new passion for writing. All new skill sets for my resume. But more importantly, as I see our success growing our following through twitter / facebook / linkedin and building a blog content plan, I’m excited about the future of WIL and women’s leadership in Canada.
Volunteering is also a great way to network. I’ve never been a fan of traditional networking events. And getting involved with such a diverse organization provides me with the opportunity to meet all sorts of like minded women in Vancouver and across the country. This, I believe, will provide me with the foundation I need for a long and interesting career. We are here to support each other. And I know I get back what I give in so many different ways.
For more information on Women in Leadership Foundation visit their website. Or follow us on twitter (@WIL_Fdn).
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Monday my son goes to Montessori. He spends the whole day with his friends playing, learning, listening, sharing, laughing – generally growing into an independent little person. He LOVES it!
And so do I! It give me time to get some things done –job searching, networking, blogging, volunteer work and yeah sometimes even housework.
Yes I miss him. But I know that he gains a lot being there.
- He is around other kids and is learning key social skills early in life. I am also an only child and I know he is already better at sharing than I ever will be.
- His teacher is better at some things than I am. She is consistent. She sets a structured set of boundaries. The kids know what is coming next and what is expected of them. I know it is because of her that he is such a good listener. He understands that certain behavior is unacceptable and he is much easier to manage at home.
- She works with us on behavior issues. When we came home from a recent trip he had picked up a few things from his cousins/friends. We alerted her and she helped us stop them before they become a regular occurrence.
- He learns positive behavior from the older kids. They listen, they help, and they share. He wants to please his teacher and the older kids. This includes learning to be polite. We laughed with pride yesterday when he said ‘sorry thomas’ after he bumped into his Thomas lego on the floor.
- He is growing his creative side through singing, crafts, dancing, colouring, books, etc. He is comfortable in his environment and feels safe to imagine what he will. Yes – we do much of this at home. But I don’t seem to have the same patience and creativity to keep him interested and challenged each day.
- Most importantly he knows he is loved whether at home or at school.
My job in all this!! Not to mess up his teacher’s work during the rest of the week. I try to focus on staying consistent, providing a structured loving environment and giving him opportunities to grow his creative interests.
So I LOVE Mondays! Because both of us win!
The idea of writing a blog everyday scares the crap out of me. My little inner voice asked…. How would I find the time? How would I come up with ideas? Who would want to read me for 30 days straight?
But then I asked myself why I write. Writing everyday would help me develop my muscle. Plus, if one of my goals is to write books someone might actually publish for people to buy and read – then I MUST write regularly.
Plus if it scares me the crap out or me. So it MUST be worth doing!!! So here I am. Already 1 day behind.