Im the hero of the story, dont need to be saved.

I had a bad day today.

Well, it started as a bad night. Actually, if we are being technical, it started as a good night, which progressed to a bad night, and then an equally bad, if not worse day following.

Warning: Cryptic musings to follow.

My life is facing some new challenges as of late. Challenges that maybe I knew were coming for a long time… but have recently become more than I can bear.

I feel like Ive been treading water for too long, and my muscles are sore, and its getting cold out, and I dont think I can keep fighting to keep my head above the water. I feel like Im about to give up, and Im too tired to push through feeling like that.

I swore I wouldnt give up. That I would be a fighter, and stronger than any of the examples I was given growing up. But… the reality is… I am finding it hard to remember what I was so hell bent on fighting for.

Too many of the same problems. Too many trips over the same root as I circle the tree. Every. Fucking. Time.
God knows why I dont just learn to step a bit higher. Pick up my feet. God knows why I constantly pick myself up, brush the dirt off my hands and start circling again.

But Im tired. And I dont know how many more times I can get up off the ground and fill my lungs with another deep breath, convincing myself to try again. Im tired of trying again.

Or how much longer I can kick my legs, churning the water around me, desperate to stay afloat.

Or some other struggling life analogy.

And after a good start to last night, and a bad ending, followed by an even worse day…. I dont know how much longer I can be tired of being tired.

Because… maybe its time to pick up my feet and leave this tree and its tangled roots behind. Or stop swimming.

Or fucking grow up and deal with it.

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Words unwritten.

Something I submitted for a writing contest. Just wanted to put something on the blog. Its been forever, Im so terrible. I vow to blog more. Again. Sheesh.


The Ending.

I sit on my doorstep on the last night of us, waiting to hear your familiar shuffle up the pathway, for you to tell me your goodbye story. While I wait in the chilled air, I smoke the worst cigarette of my existence. Each long and exaggerated inhale was like a last gasp of us: cancerous and foul, but requisite in taking the edge off the ticking clock of our relationship.
If only I could push the hands back. Pull time to a better place and a cleaner chapter in our book. Before life made it such a mess. Back to when we met and felt superior and indestructible in the way that only new lovers can.
So naive, isn’t it, that we felt holding hands would protect our love from the rest of them. Simple loves might fall and break too easily in the wind, but not us. No, our love would bend and sway. It would learn to lean with the storms rather than snap.
We made castles in our bed sheets that even fabled kings would envy. Guitar in hand, you wrote songs about my name, and ate everything I burned while playing house, all with your beautiful smile. We had everything we needed.
Then again, the minute people fall in love they become liars.
When it feels as though one more pull of my cigarette may burn my lungs right up, I hear the familiar drag of your shoes and my stomach falls.
We are here. Our time is up. I can’t wind back the hands on that clock, regardless of how much I long to.
“So this is it”, they say. It feels like we are here in this spot every time “it” is spoken.
This is always the clearest moment, right before your face turns black, and my eyes lock their gates back up. The moment where I feel you might be whole, and fit in just where that piece of me is missing. Only for a moment.
Didn’t we have it all? Couldn’t we again? Weren’t our entwined fingers stronger than everyone else’s?
Perhaps it’s just the rush of excitement, the fear of the unknown tomorrows coming our way, but for an instant you and I can lock our gazes on one another and forget about being tangled in life. Then, afraid of the intimacy that just danced between us I look down at my feet and feel the moment pass us. I don’t want to be another broken heart in the whispers of your songs anymore. For you and I, as we both have learned, have the greatest ability to break one another as only kindred can.
And then we turn cold, and say those familiar lines.
How did it get so backwards?
It’s me.
No, me.
We both.
I know.
I know.
And I almost want to cry


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I’ve said it before, I don’t have the patient gene.

God bless my husband.


We live in a condo, as do most of the people our age that we know, its kind of just the way of the world these days. Of course, with a condo, space and storage is always going to be an issue. Especially when you have a toy/book/clothes/everything obsessed two year old rooming next door. But me? Im an impatient obsessive organization-neat freak.
Im tidy to the max, yo.
So this condo-space-storage mix is a conundrum to my ocd brain. That wouldn’t normally be a problem, except when I get a ‘solution to fix this problem’ idea in my head…
I decided that our perfectly good, clean, well-working side-by-side washer and dryer were taking up too much space, and since we had recently purchased bikes, and fought the strata (and lost) for a bike lock up, we needed to find a way to store them IN our condo.

Remember that part I said about being an impatient obsessive organization-neat freak??

The bikes couldn’t go anywhere. BUT, I explained to my skeptical husband, what if we got a stackable washer-dryer combo? Then we had a whole half the utility closet at our disposal! Why, we could put a double hanging bike rack AND a recycling-cleaning-storing CENTER! I was thrilled with my idea, and with a little coaxing, so was my husband.
SO we planned to save up the money and buy a new unit.

Enter: my sister.

My older sister is moving her family to Ecuador this summer, and has recently renovated their house to sell. So, we’re walking through her house and she’s showing me all the changes and how nice everything looks. Then we get to the second laundry room (yeah, they have two… obviously not in a condo… bitch) and laments the stackable unit they have down there, because they didn’t want to invest in another side by side laundry set up like they have upstairs.


Whats that, you say? Why yes, I DID think this might be a perfect swap option for both of us! So, I asked my sister if she wanted a side by side, and I wanted a stackable… why didn’t we trade?
What an awesome idea!

Then, to be sure, I measured the unit, and our laundry closet at home. HUZZAH! A match.

So, Sunday (his one full day off) my dear, sweet husband and I borrowed my mom’s truck, and hauled that stackable (via a dolly, obviously) to our house, and our washer and dryer back to my sisters.

Then we set our new laundry area up, and I swooned.

Then my husband closed the closet doors. Or, rather, he tried to. But those doors? They would NOT close. Seriously.

It seems that, while the stackable was technically narrow enough to fit into the laundry closet, it wasn’t narrow enough for the bifold doors to slide past.


I tried to move the door track. Nope. I tried to turn the stackable the other way. Nope. I tried to put a curtain up. Nope.

So Monday morning, bright and early my dear, sweet husband and I borrowed my mom’s truck and hauled that stackable BACK to my sisters house, and our washer and dryer back to our house.

And set everything up the way it had been 24 hours and eight truck trips and two sore backs ago.

And my husband? Said nothing.

No, ‘why didn’t you measure accounting for the doors?’
No, ‘why aren’t you a little more patient when you decide to do things?’
No, ‘why am I the one hauling this massive stackable unit while you carry the cords??’
No, ‘this wouldn’t be happening if….’

My husband didn’t bitch or snap or glare at me once. Instead, he hugged me and told me he loved me and that our washer and dryer were nicer than theirs were anyways.

Thank you, husband-o-mine, for being patient when Im not. And for biting your tongue when I do things that might mean a little more work for us later. And for not making me feel worse when I make mistakes. And, always, for putting up with my hectic and now-now-now ideas and plans.

Now, I just have to figure out what to do with those bikes…


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We all eat, right?

I am really unsure about how to start this post… so Im just going to do it, and preface it with a warning of sorts. This is NOT one of those blogs, and I am not one of those people. I just think there is cause to be concerned… and to wake up.

Be open minded. I think thats one thing this generation could really do. We could be the first to do a lot of things, and correct a lot of mistakes the generations before us made. Mistakes made, some in earnest, others in greed. But mistakes that without action will fall on our childrens shoulders. And hearts, and lungs, and brains and any other part of their bodies.

This is a farm.
No seriously. Take a good look. If you have kids, in the next ten years they may not even know what a farm looks like anymore. They may not exist.

I am reading ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer. I am about a third of the way through it and have been feeling a little heavy in the heart and head. Its a good book. I would, in all sincerity, recomend it to anyone, regardless of how you want to eat, to read it. Its enlightening. Maybe removing meat completely from your diet isnt possible, thats fine, there are good places and bad places to source your meat. Unfortunately, in this day in age it boils down to money for a lot of families. I get that. But I think, no matter who you are, the health and wellbeing of yourself and your children should always outweigh the health of your savings account. Or the treats and goodies you splurge on. Splurge where its important, and yeah, maybe it means you dont get your kitchenaid mix master this month… but you get the comfort and security of knowing you did what was best for your kids wellbeing.
Theres a good quote in the book from a letter from a poultry farmer that says:

“Just the other day, one of the local pediatritions was telling me he has seen all kinds of illnesses that he never used to see. Not only juvinile diabetes, but inflamatory and autoimmune diseases that a lot of the docs dont even know what to call. And girls are going through puberty much earlier, and kids are allergic to just about everything, and asthma is out of control. Everyone knows its our food. We’re messing with the genes of these animals and then feeding them growth hormones and all kinds of drugs we dont really know enough about. And then we’re eating them. Kids today are the first generation to grow up on this stuff, and we’re making a science experiement out of them. Isnt it strange how upset people get about a few dozen baseball players taking growth hormones, when we’re doing what we’re doing to our food animals and then feeding them to our children.”

Its true. Our kids, hell, even us, are science experiments.

We dont know the long term effects that what we put into our animals, and then into ourselves, can have on us. And some of the things that have already come to light should give you chills. Do we want to wait and see what else there is?

I think that it is simply a matter of putting your money where your mouth is. Demand good, clean, safe meat and other animal products, and the government and the meat industry will turn around. I would never, ever tell someone how to do it (life), all Im saying is that our childrens bodies, and our bodies deserve better than this. So do your research, source out local farms who raise their animals organically, feed their cattle grass, lets their chickens out to run around in the sunshine and use the legs they have for a reason. Do your homework. Where do you think the risks of epidemics and pandemics come from? Birds and pigs. And the environments that they are living in promote bacterial and infection and disease. Theres a reason you can trace those influenzas back to factory farms. Its not healthy.

Anyways, Im not trying to preach vegetarianism or whatnot at you, thats not my intention. I just want to urge people to be responsible to their children. And to themselves. Feigning ignorance isnt cute, or logical, or doing anyone any favors anymore. This is our own doing. We want cheap meat, but there are huge consequences for that. Im just not willing to use my life, or my daughters to pay for that mistake. Not when I can demand better, and turn things around.


Filed under health, life update

Pretend this is February 24th.

This is coming exactly a week late. But in my excuse, in that week we had olympic celebrations (did you SEE that hockey game??), a birthday party fitting for a two year old princess, three colds (once each) and all the other usual hubbub in our house. Still, its late. And I know. But the fact is I wrote it on her birthday, I just haven’t posted it until now.

Anyways. My kid turned two last week. TWO. And this is what I want her to read, that I wrote sitting beside her on the eve of that enormous day.

Madelyn Olivia,

Its ten fifty one pm on your second birthday. I am sitting here, pen in hand, trying to find the words to fill a page. There are enough words, there are more than enough… But how do I string them together adequately enough, let alone eloquently enough for you? Beautiful you.
You are actually, at this moment, lying in between the pillows on my bed snowing heavily due to the cold you acquired this past weekend. Cushioned in a thick cold medicine induced sleep, snoring away so soundly. These past few days at bedtime you have found an unbelievable need to be held and rocked to sleep, your head resting on my shoulder. I tried to resist it, to enforce a bedtime routine, saying it was just a phase, you needed to cry it out and it would pass. But there is something about a baby, so soon to be a child, crying for her mama that can soften even the toughest of stone-set wills. And so here we are, ‘in the mama bed’, filled with your sweet snores and not enough words in the world to convey how much this fills up my heart.
You are two, Madelyn Olivia. Two years old. As you would say, throwing your arms out in dramatic fashion: are you kidding me?! TWO. Where has it all gone already?
I thought your first birthday was earth shattering. Another year has passed since then and even greater the changes have been.
The conversations we have now. The things you’ve told me. The things you’ve showed me. I marvel at you Madelyn.
I’ve been told by people that you’re so smart, and so beautiful and so advanced for your age. And I know this. I know you’re incredibly intelligent, and I think you probably know this as well… But theres more there. There’s something about you, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but its something.
Im finding it hard to put into words what I want to say to you this year, so I will say this.
You are incredible Madelyn. I am a lucky person, and incredibly grateful to have been blessed with you. I hope to always be with you, supporting you, cheering for you and watching you accomplish anything you chose to do. And I hope to see the day you realize your potential and step into it. Because… Lord help the world the day Madelyn Baker has her way with it.

My baby, my little girl, my changing, growing, amazing, sweet, stupendous, radical two year old girl. Happy Birthday.

Love, Mama.


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Why I should sleep in.

I love to sleep. I will sleep all day if you left me to it. Ive been blessed with a baby who also loves to sleep. And she has never given us an issue in sleeping through the night, twelve hours straight. Its bliss.
This morning, however, I woke up at 5:30. And not just woke up, looked at the clock and rolled over, but like. WOKE. UP. But it was so early that I forced myself to try and fall back asleep. An hour later I finally let myself get out from under my warm duvet and greet the day. I figured it was a perfect chance to enjoy my morning coffee in silent solitude. And it was. It was bliss.

We have been semi organizing Maddy’s room because I have a vision of how I want to redecorate it next month when she graduates to a big girl bed. We had been using her closet as mainly storage, so I figured since I was up I would sort through some of the big rubbermaid bins of crap. I snuck them out of her room and hunkered down in the living room sifting through memories I had been hauling from house to house since I moved out of my moms house when I was nineteen.

And the memories flooded. Jee-sus.

So, here’s the thing… when I was growing up my mom and step dad moved a lot. Like, once a year for many many years. When I say a lot I mean that by the age of 23 I had moved 25 times. And it seemed to always fall in the middle of a school year… so I got pretty good at making new friends, and at becoming aloof and standoffish my first few weeks at whatever the school dujour was. Sometimes growing up all over the place makes a person come out of their shell, be outgoing and exciting and confidant. Not me. Moving made me awkward and shy and lonely. I very strongly recall feeling like I was always leaving behind my friends. I was always the one having goodbye parties and writing letters to my ‘best friend’ in four different cities. I remember feeling very lonely a lot.
It took me a long time to start to act like myself and become comfortable enough to be me with my new friends. Usually that happened about a third of the way into our time at our new home town. And then by the time we were moving away again I had full blown best friends. If you have ever heard me tell stories about people I knew growing up you will notice I refer to a lot of people as ‘my best friend when I was a kid”… thats because they probably were. For a brief moment in my life those people were so important to me and the place I called home at the time.

So, back to the bins.

It struck me, as I read through old notes and yearbooks and scrapbooks Id been given my some of the sweetest people. I missed a lot of what could have been with some of those people. Some of those friends meant SO much to me. A lot of those friends I should have done a better job of keeping in touch with. I sat there this morning realizing I missed the lives I had before, and the simplicity of small towns and close houses.
I feel like I never really HAD that. I dont even know if I can describe THAT, its not what I was just listing of… its ALL of it… I just know I missed out on something big that a lot of my friends had. Stability. Growing up with people. I never had that. I had a chunk of my life with these friends, and then a different chunk of my life with those friends, and so on and so on. We moved away and I kept touch with a couple people with letters and phone calls, but when you’re 15 and your parents have moved you twice since you lived in the same town as your 13 year old best friend…. things start to change. And I missed out on the same group of friends moving through junior high school and senior highschool and graduation and beyond. It made me really sad to think about it.

I guess… I dont really know where I was going with this, if anywhere. I told Jeremy I want to move. I want to leave Victoria and all its snobbiness and cold people and constantly out of our reach lifestyle costs. I want to move to a small town where Im not afraid of Madelyn walking to her friends houses. I want to bake my own bread and give loaves to all my neighbours. I want to have drinks and dinners with our friends every Friday and have all our kids playing upstairs. I want what I remember, even so briefly. Because I miss it. And I want Madelyn to know it.


Filed under History 101, life update


The video is shotty, sorry, its from a blackberry, but it gets a little better. But this is how we know FER SHURE she’s mine, because that’s me as a child.


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I said I was going to start again. And then I did. And then I quit again.
And then… I said I was going to start again. And then I did again. And then I quit again.
So now? I’m going to start again all over again.

I’m a stay at home mom again! I love it.
Maddy and I have done essentially nothing since I lost my job, except color, cook, build and read. Its been amazing. I feel like she actually LIKES me again.
I know, that sounds so ‘whoa is me’, but that’s not what I mean by it… Shes a Daddy’s girl, always has been, that’s just a reality. When I went back to work after my year of mat leave it seemed like she almost harbored ill feeling towards me for abandoning her. I only really saw her for a couple hours every day and that was really hard on both of us. But, like I said, shes a Daddy’s girl, and my separation from her only made that stronger, and more apparent. But now? It feels like she is slowly moving back to the middle.
Like last week, when we were downtown trying to find a restaurant to hide from the rain and fill our bellies, she was running as fast as her little legs could carry her, and slipped and cleaned a good half a block with her tiny nose. And she wailed. But the first word out of her wet, bloody little face? ‘Mooooooooooooommy!!’
Or yesterday, when we were reading books before her nap in her bedroom, cuddled on the floor, and she stopped in the middle of ‘Gruffalo’s child’, pushing her sucky to one side (yeah, yeah, she has a soother still, I’m the worst mother in the world, blah, blah, blah – sue me, its comfort, and shes not even two)looked at me and said ‘I laffa Mama’, then kept reading, as if she were simply describing the snake on the page to me. An unprompted ‘I love you’ is usually reserved for Daddy only.
And today. Today she was playing with Nana as I was getting ready to meet Jeremy for a rare child-free lunch, and she stopped what she was doing to run to the door and give me a full body hug and a kiss goodbye, without my requesting it first.
So, I feel like its safe to say she might like me a little more than she did a month ago. Even though I will never be the parent who gives her life savers (pacapers) first thing in the morning, no matter how sweetly she asks. She likes me now. And I don’t mind a bit.


Filed under baby, life update


There is a song I cannot get enough of lately. I sit at my desk, pushing paper, or drive around, or dance with Madelyn, constantly hitting ‘back’ on my ipod to listen one more time. It makes my spine tickle. It starts with a heavy throbbing orchestral whine. It ends the same way too. I love that. I love when a song is crashing into your ears, heavy with rock, and then is intertwined with an achy violin. Oooooh.
Today is my last day at work. In less than an hour I will come out of my branch director’s office, layoff notice in hand, and walk out the door past our horribly annoying security guard for the last time.
The. Last. Time. After four years.
It feels surreal actually. It feels like… Hmm. I can’t explain it, really. Let’s look at it differently.
If this were a movie, as I imagine so many moments in my life to be, there would be music playing as our protagonist picks up the four years in this office she has reduced down to a file room box. There would be a swell of an orchestra wrapping around her shoulders, down her leg and between each finger as she casts a glance around the room which leaves our audience wondering aloud: is she sad? No, she’s happy. Wait, I don’t know… what is she feeling? I can’t tell.
And she walks out the door. She’s hesitant. She’s moving very deliberately, very slowly. Maybe she is just as confused as the audience. She can’t decide what feeling is stronger. She is sad that she is leaving, and she is scared that she in uncertain about her future. But she is exhilarated that maybe, for the first time, she is making the absolute right choice for her. She isn’t picking the safe route, or the easy one. She won’t sit at a desk in a mediocre job surrounded by people who make her feel bad for being one of them. She might actually get the chance to have a fulfilling career; a job she is in love with, and excited about.
That song will be playing in my head when I leave here today and go into the unknown of my life before me. It feels emotional. It feels romantic It feels overwhelming. It feels good. It feels sad. It feels perfect. It feels like it’s the right decision.


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Im coming back!

Im going to start blogging again. I dont even know when I actually ‘stopped’… I just did. But Im going to start again. After all, my impending layoff next week will provide many hours in the day I can flit away writing. Mmm.

But for seriousness, a real blog post will come this week, followed by more. I miss it, even if no one reads it!!


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