Saturday, November 24, 2007


So I'm assuming that there is potential for this blog to get flagged by our government, but so be it! Last year, Nov. 17 to be exact, I ordered Isaiah's birth certificate online, a process guaranteed to be complete within a matter of weeks. We were heading to my brother & now sister-in-law's wedding in Miami, so I was happy to learn the process was promised quickly when I had heard from friends that it took much longer to process the information and had figured such myself. Point being, the birth certificate never did arrive. Instead we got a letter from town hall acknowledging that the birth had been registered, and that was, at that time, sufficient documentation to get ourselves across the border, and back thankfully!

Well, so then I played the waiting game, spending countless hours on hold with the Office of the Registrar General and never actually getting through to a person (you've got to love automated systems that continue to place you on hold after indicating that your call is of uptmost importance). Anyhow, it seemed I was having little success, and with frustration growing, mostly because I'd already been charged (Nov. 25) for the process, I logged on to the Service Canada (or Ontario, I can't remember which at this point, it was so long ago) site and emailed concerning my frustration and sheer annoyance. To no avail. I did not receive a response, nor did the birth certificate miraculously show up...

Until this past week. More than one year after it was initially ordered, with absolutely no apology or explanation for the delay. Granted, I am happy to finally have it, but knowing I have to go through the process again in a very short time from now (9 weeks, if you're counting... I am!), I can't imagine we'll luck out our second go around... and we're needing to fly out west in March, 2 months after the arrival (well, depending on his plans, as Isaiah came 10 days late), so I'd obviously like to have it in hand. Maybe that's the catch... it's because we've needed them.

Anyhow, so just wanted to express my frustration with our government. Particularly when they advertise quick service online as well as on their commercials, when that is obviously not always the case. Okay, more important things to do today than rant... until next time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Baby Mania

Okay, so having recently lived through seasons of multiple weddings, it is to be expected (no pun intended) that numerous friends and family are expecting! I guess it really started last year, with the first set of three pregnancies, including one of my own. Now I'm on baby #2 who is due at the same time as two of my high school friends (again, a trio...). Just this past week, two of my friends welcomed baby boys to their families and come next May I know of three bundles of joy that will arrive. So it seems we're into baby fever now! :)

So far this pregnancy is going well, save for quickly transitioning to the highly uncomfortable and nightly wave of serious heartburn stage. I've actually been pretty lucky compared to friends of mine who have not been able to enjoy their pregnancies. Granted I'm getting to the "I'd really like this baby out any day" feeling, though I definitely still find it amazing how the human body works, nurturing a human inside of us! Interestingly, this baby is, despite being another boy, quite different; squirming and contorting in his tiny amniotic home, I think I must be carrying him differently. I'm actually measuring less than where I am - 30 weeks - but the majority of people comment "how big I am" - and you can imagine how that "compliment" goes over. I actually have this impending fear he will come early - say mid-Christmas holiday - because we're not really ready for him. Isaiah's new room has yet to be created, and no double stroller has been purchased. And so far I intend to teach until my "due date." Obviously we could make do with what we've got, and realistically an LTO could take over the few weeks of January teaching, but I just have this strong sense of not being ready!

Anyhow, congratulations to those of you who have recently welcomed new babies or who are looking forward with sweet anticipation to the arrival of their new addition! How life moves on...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Isaiah!

Although it's not technically been a year, Isaiah celebrated his first birthday yesterday! He was spoiled rotten, of course, as the "Birthday Prince" (so cute...) and is now the proud owner of 5 ride-on vehicles (thank goodness we've a three-car garage), numerous noisey toys, and a ton of new outfits. Thank you to everyone for your generosity! Hope you had as much fun as he did (though I think he was slightly overwhelmed with everything, and of course it didn't help he was still sick from those nasty teeth). At least we've a month until Christmas, so by then the novelty of his new toys will have worn off... although he pretty much has everything now, so what in the world are we going to get him for Christmas?! Any why, might I ask, do boxes entertain him more than the toys do? Today when we were taking them out and putting them together, he was more interested in attacking the boxes! And, to be honest, his absolute favourite toy of all is Raider's kong. We can't take it away from him often enough... Ahh, Isaiah.
Anyhow, just thought I'd add a couple of pictures, of him blowing out his cake with daddy (daddy did the blowing, though) and of his high chair post- cake (he devoured it... hardly anything left but crumbs). We ended up getting a pretty cool cake from Sam's Club with his picture in the icing (and I couldn't bring myself to cut through it, so thankfully I didn't have to... yesterday at least).
Isaiah made it through his meal, enjoying the cake and a few licks of icing too... but slept through the opening of his gifts. Oh well... He'll be spoiled again at Christmas, so perhaps he can help tear into the paper and bows then! Well, if we do anything for his actual birthdate, I'll add some pics then... I had wanted to make him his own personal cake for the party, but just never got around to it (inconveniently, he was born at midterms so I'm amidst report card comments). So until then...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

O Canada - Politically Correct?

Thursday our school held our annual Remembrance Day assembly, and somehow I was troubled with the lyrics of our national anthem... among other things (thank you to my Grade 11 class for allowing me to vent my random tangents, but our class is a great forum for discussion). I don't know why something I hear daily can normally go unnoticed, or how much I want to get into this yet again (because I then went so far as finding politically correct versions online before class Friday to "find some closure" on my issues with the national anthem). I think for now I might just leave it at sharing a spoof I found; even though I find much of it absurd, I seriously have a bone of contention with a couple parts.

A politically correct national anthem for Canada

Our National Anthem is very offensive to everyone. It must be changed! We have identified 13 separate offenses in the National Anthem, as follows:

1. "our home and native land" - Some people are not originally from here, therefore not native. Also some people, such as servicemen and Canadian foreign diplomats do not have their home here either. They should be very offended.
2. "thy sons" - We know all about the ire these words raise with our "daughters"!
3. "glowing hearts" - This is offensive to the many Canadians with non-glowing organs.
4. "we see thee rise" - This is obviously an attack on those who live closer to sea level. The phrase was originally included because of demand from the leaders of Upper Canada. Their distaste was directed to those in Lower Canada. Quebec, therefore, should feel especially alienated by this phrase.
5. "the true north" - This offends scientists and navigators who rely more heavily on "magnetic" north.
6. "strong" - Now, talk about a jibe directed toward the most helpless of society. This is a malicious attack on the sick, children, and other Canadians who otherwise don't get off the couch enough to become "strong".
7. "free" - This phrase is very offensive to Canadian prisoners.
8. "and wide" - Persons of substantial girth should unite against the use of this word.
9. "God keep our land" - This is offensive to atheists, spiritualists and those who follow religions which are not monotheistic. I am certain they are not ready to give the land to "God", and certainly not to "keep"!
10. "glorious" - People from less glorious cities and regions might prefer "economically competitive" or "industrialized".
11. "and free" - There it is again!
12. "we stand" - Many Canadians are physically unable to stand. They should not be made to feel less Canadian because of this.
13. "on guard for thee" - Those not working in the military or other security-oriented positions (such as mall cops) are made to feel second class citizens because they are not actively fulfilling their duty of protecting Canada. Just to add insult to injury, we sing this line twice.

Our Proposed Alternative: Given that the national anthem is so offensive to so many, we should formulate a National Anthem without lyrics, perhaps replacing words with whistling or hand actions. Before this is done, hand-free Canadians who cannot whistle should be thoroughly consulted about their sensitivities (perhaps an alternative "eye-blinking" or "breathing" sequence could be introduced in place of hand actions).

Alternately, we could translate the National Anthem into a language that nobody speaks (perhaps Latin or Esperanto). Is it possible to offend someone when they don't understand what they are saying? To satisfy the Latin Scholars and those of the Bahai faith, an alternative might be developing a distinctly Canadian language. Some of the adjectives introduced by the Teletubbies children's television show could be just what we need to inspire the nation. What could Tinky-winky ever do to offend?

Finally, a more cost-effective solution would be to sing the words "O Canada" over and over again to the same music. It might be a bit choppy though:

O Canada! O Ca-na-na-na-da
O Ca-nada O Ca-na-na-na-da
O Canada
O Canada
O Ca-na-na-na-da
O Canada O Canada,
O Ca-na-na-na-da O Ca-nada,
O Ca-nada O Canada,
O Ca-na-na-na-da O Canada,
O Ca-na-na-na-da

Anyhow, thanks again to my students for allowing me the chance to get things off my chest - you're great at engaging in quality discussion and letting me laugh (I was seriously worried the baby might pop out in some of my giggling fits, though), and putting up with my random thoughts. Should any of you have found this (stalkers!!), I hope you know it's students like you that make me love my job! Looking forward to our video anouncement (no, seriously, I'll let it rest!)...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Jumping on the Holiday Bandwagon

Call me Scrooge, but I think it far too early to be decorating for the Christmas season so soon after Hallowe'en. I mean, I came to work the day after the gouls and goblins were out in full force to see wreaths hung from every lamppost and ribbons streamed from each business doorway in the downtown of Woodstock. Sure I contemplated exchanging the decorations when I packed away the orange and black for another year - solely because finding time to decorate for the season with an adventurous 11 1/2 month old interested in investigating every new thing is a challenge - but that thought quickly passed when I realized I prefer to savour the holiday when it comes. I think we're far too quick to jump from one holiday to the next, so I am refusing to jump on the holiday bandwagon just because we're into November and will relish in holiday fever come December instead. I know we've technically had the first snowfall - if you can call slushy white rain snow - and that warmer weather makes for an easier go of stringing Christmas lights on rooftops, but to avoid going overboard well in advance, you can bet you won't see my tree up until Christmas is actually around the corner! Afterall, November means time to pay respect in remembrance... and a certain one year old's birthday needs celebrating. Need we steal the thunder from those events?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Hallowe'en!

So Hallowe'en was a busy night... transporting Isaiah around to relatives. In fact, we didn't even make it home in time to hand out candy at our house, save for the last few stragglers roaming the neighbourhood - which means we've a full stash to devour between the two of us (how will I ever do it, what with my chocolate obsession?!?!). Not sure what next October will entail, because it was pretty exhausting to make the many stops, for Isaiah and for us. And next year there will be two little dragons to dress up and parade around town!

Anyhow, he did really well in his costume and even scored his first "treat" when he went over to my mom's neighbour's house! But thankfully he wasn't too spoiled - we've got to keep those new teeth as pristine as possible, especially after I've heard how much Stacey's dentist charges for work on children!
So yes, the little munchkin has four teeth now, the last of which is just coming through the gums. So sleep has been disrupted, especially as the top two teeth came immediately following an ear infection, which means that for over a month now we've not been sleeping through the night in this house (well, Raider has been). And he's acquired a liking for chewing wood (as in coffee tables) and other random household objects rather than the teething toys he's had for many months. Between he and Raider, our house - only a year old now - has signs of "love." Oh well, I'd rather it be a home anyway, although I can't say I love the scratch marks from Raider on the wall in the front entrance...

Anyhow, teeth aren't the only new thing for Isaiah. He finally mastered waving hi and bye (I was getting worried), can say "uh-oh" and fake cough on command like a champ, and is oh-so-close to taking his first steps (technically he has, but three steps from Greg to me doesn't exactly classify as walking). In fact, his sense for adventure has definitely come out in full blown glory (hence the bruises on his face in the pictures). He's always climbing or jumping off things, and so far he's even managed to climb out of his crib unassisted by anything (yes, with the mattress at the lowest possible position). Perhaps he should've been a little devil for Hallowe'en rather than a dragon! So things are ever changing here with him.

And me too. I'm growing bigger and bigger (why did they have to tell me this was already a bigger baby?) and, at 28 weeks now, am wondering just how big I'm going to get. There's not been waddling down the hall on my part as of yet, but the inevitable discomfort of the last trimester is soon approaching, I know it! So much for not gaining the 43 lbs. I did with Isaiah... I'm already over 20. Just as long as it eventually comes off... otherwise, I'll have to have a supersale of clothes! Besides the rapid growth, though, I am feeling pretty good. Definitely tired (because last pregnancy I could get as much sleep or take naps whenever I felt like it) and finding my weekends busy with Isaiah and therefore getting behind in school work, but c'est la vie. I'd far rather play with my son than do marking any day - my kids will just have to deal!

Otherwise, not a great deal new around our household. I'll be sure to post some pics of the one-year birthday just around the corner (can you believe it's been a year already?!). So likely until then...