Friday, September 28, 2007


I'm not ready to talk about the events of the past 2 days yet.
I haven't even had a chance to talk to my family about it, or digest how I'm feeling.
But, I'll leave it at this; I have never been so grateful to see the words, "single live fetus" written on a report, for a friend who dropped everything and held my hand through some scary moments, or colleagues who took charge of everything no questions asked.
And I realized that sometimes a lot more is spoken in the silences I share with my husband than we could ever discuss out loud.
I realized today that I probably have to give in to the fact that pregnancy can be a little difficult and I need to let people help me more than I do.
And, for some cheerful news check out the pictures of Haley's adorable new baby boy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Faith Schools Debate

For those of you who aren't in Ontario, on October 10th we're having a Provincial election.

I always vote. But, I don't always have a strong opinion on an issue. I usually have thought it through, but usually my vote is based on a number of issues along with the person running. For instance, if I really really like Howard Hampton I may vote NDP if I didn't majorly disagree with something. I've also been known to vote against someone I can't stand.

But, this election is confusing me - and it's all over the faith schools issue.

Let me fill you in briefly - the Conservative party wants to make faith schools part of the public system - and that involves about $500 million dollars going to these schools as long as they follow the Ontario curriculum. The Liberal party (their opposition) is standing firmly against this issue saying that public schools should represent the public and that all religions are welcome.

Here's the problem. I see both sides of the issue so very clearly that I'm not sure how to vote. I went to a "faith school" for 8 years. It was a wonderful experience. And, I am extremely grateful that I attended that school. However. It was a very strict Christian school. There were strictly enforced rules there that would never have been enforced in the public system. We said prayers, recited Bible verses and yes, learned creationism. And, the school also had the right to expel students if they were not living up to the standards or acting in a way that was inappropriate. In short, my Christian School education was very very different from the 6 years I spent in public school.

But, at the same time I'm choosing to send my son to public school. Why? First of all because I want him to have a public education. The school is by our home. I want him to experience growing up with kids from all faiths and backgrounds. I think that's the beauty of the public system. And, if I want him exposed to religion (which I do) I will bring him to church.

And, this is the thing - church is free. I mean, yes you are asked to tithe (just like in most religions, if you are a member of a congregation you give money to support the place), but if you want your child to get to know God you can send your child to Sunday School and not have to pay. To me, going to a faith based school is additional. I'm not sure why it should also be free.

More than that, I believe that we have created a public system for kids no matter their faith. And, the more money tax payers put into it the more resources we are going to have. To take $500 million out of the system is a lot of money - and I guess I'm worried that the resources are going away. I'm not sure how that will benefit people. And I worry that in the end we'll just pay more taxes to get these resources everywhere.

My other thought, and my big concern, is the issue of separating kids so much. Yes, I think there is a place for faith schools. And, yes, I think that parents should have the right to send kids to these schools. But, I think that if you open it up so much and announce that you're going to pay for kids to go to whatever faith school they want, you're going to segregate kids a whole lot more.

I'll be the first to admit that I knew nothing about the Muslim or Jewish faiths growing up. It amazes me and impresses me when Matthew comes home singing the Dreidel song or telling me about a new food he tried at daycare. I love that he's learning about different cultures and faiths at such a young age. And, living in a country that's so multicultural I'm not sure that I understand saying "okay, let's let our kids hang out with kids of only their faith." Across the Board - it's a scary notion.

But the thing is, I also don't think it's right to say that kids can only access faith based schools if they have the financial means. There are some grants, but certainly not enough. So, maybe it should be extended. I just don't know.

What I do know is that this should not be an issue to hang an election on. I realize that it would still be a vote in Parliament ... but still. If enough people are voted in it could get through.

I really disagree with some stuff the Liberals have done. I hate that right when we had no money we suddenly had to pay for eye exams. I hate that he said he wouldn't raise taxes and then he did. This certainly isn't a pro-Liberal blog.

I just think it's really scary to go down this path. I don't know.

And, the ironic thing is that I have all these questions for the politicians, and yet not one has come to our door to discuss it. Nor have I seen them at the GO station. I actually know someone working on the John Tory campaign. So, I think I'll send her this post and ask for her thoughts. I'm curious - is it just me, or is anyone really debating this issue?

PS Despite saying I disagree with McGuinty, I have to say that when I was a 1st year journalism school student I was at Queen's Park for radio class and I was taping a broadcast. I had no idea how to "plug in" and I was all alone. A really nice guy came and asked me if he could help. He actually showed me how to make it work and then helped me understand how the whole day would work, scrums, etc. I introduced myself at the end and he introduced himself. I remembered his name (Dalton McGuinty is pretty memorable) and a couple of weeks later I actually found out who he was. His kindness that day was really cool - and it was before there was any sort of election going on.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Let's Get Aquafit!

Today one of my friends told me that she was going to go to an Aquafit class this evening. I thought it sounded super fun - and it was all I could think about. So, I decided to look up classes in my area.

Amazingly there was a 7:30 pm drop in class about 10 minutes from my house. So, I called up a friend on a whim, and convinced her that we should go aquafitting!! Surprisingly she decided to join me and off we went to try out water aerobics.

I have to admit, I'd never done this before. The class was a workout, but more of a workout was getting my bathing suit on! I've gained about 9 lbs or so in the last 3 months, and I am most definitely showing. And, of all things to try to squeeze into a bathing suit is a tough choice. I tried on all my bathing suits, and after squeezing into first a speedo and then finally deciding on a tankini top over a one piece I realized that I didn't really need to attend the class because I had likely burned off just as many calories and doen just as many stretches. But, I was dressed, my friend was at the door, and off we went.

I have to admit, we were both a tad nervous. Fitness classes are always that way. The first class is the worst. But, by the time the class started we were already giggling and started to have a good time.

Now, I have to admit, I have often laughed at aquafit people. it's funny to watch. It's even funnier to attempt. Much like my failed bellydancing classes, aquafit takes some sort of ability to coordinate your arms and legs and wiggle in specific ways. The difference is that as long as you are hopping along and moving no one really can see that you have no clue what you're doing.

So, for 45 minutes my friend Amy and I puddled along in the water, did tons of exercises and had a blast. I honestly haven't laughed so hard in exercising, since, well, bellydancing!!! It was great. And it was low impact. And it was easy and hard and fun all at the same time. The 45 minutes flew by. When we started stretching I couldn't believe it was over. And it's totally pregnancy safe. And, it's so refreshing.

We're going back next week. I can't wait!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Differences, Date Night and Matthew's Makeover

When I was at the doctor last week she asked me if this pregnancy was any different than the last one. For some reason I said no, not really. And, she told me that's a very unusual response. That most women say how different each pregnancy is.
And, really, I've been wondering ever since what on earth I was thinking. I guess in the sense that I didn't go from no morning sickness to extreme morning sickness it's similar. But, in so many ways it's different. How? well for starters I know I'm pregnant. That's pretty big!!! And, in so many ways it's different. The foods I'm craving are healthy. I want to drink milk and v8 juice. And, I keep wanting elaborate salads (think Lettuce Eatery ... yum!) and my heartburn is kind of lurking but certainly not killing me and . and . and.
I have no idea what I was thinking!
Anyway ...
Call it a combination of not feeling great, being tired, and spending way too much time with Matthew, but by then end of the afternoon yesterday I was losing my mind!!! Matt was driving me nuts, and I was just generally pissed off with Mike for no reason other than that he was doing house stuff while I was out with a hyper child and wanted a nap. So I did something I don't do too often. I called my parents (from zellers where matt was climbing all the toys) and asked her to please take Matt for the evening before I went insane.
Luckily my parents were about 5 minutes away, and I think my mom heard the stress in my voice, and before I knew it they came and picked up Matthew.
And, instead of going home to bicker, I went home, got changed and Mike and I went for dinner at the Keg. It was fantastic!!!!
I love the Keg. And we had a gift certificate. Before dinner we sat in the bar. The bar tender made me the best virgin caesar (with tomato juice not clamato blech) and we just sat like civilized people. Dinner was soooo good. The funny part was that we ordered the same kind of steak and they switched them. And, then I asked the waiter if they were confused (because it's hard to tell the difference between medium and medium rare) and he said they had. So, we thought it was pretty funny and who cares, so we just switched our steaks around. Long story short, we ordered dessert and he gave it to us for free. So unnecessary, but it made our dinner extra yummy!!!!
When we got back to my parents' place I was a lot more relaxed and Matt loved hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa who even took him to the playground. Good times!!!!
And, then today we went and got Matt a new hairstyle. He's officially graduated from toddler to kid. And ... he requested spikes!!! But, "not hard spikes like a dinosaur but soft boy spikes made of hair."
Matthew before - a little preppy and a little long

After - Matthew sporting the "not hard spikes like a dinosaur but soft boy spikes made of hair" look.