November 27, 2006

The friendly competition between René and myself began in grade one (back then Kindergarten was still non-academic) and continued on and off until I moved back up north. I have three memories of grade one: frequent nosebleeds, copying Luc et Martine va a l’école. off the chalkboard, and racing René to finish the math book.

I think our teacher had given up, toward the end of the year, trying to reign us in. She knew we understood the work and figured that by allowing us to work ahead she would buy herself some time without “I’m done, what next?” Unhindered, René and I checked in on each other daily at recess, to monitor each other’s progress. It became high competition.

Duyring the years that followed as we wove in and out of each other’s classes we maintained a tacit, mutual respect for each other. In grade five when we were involved in some quiz-show type game we gravitated to each to the same team, along with three other players, called ourselves “the Pentagon” and dominated the event. In grade eight, somehow still in the same math class despite the large secondary school we attended, when I would answer questions on “new” topics presented he would turn around and say, “how do you remember that? I know for a fact you slept through M. Paquot’s class last year!”

Last week I thought to myself that I’m not a competitive person. Immediately I thought of René, who hadn’t crossed my mind more than once since we moved in grade nine, and realized that there is a competitive veign in me.

The funny thing is, I don’t remember who won when we were competitors instead of teamates. I only remember both of us running, books in hand, up to Mme Beebe’s desk, trying to beat the other. I guess it was a tie. The lesson I learn about myself, however, is that I don’t care so much for winning as I do for a good challenge.



November 24, 2006

When I first moved to the States, I thought the timing of Thanksgiving so late in the year and so close to Christmas was akward. Why not have it on Columbus Day instead of creating a magnaholiday of Hallowe’en/Veteren’sDay/Thanksgiving/Christmas/NewYear’s?

…until I realized that Thanksgiving’s timing in the US was specifically designed to get college students through the semester. Thanksgiving weekend was always right in that slump when we had tonnes of projects and assignments due and it was also time to start studying for finals. It was impossible to get everything done without that four day weekend.

It took me a while to adopt an affinity for American holidays, but as each year passes I realize more and more than with my own family so far away the American holidays and the family time they foster is the only family I get to enjoy.

I’m so thankful that I enjoy the company of my in-laws. I’m thankful that we live close enough to some of them that we can see them with some frequency. I’m thankful that they think of me as their own. They’ll never replace my own family, but I’m so blessed that I can love and appreciate them for who they are.

Fie! A Pox and a Hex on You!

November 16, 2006

There’s no way I got this cold from kissing my husband morning and night. His Airborne/Zicam/Tylenol coctail shielded me from any germs that would normally have transferred during the process.

It’s just as unlikely that I got this cold from my students. We all know that while they don’t wash their hands after using the washroom that children are the most sanitary generation and that I have nothing to fear by working in such close proximity and sharing papers and pencils with them.

Yesterday afternoon I thought, “hmmm, I think I might be coming down with something” and by the time I went to bed I did so medicated. So how did I get this cold? Why from all of you, of course! Nearly everyone whose blog I read regularly has made comment of illness in the home. Obviously it has transferred over the wireless lines and attacked me with brute force. Please, I beg you, leave Little Red out of your germ warfare.

I’m not really bitter. Actually I’m up this morning in very high spirits. The very first email I opened this morning announced to me that I was the winner of the Momono! Thank you, Sariah, for introducing me to the site — I’m going to be wearing that poor thing till it’s threadbare!

Lip Service

November 12, 2006

I’m really debating whether I should post this at all. After all, “better late than never” is not always the case, sometimes it’s just insulting.

My Grandfather, still living, fought in WWII. And although this may be the last year he walks on his own in the parade, he did so, at 95 years old. (My Aunt speculates that next year he should sit in a wheelchair and be pushed.) That’s commitment. Remembrance Day is important to him, to my whole family. (That’s him with the cane, third in line.)

I used to think it was important to me, but my remembrance and proper observance of the day has really waned since adulthood. Yesterday I didn’t dig my poppy out of my jewelry box, I was in such a hurry to dress for work, and I didn’t even take the time to talk to Little Red about the day.

At least last year I did something. This year I made a lame blog post a day late to quell my shame. I’m sorry.

Vacancy not Posted

November 11, 2006

Once upon a time when I was even more idealistic than I am now, I dreamed that my pregnancies would be times of deep introspection and contemplation. I would be so focused on the new life and so in tune with the little guy that I’d reach a new level of intelligence.

In reality when I am pregnant my brain and body are so busy dividing the right cells and keeping homeostasis that there are few resources left for me. I’m not more intelligent or more deep, in fact, I’m more daft and shallow. The first time around I attributed my lack of cognition to the move, the adjustment, etc. This time I know definitively that it’s the pregnancy, but I also have the hope that my mind will return to me in a few months.

In the meantime, please bear with me as I try to remain lucid and do my best to not let my brain slip out my ears.

Think Pink or True Blue?

November 9, 2006

Well folks, what it really came down to was science vs. superstition. Was science right in saying that the length of time before ovulation was long enough to kill off the boys and leave only the girls, or was superstition right in that the Phillips’ can only have boys?

Grab your talismans and recite your lucky mantras; call Guiness because we’re going for a record. The family has another boy. We are, of course, pleased either way, but my husband did seem a little relieved. We know boys. Boys are safe for us. Little Red has a little buddy on the way.

My husband’s grandmother saw a fortune teller eons ago who told her that she would only have male decendants. That woman had a gift.

Get Out The Vote

November 8, 2006

Yesterday was Election Day in the United States. Today, regardless of citizenship, nationality, or residency status, everyone is encouraged to vote here. Tomorrow we should find out the gender of the little one clinging to my walls, making today the last day to speculate. You can make an informed decision by carefully reading the voter’s guide before you cast your ballot on gender, eye colour, and hair colour.


If family history is any indication of posterity then this child is likely a boy. On my husband’s side of the family it has been over a hundred years since a girl has been born into the family lines. (Whether there even are female swimmers has been pondered on several occaisions.) In my family I have one sister, but 8 brothers. My mother has one sister and two brothers. My father has one sister and two brothers. Family history definitely leans toward boys.


Fertility experts theorize that timing has a lot to do with gender selection. As I was charting at the time I can definitively say that the chances are high that it’s a girl.

Also this baby is much higher than Little Red ever was, which many superstitiously believe is indicative of a female baby. (My mother-in-law reminds me that her third son was also very high in utero.)



Many of our family members have brown eyes, including Little Red.


My eyes are green and my husbands go back and forth between green and hazel.


Many of our family members have blue eyes.



I was an incredibly blonde child. My husband has been blonde at times in his life as well.


My husband as a child had mostly brown hair. My hair is now going brown.


Little Red’s hair colour was a bit of a surprise. What are the chances it would happen again?

The polls are now open.