Seven years of blogging; or, have I really been doing this since 2007?

Wordpress's anniversary award

WordPress’s anniversary award

After more than a month of not posting (thank you to Tessa, daughter who even at 7,457 kilometres distance can still get me to do what I’m supposed to be doing but are not) I got a little award thingy in my blog mail—see above.

I am, I stress really am, working on my fatigue by sitting with it in guided meditation, and slippery brain, and self-massage with skin care and compression garments, and lymphatic openings and exercise. I know I said I would post more often, but I am exhausted, and I honestly don’t have anything interesting to say. Sorry Tessa.

So, for this post, which WordPress marks as an anniversary, I’m going to re-post my first entry to this blog. It had a far larger audience than I now have, because I was the Mom Blogger for Canadian Living magazine then, and eyes were reading from across the country. In this post I introduced myself to them:


Mom blog: All about Jacquelyn, the mom blogger


Posted on  by itsbecauseisaidso


Hello. If you are reading this, you are the witness to the very first words of’s Mommy blogger. I am thrilled to be here – winning the reader poll to become the Mommy blogger is on my Top Ten List of Achievements, along with giving birth to my three incredible children, beating back my son’s leukemia, being nominated for a National Magazine Award, hanging on to a marriage for 19 years, quitting smoking, and the rest are state secrets.
One thing you’ll learn about me is a secret is a secret. And a state secret is even more sacred. Don’t ask me how old I am.
I am a mom (I prefer mum – my kids call me “Mummy” not “Mommy”) (when they’re not calling me Goofy-Head, or Boss, or Mummy-Dearest, or Slave-Girl-Mummy – this is only allowed from my six year old). I have three kids whom I am currently in negotiations with regarding their privacy, the parameters of their exposure in my blog, any possible compensation – this is where I start laughing hysterically and negotiations predictably break down. The cat, Angel, who is nothing like her name, lives here, as does Nibbles the hamster.
When things were getting very stressful in our home a couple of years ago, the kids thought it would be good to get a hamster. They actually thought it would be way better to get a dog, but I’m not that crazy. I was crazy enough to be talked into not one hamster, not two, not three, you get the idea. We had six hamsters at the height of our love-in, in five cages. We were told that sisters could live together in the same cage. Miss Jellybean and Princess Lou Lou shared a cage for quite a while, until one day we thought Jellybean had escaped. But how could she escape when the door was near impossible for us humans to open? Realization dawned ugly when we spied a wee half-square-inch of Jellybean-coloured fur. Hamstericide!
Suffice to say, Jellybeans’s piece of fur was carefully wrapped and boxed and shrink-wrapped and triple Ziploc-bagged and put in the freezer alongside Hammy Yu-Gi-Oh, Crazy Connie, Victor and Ooch, to wait for the spring thaw for appropriate internment. We got a few more hamsters, among them Nibbles and Bunny. Sisters. Did we put them in the same cage?DID WE PUT THEM IN THE SAME CAGE????
Read my next blog to find out.

Illustration courtesy of Juli Waller at

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Now, I will aim for an original post in less than a week. Promise. 😉


Friday was a BIG day: focus on each kid!

Cookies for Graydon’s school closing ceremonies—flowers, stars and ice cream cones—and initial cookies for my friend’s five-year-old Antonia’s birthday party on Saturday)

The Friday sked was jam-packed with special parental moments, so jam-packed that this post reaches you three days late! But it’s here…

Friday morning was the closing ceremony for the school year at Graydon’s school. Tessa and I attended, and it was a moving, entertaining and inspiring time—each student was called up and his or her teachers spoke about them, how long they’d been there, their strengths, their successes; there was a slideshow that showed the kids through the year, and then, lunch! A huge cake (what’s a party without one?), Continue reading

Mom blog: Because I Said So! WFMW The perfect garden


It’s Works for Me Wednesday, the day of the week when Shannon hosts a blog carnival for bloggers to post and exchange tips and tricks of every kind imaginable. Once you’ve read mine, click through to her site to find several hundred more!

I love a good garden, but I’m a lousy soil conditioner, planter, thinner, weeder, waterer, even grass cutter. The best things I do in the garden are admire and harvest. You can see my dilemma.

Four years ago I got really tired of my north-facing front garden and front door and all the flowers and planters that failed. I love a hosta as much as the next girl, but pleeeez! I thought, “Why can’t I have a perfect garden like all my neighbours?” (forget about the I-can’t-garden part). So I fled to the fancy craft store and bought silk hyrangeas, the same colour as my neighbours’ because even I know the pH value of the soil determines the colour of the blossom, and I didn’t want to stand out. Into the urns they went, and the reception was good. I branched out into tiger lilies, phlox, tulips, glads, and plenty of grasses.

Am I silly? Is it tacky? I don’t think so. My mother-in-law wasn’t suspicious, people at yard sales complimented me on my lovely urns, the house looks pretty. I get my fill of admiring, my daughter and I garden at dusk, and “plant” when the street is quiet. The only flowers that appear are season-sensitive, which means the tulips are going back into storage soon. I do plant real perennials and some annuals—I had real orange tulips this year, which led the way for the white and pale green silk tulips. There are plenty of real ferns and hostas and greenery. I only purchase at the end of the season, when silk and silk-blend stems are marked down to 75 to 80 per cent off. My back and shoulders and knees never hurt.

It Works for Me!

Here is a couple of not very good pics, my apologies, but my staff photographer had to get to school early today. And since gardening is so not fun, I have sown beans and carrots and chives indoors to be transplanted outdoors later. Check in for ongoing reports!


Bye until tomorrow!

Mom blog: Because I Said So! Friday at the ER

Mom Blogger JacquelynIs there any experience more central to parenting than spending the day in ER? Notice I said “the day” and not “two hours”? When I was a child, it seemed you fell out of a tree, you went to the hospital, you came home two hours later with a cast and an ice cream. Now, emerg is filled with people without family doctors, or who had to work all day and can only afford to be sick at night, or who suspect their cough could be the next SARS.
What brought my daughter and me to to emerg? Stomach pains and nausea so intense she couldn’t go to school again. And it wasn’t a pressure-filled day, it was media day, her presentation was finished, music written, visuals completed, she’d even arranged for her youngest brother to attend her school for the day as a part of her project. It was Friday to boot (and why I didn’t post on Friday, sorry!). It was an excellent day, and yet she was sick again. The last time we’d been to her doctor in this state, the doc said, “Go to emerg next time.” The last time we’d been to the hospital in the same state, that doctor said, “Come to emerg next time.”

So, that’s why we came. Continue reading

Mom blog: Because I Said So! Root canals and raccoons

dscf2936-1.jpgIsn’t this pretty? I am trying today to focus on pretty, sparkly, pleasant things because yesterday I capped off seven days of increasing tooth and jaw pain with an emergency pulpectomy, which felt as horrible as the word sounds. This morning I am off the painkillers, hitting the ibuprophen, taking four horse-pill clindamycin HCL 300mg, my body aches, my jaw aches, and the Mastercard couldn’t hobble through Sobey’s last night for my “soft diet” needs. Oh woe is this mum.
On the happy side, we have a beautiful day here, my driveway is a blanket of electric green bud casings from the maple tree, which thrills Luka to no end, and the lilac trees are just starting to blossom. On the challenging side, the raccoons have figured out how to bypass a two-by-four and snowboard wedged between the garage door and the 400-pound basketball base and weighed down by two cast-iron Christmas tree stands. Which means we’ll be enjoying the wonderful long weekend by cleaning out the garage.

Made your weekend plans yet?
Have anything you’d like to share concerning:
a) garage cleaning and organizing?
b) planning for a garage sale?
c) how to fix scooters?
d) best incentives for kids to pitch in and help?
e) best refreshments for garage cleaning?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
See you tomorrow!

Mom blog: Because I Said So! WFMW faster, lower-fat sandwiches

Yes, it is time for Works for Me Wednesday, a blog carnival where bloggers offer tips and tricks that work for them. It is hosted by Shannon, so when you’ve read my offering, check out the several hundred bloggers’ tips there!

Shannon’s tip today is that she is on a diet—she calls it Changing and Reducing my Appetite Protocol—and has replaced her favourite Miracle Whip with a fat free version of her fave salad dressing and spreads that on her sandwiches.

spritzers125.jpgWe’re on the same wavelength, but in my never-ending crusade to avoid washing utensils (dishes, cups, clothing, cars, floors, etc.) and to save time, I’ve been using Hellman’s salad spritzers on my sandwich greens—1 calorie per spritz, 0.1 g fat per spritz, no dirty knife, super fast and tons of flavours (Caesar, balsamic, Italian, Asian, raspberry, red wine). So far, there is no downside. How weird. IT WORKS FOR ME!

Mom blog: Because I Said So! Mum’s Day presents

dscf2946.jpgI often say at the end of a posting, pics to come tomorrow, and then like the “I’ll call you! We’ll get together for drinks!” that never happens, so do my photos. But those days are gone. We now have a little light table and two lights, and for the first time in a long time, I’m feeling prepared for something other than disaster!

dscf2954.jpgHere goes:
I love having lots of fun, weird things at my desk to fiddle with and study while on hold, or waiting for a file, or so I don’t have to constantly doodle. Luka knows that, hence his “bought” present this year (as seen above), complete with a lime slice and strawberry stuck inside. He decorated his flowerpot with the mystery seeds with a series of Js so it would be “just for you and no one at your office can steal it.” (Such a suspicious mind! I’ve never even heard of theft at my three-day-a-week office, let alone brought home any stories.) Continue reading