Join Us October 2

If you’ll be in Ottawa October 2, 2011, we’d love you to join Mark, Bayla, myself and our team mates for a beautiful 5km saunter along the Ottawa River to raise funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

You can register for our No Pink For Profit team, here.

Hope to see you there!

Related Links:

Happiness Is…

Healthy New Addictions.


Library loans have been strictly forbidden from our book-crammed, chaotic home. Until now.

This week, Lucy and Bayla got their first library cards.

Lucy’s a big-time reader. So, she was pleased.

Bayla’s a big-time shopper. And a bigger-time geek. So, she’s been over the moon.

Audio books. Wii games. Wii nights. Board game nights. NFB Fridays.

And, above all, surfing the catalogue. Selecting, “holding” and swiping out.

And flipping Eva Ibbotson CDs in and out of the boombox.

Hope this habit’s a long one.

Looking for Me

In January, 2009, I was a busy woman. A stressed-out Nortel software designer. A hard-working mother to 7 and 9 year old girls. A passionate kidlit advocate publishing four podcast episodes a week.

I exercised tonnes. I moved fast. I hardly slept.

In April, 2009, after 26 years of systems analysis, programming and design, I leapt to a short-term technical writing position. I’d never identified with my occupation but without my high-stress, high-tech job, I did kind of wonder who I was.

But I was Andrea Ross of JustOneMoreBook. I was creating stuff. Life was exciting. And the twenty-minute walk to my cushy tech-writing job was lovely.

I was fine.

In September, 2009, in midst of that six-week diagnostic stress, I kicked our beloved podcast to the curb. Before that identity loss had time to hit, I’d been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Thus began another busy year.

In September, 2010, I returned to my short-term technical writing position. But the pointlessness, plodding pace and poisonous co-workers soon put an end to that too. On April 14, 2011, I quit. Ending almost 30 years of constant full-time employment.

And here I am. No podcast. No job.  And two tween-age kids who consistently resist me.

I could cook or clean. But I don’t.
I could get out and do stuff. But I can’t think what.

I know I’m lucky.

Now, who am I?

On with the old. In with the new.


Here’s where it all began. Where Mark and I met for our very first date.

That history-making, mega-foamy latté.

I snuck in the back door. De-toqueing and de-snowing myself, unseen.
Mark faced away. Tall, wiry, and newly goateed.

There was a table here, then. Several tables. It was Vittoria Trattoria and I’d been lining up regularly for breakfast, coffee and pesto pasta since long before the tables had arrived.
Collecting memories of the twenty-something me.

In the fifteen and a half years since that first date, we’ve enjoyed breakfasts, desserts, lattés — and then burgers, bruschettas and goblets of wine — here. I’ve tipped baby Bayla upside down to dislodge solids. We’ve celebrated report cards with Luba. We’ve been silly with friends.

It’s where we rang in Mark’s forties.

Today it sits empty. Awaiting rebirth.

And we’re watching. Just like that twenty-something me, peeking past the papered windows, exactly twenty years ago. Hoping its rebuilt self is friendly, affordable and fabulous.

We’ve got lots more great memories to make. We’d love to make some here.

Happiness Is…

Second, and third, and nth chances.

Yesterday, was frustration. I guess I should say, I let myself be frustrated.

One small effect, and propagating cause, was the absolute blackening of this pot. Followed by my many frantic, frustrated, fruitless attempts to boil and scrape through the thick, stuck, edge-to-edge char.

Turns out time, rest and water did what no amount of swearing and straining could.

And that’s just one of the many nth chances I’ve been treated to today.

I am grateful for each one.

Now to treat myself to some of the same.

A Top Notch Tenning

The weekend Lucy turned ten, I found that lump. Fully dressed, amidst Lucy’s festivities, some tingling vibration drew my fingers. And there it was.

With a puff of cold steam, a new world was born.

Today, Bayla turned ten. Twenty-two months later.

Today was a good day.

Lucy and Bayla spent most of it on their own together, being tweens: browsing their favourite shops, doing each others’ nails, exploring Bayla’s new DSI, painting pottery, strolling down to DQ to split a Blizzard.

And we ended the day with the end of Harry P. In 3D.

Today I did a lot of thinking back ten years. And back two years. And looking ahead.

Looking forward to many happy years of great memories behind and ahead for us all.

And feeling very, very grateful.

Happy Birthday, My Baby


Ten years ago today, our beautiful Bayla was born.

Thank you, Bayla, for sharing your sunny bubbles, your spunk, your music, your cuddles, your wit, your perspective, your art, your ideas, your passion, your love. And thank you for your bullheaded determination.

I love you, my baby sweet.

Wishing you many, many, many more years of happiness and good health.

Love always,
Mom
xoxoxoxox