Thursday, June 9, 2011

The days are long, but the year is short

Living in Canada, I feel blessed to have Maternity and Parental Leave benefits that have allowed me to stay home from work for an entire year following the birth of my daughter. And I admit that, while I was pregnant, I planned for this time off from work by mentally tallying up the multitude of tasks I would accomplish during this year.

(Read: I thought I'd finally find the time to organize my recipe binders, scrapbook my wedding photos from four years ago, and make it to the gym every day.)

Clearly, I had no realistic notion of how exhausting it would be to care for a baby.

But fast-forward to today, the day I've been dreading most for the last year, and I just don't know where the time has gone.

Yes, today is the day that my leave from work officially ends, and I was supposed to go back to work full time.

That's right, supposed to
 
I've elected to take an unpaid three-week extended leave from work so that I can continue to stay home with my daughter until my husband concludes teaching at the end of June. He'll then be home with her over the summer, and I'll be back at work as of July 4th.
 
Am I looking forward to this? Negatory.

In fact, I can't imagine how hard it will be to only see her for two hours a day, given that she'll be asleep when I leave in the morning and in bed again by 7:30pm each night.

While I'm grateful for my employment, I'm also resentful of the fact that I can't still have my daughter with me 24/7.

(I may have my own office, but I'm pretty sure it would be frowned upon if I suggested setting up a playpen next to my desk.)

How exactly do other working moms do it?? Or, for that matter, single parents??
 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The history of aprons

Every now and then, a really great forwarded email shows up in my inbox. This one was sent to me by my friend Andrew in Australia. Enjoy!

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The History of 'APRONS'

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and aprons used less material.

But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees..

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the menfolk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...