the thirties grind

get up, go to work, raise kids, pay bills, sleep. repeat.

Do your babysitters do more than sit?

So…when I was a babysitter not so long ago (indulge me) I didn’t just “sit”. After the kids in my care went to sleep, and before I retired to the couch or tied up the phone line for hours on end, I would often do dishes fold laundry or some other kind of extra work. I always asked the parents before they left if there was anything extra they’d like me to do. Of course, the teenage me secretly prayed they wouldn’t come up with anything but I always complied when something was requested. I think I made $5/hour…maybe $8 in my hay day.

I often pay babysitters between $8-12 an hour and I have only ever had ONE do some extra chores (and she was a nanny by day).
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Le Marche St. George in danger of being closed down: is it the owner’s fault?


Yesterday I wrote a piece on one of my favourite local cafes, Le Marche St. George. Recently, due to a neighbour complaint, the City of Vancouver paid a visit to the artisan shop and cafe. Although, the store owners have a permit to avail of the outdoor space for seating, what it appears they don’t have in order is a permit to operate their business as a cafe/restaurant. Unfortunately, because the City has now opened a file on the case, the cafe is in danger of being closed down.

At first, when I read about this I was outraged and thought what a grouch of a neighbour for complaining in the first place. What I have since learned is that this neighbour is legally blind. She has been finding it hard for some time to navigate the pathway outside of the cafe due to the chairs and strollers and toys that are often strewn around. In my opinion, the neighbour could have taken a different approach from calling the City. I am certain if she did, indeed, try to deal with the cafe owners personally she may have been able to resolve her issues (the owners are kind people – I’ve met them). However, the predicament they are in now are not exactly due to “the complaints of a single neighbour.” Nope. They are in danger of having their business shut down because they do not have the proper licenses in place to operate as they are. Read more…

Save Le Marché St. George! Neighbour complaints may force local gem to close its doors

le marcheWow…it’s lovely to see the Grinch is alive and well in Vancouver. Le Marché St. George is one of my favourite spots in our beautiful neighbourhood. With everything from local eggs and honey, to probably the best pain au chocolat this side of the Sienne, I cannot imagine why anyone would gripe about having such a wonderful, warm spot on their block. Alas, someone has filed a complaint with the City of Vancouver.

According the Le Marché’s Facebook page: Read more…

Love your fellow Mama

This morning, my daughter had cross country practice. I was surprised when she said she wanted to join the team because (a) she’s not really a runner and (b) it would mean getting up earlier than usual and my girl likes her sleep. The first few practices, she jumped out of bed, got dressed, ate breakfast and skipped down the road to school. Today, however, my early wake-up call was met with a lot of resistance.

With a little encouragement and positive talk, we got her to the practice on time. I’d like to say that this is the case every time we have a struggle in the morning, but it is definitely not. Many, many mornings are spent nagging and negotiating and yelling. I feel depleted and defeated, collapsing into my car to get to work…guilt gnawing at the pit of my stomach all the way there. I imagine my kids going through their day with the same feeling and I wonder if they feel sad and mad at me all day at school.

However, when I see them later on, they are not harboring any ill will or residual angst from the mornings chaos. They meet me with smiles and hugs…we’re all good. And, so it goes. Read more…

This school year I plan to help my children fail.

Next week, my two kiddos head back to school.

tumblr_nfxv2aemDe1qk8j8do8_250I’m completely grateful for the summer we’ve had but, man oh man, are we ready to get back to routine and bedtimes and less…er…togetherness.

This school year I have decided that I want to help set my kids up to be more independent. Not that I don’t want them to need or want my help, but I do want them to be able to do some things on their own. Our mornings are often a nightmare. I wake up with the intention of putting my best foot forward…the intention of not yelling and shouting and losing my f*%cking mind. Things, more often than not, go to shit and I’m left feeling deflated after I drop the kids to school…beating myself up over how I could have done things better. Read more…

B.C.’s new education curriculum sounds great, but is it really possible?

kids onlineI think that the media likes to stir shit when it comes to BC Education…they know it’s a very, very touchy subject. Yesterday’s article in the Vancouver Sun addressed “major changes” coming to British Columbia’s education curriculum. Changes that would be “optional” for K-9 this year, but mandatory next year.

Education Minister Mike Bernier said the transition is happening because parents want their kids to succeed as technology and innovation reshape society.

“Parents expect their kids to learn the basics — reading, writing and arithmetic. They also want them to learn the collaboration, critical thinking and communications skills they’ll need to succeed in college, university and the workforce,” says Bernier.

“Personalized learning is at the heart of the changes — and teachers will have the time and ability to help kids dig into what interests them. We all know how passionate kids can be when they get into something like music, soccer, or dinosaurs. The new curriculum will give teachers the ability to tap into these passions.”

From The Vancouver Sun (read the full story here).

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Giving away my extra ticket to Jon Bon Jovi this Saturday at Rogers Arena


I was so excited when I purchased my two tickets to this Saturday’s Jon Bon Jovi concert, originally scheduled to be held at Stanley Park. Alas, due to a whack load of shenanigans, it was cancelled earlier this week by the original promoter Paper Rain Performances.

Then…to my amazement, Jon Bon Jovi and his people stepped up and worked out a deal with Rogers Arena to host the concert there and to honour all of the original ticket sales (around 7000). No more tickets will be sold to the concert. I have two tickets to the show, and my friend who was supposed to come with me has made other plans. Low and behold, I am left with an extra ticket. Read more…

Hoop dreams: my brother’s journey to the Special Olympics World Games

Note…this post was written by my mom, Ann Carr. Words cannot express how proud I am of her…and my little brother, Shane.

Shane Read more…

“Mama, there’s a man in here.”: talking about Trans inclusive change rooms at Vancouver pools

A friend of mine was recently telling me about an experience she had at Hillcrest pool. She had been swimming with her two daughters (8 and 12) and they were back in the women’s change room. As she was changing, my friend noticed her youngest daughter’s face change as she whispered, “Mama…there’s a man in here.” Read more…

Renovating in Vancouver: let’s get this party started

Aaaaaaaaaaand…we’re off!

After a few more weeks of back and forth with our architect and contractor after learning our original plans were going to set us back waaaaay too much in terms of structural upgrades, our upstairs renovation is finally underway. Read more…

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