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All In Hand

Here you'll find the sum total of Miss Vicky's Remarks thus far.

New skills!

Miss Vicky Tue Oct 31, 2006

You never know what you can do when you put your mind to it.

I just cleaned out our pumpkin... one-handed, mostly, wearing baby sleeping in his wrap.

I will have to leave the carving to the Webgeek, though. I know my limits!

Rogers Debate Tonight!

Miss Vicky Tue Oct 31, 2006

Tune in to Roger's TV tonight (Channel 22 for you cable users) for the Ward 15 debate. I believe it's a phone-in, so call with your questions! The festivities start at 9pm - what better way to enjoy your Hallowe'en candy leftovers?

How it's going

Miss Vicky Fri Oct 27, 2006

I figure folks are probably curious about how we're faring here at the Finishing School. The Webgeek has weighed in with his impressions of the first week or so at home (I sure lucked out, didn't I?) I have to say, we're all feeling pretty content. That is the best word I can muster to describe how I'm feeling: content.

Gordon seems to be a natural campaigner; he has taken to sleeping well through most events where Mom's focus needs to be on a group or audience. So he didn't make a peep during the Citizen Editorial Board meeting or the first debate at Champlain Park last night. Mom, on the other hand, slipped somewhat during the Editorial Board meeting, by letting out a Crissy Snow-like snorty laugh at a rather outlandish and highly inaccurate statement by one of her rivals (see Leonard Stern's observation of my moment of weakness in the editorial board's blog, Curbs and Gutters. And if you really want, you can listen to the Mp3 on the Citizen's website as well. Sigh.

I suppose that I should allow myself at least one moment like this, given the adjustment to Gordon's presence in the home, our new sleeping schedule, and so on. And when I step back a bit, I am quite grateful for the smooth transition so far. We have been able to keep up with campaigning, thanks to dedicated volunteers and a kick-ass team, by pacing out events and focusing on things I can do from home. The online chats, for example, help me engage people in a dialogue while allowing myself some time to recover from surgery and sort through this new home life. I'm not quite ready for door-knocking, but phoning is fine, and we have been out to several low-key events. So far, so good.

Gordon's been a star at home as well as out on the campaign trail. He is eating well and growing as he should. He gives us the occasional 4 hour spurt of sleep, which is very nice of him. He seems happy and healthy and wonderful. Winston, too, is adjusting. He is very gentle with Gordon, and obviously interested in making sure he's OK at all times. He sleeps lying up against the pack and play we have set up in the dining room for Gordon. He gets the odd sloppy kiss in here and there, although I am trying to keep these to a minimum! We haven't done the full Bridgehead-river walk with the whole family but we are slowly working our way back to it.

I'm also really grateful for the help and support we've been getting. I don't mean political (although that's been great, too). I mean the homemade pizza the folks across the street brought over last week, and the bag of baby clothes left by another neighbour who had a little boy earlier this summer. And the 11 cleaning sessions given to us by an interesting assortment of friends from various parts of my life (MUCH appreciated). And the "Gordon Special" ground decaf sent by the fine folks at Bridgehead, to tide me over until I could resume my morning strolls. And the cards and good wishes and gifts that have come from all kinds of sources. And so on. It has been amazing, really.

Porchlight Celebration

Miss Vicky Wed Oct 25, 2006

A few weeks ago I attended the re-launch of the Project Porchlight campaign. As you may recall, Project Porchlight wants everyone to replace one standard light bulb in their home with a compact flourescent bulb. And they're even supplying the bulbs! It's a great initiative - not only do CF bulbs save you money, but it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions overall. It's a wonderful way to reinforce the point that small changes can have big impacts.

I got this update earlier this week. I won't be able to attend the event, as I'll be whooping it up at Hilson Ave Public School at this time, but if you're downtown, do stop on by and learn more about this great campaign.

Come join the celebration!

Project Porchlight Ottawa has been lighting up neighbourhoods across Ottawa. Over the past six weeks, over 100,000 CFL bulbs have been distributed door-to-door. We’re half way to our goal!

Come, celebrate this milestone with us! Join us in front of the Giant Tiger in the By-Ward Market on October 28th from noon to 2 p.m. There will be prizes and pumpkin decorating, a lively band, Hallowe’en activities for the kids, our fabulous electric bikes, and the mobile porch!

Visit our web site for all the brilliant and spooky details!

Breathe easy!

Do you know someone who’s feeling left out because they don’t have a porch? Residents of apartments and condos deserve a bulb too! If you know someone who lives in an apartment building or multi-residence complex, have them contact us to talk about getting them a bulb, and one to fellow tenants. (And just as an aside, these bulbs work well anywhere indoors or out, so having a porch is not a prerequisite to saving money and helping the planet!)

Porchlight around town

We’ve been planting our bulbs (CFL bulbs that is) all over Ottawa, and at some great community events. We attended the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, the Children’s Wish Foundation parade, The Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, and more! Read about it all on our blog, updated daily! Along with the latest news, you might catch one of our team members remaking a Billy Joel classic as a compact fluorescent song. Or see Mag Ruffman cruise around on an electric bike. Or maybe even learn some new light bulb jokes. Drop by the Porch Blog.


Campaign Chat Oct 26th

The Webgeek Tue Oct 24, 2006

Smallman on ... Community safety
Just a quick note to let people know that we'll be hosting the first in a series of 'online chats' over in the campaign site's discussion forum this Thursday (Oct 26th), from 1 to 3 PM. Fell free to add questions prior to the event if you want.

Don't forget to create an account for the discussion board if you haven't done so already.

Peeking out from the newborn fog

The Webgeek Mon Oct 23, 2006

Hey all,
It's the Webgeek here. Sorry for the long delay in writing a new entry, but life here at the Finishing School is all baby all the time right now -- at least for me. Wee Gordon is now officially two weeks old as of yesterday, and I must say that I'm pretty smitten with the little guy.

Last week was, without a doubt, both the single longest and and single happiest week of my life. Any lingering doubts I had about my potential parenting skills, or toward the decision to be a stay at home dad have gone by the wayside. Yes, I did have doubts -- as any first time parent must -- that I might not be able to rise to this particular challenge. Despite the preemptive reassurances by friends and family that they were all "sure I'd be a great dad", I still had small fears that maybe they were just being polite. (I mean, really, who actually tells an expectant father to their face that "Dude, your gunna SUCK at being a parent"?) This last week, however, has taught me otherwise.

So far I've almost mastered the difference between the "I'm hungry" cry, the "I'm cold and cranky" cry and the all important "I'm stewing in my own filth over here" cry; I'm a whiz (some pun intended) at the diaper change; baby bath time is second nature to me now; I seem to have the magic "burp" touch; and Gordie just melts away into slumber in my arms, no matter how supremely ticked off he was previously. Not only that, I've actually done 90% of the meal time planning, prep and cooking (restaurants and family & neighbours with care packages have done the rest); I'm now king of the laundry (I even read washing instructions and everything); and tidying up *the whole house* is now wilfully part of my daily routine. Even more amazing is, I am enjoying it. It actually feels great to be able to 'keep house'. My excitement toward being a stay at home dad is now ten-fold. It'll be tough, I know -- and this week has taught me that too -- but I honestly think I'll be able to wear the title of 'homemaker' with pride.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not looking for some parental badge of honour here. I know what I'm doing is your basic primary caregiver stuff. People have being doing this for years without fanfare. Nothing truly special about it really.

Well, except for the fact that I, the parent with the stubby Y chromosome, am doing these familial feats. It's that, relatively small, difference that seems to be hard for a lot of people to accept. Whenever Vicky and I would tell people that I would be the stay at home parent, it was almost always met with a semi-surprised "wow". Even now, when we run into people on the street, they seem to take special care to ask me "How are *you* doing?" in a concerned tone -- like I should be near the point of unravelling; barely able to hold it together. In talking to volunteers and supporters of Vicky's campaign we do hear (mostly third party) 'concerns' from them that we are somehow being slightly bad parents by not having Vicky be primary caregiver. People who have never met me are automatically assuming I can't be as good a parent as Vicky, who they also barely know, simply because I am male.

You know what. That sucks.

It shouldn't be a shock that I, a male, can have domestic tendencies: but it is. It really shouldn't come as a shock that I, a male, have actual parental instincts and child rearing skill: but it is. I really shouldn't be getting fawning accolades of being 'a great father' for simply doing what 'traditionally' comes naturally to female parents: but I do. And people really shouldn't make the automatic assumption that it'll be 'hard for Vicky' to go to work with a newborn at home with dad: but they do. It won't be hard for her, because she will be safe in the knowledge that her child -- my child -- our child -- will be cared for as lovingly and carefully and positively as humanly possible by her partner.

Enriched Bread Artists Open Studio

Miss Vicky Sat Oct 21, 2006

It's that time of year again.... the funky and fabulous Enriched Bread Artists are opening their studios at 951 Gladstone Ave to the public. It's your chance to get a peek at the working spaces of some of Ottawa's most innovative visual artists. We'll be checking it out later today or tomorrow and will report back!

Office opening tonight!

Miss Vicky Thu Oct 19, 2006

Well, we're finally opening the campaign office tonight! We were supposed to do it last week, but then there was that whole giving birth thing. So tonight it is. Come on by and help me celebrate!

Vicky Smallman Campaign HQ
The Engine Room
430 Parkdale Ave (just south of Wellington, next door to the Fire Station)

See you there!

Organics survey

Miss Vicky Mon Oct 16, 2006

This came in today.... I figure any organic food business in Kitchissippi would be a welcome addition. I've filled out the survey, and I hope you will too!

Dear Miss Vicky: I'm conducting a survey of Kitchissippi dwellers and asking about their preferences for organic food and products. The intention is to use this info to determine the viability of a new business. I'd appreciate it if you would share the survey with your readers (or anyone else). The survey is at http://www.ottawaorganics.com.

By the way, congratulations on the new addition! I thought I was good at mult-tasking, but you've got me beat.


Candidates unmasked!

Miss Vicky Sat Oct 14, 2006

Creative Neighbourhoods is hosting a meet and greet with Kitchissippi candidates today at the Wellington Gastropub. If all goes well, we'll be making an appearance. The event takes place from 1-4pm.

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