Category Archives: Learning

New Adventures…

I’ve been working on a blog post for ages about our green efforts and how my definition of progress opposes the generally accepted business definition. Today, though, I am writing something entirely different.

Although I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, I’ve been too stubborn   to put voice to it. And, my decision has been made even more difficult recently because the new flash cards have been extremely well-received with sales outpacing the old tins in the few stores where they’ve been available.  Nonetheless, I’ve decided to end my adventures with mocobabies.

It’s been almost eight years of amazing success building and growing my business.  I have learned a lot, met amazing people, celebrated successes and improved after each mistake.

I’ve reveled in the sense of accomplishment that comes from the strain of much hard work and, also, grumbled about the long hours.

I’ve cherished the gift of time and flexibility that having my own business has given me with my children, while also stressing about never having enough time to get everything done.

I’ve enjoyed tremendous support from family and friends while also working to not internalize negativity from those that have a different idea of success and assumed I just played on the computer all day.

But, that is the brilliance of it – of anything in life, really – the trials and grumbles are what make you appreciate the successes, both big and small.

I will always keep close the feeling of pride when the order finally came in from what would be my biggest retailer, a store I had been coveting for months; the emails and phone calls from customers telling me how much they loved my products; growing to the point where I could no longer manufacture the flash cards myself; meeting some of the most amazing, helpful and supportive people, and, most importantly, being able to share day-to-day moments with my kids that a 9-5 job wouldn’t have allowed me to be a part of.

But, it’s time to say goodbye. My heart just isn’t in it anymore. I have had so many plans for mocobabies but, for lots of reasons, they have remained just ideas. It’s been these ideas though, along with my stubbornness and sentimentality, that have kept mocobabies going but since making the decision to close I feel like a weight has lifted.

I can’t thank everyone who has supported me enough. I have an amazing family (parents who helped me cut and corner thousands of laminated flash cards), supportive friends, and THE most amazing customers.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Filed under Business, Learning, Life, motherhood

Dr. Seuss Reinforces Respect

I have always loved reading.  I still have copies of my favourite childhood books and enjoy nothing more than being immersed in a great story, the characters becoming friends as you turn the page and lose yourself in another world.

Reading with my kids was something I started to look forward to as soon as I knew we were expecting.

Jackson and I used to have book time where we would lie on his bedroom floor reading, signing and looking at the pictures. Unfortunately,  Lily and I didn’t have quite the same quality of one-on-one reading time because, well, she had a two-year old brother.

I remember looking forward to Lily growing into her big-girl bed, thinking that I would finally have my special book time with her.  I had dreams of us reading together, laughing and cuddling until her heavy eyes would finally give in to sleep.  But, dreams are made to be broken and my little girl, who went to sleep without a peep in her crib, became the Beast of the Big Bed.  The time we could have spent reading and solidifying our mother-daughter bond was spent in a stand-off of gnashing teeth and primeval grunting until one of us fell into a heap of sweating desperation.  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t all that bad but it wasn’t the rainbows I’d hoped for.

It’s been a couple of years since our nighttime battles and I now have the story-time I’d dreamed of — most nights, anyway.

Last night I was reading Sneetches by Dr. Seuss to Lily and was shocked when Jackson asked me to read it to him as well.  Usually Jackson and I will sit together to quietly read our own books so I jumped at the chance to go back in time before anything other than a chapter book was too ‘baby’.

At the end of the story I looked at Jack and told him that Sneetches was one of my favourite Dr. Seuss books, “I think it’s a really important one too, especially right now.”  Without a second thought he replied, “Yeah, it doesn’t matter if we’re different from someone else, we should always show respect.  So what if one Sneetch has a star on their belly, right?  You should respect everyone.”

With that, I thanked Dr. Seuss for giving us stories like A Wocket In My Pocket to just have fun and be silly with while also offering books like The Sneetches and Horton Hears a Who that are still fun, but, should we decide to, can be used as a springboard for much bigger conversations.

It makes me happy to picture my kids, years down the road, looking at their own bookshelves, seeing The Sneetches sitting there with its spine torn and ragged from years of reading.

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Filed under kids, Learning, Life, Uncategorized

Heart? Exploding.

The ring of our home phone pulled me away from what I was working on.  I grumbled as I looked at the call display thinking that I would have to head to school to pick up a sick child – my solitary work time done for the day.

My daughter’s senior kindergarten teacher was on the line, but she wasn’t asking me to pick Lily up.  Instead she was telling me, obviously very excited, how incredible the improvement that she’s seeing in Lily and her ability to recognize letters.

Happiness exploded from my every pore.

Lily has worked so hard through her speech delay and subsequent difficulties with letters – I can’t put into words the pride I felt talking to her teacher.

After school, the kids and I were playing in the backyard.  Lily went into the house while I gave Jack one last spin on the snow-covered swing.  He made a big-brother-seven-year-old-boy comment about how he could beat Lily in a fight.  I smiled knowing that Lily would be able to hold her own in his imaginary fight.  Still smiling, I leaned down and kissed his nose.  Nodding towards the house I quietly said, “Don’t dismiss your sister.  You should never dismiss anyone but it would be a big mistake to dismiss that little girl in there.”  It was obvious from his expression that he didn’t understand and didn’t want to discuss it any further.  And, I knew he wouldn’t grasp that my words had nothing to do with his being physically stronger.

Maybe it’s because I felt the sting each time someone tried to force words from Lily that she wasn’t able to say yet.  I would deflate with her as I watched her withdraw, not wanting to try for fear of getting it wrong again.  I held my breath when someone said ‘huh, you can actually see her personality now that she’s talking a little’ when Lily was more than three years old.   Maybe it’s all of these things that made me want to scream from the rooftop, ‘do not dismiss my kid!’ after a five minute phone call with her teacher.

Don’t dismiss anyone – each one of us is capable of boundless amounts of awesome.

I have a hard time getting through this video without getting a lump in my throat – this two-minute clip illustrates the vast capacity for awesome we all have.

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Filed under Learning