Self-Care: The Physical Exercise Edition

So anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m not a huge fan of structured exercise or organized sports.  To put it bluntly I’ve avoided it like the plaque for many years…and my muscle tone in my arms has been fairly non-existent for many years.  When I moved to Thessalon in 2010 I knew I limited number of people and was looking for activities I could do locally — so I took up running.


This lasted for about a year and then I fell off the wagon…and dived into a unhealthy gluten binge phase but that’s another story.  This past fall I joined the gym on campus and I’m impressed with myself for actually sticking to my goals and going regularly. I usually go a few times a week during my lunch break- it’s not a huge amount of exercise but it’s something.  Going during lunch is partially for the convenience of fitting it into my schedule with commuting but it’s also a good activity that forces me to take a lunch and get away from my desk.

Exercise is routinely mentioned when people talk about self-care and academics.  Self-care is important for those engaged in any type of work but perhaps doubly so when you’re engaged in emotionally draining or emotionally charged work.  For me exercise has become something that allows me to take a break, to stop worrying about ongoing projects, and just take a step back.  It’s also a good opportunity for me to think through problems that require dedicated time.  I’m also slightly crazy proud of the fact that I’ve stuck with this for about nine months so far and I hope to keep it up in the months ahead.  And when I flex you can actually see muscle now.  It’s a miracle! Now if I could just keep up with Little Miss….

Science North – The Child Edition

Cross-posted from Krista’s public history blog Historical Reminiscents

I’m definitely more of a history buff than a science person, but as you might have guessed by the numerous times I’ve written about it I think Science North is a pretty awesome place.  It’s rarely crazy busy, encourages hands on learning, and is a perfect size to cover in an afternoon.  This past weekend my partner and I teamed up with some relatives and visited Science North with our daughter for the first time.

This was our daughter’s first foray into any time of museum, gallery, or science centre.  Our visit went pretty well – she’s only 1.5 years so her favourite parts were walking up the ramp, a sketch of a dog, the glass elevator, balls, and the water table.  She also liked the toddler specific areas that had toys geared to her size.  I imagine in a short time she will be loving Science North for completely different reasons.  Some of the highlights for me this time around were the Bufferfly Gallery and a couple of the hands on learn about the physical body exhibits on the third floor.

I was also really impressed with Imaginate, the special exhibit that is currently in the lobby of Science North.  Developed by the Ontario Science Centre Imaginate is all about innovation, seeing ideas come to life, and hands on learning.  It was great to see all the creative ideas that children and other visitors had created and were now part of the exhibit itself.  I loved the sound panel area where visitors could create a personal soundscape using touch panels. There was also a really interesting piece of interactive art at the entrance to Imaginate that invited users to hold onto sensor bars and the visuals in the sculpture then adapted to their heartbeat.

Overall this was another great visit to a place I love.  I’m looking forward to future visits as my daughter grows and watching the ways in which she interacts with museums, galleries, and science centres changes over the years.

Update: Travels and Social Media

Nearly a month has gone by since my last post – apparently we’ve been busy.  What have we been up to?  Traveling, playing in the snow, playing outside in what looked like the beginnings of Spring, fighting seemingly never ending colds, and trying to stay afloat. Here are some of the highlights:

  • In March I traveled to Baltimore to attend the National Council on Public History conference.  This is my favorite history related conference and my trip was full of inspiring conversations, learning, and public history goodness.  As per usual I wrote about this experience over on Historical Reminiscents, my history related site.
  • While I was away in Baltimore Andrew and Little Miss spent some time out at Basswood Lake and enjoyed quality cousin time.  Little Miss started to master the uneven surfaces of outside while there and is now running circles in our yard at home.
  • I’ve been learning how to wrangle Wikipedia entries.  At work I’ve been updating and creating new pages associated with our archival fonds.
  • I’ve also had the chance to setup social media accounts for the archives at work.  I have lots of experience using Facebook and Twitter as promotion tools so have continued using those, but also setup a Tumblr account as part of this process.  Thankfully one of my colleagues has been really helpful in explaining some of the best ways to use Tumblr and manage visual content on that site.
  • Little Miss is starting to get a ton of words.  We went on a walk the other day and she was chatting away about trees.  She was also running toward every puddle in sight. Fun times.

The Critters

Around our home we have a couple of pets who keep us entertained and sometimes keep our feet warm on a cold night. As they are cats they also help keep our previously mouse infested home somewhat less covered in mouse dirt.  The first cat we got was found through an ad on Kijiji.  The owners were moving to a new home that wouldn’t accommodate their 3 cats so they were giving them away.  The other two had already found their new homes when we went to meet “Kaley”.  While there we happened to notice a sign on a door in their home.  “Please keep bathroom door closed or cat will poop in shower”.  Hmm this could be interesting we thought.  After we brought the cat home we didn’t really feel the name Kaley suited her.  Krista and I couldn’t help but notice the cat’s well fed girth so she ended up with the nickname Chub Chub.  Eventually that was shortened to CC and that’s been her name ever since.  Oh, and yes, she is the cat that poops in the shower… once in a while when she feels the need to let us know she isn’t pleased.

A few years later we were visiting Krista’s parent’s farm where they have a continuous stream of new barn cats being born at any given time.  This particular visit there was a litter that included a little gray runt with a funny high pitched meow.  The barn cats are often given table scraps to eat and one day while we were there a plate covered in bacon grease was left out for the cats.  The little gray one decided that a good roll on the plate was what she needed and for weeks following she smelled like bacon.  On our next trip down to visit we decided to take that little cat home and she’s been known as Bacon ever since.

So there you have it, the story of CC and Bacon, the cats of Oslicken Acres.

Traveling With a Little One

Since Little Miss has been born we’ve traveled to Ottawa, Southern Ontario, Red Rock, Buffalo, London, and gone camping a few times.  The addition of one small human being to our family seems to exponentially complicate packing and travel.

Things we have forgotten to pack on various occasions:

  • The pack n’ play.  Also known as Little Miss’ travel bed.  Thankfully when we forgot this crucial item we were merely staying 15 minutes from home and could retrieve it without too much hassle.
  • Pajamas for Little Miss.
  • Baby spoons.
  • Toys.
  • Bedtime cream, bedtime books, and other items that have become integrated into her bedtime routine.
  • Baby carrier/wrap.
  • The cord for the breast pump.  This item isn’t so useful when you can’t plug it in.
  • That time when I only packed one heavy sweater for Little Miss and the whole trip ended up being cold…and there were no laundry facilities.

I figure we manage to fit all three of us and most of the baby gear into the car we’re doing well.  Most of the extras can be bought or done without.  Though having can make life a whole lot easier. These days I seem to permanently have a nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something.

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