I am doing my best to raise my son and stepdaughter with a sense of wonder and an appreciation for adventure. No, we don’t take off to exotic locales (usually), but instead find adventures and fun within our means. It’s nice to read about families that take off to backpack through countries newly-renamed risking life and limb, but if you’re like me you’d like to know what you yourself can do, here and now. I try to inspire others by writing about what adventures we have and how we manage – also with some day-to-day coping thrown in. Even adventurers have to cook, clean, and deal with kids who don’t go to sleep when Mommy says to.
I’m Melanie – hi, and pleased to make your acquaintance. I’m a no-longer-single mom living in Burnaby, BC. For those of you who don’t know where that is, we’re in the Vancouver general area. My son Cameron and I moved in with my partner Leif and his daughter Kate last summer, and we’re gradually defining our own family. So you’ll see lots about blending families here.
Cameron is with us full-time, as his original father is completely uninvolved. Kate spends usually a week with us, then a week with her mother.
I am a biologist, with background in microbial evolution and genetics. I’m now the Laboratory Manager and Administrator for a well-known biomedical research centre.
Before I was a mommy, and hopefully in the near future again, I enjoyed rock climbing both indoors and out, hiking, snowboarding, cross country skiing, beach volleyball, kayaking, sailing, bike commuting (okay I didn’t enjoy that one so much as just did it), and pottery.
Cameron is a wonderful, charming seven year old. He’s got more energy than he knows what to do with, and his brain seems to be going in circles and zigzags in ten different directions at once. All. The. Time. He’s got some serious ability to focus going on when he wants to, and can be quite driven to succeed. Like most primary-graders, he likes to run and climb and jump and be silly and get his own way. He talks on and on about what he’ll invent when he’s a grown-up, detailing what buttons and gizmos the thing will have. He’s incredibly social and loves nothing more than going to the neighbour’s to play, though he has a lot to learn about social interactions still, which is proving to be a bit of a challenge where friends his age are concerned. He’s determined to do things himself even if he doesn’t know how, which is fine when it’s reading, not so fine when it’s swimming or cooking.
Kate (who would rather be called Katherine) is a sweet and excited nine year old, who is trying to work out just who she is. She’s torn, I think, between wanting to stay a little girl and do little girl things, and wanting to be a big girl already and get to do all the fun things she sees the older kids doing. Throw in dealing with bouncing between two households and one of them having a lot of recent changes and new dynamics, and the typical social aspects of being her age, and she’s having a tough time. But all that aside, she’s a very lovely girl, who enjoys being silly and having fun. Like many other girls, she tries to be in charge, and gets frustrated with the thin line between being assertive and being bossy. Kate loves pretty and sparkly things, and lately loves a light shade of purple.
Leif is awesome. There’s just no other way to put it, though it makes him uncomfortable I think when I tell him this. He’s got a quiet but quirky sense of humour. He’s insanely active, doing boot camps, playing hockey for two teams, plus various drop-in sports with friends. He has the best way of looking at me, ever, and he does little (and big) things constantly to make me happy. I probably don’t let him know often enough how much I appreciate him. Leif is a fabulous parent, and is clearly the centre of Kate’s world. Slowly, Cameron is starting to see him as his father – not something I was exactly looking for, but I’m so glad to watch it happen.