A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

About 15 years ago, Sara celebrated Rebekah's first birthday - then found a present of her own, she went out and met me! I was out celebrating too - my birthday.  Ever since then, Rebekah and I have been sharing birthday parties.

Rebekah is 16!

Except this past weekend... to celebrate #16, Sara and Rebekah went to Toronto to visit a friend, and go shopping! I got to stay home with the other two and work on the damned basement - and work on the gardens.  yay for me (no really - it was good!)

You'll like them until they become teenagers...

That's what one of the guys at work used to tell me...  He had girls too, and told me - one day you're going to wake up, and you're not going to really like 'em much anymore! (in a heavy southern drawl) 

Not sure WHEN it happened, but it HAS happened - probably over the course of the past 5 years, where we dragged her from country to country, all while I was travelling 70% of the time.  Being away so much during her formative years, probably didn't help...  Of course I still love her - but she makes it very difficult sometimes.   

And of course I'm that dad who thinks she wears too much makeup, clothes are too small, has too much perfume on, room is always a mess...grrrrrrrrrrrrr.  But i'm slowly trying to adjust... I have two more girls, and will have to do it all over again...so better get used to it.

It wasn't always that way, we spent a lot of time together when she was younger.

The younger years...Ottawa

Here we are at the Rideau Canal, getting ready for a skate - I think she was maybe 4!  

There she is... at age 5, getting ready for her first day of school when we lived in Vanier.  When she was even smaller than that, I used to take her to the parks all the time - and she would play, but lots of times - just sit back and watch the other kids.  But she never wanted to leave, and used to throw a huge fit - I'd have to bribe her with gum, just to get her into the bike seat! (something I would never do anymore with other two...older, wiser...)

Always had the attitude though.  We'd get called in by the teacher at every school she went to... talks too much, disrupts the class...   
But somehow still managed to get good grades.

Richmond, VA

When we moved to Richmond, her teacher had the nerve to tell us her class was full of perfect little angels - til Rebekah came in to disrupt the mix!?!?  In a later year, she did a pro-gay marriage report (her own idea) and was lectured by her teacher about why her opinion was wrong! WTF Richmond...

But she always outgoing - went around selling rocks door-to-door our first day there, and helped us get to know the neighbours!  I'm not sure how she'll remember of Richmond, other than the shopping.  

Then we moved to Dresden.  She was 12.  Probably not the best timing...  She had new found freedom, and could take the light rail system to school and all over the city - something that you couldn't do in Richmond.  We wanted her to explore, and get to know another culture - but she took it a little too far - too fast.  Don't need to go into all the gory details, but I can tell you that at one point - I did pull off her 9 foot high double doors to make sure she didn't slip out...

After a little tough love, it finally did settle down.  She was able to make some great friends - like Alexandra here, whom she misses a whole bunch, and wants to go back to visit.   She was able to pick up German pretty well, and loved hanging out at Subway of all places.

It was a difficult 2 years for us in Germany, but I think she will look back and have good memories of Germany - she liked the euro style of living, don't think she's much for the suburban crap that we're in now.

Back to Canada...
So coming home has been a bit of a challenge.  Going to high school in the country (while living in the city ... I don't get it either), has been boring for her I think, after living abroad and seeing/doing so many things.  Luckily she was recently accepted to Glebe, so will be bussing it downtown for school - you might think I'd be worried about that - but after what happened in Germany - it's all tame in comparison.  Not that I think she's an angel by any means, but I don't think she wants to repeat those mistakes.

I blame living in Richmond for this next video clip.  Nobody in Canada (other than the Catholics) does Cheerleading.  I still don't get why she liked doing it - seems so out of character for her.

She works a lot now, and isn't around very much when she isn't.  Doesn't want to have much to do with us... she has little interest in the things we do with the other two, and I can see why - she's not 6 anymore.

She's 16... and wants to drive my car.

Happy Birthday kid.

6 Response to "Some birthday present!"

  1. xup Said,

    I think she's wearing too much make-up in that one photo, too! Mine's 16 as well and it really can be difficult at times, but I think the key is never to stop parenting. They're chomping at the bit for more freedom; to get to do anything they want, but they're still kids and they need to know you're there with some boundaries for them. It helps make them feel safe and loved and gives them a feeling of security in these chaotic, confusing teenaged years. You go, Dad.


  2. mare ad mare Said,

    Thanks for the Bday wishes!

    XUP - she's a bit better with the makeup now (that pic is 2 years old) but still looks like she's trying to look older... and completely agree with you on the boundaries deal! Taking it one day at a time.


  3. meanie Said,

    i'm not sure how i will handle the teenage years.....i suspect my mother is quite sadistically looking forward to seeing how i will do.


  4. mare ad mare Said,

    I hope to be doing contract work and traveling 80% of the time ;-)


  5. Haley-O Said,

    Oh, you in trouble now!! Happy sweet 16!


    About Me

    My photo
    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!