Because I am a Girl

Last year, I heard about Plan Canada’s new campaign called Because I am a Girl and it immediately struck a chord. Probably because I have two girls who are blessed to have such wonderful lives and I want them to know that they can help other girls who were not born into the same circumstances. I want them to know they can make a difference, now.

So, at first, they were selling these really cool t-shirts and I was all over it!

Morgan loves her shirt!

Then, we followed along on the Because I am a Girl website learning about girls issues worldwide. Next, my friend Heather, who we’re virtually stalking, I mean following around the globe teamed up with Because I am a Girl to raise awareness on her journey. Coincidence? I think not. This is fate! Fate I tell you. So, the girls and I are on it.

The beauty of Because I am a Girl, is that is aims to mobilize our youth by giving them ways to empower themselves and others through easy to run fundraisers. The girls have decided they are going to run a Pink LemonAid Stand on August 13th, the weekend our local fair is in town and our streets are lined with cars. Mwahahahaha, I may have guided them with the timing just a bit. I’ve also ordered t-shirts for myself and Ava and adorable little necklaces. Go Team! My husband has been put on notice that he needs to build a lemonade stand and we’ve ordered our promotional material from Plan Canada. We are totally going to rock this.

We’ve also set up a fundraising page, so that anyone can help contribute. *Ahem* Hint, hint.

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River Walk

So, Heather and her family went for a river walk yesterday. I thought, “Well, I can do that!” We have a river. We can walk. Easy peasy.

I take this news to the girls. “Girls,” I say with tons of enthusiasm, “we’re going for a river walk today!” This is what I get:

“But Mommmm, whine, whine, whine, it’s too hot”
“Whine, whine, whine, the pool”
“Borrring, whine, whine, whine, whine”

It’s at this point, I’m just a teensy bit grateful that I’m only making this trip virtually and not actually taking them around the globe. Ahhhh, Heather, you are my hero.

“Tough”, I declare. “You’re not going to spend your summer lazing in our backyard. We’re going to get out and do things. See things. Explore. Besides I’ve made a commitment to myself and to Heather that I would do this and I am not giving up on Day 5. Do you understand me? So, put on your happy face and running shoes and let’s get going. When we get back here and we’re all hot and sweaty from our hike you can run in the backyard and jump in the pool with your clothes on.”

For some reason, the thought of jumping in the pool with their clothes on motivates them. Honestly, there is just no telling what will move your children.

We’re pretty lucky to have the Ottawa River so close by and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never taken the time to walk along it.

Heading towards the Ottawa River

I decide to park the car along the Aviation Parkway and start our trek there. The land along here is NCC land and it impeccably maintained and scenic beyond words. I’m feeling more than embarrassed that I’ve never done this now, I’m feeling guilty. I remind myself we need to take advantage of this more often. I promise the girls we’ll bring the bikes next time and take advantage of the incredible bike trails.

The breeze off the water was a nice relief in the heat

We find lots of beautiful little flowers and walking sticks. We search for skipping stones. We pick up garbage to dispose of later, a sad reminder of the damage we do to our planet. We sit and have a snack and talk about silly things.

Anything under those rocks?

Despite the whining and resistance in the beginning the girls had a great time. My six year old grabbed my hand on the way back to the car and said “Thank you Mommy, that was so fun”. I can’t help but grin. In the end our river walk was a huge success. I’m just glad it wasn’t a river dance, because rhythm and I were never tight. If you have a river near you, go take a walk by it and see what you can find. No river? Creeks, tributaries, lakes, oceans, seas, ponds, marshes, and streams are lovely substitutes. Get out today and enjoy it!

As promised.....

...jumping into pool with clothes on

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Meet the Davis Family

A little over a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting Heather Greenwood Davis through Twitter and mutual friends. It felt like finding a long lost friend. Heather is smart, funny, sweet, part of my running gang, did I say smart? She is also leaving…..for a year…to travel the globe. What? But I just found Heather and now she’s leaving? Noooooooooo. It’s simply too much to cope with, so I’ve decided I’m going with her. Surprise Heather! I’ll see you in Winnipeg, our first stop.

Kidding. Sort of. As it happens I’m a chronic over packer so I couldn’t actually get it down to one suitcase per person to join them as much as I tried. There was also the small matter of *ahem* finances. So, in the interest of simplicity and my hurting credit card, I’ve decided the Derickx family will join the Davis family….virtually. Woo hoo!!!

Saying Goodbye

We’re going to miss Heather, Ish, Ethan and Cameron, but we’re really looking forward to following them. We’ve printed off a picture of the Davis Clan and placed it on cardboard. On the back we’ve placed sticky tack. As they move around the world we’ll move their picture on our map. At each stop they make, we’re going to learn about the destination. We’re going to try different foods, dabble in a little language and get educated with some great history and current events. We’re also going to focus on children’s issues in each country. I encourage you to please have your kids join us on this journey and to help us find ways to experience a round the world trip…virtually. It’s a great way to learn about our great big neighbourhood. Heather’s two fabulous boys, Ethan and Cameron, will be sharing their journey with us on Heather’s website and will be able to keep in touch with my kids and yours via the world wide web. How cool is that?

Join the Journey

First and foremost, make sure you bookmark Heather’s fabulous site, Globetrotting Mama. Go there daily to read about the trip of a lifetime and live vicariously through Heather. Next, check out my new website, Life in Pleasantville. From there you’ll be able to see how we circle the globe, dressed in our pajamas a good portion of the time. I’ll be posting recipes from around the world, and blogging about our journey. Join us both please. The doer and the dreamer.

Ok, I have to go book a spa appointment now because I know Heather has a spa day coming up soon. The things I do for my friends.

See you in Pleasantville.

(originally published June 30, 2011 under See Mummy Juggle at Yummy Mummy Club)

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