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Ottawa has been a part of my life for more than eight years now, beginning when Derek moved here in August 2002. In the three years before we got married, I cannot count how many times I made the three hour journey from there to here. I have called this place "home for now" for more than five years. And yet, in all that time, in all the Novembers I have either visited or lived here, we have never made it down to the national war memorial for Remembrance Day. Ottawa puts on a mighty fine show for the soldiers past and present. It's something I'm ashamed to say I've never seen. November 2005 and 2006 were just too cold to go and at 11:00 in the morning it was way too early for our childless, night owl, sleep loving kind selves. In 2007 there was no guarantee that I would throw up on a couple veterans due to the little parasite I had growing in my belly. Our excuse for 2008 and 2009 is that it was way too cold for Ingrid being so little, especially in that first year when she was only four months old. And, really, it was cold.

This year, it was a beautiful 10 degrees and Ingrid is a hardy, almost 2.5 year old. And the chances of me spraying down the place in pregnancy vomit was pretty slim. So why didn't we make it this year? Beats me. If ever there was a year to do it this was it and we blew it.

Instead, we went outside and racked the leaves in the front yard and did some driveway chalking.

Sidenote: With the exception of federal offices, nothing is closed in Ontario and Quebec for Remembrance Day. Ingrid's daycare provider said the province decided years ago to stop the holiday because people weren't observing it they way it was intended to be. Most people just took it as a day off work to go shopping. So now they just "touch on it" in school and carry on as a regular working day. I think that's disgraceful and so very disrespectful. All those men and women fought and continue to fight for our freedom. Freedom to take a day out of your life and do whatever the hell you want to do with it, even if that means taking your child to the mall. Just because Derek had the day off and we didn't go to the Remembrance Day ceremony doesn't mean we weren't vigilant about it.