Saturday, December 21, 2013

Unsuccessful weeks

Lately I've been feeling frustrated.  The kids have been spending a lot of time inside, making huge irritating messes, my son's asthma has been flaring up with a vengeance, meaning he is having trouble spending time outside . The attacks ratchet up his anxiety and his grumpiness, which increases his less desirable behaviours. I'm waking up feeling like I've run a marathon in my sleep (frankly the only way I will ever run one).  I'm cranky and snappy, and even acknowledging and trying to control my bitchiness isn't helping.  I've come to loathe Christmas and preparing for it isn't helping.  So much stress about  family that doesn't like each other,and where will we gather, what about presents, and shopping! Gah! People. Everywhere. Bumping. Pushing.So loud.  It's not for me.  I lack any religious affinity for Christmas, so the whole thing is becoming a high pressured money and emotional suck for me.  I wanted to pack up the kids and drive south the second school got out on Thursday.  Then I remembered that we had a year where no breadwinning income came in for 7 months . Yeah. And so I didn't pack the car and flee the madness
I can't wait for it to be over, and that makes me sad because I remember how excited I was as a kid, and I wonder what's wrong with me.  
I can't even come up with a parenting success recently. So I've had nothing good to report for weeks.  
Wait. My 4 yo baked for one of his teachers. And I let him.  Well, I did the in and out of the oven parts    I guess that counts. He made fortune cookies as one of the things for his teacher and came up with the things to say, completely on his own. I helped him spell, but I didn't correct his handwriting. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ouac navigated!

Parenting success : after much deliberation and research, I helped my oldest son apply to his top university programs of choice.  Number one was a full French program, math and teaching. 
So yay! Success! 🎉
  One child ready to soar on the wings we've helped grow
(I hope he gets in!)

And then I hugged him, and said I was proud he'd made his decisions. Then I went upstairs to lay down with my youngest to help him fall asleep, and cried while writing this blog post. Which is ridiculous.  But whatever.  
 Here he is, way back at 21 months 

Friday, November 8, 2013

A good morning

Not gonna lie.  Most mornings trying to get my youngest up and out the door are less than stellar.  
If you looked up difficult in the dictionary, there's a good chance it says "getting z motivated and ready for school in the morning"
But yesterday he magically woke up without crying! Then he ate his breakfast! And he was so excited that he ran to the kitchen where I was making lunches, bowl in hand.  A glass bowl.  As he ran he was twisting the bowl with pride, showing me the emptiness of it.   And then, like a missile, it shot from his hands ( that's why we don't run with bowls!) bounced off the cabinet, ricocheted and slammed into the side of my ankle so hard that I screamed loud enough that the teen in my upstairs bathroom checked to see if I was ok. I truly thought my ankle was broken. 
There is a dent there, where my bone used to stick out. That's what passes for a good morning here.   Kid you not.  This is the bowl that attacked me.  Not even a dent.  Unlike my ankle .

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wild Kratt bat costume

Finally completed! Shortage of black material here so close to Halloween, so we went with grey

'Twas the night before Halloween...

'Twas the night before Halloween and all through the house, no one was sleeping, (except Dad on the couch). The pumpkins weren't carved, and the costumes unfinished, this crazy mom just hadn't a minute....
There I sat, with glue gun dangling, from the little one's room came soft distant singing and banging . It started off low and louder did grow.  
This duet of medley, lead by my 4year old...

"It's got mountains, it's got rivers, it's got sights that make you shiver, but it sure would be prettier with you... You're gonna miss me by my walk, you're gonna miss me by my taco (talk-oh)"
Accompanying him, was his 7 yo sister tapping a cup on the desk next to her bed.  
What I thought in my head that's so cute! What I yelled was more like
"Anyone who thinks they are trick or treating tomorrow night, might want to zip it up there!" 

Parenting success: Co operative play between my children. Props for spontaneity, maybe they can start a flash mob some day.   
Parenting Fail: Inability to bend them to my will and make them sleep.

Monday, October 21, 2013


 Success: I didn't hide in a closet crying today instead of momming up.  Though I wanted to.  Momming up is akin to the phrase "manning up/ man up" but for moms of every variety who have wanted to run and hide... But didn't (or can't. Whatever) and trudged on through whiny sticky days ...

You know how as a parent sometimes you have great days, or good days, or even mediocre days? And sometimes you don't? I'm currently in a phase where I'm not having great days.  I've been having less than stellar parenting days for the last week roughly.  
Maybe it's the season change. Perhaps my offspring love time outs.Could be a contest my kids are having to see who can make me crack first.  I don't know. All I can say kids, is that if you are trying to make me want to run away and join the circus... Well , I've got tripadvisor open in another tab. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Parenting success

It turns out that coming up with a successful parenting thing every day isn't that easy. But today was more of a vague thing-  I was proud  that my daughter ran in the cross country meet,and that her focus was on fun, rather than the place that she came in. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Walk in the woods

This morning we had a playdate cancel due to illness, which left me wondering what to do. Z asked to go to the park, so we went there, but it was wet from the heavy dew overnight .So wet that our attempts to use the swings made it rain dew onto us from the overhead bar.
My little guy is not a fan of being soaked, so we went for a trail walk instead.
This turned out to be my parenting success for the day
Success: One happy boy, exploring trees, leaves, finding bug habitats and soaking up the sounds of the forest.
His love of "Wild Kratts" had him on the lookout for any place where creatures might have made a home. From a colony of pill bugs crawling in and out from under the bark of a fallen log, to a squirrel's nest high in the trees. He was excited by each new find, though he was also convinced that the tiny bug holes in the trees meant that the forest was suffering from alien beetle invasion (emerald ash borer ).  The rain earlier in the week buried parts of the trail under mud and water, but we didn't mind. It just meant that we took a few less  travelled paths on our way through the forest loop. The fallen leaves were so vibrant, and plentiful in places that I'm not sure we were even on the marked paths the whole time.
It really was a fabulous morning for a walk in the woods, making me wonder-"Why don't we do that more often?"

Monday, October 7, 2013

Baking success.

Success: I let my son help me bake. And I actually let him do it all.
Failure: I ate cream cheese icing without Lactaid first...

There are a lot of days where it doesn't seem like I'm doing anything worthwhile as a parent. I'm sure I raise my voice too much, rush the kids through fun things, take too long doing boring things we have to do, and so on.   But on the weekend, my husband wasn't feeling well and wanted to chill on the couch watching a show on Netflix. ( admittedly this is his favourite thing to do).  Our youngest was feeling restless and it was raining, so I decided to bake and use up the pumpkin I had in my fridge. This led to a parenting success for me.
I normally don't really enjoy when the kids help me in the kitchen. Because I like to just get in there, get my recipe done, and get on with whatever other million things I need to do.
But I thought, two birds with one stone. Amuse our youngest and use up our pumpkin at the same time.
So I asked Z to wash his hands, get a stool and meet me at the cutting board drawer.  You should have seen his face light up. He washed his hands and raced off to get the stool ready.
Then to his delight, I let him put in everything. Every. single. ingredient.
Yes, yes, it did make it take longer to prepare the batter. But he cracked all four eggs with careful concentration, added the other ingredients, and also listened to the instructions when they called for gentle stirring of powdered ingredients, vs the blending of everything else.  And he was proud.
I let him decide on the final ingredient additions, nuts, no raisins- and a handful of chocolate chips. And the pan sizes- he opted for 1 loaf, 12 large muffins and a panful of minis.
 He was so excited, racing out when the timer went off to check for doneness.
I let him have the first taste of a muffin, and he declared them delicious.Though he wanted them with cream cheese icing, and I thank my friend Kim S for tipping me off to the scrumptiousness that is Pioneer Woman's carrot cake icing. (well, it's really her mom's friend Sigrid's if I recall correctly)
This is the recipe we used for the bread:    although I substituted lactose free milk for the evaporated milk, and we pretty much doubled the cinnamon, tossed in some vanilla, allspice and nutmeg, ginger. ( I was missing some of the spices it called for so I subbed in what I could). Last time I made this I added raisins, it was good. This time I chopped up almonds. Also good!
And then we used Pioneer Woman's Cream cheese icing, from "Sigrid's carrot cake" recipe, for people who wanted icing. It's really delicious.  The icing instructions are after the carrot cake instructions. Also tasty.

I'm not going to pretend to be a food photographer,  but here is a snapshot of our final product-

Friday, October 4, 2013

Questionable Success OCT 4

Success: Despite being awake all night last night, I stayed awake all day and remembered to feed and take kids to school, and to pick them up.

What? Like that doesn't count? It counts. I  even made meals and stuff.
So, maybe as a success, that's a bit questionable. But, whatever. I need the back pat. I'm exhausted. Yay me.

One month and still sick!

It has been a month since we first welcomed this flu/cold/never ending cough into our home.
I'm back to administering a puffer to Z every few hours because his coughing is outrageous, and I'm a little tired of cleaning up vomit every evening after his worst coughing fits.
 B seems like she is getting better, but frankly I'm worried about the track meet this week for her.
After I worked out, I was convinced I could hear something squeaking in the house. It turned out to be me, breathing.  It sounded like I was breathing through a tiny straw.
Total of sick days taken by kids 5. Sick days of spouse? 3 where he was too ill to do anything at all.
I don't know what this illness is officially, but I can tell you it's been a pain in my ***!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

This one's a draw.

Today's success: We were on time for school, and although my youngest was sniffling when I said goodbye, he went willingly to join the name hunt activity his class was doing. And then I learned later from his planning time teacher that he put his hand up and was participating. YAY!   so...all kids out the door, and at school on time.
Failure: Child number three called home sick at lunchtime. Sigh. Can't win 'em all.

On the bright side it's 26 degrees in October! So lovely out.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Success #3

Success: Two kids out the door in time to walk to school, and one that made the bus!
Fail: One child so miserably difficult this morning that it's a good thing the second youngest made the bus, there is no way I could have gotten him out the door in time to drive her.
Luckily, the day improved. 
It was a miracle, since he fell asleep over an hour late last night, tossed and turned all night, and then was fully awake by 6:15 this morning. He had such dark circles it looked like he'd gone several rounds in a boxing ring. 
But, once everyone was out the door, he became a lot easier to deal with. He wasn't feeling frazzled by the morning rush by then.  We had breakfast and then I cleaned the garage with his help while he rode his bike and scooter and we played outside with the art easel, and then weeded the yard. We also discovered 7 raspberries that had ripened on our canes. SHHH don't tell the others, we washed and ate them, still warm from the sun. 
Then, he was as good as...well someone's else's well behaved child -when we met a friend for coffee! After lunch and a Wild Kratt's break, he asked if we could pick apples. I was feeling tired, but it was 26 degrees, in October. How could I say no?
I'm glad I said yes. Because that was his shining moment of the day. He was so excited that when someone asked him if he'd gone on vacation this summer, he responded with, "I got to pick apples!"  (Yes, clearly that PEI money was well spent ). 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Success #2

Parenting success: I remembered to wash a load of stuffed animals that they mentioned smelled stale and that they wished daddy would wash.  They were both very happy to come home to fresh fluffy friends. Yay me!

Today's non-success. (I've decided failure is too harsh):  Bedtime. Sleep has not been achieved after 1 hour. 
It was not a great day overall, in terms of kids' behaviour.   My little grump woke up in an unpredictable mood and was a devil to keep moving and getting ready for school.  Even now, 15 hours after he woke  up, he's still awake. He had school and then played at the park for an hour and half before dinner and then we played outside  again after dinner. He should be asleep.  He is not.  He is driving me, and his sister,  absolutely teeth grittingly, batty.    "Mom, do termites have ears?  ". Me "shh".  
"  Mom, wouldn't it be weird if during feu rouge, feu verts, people still went even on the rouge?"
Me. Yes weird. Now, Shhhhhh!!!!
"Mom, guess what happened at school today?" 
Me *screaming in my head*
And his sister shouting from her bed "be quiet!!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Parenting success. Day 1

Parenting success: I did french braided pig tails for my daughter.
Parenting failure: I accidentally deleted the photo I took of my first successful attempt

Go ahead. Laugh. Feel smug.  Braiding. Big deal you say.   But my daughter has super straight, resistant to styling hair. Truth.
She can't even keep pigtails in throughout the day, they eventually slide out-  and anyone who has seen me knows that my hair is the opposite. It's just plain crazy and resists any attempts to be neat. How we have two such opposite hair types, I will never know.  But today, I did it! She left the house with her hair in two neat braided lines from the top of her head.
Yay me. Hey, if we parents don't pat our own backs, who will?

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Note to future travellers headed to the maritimes- it's not Southern Ontario- Fill up on gas when you are in a city. Some places seem to have no gas stations for ages. Particularly when the red light is on on the gas tank and you are miles from Charlottetown. 
We have visited several provincial parks, enjoyed our own private beach, seen some lighthouses, gotten a lecture from a fisherman on the illegality of catching your own oysters(wasn't gonna! ) because apparently they've all leased the rights to the ocean. Well, who knew you could do that? Maybe I'll lease a piece and give people crap for using it and littering in it.
Our cottage is really lovely, but the floor's a bit rough in spots/gappy and I managed to slit my toe the first night, which hurt like crazy and made it hard to walk the first two days, but it's healing enough now to be alright. The beach isn't so much of a beach, as a seaweed respository, but it's ok. I've been clearing an area every day for the kids so they can walk to it and play on the beach so that's enough to keep them happy.
We've seen so much of this lovely island, and yet I feel like there is likely so much more we haven't seen!
We went to the Confederation/parliament building- which was lovely, visited the harbour at Charlottetown, went to Panmure island lighthouse and provincial park, Thunder Cove, Cabot beach, Summerside, and we ate supper at the New Glasgow Lobster supper. It was so much food, I can't imagine eating it all, but the waitress assured me that not only do people eat it, they have extra buckets of muscles, and some courses that we were too full to eat!   Pictured is B. realizing that if she eats her whole soup, after already eating mussels and fresh bread, and salad, she will be too full to eat her meal. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mainly Maine!

This morning we woke up extra early in an effort to get to Saint John, NB from Dover, NH in time to see the reversing falls do it's thing. We were thwarted by one issue after another. We got on the highway finally only to discover that my GPS refused to acknowledge the satellites and therefore could not give us directions. This was not the first malfunction this trip, so I pulled into the next Best Buy I saw and grabbed a new one, on sale, and tax free, so what the heck I thought.
Then I plug it in and go to pull out and discover that it's actually only loaded with USA maps, which I'd have known, if I'd had my glasses on.
So, I did what any horror fiction fan, when faced with having to chose a destination in Maine, while headed toward the border to NB. I used Stephen King's address to get me to Bangor Maine while we stopped at several wifi locations in an attempt to load the map software. There aren't a lot of bathrooms on the way, nor gas stations once you leave Bangor. We did meet some fellow Ontarians, making all the same pit stop and gas stops as us, which was kind of fun.
Anyway, many many hours later, we are finally in NB, and we got to see some very interesting parts of Maine. FYI, the highway in NB has moved and part was completely blocked off costing us another 10 minute detour.
Saint John was a little bit more...industrialised than I expected. And um... something about the site of that big ass paper plant made me almost turn the car around. But I went on. Into the incredibly tight construction lane!
Holiday Inn express Saint John, is no Holiday Inn express Westfield, MA, but it has a little bedroom for the kids, with ikea table, chairs, etc. and bunkbeds. Also down by the pool is a kids play area which we used after playing in the pool which was nice. The pool was an insane madhouse, so the playroom was a nice diversion.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Day 2 down, day 3 begins!

I'm sitting here starving while my slug a bed children sleep in. Why doesn't this ever happen at home?!
Yesterday we drove from Westfield, MA to Kittery, Maine. At which point I learned that my GPS can't tell the difference between US bypass RTE 1 and RTE 1 itself. So that was super awesome, and cost us 45 minutes of driving and getting stuck on a lift bridge, that we couldn't actually see anything when it lifted (the little kids were excited that they might get to see the drawbridge go up. for the record we just saw traffic).  We did see the USS albacore sub, which i might take the kids in to see today if I can find where I was. The littles should find it interesting for a few minutes at least!
Almost got stuck in a large traffic jam after leaving the kittery outlets and thankfully were able to get off right away and pop into an Olive Garden for supper, without any wait. Yay!
This hotel, the Homewood in Dover, NH is theoretically bigger than the one we had in Westfield, but honestly, there was more place for us to sit and actually be in the room at the Holiday inn.  
Back to shopping today, and hopefully some lunch at Bob's clam shack, which we saw once on the food network. Who knows might try to squeeze in a stroll at the state park if the weather is crappy enough to keep most people away, but not crappy enough to keep us away-
Thrills and Chills ladies and gents, 'cause that's how I roll.
Tomorrow we wind our way North to Saint John. Hopefully it stops raining. Damn you weather network for being crazy far off the forecast!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 1 is done!

We made it approximately 759 km today. Got in the car by 7:30 am and pulled into the hotel at 7:38pm.   We spent 2 1/2 hours playing at the museum, made 3, or so bathroom stops, and still had time to get some swimming in!The kids enjoyed their brief visit to the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester.    We've been there before, and they knew they were basically taking a break to stretch their legs, so they picked the parts they wanted to see the most before we hit the highway again.(Be warned, the exit is under construction as of July 24, and had a detour that I missed, which threw me off a bit)   We then spent the next 5 1/2 hours on the road to Massachusetts.
Surprisingly there wasn't a massive amount of whining, though one teen with an upset stomach was still periodically sick throughout the day. I blame the gravol.
We got off the highway in Westfield, MA for the night. The Hiexpress
This Holiday Inn express is decent. It seems fairly new,the bedroom is two double beds, and then a separate area with a sofa bed as well, some benches to rest our stuff, or us on, and a nice chair/ottoman combo. A desk, fridge, etc as well.  The pool's ph or something is a little off, but it's nice and warm, we were pleasantly surprised all around. The kids think the big aquarium in the lobby is neat too.  At this point, I'd stay here again. Of course I have no intention of driving this far again for  a while...
 Well, not until the way home anyway! Tomorrow we head for NH. Live Free or Die. Is that the best state motto ever or what?

1800+ km to go!

Dawn has arrived and is gloomy and cold.  Not sure whether to be glad it won't be scorching in the car or not.  4 days till we hit PEI ! Currently one preschooler is crying because daddy can't go with us.  Another is crying in bed because he has to get up (usually he's up ages before the rest of us). One teen likely never slept, and the other has taken gravol and is nursing an anxious upset stomach.  Woohoo! It's time to hit the road!  Maybe I should go without the rest of them. At this point it might be more fun 😛.
Approximately 750km to our first night stop- hoping to squeeze in a stop at the Rochester Museum of Play to break the ride up a bit.  
Start your engines, cause this road trip is about to begin!
This is Z and I on the carousel at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester.  I was actually trying not be be sick. Rides and I are not friends, but he's usually terrified to go on, and wanted to, so I braved it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mirror Mirror

I was reading a blog post tonight over at "The Militant Baker".In truly magical internet fashion I got there after checking out Luved Clothing's website  where they claim their clothes are made to fit all body types.
I don't know if their clothes fit all types, but I do know that their clothes look soft and lovely, and also that  the Militant Baker made me think about body image and being happy with the skin you're in; With attitude! She writes in a voice that I wish I was comfortable expressing- But I'm not happy with how I look. My body image has been shite since roughly...birth?? I remember wishing I was the lightest kid in the class in grade 4. I was uber jealous of the scrawny girl that was smaller than me, and fainted all the time. I know, I know. I was tiny myself, yet already messed in the head body-image-wise.
And now, I'm...well...I guess I look like I ate that 9 year old me. And a few of my friends.
That's how I feel like I look. Maybe I don't. I have no idea. I look in the mirror and sometimes I think I look ok. Then I see a photo of me and realize that my mirror must have magical properties to make me look normal! (I should market that thing! Fame and fortune here I come)*  pre-sale victory dance*  and then I spot-myself in the reflection on my dishwasher. Seriously, is that my ass? Mirror Mirror on the wall, please magically make my ass small!

As someone who has watched what they eat for years, including not ordering dessert as a treat in a restaurant even though I haven't eaten a dessert in months, because I know that while the skinny woman next to me is scarfing down a giant platter, with an appetizer , salad and hugely caloric dessert, people are saying "wow where does she put it all?!" If  I order a meal instead of a salad, I know very well that people are saying to themselves (or table-mates), "should she really be eating that?"  And yeah, I should. But I don't.
Shame on the people who say things out loud, like " people should accept people the way they are" while being Judgey-Mcjudgerson's on their insides. Sometimes, people do exercise and eat right, and who the frig knows why they don't lose weight. Just like no one knows why some people can sit on their butts eating chips and anything they want, and never exercising, and they don't gain a pound.  
Anyway, for a blog with some big bold attitude check out the Militant Baker.
To see the most disturbing freaking underwear I've ever seen and hope I never have to wear... check out the c-string....warning, your eyes might be offended if you don't want to see a person wearing what has to be the least comfortable underwear on the planet. Almost looks like a headband for your privates. C-string. Seriously.

Friday, June 14, 2013


One night when I was a teen and  I was doing homework, while talking on the phone to my friend, there was an audible thunk and a hideous black spider dropped off the roof right into the middle of my textbook. It was so big that my friend heard it through the crackly 1980's phone technology.
I've always had a love hate relationship with spiders. I hate them, and they cleary love me, because they find me no matter what.  I don't know when it started-
I imagine it went something like this.
Me; innocent and helpless in my crib, too young to turn over, let alone escape.
Enter 1 spider. 8 terrifying legs of sheer terror. 6 eyes staring as it inches closer... coming into focus as I cry in terror, and my parents, following the methods of some quack sleep Dr, leave me to cry it out, never knowing the horror that awaited their infant daughter! And paralysed by fear it comes right up to me and meeting my eye with it's horrible nightmare eyes- it somehow marked me. No matter where I go or what I do, spiders find me.I'm a freaking spider magnet.  My only reprieve is when my oldest daughter is nearby, because spiders seek her out too.   
So many heinous spider tales, so little time-  Not too long ago, I was zipping along a highway when one crawled out of my steering column and almost sent me off the road.Another time i watched one crawl across a classroom, up and down  desks as it made it's way through all the students and made a bee-line right for me. Or a spider-line I guess?
I enter a room and automatically scan for spiders . One nightmare rental we had, I had to kill spiders in the tub every morning.There was always a spider or two lurking around our computer desk, or up by the ceiling. So gross.  Then the most marvelous invention came along- THE SWIFFER!
That original swiffer was awesome for killing yellow sac spiders that crouch where the ceiling and wall join- or for ones out of reach. So handy with that swiveling head, giving so many angles for attack. The old model was a stiffer version, but the modern one has a slightly padded end. This means you have to use a little more force than with the older version, (because those little buggers curl up and play dead) but it still allows spiders to be dealt with from a distance.In the middle of the night the other night my husband rolled over and there was a plump juicy one the size of a twonie just crawling on the wall by his face. And that's why that is his side of the bed ;)
I've considered changing my name to spiderella. Might as well, it's like a fairy story/nightmare the way that they find me.
Maybe you are sitting there all smug, thinking how lame I am for being afraid of spiders.Or I'm horrible for killing them. Yeah. Whatever. Have you ever seen how many spiders hatch at one time? I have. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time's a cheetah

I was thinking earlier about how the memory of bringing my almost 17 year old home from the hospital is crystal clear. It really feels like it was yesterday, his floppy little baby head, the brilliant July sunshine-How we worried the car seat wasn't in right, the overwhelming love we had for this tiny person. In my heart, my memories this moment just happened. The same for each of my children's births, or serious illnesses, and so many moments in time that feel like they just happened. 
People always say that time just slips by somehow. I swear I was just 16 yesterday. Ok, maybe not 16, but more like 21.  Time doesn't slip by- . It runs. It bolts away from you like a starved cheetah after a juicy gazelle.   Hug those kids, cause next thing you know, you're hugging them at their grad, then hugging them as they move away,then their wedding,  or one day maybe hugging your grandkids, then if you are lucky, they are hugging you at the end of your days-
hell ya I'm cheerful today.