; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: October 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Haunted House
- by Jack Prelutsky

There's a house upon the hilltop
We will not go inside
For that is where the witches live,
Where ghosts and goblins hide.

Tonight they have their party,
All the lights are burning bright,
But oh we will not go inside
The haunted house tonight.

The demons there are whirling
And the spirits swirl about.
They sing their songs to Halloween.
"Come join the fun," they shout.

But we do not want to go there
So we run with all our might
And oh we will not go inside
The haunted house tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fairy Princess or Tiger?

My oldest, E, is well on her way to becoming a tomboy. I don't mind, really. I was a tomboy too after all. My love of dresses warred with my love of the monkey bars. Dresses eventually had to make way for those ugly brown corduroy pants my mom bought me because I was told I could no longer go on the monkey bars and show off "gasp" my panties to the general population of 5 year olds at kindergarten. Sigh. I loved my dresses. E is a lot like me in that respect. She loves to dress up but she also loves to wear her tutu while romping through the backyard in her pink and purple gumboots.

I am also of the mind that the dirtier the play, the healthier the kid. Really. Don't you recall how much fun you had making mud pies as a child? If you never made a mud pie, decorated it with plucked flower petals then you missed out and I can only shake my head in sadness at your sorry childhood. Okay so some of you may have grown up in the big city where parks and mud pies were scarce. Still, I believe getting dirt in your nails, climbing trees and building forts to be just a few of the true joys of childhood. I love being able to look back fondly on those memories.

Still, it gave me a little pang when E decided that she didn't want to be a fairy princess after all but a tiger. Part of me says kudos to her for wanting to do something fun and out of the box. How many other little girls would totally groove on crawling around and roaring like a tiger? The other part, the still girly part, thinks what a shame it is that she isn't going to be all pretty and fine in her fairy dress. I won't need to make her up a new fairy crown. *sigh* Still, I am proud of her for daring to be different and for being who she wants to be. That's gotta be a good sign, right?

J on the otherhand has decided to be Tinkerbell and has a green fairy dress and today she dressed up for pre-school. Luckily for her she is already blonde and I even managed to get her hair up in a bun on top of her head so she looked absolutely adorable. J is definitely all girly girl.

So really, I guess I can still live vicariously through both of my girls.

Apparently, my kids have decided that I get to be a witch for Halloween. My husband asked me if I needed to dress up for that. Yeah. He's such a comedian.

BTW the picture is one our pumpkins that we carved one year. We like to do fancy pumpkins. It's very time consuming.

Top Ten Thursday - Top Ten Worst Movies

Top Ten Thursday Button
Recently I did a list of my top ten favourite films. How fun would it be though to do the exact opposite and list the Top Ten Worst Movies, in my humble opinion. Now it may be that it might just be a great film but that I didn't like it or it may just well and truly have been a bomb.

Top Ten Worst Movies

1. In the Name of the King - Jason Statham is in this movie and it is positively awful. Worst dialogue and script ever. My husband and I actually sat through this movie and wondered how the actors could possibly say their lines with a straight face.

2. Appaloosa - the new one. Dull and slow

3. There Will Be Blood - I'm sorry people this may have won an oscar but this had to be about the slowest movie I've ever seen. Sure there was blood, in the final scene.

4. American Pie - I don't get these movies. How can some guy sticking his you know what in a pie and getting caught should be in any way funny. Okay it's a little funny but really on a base and small level. Worst of all they made a whole series of these movies.

5. Babylon A.D. - normally I like a good Vin Diesel flick but this one was just too bizarre.

6. Pan's Labryinth - I hated this movie. It may have been interesting visually but the story was drab, with lots of unexplained storyline and a supremely tragic ending. It also was confusing because it was made out to be a family film which it so wasn't.

7. The Mist- a Stephen King adaptation. Some people thought this was really cool but I felt it lacked believability and the acting was very obvious, cheesy lines etc and the ending was absolutely awful.

8. Miss March - again another one of these teen movies like Superbad. I'm sorry but I just don't find that base vulgar sort of humour funny.

9. Street Racer - a great film about cars and car racing, crappy story line

10. Any and all spoof films like Scary Movie 1, 2, 3, & 4, Disaster Movie, Date Movie, Epic Film, Dance Flick - you name it they are all pretty bad.

Would you like to play along? Just grab our button on the sidebar there post it on your blog, do up your list and don't forget to link up. While you are at it why don't you check out my lovely co-hosts lists of Top Ten:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Heads up on a Coupon Blog

Just wanted to give all you parents of babies a heads up on this great site. It's called Triplet's Mommy. It is basically a site dedicated to let parents know about free coupons and samples for baby formula and other baby products. What is so great about it is that it is all in one place and even has leads to other great programs that you might not have heard about like E-Mom Rewards and such.

They also have their own e-book that they are selling for $9.95 which is chock full of phone numbers and addresses of companies that offer coupons and free products. They also give you a quick tutorial of how you can get free diapers or at the very least, pay less for diapers. Lots of information to be gained. So check it out at:

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's official... It's a Boy!

Okay, okay. I've pretty much known that fact since that last hard push and the quick announcement of "it's a boy" as they rushed him over to the weighing station etc. If that wasn't enough proof surely the hundreds of diapers I've changed since surely should have made me aware of the fact that I am indeed parenting a boy child.

However, to date I haven't really found much difference between parenting girls and boys. Sure he likes to play with cars and trains more than the girls do but I can still recall how he insisted on having a baby doll to play with like his sisters, how carefully swaddled said baby had to be and how he offered the baby his own baba or bottle.

In a busy household like ours we haven't had much time to instill any real privacy or modesty among the children. We as parents practice as much as the children will allow it, now having been reduced to actually having to lock them out but it's been difficult to say the least to make E aware that it's not appropriate to run around the house naked just because an idea occurred to her while she should have been dressing. So children being children they are all pretty nonchalant as far as their nudity goes around each other and they've never expressed more than a passing interest in the fact that their brother has different equipment than them.

Still, I was surprised at my son's behaviour the other night. Yyou knew I was leading up to something here.

Enter the Penis Monster.

It came completely out of the blue. I have no idea why it suddenly occurred to my son that it would extremely hilarious to take off your pullup, jump out at the girls, you know how they do when someone says ta da only this time he thrust his hips forward and gleefully shook his willie all while going "raarahhhhh, rarrrrrr" at the girls. The girls to which, being girls, promptly threw their hands up in the air screamed, eeeeeewwwww, grossss and ran away screaming. Thus encouraging the said penis monster to continue to rear it's ugly um head (wink) and chase said screaming girls around the house. Yeah.

Now I'm not going to lie to you, the first time I saw him do this I fell down on the bed laughing my arse off. It was too hysterical. Of course, since we've reigned in our amusement, asked the girls not to encourage him by laughing and screaming and running away and tell him a firm No, that's not appropriate.

It's funny how we label males and females specific actions and reactions and behaviours. Really these days they say we are all equal and that's there are no real differences between the genders behaviours are learned and not instinctual etc. Now I'm not a behavioural specialist, I don't have any degrees whatsoever but I beg to differ. I cannot imagine my daughters suddenly deciding that their wahoos were monsters that need to chase people around the house.

So let's face it, as my husband said.... that was such a boy thing to do!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - Top 10 Reasons I love My BlackBerry

Hello all. Time for another weekly addition of Top Ten Thursday. This week's top ten list is brought to you by Jennifer at It's a Beauty Filled Life. I love this one because I LORVE LORVE my blackberry.

Here's a part of what she has to say.

As much as I’ve been pining away for the iPhone, I refuse to go to AT&T. So what’s a girl who’s jonesing hard for a smartphone to do?

Blackberry, baby!

I know, I know, a lot of you may be thinking, “Oh, hoooh! If she were really hard core, NOTHING would stop her from getting an iPhone. Not even AT&T!” But I tell you now, folks, unless AT&T paid for my family plan, gave me and HABL free phones, and then offered us insurance on the uninsurable iPhone, ‘taint gonna happen.

And so, with a smile on my face and a new phone in hand, I give you the top ten reasons why I love my Blackberry.


Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Blackberry

1. Internet: anytime, anywhere. Must. Feed. The. Beast.

2. I feel like I’m a Jetson with this mini computer in my pocket. Mini computer in my pocket? That’s like saying I own a time machine!

3. Mobile tweeting – ‘nuff said

So head on over to It's a Beauty Filled Life for the rest of the list.

Would you like to take it easy and play along with us on Thursdays? It's easy. Just post your top ten list, could be spin off of one of ours or your own, and come back to that week's host and link up. Don't forget to grab our TTT button. Easy, right?

Why not check out my co-hosts blogs as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

They Grow up So Fast

This is something that's been in the back of my mind for a few days now. As I contemplate my first sentence of this post tears immediately spring to my eyes. They grow up so fast and I don't know if I will ever be ready.

A lot of gals around the blogosphere and in my community seem to be expecting. It has given me not just a little baby envy. At first I thought it was because O is talking a mile a minute and seems so grown up for his 2 and 1/2 years. Not to mention that he was born at the size of a 3 month old and currently sports the size more apt of a 4 year old. He hasn't been very babyish for quite a long time. His only baby like behaviour of late is coming to me and saying he wants me and then wants up for a snuggle. I am more than happy to oblige my son with a cuddle.

But no, it wasn't that. It was E.

A few nights ago I slipped into her nightlight lit room to check to make sure she was covered. As I gazed upon her sweet little face in sleep, it struck me just how big my baby was getting. So intent am I on assisting her in learning her ABC's and working on her handwriting and homework with her each day that I forget just how much she is growing up. She is starting to recognize simple words and soon, if she is anything like her mother, will be reading a mile a minute. So I stopped and stared a little, taking in her sweet face, how she still snuggles her much loved and much frayed blankie and how sometimes she still sleeps with her bum in the air. Some times I am just in awe of how much my children have changed, how quickly they are learning, how fast they are growing.

I think we need those moments where we just stop talking, living, lecturing etc and just observe instead. Stop and take notice of the changes that are happening. Are they good? Are they bad? How can we do better?

Is this perhaps why we get baby envy? Because the ones we already have are growing up and exerting their independence in a thousand different ways. Do we have more children so we can continue to delight in their innocence and the simple joy that they bring us?

When I had O, he was such a different baby from my first two that I got a small sense of why people like the Duggars keep having so many children. Each child is a new little person just waiting to burst out and show their personalities. That could be just a little addicting that thrill of discovering a new little being.

However, O was such a traumatic labor and delivery that I vowed I would never want another baby after that. So why am I, 2 years before my 40th, suddenly longing for another child? Why is that I can tell myself that the cost is too much, diapers alone, that we are so close to having a regular life without naps and diapers and bottles etc so why would I complicate it by having another? Not to mention our stress level right now. Not to mention my mother would have a cow. She made it more than clear that she thought we were crazy to have the 3rd. Not withstanding that the 3rd was unexpected she made clear references to K getting fixed. Not that I should live my life by my mother's expectations but still it hurts to know she'd be upset and disapprove if we chose to have a 4th.

In my days of infertility I can remember talking to a friend who was 100% positive that two was enough, she did not want any more. I told her that I couldn't imagine not wanting to keep having children. I put that down to the fact that I hadn't had one yet. I find myself looking at those with larger families and envying them. I like to think that they just have more money than us so they can afford it. They probably don't but I can't imagine trying to afford another child on our current income. It's tough enough as it is without adding another diapered bum to the bunch. ;)

Well that post is sure to scare the crap out of my husband should he ever read it. I'm sure this phase will pass. I just have to keep reminding myself how insane it would be for us to have another right now. I'll let you know if that works. ;)

Which is why I am waiting for close friends (you know who you are) to actually have a baby so I can steal theirs once in a while.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Character is the Key - Book Review

Character is the Key by Sara Dimerman, DIP.C.S., C Psych. Assoc.
Founder & Director – Parent Education Resource Centre

When I was offered this book to review I was actually very excited at the prospect. I am not one to normally read anything but escapist literature but this appealed to me. As some of you may know I have been struggling for some time with how to ensure that I am passing on those core values to my children.

The whole premise of this book is that our children need to develop important character attributes like honesty, integrity and fairness, that they need to be taught this not only in schools but at home. To do this, these character attributes must be modeled intentionally and taught by their parents.

On reading the list of top character values and examples, I was relieved to see that I did, in fact, model many of the essentials. I show responsibility every day by getting everyone up and getting them to school each day on time. I am honest. If someone gives me too much change, I pipe up right away. Perseverance, I sit and help E learn her abc’s every day. Things like that. Phew, okay that was a relief.

Then I started looking at the particular behaviours of each of my children and started to realize how much they sounded like me and not in a good way. I have long been afraid of some of the negative behaviour that goes on around home and wondered what damaging effect it may be having on my children. My husband and I have very stressful lives at the moment and this does not always translate well to patience with the children. It’s something that I have been having a tough time to get the better of.

I could not have been more ready for this book. What is great about it is that each chapter is not long, it gives plenty of examples to learn from and there is even a summary at the end of each chapter, so if your husband is not a reader you can just give him the highlights. I can tell you that my husband is gleaning a lot from this book just by my telling him a few key points and examples. This way he doesn’t get bogged down by reading buts gets the sense of it.

The book starts with getting you to identify and list your core values and beliefs, giving you some examples and points to discuss. Once that you have done that you can start looking at how to start modeling those beliefs, how to change even poor examples into teachable moments and start to focus on not just the moment but how to keep tomorrow in mind, not doing just what’s easier today.

The next stage of the books is outlining how to you and the family working together as a team, how to achieve more time together as a family, how to effectively conduct family meetings and setting out a family plan.

We have not worked our way all the way through this book yet but already I can see myself making a more conscious decision on how I am going to react to various situations throughout the day. I barely got through the first chapter and already I felt a surge of encouragement and renewed sense of purpose. That I can do this! I can model better behaviour and that with time I can make changes in how my children behave.

I got my best praise tonight from my husband when after having had to go and settle a dispute with all three of the children, my husband said to me.. “you handled that very well, honey”. I looked at him in surprise thinking it was no big deal. And he said to me no, that I had handled it amazingly well and certainly not with the words he would have gone in with. Wow. I was inordinately pleased by his simple observation.

So if you are struggling with how to teach your children strong character values, this book is definitely well worth a read. It’s simple and it makes sense.

For more information visit http://www.characteristhekey.com/.

In addition, Mom Central has provided an additional book to be given to one of my lucky readers. To enter to win please leave a comment telling me that you've visited the Mom Central webpage and something that you like about it. Contest closes Sunday, October 25th.

For additional entries, (leave comment per extra entry) you may

1. Visit Character is the Key webpage and tell me one of the places that you can purchase the book.

2. follow my blog

3. follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway

4. share a parenting anecdote.

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Character Is the Key: How to Unlock the Best in Our Children and Ourselves and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday Stealing...

Well I am definitely feeling better and came across this meme on Helene's Blog so I thought I'd join in.

Sunday Stealing - The ABC's of Meme

A - advocate for: children and those tiny little green men that live at the end of the rainbow.

B - best feature: my nose. it's always been a comfort to me. ;0)

C - could do without: whining and early mornings, liver,

D - dreams and desires: for me to be able to travel to England and recently added New Zealand to that list.

E - essential items: books, tea and chocolate

F - favourite past time - reading, duh

G - Good at: organizing, cooking, snuggling my kids

H - Have never tried: bungee diving (and never will)

I - If I had a million dollars: I'd be a green dress but not a real green dress... that's cruel. ;) I'd buy a nice home for my family, take that trip to England and New Zealand, and my kids to Disneyland and I'd donate some to cancer research.

J - junkie for - chocolate and books

K - kindred spirit - Elizabeth Bennett

L - Little known fact - I have to put things back in their proper boxes. Like xmas ornaments off the tree. If there is a box for it, the ornament goes back into that box.

M - memorable moment - my most awe inspiring moment was when my first child was put onto my chest. It as such a rush after all that pushing to suddenly have this slippery baby thrust onto my chest. Not that it wasn't amazing with my other two but that first one was such a shock because of it being the first experience for us.

N - Never again will I - be 30.

O - occasional indulgence - new clothes

P - profession- chief cook and bottle washer and mompreneur (own a video store)

Q - Quote - "You people make my ass twitch" from French Kiss

R - Reason to Smile - smarmy romantic kisses, watching my kids sleeping peacefully, my husband.

S - Sorry about - not getting to spend more time playing with my kids, sorry I lose my temper so much, sorry that I don't have more patience, sorry that my business is struggling

T - things I'm worry about right now - money, money, money, struggling businesses, selling ouar house.

U - uninterested in - most t.v. reality shows, rich people that act stupidly, wasting my time in one sided friendships, facebook

V - very scared of- snakes and losing my kids

W - worse habits - biting my toe nails (just kidding ;) jumping to conclusions and finishing my husband's sentences. Stewing on things. Can stew for hours on one argument.

X - X marks my ideal vacation spot - England aside, I'd love to spend some time on the Mexican Riviera.

Y - Yummiest Dessert - anything with puff pastry. Love that puff pastry.

Z - Zodiac sign - Virgo

To join in just click on the image above and link up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

House of Night Series - New book Tempted

I am a complete sucker for teen fiction. I have read the entire Harry Potter series, am working my way through Inkheart, Golden Compass and Twilight series. Love the movies, love the books. So when I saw this new series coming out I couldn't help but want to post about it.

It is House of Night Series by mother daughter team of P.C. and Kristin Cast. There are five books: Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed and Hunted in all with the Sixth book Tempted being released October 27th.

The series is about a 16-year-old girl named Zoey Redbird, who gets "marked" by a vampyre tracker causing her to undergo the Change into a real vampyre. So of course they had me at "vampyre".

What's more it's said that this New York Times best selling mother-daughter writing team has become a major force in teen fiction. There over 3 million copies of their books in print, a film option has been well publicized along with a regularly updated interactive website. I have checked it out and can well see how it appeals to the teens. Apparently their fanbase is growing daily and they are now embarking on their first national book tour.

I was further intrigued when I watched the promotional clip on you tube. Either click the video below or the link here to check it out. House of Night clip

So I for one am looking forward to checking out this series. I love hearing of anything new like this. I just can't believe I hadn't heard of it before.

Can't wait? Listen to the first chapter of Tempted on audio: Chapter One

And of course, you can always become a fan on Facebook at the Official House of Night Page.

Are we better yet?

Just wanted to thank you all for your warm wishes and comments. Although I still feel like crap today, it's a slightly less crappy feeling if you know what I mean. It gives me hope that I may just be on the mend. I guess I will know tonight whether or not I get my nightly round of fever and chills.

It didn't help that O has now become sick. You know when your usually rambunctious 2 1/2 year old son tells you that he is tired and you turn around to find him asleep on the couch. When he subsequently wakes up crying so much that no matter how much you hustle in your sick exhausted state to get him a bottle to soothe him he promptly throws up from said excessive crying. When my son gets sick and mucousy, it makes him gag and then he throws up really easy.

Add to this that you had told the realtor yes you will show the house on the morrow because at the time your one sick child was recovering and you felt reasonably better at that moment. Only to find yourself feverish and child #2 starts to complain of a headache and child 3, well as I said he spewed, not once, not twice but three times. All before daddy came home. yeah.

Then you get to clean house. More yeahs. Can you feel the sarcasm? My husband assured me he would help. Which he did but not as much as I would have liked him too. He spent more time playing with the kids, which was good cause they needed some attention, but still. He kind of tuckered out by 9:30 and that was it while I was dragging my wheezing arse around picking up toys. yeah.

So the yard never got picked up. Boo. I'm sure the inlaws were thrilled but I don't care. We left early cause O started to cry after having passed out on the couch again for an hour this a.m. Again, not normal behaviour for him. So I had to get him out quick before he starting spewing again. It was too late to cancel the showing. So I got him to stop crying with the promise of going to get donuts. Yes I occasionally bribe my children. It worked. He didn't really want to eat the donuts once he got them but it worked to get him out of the house peacefully. I tried to drop J off at preschool but I couldn't do my normal routine of going in with her cause I was sick and O was sick in the van. She wouldn't take her shoes off for the teacher or anything so I ended up coming back and taking her home again. I realized later that it wasn't fair to push her into doing it a different way when we had established routines that she was comfortably (she's an exceptionally shy child). She had already cried when Nana dropped her off the day before apparently cause it wasn't me taking her. I asked her if she just wanted to drive around and eat donuts with us. She liked that idea.

So we went to the beach and parked. I got 15 blissfully quiet moments to drink my coffee and eat a donut (although I didn't really want them myself) while my children were enthralled by this giant lime green parachute kite being flown in the field by the beach. My daughter thought it looked like a giant green caterpillar. My children must have looked like eager dogs panting to get out of their cages as they stood in front of the half down side window with their little fingers leaving sticky donut prints all over the glass while they gleefully watched the kite soar. They especially liked it when it crashed down and then would go up again.

It perked them up so much we went for a walk on the beach and we did that old favourite standby of tossing rocks into the ocean. Tomorrow they have all but gotten me to promise I'd take them back to the big park. sigh. ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blog called on account of Sickness

Wouldn't it be nice if when we were sick we could just take time out and slow down the whole world until we were feeling better? The kids would be entertained, fed, clothed and bathed. Mom would lounge around in bed resting for as long as she wanted, laptop would be at the reach of her fingertips loaded with her favourite chick films. Tea, hot soup and nibblies would magically appear by her side.


Then there's reality. Moms just don't get a break when they are sick. Let's face it unless I am completely comatose I still attempt to keep the house at least moderately tidy. The laundry got folded because it was sitting there on the couch half finished from last night. Just the site of it was driving me crazy. Folded I put it, basket and all, in my bedroom and closed the door. Hubs can help me put it away later.

Soooo my lovely bloggy friends I may be away a day or so. This cold that has lingered for weeks has finally sucumbed to the flu. I went to bed last night with lovely fever and chills while I dreamt of completing crochet squares. Do you ever get that when you have a fever? Dreams of mundane tasks that suddenly rise up to torment you in your sleep> I ended up awake after a scant 1 1/2 sleep to sit and watch t.v. cause I couldn't sleep. Add to this that E definitely has had a fever for the last several days and J keeps saying her head hurts. O, so far has been a trooper. The poor boy is soooo bored.

So like I said I may not post for a day or so. It just might be a good time to catch up on my reading though if I could get my butt off the couch. ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Canadians!

I don't know about you but I just love Turkey dinner. My mom's gravy is runny and her cheese sauce is a little watery and yet those are my favourite things about dinner. Thanksgiving dinner wouldn't be the same without it. It's funny cause my SIL makes a comment on how watered down tasting my mom's gravy is. My mom doesn't add any package flavoring to hers so it's not super seasoned. If you grew up with that real savoury style of gravy you would hate my mom's gravy. Which both my husband and my SIL grew up with the "gravy in a package" so they kind of cringe when they are my mother's for dinner. *L* Whereas my mom grew up in a large family with growing boys that ate like pigs so the gravy had to stretch very far. I'm pretty sure my mom has an excess of gravy that gets tossed every year.

Traditions are amazing things. When you join two families together sometimes there are small clashes in traditions and values.

Unfortunately my good china is all packed away but that's not what Thanksgiving is really about anyways so it didn't really matter. Once the food covered your plates you had no idea you were eating on my ugly day to day corel plates. I managed a good find in a pale yellow table cloth at the thrift store with nary a stain and 8 napkins so the table looked pretty nonetheless.

My pumpkin pies turned out very well. At least everyone praised them enough. I like pumpkin pie from scatch. No canned pumpkin for me. ;) My biscuits were a trifle hockey puckish but a little butter goes a long way to making the more edible and my stuffing was delish.

The turkey, well it was a little dry. I had to laugh because my husband babied that thing like crazy. I reassured him that nobody was bound to notice because they like it that way.

My husband really pitched in and came through for me. He helped prep all the vegetables, took care of nasty part of the turkey for me, set up the table and chased off the kids. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Hug your family close and remember all the things you are thankful for.

After a little bit of whine it should be fitting that I remind myself of a few of the things that I am thankful for:

I have a roof over my head.
I can feed my family.
I can cloth my family
I have a family who loves me.
I have three healthy children
I have a husband who works hard to provide for his family.
I have my own health and my husband is healthy.

and so much more.


Friday, October 9, 2009

I Don't Know what to call this post.

Time seems to fly so fast these days that it's hard to find a moment to really sit down and blog or read other blogs. I feel that I can barely keep up with my kids. Of course, having a string of colds run through the entire family has not helped. While I now possess a voice, it's still gravelly, I cannot sing in tune to save my life and I still on occasion squeak whenever I raise my voice. My kids think that's funny.

Then we have days like today. My cough woke me up at 4:30 which I could not get rid off until I swallowed O's cough medicine and drank chamomile tea at the hottest temperature possible until the tickle in my throat subsided to a more reasonable level. Coughing every 5 minutes instead of every 30 seconds. Then to my dismay O woke up wanting mommy and a bubba and a snuggle. This was some time around 5:30. I still had not fallen asleep. We put O back to bed only to find that instead of going to be he proceeded to go up the stairs and sit at the door calling for his little cousin, Bobby, who's visiting this weekend. Bobby, although he was a whole other floor above the door, must have heard him because suddenly Bobby pipes up from his crib, "hello, mommy". Nana, of course, can hear the whole thing. She gets up goes to the door and tells O that everyone's sleeping. He was very mad, went away and came back saying "Bobby no sleep. Bobby wake up." Oh yeah.

So we've been up since 4:30 this a.m. Oh the joys of parenthood. Why is it that they never seem to feel this whole exhaustion thing? They can happily bounce through the entire day with only minor whinyness while we, their much maligned and abused parents, drag our sorry asses around the house longing for sleep.

Then my husband came home from work and from an appointment with my FIL's doctor. I don't know if I mentioned that my FIL was diagnosed with prostrate cancer last January. The prognosis seemed promising at first but a sudden spike in his PSA levels had him opting for surgery. He had his prostrate removed in early September. We've had to wait a few weeks for the results of the tests on the removed prostrate. They were not good. My FIL has an aggressive, non operable cancer that has spread up into the soft tissues in the prostrate area. It only remains to be seen over the next couple of months to see if the cancer is going to continue to be this aggressive and whether or not hormone therapy is an option for him. He has no other options not being eligible for radiation etc.

So this was seriously difficult news to receive. Immediately we are terrified to hear the words aggressive inoperable terminal cancer and yet confused because he seems so fine. Yes he's had a rough recovery. He's developed a hernia and is in extra pain because of it but up until this point he's never had the usual prostrate symptoms. He has been the picture of health. So how did we get from a to b in 10 months? We just don't know.

We've explained to the children.. well to E because she's the only one old enough to really have this kind of conversation with... that Papa has a tumour, that he's had it removed and that it was prostrate cancer and that's why he had to go away to have it removed. We've reassured her. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and we're having the Terry Fox run at her school. Unthinkingly on our walk to school I explained to her who Terry Fox was, that he had cancer, what he accomplished in his life and that he died from cancer. Not quite like that but you get the gist. I also tried to assure her that not everyone dies from cancer, that some get better etc. Well, E's a smart kid because the next thing out of her mouth is that "what kind of cancer does papa have?". She's put two and two together. This coming just after hearing the "it's terminal" news was just about enough to undo me on the walk to school. I don't think she needs to know the worst of it or even capable of processing it at her age. She knows he's sick and for now that's enough.

All we can pray is that his cancer is not going to progress quickly and that he responds well to hormone therapy. Any extension of his time with us we can be grateful for.

So this Thanksgiving is going to be a particularly poignant one in our family. We don't know what's in store for the next year. Will we all still be here a year from now or will there be one less number at our table? I'm becoming somewhat morbid I know. But at least this gives us each a chance to make sure that we spend as much time with him as possible. Not everyone is so lucky. As I am reminded daily by my friend who lost her son.

So that's my heavy little post today. Let's put it down to confirmation of bad news and a sleep deprived night. I'm sorry but there's no where else really to get it all down.

For those of you may be wondering about my friend who lost her son at the end of summer. Her and her family are doing alright. They are taking it one day at a time. They have their good days and their bad days as can be expected. They are seeking grief counseling. I have to commend my friend for being such a wonderfully supportive mother that she's ensuring that her children are getting a chance to express their grief and understand their feelings. They have arranged for a lovely tree to be planted at the side of the road where he was struck. There is a memorial plaque there and it's said to bloom the month of his birthday. They seem to get some measure of comfort from stopping by this tree every day on the walk home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Heads up on a Giveaway - Gluten Free Snacks.

As one who should be eating 100% gluten free, I was thrilled to come across this giveaway. Who doesn't love Betty Crocker? They've taken their snacks a step further and have a gluten free line. How cool is that? It just got a little easier for parents to give their kids gluten free snacks that look just like their contemporaries. Woo hoo. So head on over to Jenna's and enter to win a Betty Crocker gift pack. Contest

Top Ten Thursday - My Top Favourite Novels/Authors

Being the mom of three busy kids is very time consuming, as we all know. I absolutely love to read. In fact, that's doesn't even come close to describing how much I really enjoy a good read.

However, it is difficult to get the time in to read a good book with the children constantly clamoring about. When I read I practically devour the book. I am not one of these people who take 2 or 3 weeks to read a book. That's a laugh. If the story is well written and captivates my interest then I want to read it and read it now and read it until the story is finished. Sometimes within a day or two depending on how thick the book is. This is not conducive to life with kids. Those darn children just want my attention too. Imagine that?

So when I read, it has to be good, it has be quick and the kind of put downable at a moment's notice and pick back up and jump right in kind of book. Which makes up for most of the books on my lists. Some are serious writing, some is pure fluff.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Really any of Jane's novels are my favourites. I can read those a 1000 x over.

2. The Stand by Stephen King. I just love this kind of storyline. I'd love the challenge of trying to survive in a world when all the power goes off (just not all the bad stuff that goes along with it).

3. The Thin Woman - by Dorothy Cannell. This is the first in a murder series about Ellie Haskell and the mayhem that abounds around her. It has the sort of wry humour that I love. Another of her books, "How to Murder Your Mother-In-Law" has garnered a lot of laughs around my home. ;)

4. Outlander - by Diana Gabaldon. Now this is serious writing indeed. It was nice after a flush of fluffy type reads to actually get my teeth into a writer of calibre. She has an entire series that stems from this first book that I have not gotten to yet.

5. Inspector Rebus Series by Ian Rankin. Again a murder series set in Scotland. Can you tell I love murder mysteries? So much more interesting than the standard love stories.

6. The Dirty Duck by Martha Grimes. She has written a number of murder mysteries set in England surrounding Inspector Richard Jury. Again, well written and engaging.

7. Lestat by Anne Rice Queen of the Vampires. Absolutely love her vampire trilogy. Not a fan of the continuations from there but the first three books were amazing. They sadly were not well represented in the films. So much detail was lost.

8. Sign of Seven trilogy by Nora Roberts. Like many of Nora's trilogies this series involves some loving and some magic. Her standard formula is getting a little old (three women, three men, each ends up becoming a couple and written on relationship at a time per book) but I love the themes she comes up with in each of her trilogy series.

9. Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead. Now this book probably comes from left field. I may read a lot of fluff but I really do have complex tastes. This is a story about a 10th century Irish monk who is sent to Byzantine and ends up separated from his fellow pilgrim monks, ends up enslaved and struggles with his faith in Christianity. An amazingly well written story, gripping and captivating the whole way through.

10. Hamish MacBeth series by MC Beaton. Who is actually Marion Chesney who writes regency period novels of which I also a fan of as they are quick and easy to read, light hearted and fun in general. Hamish is an unambitious Scottish police officer in the Highlands who loves his job and his village and does whatever he can to protect it.

Well there you have it. There are so many others I am sure but those are upper most in my mind.

What are your favourite reads?

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Domestically Challenged

It's a Beauty Filled Life

My Messy Paradise

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How the Blackberry Has Given Me Back Some Time

I love my blackberry. It has been a thing of joy since the day I got it. Okay, there have been a few frustrations with not getting things to load right, discovering that most of the useful apps are not free and I have had a few odd glitches that were only resolved with removing the battery and reinstalling it. But all in all, I love my little Blackberry and would be somewhat lost now without it.

You see, it has given me back some precious time with my children and my house is all the cleaner for it. It has even given me, dare I may say, some perspective on my blogging and social networking time. So far I have not figured out how to actually blog from my BB but I don't relish the idea of posting my usual 400 or 500 word post using my thumbs anyways. I still rely on my laptop for that.

I have set my BB to receive my email. No longer do I have to log into blogger to see if anyone left comments on my posts, or log into gmail to see if anyone has sent me an interesting email. No, with a cute little ring tone my mail is announced anytime of the day. It is a simple matter to take a few seconds to glance at my messages no matter what I am doing. I can either delete it immediately or file it away for responding to later. In the case of my May I Present the Evidence post, it gave me a great source of amusement to get your comments periodically throughout the day and giggle over it much to my husband's disgust. I told him if he wanted to know what it was about to read my blog. ;)

What normally happens when you log in to check your emails? You get drawn into it. First you just read it but then you see an interesting link. What's this? A contest. Yes I'll enter that. Oh, if I tweet about it, I can get extra entries. Wow, that's a really interesting post. Oooh look at that recipe and on and on and on it goes.

Now this is not necessarily a bad thing when you have the time. However, when you have a house to clean or children waiting for you to play with them or take them outside or just do something with them, it becomes a complete time sucker.

Whereas with the BB, I'm not really interested in reading web pages on such a small screen or waiting for the graphics or pages to download etc. I have a decent rate plan but still most things are better viewed on a bigger screen.

What the Blackberry has done is freed me from my computer. I thought getting a laptop was liberating, I was no longer chained to a desk to surf the web. Well that's nothing in comparison to web browsing by phone. I can have it in my pocket while I'm outside pushing O on the swing and still check my email. It takes seconds and he is none the wiser. E's happy swinging away, I can catch up on my reading. Easy peasy.

Having this new routine, I realized how much time I had been spending glued to my laptop online and not spending with my kids or working on my house. The basics were getting done but I knew it could be better, more organized. Just like I know my children are going to get older and not want me to play with them. With E going back to school and being gone all day, the younger two expect me to play with them more. One day O won't want mommy to "pay car me".

Which is why many of you will find that I read your blogs in blocks of time. Meaning, I may comment on the last 7 days of blog posts all on one day. I pick the time and place to do my browsing and catching up when I know I have a patch of free time to do it. Like when I'm at work ;)~ This way I still get that little bit of an outlet without taking so much quality time away from my children during the day. Because I haven't even mentioned all the fun things you can do with it.

I'm not saying this will work for everybody, I'm just saying it worked for me. It was a good thing and probably well worth the expense because of it.

Has technology saved you time?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ribbit, ribbit croaaaak

We've all been sick on and off with colds for the past two weeks. After my initial first week of exhaustion like symptoms I bounced back pretty quickly. Only to find myself starting with a cough last Thursday. Others in our house have not fared so well. O has persisted with a runny nose for the entire two weeks and developed a chest cold last week. J and E have bounced back somewhat slower but are pretty much over it by today.

Imagine to my surprise when I went in to work Saturday night to find myself with a squeaky voice. We had had a particularly stressful day with the kids, we showed our house in the a.m. and I defy anyone to clean and keep it clean with three kids under 6 without yelling at least 2
0 times to put the toys back. It wasn't until I got to work though that I lost my voice. I thought this was strange and then I put it down to I had finally given my voice a break from dealing with kids all day (no I did not spend the whole day yelling at them) and when I did, my voice gave up.

So I am on day three with a gravelly voice much to my husband's amusement. I get this weird squeaky little laugh and every time I make a joke it cracks him up even more to the point that I'm getting just a little annoyed until I figured out what he was laughing up. Then I played it up even more. It was cute to hear little J go and tell upstairs Nana that mommy had a frog in her throat. Daddy asked her if she saw the frog to which I had to then open my mouth and let her look. They all got a kick out of that.

Despite the no voice thing, we had a pleasant weekend. We spent an hour or so on Saturday wandering a small forested area by our home while waiting for it to be shown. My children absolutely love being outside and in an "interesting" place like this. It doesn't take long for
E to make herself a home in the roots of a tree and thus began the bunny game which has continued all weekend culminating in her attaching a balloon to her bum for a tail and a headband with floppy ears to her head. Pretty soon all three children had balloons attached to their bums.

Sunday being a nice day we went to a beach nearby. We barely made it to the picnic area, not 30 yards from our car when they absolutely had to eat the snack we brought and this area being already in a sandy area, the kids were content to play there for ages thus allowing K and I to sit for a time drinking the hot tea we had brought. Then we played on the beach and the kids made sandcastles. It's amazing how kids don't care if the sand is wet or if their clothes are going to get dirty or the sand is cold. They just dived in. The sand was relatively dry so it wasn't that messy but I knew there was no way I could sit on the sand with them and not get soaked through. So mommy was the treasure finder, finding all sorts of lovely shells and
seaweed to decorate their lovely castles.

I love days like this. It was just so peaceful. We had no time pressures, no where to be at. When we came home we were greeted to the wonderful scents of a pork roast slow cooking in my crock pot. Yum.

Have I mentioned that I am attempting meal planning? I'm not sure if I have. This is my second week at it and so far I am enjoying having a plan for dinner everyday. The hard part is remembering to look at my menu and make sure I take whatever I need out of the freezer for that day in time for it to thaw before I cook. I downloaded this great form from The Project Girl.

I have determined to use my crock pot as much as possible on those days that I have to
work in the evening. It frees up my time in after school dinner preparations and leaves me with time to help E with her homework. This way I can do minor things and over see supper instead of a full on meal preparation and all the work that it entails after school.

The whole idea behind meal planning is that it is supposed to save you money. I think it does help because it keeps you focused on what it is exactly what you are eating and you're not just buying a large variety of things to cover all the bases when you are flying by the seat of your pants. Last week I did manage to save money but this week I know I won't because we have Turkey dinner to prepare for the family.

It has worked out well so far. I was even able to spend some time playing with the kids
before supper on Friday afternoon because I knew the entire meal was bubbling away in the crockpot. In fact, K had even come home without me hearing him and was getting the plates and all that out while listening to us play over the monitor. So taking a few extra minutes during the day to get supper on while the kids are otherwise distracted has smoothed out the stressful dinner hour somewhat. Not to mention it has given me a chance to try out some new recipes.

I have gotten tired of cooking plain meals because that's the only way the kids will eat them. So many of the easier dishes like casseroles are out of the question. Well, too bad. I'm going to make something and they can just all either eat it or wait until snack time. After a week of this, we found them eating their entire supper last night without a single complaint. Usually it's a I don't like this chicken (everything is chicken to them) but they just ate it all up, knowing that they had to anyways I guess. I said to K that I wondered if that was because we're exposing them to more variety and insisting on that they try it. They all even ate brussel sprouts last night. BRUSSEL SPROUTS. without one single complaint. Call Guiness cause that's gotta be a world record. *L*

E even ate this amazing cheese tortellini pasta in a tomato sauce with ground turkey without one single complaint the night before. We all loved it but I was sure E would complain because she only likes plain tomato sauce and is always worried that I've snuck onions into a dish (cause K and I LOVE onions). But nope. She just sat there and spooned it up and told me it was delicious. I guess after the claim chowder I made earlier in the week, cheesy tortellini was heaven to her in comparison to eating clams. *L* The clam chowder was amazing by the way. E liked the broth part but the chew clam part was just too much. I wonder what she's going to think of the Acorn squash soup we are going to eat tomorrow. I make up for the soup part by making soda biscuits with cheese.

Hmmm I just might have to go back to my Recipe Tuesdays. ;)

Well I had quite a bit to say today... for a frog. ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Personal Blogs and Privacy Policies

I am a big believer in respecting privacy policies etc. After all, I wouldn't want someone coming and stealing the hard work I've put into my posts never mind graphics or artwork that has been designed by someone else. I have been completely astonished when I read about blogs that have had their posts stolen and re posted on someone else's claiming it to be their own. I just don't get how those people figured they'd never get caught. The internet is WORLD WIDE people, not limited to the confines of your town city limits. Eventually someone who knows someone is going to see it and it's going to get back to the person. A considerate person asks for permission to re post stuff or link back and give the credit to the poster at the very least.

Which is why when I insert those little graphics to my posts I try to hunt high and low for artwork that has no policy against use etc. If I have ever been guilty of it, it's been by mistake only.

So you can imagine to my dismay when I spent some time learning techniques on how to get my header to be transparent etc and designing that cute signature graphic that I was guilty of piracy. Yes, me.

You see I had downloaded some digital scrapbook sets a while back and used some of it to grace my blog. I had a quick peek at the designer's privacy policy and figured since it stated personal use only that I was fine. Because after all, my blog is personal. I have done the odd review but overall my posts are definitely personal in nature. However.

While browsing through my graphics folder I came across the policy and decided to have a quick peak. Turns out a personal blog is fine, yes, but not one that either posts advertising or advertises their own business on their blog. Whoops. I may not be guilty of #2 but I definitely hosts ads if only mainly Google Ads. Crap on a stick.

So I am going to have to re modify my blog page again. Something which takes time and not just a little creativity. Not to mention, I love what I have done already so I am reluctant to part with my cool designs, which of course wouldn't have been possible without the designer's graphics. I have no idea how you go about creating those kind of graphics.

The only good thing is once Halloween is over, I will be decorating for Christmas. Surely I can come up with a cool background with my clip art.

So things may get a little sketchy. I'm going to leave my graphics up for another day or so (after all I've left it this long already) before I go "naked" and at such a cold time of the year too. ;)

Hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - My Favourite Posts... On Other Blogs

Okay so I found my post. LZ very kindly (and didn't laugh too hard at me.. well at least not in the email anyways) let me know that I had posted it for January 10th. Yeah. I know. So without further ado is my very late....

Oh and I had to fix Kathy's link... I had the wrong one there. It's fixed now.

This week's Top Ten Thursday inspiration is thanks to LZ at My Messy Paradise. This is a particularly difficult choice this week as not only have I read a great many blogs these days but it's also hard to remember them all. So if I follow you and you are not mentioned in this list, please don't think I haven't read anything worth mentioning on your site, it's just that I can't remember it all.

1. Elasta Mom's Excerpts - Definition of a Brother

2. Faemom - The Penis Rules Okay so this is probably not her best post.. but it makes me chuckle every time when I read it. It relates to raising boys. She also has a great craft page for preschoolers and toddlers.

3. Helene - Memo to the Bosses

4. Blue Cotton Momma - What A Shame

5. LZ - My Name is LZ and I'm an Internetaholic

6. Kathy B - Does This Stuff Happen to Anyone Else - it's a classic. ;)

7. Super Ninja Mommy - Apian Karma Just don't mess with the Bees!

8. Bad Mommy Moments - Mom Code Cause it's so true. I do it all the time.

9. Mommy Bloopers - Supermommy Takes a Shower

10. Jennifer - A Letter to New Moms

One thing I did realize doing this is that I am way behind on reading what used to be my some of favourite blogs. I am amazingly out of touch.

Do you have a few favourites to share? Join in. Grab our button to the right and sign Mclinky below. I personally check out every link on my page. Don't forget to check out my lovely cohosts:

Is my blog haunted?

Cue eerie music. Today was our Top Ten Thursday and I had a post all ready and scheduled to make it's appearance in the early hours of this morning only to have it vanish. I was a little stymied that even my most frequent readers didn't leave me a comment today and it was only after checking in this evening that I discovered it was never posted. Imagine to my surprise though when I can find no trace of it in my edit posts section. Not even a draft. How can this possibly happen? I saw it saved myself and all scheduled for today. Has this happened to anyone else out there?

So unfortunately I am not going to be able to oblige you all with my own Top Ten list. Today's Top Ten Thursday list is being hosted by Lz at My Messy Paradise. It relates to her top favourite blog posts in the bloggy world. Please check it out. It's well worth the read.

Here's a few to get you started.

I love reading your blogs. You know a post is really funny when you truly laugh out loud…alone. Or some are just so well-written that you have a bit of blog envy. Others? They make you wish you wrote those exact same lines, since you completely agree and wouldn’t change a word. I couldn’t possibly name every post I love, but want to share 10 posts that I like for all the above reasons. You may have seen them before. If not, enjoy!

The Bloggess, I’m not Pregnant

Pajamas and Coffee, And the Douche Bag Awards Go to…

Stiletto Chicken, Paris, Day 2

If you'd like to play along, grab our button from the sidelines there, post your list (it can be your own topic) and don't forget to link up. We all make a point of checking out all the links to see your lists. Why not take a break and join us each and every Thursday for our Top Ten.