; window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-6252405-9'); In the Mommy Trenches: January 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

We're almost in.........

What an incredibly long day.  Things went right, things went wrong.

First the movers showed up in a teensy truck.  The same size truck that they used to move K's parent's the day before.  Did they not realize that we have twice the amount of stuff?  Was that not why we had a sales rep come through ou house and give us an estimate.  They ended up having to get another cube van from the office and after 7 hours of loading up the trucks they ended up having to leave the kids' play structure behind.  They have assured us that they will go back for it tomorrow before they come to the new house.  I sure hope so.

The sad thing was that E ended up being sick.  She had been fighting a cough/cold all week but I figured why pull her out when it's her last day of school.  Well bad mommy got called to the office at lunch time today because she had a fever.  Great.  Don't I feel like world's greatest mom.  So she managed to say goodbye to her teacher and the couple of kids that were around and we left.  I felt so bad, I had this sick and shivery kid and the only thing we had to go back to was an empty house with no blankets, no medicine, nothing.  I had to make a quick trip to the pharmacy to grab her some advil and it's on the way home that I realize that I'm about to get a visitor.  AFTER I've already been the pharmacy, AFTER I've driven home to find O going commando because he peed his pullup so much that it leaked. 

Then after much waiting for the movers to finish figuring out how to get it all in, which they couldn't, we finally got to go. I packed up the kids and headed to my mom's only to get 3/4 of the way there and realize that not only did I forget the medicine for E but I also forgot my purse.  I am now driving license less.  This in the same place that I was stopped in a police license check sweep just the weekend before. 

Okay that's not all so bad.  Just minor things in the day.  It could be worse.  It is going to cost us more for the move than we had bargained on.  I think the lady under estimated our move. 

We made it to the new house without any further hiccups only to find that they didn't clean it.  We just spe nt hours cleaning our house to near perfect condition and we get to move into a dirty house and I mean these people were dirty.  We have to go back tomorrow and clean, clean, clean.  My hands are so dry from cleaning they are getting craters.

Still we have a new house.  It's exciting and apart from the dirt factor, the fact that they left a rusty bike and bags of garbage in the shed... it's still just as nice as we had thought originally and I think once we fix up the paint and floors etc it is going to be real nice. 

Tomorrow is when the movers come and it's going to be a real long day.  My mom has now opted to keep the girls over two nights so we have all day tomorrow to get set up.

I better log off now though because we're trying to get to sleep in a strange place. 

Stay tuned............

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Crunch Time

Well it's crunch time.  Only two more full days left of packing before the big move.  The movers will be here first thing Friday a.m. so time is starting to run out.  Add to that the fact that we are trying to keep the children's lives as normal as possible which means running back and forth taking them to school/preschool.  It's gonna be a little stressful to say the least.  Throw in a field trip to the library for the preschool and it's gonna be fun, fun, fun.

So I probably won't be able to post for the rest of the week.  K is going to be off for the rest of the week and I am sure he will be cracking the whip the whole time ;)~   Translation, I won't be able to sneak off and post without feeling guilty.  ;)

Plus I am doing something very interesting tomorrow a.m. but you all will have to wait until next week to hear all about that.  A little suspense never hurts, eh?

We have also had two emails this week interested in my video store.  Woohoo!  One gentleman is coming to see the store on Friday and I am still relaying info to the other inquiry.  Hopefully one of them at least makes us an offer.  The timing seems shall we say provident as I cannot technically sell my store until my house sale goes through because I am relying on my so called income from that store to qualify financially for my mortgage.  So it's interesting that we have someone coming to look at the store the very day all the paperwork is going to be done for the house sale.  Okay Lord, keep the dominoes falling into place for us please!!!

So please bear with me while I take this little break and be assured that I will be back bright and fresh next week with a bunch of photos.  I may even do a little plug for the moving company (Bekins) if they work out. :0)

Ta ta for now!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This is the part of a move that I dislike the most.  The part where you have 98% of your stuff packed and ready to go and there is still that other 2% left kicking around that you can't pack because you just might need it.  Case and point, I picked up pizza at the grocery store only to remember that I packed all my cookie sheets and the one I left out was half the size.  Handy for everyday stuff but not big enough to cook a medium pizza on.  I had to cut it and cook it in two.  

My inlaws on the other hand have everything packed and I mean everything.  They are living out of boxes.  They don't have 3 little munchkins digging into the boxes every time you turn around.  I can't just leave open boxes of food or dishes sitting on the floor and I don't have the counter space either.  While this is not going to be gourmet week (most of my spices are packed), my children will rebel if I feed them soup or KD every night.  That leaves me to clean the tops of the cupboards today.  Oh joy. 

My parents offered to take the girls overnight on Friday and bring them to the new house on Saturday and help us with unpacking.  I am so relieved.  We were going to have to take them and I was going to have to say in the hotel with them while Kevin supervised the movers.  This way we can drop O off at the inlaws Sat morning and we can both be at the house.  

I am so excited but a little anxious that everything is going to work out okay with the money.  We have it all worked out in our heads but you know how it is with the number crunchers, they always seem to come up with something different. 

Well it's back to packing. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In Which I talk About Moving... Again.

We have just over 8 days to go till the big move day.  I look at the chaos of boxes around my house and worry that we will never be done and am anxious at the same time for it all to be over.  Still I would be less than honest if I didn't say that I had just a few trepidations for the whole thing.

It seems as the boxes pile up around the house the more emotional the children become.  While J&O love to play and climb up on all the boxes and I am having to constantly get them down, they have started to have tons of mini meltdowns.  This includes E.  Everything is a big deal and requires lots of yelling, stomping and crying over EVERYTHING.

One day J started to cry and I couldn't figure it out.  Finally I put her on my lap and asked her if she was crying because we were packing.  She nodded yes.  I asked her if she was sad I was packing her toys.  She said yes.  I assured her, again, that her toys would be going to the new house and she'd see them again.  Finally, finally, after more tears she told me she was worried that I was going to pack her Dora pillow doll and her blankie.  Thankfully, I was able to assure her that that wasn't going to happen and that Dora and everyone's blankies were going in the van with us not in the moving truck.

Still as a parent who is trying to pack up a house, dejunk, declutter, clean, keep up with the kazillion loads of laundry, homework helper, tracker, sorter, and maker of all meals, healthy and unhealthy... it's hard to stand back and realize that they are behaving the way they are because they are stressed.  Sometimes I just react, badly, only to later realize that a lot of this is stemming from the changes that are going on around them.

My only personal experience as a child with moving was when I was 11 years old, we moved from the old town to the two we currently live in.  I don't remember much about the move itself, I only remember that I was glad to move.  I didn't like my school and the transition from elementary to middle school did not go well so I was only to eager to try a new school and make new friends.

So I am not really sure what to do to make it easier for them.  All I do know is that we need to suck up the patience big time and try to relax, not be so uptight about everything and just really try to listen to their fears and talk about all the positive things we going to get out of this move.

I consider this move as being a new adventure and am trying to instill that idea into them.  Talking to them about how excited I am, how exciting it will be to go to a new school, how exciting it will be to finally be able to have a pet, how wonderful it will be for them to each have their own rooms, we will have a garden they can play in and plant their own flowers in, no gates to lock them out etc. I haven't even got to the part about how the new city has that great water park and free kiddy pool that they love.

The hardest part in all of this for the kids I foresee will be the not living with their grandparents.  They are used to being able to pop up and see them at a moments notice.  Every day, Nana comes down and sees them for a few minutes a day while I take one or the other of them to school.  In the summer, they spend countless hours following Papa around the back yard while he gardens.  There is nothing like the sight of Papa in the backyard to get those kids up off the couch and outside in a flash.  They are going to be surprised, I think, at how much less time we will be spending with the grandparents when move.

Won't you all be glad when I'm back to posting about less mundane topics than moving?  I know I will.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Moving

What move wouldn't be complete without a kid in a box photo?  He was sitting in a box on top of another box watching t.v.  Apparently that's quite comfy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shawl Photo, on Moving and Other Bits of Randomness

No sense crying over spilled soap?  We had sent the children to wash their hands before dinner as usual.  Only J was last and she has developed this habit of playing in the water for the longest time.  So long that gradually it starts to dawn on you that you've been listening to the water run for quite some time, at which point you go in to tell her that's enough only to find she hasn't even put soap on her hands yet.  This is aggravating to say the least and explaining to her that not only having the water run that long is not good for the environment but we also pay for water consumption makes no impact.  Okay she's 4, she doesn't get it yet but we're working on her.

So it was another one of these times when both hubs and I start yelling for her to speed it up as we're all waiting for her.  So O decides to add his mite and proceeds to go into the bathroom to get her.  Well, I'm distracted what with serving supper out on the plates etc and I'm not really aware of what's going on until we hear an odd noise followed by screams from J.  Have I mentioned that she's a screamer?  Hubs goes into the bathroom only to be greeted by the sight of smashed bottle of liquid handsoap pooling all over the floor between the counter and toilet.  Oh yeah.  Add to this the fact that I had recently in a fit of organized efficiency just filled the soap container to the brim so that I can back the refill container.  Surely that would be enough soap to last us for the two weeks to the move.  Who would have thought plastic would break like that.  I certainly didn't.  For the record this container was one of those hard plastic types that you buy to match your decor etc.  So we had fun cleaning that up.  Ten minutes later we had a margarine container full of soap filled with hair.  Oh yum.  While we recently cleaned the bathroom, I swear we are a family of shedders.  While my husband likes to blame me and the girls, I like to point out that a good many of those are body hairs. heh heh.

Okay if I haven't grossed you out too much... I'd like to show you E's shawl that she made for shawl dance.

It's actually a dark blue material, the flash seemed to fade it out quite a bit.  You can see where the bottom part looks unfinished but is actually done in a lighter red pain.  I have to say I like the more colourful parts the best.  It's supposed to be a hummingbird. one or two?  I'm not sure. ;)

She was tickled to think that I was going to put it on my blog.

E:  "What's a Blog mom"
Me:  "Well, a blog is where mommy writes about our life, like a journal, do you want to see it?"
E:  "Sure"
Me: "There it is, I post recipes and photos and talk about lots of stuff."
E:  "oh neat.  Can I go watch t.v. now?"


I guess it wasn't exciting enough for her.  Of course I haven't been posting many photos lately.  Still I told her I would let her know what everyone had to say about her shawl... so those of you who don't usually comment why not start today and make E's day!  The rest of you who do, I know you will make my girl happy!

Just slightly less than two weeks to go.  We are making a lot of progress.  My mom took the kids yesterday for part of the day and it gave us a nice break from them and an opportunity to pack without them.  Yeah.  They seem to delight in discovering every little stinking thing that we want to get rid of and suddenly declaring it as their most favourite item of all time.  This be it a toy, ribbon or broken flashlight.  And there most favourite thing to do is climb in the empty boxes.  Which would be fine only after the three of them start horsing around usually the box ends up being destroyed.

Here are my moving tips of the week:

Hiring Movers

  • Most movers charge by the hour and they estimate how many hours it takes by the amount of junk stuff you have.  Don't always go with the lowest but with the most realistic estimate.  They will come out to your house and do a free estimate.  Getting a feel for the sales person that comes into your home can tell you a lot about a company. 
  • It's always a good idea to check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if there has been a history of complaints. 
  • Moving has changed a lot.  Often what differentiates a company if the hourly rates are the same, are the services they provide.  Most provide free boxes and packing material.  Does your mover charge you overnight storage if you need to move over two days?  Good to know. 
Here's one for a chuckle.  We asked two moving companies to come in and give us a quote.  Because of the time we are getting possession of our new home the movers have to pick up one day and deliver the next. 

One quoted us $130.00 an hour and approximately 9 - 10 hours, 4 - 5 hours per day, coming in around $1,300.00.  The second one quoted us $139.00 and 18.5 hours,  9 Hours each day.  for a grand total of $2,997.00.  That's right,  $3,000.00 to move us 60 km up the road. 

 I emailed the 2nd guy back and said, hey are you sure you put down the right amount there it seems a little high.  To which he responded back that it was just an estimate if the time takes less then we'll be charged less etc and we have a lot of stuff blah blah.  Sure, we do but he's the professional.  If he's estimating 18.5 hours and we sign off on that you can darn well be sure that they won't be hustling their asses to make the time go faster.  Crazy. 

Well my MIL has come down about 5 times while I've been trying to get this done and surely is thinking what a lazy packer I am so I better sign off and get some work done.  

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Truth is Out - I am a Purist.

I like to think I am open minded, willing to try new things, explore my options.

When my husband comes home with a new brand of "chicken" nuggets made purely from textured vegetable protein, I let him cook it up for the children and I even took a tentative bite.  Not bad. For fake meat. 

When my dad pours me a glass of wine made by my grandfather and tells me I'm gonna love it, I take a sip.  A small one.  And try to hide my shudder.  My grandfather's wine tastes like crap.  Always has.  I know this but still I'm willing to hope that this time might be different.  That the fermented fruit will have somehow magically have been transformed into an elegant chardonnay instead of ... well extremely volatile fermented fruit.

When a hairdresser tells me she thinks a particular style will look fabulous on me. I trust her.  I let her cut my hair which ends up so short that the only possible way I can style it is to spend half an hour curling it reminiscent of long ago days in high school.  I had to FIND my curling iron.  The hair cut made me look 10 years more mature.  The hairdresser was an older lady.  I should have known what was hip to her was a blue rinse. 

When my husband told me that potatoe chips in sandwiches were delicious.  I tried it even though I thought he was crazy.  Turns out he was right.  It's delicious.  Before you laugh.. try it.  You will be surprised.

However, when it comes to books being converted to movies it is a completely different ball game.  This is where the geek in me really comes out.  I love good dialogue.  You can always tell when you're reading a quality written book from those formula generated books made to please the masses.  When a movie is made from a favourite book, I want to hear every gritty word.  We even turn on the subtitles so we can read what we may miss hearing. I am addicted to subtitles.

I actually refused to watch the Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly because I could tell from the previews that they had completely changed the storyline to fit the movie.  I did not want that version to replace the Jennifer Ehl and Colin Firth  six hour version that plays in my head.   Remember, I like long movies.

When they came out with Lestat, I could have cried.  They completely missed all the best parts of Anne Rice's vampire story, trying to combine two books into one, two hour film.  Queen of the Dammed was an even bigger disappointment.  Where was Maharet and Mekare?  Where was the history and the complex characters?  The makers of the LOTR trilogy challenged movie making by going against the norm in making a film per book.  If they had chosen to do Anne Rice's books after LOTR, I bet they would have done the same thing and it would have been amazing. 

Now they are messing with Sherlock Holmes.  Somehow or other I got hooked on the Adventure with Sherlock Holmes TV series from 1988 to 1994.  The one with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes.  I so enjoyed the t.v. series that eventually I read all the books and surprisingly these adaptations are astonishingly close to the books.  Apparently Jeremy Brett fought with the big whigs every week to make sure that it stayed on track.  He did the role so well, that for me no other man plays Sherlock Holmes so well.

Okay I am a complete geek.  I think I've already established that. ;)

Still, when I heard that Robert Downey jr. was going to play Sherlock Holmes in a new film, I was excited.  Even my husband was excited for me because he knew I liked Sherlock Holmes.  Apparently my geekness had extended to new heights because my mother bought me the complete encyclopedia of Sherlock Holmes.  Okay that was a bit much.  It's two volumes equal the size of a small country.  How do you read books that big?  I think she was stuck for gift ideas. 

I think Robert Downey jr is an extremely talented actor and that he would make a good Sherlock Holmes. 

However... have you seen the preview?

Okay. While this pushes all the buttons as far as suspense and action goes, Sherlock was never sexy. He was not some kind of thrill seeker, jumping out of a window into the thames, vampire hunting, hygiene lacking sort of hero. His vices did not extend to those of the opposite sex but to tobacco, cocaine and the violin.  He was a methodical thinker and emotionally void man.  He rebuked Dr. Watson numerious times for sensationalizing his cases. So I have the distinct feeling that this movie is not going to be your typical Sherlock Holmes type of film. 

Will I be going to see it?  You betcha.


Friday, January 15, 2010

The Shawl Dance Mishap - Broken Hearts

** I'm finally getting to relaying the Shawl Dance Mishap referred to in last week's post. I'm not sure why I didn't post about it at the time it happened... I think we were just too upset. I'm a little long winded but I took some time to lay down a little peek in what makes E, E. ;) ***

This parenting stuff is tough.  It's not enough to just care for and feed your children somehow you have to help them navigate through life's daily struggles.  Some days are really good and for those I am glad. My E comes home with a smile on her face and a lift in her step eager to share her day.  Other days are not so good and it's those that make a mother struggle with the right words and the right pieces of advice.

Just like nothing really prepared you for how exhausting it was caring for a newborn child.  Sure people told you it would be tough, but until you live it you just have no real idea.  I never knew that the sound of my children crying would be as if nails were being driven into my head.  I'm not talking newborn baby cries, I'm talking the shrieking tantrum type crying.   I could never have guessed that.

So nothing prepared me for the daily drama that living with three children entails.

E is my first born and probably my most challenging child.  I always say she suffers from first born syndrome. If your child suffers from it, you know what I mean.  I was labelled as child as being moody.  Something that always bothered me so I have tried to always refer to my challenges with E in a positive light.  Like she is passionate about what she wants and has no problem expressing it.  Translation:  has a throw down hissy fit/meltdown when asked to transition from play time centres where she has set up an entire store for the benefit of her kindergarten class (and I must say it was pretty cool) to having to actual school work.  In the behaviour, I can read how important and how neat what she was doing and I can completely understand why it was hard for her to switch tasks.  I get it.  It just doesn't make life easy.  She's not difficult, she's passionate.

However, she is also extremely kind and creative.  She is always the first to be at a child's side when they are injured and will stay with them until an adult comes.  She will spend hours creating works of art and science projects from bits of junk from all over the house.  She loves to collect garbage.  Literally.  It drives me crazy.  Anything plasticy, stringy or shiny must be brought home along with rocks, sticks and leaves.  Like I need more garbage.

She also wants to perform.  So when she came to us and told us she had signed up for the First Nation Shawl Making Class, I encouraged her.  What a great opportunity for her to learn a little about a different culture and have fun at the same time.  This went on throughout the fall.  Early in December we received an invitation from the local Band to come to a potlatch at the community hall to celebrate the holidays.  I didn't like the idea of trying to supervise 3 kids at a big dinner event so I sent E with hubby after assuring ourselves that E would not be performing the shawl dance that night.

It wasn't long after they left that I received a frantic call from K that yes, indeed they were performing the shawl dance and where was her shawl.  WTH?  The shawls were never sent home.  They are always at school for the kids to work on them.  Well apparently some kids have shawls but our child and 3 others didn't.  The liaison didn't know what tell him.  The main coordinator, L, was busy in the kitchen supervising the dinner.  So after a frantic search through the shawls it was determined that for some reasons these children's shawls were missing.  E was very upset.  This was a big deal to her.  Still when they call up the children to get ready E goes with them.  Very quickly she comes back, shoes in hand to K and tells him she wants to go home.  Turns out they told her that since she forgot her shawl that she was not allowed to perform.  Tears are streaming down her face.  The liaison lady comes to get E and tells her that it's okay that the 4 kids will get to do something else special.  Guess what they got to do?  Stand on the sidelines of the stage and watch the other kids perform.  K could see E and she cried the entire time.  It was more than a little difficult for him to sit there and listen to the Coordinator go on and on about how special she considers her relationships with the children in the class and how important families and the children are etc...while he watched his little girl sob on the sidelines excluded because of their mistake.  Not ours.  Theirs.

I, of course, am clueless about the whole thing until they arrive home.  My husband's first words were " I wish we never went"  I was completely astounded that such a thing could happen.  E was completely heartbroken and I had to hold her as she sobbed her little heart out.  I tried to reassure her that it wasn't her fault because for some reason she felt it was her fault.  I have no idea what those people said to her backstage but I know she blamed herself.  It took some time to calm her down.  Later as I was coming into her room, I heard her talking to herself in the bathroom... "and it was a real stage too not the stupid gym."   Turned out she was excited at the opportunity to perform on a real stage.  In her school they have to make do with a platform set up in the gym for the concert.  I had no idea this was so important to her.  Another thing taken from her.  She told me her heart was broken.  You can imagine how upset we were.

The next day she was upset because one of the girls told her teacher that E didn't get to perform and she was sad.  E was embarrassed and begged me not to talk to the teacher about it because it was her fault she forgot the shawl.  It didn't matter how many times I tried to reassure her it wasn't her fault, it obviously touched her little heart deeply.

We hadn't talked much about it since then.  K and I were too angry about it and didn't want to speak negatively in front of her because despite it all, she was still eager to do the class.  Which, as you may know from last week, they took that from her too because we are moving.

Still it was with a little gladness today that she finally brought her shawl home.  It was beautiful. She obviously worked so hard on the pattern.  Apparently it's a hummingbird done in the Native style.  I would have thought it was an eagle but no matter what it was beautiful and she was obviously proud to show it off to us.
After telling her what I thought of it.. I said it was too bad that she didn't get to perform with it.  She agreed.  Then I said it wasn't her fault though, right.  For the first time she agreed with me.  It wasn't her fault, it was a mix-up, the person who was supposed to bring it forgot it.

Although she did throw in there in the end... my heart was broken mom, I could tell from the happy look on her face and her easy acceptance that her heart has mended.

So like I said parenting is tough. Being a mother means that somehow I will need to come up with appropriate words of wisdom and comfort.  Being a mother means that sometimes all I can do is love and hold them and just be there for them.  Being a mother means that my heart will break every time theirs does.  

Until I was a mom.... I just never understood.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A little Chuckle

No photo today.  Just thought I'd share a little chuckle with you since it's Wednesday, it seemed appropriate. 

Now you all have heard Wednesday referred to as "hump day"? 

My  husband came home last Wednesday.  Apparently his female employee said to him " good thing it's hump day"   My husband sputtered... "What ?!?"   

He had never head of it. NEVER.  What planet is he from?  

hump day... snicker 


Monday, January 11, 2010

E is for Ethics - Book Review

"E is for Ethics, by Ian James Corlett, is an award-winning Canadian children's TV writer. Ian was inspired to write this book when he and his wife grappled with how to instill core morals and ethics in their two young children. As a solution, on Mondays after dinner they started a weekly discussion period dubbed "Family Fun Time." The family sat down together and Ian would tell his children tales about two young siblings named Elliott and Lucy.  E is for Ethics is a collection of those stories, which are designed to teach tact, understanding, and responsibility."

When I was first approached to do this review, I had just recently finished the Character is The Key and I seriously thought to myself... how many books like this can I read at a time?  Still, being an avid reader and always looking for more ideas on how to incorporate some positive teaching in my parenting style, I decided to take on the review. 

I have to say when the book arrived I was completely charmed by it.  The cover itself is sweet and just invites you to upon it up and explore.  The artwork, illustrated by R. A. Holt is very charming and simplistic and while it may have initially attracted me, it was the stories that kept me reading. 

Each of the 26 stories demonstrates a different ethic or value such as charity, loyalty, truthfulness, gratitude, kindness, perseverance, willingness, trust, respect etc.  The stories themselves are about two children, Elliott and Lucy and are relatively short (about a page) and are fairly simple to understand.  At the end of each story there are questions for you to discuss with your children.  

At first I thought that E would feel like I was sitting down and making her do homework.  It didn't turn out that way at all. She was happy to look at the picture and listen to me read the short story.  When I finished I asked her the first question and it didn't come across as if I was reading from a book but as completely natural.  I was amazed at how quickly my 6 year old grasped the basic message of the story and was eager to talk about the scenario at length.  My 4 year old was less interested, but she did hover around so I am sure she was taking it all in.  Since then we have worked our way through two more stories and plan to continue on. The shortness of the stories make it easy to add to our regular reading repetoire at night without the kids feeling they are being lectured to.  

Again, it just reiterates to me how important it is to sit down with your children and talk about these things.  Why wait for the issue to come up?  Why not tackle many of these core values head on and pave the way to developing a good sense of communication with your children.  

I see that this book is available through Amazon.Ca (currently $15.97) and Chapters.  For a list of other bookstores see Simon & Schuster's webpage www.SimondandSchuster.ca

Thanks to Michelle Blackwell at Simon & Schuster for providing me with this fun opportunity to review E is For Ethics. 

*This is not a paid advertisement. Simon & Schuster graciously provided me with a copy of the book to review.  My thoughts and opinions herein expressed are my own based upon my impressions gained from reading the book. 


Friday, January 8, 2010

Moving Angst

Yesterday K picked up the girls from school.  I could tell as soon as I soon my eldest's face through the door that something was wrong.  Let me preface this by telling you that my house is in complete chaos and I was desperately trying to get my half frozen chicken seasoned and prepped and in the oven.  I was feeling a little overwhelmed as I generally do at this time of day. 

So it hit me like a ton of bricks when I asked her what's wrong and she told me she had the

"worstest day ever, that everything is going wrong, can't do the shawl dance no more cause I'm moving, no one would play with me, and all anybody would say to me all day is you're moving, you're moving.. moving, moving, moving, it is horrible and I got an x cause you forgot to put my planner in my book" then promptly burst into tears all the while taking off her coat, pulling out her backpack and shoving papers and lunch bag at me. 

I just about cried myself.  I felt so bad for her.  I know what a big adjustment this move is going to be for her.  I can't help but feel a little mom guilt about that.  If we had of been able to sell our house before she started school, these issues would have been avoided.  The shawl dance is part of a First Nations cultural offering at her school where all children are welcome to attend and learn to make traditional Native costumes and learn dancing.  This is the only extra curricular thing E has been able to do and I feel bad it's being taken away from her. Although after the whole Christmas Celebration dinner fiasco with them, I'm surprised that she still wants to do it.  I can't remember if I blogged about it.  Still, I can't believe they won't let her continue for the rest of the month. Isn't cultural understanding and awareness what the whole program is about? Aren't we supposed to be reaching our children at a young age so they grow up accepting each other's cultural differences?  Why would they turn away a child who is so obviously enthusiastic about it?

In the end all I could do was listen.  I got down on my knees so I was at her eye level while she vented and tried to pull out something, anything positive from what she was saying.  And you know what?  It worked.  She perked up fairly quick and seemed better after a reassuring hug.  She even came back to talk with me while I finished getting dinner into the oven.   It's nice when you know you did exactly what they needed at the right time.

I still feel bad for her though and I know that this month is going to be really tough.  Her teacher encouraged me though saying it's always great to be the new kid at school because everyone wants to take care of you. I think that much may be true for her age group.  I hope it is.  I know it gets tougher when they are older. 

I hope it's not too late to get her into some extra curricular programs when we move.  I think that will help her. Poor mite asks for so little.  okay I'm digging that guilt in just a little deeper aren't I? 

We still haven't resolved my store though.  We have it up for sale.  Had one inquiry before Christmas which went no where and then this week we had a gentleman stop by and was interested but nothing more from him to date.  The store selling would be the final sign that everything is going to be alright.  I so don't know how we are going to manage two stores and working in one of them long distance until it sells.  I don't want to just close it down though. I'd like to come away with a little extra.  I just know that after one week of communiting, even if it's only for two days a week, I'm gonna hate it.

So tell me that I'm not scaring my child for life, that she will be okay and that you're praying my store sells so we can be one big happy family in the new City.  Okay?  Thanks.


Day Five of Packing - We See Some Progress

Today I am feeling fairly confident with the packing.  In the beginning I was a little stressed as I knew K wanted to try and sort while we packed, which means everything takes a whole lot longer.  The thought of having to sort and purge while we went stressed me out.  Because let's face, who ends up doing 90% of the packing.  That's right, me!

However, I did the mature thing (for once) and was honest with K.  There was just no way I could sort pack, run the household, look after three children including ferrying two back and forth to school/preschool, oh and work evenings.  After Day two of packing, I had just about exhausted myself from being on my feet all day packing at home then I got the pleasure of cooking supper and heading off to work where I ended up on my feet all night moving things around there.

K heard me, while he didn't say much at first and I thought I hadn't got through to him or he thought I was just being silly.  Cause men tend to be like that... not say much directly.  He later ( few days later) told me he had planned on taking an extra two days off per week to help with the packing.  So while he never responded to what I had said in a direct fashion obviously he processed it and came up with his solution.  However, we got to it, I am just glad we did.  Knowing that he was helping me pack made it possible to take some time and sort the kid's toys out a little as I went.

I decided to start with the worst jobs first which were the kid's closets first.  There was so much stuff in them what with outgrown clothes, dress up clothes, toys and even some of our stuff had ended up in there.  It's like what I said earlier this week, I regret putting off what I should have done a while ago.  If I had of sorted those clothes as I went instead of just stuffing them into the closet, I wouldn't have had that big mess to go through.  Still it's done now and it sure makes me feel good.

I have to get off my butt and get going though.  The moving guys are coming tomorrow to give us quotes for the move and I just hate having my house a mess when people come through.  Last time I am sure they over quoted us just because we looked so unorganized when they came through.  Little did they know that we are in reality very organized people and have everything so organized all the movers had to do was move the furniture out and load up a few boxes from the garage.  They ended up having time to kill and took like 10 smoke breaks because there is a 3 hour minimum.   This time we're planning on getting our money's worth out of them.  They won't have no time for smoke breaks! ;)

By the way.. if any of you would like a copy of those moving labels I had done up, I'd be happy to email you the file. It's just a publisher file.  I have two other sets with bathroom, garage, toys and misc labels too.

Moving Tip

- Create a moving notebook.  Inside the front cover I wrote both the address of where we are moving to and the address of where we are, the new telephone number, names and numbers of the bank people, realtors and notary. You don't know how many times you are going to need that information as you go along.  Then I am using the rest of the notebook to create lists of what I need to do, who to contact re address changes, call the phone company, cable, hydro, schools, etc.  


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Top Ten Thursday - 10 Reason Why I love LOTR

Okay this is definitely a situational inspired list this week.  We took a break from packing and had a urge to put our feet up and watch television.  Of course, there is very little on t.v. at night and so after some digging because Id already packed the DVD's, came across the LOTR Return of the King, deluxe extended edition of course,  so we popped it in.

10 Reasons Why I love the Lord of the Rings

1.  Never have I a seen such an amazing adaptation from the book to film.  Sure it's not perfect, sure they left out lots of good stuff but hey the movie's over 6  hours long, can you imagine if they left everything in?

2.  It's Six hours long.  Is that a detraction from the film?   Not for me.  I absolutely love that there is so much to see and there is always something more to come.  It's one of those films that you could go on watching forever.

3.  Viggo Mortenson.  Really, need I say more?  What woman has not pictured herself as Lady Arwen and in Aragorn's arms?  I had never heard of the man until this movie.  Thank you to whoever cast him in this film.

4.  There are not one but two love stories woven through this story.  As I telll my husband, he loves it for the action, I love it for the story. Now those of you who haven't read the books are only aware of Aragorn and Arwen's love story but for those of you who have read the books also know about Lady Eowyn and Faramir. If you own the extended version of the Return of the King there are some additional scenes that give you a hint of the love story between them.

5.  I cannot find any fault with the dialogue.  It's not cheesy in any way. Remember the Titanic?  Loved the film but I cringe every time over some of the dialogue.  I am all about good dialogue.

6.  I love the Elves.  The way they are depicted in this story make them more real, more believable.  They are lifted to a whole other level from the usual fairy tale elves that are often portrayed as more mischievious than etherial.  I'd have to say that same goes for all the other races like the Hobbits and Dwarves.  It's all just so fascinating.

7.  The scenery in the filming of it is breathtaking.  It is amazing how they brought the scenes and events of the book to life.  They did such a wonderful job bringing the Shire and Rohan to life.  Gondor I believe is mostly blue screens.  Still it makes me want to travel to New Zealand.

8.   I love that it just doesn't end with the movie, that I was able to go out and buy the books and learn more about what happened to these people.  I also discovered and read the Hobbit which I absolutely hope that they make a movie out of it.

9.  It made me cry but it also made me laugh.  Some parts of the story are so poignant and touching like when Boromir died and yet there are so many funny little barbs through the movie that it helps relieve some of the built up tension.

10. Good triumphs evil and they did it without killing off the main character. Although in the end Frodo doesn't enjoy his life the way he would have if it all had never happened, he was altered forever by his experiences and so goes off to the Grey Havens.  Which gives the film just that little bittersweet end.

Okay, I've now outed myself as one complete dork.  Don't worry I don't dress up like an elf and dance around the house or anything... well not until I get the dress.  ;)

***Want to join in?  Why not grab the button off the sidebar post it and your top ten list on your site and pop back here and link up.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Garden Memories

These sunflowers were over 7 feet tall in our garden last year.  First time we ever had success with them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rachael Ray Cookware Review

Finally I get to review my new Rachael Ray casserole dish.  I say finally because although it arrived like the day before Christmas, I have been staring at it since then just dying to use it.  It is just as gorgeous in reality as it was in the photo.   So pretty I didn't even want to put it away.  It literally sat atop my stove since I opened the box just waiting for me to bake something in it.

It's little wonder that the first official day of not eating leftovers with the in-laws that I broke it in with a good ol tuna casserole. That would have been a great idea if  I had any tuna left.  A fact I failed to discover until I had already started cooking the pasta and sauteing the mushrooms and onions. Not to worry, a quick dig in the freezer revealed a package of ground turkey and with a few minor adjustments, a little curry and other seasonings I had a repeater according to my husband.

Repeater   Definition:  A dish worth repeating.

One of the first things I liked about this dish was the handles.  I had my noodles in the colander in the sink and  just reached over and grabbed the dish by a handle and moved it over.  The style made it so easy to do.  It is solid stoneware but not so heavy that it was uncomfortable to lift with one hand. Dishwasher, microwave and get this... freezer safe.  It can handle up to 500 F in the oven with a nonporous interior so food won't interact.  The glazed color continues through into the interior of both the dish itself and the lid and the lid fits nice and snug.

Could I have made this recipe in any old casserole dish?  Sure but it never would have looked quite this delicious!  This is literally one of those dishes that can go straight from the oven to the table it is so lovely.

I had so much fun looking for cookware sets at Cookware.com and really appreciate the opportunity to review this casseround.  Their website was easy to use and carries all sorts of name brands.  Once I received the shipping confirmation, it took less than a week for it to arrive all the way to my home here on the west coast of Canada. That fact is amazing considering it's possibly the busiest shipping week of the year.  Obviously they ship both to the U.S. and Canada and they always seem to have plenty of sales going on.

So definitely a positive experience for me and worth a look.  I already have my eye on one or two others things over there. ;0)

*please note that I was not paid for this review.  I received the dish complimentary from CSN Stores to conduct the review.  Other than that this review represents my own opinions and personal experience with the product. 

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lessons on How Not to Move...

Day 1 of Packing

Complete Chaos.

Two and a half years of house showings and stashing of junk equals one huge gigantic mess. I am sure in the knowledge of

a) I have way too much stuff; and

b) my kids have entirely way too many toys!

They have so many toys spread around our home and boxed up that I am sure an entire underprivileged nation would benefit from a donation from us. Okay, I'm exaggerating.

Having said that; however, when you add up two sets of grandparents, two sets of aunts and uncles and one set of parents that equals a hell of a lot of toys. Because you just know that the aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas are not going to shower our precious three with any gifts so boring as clothes. No way. That's left for us to buy. My brother is determined to become number one in the favourite uncle category and has insisted from day one that he was not buying my kids anything but cool toys.

So we end up with a whole lot of toys we don't know what to do with. Never mind the whole quandary of can we get rid of this toy some relative spent at least 40 bucks on? Will they notice? Isn't it wasteful?

But still it basically all comes down to how unorganized we have been over the last several years. I can blame it on the small space we live in, I can blame it on work, being too busy etc but basically it all comes down to the fact that I haven't made it a priority. There are always a million and one better things to do (like blogging) and let's..... just get one teensy weensy laying of the blame in here .... my kids always mess it up as soon as I get it organized. ;)

It took us about two hours just to sort through our storage room, also known as the "throw your crap in and close the door quickly room".

It was at that moment, as I stood in the eye of the storm, that I wished I had NOT put off to tomorrow what I should have done today. Cause let me tell you, it always comes back to bite you in the ass. Two and a half years of art supplies spread over multiple shelves and boxes, toys stuffed in bags and boxes. Hmmm were those the toys that I was going to get ride of or keep? Was I keeping that bag of clothes or not? And why is it so hard to look at the bag and tell without going through the entire thing if it's a keep or get rid of? I mean surely at some point I knew what I was doing so why not now? How on earth can I sort through stuff when I have no place to set things down. Why do you have to make a bigger mess before you can get it all sorted and tidy?

I am hoping with that part pretty much done that the rest of the packing will go smoothly. To that end I have created my own moving labels. It's the secretary in me that delights in making itemized lists.
I printed these off on a 8 1/2 x 11 fluorescent orange label sheet. They stand out really well when they are on the box. Not only will it help me direct the movers, I will hopefully have an easier time pinpointing things that we may need. The only catch is those label sheets aren't cheap at the local stationary store here so I may end up printing the rest on regular paper and just taping them on with packing tape. It's a good idea to cover the labels with tape anyways in case it rains to keep the ink from running.

Here are a couple of packing tips:

1. Start in one room and work your way through it. Not only will you feel like you are accomplishing more from seeing one room done instead of a bits from here and there, you will feel more focussed and organized mentally.

2. Use a different colour bag for your garbage than for what you're keeping. I.e. black for garbage, clear or white for say clothes and bedding. This way you always know the black is for tossing the clear or white is for keeping.

Well it's time to go start digging up those posts from Organize with Sandy from the last time we thought we were moving. This is going to be one crazy month.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year - Resulotion Time

Yippee, First post of 2010. Wow!

Do people still make resolutions? Does anybody actually keep them? I don't know. I am sure some do but I have never been one to make or keep them. Maybe I knew that setting yourself up to fail is just a waste of time because let's face what a bad time of year to try and do something monumental like losing weight or quitting smoking. After all in North America Christmas is the gorging season and for many of us the holidays come with added stress of weird family dynamics. Stress and smoking go hand in hand just like Christmas and treats go hand in hand.

Hand's up, how many of you had a freezer full of Christmas baking this past Christmas or better how many of you received said baking or boxes of chocolates for a gift?

Still with all the changes coming in January I feel somehow moved to make a few as I look at closing off one phase of my life and entering into a new one. You cannot imagine how thrilled and excited I am to be moving into my own home again and not having to share one with my relatives.

So here are a few things I'd like to keep this year.

New Years Resolutions

~ Live more

~ Love more

~ Be More

~Exercise and lose weight (such an obvious and cliched one I know)

~ Discover one passion in life and pursue it (hobby wise)

~ Work on my novel

~ Play with my kids more

~ Grow more as a person

What are some of your resolutions?