"The Tightrope Walker"

"The Tightrope Walker" by Jean-Louis Forain

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friday Five - Early

I'm posting my Friday Five today, since tomorrow is Canada Day and we are making our first trip to the family cottage this summer.  Here it is....and I know it is more than 5 words or syllables, and they don't count as sentences.  But it is 5 lines, so just go with please.  :-)

Happy Birthday Canada!





(Friday Five is 5 syllables, 5 words or 5 sentences that sum up my week or day.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Time for another Appreciations post.  Here's what I'm appreciating today:

A good weather forecast.

A long weekend within days.

Tidy house.

Folded laundry.

Hot, steaming tea.

Cool, sour lemonade.





A good book like this.

And, of course this.  :-) 

Plus it is Wednesday, and not Monday anymore!

Monday, June 27, 2011

In a Funk

It's Monday again, it comes every week and every week I wish it could be Friday already.  Today I'm feeling especially 'blah'.  We had a busy weekend with lots of special events and I noticed that it didn't matter what we were celebrating guests spent their time complaining.  Don't get me wrong here I can complain with the best of them, but somehow a celebration doesn't seem like the time or place to be airing one's woes.

Adding to me frustration was the topics under attack.  I listened to various people complain about a 7-night tropical vacation, requiring a dress to be taken in two sizes due to weight loss, getting a job, their home, the menu for the celebratory meal, a gift and much more.  Most of the more mundane complaints I can handle - the weather, a personality conflict, the cost of groceries, whatever - but a vacation, weight loss, a job, a FREE meal, a FREE gift????  Really, these are the worst things going on in your life.  I would give almost anything to have a 2-night tropical vacation, require a dress to be taken in an inch, to have even a job interview, and guess what I enjoyed every bite of my meal that was being served to celebrate someone else's success!

This whole weekend of whining really put me in a funk.  I woke up yesterday (and again today) feeling miserable, grouchy and thinking that I would taken of those complaints over some of my own.  We are all taught now to be politically correct and to think before we speak, but why don't we think before we bemoan our wonderful lives?  Why is it so hard to appreciate a vacation because there are bugs or to celebrate a healthy weight loss if it means be inconvenienced by an extra trip to the tailor?  When we are on the other side, how come we don't realize the grass is already greener?  It makes me sad and frustrated  that things I'm working so hard for are taken for granted by others.  However, the more important lesson is that for every complaint I make there is someone in the world wishing they had what I have.  Someone wishing for a safe home, a happy family, a big grocery bill, clean clothes, safe drinking water and all the simply things in life that I take for granted.  So, the only thing left to do is shake it off, work harder for the things I want in life and revel in all the things I already have!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Two For The Record Books!

Today was a day of firsts at our house!  I'm warning you this might seem trivial to you, but the possibilities seem endless to me.

First, the weather was pretty crummy here today so playing outside wasn't exactly an inviting option.  Early this morning we settled in for a bit of a movie marathon, but the longer I sat here the more I realized I needed to get off my butt and get to cleaning.  I started in the kitchen hoping that I wouldn't disturb the girls since they were actually sitting quiet and content in the living room.  Before I knew it the kitchen was beginning to look spic-and-span, but in my cleaning-focused-haze (otherwise known as a chemical cleaner high) I hadn't even noticed that the movie had ended and the girls had gone upstairs.  Okay, I had noticed but only vaguely because they were quiet.  I know what you are thinking - quiet means trouble.  I quickly dashed upstairs to peek on them and....GASP!  They were actually, truly playing with each other and NICELY too! What? Really?  Yes, they played for almost an hour just the two of them.  I continued to clean in peace and all the while I could hear them "planning for a party" in their bedrooms.  So sweet listening to them chatting and "decorating" for the big event.  They hung bracelets and necklaces on door and furniture knobs.  They laid blankets out on the floor as fancy carpets.  So cute!

As a general rule Sophie and Molly get along quite well, but until today I can't remember them actually engaging each other in play especially of the imaginary sort.  I realized that Molly is growing up so quickly and that Sophie has become a patient, kind big sister.  I also realized that my time to get non-mommy things done is increasing.  Can you imagine the possibilities of an uninterrupted hour while they play happily?  The possibilities are endless!

The second big first at our house was an adult evening out with a hired teenage babysitter at home.  Usually our parents and siblings watch the girls if we need a babysitter on evenings or weekends, but tonight we were headed to an adult-only family celebration which meant we needed to make different arrangements.  So, we asked a neighbourhood teen we know if she would babysit.  She agreed happily (which I thought was crazy) and spent this evening with Molly and Sophie.  Everything went off without a hitch!  The girls behaved beautifully, everyone had fun, the girls went to bed on time and all without having to be packed up for a sleepover at their grandparents.  Better yet, the sitter even said she would come again!

What?  Full stop!  Did you hear that? This teenage girl says she will babysit our girls whenever we want!  Again, imagine the possibilities!  I see movie dates, Starbucks dates, dinners out and more.  I could go to the gym for an hour in the evening when JD works, I could visit with my girlfriends, a haircut, a pedicure....endless possibilities.  (Only dilemma...what do you pay a teenage babysitter these days?)

I know these are two small things, but they mean so much when it comes to the balance of time.  I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I can see a future with more balance, more fun for everyone!  Babies are wonderful, but there is something to be said for kids growing up!

Friday Five.

Friday Five is 5 syllables, 5 words or 5 sentences that sum up my week or day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Since becoming a mother I have dedicated hours, days even, to children's shoes.  Why, oh why are kid's shoes such a pain in the @$$?

Before they even take those first precious steps we are trying to keep their toes warm and safe in slippers.  Slippers that only fit for a few weeks, don't stay on or are such a pain to get on that you give up.  Then our little ones start walking and we agonize over their first "real" pair of shoes.  Should they have laces or velcro?  Should they be soft-soled or stiff?  Do they fit???  Since baby can't talk yet they can't tell you if their tiny toes are being pinched.  Sigh.

Then in a blink of an eye you are hunting for winter boots in January because your child has had a growth spurt.  Rain boots, sandals, running shoes too!  Next comes school and they of course demand indoor and outdoor shoes.  Dress shoes, play shoes, going in the mud shoes!

And don't forget the most important rule: the child's toes must be a thumb space from the end of the shoe.  Well, damn it!  Who's thumb?  My thumb, my husband's thumb, my kid's thumb?  Since when is a thumb a standard unit of measurement!  Have you ever tried to feel a child's big toe inside a shoe?  Near impossible, especially when they are running around the store like crazy loons!

Having had the crazy-loon-running-around-like-a-maniac experience I made the mistake of trying to buy sandals without my kids.  Stupid me because that led to TWO more trips to the shoe store WITH my girls.  Stupid, stupid, stupid!  But honestly, what is it about the shoe store and kids?  You know how in high-end shoe stores they pump in that leather smell to entice you into purchasing?  Well, I swear that they pump kid's shoe stores with some sort of cat-nip-like vapour for children.  Do they make a vaporized sugar product that I don't know about?

After all that agony comes the true heartbreaking pain.  One little pair of two-year-old sandals that costs $55.  Gulp!  (No, I did NOT buy the $55 pair.)  For $55 I could buy a great pair of sandals for myself.  I'm a big believer in buying quality shoes - after all shoe to foot to ankle to knee to hip to back all sort of sounds important to me.  But $55?  Really?  For $55 the shoe salesperson should come to my house and put those shoes on and take them off my toddler every time we come and go.

When I was kid I had running shoes, dress shoes, winter boots and rain boots.  That's it.  (And, until my toes were curling at the end of the shoe they still fit in parents' eyes.)  Come June there were no shoes.  Of course I had sandals, but we spent most of the summer bare foot in the grass or at the beach.  When?  When did it become mandatory for children to have a shoe wardrobe like Imelda Marcos?

Alife Asics Gel Lyte III
Maybe I'm just crazy.  I don't know, maybe the hours days I have spent shoe shopping, hunting for one missing shoe, cleaning poopy muddy shoes, putting shoes on and taking them off again has been self-imposed punishment.  What I do know is that once upon a time there was a girl who loved to shop for pretty shoes, fun shoes, comfy shoes, trendy shoes.  She would shop spontaneously, spend too much and enjoy every minute.  Unfortunately, her fairy tale didn't have a happy ending.  The ugly shoe monster ate her alive!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It isn't that I can't, it's that I don't want to!

So, I've sort of got this thing.  Not quite a rule or a pet peeve, just at thing.  I don't like to go out in the evenings on weekdays, ESPECIALLY when JD works nights.  It isn't that I'm a hermit or a grouch, it is just that if I go out with the girls in the evening then my time for me is lost.  Gone. Over.  If we absolutely have to go out for something, like Sophie's soccer, I will do it but if it can wait until the morning, the weekend or any other time then it waits.

And, it isn't that I can't.  Why do people assume that I don't go out with my girls in the evening when JD is at work because I can't do it by myself?  Guess what folks - I do it by myself all the time.  Remarkable isn't it!  (Thick sarcasm fully intended.)  I take my daughters grocery shopping, to the library, the mall, we go to the park, splash pad and lots of other places just the three of us.  I bath them, feed them, read them stories, and put them to bed all by myself.  I tend to their dentist, doctor and optometrist appointments all by myself.  I even have been known to take a baby for vaccinations all by myself, which isn't pleasant without extra help.  So no, it isn't that I CAN'T attend your BBQ, restaurant trip, celebration, shopping excursion or whatever it is you've invited me to alone with my two children.  It is quite simply that I DON'T WANT TO.

I don't want to struggle to feed my children at your party because they are overstimulated and eating dinner late.  I don't want to wind them up with excitement and fun, keep them out late and then be rushed to bath and tuck them in because it is hours after their bedtime.  I don't want to blow our routine out of the water for something we could do on the weekend.  I don't want to lose my hour or two of quiet time by myself in the evening.  There is a fine line between keeping it all together and tipping right over the edge.  And yes letting you feed my children ice cream at 7pm will push us all over the edge.  So yes I can do it, but I just don't want to!

Feel free to invite us, but don't be offended when I decline.  My kids need a solid 12 hours of sleep, and in that 12 hours I must sleep for 8.  That leaves me with 4 hours.  You got it, that is 4 hours to do the laundry, dishes, cleaning, prep for tomorrow and have some time for myself.  Those 4 precious hours give my life a little bit of balance.  So please don't be offended when I say 'no', and then imagine (or remember) what your life was like when each day was really only 4 hours.  It isn't that I can't, it's that I just don't want to!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dad's Day.

This happened just this morning and it proves that JD is a good dad, and very possibly a better parent than me.  So, read on:

After everyone enjoyed homemade pancakes to celebrate Father's Day, JD and Molly stayed at the kitchen table.  JD was finishing up his coffee and Molly was happily (and quietly) playing with Play-Doh, while I tidied the remnants of our sticky, maple syrup-ed breakfast.  I happened to drop an extra sticky fork that Molly had been using and of course syrup quickly spread across the counter, my fingers and everything I touched.  In irritation I whispered (or thought I whispered), "Oh shoot!"

Molly (and her super-sonic-superhero ears) quickly began to utter repeatedly, "Doot, man! Doot, man!"  Yes, over and over and over.

JD pipes in now with, "What is she saying?  Is she saying Dude-Man?"  (Dude-Man is an expression that has been part of a long running family joke, so old that I don't know when or how it started anymore.)  "Who taught her Dude-Man?"  At this point I can tell that JD is hyped Molly is so quick to pick-up his skateboarding, surfer-guy lingo, but yes I must break his heart.  I must tell the truth.

"She isn't saying, 'Dude-Man'.  She is saying, 'Shoot, man!'"  (Insert my sheepish look here.)

"Who did she learn that from?"  (Insert JD's look of shame-on-you mixed with caught-ya here.)

I, of course, did not dignify this question with an answer, besides we both know that any bad language our girls pick-up comes from their potty-mouthed mother.  So there you have it - JD is the better parent.  The parent who doesn't teach his daughters to curse inappropriately, but at least it was only shoot and not the f-bomb.  Right???  So for today, this lovely Father's Day, JD wins the award for "Best Parent" and I hang my head in shame.

All joking aside - Happy Father's Day to JD!  You are a great dad and husband.  The girls are so very lucky to have a dad that loves to play dress-up, ride bikes, read stories, build bird houses and tuck them in at night!  We are grateful for all that you do.  Enjoy your special day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Too Short to Wait.

"Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite.  Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance.  
Everyone is just waiting."
~Dr. Seuss
After a busy day with the girls I was fully prepared to rant about my child(ren)'s ungrateful attitude for all the special things we do together, but then I found out that a childhood friend's mother died yesterday and I remembered.  

I remembered that life is short and unexpected.  I remembered that my girls are little and what they don't appreciate now they will appreciate later.  I remembered that sometimes the fun things we do are for me to enjoy them and not for them to appreciate me.    I remembered that they smiled and giggled all afternoon.   I remembered that the best any mom, any parent, can do is give their child wonderful memories  that help them to move forward in life as a kind, empathetic and strong individual.  Life is too short and sweet to wait for my children to express their gratitude.  As long as they smile, hug and laugh that is enough for me!
I hope when our time together is done they will remember this:  
"Don't cry because it is over.  Smile because it happened."~Dr. Seuss

To C:  I don't know if you are still checking in, but I'm thinking of you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Five.

Sniffle, sniffle, blow.  Darn cold?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Reflections Forward

No steam for anything new today, but still working away at my photo/gratitude project.  If you haven't had a chance yet please check out my other blog, Reflections Forward.  I'm spending time looking back at older photos to find gratitude and reflect on the growth and change of my little family.  Thanks!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Wishes Come True?

My Friday Five last week was a list of birthday wished.  Read on to see which wishes were granted!
  1. For the weather to be nice enough to enjoy a dinner date on a patio. Check!
  2. A new flirty top for said dinner date. Nope, but not without trying.  JD and girls only gave me a small a gift in the hopes that I would have a mini-shopping spree on my own, but I just couldn't find anything I loved enough to buy.  Fun trying though!
  3. To sleep late Sunday, and I mean to actually sleep and not lie in bed awake listening to the girls downstairs. Check!  Slept until after 10 am, thank you!
  4. Chai latte, please.  Check!
  5. Hoping for a homemade birthday card accompanied by the singing of "Happy Birthday" from my girlies.  Check!  Home made card and lots of "Happy Birthday Mama!"
All in all it was a lovely birthday.  I spend the day with the girls and then JD took me out for a date night.  It turned out to be the strangest and funnest date night ever!  First, burgers and beers on a patio.  Then, glow in the dark mini-putt which was hilarious!  After two rounds of mini-putt JD took me shopping...at the grocery store.  Nothing like buying $5, 100% cotton tees, kleenex and allergy medicine all in one spot.  Gotta love Joe Fresh!  Next a stop for dessert at a yummy coffee shop and finally a movie cuddled-up on the couch.  Simple, but lots of really great time together.  This is the kind of birthday I'd like every year!  Thanks JD, and love ya!

P.S. Only negative this darn runny nose, sore throat and plugged up ears.  Spent most of today in bed feeling miserable.  :-{

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Five.

My Friday Five this week is a list of five birthday wishes:

  1. For the weather to be nice enough to enjoy a dinner date on a patio.
  2. A new flirty top for said dinner date.
  3. To sleep late Sunday, and I mean to actually sleep and not lie in bed awake listening to the girls downstairs.
  4. Chai latte, please.
  5. Hoping for a homemade birthday card accompanied by the singing of "Happy Birthday" from my girlies.
(Hopefully JD reads this between now and tomorrow morning because otherwise my wishes probably won't come true! lol)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Summer Bucket List

I'm not really a big fan of the bucket list idea.  The cynical, critical side of me says, "Why do you need a list to encourage you to live life?  Just go live."  Meanwhile the honest, Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder side whispers in my ear, "The only reason you dislike bucket lists so much is that you aren't adventurous enough to have a list longer than three things.  Stop criticizing people who honestly enjoy their lives!"  Regardless of Jiminy on my shoulder I generally have felt like bucket lists are for me.

Then I read Foster and Boo's "Summer Bucket List" and felt inspired.  I'm home all summer with my girls because of school holidays, they are growing so fast, I always feel like I don't have enough time for myself and we spend so much of the winter holed-up inside that having a summer wish list seems like an awesome idea.  I'm taking Foster and Boo's lead and creating my own summer bucket list.  Not sure how well I'll do, but I'm looking forward to having fun with the challenge.  Here it goes:

Visit the library and splashpad with the girls at least once a week.
Get a haircut, brow wax manicure and pedicure.
Read at least three books, kid books don't count!
Get to the gym three times a week, 12x3=36. Yikes
Two real date nights.
Overnight beach trip.
Share a bottle of wine, or more, with my girlfriends.
Learn a new skill or hobby.
Have a Mommy-Sophie date.
Try more than two new recipes.
Go somewhere new as a family.
See a movie at the theatre or drive-in.

Even though this school year hasn't quit ended there are only 12 weeks until the new one begins.  I better get going!  This should be fun!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Yeah Me!

I don't consider myself to be completely new to the world of blogging, but something new and fun did happen today.  Sarah at Not So Silent Mommy honoured me with an award for being a blog she enjoys to read.  A nice compliment!

The idea is that when you receive the award you share 7 things about yourself and then pass it on to 7 other bloggers.  I don't usually go in for things like this when they are emails or on Facebook, but sometimes when you are blogging it can feel a little like talking to yourself.  This seems like a great way to let others know you are reading, relating and enjoying.  So here goes nothing!

7 things you maybe didn't know about me:

  1. I'm the oldest of three.
  2. I married my high school sweetheart.
  3. I was born, grew-up and now live my adult life all in the same southwestern Ontario town.  Crazy and unadventurous, I know!
  4. I am addicted to chai lattes, and even buy the same mix that Starbucks uses so I can make them at home.
  5. I hate feet!  I won't touch them and I don't like bare feet touching me.  Yuck!
  6. My favourite way to spend a day, aside from being with my family, is in my pajamas with a good book.
  7. I think that people who say they live life without regrets are lying because regrets are lessons learned.  Regrets propel us forward.
Now I'm suppose to pass the award forward to 7 blogs I enjoy.  I've decided to switch things up a little and I'm going to list a combo of blogs I enjoy, and new blogs I've recently discovered and look forward to exploring more.  Check them out!  (In no particular order.)
  1. Foster and Boo
  2. Icing & Crumbs
  3. Is There Any Mommy Out There?
  4. Raising Three Thinkers
  5. Stray Matter
  6. The Bitchin' Wives Club
  7. Modded Mama
Thanks again to Sarah at Not So Silent Mommy.  Blogging is an adventure in group therapy and mommy-networking like none other.  It is so nice to know that others are reading along and hopefully enjoying!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Time for another Appreciations post.   I'm going to dedicate today's appreciations all to Molly on her second birthday, but before I do there are some special appreciations I'd like to share.

First, I'd like to thank Sarah at Not So Silent Mommy for choosing one of my posts at a favourite.  What a great compliment!  Thanks Sarah!  Second, thanks to all the readers who made the trip from Not So Silent Mommy to come and see me.  I read quite a few nice comments this weekend and really appreciate the kind words.  Looking forward to sharing about me and reading about you too!

*          *          *

Now back to Miss. Molly on her second birthday.  Let me say that again...SECOND birthday....GULP!  Where does the time go?  Where did my baby go?  Rather than be morose and sad that my baby is growing too fast I'm going to spend my day appreciating everything about her.  So here it goes, Appreciations for Molly:

Love that she loves to cuddle.  

Quick to share her hugs and kisses with everyone.

Molly's manners, "Peassse" and "Gank ouuu, elcome!"  And yes, she says "elcome" for you before you can say, "You are welcome!"

Tight ringlets just at the back of her neck.

Colour of her eyes, that no one can quite describe.

Beauty mark on her lip.

She still smells like a baby.

Terrific fake laugh, yes fake.

Thinks "faaarttts" are the funniest thing in the world.

And, loves "boooobieeees" too! (Can be embarrassing in public, but oddly comical too!)

Thinks babies, puppies and most other animals are "cuuuute".

Actually likes to clean-up as much as she enjoys making a mess.

Singing. Dancing.

Knock-knock jokes with Sophie.

Insists on iPod music.

Must walk everywhere, but still loves the stroller too.

Her blankie.

Ma, Mama, Mommy, MOMMMEEEE!

Giggling on the potty, hilarious.

"Pitty dess" aka "pretty dress".

Water baby, even if it is freezing cold sprinkler water.

THINKS she is a big kid.

No fear, even if it makes me fearful.

And then there is this.....

A girl who loves to have all the control, Elmo's Keyboard-o-rama and the sunshine.  
Happy 2nd Birthday, Molly!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Friday Five: Two for One Special.

Car parts cost too much!


"Go the F*ck to Sleep!" 
by Adam Mansbach

(I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy this for myself and include it in every baby shower gift, not for those who are easily offended!)

Global Warming?

We spent Sophie's first soccer game standing in POURING rain.  We were so wet that not only did I peel Sophie clothes off of her, but I literally drained water from her shoes.  Problem:  global warming, maybe?

Sophie's second game last week was so COLD that we cuddled under blankets and wore warm coats.  Problem: global warming, maybe?

Sophie had her third game this week and it was so HOT it was almost unbearable, except for nice breeze.  Problem: not global warming, I'm just not built to be a Soccer Mom.

I think next we will go for pottery classes or drama or better yet a book club.  More my pace!