Thursday, December 31, 2009

Closing out the Old Year 2009

There is just something about ringing in the New Year that makes you want this year to be better than the last. After all, it is a blank slate. It's fresh. It's clean. It's new. Kind of like getting into that new car only without the new car smell. ;)

As this year draws to an end, I am more relieved than ever to be putting a phase of life behind me. I have a new home in a new city and a new adventure to look forward to in January. I know that next year so far does not have one bad day in it, no one has raised their voices or lost their temper or have any regrets at all. In that shiny new year, all the faces are clean and eager and just waiting for something wonderful to happen.

This year brought us further in E's education with her completion of kindergarten and start of grade one. We had wonderful Valentine and Easter celebrations with the children and our family. We went camping in the summer, spent some time at the beach and celebrated E's 6th, O's 2nd and J's 3rd birthday. We went to the fall fair and had a wonderful time. E has learned to be a learner and is finally starting to see some results of her hard work.

All three of our children had a wonderful halloween, enjoyed their parties and pumpkin carving. J has learned to transition into preschool without tears this year and O is on the cusp of potty training. I hosted Thanksgiving this year for the in laws and it turned out marvelous. Christmas was wonderful and although it started off a little rocky was still a very blessed day.

I have learned that mother's do indeed possess secret knowledge of each child's character's traits, the good and the bad, and always can sense when one is up to something as well as truly having eyes in the back of our heads. It actually makes me proud when I can read my kid like a book and know just what they are up to. It means I really am in the ranks of motherhood and not just playing at it.

We also learned this year that my FIL had cancer and had surgery to remove his prostrate. Then that his cancer has spread and that it's terminal. However, we also learned that his PSA numbers are very low which means the cancer isn't doing much at the moment and that's a good thing.

I learned that a family of five can live in a very small space for 2 years and survive. Totally chaotic but survived nonetheless. That children sharing rooms actually are closer to one another.
So while being a rambunctious little household, at least it's never boring. Apparently the more rambunctious you are the smarter you are or so I've been told. If that's the case, my kids must be all geniuses.

Check back tomorrow for my resolutions.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!




Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Gets Off To A Rocky Start

It's been crazy having the kids home from school... well E from school because that's the only one that goes to school. E has and probably always be the instigator. Suddenly they go from being reasonable little beings to wild terrors racing around the house to pushing her little brother so hard he hits his head on the door frame. By the end of day 1, Monday, I had had it. To top off K was late. That never makes it easier and when I am forewarned that it may happen I'm better prepared for it. So by the time he got home I had to run out for an errand and told him I might just not come back. He thought I was joking. I wasn't. I took off to my mother's and stayed long enough for him to have to call me to see where I was. It may have been petty but I was hoping it gave him a taste of what it's like to expect someone to come home and have them call up after they are already late and say they are going to be another hour. Course it almost backfired on me because we had planned on putting the Minivan express into play that night, which I had forgotten.

What did they do that was so terrible? Well, even though I tried to keep them busy with crafts and cookie baking, they decided to climb the dressers taking money down, E got a time out for yelling bloody frikin hell at her siblings, then she picked two holes into the drywall because she was "mad", then O and E decided to use markers on the floor in the kitchen and stick their Santa stickers onto the floor. Of course I wiped the markers up first so it made the stickers wet which made it harder to just lift them off the floor. I ended up having to pick at them for 10 minutes with my nails. Where was I? folding laundry on the couch. If I'm in the kitchen they terrorize the living room, if I'm in the living room they destroy the kitchen. I just can't win. Plus that was also the day I dropped my cookie dough bowl.

So through some trial and errors and much needed deep breaths and attempts to keep them busy on my part we made it to Wednesday, My grandmother's birthday. We went to my mom's house to wish her a happy Birthday where everybody kept asking the kids "who's coming to your house tomorrow?"

Now we all know that well meaning adults understand that they mean after the kid's go to sleep. But my dear children somehow got it into their head that meant that Santa was coming tomorrow, being Christmas Eve, morning. We weren't aware of this because we kept making sure to tell them after they went to bed. So it was three very disappointed children that woke up on Thursday to find Santa didn't come. Of course, it wasn't too hard for them to get over it because they now knew that Santa was still coming the following day.

All in all though, we had a pretty nice Christmas. Much better than last year. It wasn't perfect, we still yelled once or twice when they weren't listening but in generally we seem to have handled it better this year and I didn't have any emotional breakdowns like last year. That alone marks it as a good thing. Well.... aside from Monday. *LOL*

And I got some pretty nice presents. If it wasn't for my mom, it would have been a dull Christmas present wise for us. I mean I know Christmas really is for the kids, but it still is nice to get something under the tree. I lucked out this year because everything my mom picked out for me this year, I really liked. Some years it doesn't go so well. Not to be ungrateful but there's always a matter of a difference in taste. ;)

Well, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Win Jewelry


Okay, who doesn't want to win some jewelry? I know I do. Let's face it we are just too poor to actually go out and spend money on diamonds. Sigh

LaShue is holding a $5,000.00 (to spend anywhere you like) sweepstakes. Simply display one of their jewelry badges on your website or blog and be automatically entered each and every month. The sweepstakes giveaway is open to all countries and there is also a monthly random draw of $200.00.

And for those of you who can afford to spend... LaShue is offering all entrants a 15% discount on the entire LaShue jewelry range.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to LaShue Jewelry and enter today!


The Verdict is In

After a very long tense weekend we finally received the news on Monday morning that we have been approved for the financing for the home. Yes, that's right. We are now the proud soon to be owners of a lovely 4 bedroom home. Not only that but the interest rate dropped another .25 percent. woo hoo

I still can't believe it's true and there is a part of me that is still worried that it's going to all go horribly wrong and the bank is going to pull out at the last minute. Which is crazy, I know but it's still there. Things have been just so tough for so long that it's hard to believe that things are starting to look up.

Of course this last month is going to be stressful. We have a move to organize, schools to inform, work to sort out for me and continue to survive through my MIL's constant attempts at organizing me.

The papers removing the subjects are being signed tonight and she is already trying to coordinate movers. As far as I am concerned that can all wait until after Christmas. They even have things half packed already. Course they are retired so it's not like they have much else to do. Would you believe she had expected that I wou
ld have called her banker to inform him of which lawyer we're using? Like I know who her banker is #1 and #2, hello I have three children running around screaming every time I pick up the phone, she's the retired one why doesn't she call?

Not a major deal I know but just odd.

Then we've been told that we are to downplay the whole house thing to K's brother and SIL when they come over for xmas. The four of them live in a cramped 2 bedroom condo in the big City and so we should be sensitive. Which I get.... sort of. Because after all, they've made their choices to stay in the Big City. They chose to move into a smaller place, they CHOSE to stay there when they were expecting their second child and they are CHOOSING to stay where they are. Sure it's expensive living in the Big City but they just can't seem to get their act together and buy something bigger. There is always a reason why this house or that house isn't right. I think they keep holding out for the "perfect" home when in reality no home is ever really 100% perfect. If they were put in a position where they had to move then suddenly any one of those homes would have been okay.

The house we're buying.. it's not perfect but it ticks enough boxes that makes us believe it will do for us.

Anyways, it's nice to know we can take a big sigh of relief this Christmas and hopefully have a relaxed and less stressed holiday because we know we are finally going to be able to make some changes that will benefit our family.

In case you forgot, this is the house we're buying.



That just makes me want to get up and do a little dance.



Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Tragedy :(


Oh Cookie dough,
Oh Cookie Dough,
How lovely you were to thee

Oh sweet and moist you were sure to be
full of butter and cream cheese
You were at least a 1000 calories
But in the oven you were never meant to be

Oh Cookie Dough,
Oh Cookie Dough
How lovely you were to thee



Fortunately, I did get a dozen cookies out of this before I decided to drop the bowl and smash it all over my kitchen floor losing at least 4 or 5 dozen cookies.

Unfortunately, my beautiful glass bowl broke, the only glass bowl I have to go with my harvest gold Sunbeam MixMaster. I had to pay $75.00 for an older mixmaster at a second hand store just to get the bowl. Snap.

My hips; however, are extremely grateful. Anything with butter and cream cheese could not have been good for me.


Countdown to Christmas

Well we are still on pins and needles today to see if we get the financing for our home. We hope that we hear today. We've been trying to be positive all weekend but still the stress is pretty high for my husband. I figured he'd feel better once it all went through on the house being officially sold and seeing the sold sign up but he tells me he won't be able to relax until he knows we have a house to go in to. I just hope it works out because he didn't want to bump the house inspector and it will be a total waste of money if it doesn't go through. You need to cancel 24 hours in advance.


So as there wasn't much other news today I thought I'd post a few photos of what we have been up to so far this Christmas season.

These are some cards I created with Clipart I purchased from Country Clipart.. same site as the one I have posted on my sidebar for my Christmas background. I actually sold a few in K's store so it was a success that way. Next year I just have to start earlier and source out the costs maybe a little cheaper. I think I finally learned about layering and how to send images to the back or front etc. Having a decent software program makes all the difference as I had to "build" each scene out of different clips etc. ON the bottom of each card I added a row of shimmering sparkle to hopefully represent snow.












A little Tree Decorating

A little cookie decorating


O was more interested in eating than decorating.



and what's Christmas without Rice Krispie treats


We've been asked if we're packing like crazy. I have to admit that the question itself is crazy. We are four days away from Christmas, do you really think I want to focus all my time and energy into packing when it can just as soon as wait until after Christmas? No, this week is about my children and I'm going to try my best to relax, no matter what the house outcome, and work hard on creating some good memories for this last Christmas in this house.

What are you doing with your children this week?

Zeemaid

In the Mommy Trenches

Friday, December 18, 2009

SOLD!

It's official! So right now we're doing the happy dance. For those that don't know.. the happy dance is a lot like the pee pee dance... only less urgent. ;)

No word on the financing for our new house.

Zeemaid
In the Mommy Trenches

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Would it Jinx Me?

Would it jinx me if I posted a photo of the house we're hoping to buy?

They accepted our offer. It took until 8:10 p.m. for them to call but it's accepted as is, they even gave us the appliances. Yea.

Then today the realtor called to book a home inspection of our house for tomorrow so that's a good sign. The last two offers never even made it this far. If they are willing to pay for an inspection then they must have the financing. So hopefully nothing major shows up tomorrow. I can't imagine it will. You'd think after 4 1/2 years that we'd notice something by now.

Talk about stressful. We've had so many disappointments to date that we are still waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm not normally a pessimist by nature so it's hard for me not to get excited. Although we've been pre-approved at the Bank, I'm still worried that they will say no way because we are both self-employed and a lot of our income is based on declared income.

Add to this that the house is at the top of our budget. So what makes this house the one?

It has/is:
four large bedrooms, each of the children will have their own room.
8 years old
a formal living room and a family room
a double garage
a patio
a front porch
close by a k-7 school, literally around the corner.
2 minutes from K's work. He could come home for lunch if he wanted.
master suite has a window seat. I've always wanted a window seat since
I was a little girl.

Add to that they we are paying just under the assessed value, which is going up this tax year, so once the papers are signed we will already have made money on this house.

We do have to fix up the back yard. It is pretty awful with tons of spindly trees. Yet my kids will love exploring the yard because it's "interesting".

Plus we have to paint a bit. Some of the colours are quite dark.

We had looked at 8 other homes this weekend and although some had potential, they were just too much work and none had 4 bedrooms on the same floor. Two would have to share a really small bedroom. Just for the kids to be able to have their own decent sized bedroom I think is worth it. At this point in our lives both of us know that we are not prepared to take on a reno. We've been living a stressed out life for the past 2 1/2 years what between running our own businesses and selling our home so we kind of think it's time for us to have a break. Taking on a reno project would just add to the stress.

So here's a peek at my hopefully soon to be new home.



Zeemaid
In the Mommy Trenches

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hopefully Good News

Alright my hopeful supporters. We received an offer on our house Friday. Not perfect but we got it to an acceptable level and so it's been accepted. They have until Friday to dot all their i and cross all their t's so to speak. If all goes well, we will be moved by the end of January.

We have also found a perfect house to move into. Funny thing was we went to see it on Sunday. It had just dropped their price to be more closer to what we can afford. Several other people went to see it on Saturday as well. Would you know someone else made an offer same as us and they took the other people's offer. Disappointment does not even begin to describe it.

So we went back today armed with about 6 possible homes to view when we got a phone call, those people's offer fell through for whatever reason. So the house may still be ours. We still went and looked at all the other homes just to see what else was out there and this was hands down the best home for the money.

So we made them an offer again tonight for the same amount we made on Saturday. Really we can't go any higher. So far we have not heard back. They have until 9:00 p.m. to get back to us. It's already 7:30 and we still have not heard. Pins and needles time. We're still worried that the deal on our house could fall through... it's happened twice before.

So I may be in and out this week dealing with housing, Christmas concerts etc. Hoo Boy!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - People I'd Like to Meet

Another week has gone by and it's time for another Top Ten Thursday. Last week I did my top favourite gifts I'd like to receive so this week why not My Top Ten Favourite people I'd like to meet.

1. Colin Firth - He's an absolute hunk and with that British accent he could say just about anything that would make my socks roll up and down.

2. Ophrah Winfrey - no not for her free stuff. I'd just like to be able to say I met her. Strip away the talk show etc and she is definitely an interesting person.

3. Albert Einstein - I once did an oil pastel drawing of him in art class and I'd like his opinion on his hair. Is it crazy enough?

4. Queen Elizabeth - I am after all a solid Canadian citizen and a fan of all things British. It would be really amazing to actually meet the monarch just once.

5. Jane Austen - If anyone ever invented a time machine I'd love to travel back in time and visit good old Jane and see what her life was really like. Perhaps I'd even rescue her personal letters from being destroyed by her sister, Cassandra, upon her death. Or see through Jane's eyes just why she detests Bath so.

6. Vincent Van Gogh - When I was 16 I visited the Vincent Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and like many arrogant 16 year olds thought I could paint something just as well. After all it was only globs of paint standing straight up out of the painting. How hard could it be? Now many years later, I have a healthy respect for artists and their work.

7. Joan of Arc - was she really crazy? Did she really hear voices? Inquiring minds want to know.

8. Cate Blanchette - an amazing actress. I would love to see her work in person or even just attend a play at her theatre in Australia.

9. Corrie Ten Boom - an amazing holocaust survivor. She wrote a few books and travelled around the world sharing the gospel and message of forgiveness. They thanked God for fleas because it was the fleas that kept the guards at bay from their little bible group.

10. Nora Roberts - I really enjoy her books and it would be great to get some pointers from a woman who started out much like me with an idea when she was a stay at home mother.

I had to laugh because I told my husband he could help me do my list and as I typed #1. he suggested Colin Firth himself. Guess he knows me well. *L* It's a good thing he's my Mr. Darcy. ;)

So that was easy right? Why not play along. Either use my idea or make up one of your own and come back here and link up. Don't forget to check out my lovely co-hosts blogs. Oh and don't forget to grab our button there on the right.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Sitsmas!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday this season. I pray that it will be less stressed and more fun than any other holiday year. I pray that we will spend more time with our family and loved ones and remember those that are gone with fondness and warm memories.

I am hopeful that 2010 will see positive things for us all and a real change for the better.

Sitsmas is December 8th over there at The Secret is in the Sauce site with lots of contests and tons of fun so be sure to hop on over and enjoy the fun!!!

Zeemaid
In the Mommy Trenches

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Skin MD Natural Skin Care - Review/Giveaway


When I first started out blogging I had no idea what a phenomenon it was. I had never heard of mommy bloggers. Who knew when I started this blog that I would not only have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people but I would even have opportunities to do product reviews.

Skin MD Natural is one such review. I had been a little hesitant to really jump on the whole review bandwagon until I read an email about Skin MD. You see, I have really bad knees. I mean really bad. So bad I won't wear shorts or skirts in the summer because people always ask me what's wrong with my knees bad. I hate having to expose my knees at the pool. It's been like this for years and it seems that no matter what I do they just never get better. Would you believe I have knee envy? Envy of those with perfect smooth knees.

After checking out their website Skin MD Natural I learned that what makes their lotion different from regular moisturizers is that it is a Shielding Lotion.

"A shielding lotion is unlike any other conventional, artificial moisturizers because it
works with the skin to naturally moisturize and heal. Most conventional, artificial moisturizers only add moisture to the surface of the skin, but do little to repair the
skin’s natural barrier against moisture robbing irritants. Continued use of artificial moisturizers can cause the skin to actually begin producing less of its own natural oils, thinking that the skin has enough moisture. This can cause skin to form a
dependence on the moisturizer for hydration. Skin MD Natural breaks the dry skin
cycle by working to help restore skin’s natural protective abilities by bonding to
the outer layer of skin, strengthening skins natural barrier against toxins and irritants
that can dry the skin, while locking in the skin’s natural oils."

Okay, I was intrigued. Of course I tried not to get my hopes up because I had been disappointed so badly before. Still I was excited to get my bottle in the mail. For fun I decided to take a photo of one of my knees. I can't believe I am going to show a photo of my knee. AAAck.


This is my worst knee.

Let me just say I was pleased with how light and non greasy Skin MD was. It has almost no scent and it's so barely noticeable that I don't mind having it on my hands at all. I like pretty smelling moisturizers, I just don't like them on my skin. Plus any of the creams I had purchased that said they helped really dry skin ended up having either an icky smell. Seriously there is no way I'm going to continue to use the cream if I can't stand the smell. Plus a little Skin MD seems to go a long way. I've been using the bottle continuously for 3 weeks and I still have half the bottle left. Course, I'm using it just for knees and hands but still.

This is the same knee now.



Okay it's not perfect and it certainly won't win me any prettiest knees of the year contests but it's a big time improvement over what I had before and I am thrilled. The other knee looks even better. Plus it only makes sense that since I have had these awful dried out knees for literally years that it would take some time and effort on my part (applying the product) for it to get better. I could actually see a noticeable difference within one week which is what kept me going with it.

I should mention that while I've been extolling the benefits of Skin MD as a moisturizer, I should mention that it is a shielding lotion and many people use it to protect themselves and their children from harmful chemicals in toys, crayons, carpets etc.

As for the ingredients, Skin MD is ...

"Made in the US using high quality natural ingredients making it over 90% all
natural. All ingredients are considered to be of food grade and are also on
the FDA's most safe list. It is free of harmful fragrances, parabens, and
colorants making it hypoallergenic. We don't participate in animal testing
nor does the lotion contain any animal products."

Plus the wonderful people at Skin MD is offering a free bottle of Skin MD Natural to one of my readers. This is open to Canada and the U.S. Contest Ends December 16th.

To enter visit Skin MD Natural and come back and tell me one thing you've learned from this site or even.

For extra entries:

1. post a comment telling me about your worst problem area
2. become a follower or my blog
3. follow me on twitter and tweet this contest. RT@Zeemaid Skin Care MD Natural Giveaway

A special thank you to Marilyn at Natural Skin MD for the opportunity to try out this product.

In the Mommy Trenches

*Please note that the only compensation I received for this review was the free bottle of product. This review is unbiased and reflects my actual experiences with the product.


MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Little Product Review Preview - Rachael Ray Cookware


I am so excited that I have been asked to do a product review for Cookware.com. Much like a kid in a candy store, I have spent quite a bit of time pouring over their cookware sets deciding what to choose. As you can imagine it was a very difficult task narrowing it down but I can certainly tell you it was an enjoyable one. Everything on their site is simply gorgeous.

After much careful consideration I decided I'm going to review Rachael Ray's Bubble and Brown 2.75 qt Round Casserole dish in cobalt blue. Seeing as how the days are shorter and definitely getting colder, I figure what better than to review a dish that is sure to provide my family with some much loved comfort food and some much needed style. ;)

So stay tuned.

In the Mommy Trenches.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - Christmas Prezzies

Top Ten Thursday Button

Okay, we're a little late but I figured better late than never, right?

LZ over at My Messy Paradise is our host this week and she is offering up another giveaway. So once you've read my list, head on over to her blog and comment. For an extra entry, create your own Top Ten List, grab our button and link up.

Now on to my Top Ten List.

What with the recession and all, money is tight for everyone. Even the wealthy are cutting back, right? *snort* Not to mention once you have children all your focus (and money) goes toward them and not yourself. We have found ourselves not really buying Christmas presents for each other the past few years. Which is a total drag. I love prezzies. So I decided my Top Ten list for this week would cover the Top Ten Things I'd Most Like for Christmas. Just to clarify that this is not a "if money was no object" kind of a list but more of a we have some money kind of list.

So without further ado, here's my

Top Ten Things I'd Most Like for Christmas

1. Little Black Dress- You know "the" dress. The one perfect little black dress good for any occasion. I would love to have one of those.

2. Trip for our family to Disneyland.

3. New clothes. I know, I just got some but now my new jeans are embarrassed to be seen with some of the t-shirts in my closet.

4. Diamonds. Of course I want diamonds or sapphires or amethysts. Anything sparkly and pretty that I can wear in my ears, around my neck or on my fingers. ;)

5. A good pair of snow boots. Last year I had to go through the entire snow
event without boots. I hate wet feet.

6. A holiday from work. That would be a real treat.

7. The Inkheart series. I've been looking to buy the first one second hand
and can't find it. I'd love to read them all.

8. A Tassimo or Keurig coffee maker. You know, one of those coffee makers
that make just one cup but it can be whatever flavour you choose.
I'd seriously like one of those. I have enough airmile points to get
one but hubs doesn't think we should "waste" our points. Yeah
like airmile is ever going to get us anywhere.
10 years, I've got 1100 points.

9. A Kindle or Sony E reader. Did you know they are finally
shipping to Canada but you have to pay duty. BOO!!

10. My house to be sold. That would be the greatest xmas gift of all


Oh I'd also like World Peace and to end world hunger but I figured that goes without saying. ;)

Thanks for playing and Don’t forget to visit my great co-hosts: Jennifer at It’s a Beauty Filled life, Sara at Domestically Challenged as well as LZ at My Messy Paradise.






Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting a Little Nervous


First of all, you will need to read this Wee Confession to find out why I'm nervous.

Eleven months had really managed to make me forget my crime. It came back to me suddenly when were at our friend's house picking up our Christmas boxes that they are storing for us. It was like a light bulb going off. "Oh, oh I think some decorations were broken last year"

Even then I thought maybe the decorations might be broken. But having re-read through my wee confession I am even more nervous at what I am going to find. I only vaguely remember the event and not at all of seeing broken ornaments. This is where I want to swear. S#@$.

Do I confess to my husband what happened or do I let him think it was the result of being carried to storage and then from storage to our friend's house and then from there to our house that caused the damage?

Dare I be so sneaky or do I suffer the grave and disappointed look on his face. My husband is not a yeller (unless it's at the kids). He wont yell and stomp and storm and tell me he's mad at me for being so stupid, nothing so sane as that. Oh no, he will go all silent and grave and not want to talk about it. He certainly won't give me the "it's okay, I understand" speech or even attempt to make me feel better. Nope. Not that my husband delights in laying on guilt trips or anything like that. It's more that he's inclined these days to avoid arguments and so thinks it's best to say nothing at all. Manlike, right?

Only my man never used to really be like that. I'm not sure what has changed with him over the years. Or, maybe my rose colored glasses have finally come off and the man I thought was a great communicator is really just like all the other noncommunicative men out there who finds a measure of security in silence.

Still.... there is something to be said for silence when you've been bad.

Let's put it to a vote. I won't make any promises to abide by the decision though. ;)

Do I tell him or do I just let it slide?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Looking for a Good Movie or maybe a house?

Wow, I just sent off two very long emails to people that I've been meaning to get in touch with for a while now. It seems crazy that I spend so much time blogging and reading other blogs on top of all the rest of the things that I do at home that I forget to take time out and actually write a letter to friends.

Although I have been a bit neglectful of my blog lately as we've had three house showings since
Saturday and a lot of time and effort has to go into maintaining a pristine look for these events.

Yes, we are still trying to sell our house. Although we have said that if we don't sell by the end of November, we are going to take the house off the market and try again in the New Year. We don't want the hassle of showing the house with all it's Christmas decorations over Christmas.

The showing last night seemed to go well. The people were very enthusiastic and really seemed to like the house. This was through their realtor talking or my inlaws. They wanted to see the house between 7 and 8 pm. They didn't get there right away so we have no idea how long they were in the house but we had to nudge them out at 8:10. My kids were desperately begging to go home and go to bed (I know, you can envy me right now, my kids go to bed at 7 ;). We only agreed to that time because Friday is an extra day off for E.

Anyways, we shall see. Time will tell.

Not to mention I have a lot of work work on my plate. Someone K knows used to put movies to rent in conveniences stores on the island here. Well he's got boxes and boxes of movies that he was going to toss in the dump. K said why do that, bring it to me and I'll sell them.

So he did. 2,000 plus previously viewed movies. 1,100.00 of those are sitting in my house waiting for me to sort, post on Amazon and take the doubles to my store. As this is the shopping season, it makes sense to spend as much time as possible getting them online so we can take advantage of the shopping window.

So any of you... if there's a movie out there that you've been trying to find... let me know. I just might have it and the prices are cheap, cheap, cheap. ;)

So even crafts have had to put aside while I do this. I can't remember if I actually posted about the Christmas cards I made to sell in K's store. I haven't sold one. Not a one. Sigh. They are so cute too. The only upside is that I can use them myself if they don't sell. No waste there.

My MIL did ask me to make 15 for her because she thought they were so pretty. She is always supportive of anything crafty I do and is always ready and willing to gush over my projects and make me feel like I'm the most talented person in the world. 

Still it would be nice if people, other than friends, bought them.

Have a Great Weekend!!!




Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Snow Memories

This was last year. I wonder what we will get this year.
For those of you that this weather is normal... it is so totally not
normal for my part of Canada.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Overwhelmed and Unorganized

I did not know when E started grade one just how much more was going to be on my plate. Not only does she have homework every day but her planner needs to be read, initialed and put back into her backpack, newsletters and notes need to be read and somehow filed away, and dates need to be written down and remembered. While I am teaching E to be responsible and she's learning that her job is to empty her backpack every day and replace the stuff in the morning, I am still that one that's behind her making sure that it gets done. After all, she is only 6 and has a long way to go before I can completely rely on her remembering to do it herself.

While it's not the true kind of homework that you get marked everyday by the teacher, she still needs to learn and practice her letters and numbers everyday. That means that the hour between 3 and 4 has now turned into the witching hour. I work 3 of her school nights so I have to have dinner ready to go before I pick her up from school so I can supervise her homework time, keep the other two from bothering us, and get supper cooking. Add to that the frustration of dealing with a child learning.

This reminds me of why I did not homeschool. I so do not have the patience and my child would surely have ended up scarred for life. Why is it that she can go through her entire work book from school sounding out f sounds and reading knows that fish starts with f but when you ask her to sound out a similar word in a book, she suddenly asks you what the letter is? WTH? okay minor stuff but add to that all the other stresses and you're just trying to get it done so she can go play with her sibs. I have to catch myself numerous times to keep the frustration out of my voice and inject some cheerfulness into it as I try to make it seem fun. I have to admit, some days I don't succeed and those are the days I pack up the books and put them away because I know I just don't have "it" that day to keep things light and it's better not to do it at all than to have her feel like she's stupid.

I wish I was that mom who doesn't let her frustration show, who doesn't take things personally or let the days frustrations get the better of her. All I can I say is that I am a work in progress and I pray that I will eventually get to be that mom.

So what with all the juggling and the endless papers piling up on my counter that I am trying to keep control and a looming parent/teacher conference coming up and a timeline homework project I knew we had to do this weekend, I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I had found out upon dropping E off that I had not only forgotten to get her book order in, but also a busing fee that was due for her trips to a local garden. So I went home and tackled the papers which I thought I had all organized. After all they were in a school folder, weren't they?

They were but not all had made it in and were mixed with J's preschool stuff. It took me at least an hour to sort through all the papers, decide what needs keeping, what can go, write cheques for the stuff that needed paying. I discovered that I had missed submitting the sign up form and payment for E to participate in an after school fun day. It was too late. Crap. I missed popcorn day because although I did write that on my calendar I forgot to give her the money. I'm not in the habit of referring to the calendar every day. Thank goodness the hot lunch day is prepaid so I don't have to worry about that.

So while I tidied all that up I realized I needed to keep a better track of due dates for things. It occurred to me to write the dates on the front of the folder. Now having been a secretary for 13 years, I couldn't do something so messy as write and had to sit down and create a quick form with headers and once printed I glued it to the front of my folder. It looks great and works great. I keep the file folder tucked at the end of the counter for quick reference and I can glance at it every day to see what's coming up and cross off what's done. Now I have my missed things paid up and was able to drop it off with the teacher when I picked up E after school AND I am all ready with her hot lunch order for next week and it's in her planner being delivered to her teacher as I write.

It's amazing but that hour of sorting really gave me a lift and prompted me to sort out one of my junk drawers. Of course, you can't really tell what I spent all my time on but it's nice to open the drawer and see it's not a total mess.

I find myself reflecting though while I'm sorting all the junk that so much comes into the house and I am the one left to sort through it. It would occur to hubby to sort out the junk drawer. He just gripes all the time at what a mess it is when he's hunting for something and yet he's the biggest contributor to it.

Part of our problem is that we're trying to sell and move and so much is put away and we are short on space so what we do have left out there is no more room for it to go anywhere. Thus our drawers get stuffed. And it's always the minute after you toss something out because you have no idea what that little plastic thing is for and it's been sitting in your drawer for a year when someone comes along and tells you that if you had that little plastic thing they could fix whatever with it. ARGGH!

Anyways the point of all this was that if you're feeling overwhelmed this week, tackle an organization project. It doesn't have to be a big one, a little one will do but you will be amazed at how much better it makes you feel.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Crafts

I don't know what it is about this time of year but it makes me want to craft more than any other season. Perhaps it's my love of Christmas and all things Christmassy. I am a sucker for snowmen and Santa dishes, candles etc. Perhaps it's because craft fairs abound at this time of year and inspires me with tons of creative ideas.

For some reason though this craft bug doesn't hit me until mid November. If I were to even attempt to make a profit with my cards or crafts, I'd need to be working up an inventory way back in August so come November 1st, I'd be all prepared to offer up my wares.

Combine this with the fact that finding time to craft what with three small kids, ferrying them back and forth to school and pre-school, working four evenings a week is almost impossible.

This year I am determined, however, to make at least one project. I did a digital photo album and calendar up this year for the parents via Shutterfly so I do have that under my belt. My other more ambitious plan is this:


Isn't that adorable? I don't have those exact colors but you get the idea. (For Pattern go to Bernat.Com) I thought this was so sweet I had all these grand ideas of how many small rugs I'd make for families and friends. Till my husband asked... "how much did the wool cost?"

Ummmm... "well it was $23.00"
him... "$23.00 for a rug?"

Okay, dearest. I get the picture. What you think of as "a it almost costs nothing" gift cause I made it myself turns into a $23.00 price tag per each. Add that to the fact that I never factor the costs of home made gifts in to the budget amount I've got fixed for a specific person cause after all... it was homemade. Yeah, I'm not a great business woman.

Add to that the fact that it turned out to be somewhat more complicated than I had figured. What I dreamed of whipping off two squares in an evening turned into a multiple evening project as I crocheted and subsequently tore out my stitches as I either had too many or too few stitches. Which is why I like the good old traditional granny square which practically crochets itself, not counting required.

So while I have it figured out now and actually completed my best square yet yesterday, I had to sit the children down with play doh at the table in order to even do a 1/4 it. Worked great and was even worth having to clean up the mess. I hate play doh mess. It always sticks to your clothes and feet cause they never like sit still. So we are on for day two of this only they are getting almost play dohed out have reduced their play doh creations to smearing it across the table.

In the meantime, I have grand projects of making little blankets and beds etc for the hamsters (electronic) we've bought the girls for Christmas. Yeah. We'll see how that goes. But not one Christmas craft project is on my list. Sigh. But then just how many wall hangings and home made angels can you make?

Has your husband put his foot down and told you to not bring one more Christmas craft into the house? Mine hasn't yet.. but he's getting there. ;)

Hand him Lowes Promotional Codes and maybe he'll be inspired to create something of his own.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - 10 Things I'd Rather Do than Clean

I recently stumbled across a blog called Should be Cleaning and thought girl, that is definitely a metaphor for my life. Should be Cleaning. I should be cleaning something but instead here I am. So I thought I'd do my

Top Ten List of Things I Do To Get Out of Cleaning

1. Blog - okay that was obvious and a no brainer

2. Read - anything and everything. I will pick up a science book, comic book, reader's digest magazine, newspaper, back of the cereal box.. literally anything just so I can read something. (my husband says this should be #1) *L*

3. Surf on my Blackberry. It's so fun looking up free apps. Free cause I wouldn't spend money for some weird little program that sits on my phone. Okay, I did pay for my Pink ring tone but after that I draw the line.

4. Play dolls and any mom who has two little girls knows how mind numbingly boring it can be to play with Barbies for 2 straight hours. I can only do her hair and change her clothes and say hi back just so many times.

5. Fix a snack. Why clean before I eat, right? It will just get dirty again?

6. Lie on my (unmade) bed and stare at the ceiling. Pretend I'm resting my back.

7. I can't clean now, my favourite show is on television.

8. Sit with O in the bathroom so he can pee two drops into the toilet five or six times a day.

9. Take the kids for a walk.

10. Have a cup of tea.. goes with number 2.

Would you like to play along? It's easy. Grab our button, post your top ten and come back and link up.

Be sure to stop by my lovely co-hosts blogs too. Sara at Domestically Challenged is offering a giveaway to a commenter on my blog. How cool is that? So get on over check out her blog, see what's up on the giveaway block and then come back here and comment. Thanks Sara!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Olympics - Commoners Not Allowed

The 2010 Winter Olympics are being held in my province. I am of a mixed mind about this. While I am not overly involved in winter sports and I do not enjoy watching it on television, I struggle with whether I should actually be proud that the Olympics are here and what exactly do I teach my children or do I just gloss over it like it's not happening.

You see I think the Olympics were originally supposed to promote friendship and unity and a coming together of many different countries, cultures and nations.

Does it still stand for that? I think not.

The Olympics are only for the elite.

For the first time since 1988, the Olympics are being held close by. Close enough that I could hope aboard a ferry and take my children over to Whistler and watch. Watch what? Well anything really. Who cares, it's the Olympics! I'd go to just about anything just for the experience of being there.

But is this actually a real possibility? No. The tickets are so far beyond any ordinary person's means that doesn't even begin to define the word expensive. Some tickets would take a month's worth of work. Six months of food out of my children's mouths. You get the picture.

Who then can afford to attend? The volunteers maybe, I don't know how it works for them but I live to far away to volunteer. The wealthy? The celebrities? In short, the elite.

So we spend millions of dollars improving the roads, building venues, advertising, marketing etc.. just to be told that I can't afford to actually go to one of the events? Does that really make sense? I think not.

They say the Olympics will be a big economy boost to the area and there are lots of outside benefits to holding them in your country. I don't see how that can be. They've spent so much money, our already congested city will become even more congested with tourists that I really think we'd be lucky to break even on the debt load of hosting.

So again, I struggle. I should be proud that my province was chosen to host the Olympics, that international attention will be upon Vancouver and Whistler and in part I am proud. I see others in my community that go all shiny eyed as they talk about the importance of the Olympics and what it means to me and I wish I wasn't so cynical. That the Olympics isn't just about getting a higher brand recognition by Corporate sponsors. Kind of like how Christmas is over commercialized. They've over commercialized the Olympics.

The other part of me... well I'm tired of society being divided into the haves and have nots.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pithy Parenting Tip #159

Never leave your toothbrush out on the counter. You never know what they are going to "clean" with it.

In the Mommy Trenches

Saturday, November 14, 2009

YVR - A Place To Go

I was recently contacted by Rebecca Irani from Vancouver International Airport and asked if I wanted to have a tour of their New Public Observation area. While I was unable to take her up on her lovely offer since I don't actually live in Vancouver, I certainly had no objection in letting others in the area know about something different that they they can do with their children.

How much fun would it be to hop on a train and head out to watch the planes take off? Besides there are lots of other fun things to see and do.

Check it out at YVR Observation Area

In the Mommy Trenches

Some advice for new parents

I've been asked by new parents what is the one gift or baby item that was an absolute must have or Godsend when we had our children. This has always kind of stumped me. K and I were not really gadget people, as in although we love gadgets we just never received any as gifts.

Some moms swear by baby swings. They couldn't have survived without it. Mmm not really a problem for me. We managed just fine without it. Then again, none of my babies ever were colicky and by baby #2, I seemed to work out a pattern with my kids fairly quickly for sleeping. So I didn't miss it even though I gazed at them all the time in the catalogue or felt my heart rate quicken whenever I saw one on sale, I never succumbed to the temptation to buy one.

Bum wipe warmers? While cool in theory. Who wouldn't want those bum wipes to be nice and cosy warm for this late night changes but really it's just an unnecessary extravagance.

Diaper Genies? By the very number of these that grace our local Goodwill store, I know these are pretty much useless. Don't want your house to smell like urine or poop.... take the garbage directly outside. That's what we did. We never had to mess with refills or emptying a pail that fills up surprisingly fast.

Soothers? While each of our children enjoyed theirs for the first few months and I would say that it certainly helped me get through some rough spots, every child is different and not all children take to soothers.

So what is the one item that every parent needs?

The answer came to me today. A Carpet Cleaner. More specifically a carpet cleaner with an upholstery attachment.

Please note this is not a sponsored post or anything. I am absolutely serious about this. Sure while I was young and naive with my first child, I would never have dreamed of how useful a carpet cleaner would be to me.

Three children later and I realize what an important tool this has been in our house and find it hard to believe we survived so long without it. Especially since the (shudder) summer of spew. You may recall here just how bad that was. Since then we've experienced more of those less joyful aspects of parenting many times. If it were not for our carpet cleaner we surely would be in the process of replacing our carpet and our couch as we speak. As it is we have been able to keep the stench of sour milk and urine at bay and can safely say that our carpet cleaner has been a smart investment.

One small tip though.... make sure you clean your carpet cleaner immediately after using it on vomit etc because if you don't, that water that's still sitting in the hose will spill and cause the most unholy of stenches in your storage room. Not speaking from personally experience mind you ;) and can I just say that the operation of and cleaning of said carpet cleaner is not my province whatsoever.

So new parents... forget the toys, invest well in a carpet cleaner.

In the Mommy Trenches

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thank you Unknown Dad


I must extend my thanks to you oh unknown dad. I may have never spoken to you and only seen you three times at my daughters school, you have made my day oh somewhat more enjoyable just for having seen you.

When I first saw you it was on the designated school Halloween dress up day. So you must forgive me for mentally giving you kudos for your school spirit in dressing up. Imagine to my surprise when I discovered that this was no mere costume but your regular wardrobe. Instead my kudos must go to you for daring to be you.

I don't know what I love best from your erect posture as you strut around the school, to your rather large gold glasses that you wear (is that hint of lilac tinge I see in them?) to the many gold and jewelled rings that deck every finger of both your hands to your electric purple wool sports coat you donned for us today. A look I can only put down to Austin Powers meets Elvis.

I learned that you are a car salesman. Enough said.

I simply cannot hide my smile when you grace our lowly presence and you took what was a somewhat miserable morning and lifted it to a whole other level. It was with a rather lift in my step that I walked back to my van this morning as I contemplated you in all your glory.

So thank you unknown dad for helping me forget that I was feeling off and having one of my dizzy days. You may just have cured me of my dizziness today as I have not had a dizzy spell since. I look forward to many more encounters with you upon our school ground. I just hope I can keep my smile from becoming too broad.

Yours truly,

an unknown Mom


*I have been assured by other school moms that while this dad dresses somewhat eccentrically for his age, indeed for any age, that he really is a nice man and not sleazy or slimy at all despite all outside appearances. I wish I had a picture of him because it really is too hard to describe his look. It makes me giggle every time I see him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top Ten Thursday - Birthday Edition


It's time for another Top Ten Thursday. This week our TTT is hosted by Sara at Domestically Challenged. It's Elijah's 7th Birthday and well.... I'll let her tell you with a sneak peek in to her list. Don't forget to head on over to Domestically Challenged for the rest of the list. Would you like to play along? Grab our button from the sidelines, post your list and link up. Easy, right?






That's right. Taking a break from my chaotic week to bring you TOP
TENTHURSDAY. Birthday Edition.
It is Elijah's 7th, yes 7th, 7th, 7th, birthday. I am the mother of a seven year old. Seven. Seven.
not in denial, not in denial

Here are my TOP TEN SEVEN MEMORIES of his past seven years:

7. The time he ate his own poo. It was a bad time for him, even worse for me. A young 15 months, he decided to give it a try. Luckily, as the nurse line informed me, eating your own poo is not toxic.

6. How he was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine and all things train until he was 3 1/2. When I say obsessed, I mean OBSESSED. Think Twilight fans. He only played with trains, talked about trains, watched train shows, and did train things. If it was not trains, he did not care. He is currently the same about NASA. Apparently he has an obsessive personality.


Monday, November 9, 2009

New Clothes and a Date

Wowee. It's amazing what a few new clothes and a date night can do for a gal.

On Saturday, I dropped the hubby and the kiddies off at one of those inside play places and headed off for the shops. At just one store, I managed to score myself some new pants and tops. I splurged a little since it had been so long since I had bought anything. I even bought myself this really lovely deep blue silk top with silver chain entwined spaghetti straps and a black sequined shrug to go over it.

Guess what I wore on date night? A new look that felt great.

It is funny though. After I was done trying on all the clothes I had picked out and narrowed it down to the few I would actually buy I was embarrassed to put on my old jeans. Until I had tried on the new ones I hadn't realized just how bad the old ones were. I cannot stress enough how bad the old jeans were. They were washed out with discolored knees that were verging on thread bare. Not to mention, that they didn't fit properly so were loose waisted. I was down to this and one pair of yoga style black pants. This was what I had to wear to work, taking the kids to school, shopping etc and it looked appalling.

They always say that mothers need to take care of themselves. Reality is that is very difficult to do. The children grow so fast that it seems like every other week they need longer pants or bigger shoes, new winter coats and boots. That leaves very little room for me or my husband. I realized that I had been wearing the same ill-fitting jeans for probably 3 years at least. No wonder one pair quite frankly broke down from exhaustion and the other pair looked like my gardening pants. The straw that broke the camel's back was when I had to dig deep in my closet for an old pair of loose waisted cotton pants that I had worn when I was pregnant. While not actually maternity wear, I can tell you I felt pretty dowdy in them.

Well, I can frankly say that I never want to see those jeans again. I've now replaced them with 3 lovely pairs of jeans, all different with two snazzy everyday tops along with the silk blouse and shrug. Makes me smile just thinking of them. If only I could have snuck in a new pair of shoes and a wrap or shawl. Maybe next month.

Then on Sunday, my husband and I got all dressed up and went to see the Christmas Carol in 3D with Jim Carey. It was really good. The 3D effects were pretty neat. Just a word of warning to you all out there, it is definitely not a movie for the under 12 set. It had lots of dark and scary bits that in my opinion would be just a little too intense for younger children. Some parents may think it's a Christmas Carol and ignore the ratings. The ratings are accurate.

Like I said it was extremely well done. The dialogue true to the original with a few liberal licenses in imagery. My husband really enjoyed it as well.

After that we broke out the BB and looked up seafood restaurants in our town. The one we chose was a little more upscale but after all we were dressed for it. It turned out to be a great choice. The food was delicious. Which was a relief. We have in the past walked away after dropping $60.00 to $100.00 on a nice meal with a bad taste in our mouth. I hate it when you spend all that money and the food is less than appealing.

We had a enjoyable time reconnecting with each other and best of all I think hubby only talked about work for maybe like 5 minutes. He's just started up a new facet to his business, online selling through Amazon, and that is all that is on his brain lately. Every conversation is interrupted with some thought that had been running around in his head about work. So it was a nice break from work talk. It makes us realize how important it is for us to do this. Not necessarily going out and spend money but sitting across from one another talking and laughing. It seems too many nights these days are spent slouched in front of the t.v. together.

After that we went to Wal-Mart. J's birthday is coming up and we need to get going on the planning. I said to K that wasn't it funny that every time we had time to ourselves we ended up going shopping either before or after for family things? But then we're a family and you know that is what family is about. Nothing wrong with that bit of reality. ;)

I realize that we need to find ourselves a proper babysitter. We use K's parents usually but don't like to take advantage so we try not to ask very much. Add to that my FIL is still recovering from his surgery in September so they haven't even been able to babysit much for a while. This is probably the first big sitting job we've asked them to do for 3 months. It's hard to let go and let some stranger look after your children. But we are going to have to suck it up and do it. I think it's good for our children to see that we spend time working on our marriage.

Well, I've got to clean the house now because we may or may not have a showing this afternoon. I just love how realtor's just leave you guessing. Hopefully, this will be the one. I don't know if I mentioned that we've lowered our price another $30,000.00 under much pressure from the inlaws. She wants to get settled and is tired of waiting. So am I but I don't think it will make a difference. It's not the price, it's the house. It needs someone with unique circumstances like ours to be interested in it.

The good news is that we've approached another mortgage specialist and he seems much more encouraging about how much we can borrow than the last guy. Being self-employed can make the process more difficult.

Well Happy Monday to you all.