Sunday, May 31, 2009

Real Estate Update

Okay so it's come down to two houses for these people.  Ours and another one further down our street.  Only the other house is $80,000.00 less than ours.  Crap.  Apparently they love our house, think it's gorgeous and will be making a decision soon. 

I hope so because I am going to be crushed when they take the other house.  I mean $80,000.00 less.  Who knows what these people can really afford. 

Our house has R.V. parking, the other doesn't
Our house has higher quality finishings, the other is nice but nothing fancy
Our house has a larger yard
Our house has a 3 bedroom basement suite and a 4 bedroom upstairs
Our house is 700 + sqft bigger
Our rooms are bigger


The other house has a nature trial behind and beside it so more privacy. 
It's cheaper

Can't say much more not having been in the other house.  Of course, I am biased. I do have a nice house.  

Still I'm clinging to the positives and praying they can afford our house and will make us an offer by tomorrow.  

Sigh. 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mom Central Canada Blog Tour - Win a Camera

I've been selected to participate as one of the Canadian bloggers in the "Mom Central comes to Canada" blog tour.  I am really excited about this because there are so many opportunities out there for American residents that are simply not available to those of us who are Canadian.  

Mom Central is an online resource for busy moms who need smart household and parenting solutions.  Their founder, Stacy DeBroff wanted to create a resource for busy moms where moms can trust they will find helpful information to help make their lives easier.  

You will find information on everything from toddler toys and babyproofing to finances and green living.  Something in which I am particularly interested and concerned about. 

Check it out here at www.momcentral.com

Be sure to join the Mom Central Testing Panel!  Moms get to test out the latest products and services and have their voices heard by companies who care about their opinion.  You can get involved today by clicking here to register.  Do this and you will be entered into the draw to win 1 of 5 Canon PowerShot cameras. 

Contest is open to Canadian residents only.  

I did it!


I finally bit the bullet and submitted a short manuscript to two children's publishing companies yesterday.   I'm really nervous right now but I expect that will lighten up over the next few days.  It can take up to 3 months apparently for someone to get in touch with you and that is only if they like it.  If 3 months go by, you can pretty much take it that it was a no go. 

Oh but I am hoping they will like my story.  I know I've got more of them brewing in the back corners of my brain.  It would be an absolute dream come true for me.  I don't think there's big money in children's writing but can you imagine the pride in being able to say "..oh I just got my book published..."   or hearing  "Zeemaid, published children's author".  *L*  Okay, I'm grasping at dreams here and in reality I am trying to tell myself that it's a real long shot in the dark because I don't want to get my hopes up too much.  

Better to be a little pessimistic than too optimistic.  Saves you from a lot of heartache and disappointment.   I kid though... because I will be disappointed but I can always try again. 

So here's hoping and praying that I've got what it takes to make it as a children's writer. 

By the way, we're keeping it a secret (from family and friends that is) so mum's the word. shhh!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wow, affordable maternity clothes!


I so wish I had found this site when I was pregnant. The biggest problem I had was buying affordable maternity clothes. Well, let's make that cute affordable maternity clothes. At the big box office, we'll name no names but it starts with a 'W', the maternity clothes either didn't fit me properly or were hideous.

I remember driving 2 hours to the nearest big city to do some maternity clothes shopping and couldn't really afford to buy much once we got there. Of course with the first baby if you're working full time you can afford to splurge a little.

At Kikis Fashions the pants, really adorable capri style, start at $21.99. The most expensive pair of pants was $26.99 for boot cut jeans. I don't know about you but I was looking at a minimum of $40.00 to buy any type of maternity pants.

They have everything from tops to bottoms to some really adorable dresses and even plus sizes. There is also an under $10.00 and clearance section.

Their styles are cute and trendy and nothing like I've seen before. Their colours range from the old standby black to vibrant blues, pinks and mauves. Their prices are much lower than other mainstream maternity boutiques, often up to 75% lower. Their stock is rotated often so it's always good to go back and check out the fresh new stock often. Seriously, I'd like to order some clothes for myself and am wondering if anyone would notice that it was maternity. Cause unless you have the "bump", really how could you tell? Believe it or not, that photo at the top of this post is only $9.99.

So are you expecting or, know anyone that's expecting? Bloggers and Friends of bloggers receive an exclusive 20% off! Just use coupon code "blogfriends" during checkout to apply.

Click here to get started maternity clothes

Could this be it?

Did all my cap cleaning of yesterday finally pay off? Will this 365 day nightmare of trying to sell my home finally end? Please, please say yes.

I came back from taking E to school to find out we got another call from our realtor and that there is a second showing booked for this afternoon. We've NEVER had a second showing. So here I am furiously cleaning my house AGAIN. Would you believe how messy it got between yesterday and today?

It would happen that this morning is the one time that the dishwasher is FULL of clean dishes, that O wet himself overnight and I have to strip his bed, try to get the funky boy urine smell out of the house, that last night his diaper burst (damn you huggies!) while sitting on the sofa and we currently have one naked cushion waiting to be washed and recovered.... but those are minor things.

Today also is hubby's birthday. Happy Birthday Honey. Unfortunately because of our dire financial situation there are no prezzies for him this year. Home made cards it is. We're waiting until we can afford to splurge on new cell phones. It will be a joint present for our birthdays new phone for him, new phone for me and best of all he doesn't have to think about what to get me.. *LOL*

So whatever you ladies did for me yesterday, cross your fingers, pray, send out good thougts.. hold your breath.. .just kidding... please please do for us again today. We're counting on you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Honeymoon Memories at Disney World

Our tenth anniversary is coming up in July. Unfortunately we won’t be able to go back to Florida for a 2ND honeymoon like we had always planned. We spent two lovely weeks in Florida on our honeymoon. One week in Orlando holiday in Disney World and one week lazing on the beach in St. Petersburg. It’s hard to say which we enjoyed more.

My favourite park is the Magic Kingdom. I don’t know why but it seems to be the most familiar in all things Disney. You got to see the famous Cinderella Castle, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the parades, Space Mountain….

Which leads me to one of the most memorable moments at Disney World.

Let’s preface this whole story by saying: I don’t like roller coasters. I cannot abide roller coasters in any shape or form. I can’t stomach the Ferris wheel. I cannot express myself strongly enough on this topic.

Hubby, on the other hand, absolutely, loves, seeks, adores, thrives on, greatest desire is to go on any and all possible combination of roller coasters, and any other scary rides imaginable.

Hence… Space Mountain. Oh this is a great ride. It’s a rapid, 2.5 minute thrill ride with sharp turns and sudden drops. Not only is this a scary, freaky ride. It’s in the dark. Yup, I said it. In. The. DARK. Oh yeah.

So hubby wants to go on it. Of course. I being the good newly married wife tell him I will wait with him in the long winding line up. I could bail out whenever I wanted. So I stood with him for some time outside the doors, then we were in the lobby for awhile, then we proceed up the stairs and up and up. For some reason, I persevered. I stubbornly stayed by his side, saying to myself that I can bail whenever I want. Because there were exits everywhere.

Well, 45 minutes later and we were up at the top in the dark, the exits where lit up and I could see people making use of them. There was no shame in bailing out. I could have gone any time. Hubby was totally fine going by himself. Then why did I get in the damn rocket ship? I will never know what possessed me. Hubby was in shock that I was still behind him. Only we ended up being in different cars. I had imagined that I’d be able to sit at least next to him, cling to him. I was not so lucky. They were these little two seat rockets, one in the front, one in the back. He was in the one behind me in the front seat, I was in front of him in the back seat. Oh crap.

All I can remember is hanging on as if my life depending on it screaming. “Oh, my god, we’re gonna die.” Despite the fact that it was dark, I had my eyes squeezed shut most of the time. My arms were wrapped literally around the lap bar as if somehow I wasn’t secured tight enough. My husband was behind me watching my short bob whip from side to side as we were slammed around corners. When I did look around all I could see was the dim outlines of the metal tracks and supports and shadows of people watching. Every once in a while someone would take a picture and it would light up for a moment.

It was the LONGEST 2.5 minutes of my life. We get to the bottom, our rocket slows down as we approach the docking area. I sit completely still, my heart pounding in my chest, I had chest pains my anxiety was so acute. My husband later told me that he thought I was going to kill him. Why, I don’t know because it’s not like he coerced me at all to go on the ride in the first place.

But he was so proud of me. He actually bragged to his brother and friends that HIS wife road Space Mountain with him. I have to admit I was little proud of myself. It sucked but I did it. For a non roller coaster person, I actually consider this a big deal. I RODE SPACE MOUNTAIN. Hubby loved it, of course. And now, it is one of my fondest memories of our holiday.

Our other favourite ride: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger. We must have gone on that ride like 20 times. It took at least 5 times before we clued in what we were supposed to do and how we were to move the lasers around and shoot at things. My favourite was when we went through this spinning tunnel, you could turn the wheel like the wheel in the tea cup ride, and we’d spin circular while the tunnel was spinning over head and I’d make it spin real fast for him. Get this, he can do roller coasters but he can’t do spins. *L*

One thing we did learn is that it pays to buy your tickets in advance. You save way more money. One site to check out for great deals is Disney World Tickets

Who knows, maybe we'll get to go next year. I just won't be riding Space Mountain.

I have never cleaned my house so fast

We have another house showing this morning. I decided to walk the girls to school this morning. When O and I got back, huffing and puffing from pushing his 35 pounds in a stroller up the hill, there was a message on the machine. I hate short notices. Even more so I hate the fact that I don't feel I can turn it down. We do want to sell after all.

Anyways, I called back and said yes and have whipped around our house cleaning like made. Of course, this was the day that the dishes didn't get done in the a.m. and the playroom looks like a tornado hit it and my inlaws are away again. Oh well. It's done now.

Thankfully O's in a quiet mood this a.m. and has been sitting peacefully drinking and eating a snack watching a show.

I have about 45 minutes before I leave the house and so there's just enough time to blog and check my email.

Oh crap... I forgot our bedroom. I haven't stepped foot in there since we got back. Shit. Wish us luck!

A little Dinner Conversation

We had BBQ chicken tonight with my favourite italian dressing marinade and boy was it ever tasty. 

I decided to emphasize this fact to the kids by over praising everything in order to generate some enthusiasm in them and possibly to get them to eat it without complaining.  

Me:  "MMMM ohhhh boy mmmmffff boy does this chicken taste good"
Kids: "giggle"
Me:  "MMMM ohhh boy do these potatoes ever taste delicious... mmmm"
Kids:  "more giggles"
Me:  "MMMMM oh my goodness this corn is soooo tasty, mmmm you'd think daddy picked it fresh from the garden... mmm mmm mmm". 
Kids:  "giggles mmm... yummy"
Hubby:  "I don't get that."
Me:  "What do you mean you don't get it?  You don't get why I'm doing it or you just don't get it"
Hubby:  "No, I never get it like that."
Me:  confused silence then the lightbulb went off.  "OHHHH, that's because we have neighbours, you know your parents living upstairs."  
Hubby:  "Then we BETTER move."
ME:  *L*

By this time, hubby starts mmming over his food and the kids too. That's when a scene from when Harry Met Sally flashed in my head and so I start this:  

Me:  "Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes" banging the table with my fork in my hand. 
O starts   "Yes, Yes, Yes"  doing the elbow pump into the air
Hubby and I look at each other, start to laugh then E starts in with "Yes, Yes, Yes" waving her fork around and little J sits in her seat giggling and going "Yes, Yes, yes" . 

Hubby and I couldn't contain ourselves as we burst out laughing hysterically with food in our mouths and tears in our eyes.  The kids laugh along too even though they don't get the joke until E realizes she has no idea what we're laughing at and says "Hey, no laughing unless I'm laughing."   I am going to miss it when we can no longer make jokes that are way over their heads because they will have gotten too sharp.   Okay, so I'm not a perfect role model here.  

Oh and as we cleared the dishes from the table, my husband remarked that this about the first time he's ever seen their plates polished so clean.  They ate every bite!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Voip Home Phone

Description

Still looking for a way to cut your bills?  It seems these days that the best bet to lower your phone bills is to go through one of the internet programs, which is why I am reviewing the Voip Home Phone site.

It certainly seems to be a great site.  There are several plans available to fit your needs like the Basic Plan which gives you 500 local and long distance minutes anywhere within the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico, unlimited inbound calls, and a free router.   Plus you get free call waiting, caller id etc. 

Also, you get to keep your existing phone number and there is no annual contract for $9.99 a month.  That’s pretty good.  Of course, if you are a chatty Kathy then you may need something like their Premium Unlimited plan which gives you limited local and long distance calls and a variety of other free services all for $19.99 a month.  There are many other services offered as well such as Global Cellphone, faxes to your email, Softphone etc.

That’s pretty good.  Right now we’re paying on average $95.00 a month what with all the service and long distance charges we are being assessed right now.  We just called our telephone company and got ourselves put on a $40.00 a month plan to help cover the long distance.  That’s on top of the basic service fee of $25.00.  So the Voip Home Phone is starting to look like a very good idea.

As always I’d recommend you look into any specific Voip provider before signing up by checking out Voip provider reviews. 

Things to keep in consideration:

Price:  Voip providers are very competitive.  Always compare the price with the services provided.  Some companies provide more services than others.

Quality:  choose providers that are rated highly by their reviewers. 

Functionality:  What are you looking to get out of a Voip service?  Do you want things more complicated like conference calling?  If so, then be sure to look for reviews that refer to those specific applications.

Customer Service:  You want to be assured that you will have excellent customer service should you need it.   So make sure you read any and all negative reviews.  Are they few and far between, do they seem like a one time thing or is it a consistently reoccurring complaint.

Overall Rating:  This will tell you how much satisfaction a Voip customer has with any  company in general.


*Should be noted that the term Chatty Kathy is a saying in my home and not meant to refer to any actual Kathys I may know* ;)

Wordless Wednesday


Enjoying the Sun

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh boy it just keeps on getting better!

Oh boy. We got a tax reassessment in the mail yesterday. They've now decided that they aren't going to allow our charitable tax donations for 2006 either. They already did this to us last year for 2005. We had to pay over $8,000.00 in back taxes and interest penalties. Now we have to pay another $5500.00. WTF?

I'm sorry if it's a recognized, official, government sanctioned Charitable Organization. How can they suddenly say our donations are invalid? Also if they suddenly mail us a reassessment 3 years later telling us this.. why do we have to pay interest starting 3 years ago? Shouldn't they give us a little grace on that since it's THEM who are changing their mind. They approved the donation the first time around. It's THEM who are suddenly saying no way, so why not let the interest start from the day we're supposed to have it paid by? So not only are we out the donation, we have to pay on top of that what we think we should have paid in taxes if we hadn't used the donation. About $4,300.00 more in total.

Needless to say we don't have the money for this and it has to be paid by June 11th. No idea what we are going to do. We will probably have to go to the bank and borrow the funds. The government will not allow any sort of payment plan without us proving how poor we are etc. The last time this happened we had a settlement come from Hubby's lawsuit against his previous employer so we had the money. We've been holding on to the fact that we may get it back. The charity is suing the government but that's gonna take time. Time we don't have. We can't just not pay it because if they are unsuccessful, the interest fees will be even higher. AND they will stop paying any tax benefits we get like child tax credit and gst etc.

The other bad news is that hubby is really pushing the move and rent idea because his store isn't doing that well right now because of a small drop in sales and a big increase in his lease. If we lived closer he could work more hours or different hours and thus relieve some of the pressure. However, my business is not resolved at the moment, we're getting there, but it's gonna take time. And with me not getting paid, money is getting tighter and tighter and tighter. Shazbut!

Sooo while I know it's not something anyone can help with... it does help to lay it all out. Let's face it. It's not exactly something you are going to be sharing with the other moms standing around the playground. No, only good friend will see us through this.

I'm guessing the next several weeks are going to be tough.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Most Relaxing Beach Day

We have a lovely Sunday at the beach. My parents have a seasonal camping spot at the beach and so we went up to spend the day with them. It was nice to see how much easier it is finally starting to get and we can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

You parents will know what I mean. Last year we had to dog O's every steps because he didn't want to stay with us. That meant keeping a tight reign on the girls too because what they do, he wants to do. This year we were able to let him wander about the site, one eye on him still but this time from our chairs. We didn't have to constantly follow him around as he explored the entire campground. We did NOT have to stick him in a playpen and listen to him cry for 20 minutes just so we could get lunch put out.

What we did do was enjoy watching him explore the tide pools, pick up crabs, be scared for some strange reason of seaweed and proceed to fall into the tide pool, bottom first (thank goodness) and just generally have a good time. For once us grownups were able to sit down on rocks around the tide pool and converse while the children explored, occasionally bringing some aspect of exciting sea life to our attention.

We found a poor little fish that had gotten stranded in a tide pool which had dried up. It was, of course, dead but E had to carry it in a clam shell all the way down to the water to set the poor fishy free. She harbored hopes that the poor little fish would revive once it was in the water again. No such luck. By the time she walked back to us with her Nana, I had asked her if he swam away and she said with that blunt honesty that all children possess: "no mom, he's dead. Some other fish is going to eat him." My her recovery was astonishing. From sadness to practicality in 15 seconds.

E at first bored because we didn't bring any craft stuff to do, soon found a small grove of trees beside our camp site and began to set up house. O toddled happily over and together they made flower and grass soup to serve us. Once her house was all in order, we were invited for supper and dessert. It was lovely to see them all play together so well and O was perhaps happiest running up and down a small grassy slope.

It was the most relaxing day at the beach that we have EVER had. And we were smart, we well armed ourselves with 50 SPF sunscreen and so none of us burned at all.

UNLIKE my poor parents who the day before got scorched because they hadn't bought any sunscreen yet so the entire time we were out there, they were covered from head to toe in long sleeve shirts, socks and pants. You kind of have to laugh because they who took such good care of us, forget to take care of themselves.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kind of a blue weekend

It's been a long day. I had to come to work early this morning and set up for this movie sale we were holding today. I busted my butt last night to get everything priced and ready and this morning hubby, the three kids and I were up, breakfasted, showered, dressed and out of the house by 8:30 a.m. No small feat with small children.

We set up our wares outside (we were holding the sale in the courtyard) and carefully placed the signs that I had so industriously created the night before. I did a fine job, if I do say so myself, on the signs.

Sounds good right? Right. Only it took 2 hours for my first customer to show up. They turned out to be the most profitable sales of the day. The other big buyers were my in-laws. Go figure. She wanted to buy some cheap movies for when the grandkids are over. Good idea and best of all, she doesn't expect them for free.

CAUSE WE NEED THE MONEY!!!!

A lot of extra time and effort for a very small return.

Because my store is dying. There. It's out there in black and white. This store that I have put a lot of sweat, stress, time, effort and planning into is probably and I do mean in all likelihood going to bite the big one. You know things are bad when my business partner, who also happens to be one of my SILs, actually said it's time to set a deadline. If things don't pick up by June 15th, we're going to try to sell it as a business to someone or do a closing out of business sale.

Phew.

My parent in laws and even my own mother have been pushing my SIL and I to make some sort of decision regarding the store for a while now. If we're not making very much money, why are we doing it? That's a very good question.

The simple answer is: we keep hoping that things will get better. We have improved not only the function of our store but also increased our sales since we purchased it 5 years ago. Problem is, it's just not a big enough money maker. We had some initial issues with over purchasing etc because we were just learning the business and subsequently we've fallen into some debt. We were doing much better last summer but when this whole recession thing hit well... it may have taken some time for the effects to be noticeable but it's finally here. Sales have definitely been down the last few months.

The more complex answer is how do we put out to pasture something that we've worked hard on for the past five years. My pride is going to suffer big time by the end of the summer, especially if we have to simply do a close out sale. I am not looking forward to having to explain to our more loyal customers. It's pretty hard to admit to yourself that you have failed never mind to our entire family and friends. Oh yeah.

I can go round and round and round trying to figure out what went wrong and I can't really say it's any one thing.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Speaking from a Heart full of Fear.

Those of you who live here in Canada may be aware of the fate of that poor little girl who went missing approximately 6 weeks ago from her school in Ontario. They actually had video footage of this little girl being calmly led away by a woman.  The angle of the footage was such that her face was unrecognizable.  For the past 6 weeks, her family has been torturing themselves with trying to recognize the woman in the photo.  Hoping that something will click.  Hopping too that since their daughter went with the woman so peacefully that she’s probably okay.  After all, that’s what I thought as I prayed daily for her safe return to her family. 

However, it was announced yesterday that two people were being arrested with the murder of little Tori Stafford while the search continues for her body.

OMG.  Can our hearts possibly break any more?  This poor little girl. 

We hear about murder and destruction so much in our day to day lives that we tend to turn off our emotions, refuse to let it really sink into our hearts and affect us.  If we did, we’d be an emotional ball 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

So what is it about this tragic story that hits so deep?  Besides the death of a child which is always tragic be it from accident, illness or murder.  Why does it send fear into my heart and into the little world that surrounds yours and my families?  

Because this was no random kidnapping!  We can't protect our children from random happenings no more can we protect ourselves.  So we don't worry about possible random events, we shrug it off and go about our lives.  We protect our children using common sense the best we can.  

But you see these horrible, horrible people, knew her parents.  These weren’t strangers.  They were “sort of” strangers.  Familiar enough to Tori that she went with the woman. 

“Sort of” strangers?  How do we arm our children against that?  I listened to a child psychologist on the radio today.  She said we need to educate our children regarding three groups:

  1. People that you know your child will be 100% safe with.
  2. People that you only know “sort of” and it’s okay, if not recommended to be suspicious about them.
  3. Strangers.

 How the hell do I protect my child against “sort of” people?  Do I make up a list and get her to memorize it?  These people we don’t really know so be suspicious of them.  I tell you that list would be a mile long because who do we really, truly know.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed E trying to catch a man’s attention on the school playground.  I had been talking to the moms and E was supposed to be playing on the playground equipment.  I called to her, she didn’t hear me but I could hear her say “excuse me, excuse me” to the man and proceed to talk to him.  Now, I had seen this man around the school ground many times, knew he had a child in kindergarten too but we had NEVER spoken to him.  I walked up to her and asked her what she was doing.  I pointed out to her that this was a STRANGER, that she did not know him and therefore she should not be talking to him.  She was mad at me.  She didn’t know what the big deal was.  She went off pouting.  I turned and said to the man “nothing against you but she needs to learn”.  He seemed to be fine with it and brushed it off as no big deal and indicated that he understood.

As I walked back to the other moms, I was a little embarrassed.  I felt that I had totally overreacted.  E was pouting on the swings still and I was left feeling stupid.  When I told the other mom’s what had been said etc, they assured me that I did the right thing.  Although I felt pretty stupid when I saw that this man’s daughter was in E’s class.  I thought his child was in the French class because we all line up in the same area.  Like I said, we had never talked to him at all. 

E later told me that the teacher told her that if it’s a mom or dad with kids then they are safe to talk to.  Really?  Are you sure about that?  Cause I sure the hell am not!

How do I educate her?  Do I tell her about the death of this little girl and scare the crap out of her so she never talks to anybody that she doesn’t know?  How can I.  How can I destroy even a tiny bit of her innocence?

What scares me even more is that while this year I go right to her class and pick her up and drop her off every day from school, next year I will be expected to wait in the parking lot and let my child come to me. 

Is this what our world has come down to that we have to strip away every teeny bit of independence that they have gained from our children?

Do I now need to start lobbying at my school to change the pick up policies cause I am scared to death, because studies show that no matter how much you teach your children most of them will still be tricked into going with a stranger, because any person that may have crossed your path may just be sick and perverted enough to make off with your child, because I am scared……

Sigh.

Our prayers and our hearts go out to Tori Stafford’s family at this very difficult time.  

May you see justice served. 

Ready, Set, Wiggle

After my recent post regarding the Imagination Movers and the Wiggles, I actually received an email from someone on behalf of the Wiggles.  I was asked if I'd be interested in checking out WiggleTime.com, a new interactive site that the Wiggles just launched. Of course, I was excited to be asked and so I agreed.

My children were pretty excited when I loaded up Wiggle Time.com and took them through it's pages.  It was easy to register and your child can select their own username and then they get to choose what they want their picture to look like from the colour of their skin to their hat and clothes they are wearing.  This is the character (themselves) that they will see moving around the WiggleTime world.  

Very easy to navigate, your child can either drive the Big Red Car to each of their destinations, Wag's, Dorothy, Henry's, Captain Feathersword's homes, etc.. or there is a handy map where you can click and arrive at their selection directly. 

The graphics are bright and colourful.  The look of it is exactly how you would picture the Wiggles to be in cartoon mode and the idea of it is great.  You can either register and have limited access to games and videos or you can subscribe and have a wider access.   

The monthly subscription fee is low, only $6.95 a month with bigger discounts if you commit to a longer term.  With the subscription you get a parent report card, a place where you can check your child's progress or ability level in relation to how well they've played their games.   There is also a parent resource section and you are given access to pre-release concert tickets and discounts on Wiggles products.  Plus there is a also a special feature where you can build into your subscription a donation to Unicef. 

The girls enjoyed exploring through the Wiggle world, especially building their own treehouse and even O (2) was happy to just sit on my lap and watch the characters move around the screen.   He can't call say Wiggles yet so whenever he hears or sees their shows, he says "Wee Wee Wiggy".   It was fun to visit the animated version of each character's home and play the games they have.  I forgot to mention, with successful completion of the games, your child earns a toy which goes into a toy box in their house.  When you click on their house, you can open the toy box and check everything out. 

What I didn't like about the site?  It took too long to load.

It seemed to take forever to launch the Wiggle application.  When I timed it, I was right, it took almost 2 minutes to load. When the page finally opened, we'd click on something and bam we'd have to wait another 30 or 40 seconds for the next stage to load up.  The kids were getting impatient with it, as was I, and it seemed like every time we wanted to do something else, we'd have to sit and wait.  The designers did put a fun function where there is a blob of colour on the loading screen that you can use your mouse and move it into different shapes but really, how long is that interesting?  

The only other criticism I have about the site is that it would be nice if more things were clickable.  For instance, we're in Dorothy's house but can you click on anything besides the T.V. (for videos) and the ball (for a game)?  No.  It would have been fun to be able to click on the teapot and hear something like "mmm Rosie tea, my favourite".  It's fun to be able to click on birds as you pass them, hear them tweet or just move, click on flowers, see them bloom, see the sun wink.  That kind of thing makes the kids explore more. 

Oh and what's probably a programming issue, it does not work well with Google Chrome.  You cannot see the bottom of the page where the advance arrows are.  It worked fine in IE but on my work computer I have an extra tool bar on my IE and I couldn't click on the advance arrows until I closed out the toolbar and then I had enough room on my screen to view everything. 

One other neat page I found through looking at this site is called Wiggle Into Health. This is a webpage which talks about nutrition, hygiene, physical activity and safety.  There is even a parent resource page on nutrition and recipes.  Again, it is pretty basic but sometimes that's what we need to do, get back to the basics. 

So all in all, it was a fun experience.  Have I registered?  Yes.  Have I subscribed? No.   Unless the site becomes faster at loading, I'm not really interested in a full time subscription at this time.  I don't mind waiting for the first page to take time to load up if you only have to wait once. After all, it's a complex program and these things take time even if it's a game installed on your computer. It's just the time in between each activity that was getting irritating.  

Still, it's entertaining and if you have little ones that like the Wiggles then it's definitely worth the look.  Like I said, my girls enjoyed playing the games when they got to it and we will definitely back.  

*Should be noted that I have Express Speed DSL cable and I even tried loading the site from my work computer which is DSL but a different provider same problem both times. *
**Please note this was not a paid review.  It was done merely for fun."**

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Recipe Tuesday - Meatloaf


Ah meatloaf.  That old familiar standby.  I absolutely hated meatloaf growing up.  While my mother was a good cook, there were just some things that made me gag.  Especially considering my dad was strictly a meat and potatoes sort of man.  No extra seasonings needed or wanted.  

I once made him ground beef tortillas, my dad quickly polished off two and then said "that's it?"  It didn't seem like a real meal to him so he had to get out the bread and make himself some manwiches out of the leftover ground beef.  I was a little miffed. 

So being the frugal cook that I am I have had to wander into the meatloaf territory.  It's quick and easy and once you put it in the oven you can basically forget it for the time allowed.  I've had to experiment over the years because it seemed like I always made dry, bland tasting meatloaf which nobody really wanted to eat.  

That is until I found out about the oatmeal trick.  ( see meatball recipe)  Anyways, here's my most recent meatloaf recipe.  This turned out really nice and J actually had 3 helpings of it so that says a lot.   For this I use mild Italian sausage to give it a little extra flavour.  Adds a little spice but not so much that the kids can't handle it.  If spice is an absolute no no in your house, you can skip it altogether. 

As for my family, they pretty much polished off 3/4 of the pan and here I thought I'd have enough for two meals.  Nope, just one meal and one sandwich.  YUM.

Meatloaf: 

.500 KG of ground turkey
two sausage links of mild Italian sausage (the big fat kind, if they're small, use double)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh garlic clove minced)
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1/2 cup salsa
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 egg

Topping: 
ketchup
maple syrup

(You can add whatever else you want, because of picky children I could not add chopped onions, hence the onion powder, or chopped mushrooms but I would have definitely had it not been for the kids)

Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees.  Mix all ingredients, except topping, thoroughly in a bowl.  Press into a meatloaf pan.  Pour a thin layer or maple syrup or even honey across the top.  Then squirt ketchup over the top of that and spread evenly.  Just enough to cover the top. 

Place in oven and cook for approximately 1 hour.  Depending on individual heat of your oven, it may only take 45 minutes.  Cook until meat thermometer tells you it's well done.  Let cook 5 minutes, slice and serve. 

Goes excellently with mashed potatoes and vegetables.  

Additions/Substitutions:  You can substitute a cup of cooked rice for the oatmeal.   If you don't like any sort of spice. 

 Also for a neat change, I actually used a muffin tray to make individual meatloaves.  Just make sure you spray them a quick spritz of cooking spray to make clean up easier.  Mine stuck a little, which never seems to happen in the meatloaf pan.  

Enjoy.  

If you've tried out any of my recipes, please let me know how it turned out and whether it was kid approved or not.  :)


Monday, May 18, 2009

Long Weekend

Well, if you're Canadian, you may just be enjoying a long weeken, which fortunately in my part of the woods we've been blessed with great weather. We finally have gotten a taste of good weather this past weekend. We managed to enjoy ourselves with lots of out door fun.

I like this time of year. When it's not too hot but warm enough to break out the capris and sandles. What I don't like is that more evidence of global warming is in play as already we've had to break out the sunscreen. Normally, I wouldn't such much as tint at this time of year but already we've had a couple of minor sunburns reminding me that hats are a must for the kids. One of the down sides to summer is making sure the kids wear their hats. Not such a hard task with the older one but an almost impossible task for the younger ones. I've resorted to sewing ties or elastics into most of O's hat just to keep it on. After the first annoyed tug or two he's okay with it.

What you forget from summer to summer is just how dirty they get. You can't get them to keep their shoes on and whether they are wearing socks or not, their feet are filthy. At least bare feet are more easier washed than the girl's leggings. I don't know what they are made of but they seem to be impervious to all kinds of stain removers and even bleach. It doesn't help that I feel obligated to make an effort to get them to keep their shoes on considering the anal retentive inlaws that live upstairs. Cause you know they could step on something, like a bee, and that would just about be the end of the world. You should have seen the disaproving looks I got this morning when they saw that both J and O have a blister on their foot cause by their holey soles, caused most likely by the fact that I allowed them to be worn without socks and I, the awful mother that I am, forgot to take extra socks with my to my mothers.

Yet another reason why I can not wait for my (insert bleep of your choice) house to sell. We've all gotten to the point that we are in desperate need to go our own way.

Sigh.

I'm working today with my husband. Like I don't have enough work at being a SAHM, a self-employed business woman, I now have to go and help him out. I'm not really complaining I've actually gotten a break from the kids for an entire day. (Thanks Nana) AND, hubby and I get to spend a little time today. It's a little slow, which is why I get to post.

Stay tuned for Recipe Tuesday. I do have a recipe this week. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Should I just be grateful?

There is this little thing that's been bothering me.  It has basically bothered me ever since I became a mother.   Hmm, could this issue have to do with Mother's Day?  Why yes, yes it does.  

You see the problem is in the matter of presents.  My children are little, they cannot go out and buy me anything so that would be up to hubby to pay for should he choose to do so.  My children make me things, which is lovely in sentiment but ugly (let's be honest here) in reality. 

Here's the question:  Do you think that you as a mother should expect to receive an actual bought present or should you just really be thankful that your kids made you something?  

Now you all know that mother's day wasn't all that it could have been for me because I had to show my house on Sunday but I have to say I was little disappointed.  You see, first I had to actually negotiate with hubby how long I would get to stay in bed in the morning.  Partly because of the whole house cleaning thing but really, I wanted to stay in bed until 9.  He made me get up at 8.  I hinted at maybe I'd get breakfast in bed and he scoffed at the idea.  (One year they actually did that for me)  He made a lovely breakfast which we all enjoyed.  I was then presented with handmade pasta shell necklaces lovingly painted and strung by my girls.  It was very sweet all in all but that was it.  There wasn't any flowers, no card, nothing.  Not even a card made by the kids.  

Now I appreciate the fact that my kids lovingly worked on these necklaces but it's not like I can really do anything with them.  They were so bulky and sticky I couldn't even stand to wear them around my neck for very long.  It has been mentioned that they might make nice wind chimes cause they jangle a lot.  

I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed.  Especially since on Friday, hubby made me switch cars with him when I went to work so he could take the kids out.  I learned he had taken them to the mall.  Well, why else would he take them out but to get me a mother's day present.  I was right, only he took them to the dollar store.  To buy pasta, paint, and glitter.  All of which we already had in the house but being a man who doesn't normally do crafts, had no clue where to find it all.  If he was going to go to all the trouble to go to the dollar store, why couldn't he have bought some pretty beads and had them make me a necklace out of that?  Something I'd actually be prepared to wear all the time.  I know, I know.  I'm a bad mommy cause I really don't want to wear those shell necklaces out in public.  Did I mention how bulky, sticky and glittery they are? He used penne.  Long ones.  

Can I tell you I felt a little gypped.  I wasn't expecting anything expensive.  I know we can't afford much but at least a small plant or something would have been nice.  I have been hinting for some time now that I'd really like my own "mom" mug.  It should be noted that he has a "Dad" mug, which I love to use. 

This has happened in the past.  One year he makes an effort, the next year nothing.  The first time it happened it took me months to actually say something to him.  So the next year, he remembered.  He took us out for a picnic lunch at the camp spot we booked for the season and bought me one of those garden lanterns you can put a candle in.  Last year they bought me a little boy and girl statue that can go in the garden.  It was like $6.00.  I loved it.  They are actually so cute I never did put them in the garden.  They are in my china cabinet. 

And yet, we always buy my mom a small gift.  This year I did home made cards on the computer for both our mothers and got my mother something to plant in her garden.  We didn't buy his mom anything cause they don't "do" gifts.  

He seems to think the big thing is making breakfast.  Well, if that was the only time a year he actually made breakfast maybe I'd think it was more than it is but really pancakes are just as much for the kids as they are for me.   But the again, his parents are like this.  They haven't exchanged gifts for years.  When K and I got married that was the year they announced they were no longer doing gifts for anybody except for the grandchildren now that they've come along. 

Am I being silly or unreasonable to expect more?  Do I just let it go and say nothing?  Do I get him absolutely NOTHING for Father's Day?  Cause I tell you I'm thinking the bare minimum here, colour a card and that's it.  Why should I bother doing something special for him when he obviously doesn't think it's important? 

I can't help but feel that I AM being silly and unreasonable, that I probably wouldn't be happy no matter what they did because unless you organize it yourself, they never really seem to get you what you want. Like the "mom" mug.  With my luck, they'd probably pick the ugliest one in the store.  

For example:   My husband takes E out to buy me an Xmas gift, she picked out this lovely gold, purple, brown scarf and toque with matching purple gloves.  It really was quite lovely, very earth toned etc.  But you see, I'm into feminine pink things, not earthy purple gold things.  So while I appreciate my daughter's unique taste and could see the beauty in what she picked, I was a wee bit disappointed that I now have this scarf set that I'm not all that crazy about wearing. Oh, I wear it.  She loves to ask me how much I love the set and am I happy she bought it for me. But had I  been my husband, I would have steered her more in the direction of something that I know mommy would like.  When my kids are picking out presents for their cousins, we don't just buy the first thing they see.  We think about whether they'd like it, whether it was appropriate etc.  

I know, I sound like the most ungrateful wretch possible.  It's okay, you can tell me.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don't Mess with My Chocolate!


So I'm at the drugstore the other day. I had to get tweezers because O broke the only decent pair I had. How does a 2 year old break tweezers? SHEESH. They were my favourite pair to because they actually gripped the hair the first time around. But I digress.

I decide to wander into the health products aisle. I was actually looking for a naturopathic product that apparently helps with night training (i.e. bedwetting) when I came across this product.

Looks good doesn't it? Jamieson Natural Sources PMS Support.  Soy crisp chocolate fused with Natural Botanicals. Things that actually might boost my mood. What's more, it was on sale. Ooh, a deal. I love deals.

I read the back of the box.
Each bar is 70 Calories. I read the Directions: Take 3 times a day for up to 5 days. Are you kidding me? There is a product out there that's telling me to eat chocolate 3 times a day?  Woohoo!  Anybody, Anybody who tells me to eat chocolate 3 times a day has got my vote of confidence.  That's for sure. 

I took it home and showed my husband. He laughed and said sounds great Honey.  Although he did point out it has 70 calories a bar. I pointed out that regular chocolate bars have 3 times that amount and I get to eat it 3 times a day.   

In the back of my mind, I'm thinking this has all sorts of possibilities.  Dark chocolate is good for you.  I'm not a big fan of dark, I like milk chocolate, which, of course has less health benefits and more sugar.  So I'm thinking this could help me kick the sweet habit cause I'm being given permission to eat it and at the same time get me more used to the dark chocolate taste.  Some tastes just have to be acquired and I was willing to sacrifice myself to the test. ;0)

So I was excited when I opened the box.  Just how big were these babies.  Well about 2 inches long.  So what, I'm going to get to snack on em 3 times a day.  Don't think I mentioned that.  

Then I ate one.  Chew a couple of bites.  Hmm.  Tastes a little bitter.  Not sure about this.  I struggle through take a couple more bites.  It's getting nastier and nastier tasting.  I'm thinking is this just because of the dark chocolate taste?  So I get hubby to try a teensy piece.  He gamely tries it and before it's even melted in his mouth he's spitting it out.  He's gagging, He's carrying on like I poisoned him or something.   He said, "No, it's definitely not the dark chocolate."  He gets a drink to wash it down.  Water doesn't work.  Milk doesn't work. He finally has to go brush his teeth.  He said it made him feel like throwing up.  Can you imagine how I felt when I ate 3/4 of it.  

I actually don't think it tastes as extreme as he was making but now I'm looking at $13 plus dollar box of chocolates that I absolutely don't want to eat and I'm just a little annoyed.  Do these people not actually test out their product before they sold it?   Can anybody actually like this crap?   At some point, somebody has to stop and actually eat a bar.   I can't believe that anybody buying this product will actually struggle through and eat every bar 3 x a day for 5 days.  

I now wish I had forked out my money on a slightly more expensive but pill form of PMS support and not been stuck with this crap.   I could take it back but I don't think I even have the receipt any more.  Really who keeps the receipt for tweezers and PMS crap.  No one.  

So the word is, if you are going to mess with chocolate.. make sure you mess with it right!  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Firsts


First Birthday

First Trip to a Wiggles Concert in Vancouver (After the Concert)


First Ice Cream



First Camping Trip
(Ask how many nights we stayed? Answer: Only 2, it was that BAD)



First Halloween Trick or Treating
She was supposed to be Boo from Monster's Inc
First (and Last) time Mommy made a homemade costume


First Bike Ride



She literally emptied the contents of both
Hubby and my drawers and dressed herself

First Car
BTW, hubby said I could only post photos of the kids if they were unrecognizable. Which is why I'm posting lots of younger baby type photos because my children look quite a bit different nowadays. I gotta follow the rules cause every once in a while he checks up on me or peeks over my shoulder. *L*

Monday, May 11, 2009

Would you believe...

we actually got a request to show our house on Mother's day.  So Happy Mother's day to me, I had to get up and clean the entire house from top to bottom, with hubs help of course but sheesh.  all I wanted to do was sleep in.  I told him I'm going to have to declare a mother's day do over cause then hubby also got called in to work that night.  *L*

Keeping it Cool

Okay, we all know what happened to me on Thursday.  If you don't, check out my post here. So you could say I need a few tips on how to keep my cool better with my children. Those of you mommies who commented on my post will be happy to know their tips are backed by Nanny Deb and Nanny Stella themselves.   

 That's right ladies; I am getting personal Nanny tips from the best.  *L*  Not really, but close enough.  I found out about this site parents and so far I'm finding it really useful.  After I had read the advice on keeping your cool, they listed a bunch of other "challenges".  Just looking at the list of challenges they have is inspiring me to do a little more reading.  I just kept clicking on topic after topic because let's face it I feel like I need a total refresher course this week.  The neat thing is if you don't find an answer to what you're looking for; you can actually post a question for the Star Nannies themselves to answer.  How cool is that?  

Here were my top reads in the challenge section:

·                        Challenge 2: Stop Whining & Screaming

           Challenge 3: Say No to Saying No

                    Challenge 4: Get Your Kids to Clean Up

·                               Challenge 5: Reward Good Behavior

·                               Challenge 6: Establish House Rules  

·                               Challenge 14: Be a Better Listener

Establishing House Rules was a particularly good read.  

There is also a section of tips posted by real parents like this one How to Get More Sleep.  I am hoping someone out there will get to do a review and giveaway on this item.   On the other hand, if it keeps the kids in bed, my husband might just get the VISA card out right now.   

There are so many different parenting questions that come up on any given day and this site is a good place to get answers.  Like 

-          night training your child, is it normal for them to still be wetting the bed

-          my child gets nosebleeds, should I be worried

         my child has a runny nose and it's green, does she need antibiotics.  

So far I have found the site to be easy to use.  What’s more, it’s yet another way for us mommies online to connect.  

from In the Mommy Trenches

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day



clipart courtesy of 

Ask me if I cried.

I went to work last night.  It was a typical work night until I got the call.  From home.  My husband after some witty banter between myself and my SIL, tells me.  

           "Well our daughter has done her first"
Me:   "Her first what?"  I'm thinking leave it to my hubby to draw it out with 50 questions. 
K:  "Well, she was playing in the play room and came out and told me that she sneaked past                    mommy and that's when she showed me the basket."
Me:  "okay. What's in the basket?"   

By this time my  SIL is looking at me a little concerned by the expression on my face, she's listing a run down of all the firsts that my kids have gone through and what possible first could he be calling about. 

K:   "Her hair"
Me: "WHAT?" my eyes start watering immediately. My SIL gets more concerned, I mouth to her "she cut her hair"

SIL:  "which one"  meaning which girl

K:   "well, there's a lot in the basket"
Me: "how could we not have noticed that she did that"
K:   "no idea but it doesn't look good."

Crap.  This is J, J of the long golden blonde hair that sweetly curls on the ends.  J, who I have recently started getting into doing fancy dos with her hair.   She's 3.  She's never had her hair cut, except her bangs that is.  

To be truthful, J has been telling me lately that she wants her hair cut.  Her hair is so fine that it gets knotty and like any kid, doesn't like having to suffer through getting it brushed out.  But, I was reluctant to cut her hair cause it's just so darn pretty.  Was. 

I can't believe I never noticed.  I was on the computer (of course) and thought I had an eye on where the scissors were.  She must have taken the scissors and then sneakily put them back.  I can literally see them in my mind's eye where they last were and what time I had to rescue them from O cause he had gotten up from his nap.  So the entire time I thought she was playing so nicely with baby in the bedroom, she was going snippety, snip, snip.   Later while I was cooking supper she fell asleep on the couch and when we picked her up to bring her for supper her hair was messy so we never noticed. 

So here are the photographic evidence of her crimes. 

BEFORE:


THE BASKET


THE DO



It's like that on both sides.  Some sections barely reach her chin with a long mane in the back still, which is probably why it took us so long to notice.  The little sneak. 

So it's off to the hairdresser's this morning to see if we can get the rest of it fixed.  Sigh.  I don't think we'll be able to keep much. 

So... ask me later if I cried.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A really bad mommy momment.


Well I'm going to steal CK's blog title for this post today.  (Sorry CK but when you read what I have to say you will understand). 

I went to a mother's day tea party with J (3) and had to take O with me as well.  It went wonderfully well.  We ate strawberries, cake and whipped cream and drank iced tea in tea cups.  My little J was adorable and O decided he really liked this tea party stuff.  I think he just about drank the whole pot of iced tea. 

We went to pick of E.  I didn't have the stroller so I had to drag/pull O all around the school building to the new pick up spot.   The new pick up spot has a playground.   Yeah.  So O's entertaining himself pretty well on the slide etc.  I have to hover because he's still little and this equipment is meant for school kids.  So E arrives and we head home.  Or at least try to.  O's having fun.  He doesn't want to go.  So I end up carrying a wriggling 36 pound 2 year old all the way around the other side of the building back to the parking lot.  Lots of fun. 

We get home, carefully carry in the mother's day present that J had made at school.  It was a flowerpot full of dirt and just starting to sprout seedlings and a card.  J keeps going on how it's her present not E's or O's, rubbing quite frankly in their faces.  I keep telling her that no, it's mommy's mother's day present, so it's my present. J keeps trying to open it, it was wrapped in cellophane.  I finally get so annoyed with the carping that I said fine, you can have it and helped her open up the cellophane.  But that's not all.. they continue to fight and argue and tell each other to stay away from the plant so much so that I finally lose it.  I pick up the flower pot and proceed to huck it, yes I hucked it, out the open door.  Not, shall we say, my finest moment. 

So what should happen?  Well, I guess my throwing arm is out of practice from those days of ball playing, cause it didn't make it out the door.  The pot did.  It made it all the way to the back fence.  The dirt... well it hit the window, the blinds, my alarm system panel, my bench, the baseboard heater, the floor, my shoes, my coats, my bags... the floor, the carpet.  In other words, it went everywhere.  

Of course the kids are losing it.  Banded together suddenly by grumpy mommy's outburst they are hugging and consoling one another.  Which makes me even more annoyed cause one minute ago you couldn't get them to speak nicely to each other. 

So I drag out the vacuum and proceed to vacuum it all up.  My 5 year old decides to lecture me on how I did not do a nice thing and how I hurt J's feelings etc.  Fortunately, I couldn't hear most of it over the noise of the vacuum.  When I am in the "high" of frustration/anger, I am not ready to be patronized or rationalized with.  I have to come down off the anger first.  So vacuuming was a good thing to be engaged with at the moment. 

But it doesn't really get better. O decides to have an all out tantrum.  We'd all been up early that morning and he was tired and wanted something he couldn't have.  I'm trying to make lunch while I have this whiny, crying 2 year old standing there pushing me to get my attention etc.  I get him calmed down only to find out he wants me to carry him.  Uh uh. No way.  I'd had enough of carrying kids on my hip while I tried to get supper made.  Besides he's heavy.  Put him down, sob city once more.  By this point, I am in tears.  Both at how awful I was being and by all the crying/whining.  Nothing gets me more frazzled than an overabundance of tears that are out of my power to console.  

We finally eat lunch, all the while E is praising me to the sky.  She wants me to know how much she loves me.  She's thanking me for lunch, she's thanking me for being a good mommy, how pretty I am, you name it, over and over again.  She wants me to feel better she said.  How could she know that every sentence out of her mouth was like loading up the guilt for my earlier outburst.  A twist of the knife if you will.  

So I'm feeling pretty bad by now.  (I'm not completely irredeemable you know)  I get O down for his nap and the girls set up with colouring and I sneak out the back yard to grab the flower pot,  which thankfully was still intact.   I was thinking I could still rescue her plant.  But no, this is when I find out that the entire pot had gotten dumped in my house and I must have vacuumed up all the little seedlings.  Undaunted, I shovel some dirt from the garden into the pot.  I look up there's E.  I tell her to be quiet that I want to fix J's plant but I don't want J to know.  E looks at me says okay and "you're doing a good thing mom".   Ouch. 

So I find a small plant, stick it in the pot and bring it in and show J and tell her that her plant is alright. She looks at it and says .."Did you get dirt from Papa's garden?"   BUSTED.  She can't see the garden from where she's sitting but she's a smart cookie.  She knew that there was a lot of dirt on the floor that I had vacuumed up.  But I  think I did manage to fool her about the plant because her face was wreathed in smiles.  I know it's a lie but if I can make her feel better it's worth it.  I did say I was sorry and gave her a big hug too. 

So when hubby comes home that night, he knew something was up cause I had said something to him via email earlier but he didn't know what.  I had to work so I didn't really want to talk about it before hand because I knew it would get me crying again.   But when I went to go to work he noticed dirt on top of the alarm unit.  I hadn't noticed it.  So I tell him the story thinking he's going to be horrified with me.  Well he starts laughing and laughing and laughing.  It made me feel a little better. 

Still.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  I should say this isn't like me.  I'm not normally this irrational.  Emotional maybe, crazy irrational.. no.  The only thing I can say is that my PMS has been getting out of hand lately.  I never used to get many symptoms but I'm finding myself more and more grumpy for like an entire week. So if any of you have any good ideas re mood boosting naturally, I'd love to hear it.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

When do you blog?


Seriously. I mean when do you find time to blog? There are thousands upon thousands of bloggers, twitterers, facebookers you name it online. Many if not the majority of those are made up by us... MOMS. When do we find the time to blog in our child rearing, housecleaning, husband pleasing, carpooling kind of days?

The next question, of course, is: Does it affect your life adversely?

I like to blog in the morning. I'd do it first thing but a) as most of you know I don't like to get up any earlier than I have to and b)there's too much to do to get myself and the kids ready for the day. So I've been finding that I do most of my online reading/blogging after I've taken E to school. O and J or sometimes just O set themselves up either to watch a show or play outside.. most of the time. Now I prefer them not to watch t.v. but hey, if it gives mommy a half hour then what's so bad about that? Right?!?! Wrong? See my dilemma?

Blogging in the evening. Well that's tough. I work 4 nights a week and the others I often do get a post in now and then but once the kids are in bed that cuts in to my time with Hubby. Yeah, I know. I actually want to spend time with my husband. Crazy, huh? Now he's fairly understanding but too much time at the computer could start to make him feel a little neglected. It helps that he has his own laptop so while we mutually spend time pursuing our own interests for a little while that helps. But what's so great about this social networking if it cuts us off from the social networking going on around us? So I try to limit my time blogging at night.  I even blogged a little from work.  I'm the boss, I can do that.  But then I don't get any projects done and I'm not carrying my fair share of the workload. 

So that leaves me during the day. The problem is when I blog or read other blogs I tend to forget about the house. I may have all sorts of wonderful ambitions to get organized, clean, bake cookies etc but then the siren call of the blog starts to call. My baby is sitting on the table behind me. I glance over my shoulder, no, I'm going to resist temptation. I am going to play with the children. Another glance over my shoulder. My baby looks so lonely. Okay.. I'm just going to check my email for ten minutes. Rats, just junk mail. Might as well check for commenter's. Oh, I haven't logged on to SITS today. Oh look at the cute photo Giveaway Addicted Mommy posted and it goes on and on.  Half hour goes by, I'm due to pick E up at school and I haven't even started the laundry.  All my positive ambitions are gone, I'm suddenly figuring out ways to compromise so I can get a little more blogging/reading in. 

So does it affect my life adversely?  Some days I'd have to say yes.  Some days, I get too into it and the rest of my life gets neglected because of it.  Some days I even get a little grumpy at my kids (gasp) because I just want 5 more minutes to write my astounding, thought provoking, awe inspiring post and then I'll play but they don't want to wait for 5 more minutes so mommy can finish her masterpiece.  Some times, I might even yell (the horror) or shoo them away.  (bad mommy)  This doesn't happen every day but I still feel bad when it does.  

My husband starts to get that glazed look every time I mention a post I had read on somebody else's blog.  Only the most amusing or the most horrifying can spark any sort of interest. Blogging had begun to dominate my conversation with real people.  Kathy B?  Who's that they ask.. oh a bloggy friend.  (Cause we all have to admit, Kathy's adventures give us all fodder for table conversation. If you haven't read her go, NOW and read the archives like this one "Does This Stuff Happen to Anyone Else")  I have to catch myself because non bloggers have absolutely no interest or no clue how interesting (and addictive) blogging can be.  I talk about bloggers as if they were friends in real life. They are all friends but again, nonbloggers don't get it.  Making friends online?  How odd. 

On the other hand, blogging has allowed me to connect with a bunch of great people, see more things than I would never have gotten to see and expand my horizons in what can be described as a very narrow path of my life at this point.  Meeting other bloggers has me striving to be more positive, less nagging, less whiny in my life.  

So let's keep it in perspective, please.  Right now, I'm looking for an open blogging time slot that keeps everybody happy.  I may just have to get up early cause I AM not giving up my blog.*stomps foot*   The children.. well.. just kidding.  But as my favourite saying goes... "if mommy isn't happy, no one is happy!" so I must continue to evolve and grow and find a way to make it all work. 

When do you find time to blog?