Friday, 4 November 2011

Confessions of a SAHM

Hello Cubicle Buddies

I think I've been avoiding you.  Or...I've been really busy with 3 kids?  Who need to dwell on it....

But, I think I do have to dwell on it...because in a way...this blog represents you guys.  My family and friends.

So why have I been avoiding my blog?  Because I found it hard to confess that one of my kids started school this year.  I had a few blogs about how I was homeschooling my oldest and I was enjoying it.  However, for a few reasons, she and us decided that she would start attending Grade 1 at a school...not at home.  I didn't know how to come back on here and confess this to everyone.  I was okay with the decision but I wasn't ready to share it.  Then, when I did have time to 'share' it.....issue number 2 took over.....lack of time!  My baby started crawling and I haven't stopped chasing him yet!  BOYS ARE BUSY!!!   So between chasing him, walking my oldest to and from school and somewhere in there homeschooling my middle child....I'm pretty busy these days.  I won't even mention the state of my house!

These are not excuses....just the reality I'm living in and why I've neglected you all.

So, I want to officially apologize to you all!  And since I have a habit of making lists...I will list some of my apologies.  :)

1.  I apologize for any emails I have returned very late....or not at all.  Know that I wake up in the middle of the night having suddenly remembered I didn't reply to an email.  It could haunt me...if I had time!

2.  I apologize for setting up a play date or coffee date only to turn around and realize I've double booked and have to cancel.  It's hard to keep the family calendar and my personal calendar in sync!

3.  I apologize for responding about play dates or get togethers after the dates have come and gone...

4.  I apologize for the repeated 'I'll send you an email with some dates' promise...only to forget to send said email.

5.  I apologize for the state of my house.  I will get it back in order once things slow down with my boy (heh heh...I hear you all laughing about my delusions of things slowing down).

I know I'm not alone in some or all of the above, but most of all I just want to thank all my cubicle buddies, friends and family that put up with the above and more.  I love and care about you all....I am just really unorganized right now!   Please continue to bear with me for just a little bit longer!  

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

How Things Change

Hello Cubicle Buddies!

Thought we were due for a chat again.  Looking forward to it?  I know I am!

So today in my few spare minutes of time I started a list.  I love lists...if you haven't noticed by my previous blogs....  List are survival for me.  I sometimes refer to them as 'my brain' because without these lists I'm not sure how I would get anything done...and well...I don't get everything done so just imagine how bad it would be without them! 

So my list this time around was the things I was hoping to get accomplished next week.  My two girls are signed up for full day camps next week and I see this as a week of free time to get a lot of my stuff done.  I'm so relieved to have this chunk of time to get caught up.  So I'm planning which days I will be out getting stuff done around town and which days I'll be home getting stuff accomplished here.  Like the thank you cards that should have gone out in May (I was using the postal strike as an excuse for a while...) or the decluttering of bedrooms and some toys.  And maybe a little bit of time for me.  Lunch with a friend or time to sit and read a book for a few minutes.  I'm really looking forward to all I will get accomplished!

But then...I had to chuckle.  Because although I'm excited to get this time next week....I will still have my 6 month old boy with me.  I didn't forget about him.  No.  It's just that having 1 kid is sooooo much easier then having 3 kids. 

Why do I chuckle at this thought?  Because I remember how hard I thought it was back when I had only 1 kid.  I remember how when Ryanne was born I had my year of maternity leave and I would cry when Dave would get home from work because I had gotten nothing done that day.  Not even a shower!  The kitchen was a mess!   I hadn't eaten all day!  It was so hard to get anything accomplished!  I loved my baby but I could not figure out how people did this!  And how did people do this with more then 1 child!  We were so appreciative of the grandparents when they would offer to come and watch the baby so we could get some time out.  We'd go out and be so relaxed and soak up that 'me time'. 

Then when we had Charlotte I realized how much free time we really had when there was just 1 child.  Now we had 2!  We would never have free time again!  I remember being terrified when we decided it was time for Ryanne to come home from full time day care and I'd have 2 kids by myself all day!  How would I survive!  How do people do this with 3 kids!  Would I ever shower again?

Then we had Martin.  And so far I have survived.  And I do have showers...occasionally.  We are busy.  There's not a lot of free time and finding time to get things accomplished is limited.  So I chuckle at my list for next week because I expect to get a lot of things done with a 6 month old in tow.  If I could travel back in time and tell the 'me with 1 baby' that there would be a time when having only 1 kid was considered easy?  I think that 'me with 1 baby' would assume I had gone crazy in the future.  :)

It's fun to look back and see how things have changed.  I think I'm doing alright...and I'm not crazy! 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I've Failed You...

Oh dearest Cubicle Buddies.

I am so very sorry.
I've failed you as a friend and, well, as a cubicle buddy.

I've been away for so long and that was not fair.  So, I will make it up to you and
post for you something I hope you will enjoy.

Last week we were camping and had a few 'adventures' with animals.
My daughter asked after one of the adventures what I thought was our best animal story.  I looked at her because I didn't understand until she started listing off all the ones she remembered.  And oh my.  We DO have a lot of animal adventures!

So you can vote if you like, but here are all the ones I can remember and I will add if I remember more when I'm trying to fall asleep tonight.  You know...when you are almost asleep and you suddenly sit straight up in bed because you remembered something.  I do keep a pen and paper by my bed for these moments.

Okay.  My list (in no particular order):

1.  We got together at the zoo for my niece's birthday party one year.  After a yummy lunch we all got a cupcake.  Charlotte, who was 2 at the time, set her cupcake down to run around with her cousins.  She turned to come back and take a bite out of her cupcake but instead was just in time to watch a seagull swoop down out of the sky and scoop it up in it's beak.  There were a lot of tears shed and a few years later she is still talking about 'that time at the zoo'.

2.  We were in the park having KFC take out with the kids.  The ducks were rather friendly and the girls were getting scared so we sat them up on top of the picnic bench so the ducks weren't nipping at their feet while they were trying to eat.  So Ryanne, who was about 4 yrs old, is eating her chicken drumstick when a duck flies up and hovers perfectly in front of her face and nips at the chicken she's holding up to her mouth.  We were frozen!  Then scared it off.  I've never seen anything like it!  Fortunately my kids do not have a huge fear of ducks now...  But it makes me a chicken eating duck almost like a cannibal?

Raccoons.  Need I say more?  My goodness those animals!  I remember walking past the display of raccoons at the zoo and thinking 'Why would I want to stop and look at them?  I see them way too much when I'm camping!'.  But I will say more as a few of the adventures my daughter told involved them. 

3.  We camp a few times a year in our tent trailer.  We are pretty good about keeping our food in the van or throwing out our garbage around dusk.  But we have met a few brave raccoons along the way.  While camping in Gatineau park we were stuck between a raccoon coming out from under our trailer on the way to the picnic bench where we were cleaning up our corn on the cob dinner.  I couldn't put the kids in the trailer because the raccoon was standing in front of the door.  I couldn't put them in the van because I didn't have the keys on me.  So I shoved them in the bike trailer that was right beside me and buttoned up the flap.  Then hissed at the raccoon.  It did not want to leave.  Finally Dave growled at it and it slowly started to back away.  But it really wanted those cobs of corn!

4.  We cleaned up our site last week before heading to the beach.  We left one' super hard to open' tupperware container on the picnic bench filled with muffins.  I figured it was so hard to open no smell would be leaking out to attract's the middle of the day!  As we returned to our site we saw a man stopped at the road taking pictures of our site.  He laughed when I got there and said 'That raccoon is enjoying his lunch!'.  Yup, the raccoon had pried that tupperware open and was sitting in our dining tent enjoying my muffins.  I checked out the container.  There were a lot of paw marks on it so at least I have the satisfaction of knowing it took a long time before he got it open.

5.  Same camp site.  We had our friends on our site for dinner.  So 5 of us and 4 of them.  That's not a small group...or a quiet group for that matter.  We were talking and laughing and then suddenly heard a weird rustling sound by the the fire pit about 4 feet away.  We all turned at the same time to see a raccoon running away with our bag of buns that had been on a little table beside the fire.  Again!  In the middle of the day!  Large group of people sitting 4 feet away!  Jokes on the raccoon though...the leftover hot dogs were sitting right beside the buns....

6.  Another time, we had cleaned up dinner and had just started our campfire.  We'd forgotten that we hadn't put the garbage in the van to take up to the main garbage later.  We were sitting enjoying the quiet when we heard a rustling and looked to see the white garbage bag dragging across the ground and up a tree.  The raccoon dragged it up there and we had to listen to him rustling through the bag for the rest of our peaceful campfire.  The next morning we thought we'd find the bag on the ground...but it was still up there in the tree. 

Share any crazy animal adventures please!  I'd love to hear what others have experienced because I think other then the duck story...ours are pretty tame.  :)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Homeschooling - what do you think?

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

Hot enough for you out there?  Phew! 

So, jumping right into today's topic. 

The other day I was on a forum for Mom's in the area I live in.  One of the posts was "Homeschooling - what do you think?"

I read through a lot of the comments and was surprised and saddened with how many of the mom's commented that they would have loved to homeschool, but just didn't have the confidence.  I was probably just as surprised with the responses that said they disagreed with it and thought teachers were the only one's experienced enough to teach children.  I think my favorite quote was the mom who said ' I can't teach Susie to build space probes'.   Um...I don't think most teachers could either....   :)

This post came up at a good time for me because me and my hubby plan to discuss soon what we are doing in the Fall for our oldest.  She would be starting Grade 1.  So we will be deciding whether to keep her home another year or send her to school.

I wouldn't say I had a lot of confidence going into the homeschooling.  I have some now but I constantly second guess myself or get upset when a busy day goes by and we didn't get to our 'sit down' work.  Or a day like today where it was so nice out, finally, and we spent the afternoon outside playing in the sprinkler and plastic pool.  No 'sit down' work done today.  But days like today are part of the reason I wanted to homeschool.  I got to sit on my lawn chair playing with Martin and listening to Ryanne and Charlotte play. 

Charlotte was pretending the plastic pool was a skating rink and would circle around and then fall flat on her butt.  On purpose, of course.  She said she was learning to skate!  Ryanne was running through the sprinkler saying it was a water park and she was the maintenance worker.  She came over and asked if my 'little girl' (Charlotte) would like to come for a tour and see how the water park operates.  I agreed of course!  So she led Charlotte around and got her to 'help' with all the hard work the maintenance department has.  It was so fun to watch! 

So maybe we didn't get our 'sit down' work in but they got to use their imaginations and I got to enjoy it.  I will definitely cherish the memories of today.  We can catch up on the 'sit down' work another day instead.

Back to the forum post though.  It got me to thinking about why I wanted to homeschool and if I'm getting what I want out of it...or just creating a lot of added stress and work.  It's not easy and it kind of makes you a bit of an outsider.  I constantly worry and wonder if my kids are getting enough out of it, but forget sometimes to check that I'm getting something out of it too.

I have to say so far it's worth it.  I've gotten to do some great things with my kids and see them accomplish some great things!  I'm proud of them so often.  It is hard.  It is a lot of work.  I do put a lot of stress on myself.  But I'm willing to do that a little bit longer if that's the route we decide to take.

So, after thinking over everything, I put my thoughts up on the forum about homeschooling.  I've pasted my response below and decided I would share with you guys too.

-----------Homeschooling - what do you think?---------------------------------------------------------------

I guess you could say I'm for it. I've been homeschooling for about 2 years.

I have no issue with schools and I'm sure when the time comes my kids will like school a lot.

I didn't make the decision to homeschool easily. It came with a lot of thought and stress. But when it came down to it I am doing it for a lot of the same reasons I chose to stay home from work.

Life is too short. My kids are growing up so fast and who's to say I'll be around forever. When I did send my kids to day care, the day care got the best hours of their day. They got to teach them all the fun stuff I had imagined I would teach my kids. I was jealous of this. I got them at night when they were hungry and tired. It wasn’t much fun.
By homeschooling I get to see them at their best (and worst). I get to teach them. I get to see the pride on their face. The smile after they accomplish something. Know what they are interested in.

It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. Some days I wish I’d sent them to school so my house would be clean and organized. Or just to get a break from ‘them’. But I made this decision and I’m happy with it for now.

I don’t think that I know ‘everything’ and can teach my children’ best’. But I can show them how and where to find out the things that I don’t. And having that skill will be valuable.

I was very lucky to have the choice to stay home and the choice to homeschool. Not everyone has that choice. Not everyone wants that choice. But I put a lot of thought into my choice and find it tough to swallow when people make assumptions and judgements about my choice. I do want what is best for my kids. I do want what is best for my family. I’m not trying to set them up for failure. I’m not trying to protect them from the world. I want to enjoy them. I want to teach them confidence and independence. I want to help them have a love for learning.

It's interesting to see all the comments. Was interested when I saw this thread.

So I guess that’s my personal take on it.

Friday, 20 May 2011

End of the World As We Know It...

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

So apparently...according to the news...tomorrow is the End of the World!  At 6pm.

I have no idea of this is true or not.  But it did get me to thinking.  If I somehow had the
inside scoop about when the world was ending...what would I do? 

Here's what I came up with:

1.  Update my status on Facebook so my family and close friends would know.
2.  Update my blog so my cubicle buddies would know.
3.  Contact some of the media networks to let the rest of the world know.
4.  Try my best not to yell at my kids and make sure I tell them how much I love them.
5.  Try my best not to yell at my hubby and make sure I tell him how much I love him.  :)
6.  Make sure my last encounters with friends and family were left on good terms so they knew I loved them.
7.  Have a few 7 course meals with all my favorite foods.  Nachos, steak, fries, cake, chocolate fondue with fruit, asparagus, raspberries, ice cream with chocolate and peanut butter in name a few things.
8.  Stay up as late as I wanted at night by a campfire watching the stars and chatting with my hubby.
9.  Leave the house alone.  No need to clean up if I can be spending time doing things I enjoy instead.
10.  Travel.  Depends how much warning I'm given.  But if I get a bit of notice then we are spending all our money and travelling!

What I wouldn't be doing?  Standing on a corner holding a sign to tell people the end is near.  My feet would be sore at the end of the day.  My hands and arms would get tired of holding the sign for so long (I know this from having to hold my 15 pound baby all day every day lately).  I'd feel like I was wasting my last few days!  There are easier and faster ways to spread the word.  Just a thought.

As I look over my list I think these are good ways to live in general.  Since I don't know when the end is coming exactly.  I didn't get the inside scoop this time around.  But I think I may just have to check this list occasionally and make sure I'm living life the way I want.  Hope you do the same! 

So, here's to living life my friend!  Cheers!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Rain Rain Go Away!!!

Hey there Cubicle Buddies!

I've got the Spring time blahs. Never knew they existed to be honest. I've heard of the Winter blues and that made sense to me. But now I'm inventing the Spring time blahs! It's so wet out! It's raining all the time! And the forecast is so depressing as it shows a week of wet with very little chance of sunshine.

I usually like Spring. I look forward to the flowers growing, the birds chirping and seeing the buds on trees. I accept that rain is a part of this process. I do! But Spring usually has a bit of SUN to go with it! Mother Nature has been teasing us this year. She gives us one or two really nice days with sun and heat...and then throws two weeks of rain at us! What did we do to make her so angry at us? I don't think I did anything.....was it you?

I so badly want that perfect Spring day where it's warm enough for shorts...but occasionally a brisk wind blows by and gives you goose bumps and brings a smile to your face as you realize Spring is finally here.

To go with my Spring time blahs I now have a sick baby. My poor 4 month old is so stuffy and coughing and can't sleep. And when baby can't sleep...mommy doesn't sleep. It all goes with the territory of having a baby. I'm not complaining about that. It's just tough to adjust to. Especially since my poor baby has spoiled me by sleeping through the night for 2 months already! So I have to adjust to lack of sleep again. And anyone who knows me knows I don't require a lot of sleep to function. I'm a night owl. Always have been and always will be. It's not uncommon to find emails from me sitting in your In Box sent at 1am. But there's a definite relationship between how much sleep I get and the level of patience I have for my kids or in general really.

So today I find myself not being the ‘perfect mom’.  I haven’t been using my ‘big girl’ words as much as I should.  Those day to day reminders I’m required to pass on like; say thank you, no you can’t have Easter candy for breakfast, take your dishes to the counter, flush the toilet, don’t yell, don’t whine, don’t kick your sister, I think you can get your own water, leave the cat alone, etc have been said with a bit of ‘edge’ to them.    
Every time I say one of these daily reminders I look out the closest window and say a little prayer for some sun.  The sun will solve everything!  We’ll be outside and happy!  No one ever gets sick when the sun is shining!  And if we are all happy and no one is sick then I’ll be well rested again!  Right? 

So I’ll put a smile on my face and I will make it through this week, sleep or not.  I know that my dream will come true and that perfect Spring day is just around the corner.  So think of me and the big smile on my face on that first day you get those goose bumps! 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Stop This Roller Coaster of News. I Wanna Get Off!

Hey Cubicle Buddies!

Wow, it’s been a while.  I apologize.  Wish it was because I was on vacation…but nope.  Just really busy.
But I’d love to catch up with you!  Let me know what is happening please!
I’ll do my best to listen but I have to tell you, my brain is on information overload!  There has been so much in the news lately and my brain can't take it!  It jumps from one thing to the other without finishing a thought and I need it to slow down so I can just process it all and think about it.
Here are the things I’ve been following and a bit about what it’s doing to my brain.  I’ll try to keep it short…
·         Tornados – The weather lately has been really crazy and the number of tornados down in the States or even here in Ontario have kept me on top of things.  I am TERRIFIED of tornados.  I don’t know why.  I used to have a reoccurring nightmare when I was younger that there was a tornado coming and my family ran down to the park and hid in the playground equipment.  Maybe that’s why I am scared of tornados.  We were idiots thinking we were safe there!  J   So with my fear of tornados I am pretty much terrified through any storm that comes along and I spend my time walking back and forth from the front window to the computer to see what the Environment Canada website is saying.  Then I stare at the basement door and wonder if I should just take the kids and go down there.  But I don’t want to pass on this fear to them so the entire time I’m doing all of this I have a smile on my face and keep saying ‘Wow.  Look at this storm.  Some people really love rain storms.  Nature is an amazing thing isn’t it?  Oh, look at the gusts of wind!’  So when I follow the news and see how many tornados there have been and lives lost and homes, I am sad for the people affected.  I can’t help but picture their terror during the tornado. 

·         The Royal Wedding – I didn’t do a lot of reading about this ahead of time but you can’t help but have heard so much about it.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to get up early the morning of because let’s face it.  I can tape it and watch it later…or catch all the clips on the news that day.  But then so many people kept saying how they remembered when they were young and woke up early to watch the Royal wedding with Diana.  I recall snippets of this and thought.  Yeah.  It’s true.  Everyone commented on how they woke up early more than anything else.   Cause it was fun and something different to do!  And it’s a story about a princess!   So I too joined the world in waking up early to watch this wedding.  And for this same reason I woke up my kids too.  Now…I did tape it and woke them up later to watch it…but I still woke them up ‘early’ so they too can tell people someday that they woke up early for the Royal Wedding with Kate.  We had tea and toast on a somewhat fancy tablecloth in front of our TV and had a great time!  I got caught up in the moment and spent the day being happy for this newly wed couple and hoped they were enjoying their day too.

·         Bin Laden – Late Sunday night my husband was on the computer and read the news.  So we waited up and watched the president tell the news on TV.  I could not process this for some reason.  I sat there and watched it and could not decide if I believed it or not.  But why would they lie?  But of course people lie all the time.  Then when I thought I’d maybe come to terms with it…they announce the next morning that they’ve buried him at sea.  What?  I’m not sure what I thought they would do…but it just seemed so….bizarre?  Then I struggled with how I felt about the killing in general.   Don’t get me wrong.  I have no sympathy.  But I still feel confused about how I feel about the whole thing.

·         Canadian Election – I’ve been trying to teach some of this to my girls as part of our homeschooling.  We got a ton of information from Student Vote (which was awesome!).  They sent us actual voting booths and ballot boxes and ballots and maps of Canada and Ontario with all of the ridings.   I kept it pretty basic but my girls loved going behind their booth and writing on paper and then putting it in the ballot box and kept telling me to ‘SSShhh…we are concentrating on voting mom!’  Then we took the 2008 information and coloured in the ridings on the Ontario map to show the party colours.  Then we would go back after the results and make any changes from this election.   So taking the girls with me to vote was fun for them because they had done this so many times at home.  They wanted to stay up to watch the results and were disappointed that it would be too late for them.  So, I was much more interested in the election because I’d put so much into it with my kids.  I was glued to the TV and internet for the most up to date info.  It was a great election to show my kids what can happen.  How I will explain it all or even what I will explain I still haven’t completely decided.  But I was very shocked by the results.  When I finally went to bed I couldn’t sleep trying to figure out how Harper got a majority.  Even today I find myself not being able to process this information. 

·         Easter – Finally, although there are lots of every day pieces of news that make me think and busy days with my 3 kids and our activities…Easter still looms in the back of my head…because it brought  so much CHOCOLATE into my house!  I can’t stop thinking about chocolate.  What is an acceptable amount to eat each day?  If I eat it all quickly then it will just be gone and I can move on with life.  Or I could eat it slowly and make it last…or maybe I’ll get sick of it!  Ha ha!  Right!  So usually by the time I am in bed I’m either thinking ‘Oh…I ate too much chocolate. (groan) I’ll never get to sleep! (groan) I need water!  Cold water!’   Or I’m thinking ‘OH!  I totally forgot to eat that Easter cream egg I was waiting to have after the girls went to bed….I could go eat it now.  It would be so yummy.  I might forget to eat it again tomorrow and then Dave might eat it instead and then I’ll be craving an Easter cream egg for weeks!’ 

So as you can see, I need the news world to slow down for a bit so I can process all of the above.  I need to get a good night sleep for goodness sake! 

Friday, 8 April 2011

Kids and the Upcoming Election

Hello there Cubicle Buddies!

I feel like we haven't caught up in a while. 

So I was trying to think what we could discuss today.

Here's what I came up with.  How early do you teach your children about politics?

With the upcoming Federal election I was beginning to think that maybe my oldest, who is 6, should be aware of what is going on.  But how much do I teach her?

We've always taken the kids with us when we vote so that they have an idea of that process.  But really they have no idea what we are doing.  It probably looks like an adult game of Hide-and-seek to them...which isn't very hard...we always hide behind the big piece of cardboard!  Or Peekaboo with props? 

So I've been searching the internet to see what's offered.  Maybe that would give me an idea of what ages people are teaching their kids this stuff.  And let's be honest...I could use a little 'knowledge' on everything myself....

So far I've found out some neat stuff:

There's a place you can contact to get everything sent to you to have your own 'mock vote'.  They send ballot boxes, voting screens, electoral district maps, ballots, campaign posters, etc.  These are intended for schools, but I’ve heard they don’t have a problem sending to homeschools either!  How cool is that!

There are colouring pages of Prime Ministers of Canada that have snippets of information on the bottom.

Elections Canada has some teaching resources for children as young as kindergarten.  At a quick glance it looks like maybe a story that helps explain the Canadian electoral system.

That’s what I’ve found so far from other homeschoolers and a quick search myself.  Looks like starting now to teach my kids is a good idea.

Now I just have to figure out how we will tackle this.  Make a lap book?  Do a Unit Study?  So many possibilities really. 

Now the real question…do I teach them just the process?  Or do we get into the meat of things which include the dirty tricks and smear campaigns?  Oh the decisions!

I guess I’ll let you know how it all goes!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Is April Fools Day be better then Christmas?

Hello Cubicle Buddies!
Hope you had a great April Fools Day!
My oldest, Ryanne, couldn't stop planning and plotting yesterday...and she is only 6 years old!  I think she gets this from her Grandpa Keil.  He is a BIG fan of a day dedicated to pranks.
A lot of her jokes involved taking yarn and tying it to something to make something else across the room move.  So I had to gently sway her to some more traditional jokes that wouldn't end in someone tangled up
or tripping in the dark.  Especially since I am the one who would be getting up in the middle of the night.  All I need is to forget about her contraption and trip and fall on my face when I'm heading to feed the baby.
So in total we had 13 pranks pulled in our house this morning.  Harmless but fun and worth the smiles on  the girls faces.
1.  Although not an intended prank...both girls woke up almost an hour earlier then normal to run in and jump on the bed to yell 'Happy April Fools Day!'
2.  Saran Wrap taped across bedroom doors so when the girls came out they walked face first into it.  (In hindsight I say this was pretty funny since they woke us up so early)
3.  Taped the kitchen light switch down.
4.  Switched kid bowls and adult bowls in the cupboard (Charlotte's idea)
5.  Girls were sent to wash their hands in the bathroom where Dave had changed the normal light bulbs to red light bulbs.  Very creepy when you walked in...
6.  Chairs were tied to the table so you couldn't pull them out to sit down.
7.  Switched the bags in the cereal boxes so when Ryanne poured out her Honey Nut Cheerios...she got Rice Krispies instead.
8.  Food colouring in the milk.  One bag of milk was pink.  One bag was blue.  Made the cereal look interesting.  Yuck
9.  Removed all the shampoo from the shower so Daddy had to wash his hair with kid shampoo.  Yummy.  He smelled like melon!
10.  Switched Charlotte and Dave's underwear in the drawers.
11.  Someone hid my underwear.
12.  Switched the car key on Dave's key ring to the van key.  He still had the right FOB so didn't notice till he was getting in the car.
13.  And last, the kids called Grandpa Keil and told him the Big Bad Wolf had huffed and puffed and blew our house down.  Could we come and live with them?  (Ryanne's idea)
All in all a fun day.  Both Ryanne and Charlotte felt that we should play more tricks.  When I explained most people only play one or two tricks they didn't believe me.  How could people stop at only two pranks? 
Since it seems my kids would put this day up there with the excitement level of Christmas, I worry about my future and what will happen when I can no longer sway them with my ideas.....

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A Stay at Home Mom's best friend...

Hey there Cubicle Buddies!

I don't have much time because I really need to get to bed.  But for some reason I have this big desire to tell you about my best friend.  I have many close runner ups.  My husband, my sister, my parents, my sister-in-laws, my in-laws and my friends.  They are all very caring, loving, supportive and I could not live without them either...but none of them can do everything that my best friend does. 

My best friend is there for me every day.  Whether I'm rushing out the door or having a PJ day.  I can depend on my friend to get me through a rough day or the best day of my life.  This friend has helped me to meet some really great people and get to know them better.  And my best friend is so versatile!  

I only wonder what my life would be like if I'd met my best friend earlier.  We crossed paths once or twice before we established such a close relationship when I had my job working in the mail room in Stratford.  Our relationship has changed over time but only for the better. 

My one wish is that my husband would love my best friend as much as me.

Thanks for letting me tell you about my best friend.   

Who is my best friend you ask? 

Wondering if it's you? 

Sorry, I'm afraid you were one of the runner ups.

My best friend is my cup of coffee. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

To homeschool, or not to homeschool, that is the question...

Hello there Cubicle Buddies

I trust you are doing well?

So much to talk about since your last visit but where to start...

I think today we will cover a topic that takes up a lot of my thoughts and time.

No....not Disney....  You are so funny though!

Actually I wanted to chat about homeschooling with my kids.  A plus to starting this blog was that I could use it to document what we are doing sometimes.   Mostly for me...but if you want to read about it that's fine by me! 

I still feel very new and unsure about homeschooling.  But I do enjoy the benefits.  This week I tried a new 'way' of going about our week.  I picked a theme and planned the week around that theme.  The theme was 'apples'.  I did this for a few reasons.  I needed something to focus on for the week instead of what we'd been doing and a theme seemed to help this out.  As well, my middle child, Charlotte is showing a real interest in 'doing homeschool stuff like Ryanne'.  So we are starting with 'A' and will pick a theme each week that follows the alphabet for her benefit. 

Now, I have to tell you.  Homeschooling is VERY overwhelming.  There is a lot out there to help homeschoolers out...but you have to figure out which one you want...or which ones.  And there is lots!  And everyone recommends a different one because it worked so well for them!  But if they are all do you choose! 

As well, there are lots of homeschoolers out there to meet...but everyone has their own way of homeschooling their child(ren) so it's hard to find someone to connect with.  But I keep trying.  In fact, the past few weeks I've met some people that seemed to have a similar style of teaching...and the added bonus is they have kids that are similar in age.  Now I have to find time to fit in a play date with them because our SOCIAL calendar is packed.  I put that in large letters because it seems to be the 'biggest' concern about homeschooling.  But I'm pretty sure we are ok in that department.  This week alone is packed with:  nursery school, play dates, dance class, gymnastics class, soccer, Sparks, swimming lessons and the baby sitter is watching them for a few hours one night too.  But I do understand the concern.  In fact I was worried for a while when making the decision to homeschool...until I looked at our calendar and realized how often my kids are exposed to social situations.

So all this takes up a lot of time but also my thoughts.  I second guess myself a lot.  About whether it was the right decision to make.  I know there is no 'wrong' answer and that my kids will benefit either way.  But I think part of a 'Mom's' job description is to second guess everything.  Right? 

But this week I can say I made the right decision.  I saw this when:

1.  I asked the kids if they were ready for math and they jumped up and ran to the table crying 'yeah' and got out the little bears that we use.
2.  Ryanne asked more questions then I could answer about the issues in Libya.
3.  Ryanne successfully read her 'learning to read' books to me and her dad.
4.  Ryanne and Charlotte showered their baby brother with love and gentleness
5.  Ryanne asked if we could get a book from the library about trees and how they grow
6.  Ryanne listened and answered questions asked by the guide during our tour of the Maple Sugar bush
7.  They watched  and asked questions about how the gas guys were installing our dryer.
8.  Came up with great and creative 'apple' stories to write in their apple book
9.  They played together.  Sure, they fight, but they want to play together and be together and sometimes just need help finding the right words to share or compromise...okay...not just sometimes..but they try.

This week our theme is balloons. 

Feel free to leave comments or questions if you want.  I can always use them towards another blog topic.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

True friends stay to eat...even after the fire alarm

Hey there my cubicle buddies!

Hope you had a nice weekend!

Mine was quite busy.  But fun.  The new recipe I tried out for dinner on Friday night went fine.  No real problems and everyone seemed to eat it.  So that's a good sign.  The turkey meatball soup was a lot like a homemade chicken noodle soup...but with the meatballs instead.  Little different and healthy too! 

We toured a maple sugar bush and learned about the history of making syrup and even sampled a few different types with some piping hot pancakes!  Yummy!

But tonight is what will go down in my memory book for this weekend. 

We were all looking forward to having our friends over for dinner.  It had been a while since we'd all gotten together.  So we tidied up the house and got to work on dinner.

We'll review the night with our Hindsight 20/20 goggles ok?

1.  Make sure the potatoes are cooked BEFORE you smash them with the bottom of a cooking pot.
2.  IF your potato goes flying across the kitchen for the second time...DON'T throw it at the stove out of frustration.
3.  DON'T drop half the chicken pieces on the floor as you are putting it in the oven. 
4.  IF you do drop the chicken pieces on the floor at least DON'T do this while your company is standing and watching.
5.  Apparently we DON'T cook the chicken OR the potatoes on the bottom rack of the oven or the fire alarm will go off...more than once...
6.  DON'T forget to put the bacon bits you sent your husband out to get on the salad.
7.  IF you cook more vegetables in the steamer then usual make sure you INCREASE the cooking time or they WILL come out raw.

And finally #8.  APPRECIATE the friends that will stay for dinner even through all of this and even smile and tell you how good it tastes. 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Trying out a new recipe

Hey there!

Hope you are enjoying the spring weather today!  I have a few windows open just enough to get some fresh air in...without freezing the baby.  

My 2 girls have been at grandma and grandpa's for two days and I spent yesterday running around town getting errands done.  Today I rested a bit and then decided I would finally try out that new recipe I've been wanting to try for a while.  So off to the grocery store I went.  I also picked up a Starbucks frappuccino to enjoy since it was such a nice day out.  Man was it GOOD!!!

Now, trying a new recipe may seem like nothing...but I just don't do that often.  I once heard that cooking is either a hobby and you love it...or a chore and you put it off.  I tend to think of it as a chore and dread it.  But that spring weather out there has got me hopping...and my girls and the grandparents will be home in time for dinner.  So this is a bit exciting for me!  I got the recipe from the show 'Best Recipes Ever' and it's a turkey meatball soup served with a green onion quick bread.  I'll throw a poppyseed salad together to go with this.  So, the bread is cooking and everything is chopped up and ready to go for the soup once everyone is here so it's hot and ready when served. 

Now..something you need to know about me cubicle buddy....something always goes wrong.  Ask me about the night before my wedding sometime!  So this new recipe could be an adventure.  I have to think of it that way right?  Instead of as a disaster...and hey...we can always order in pizza if it's terrible....

So...wish me luck and cross your fingers that it tastes good!  Now I better go find the thyme.....

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

How to make Ursula less scary...

Hey there cubicle buddy!

So, we should probably get to know each other a little better...don't you think? 
Do you want to start?  Or me?

OK, well I guess something you should know about me is that I have a love for Disney.  I don't consider myself an expert but I certainly know enough to carry on a lengthy conversation. 

So today when I decided the girls needed to watch a movie so I could doze on the couch with the baby, we put on The Little Mermaid.  This movie hasn't been on in our house in a while as my middle child (just turned 4 yrs old) had had a sudden unexplained fear of Ursula.  So today we would conquer her fear. 

At the end of the movie, Ursula gains power and grows into a giant octopus.  As the eyes of my middle child grew big with fear I distracted her with conversation.  We discussed how our cat might think she was huge and scary like Ursula since he is so small.  Then we decided maybe Dad was probably even bigger and scarier then she was to the cat. 

As Ursula swirled the ocean waters on the movie we continued our conversation/distraction and ended up barely watching the movie and instead talking about if Dad took a bath with the Ariel barbie it would be about the same and because Dad is just too tall to take a bath imagine  how funny that would look!  Then it turned into a conversation about how next time we go swimming in a pool we should play that Dad is Ursula and they are the mermaids was over and no one was scared.

I didn't get my nap on the couch...but it might have been worth it...I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Why'd ya call it that?

Hi there and Hello

I admit I'm a bit nervous to do this.  But I'm trying to live by new words of advise for myself which are
"Just Do It!".  I'm what some people may call a 'procrastinator' which makes life in general a little
stressful.  For the last few days I've been trying this new 'Just Do It' way of living and I have to admit
it is so much better!  I'm not saving my dishes till the end of the day to wash.  I'm not even leaving them on
the counter to put in the dishwasher 'later'!  Today I took a book back to the library on time instead of
leaving it another day.  I'm finally finishing up the thank you cards to send in the mail from a birthday party over a month ago!  Oh...and attempting to get my kids to clean up before they move on to the next toy?  That's a brilliant idea! 

So as per usual I turned to Facebook to update my status and tell the world (or just my friends thanks to facebook security) about my new discovery.  You see I use that status update as my link to the world.  I'm a Stay at Home mom and although I try to get my kids excited about my new discoveries...they just don't seem to get how great they are sometimes.  Or on rough days with the kids it's nice to have a place to turn to that I can vent openly.  So...I update Facebook a lot.  Ask anyone on my friends list.  I often get comments about how often I update it.  So my response is always the same.  I worked in an office setting for 9 years before staying home with my kids.  I worked in a cubicle.  There was ALWAYS someone there to tell the great discoveries to.  Or to vent about what was happening.  Or to talk about the weekend.  I miss that.  So I use that status update as if they are my cubicle buddies. 
So having thought about a blog for a few I decided to live by my new motto 'Just Do It' and set up my own blog.  To use as my 'at home' cubicle buddy.

So if you are reading this...welcome to my cubicle!  I hope you enjoy being my buddy!