Category Archives: General

Perspective – Through the Eyes of a Two-Year-Old

Yesterday, with the threat of rain looming, we figured we should get some yard work done. The goal was to get all the leftover leaves cleaned up and fertilize and seed the lawn before it rained. I put the two older boys to work bagging the leaves I had raked a couple weeks ago and then took the rake to the other side of the lawn so I could rake and bag over there. Ian was on fertilizing duty and was trying to set everything up while watching the littlest one (now two).

Unfortunately, watching the little one wasn’t conducive to getting work done. Ian ended up taking him inside and feeding him watermelon and milk while we worked. While the boys bagged up the seventh bag from the front lawn, I ended up on watching the kiddo duty. I took him to the back yard to finish up the last bag from there (the fifth bag back there this spring) that I hadn’t gotten done before the birthday party earlier in the week.

He ran around and tossed leaves all over the place and tried helping by throwing leaves at the bag. He even managed to get some of those leaves in the bag. When the boys finished their bag off, I had them take him in to wash up and got a plate of watermelon for them to eat on the little table outside. Even then he ran around and played as he ate his watermelon.

Later in the day as I rested, exhausted from the day’s work, I asked C if he’d had fun today. His response? “Yes, I played with Mummy and Daddy.” It hit me then that even though we thought we were getting work done, he thought he was playing with us. It’s a little lesson that sometimes you just need to spend time doing things with your children as opposed to trying to keep them entertained.


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Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Send a Child to School…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to send a child to school after a week of being sick, at least make sure there is school.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but after a summer of giving the boys some slack, I look forward to September to get them all back into a routine. We’d just finished up the first full week of school and Liam’s first week of preschool (an hour on Friday just doesn’t really count as preschool starting in my books) and I was planning to have this past week go even better since it takes a little time to get back in the groove. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…

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Lesson of the Day: If You’re Going to Forget an Appointment…

Today’s Lesson: If you’re going to forget an appointment, then at least live within walking distance.

I seem to be racking up a few “not the first time” experiences. The most recent one is the forgotten dentist appointment. Last year, when Callan was still tiny, we got a call from the dentist asking if we were going to show up for the boys’ appointment. We were already late! Thankfully, we live about a seven minute walk from the dentist. We dragged the boys out the door and got them there before our time was up.

Yesterday, I remembered the dentist appointment and I didn’t remember it. I knew that Liam had an appointment. In fact it was written on the calendar. Every time I walked by, I reminded myself that I had to get him there. I planned the day around it and made sure the boys had plenty of time for lunch before we had to leave. When Aiden asked if he had to go too, I said, “No, you can stay home. It’s just Liam’s appointment.”

I got the two little boys out the door and to the dentist with time to spare. When I got there, I found out that their usual dentist was no longer with them (she had found a full time position at another office and no longer had the time to pick up extra shifts). We waited for a little while and then someone came over to tell us it would be another five minutes before they’d be ready for us. When the hygienist came out for us, they asked which boy was going first: Liam or Aiden…

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Mother In Waiting

I have a friend – Cheryl – whom I’ve known for well over 20 years. The other day, I got a message from her asking for help. While many of the rest of people I went to school with have had at least one child (if they want any), she and her husband are struggling. Over the past few years, they’ve dealt with a variety of health problems and preexisting conditions. The result of these problems and conditions is that natural conception is not an option for them. She and her husband would love to have children and would be great parents to any children they manage to have. They have attempted In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) already which resulted in a pregnancy that, unfortunately, ended in the miscarriage of a much loved and wanted baby.

Cheryl and Colin would like to try IVF again, but the cost is prohibitive. It costs $14,000 per treatment. That’s $14,000 that our provincial health plans won’t cover. They’re asking for help because even with them both working (and Cheryl at two jobs), it’s difficult for them to pull together that $14,000 without going into debt. They’ve already raised 1/10th of the funds they need for the procedure but they still need another $12,600 .

She asked me to help spread the word. So this is for Cheryl – a mother-in-waiting: if you can spare a little bit, please go here to donate. If you can’t, please consider helping to spread the word so that those who can donate have the chance to help Cheryl and Colin start their family.

To all those who help even just a little bit, thank you.

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New (Calendar) Year’s Resolutions

The new (school) year’s resolutions didn’t hold for very long so I figured I’d take another stab at making a few changes now and do it again at the beginning of May so that maybe I’ll get three good months in a year. If I keep it up, I just might make some of these changes stick for good. So here I go again with another list of changes for the good of all…who am I kidding? They’re for my sanity.

1) Turn the TV off and the music on – Last time, this one both worked and didn’t work. I certainly watched less of my own TV shows, but the TV didn’t seem to be off any longer than before – at least not after the first few days. I also didn’t manage to fit in much music since Liam kept telling me to turn it off. I know I’m the boss of him and not the other way around but the little, nagging voice that won’t go away makes it difficult to enjoy the music anyway. This time, though, I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve: Liam goes to preschool twice a week which gives me a guaranteed four hours a week without that voice, and I got an HP Notebook for Christmas so I can now play my music all over the house and not be forced to listen to a billion commercials for things I don’t care about.

2) Kick the kids out to play more often – Alas, I did not make it to the park all that often (if ever) over the last few months and since it’s gotten colder out, I’ve hardly sent them out to play in the backyard either. This is unacceptable. Aiden seems to think that the outdoors is boring; I’m of the opinion that he’s just not using his imagination enough. It’s my hope that being forced to go play will lead to creating games or something. I remember having hours of free play time outside as a child and I always had something to do. Kicking them out will also get them away from the TV.

3) Clear my desk off and keep it clean – I gave myself a new desk for Christmas and insisted that no one put anything on it but me. I am not the only one to put things on my desk. Just yesterday, Ian put a couple cables on it “for now” and left them there. Now it’s covered in pictures, cords, movies, batteries, controllers, bills, wrapping paper, and a sticker book. I may love organized chaos it its place but that place is not on my desk.

4) Be more efficient with food – I managed to plan some meals in advance over the past few months (I just turned the TV off!) but I realized that I ordered out weekly and wound up throwing out more leftovers than we ate. No more! Not only am I going to plan in advance, but I’m also going to work leftovers into the plan so that a) the kids realize that they have to be eaten and b) I don’t have to throw them out. I read in Canadian Living recently that we throw out approximately 38% of the food we buy. That’s almost 2/5 of what we buy. To put that into perspective, consider that we spend about $600 a month on groceries. If we truly are throwing out 2/5 of that food, that’s about $240 worth of food a month that we don’t eat. That may be a bit high, I’m more inclined to say that I throw out no more that 1/4 of our food but that’s still $150…whatever that wasted food amount is, it has got to stop.

5) Bake more – I know how to bake. I like baking. I don’t do it nearly often enough and then I find myself picking stuff up at the grocery store for Aiden’s lunches that I normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Why? I’m not willing to admit that answer just yet. It comes down to economy. It’s cheaper to make my own cookies than to buy them. I can make bread that Liam will actually eat which will therefore not waste the bread he won’t eat. I can bake a tasty, nutritious dessert that will keep us from eating other, less healthy, more expensive foods. I have the power and I should use it.

6) Sew more – I managed to get Liam’s quilt finished before Christmas (my mother can tell you the story of me kicking everyone out of the house on Christmas Eve so I could finish it in peace) but hardly did any other sewing. Sewing used to be a creative outlet for me (along with knitting and writing) and I’ve realized recently how great it is to know that you made something. I miss the joy of creating something. I need an outlet.

7) Do crafts with the kids – I bought white glue sometime between September and now that I intended to use with that construction paper. I haven’t used either yet, but I still intend to. Not only do I need a creative outlet, but Liam does as well. I should get Aiden crafting, too, so he can stop saying that he’s bad at art. They don’t have to be difficult crafts, just little projects that let the boys cut, glue, and colour or draw. I really should get on that.

8) Exercise more – Apparently, dancing around the living room with the baby is not enough exercise. I got an XL (PINK!) pajama set for Christmas this year. As a rule – when I’m not nursing – my tops are size S-M and my pants are M-L. I am not an XL. I refuse to be an XL. But apparently, I looked enough like one to someone that it seemed acceptable to buy me clothes in that size. Here’s the thing: I’d rather look healthy than skinny and I would rather feel healthy than be larger. I have nothing against people of most sizes with the exceptions of those who take up two seats and those who don’t eat (though I also take issue with parents of larger children when I see them eating fast food). I just prefer to be somewhere in the healthy range than in either at risk range.

9) Convince Ian that we need a clothesline – More on this in another post at another time,  but I think we need one and Ian doesn’t. I’m right…he just doesn’t realize he’ll have to cave in yet.

So these are my good intentions for the next few months. I’d like to say that I’m posting and then going off to do something about any of them, but chances are that will have to wait for a little while since I’ve got a table to clean and a bed to make.

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The 12 to 25 Days of Christmas – Day Five

I’m a little behind on the posting (again) so I’ll make this one rather short and move on to day six. Today was all about the Christmas carols! I forced Liam and Callan to listen to them during breakfast and refused to turn them off when Liam started watching Spiderman on Netflix. The CD of choice?

We Need a Little Christmas Holiday Sing-Along.  Ian’s mother picked it up last year after hearing the Singing Santa CD that I had picked up the year before (which was more about supporting the Santa who sang in the mall I worked in and kept us entertained over the holidays than it was about good music) – she really didn’t like that one. So, this one is sung by children and while it’s no Bing Crosby, it’s at least passable for kids. I really should dig out the old Fisher Price record player and records to see if we have the Sesame Street Christmas album here…now that’s a good one for the kids to listen to.

I’ve just realized that now that the majority of the kids in the house are over the age of two, I need to work on my Christmas collection. Got any suggestions?

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The 12 to 25 Days of Christmas – Days Three and Four

I’m combining days three and four both because I’m a little slow in posting and because I didn’t get much done either day. Day three was the big triumph wherein I actually put away the Halloween stuff including the candy bags after I removed the last of the candy from them…I know the boys still have candy left, what is wrong with them? I followed that up by bringing out my wreath and hanging it in the inside of the front door.

As soon as Ian saw it he asked if it shouldn’t be on the outside. I had to remind him that there’s no room between our doors. I would have put it on the screen door if only I could find my magnetic wreath holder…which I may find once I open up all the Christmas boxes. Liam, on the other hand, watched as I put it up and then said, “Cool!” As far as I’m concerned, that’s a much better response.

Alas, day four involved neither baking nor decorating. So how is this counted as a day? I shoveled out our walkways and sidewalk while occasionally singing Christmas carols. Frankly though, I wouldn’t have counted it at all if the snow hadn’t been a good 6 inches or more deep. That’s right, our lawn officially looks like Christmas.

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