Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

New Year’s Resolutions (Suggestions) 2018

Well, it’s that time again, boys and girls.  The New Year’s Resolutions/Suggestions.  As I reflect back on my resolutions from last year, I see that I did eat cleaner (a little), kept up my stockpile of toilet paper, read a little more (those bloody British detective shows on Netflix are still getting in my way….you see what I did there, eh?), gave up my magazine subscriptions, and typed with only one space after the period (ok, I did it for the report cards because I could only use 147 characters to tell parents how amazing their kids are).  I still need to empty out my deep freeze, incorporate more song lyrics into everyday conversation, have more company over, convince Ganong’s Chocolate Factory to bring back their vanilla cream drop chocolates, and of course, sing backup for Meghan Trainor.  So, without further ado, I give you my latest kick at the can.

New Year’s Suggestions.  V.2018.

*Make more soup.  Last year was the year of Dill Pickle Soup.  I was freaking amazing at it, almost to the point where I got sick of it.  I know, it’s hard to believe that I would become sick of anything dill pickle, but I almost did.  This year, I am going to venture out and make more (different) soup.  Some day, I am going to be a good old person, eating my soup and half of a toasted sandwich.  Yeah, right.  I’ll still eat the entire sandwich.  And the desert.

*Learn to not knock into various household items/furniture with my glasses while wearing my new(er) glasses.  Yes, they are incredibly dirty right at this very moment, but most of the time, they are not, and yet, I continue to bang into things with them.  Either my depth perception is off, or I have experienced more near death situations before wearing them than I ever realized.  It may actually be miraculous that I still have two eyes in my head, given the amount of things that I have bumped into.

*Get those stupid front steps of mine stained.  I am fairly certain that there is neighbourhood bet on when this will be accomplished.  Those seniors down the street look all sweet and innocent, but five bucks says that they’re hedging bets on my step sustainability.

*Clean up the potty mouth inside my head.  Fortunately, my filter still works adequately, but there will come a day when it begins to thin (some may think it already has).  So in the meantime, I am going to clean up my act, and come up with more descriptive adjectives to employ for nouns that infuriate me.

*Cut back on my online shopping.  I told my banker that I was going to do this, and within 30 seconds of me arriving home from that appointment, the Purolator guy shows up at my front door steps with my latest Old Navy order.  In my defence, I did need new clothes this year.  Ok, I’ll try harder with this one.

*Eat out less.  I think we have been a bit better in this area this year.  Well, maybe.  Waiting for the lightning to strike.  Again, in my defence, it is nice to hear how former students are doing, and if you need to go through the McDonald’s drive thru in order to do so, so be it.

*Listen to more podcasts.  I discovered a couple that I really like this past summer, and really want to get into listening to them more.  So if I cut back on the online shopping, I’ll have more time for this.  Win win.  Check out For The Love (Jen Hatmaker) if you’re looking for one.

*Convince Jennifer Hudson to sing at my funeral (Date TBA….I’m voting for a much later date).  Not that I plan on dying this year, but let’s face it, Jennifer Hudson singing How Great Thou Art with Pentatonix doing the backup vocals would be an amazing show.  It’s too bad that I would miss it, but you can all thank me later.

*I recently discovered these neat little devotionals on the YouVersion app.  I had only ever used the app to look up various Bible verses before, but since discovering this, have made better use of this app.  Um, admitting that I like the app because of its devotional content rather than its actual Bible content sounds a little sacrilegious.  Oops.

*Blog more.  I could blame my lack of writing this year on writer’s block, or my busy schedule, but really, we all know deep down, that those darn British detective shows are really to blame.

Well, there we have it folks.  To new beginnings and more soup (and maybe less crime solving)!  God bless you all in this new year!

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As you step off the bus at school this week…

Changes Taking Place

My child,

May you seek guidance from those with true wisdom.

May you laugh where there is humour, not harm.

May you listen when someone needs your shoulder.

May you be a light to those who struggle.

May you find a peace within that radiates through you.

May you remember the difference between right and wrong.

May you fight temptations and win each battle.

May you be a blessing to those who surround you.

May you be a friend to the friendless.

May you be quiet when silence is required, but a voice when you need to be heard.

May you respond with love and a gentle strength.

May you learn of all of the beautiful things this wonderful life has to offer, but keep a childlike innocence within your heart.

May you be open to correction.

May you treasure true friendships.

May you realize that though you have the world to explore, it does not revolve around you.

May you be thankful and respectful.

May you enjoy simple moments.

May you continue to seek God.

May you know that we are always here for you as you journey through this life.

This is my prayer for you throughout the coming days. Be blessed and be a blessing. I love you.

Now rest, for tomorrow you will do great things.

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Oh, Mickey, You’re So Fine…

PhotoPass_Visiting_Magic_Kingdom_Park_

Last week, our family went to Disney World for the first time together.  I had never been there as an adult, but went twice as a child, back in the days when there were only one or two parks.

I figured this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip (or my last once-in-a-lifetime trip to Florida) so we decided to stay on resort.  Because of this, going back and forth from the resort to the parks, involved countless bus trips.  This time gave my husband plenty of time to chat up the other tourists (he may or may not have swapped venison recipes on one trip), and me, time to reflect on our adventures.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten not-so-secret things you may or may not know about Disney World 2015.  I suspect none of these reflections will be found in any of their brochures.  Ok, I strongly suspect.  Without a shadow of a doubt.

1) You can still land a rocket on Mars safely in the Mission Space ride in Epcot with your eyes closed.  Tightly.  Without breathing.  And without your sister who bailed on you when she saw the barf bags.

2) They say it’s the happiest place on earth.  Clearly those people NEVER took children to the park for the ENTIRE day in 30 degree Celsius (or 174 degree Fahrenheit) weather.  It must have been one of those honeymooners who wore Mickey and Minnie bride and groom ears who coined that phrase.  You know the ones.  They have the coordinating Mickey and Minnie shirts too.

3) Based on my extensive research, aided by a child who MUST visit every public washroom on earth, Disney must have more working tampon dispensers than the rest of every public washroom in all of North America combined.  Either that, or no one has permanently etched a pertinent message regarding its working condition on any of them yet.

4) Talk about one stop shopping.  At the Margarita kiosk in Epcot, you can buy a margarita (thus the kiosk name) AND a bag of Doritoes.  Because, well, why not?  I know when I’m enjoying a bag of Doritoes, my first thought is always, “Man, I sure could use a margarita to wash this down with!”

5) And while, we are talking about alcohol…back to that guy who coined the phrase “happiest place on earth.”  He may have been one of the dads walking around the park, holding his beer carefully, while his wife pushed their loving bundle of joy in the rented Disney stroller in the 30 degree Celsius (or 174 degrees Fahrenheit) hot sun.

6) If you are planning on riding on one of the Disney buses to and from the resorts, keep in mind that you may need to stand up on the bus and hold on (for dear life) to the Holy Crap Handles (depending on your audience, this device may have a slightly different name).  Shave and deodorize your armpits accordingly.  Enough said.  Oh, and hold on tight, because it can become awkward really fast if you fall in between one of those lovely honeymooning couples.

7) Those big refillable Mickey cups (not to be confused with the little Mickey cups…wink, wink) should come with a warning label about developing a possible addiction to Cherry Coke after the 964th refill.

8) Eventually you just want to flush a toilet on your own.  In your own time.  When you are good and freakin’ ready.  Although you must admit, the automatic water sink feature would be a good idea in your own home.  The towel dispenser could become a little too expensive though.

9) It’s the only place on earth where you want a Mouse, or should I say, Mousekeeper (Disney word for Housekeeper) in your room.  The last time I had a mouse in my own house, I left it a tip, but it said “Snap!”  And the mouse said, “Oh, crap!”

And finally, because all good lists should have 10 points…

10) And while you are sticking around the resort, take part in the festivities that surround you there.  For instance, everyone in their lifetime should rent a four seater bicycle.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  But you’ll probably die laughing anyways.  Oh, and it’s probably not a good idea to go with the margaritas and Doritoes right before that.  Armpit hygiene optional.

But when all is said and done, even though going to Disney may be more of a trip than a vacation, there is nothing better than seeing the happiness on the face of a child (and sometimes really, really tall ones too) when they finally get to meet Mickey and experience the magic of it all.

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21 Signs You are Done with Snow

Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 135 A

When we were kids, we used to hear the stories of how our parents had to walk to school uphill both ways.  Of course, the winter version of that story included the necessary description of the height of the snow banks and how they reached the power lines.

I believe we are in the midst of one of those winters right now, although I’m fairly certain my kids’ bus only goes uphill on the way home.

So as my husband goes out to snow blow our yard after the 92nd blizzard of the year, I will stay in my cozy, warm living room, and share with you my list of why I feel (know) we now have too much snow for any earthly good.

Here are some signs you may be done with snow…

*Not one single person complains on social media that schools should be open on a snow day.

*You laugh in the face of a mere 20cm of the white stuff.  And then weep uncontrollably because it is then that you realize it will be added onto the 7328cm you already have in your front yard.

*You see a snowman at your local Weight Watchers meeting, trying to lose those extra pounds before spring.

*You believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that extra 20lb weight gain this winter, is the sole responsibility of storm chips.

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*You almost kiss the face of a hydro lineman in a gas station parking lot when you see him preparing for the next blizzard.

*Your husband is not jealous that you almost kissed the lineman.

*You could probably cancel your gym membership due to the shovel workout.

*You could probably cancel your pool membership too because when this stuff melts, you’ll have a pool.

*Upon your suggestion, your husband strongly considers wearing swim goggles outside to snow blow the driveway so he can see in the midst of the blizzard.  Then realizes, he’ll save the goggles for the pool.

*It would not surprise you if the local ski hill stays open until the long weekend in May.  Or July.

*Curtains and blinds are no longer necessary.  Ah, well, um, let’s not test that one.

*Locking your door is hardly necessary either because if an intruder can make it in, you would gladly give them your money, and maybe even a thank you card.

*School is canceled the night before.  Wearing pajamas inside out is not necessary.

*The kids know when you run water into the bathtub, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bath night.

*You will no longer refer to the winter of ’92 as the big storm to remember.

*Students can’t remember what a 5 day school week entails.

*Your kids can no longer simply build a snowman by rolling 3 snowballs.  They have to carve the poor creature out of its surroundings.

*You consider unfriending friends and family who post pictures on Facebook of them sunbathing in much warmer climates.

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*You consider allowing your kids to play with matches outdoors in the hopes that the snow will melt if the burning match touches the ground.

*Move over Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton….snow plow operators just took your place in the list of the most admired people in our part of the world.

And finally…

*Even your kids give up singing the Frozen soundtrack.

So obviously, the groundhog did see his shadow on February 3rd.  And your shadow.  And my shadow.  And possibly an entire village of stinkin’ groundhog shadows.  But here’s to BBQ season, which may officially begin in August, at the rate we are going this year.  I’m serving up groundhog burgers!  Join me if you can!

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You’ll be home soon

Tears were beginning to flow down her cheeks.  I hugged her.  Tightly enough to let her know that I love her, but not enough for her to know that I really just wanted to take her back home with me.  I saw the anxiety wash over her, as she listened to the other girls’ chatter, refusing to look in their direction.  Eyes fixed on me, pleading.  Her words whispered, her stomach knotted.

Maybe she wasn’t ready for this.  Maybe neither of us were.

But this would be a good thing.  A weekend winter camp would be a great introduction for her, just two days separated from mom and dad, far less than an entire week in the summer.

So here I sit tonight, praying that pure exhaustion washes over her and allows her to sleep through the night, away from her mother’s safe and warm embrace.  Knowing that tomorrow is a new day, and that the next time darkness falls, she will be snuggled in tight beside her mother, trying desperately to vividly recall every moment of her newfound independence.

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Being Thankful during Christmas Break

My kids have been sick with a couple common different ailments for a good portion of our Christmas break. The action all really started on Christmas Eve and hasn’t stopped yet, although I think we are in the home stretch, so to speak. I could be negative about the whole ordeal, but I am going to choose to focus on the positives…or at least try.

1) No hospital visits have been necessary. If I want to pick up any more germs, I’ll just lick my own tv remote, thank you very much. I didn’t even feel it was necessary to get everyone in a fluster and ask what doctor was on call on our local newschaser Facebook site.
2) We didn’t have any Caribbean cruises scheduled, so no big plans to cancel. And no sunburns. Or suntans that would be covered up once I got home because it’s a flipping -97 degrees outside.
3) My kids’ aim is getting better. Three cheers for no extra laundry. And no carpeting. Yah for vinyl flooring!
4) Netflix has a good selection of Christmas movies. They have now watched both the new and old versions of Miracle on 34th Street. And Santa Paws. And an American Girl movie, and…
5) No gas money has been wasted travelling around. Or money spent on eating out. Or Boxing Day sales.
6) Only one of my knuckles is bleeding from cleaning with Lysol wipes and the extra hand washing. And I didn’t discover the bleeding knuckle while transferring a white load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, which is my normal practice.
7) I’ve been able to narrow down the mean time in which my kids are likely to vomit. Their prime hours are 2-5 am. Which is great, really, because when you stick them in the tub at that time of day, there’s guaranteed plenty of hot water coming from the hot water heater.
8) My kids now know what a BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) diet is, and what their mom will allow them to cheat with. They also know that I’m not referring to their sparkling personalities when referring to this particular diet.
9) We still have three boxes of chocolates in the house, as well as 12 blocks of cream cheese and 8 boxes of crackers. I see me inviting a lot of company over in January.
10) I’ve discovered that I can light up my main hallway like an airplane runway so no one has any excuse as to why they can’t locate the facilities in their time of need. It also makes it painfully obvious that we are home and no one will be tempted to break in and steal any of our germ laden possessions.
11) My kids have been sleeping in until 9am every morning, allowing me to stay up until 2am, when they are most likely to be sick.
12) My oldest has discovered that her mother is sometimes right, and having Vicks on her feet at night will not kill her.
13) My seven year old now knows how to take her own temperature so that when she doesn’t believe her mother’s hand to the forehead method, she can take matters into her own hands.
14) New skills have been mastered. I can now tie my girls’ hair up into ponytails at a moment’s notice from very awkward positions (mothers of kids with long hair know exactly what I’m talking about), and I’ve managed to complete every level of my Mahjong app while waiting for stomachs to settle.
And finally…
15) I didn’t have to take any time off of work to look after my kids in their time of ickiness. Having the time already scheduled off, I may need a vacation from my vacation at the rate we are going though.

It’s back to work/school this week for me and the kids, so here’s hoping and praying, we are done with this mess.

Oh snap! Aaaaaachoo! God bless me!

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New Year’s Resolutions Version 2015

Winter 2013 019 copy A

Yeah, um, so New Year’s Eve is tonight and therefore that means I only have a few hours to fulfill last year’s resolutions. Some took, and some will most likely appear on this year’s list. I flossed my teeth more often, I didn’t have a root canal, I cleaned off my dresser a few times, I got my passport, and I now have slightly more blog followers than I did this time one year ago. Thanks to my husband, my shower is looking pretty good (I wouldn’t lick the floor of it by any means), and my basement is beginning to come together. And of course, there are the ones that will remain on my new list, like the veggies and the Bible reading.

So without further ado, or something like that, here is my new list for 2015:

1) Convince my family that they need to unravel their dirty clothes before flinging them towards the other ravelled dirty clothes that have accumulated since I last unravelled dirty clothes and threw them into the washer. An intense training session may be required for this.

2) Post on my blog and my blog Facebook page more frequently. Not so much that my regular 5 readers are desensitized and never read any of it again. Of course, this may have to occur after my latest Netflix-a-thon comes to a bitter end.

3) Clean out my entire basement. Once upon a time, I had dreams of selling the contents of my basement, and getting my girls braces with the extra cash. I am not quite to the point where I just light a match and hope that insurance (dental or otherwise) takes care of all of my issues. There is hope as long as Costco still sells mammoth shelving units.

4) Print more pictures of my family and actually place those pictures on the wall. Or make really cute little ones and put them in my wallet. Oh, I need a new wallet.

5) Be more social. I’ve become quite the hermit in my later years. I know, hard to believe, (insert sarcasm here) being the socialite that I was in my younger days. Maybe I should invite people over more, like every Friday night and we could eat cheese ball and fancy crackers, and we could do each other’s nails, and tell ghost stories. And if they insist, they could help me clean out my basement and hang pictures on the wall.

6) Figure out how to actually use my cell phone. Which I suspect means not letting my 7 year old take selfies during church or while driving in a vehicle anymore (she’s used up all of the memory…is that a tech term these days?). I’m still saying no to a data plan, so there really can’t be that much to learn, right.

7) Take my husband to Newfoundland. Without the kids. And see an iceberg. And kiss a cod. Ok, maybe I’ll just plan a trip to NFLD while my kids aren’t in the same room as me.

8) Read more.  My Bible, and the 3964 e-books I’ve downloaded.  I know, I have a problem.  Exaggerating is only one of them.

9) Eat out less often. Buy/hunt more meat, cook it and serve it to my family. But not with cheese ball and crackers. Vegetables, lots of vegetables. I may not be ready to embrace clean eating, but perhaps I should try for eating-cleaner-than-my-shower-floor-clean.

Ok, I can do this. I’m going to rock 2015.

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Location, location, location

I have this incredibly annoying habit of allowing others to rent out too much space in my head. It’s not like they care to be there, and in fact, they probably don’t even realize that they have such a fabulous rental property. Folks, it really is all about location.

There have been several renters in my head throughout the years. Some have made the news lines on CNN, while others try to live more quietly in more spacious surroundings out of the spotlight. But somehow, each one of these renters have quietly snuck into my head, and occupied it for far too long, wearing out their welcome.

Each situation is different. But every time, I do the exact same thing. I allow their perceived trash to pile up inside my head until I make it my own. I mull over it, picking up each piece and seek to find the mistakes. Many imaginary conversations take place in my rental property, and in them, I am the winner, the righter of the wrongs, the giver of “necessary” advice, the judge.

Eventually, I open my mouth and I begin to complain about my occupants. Maybe not outright at first, but a knowing look, a rolling of the eyes, a snide comment, a tinge of sarcasm. Sometimes a brazenness follows and the words spill out, the words themselves not necessarily nasty or hurtful, but the tone, the casualness, and the implications are all there. Laying there, pained and prideful.

But eviction notices must be served. I need to take each unwanted occupant, throw them out of my head. Yet, not out onto the streets. No, I need to send them to my heart, where I know, with prayer and patience, because it really is me who has the obstacles, they will change ME for the better.

And then, when I’m ready, I will move on.

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My train of thought….

The following is the internal dialogue that took place in my head while taking my shower this morning. This is how my brain works. Welcome to my world. Enjoy. I’m sorry if you thought I was solving all of the world’s problems every morning while shampooing these lovely locks of mine.
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I just got two page likes on my FB blog page this week. That’s really cool, I should try to get some more likes on my FB page, and increase my readership. How do people do that? I should have a contest. But what in the name of time, would I give away? I don’t make anything, so I can’t give some cute little Pinterest craft away. I haven’t written a book, so an autographed book of mine won’t do the trick.

Thank goodness, I remembered to buy more shampoo yesterday. It came with those facial wipes, which are a little too much like diaper wipes, as far as I am concerned.

When my kids ask what they are going to “get” from me for doing something, I tell them that they get to live in our house rent-free. That won’t work, I can’t allow someone to come live with us if they win a contest on my FB page.

Of course, if someone did come and live with us, they could clean up the house for me and help me de-clutter it. Because right now, the best option I have is to light a match and walk away. I shouldn’t say that. Those things happen to people.

Having someone to come live with me might not be a bad idea. A lot more legal, I suppose. And they could cook too. Now that Scott is working day shifts, this whole cooking supper for everyone is going to get old really fast. I need a housekeeper.

This shower would be a heck of a lot cleaner if I had a housekeeper.

I don’t have the room to have another person live with us. But then, of course, I could make the girls sleep in the same room and they could get the bunk beds that the youngest one has always wanted.

Maybe people would just share my blog out of the goodness of their hearts, and they wouldn’t really need to win a contest and share my blog page all over the place. That could work. I could try that.

It’s Sunday morning. I should shave my legs. I need to replace this razor before I need a tetanus shot.

Oh, maybe I should just give Twitter a better go of it. But Twitter is like watching the popular kids out on the playground and hoping, just hoping that if you tell them you like their nice, new jacket, that they will become your friend. If I just hit that star button, they will want to see who I am and check me out and see my blog. And know that I am the next best thing since sliced bread. Unless of course, you’re going gluten free.

You know if Kristen Howerton (blogger extraordinaire) liked my blog, I might be popular. Maybe if I just tag her in a post, she will see it and that will work. Or maybe, Jen Hatmaker or Lisa-Jo Baker (writers and bloggers). You probably can’t do that. They probably have people Iike me blocked from doing that sort of thing.

I need one of those voice recorders for the showers. I would be more organized and could actually get things done with one of those things. I don’t think they have such a thing for the shower. Someone should invent one of those things.

I need a secretary. Someone told me the other day I need one. My memory is getting worse. I think I have early onset Alzheimer’s. It was that book that made me think that. What was the name of that book again? I can’t remember. Oh yeah, Still Alice. I wonder how many people self-diagnosed themselves after reading that book.

Oh, this is nice, hot water. We need to get this shower head replaced soon. I think I’ll stay here a little while longer because it’s so nice and quiet in here. No one will ever notice I’m gone.

I need one of those voice recorders. I really need one for school. But Apple would be the one who would most likely make it, and we don’t use Apple products too much at school. Maybe my iPad can do that already. I need to figure that one out.

I wonder if anyone else replied to my Facebook status about cooking a turkey. I need to clean the rest of the house before our company comes over.

Yah me! I might actually get on four articles of clothing before someone bursts through the door, yelling for Sunday morning fashion advice. Wait…are two socks considered two articles of clothing or only one? Make that five articles (or four). I need my housecoat on. Don’t need the neighbours talking.

Wow! It’s steamy in here. That was a long shower…
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This blog post has been brought to you by my sponsors today, Sunday morning Netflix and whole wheat toast with real butter. Praise The Lord, the kids can watch tv again, after the oldest one lost all electronics but a light switch last weekend.

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Not letting go

This weekend I took my daughter to her first overnight camp with her local Girl Guides. All week I had been cautious of her going, as she was a newcomer to the group, and it was now becoming chilly to be sleeping in a tent all night. But my husband, the former Boy Scout, also felt it was a great opportunity and it was now two against one, mom waving the white flag of defeat.

So there I was, on a chilly damp Saturday afternoon, driving her through the drizzle and the back roads of our beautiful province, trying to read road directions downloaded in an email from her leader. Not incredibly concerned that we may be lost, I continued to drive, subconsciously knowing that I would be delaying her arrival if we didn’t find the camp on time.

When we finally arrived, we took her supplies out of the van, her and I each taking an armload up the muddy path through the woods to the field where the other girls had already planted their belongings for the night. With only a few other parents in the near vicinity, I felt I should make my departure before my over-protectiveness became too painfully obvious.

We said our goodbyes, replayed our little farewell ritual a couple times, and I turned to leave. As I stood on the other end of the small open field, I watched her try to find her place amongst the others, milling around their camping gear. And there she was, lost amidst many.

She caught my eye, noticing me watching her. She swiftly came towards me, hugging me again, embracing the familiar. I told her she could walk me down the path to the van if she wanted. I almost held her hand, but I knew I had to let her go.

And once more, we said our goodbyes, knowing this was our real final parting for the day. I would have to wait 20 hours before I saw her shining face again. Not even a full day, but in some way, it felt longer. So after I lingered over to the van, I watched her again tread up the hill, meandering along the path.

I let a tear fall, once alone by myself. More followed as I drove down the dirt road in the opposite direction, taking me farther and farther away from the child who made me a mom. Comforted by the thought that this was a necessary, albeit bittersweet part of growing up, maturing, making friends, and somehow, knowing deep down she would find the joy in this experience.

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