Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Lemons into lemonade

I am experiencing the blues right now.....  I know from past experiences that I can sometimes have a defeatists attitude towards life.  Right now I am smack in the middle of some woe is me feelings and I do not know how to get out of them.

I can easily see the big picture, I never have a problem with that, it's those smaller pictures that creep up and block your big picture view that I struggle with. Does it sound like I am speaking in tongues, well here I will explain.  I know I am at a HUGE crossroads in my life, I really have three directions and possibly a fourth I can travel down in the near future.  So I have been dabbling with a couple paths, not really going too far down these roads, because I always want to be able to merge into a better path if I need to.  

My choices revolve around career choice.  Option A is returning to the Teaching world as a sub or part time and working that life.  It's not always much fun, but once you are well known you can have fairly steady work and you never have to take it home with you!!  But there are no benefits, so I would have to supplement them out of pocket or rely on Adrian's, which surprisingly are not very good!!  Option B is to stay home and open a day home in my house where I watch three or four other children.  It would keep me busy but it wouldn't be so many children that I would be housebound everyday.  I go a little stir crazy when I get stuck in this house for long periods of time.  Option C is to open a home based business selling Fifth Avenue Collection.  I have already started this business but I am more dabbling in it doing it as a hobby for fun more than anything else.  I suppose if I start treating it like a full time job it will actually pick up and go farther, however right now I am not there yet.  Option D find a night job to work at part time so that I can be home with my family and out working only part of the evening.  

I like Option A because it will get me out of the house, and utilize my degree that I paid thousands of dollars for.  I dislike this option because you are living on someone else's schedule and are often woken by the phone to work in the morning, not a fun life, but it's not that bad.  I really liked Option B and was dabbling in that right now by watching my friend's boy full time.  I got to stay home I got to play with kids, it was grand.  Option C is a fun option because it gets me out of the house and allows me to socialize with other adults.  I also like this option because I can do this option with any of the other options except D.  I don't like D really at all but if it allows me to be at home with Leigham and to spend time with my family then I would do that.  I would sacrifice sleep to be able to raise my children on my own.  I spent enough on Day care to not really want to spend any more money on it needlessly.

Here's the kicker.  I am struggling and just when I think I have things worked out someone throws a lemon at me.  So I have been sitting in a patch of sour lemons, getting mopey and honestly a little pissed off.  I try very hard not to take things personally but sometimes its hard.  For example, the boy I am currently babysitting may not be coming here anymore after April.  Not because I have done anything wrong, but because she needs to find subsidize child care. I completely understand that, which was why I was looking into becoming licensed after July because if I was going to do a Dayhome I may as well do it up so that I stay busy.  So now this boy may be leaving in May, then he is gone for  June and July.   So she is considering pulling him for subsidized daycare for two months.  Now I know I sound like I am whining, and I am I am having a pity party here.  But this girl is supposed to be my friend I have been helping her out by giving her a reduced rate as it is, so I would think that maybe she could help me out by sticking it out for an extra month and half then  when her son returns I could possibly be licensed and accepting more children and all would be right with the world.  So with no children coming in that makes me step back and consider if I want to do something else.

If I don't have her son here I can do a lot more traveling, I can focus on my Fifth Avenue Collection business, really start it going and put my full effort into it.  I could come and go from my house as I choose, setting up play dates as I need them, do more office parties, sign Leigham up for many activities and participate with him.  It really is not the end of the world, but maybe I am just nervous that I will have to go back to work and have to work in a crappy job like I left and be miserable just because I need to make ends meet.  The only issue I am seeing with my Fifth Avenue Collection business is the economy, people are saying, "we don't have money." so they are using that as a reason not to host a show.  I don't argue with them, because they know their finances better than I, but I should let you know that by having three or four girlfriends over and each girlfriend spending let's say $25 on a necklace, the hostess would receive a half price item and a fabulous hostess gift.  Plus maybe two of those friends would like to host a party then the hostess would earn 15% in sales towards free jewelry, yeah it may only be 10 or 15 dollars but that could give you another item and your cost would have been $25.  That's the nice thing about Fifth Avenue Collection it's not that expensive but the pieces look fantastic.  I've also got other friends that don't like to say no, which I can take, the worst you can say is no if I ask you to do a party.  I may offer you the opportunity to look at my showcase to buy something while we meet for coffee, if doing a show is not on your agenda.  That is totally fine, but at least say no don't avoid my calls or texts, it gets me to start thinking that I have done something to insult or piss you off, which is WAY worse then you saying you can't host a party.

I have another 7 months of maternity leave. If I don't have my friend's boy coming after April I am going to put a lot of effort into Fifth Avenue Collection for a bit to see how that goes.  I know that if I start plugging away it will go well I just have to treat it like a job and spend the time making it into something successful.  Success never came easy to anyone.  But really if it doesn't work out then I can always fall back on my degree and start subbing in the fall.  I won't be down and out until the fat lady sings.;)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

new camera

So I went out the other day and bought a new camera.  I splurged and got the Nikon P100.  It is fabulous, it has fantastic features that I am learning how to operate.  Here are some pictures I took with it this weekend, we caught some fun shots of Little Man and Sashabear!!!
Little Man in his highchair!!

Practicing sitting in the living room, he did pretty well!!

Close up at the fussing little man in his jumper, he didn't want any more pictures takes he just wanted to be picked up!!!

Miss Sasha looking so forlorn out in the backyard!!!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Feeding Baby Solids

We began feeding Little Man solids about a month ago.  He is not six months old, but he was screaming after eating and trying to eat constantly.  He was giving the signs that he was ready for solid foods, so I decided to start him on cereal.  He took to the cereal just like his brother, which means he loved it.  He starts to cry if I am not fast enough with the spoon, it is a real treat to watch.  So now we are starting to move onto new foods in other food groups.

When Chandler was a baby there was a systematic approach to feeding babies.  Babies started to be fed at 4 months and the first foods to be introduced were cereals.  After a week you could introduce a second cereal, then a week after that it was suggested that you start with vegetables.  After the vegetables you could introduce fruits and then meats.  Well in the eleven years since things have changed. There is no longer any real restrictions except that babies are not supposed to be fed until they are 6 months but then you can start introducing new foods only leaving three days in between new foods to see if they have adverse reactions to the food.

So I have started Little Man on solids, we did the rice and oatmeal cereal.  He loves both and bounces in his chair when he sees me fixing him a bowl.  I have introduced meats to him as well.  He doesn't seem to be a fan of the meat, however last night he did seem to enjoy his pork.  We are starting this week off by making some veggies.  We will start with carrots and peas then move onto beans and squash and sweet potatoes.  I have to learn how to make squash, I've never made it before, but I know Chandler loved his squash, he won't touch it now, but as a baby he loved it!!  Then we will venture into the world of fruit.  I am not sure when I will introduce crackers and toast but probably after we have run the gammit on all the other foods.  If anyone has any suggestions let me know!!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Cell phones and Driving

So today I was watching Oprah, which is not something I usually do.  The opening hooked me and I PVRed the episode because I had to leave and then I came home and watched it with Adrian.  Today's episode was a repeat, I had initially thought it was about drunk driving, but it was actually about the 100% preventable accidents due to drivers using their cell phones while driving.  I am not sure what I feel about this topic, but I felt like it was something I had to write out, to put out there for discussion.

On the one hand I definitely agree that texting, emailing, or IMing while driving is needless and extremely dangerous.  To do these activities a driver must take their eyes off the road and type in words into their cell phone.  The driver is forming sentences and thoughts that have nothing to do with the act of driving.  The drivers attention is therefore focused on their conversation not on their driving or the other drivers around them.  This is a disaster waiting to happen, and it does happen.  Apparently there are thousands of people being killed every year and thousands more that are injured.  So yes, I definitely think that people should not text while they are driving.  Nobody is that important that they need to be texting every five minutes or that the person responding can't stop their car to send a message later.

However, I feel that this whole bans on cell phones in cars is going to the extreme.  I get the whole idea of not talking on the phone because you have to take your hands off the wheel.  But cell phones and car phones have been around forever.  We also have hand free devices so that we do not have to take our hands off the wheel, but the guests on Oprah and Oprah herself, were saying that Bluetooth devices were just as bad.  That people should not be allowed to talk on cell phones at all. 

It just seems that this pendulum against cell phones and driving is swinging to the opposite extreme.  Much like everything else in society, we have to go from one extreme to another.... cell phones used to be car phones and everyone who could afford one had one in their car and they were using them while they drove.  Now we are saying no one can use their cell phones while they are driving and in fact they should not talk on their Bluetooth while driving.  

Next they are going to be saying you can't talk to your passengers while driving because they are a distraction.  Or you can't listen to your kids because they could distract you from your driving.  Somewhere their has to be a middle ground.  I don't see the difference between talking to your passenger or talking on a Bluetooth or hands free device while driving.  Someone might make the argument that when the phone rings it's a distraction because you are startled and must go through the motions to answer or ignore the call.  My argument is that a child asking for your attention while you are driving, "mommy look at this?  Mommy what's that?" is the same thing as answering a call.  It takes a second and then you are back to the task at hand.  

Maybe it's not about banning cell phones while driving maybe it's about educating drivers about safety. Maybe instead of fighting all these rules we work to educate all drivers on proper etiquette and how to drive with distractions so that drivers focus on their driving and tune out the distractions.  I don't actually have a solution but I do want people to heed the trend that I see happening.  If we start moving towards banning everything and putting all these umbrella restrictions things are going to get worse and worse, until the pendulum starts to swing the other way again.

Picture this... cell phones are banned, but accidents keep happening because of other distractions in the car so car companies must make new cars.  Now the driver is in a separate area and cannot communicate with their passengers, because the driver must focus on their driving.  Drivers wouldn't be able to listen to music either, radio stations could not be changed while driving, you couldn't eat while you drive (which I have actually heard is already a ticket-able offense) you wouldn't be able to adjust temperature controls or anything.  Everything would have to be pre set before the car was in drive because heaven forbid if the driver could not be responsible enough to multi task while they are on the road.

Fixed the comment Issue

Thanks Becky for bringing my attention to my comment issue, I think I have it fixed, it means my comments have to come up in a pop up box but at least now people can leave them where as before I am not sure what happened.  I am still looking into it!!!

So Comment away my readers!!! I always love hearing from you!!!!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Growing Up

Ever hear the saying, "Growing up is hard to do,"??  Well I am inclined to agree with that saying.  Growing up is hard, there are so many things you need to learn to do that you have to experience to learn them.  They are things that cannot be taught in a classroom or on your parent's knee.  Responsibility is a hard concept to learn, and you have to want to understand that concept for you to truly understand it.  

Parents, teachers, grandparents, everyone really tries to teach the younger generation about responsibility.  We ask children to do homework, we ask them to clean their room or to participate in the daily chores of life, but those little things don't actually prepare them for the reality that is real life.  

Now if a child doesn't do their homework, the teacher will become frustrated and the child may lose some marks, but as long as the child gets those assignments in before report cards are due, they will receive credit for the assignment.  School definitely does not prepare students for high school, college or the work force.  If in college you don't turn in a paper, you don't get marked for that paper and you FAIL the class.  If you don't do a project for your boss, you could get fired.  Deadlines are created for a reason, they are created because people's time is valuable and we should not be running all over God's green earth to get something done on time.  I should not have to ask my child if he has homework everyday, he should be learning do manage his life in school.  Unfortunately, the pendulum for what school is about has swung so far into the academic side of things, life lessons are left to the parents.  I do not mind teaching my child responsibility, I do not mind helping him learn to be organized and how to manage his time, but there is no help on the other end well then the whole system falls apart.  Hilary Clinton was right, it takes a village to raise a child, so why is society acting like each faction is a separate island that has nothing to do with the other islands in the child's life??

By giving my child certain chores to accomplish each week I am hoping to teach him responsibility and pride in his belongings and possessions. If he does not do an adequate job, I will make him do it over while I show him how I want it done.  If my child's room isn't clean I don't go and clean it for him, but I 'nag' him until he gets it done.  It's never up to my standard, but I have to pick and choose my battles. The reason I let the room issue go is because I feel that his room is his area and he needs to keep it the way he wants so he feels like he has something that is his own.  

I know that even know there are times when I find doing the 'grown up thing' is difficult.  It would be so much easier to just lie in bed all day and not worry about paying bills, going to work, or interacting with people.  However, the world does not want to pay me money to sit at home indefinitely doing nothing.  And when I say nothing obviously that's not really the case as I am taking care of an infant and working on teaching him how to become a grown up.  

Now this is definitely something I am going to think about, how I can best prepare my children for the 'real world'.  So here is a question for you readers, what activities of being a grown up do you wish you had been taught or exposed to before you left your parents house?? What grown up situations would have been useful for you to make your transition into adulthood easier??

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Trip to Saskatchewan

Driving to Saskatchewan is exhausting.  This past weekend I drove to Prince Albert from Red Deer.  We went up through Leduc and Edmonton on through Lloyd and North Battleford then we FINALLY reached Prince Albert.  When I say finally, I mean it was a long, LONG trip!!

It took 7 hours to get there, which is two hours longer than it takes to get from Red Deer to Saskatoon.  It was a long trip for the boys. Poor Little Man was freaking out in the back seat and Chandler was a great help.  If it was not for him I think Little Man would have lost his voice.  It is a long time for the boys to be stuck in the car.

Next time we go back will be for Roxann's wedding.  The wedding is in Duck Lake so that is a long trip so we might break the trip into two parts. That may help us keep our sanity!!!

Soon when I am rich and famous I will only fly and rent cars lol!!!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Mayhem in March

So much is happening now and it makes me wonder if I should start treating this blog like an online diary.  However, I am not comfortable sharing all my personal thoughts and experiences online.  So I am trying to work out what this blog will be about and I am trying to narrow down the focus so I can keep my topics focused as such.  Meh... I can just about do whatever I wish and it's alright because this is my blog right??

So far in March we finished our Biggest Loser Competition.  I am happy to say that I was the winner, I lost 4.5% of my body weight, I still have another 10% to lose for me to be at my ideal weight, but I am VERY excited about the loss that I have made so far!!!

I also attended mediation for my dad's estate.  I am happy to say that the nightmare is ending, that an agreement was reached and I can now breath easier and so much stress has now been lifted off my shoulders, but that is for another blog altogether.

Then yesterday, oh International Women's Day and My Birthday. I didn't do anything for my birthday, nothing, and that's exactly what I wanted to do.  It was  great birthday!!!  I have some time now to work on my blogs, on my new business (that I am loving by the way) and on my writing!!!

I am hoping that things are starting to turn around for my family and I.  That things may not necessarily get easier but we will not have to work as hard and road blocks will stop jumping up in front of us trying to over turn our car on the road of life.   Keeping my fingers crossed that Karma will start working some magic!!

Monday, 1 March 2010

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

A couple of years ago, for Christmas, Chandler got a set of books from his Aunty Trinity.  I have been buying Chandler books for years because I love to read and I wanted him to love to read as well.  He read the Bones series, which is a graphic novel and he got into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as well, but he was never the reader that I was.  For those of you that don't know I will pretty much read anything.  I love to read.  Well this series that Chandler received was the first three books of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  

He began to read the series on the way home from California after my father had passed away.  I also read them as well they seemed like a fun story to read.  Chandler loved the series and constantly wanted me to buy the next book and the next book.  Both Chandler and I were looking forward to the movie after we found out that they were making a movie based on the book.  It is such a good series, if you have ever been intrigued by the Greek Gods or read the story the Immortal by Christopher Pike you will enjoy this series.

However, I am not sure if Chris Columbus read the book before he directed the movie.  I was so disappointed with the movie, the visual effects were great but the changes he opted to make did not help the story out in any way.  Some of the more glaring and disappointing changes created a situation where it will be very difficult to continue making movies based on this series.  He aged Percy up to 16 or 17, when in the story he is 11.  There was no need to do this, but he did it and it took away from the story.  He changed the reason why Zeus, Hades and Poseidon don't have children.  He completely cut out Kronos from the movie and made Hades the antagonist.  He added in a Hydra and a new location, and took out other locations.  He cut out Ares and so many other events and things that would have made the movie fantastic and added in an unnecessary love story.  The books are geared towards boys and girls, but mostly boys aged 9 to 14.  So why wouldn't you try to keep the characters around that age so the characters can grow up with their readers, much like they did in Harry Potter.

I know and understand that because of time constraints you can't keep everything and sometimes there is going to be some creative licensing to change the movies, but some of the core changes that were made were highly disappointing.  Even more so when the promotions kept comparing this movie to the Harry Potter series because of the director.  I am so disappointed because the books are SO MUCH better, I wish I could be involved with making these movies because I would do a fantastic job I just know it.