Friday, 28 November 2014

December's Blog Schedule

In the spirit of becoming more consistent with my writing and dedicating time each day to this craft I've chosen I decided it was time to get more organized.  As I was walking through my local Walmart store I spotted their desk calendar display and this great family organizer calendar popped out at me.

It's fabulous, just perfectly girly for me, and though it's designed for a family calendar I'm using it for my daily calendar of organizing my life.  I've got a section for workouts, for blogging, for photos, for writing (typing out the novel), and a Miscellaneous section.  It's great, but because it also has all these spots I can make the calendar into a monthly calendar for my blog ideas.

So I've got my blogs all set up for the month of December, now they aren't completely written in stone, and some my have to be changed as I write and some other ideas may come up.

I've divided the week into different sections so that I blog about a specific topic each day.  This is how they break down; Menu Monday, Crafting Tuesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Life Update Thursday, Fitness Friday.

I tried to do alliteration for the days but after Monday and Friday I lost my creativity, I was going to do a DIY day but I don't do a lot of DIY projects so that's what Life Update Thursday is for, now I've get to get writing these posts!!

Happy Blogging for me!!!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Imagination Destination

So because I've become determined to finish my novel that I have written I've dedicated a blog to my writing.  Imagination Destination  is the blog title, it's where I'll post short stories, character sketches in the form of interviews, some time line sketches and writing prompts that get my creative juices flowing. If you would like to contribute to that blog, once I get it to brome a more consistent blogging platform, please let me know and I would be happy to get that set up.

Here are some other author blogs that I read regularly!

LisaAnn used to write at Kicked, Corner, Bitten and Chased but has upgraded recently to this website, I enjoy reading her posts, check it out. http://lisaannokane.com/blog/

Mireille is a friend of mine from school. She's the first published author I know and I am so proud of her and all her writings.  I didn't know she had the same love for writing as I did back in school, wish I had known that I may have been inspired to start this sooner, but she is an inspiration nonetheless,  Check out her blogs here http://mireillechester.blogspot.ca

I also really enjoy Marion Keyes this is her website http://www.mariankeyes.com/Home

And if you go to Goodreads.com you will find a plethora of authors blogs to peruse.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Job (s)

Someone asked me once if I loved my job, and I took awhile to really come up with an honest answer.  I mean the easy answer is (now) yes, (years ago) no.  But I really wanted to figure out why I loved my job, I want to quantify what it was about this job that made it a job I would be happy working at my entire working life should that happen.

Now most of you know I have a Bachelor's of Education (Go Huskies) and I used that degree in the teaching field for approximately 8 years from 2003-2011.  I had temporary contracts and I had subbing positions and it was fine. I actually really enjoyed subbing because I could make my own schedule but it sucked because the work was inconsistent.  I enjoyed being a classroom teacher, I enjoyed teaching, I didn't enjoy the politics of teaching though.  Don't get me wrong, I know that all jobs come with their fair share of politicking, but with teaching I just didn't want to play that game, I wasn't interested in it.  I just wanted to be left in my classroom to teach, which every principal said I did a great job at however, it never became a full time contract.  The politicking got in the way of me really loving teaching. That and teaching middle school takes a special person and let's just say I'm not that person, give me elementary or high school, but keep those walking hormones away!!  (Disclaimer: Middle school students are awesome outside the classroom, inside the classroom all together, recipe for disaster!! ;))

I've twice ventured into the social work field. The first time I was working with families that had involvement with Social Services and I was over seeing family visits.  It was hard, emotionally taxing work.  Some of the families were easy to work with, they wanted their kids back, so they were putting in the effort, some just didn't have the skill sets, but couldn't see it.  That was hard, I liked my job then but I didn't love it.

The second time I started working with an agency that supports people with disabilities in providing day programs, group homes, independent living supports, and foster care.  I'd never worked with people with disabilities but at the time it was a part time job, something to help supplement my subbing income.  I found that I enjoyed the company and felt I could make a difference so I moved my way up the ladder and found myself in a Program Coordinator position, this would be like junior management.

I can say that I loved my job, and I look forward to returning to it.  I enjoy the camaraderie between myself and my coworkers, I enjoy the constructive criticism I receive from upper management.  I enjoy that I'm told I'm doing a good job, that people have faith and trust in my abilities.  That's a big one for me, I need that feed back, good or bad, I need to know that if I'm doing something right people recognize it and if I need to improve let me know as well. I enjoy that I'm helping people and making a positive impact in people's lives.  It's not always easy, you deal with guardians and government (a different type of politics) and sometimes you make mistakes but sometimes you get it right and that's an awesome experience!!

So I love my job, and even thought I love my job as a mother just as much, I do see myself returning to work. The job I take when I go back may not look exactly like it did when I left, but it will be doing something that I love and that's amazing. To be honest, doing something I love is really the only thing that would make it worth while for me to leave my children in the care of someone else!! They are only young once and I'm going to enjoy them while they are young for as long as I can!!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

My Guilty Pleasure

Guilty pleasures, those things we relish and enjoy but know that they are either bad for us, or something that would get us mocked for it people knew we indulged.  I have a few guilty pleasures, surprising none of them are food.

My guilty pleasures revolve around television.  I love television, if I'm home alone I watch television just to watch television and it's never any of those news programs, it's daytime television or some recorded television I happen to be watching at the time.  Now depending on the programming time of year my guilty pleasure can change, if one program is not on, I find a replacement for it.

In the summer my guilty pleasure is Big Brother. I love Big Brother, it's hilarious to watch these groups of people fall into a mini community confined and excluded from all other life.  I think it's fascinating, and I also think it's fascinating that there are always different winners each year, sometimes it's with a lot of background help from production and sometimes it's bitter juries and sometimes it's skill that lets a person win.  But it's not always the biggest guy, or the smartest person, or prettiest girl that win. One thing I find with Big Brother is it is generally a young persons game.  The older houseguests don't always mingle very well and are often targeted early.

In the fall my guilty pleasure is Survivor. I've been a fan of Survivor since Season 2, I loved Elisabeth and Roger, they were and still are my favourites.  Again this is another social experiment where people not only have to survive the elements of a tropical area, but they must survive each other and try to earn the million dollars without ticking off too many people who will eventually vote for you to win. I find where Big Brother is a young persons game, Survivor is an older persons game, and not like grandparent age or anything, but of the tribe members the younger ones are often cut early and the older members last longer.

My all year guilty pleasure though is Days of Our Lives.  For over 16 years I've followed the Brady, Horton, Dimera families and I will continue to follow them until they take them off my television, and then I may stop watching daytime television completely.  I used to watch Another World and As the World Turns, but both those shows have been cancelled.  I miss them!!

But there you have my guilty pleasures!! They bring me such joy!!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Starting Lil Man on a chore chart

I'm horrible for using chore charts. Translation, I don't use them, I just sort of assign chores at random.  It makes things a bit chaotic, and sometimes things don't get done and if the kids don't know they are supposed to do that chore, then they don't do it.

Lil Man loves to help out around the house! He's all about the vacuuming, and sweeping and mopping and doing dishes. Granted none of these are done to a standard that would pass a health inspection but he does the best he can and that counts for something. My hubby and I disagree on this point, I believe that if a child puts in the effort to complete a task and they say its complete then you leave it, making notes in your head to show them next week how to improve that task.  My hubby is of the mindset that if they don't do it the way you want the first time, make them do it again, and if it gets too frustrating then you just do it yourself.  So because I'm me and I think I'm right, (maybe a bias here) I think children develop more than just clean skills by having parents let them clean, they develop self confidence and self esteem as well.  So if you are always undermining them and either redoing the task or never thanking them for what they do it doesn't breed for a fun household.
he's sleeping with his swiffer

So now I'm going to get Lil Man started on his chore chart, I think I'll do it as reward based chart.  Thus, allowing him to earn activities that he likes and allowing me to keep my sanity.

I've used Pinterest as my research launch pad and found some great kids chore chart pins that I've then visited different websites to pull what I want.  This was the starting point website to find a wide variety of chore charts

I'm going to put the chore chart in a page protector or a picture frame so that it works like a white board.  I'm going to use this chore chart from http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2013/08/free-printable-kids-daily-routine-checklists.html as it will let me have two sections for him to start. I want to do personal care and cleaning around the house in two separate sections and this one works great!!

Now I'm going to use these reward cards from http://creativemamma.com/free-printable-2011-kids-organization-kit/ to help Lil Man earn some rewards each week. These are great because they aren't something he normal gets and as the system starts running better in our house I can go back to this website and download the kit and personalize those cards more.

I'd considered making some charts for Chandler but I think he'd be pretty irritated with me if I did that.  He's pretty good now and does his chores when he's asked.

The bonus is, if I stick to this the system will be in place for Prince T when he gets older and can start cleaning up after himself.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Chandler turned 16

Talk about time flying by!! Chandler, my little Chandlerman, is sixteen years old.  He's going to get his drivers license soon!! He's in grade 11, he's got a girlfriend, and soon he will have a part time job!!

Life is flying by, not at a rate where I don't see it but when your first baby hits their first major milestone, it's humbling.  I mean this is where I'm at, Chandler is 16, I'm sure I posted about this on Facebook ad nauseam.  Chandler is a pretty amazing kid, he's had some hiccups along the way, he's made some questionable choices but has handled the consequences with a maturity you don't usually see in 16 years old now a days.  He's becoming a man and someday soon he's going to be a legitimate adult and that's scary.


Chandler had a simple birthday party.  He had his girlfriend and his friend Eli over for supper. I was going to make it for him, but I got sick, like fever of 102, chills, sweats, sore throat.  I was not in a good place, but I got Chandler everything he needed for his birthday supper then he and his friends made the supper and enjoyed a cake I baked for him.. nothing fancy it was cake from a box, with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

His friends stayed playing games for a few hours after supper then they left. It was a quiet and appropriate birthday and I think Chandler was happy with it, I mean that's what he told me.

Two days later he got the second part of his birthday present, he and three friends went with his Uncle Nelson to Edmonton for the day. They wanted to go have lunch at Hooters, but apparently Hooters has relocated out of the West Edmonton Mall so they just went to Earls.  He said they had a good time shopping and hanging out so I was glad I could arrange that for him.

His final part of his birthday happened a week after his birthday.  He wanted to go to the Theory of a Deadman concert in Red Deer, so I bought him a ticket and he was excited to go. He really wanted to meet the band so he considered going really early or staying really late to try to meet the band. However, he just moved up the to stage and he talked with the lead singer and even high fived him twice. He was a pretty happy teenager when he got home.

And I'm a pretty proud momma!! I hope all my boys can turn out as fabulously has Chandler has turned out!!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My little hockey player

Ok I know that I said I hadn't wanted to become a hockey mom, I know I said it, and now here I am almost weekly posting about how I am a hockey mom and almost bragging about it!! The truth is I can't help it, I just can't help it!  I am so proud to see my Lil Man doing something that he has such passion in, that I can't not write about it or show videos and pictures of him doing what he loves!!
in canskate lessons

He started out the season barely being able to skate, he was, in his own words, "skating like a penguin".  He would just take baby steps on the ice and was a frequent faller.  He would 'skate' two steps and fall, then he'd get up and 'skate' two more steps and fall.  He always got back up though, he never cried, he never quit, he just kept on trying. (I'm sure I've said this before too)

Last weekend while the team was practicing he was playing in the net with the goalie. I think he wants to be like his uncle Nelson and play goal.
 He was asked at the end of the game if he'd like the opportunity to play goal, we decided to wait until he could see if the pads would fit. He was a little upset but I'm sure he'll play goal soon!


He's been getting better and better, and he listens to his coaches so well!! 



Here's to a great hockey season!! 



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Prince T is 6 months old

Where has the time gone?? My baby is six months old! SIX MONTHS OLD!!! Time is going by way too fast and soon he'll be moving out of the house!!

But Prince T is 6 months old today (as I write this not as it's posted).  He's such a joy to have in the house.  He loves his routine, and his routine is very workable, he has a short nap in the morning, is awake over lunch then a longer nap in the afternoon.  He still doesn't sleep well through the night, but it's not horrible, he'll usually sleep for 6 hours from between 7 and 8 until 1-2.  Although, last night he was up every two hours to nurse, seriously, he doesn't eat that often during the day, but at night he's like a leech.  (Don't tell anyone I'm sort of ok with it because it means we get to snuggle)

Prince T has some definite preferences right now!  He likes his exo-saucer and jolly jumper.  He likes listening to stories and hearing lullabies.  He likes food, but not pureed food.  He's very fond of oat cereal and likes bananas.  He loves his brothers, he watches them whenever either one comes in a room.  He always smiles for Lil Man!

He's mastered the army crawl and can get around all over the living room floor now.  Yesterday, he figured out how to get back into a sitting position from his stomach.  He's very bright!!

Prince T's preferences also include many things he could care less about.  He HATES pureed food, I tried to give him some pureed peas, and he just screamed, then I gave him whole soft peas and he ate them.
 He does not like his rice cereal anymore.  He apparently does not like sleeping in his crib at night (during the day is ok).  He does not like being left in a room or having mommy out of sight if he can hear me.   He will definitely let you know what he wants or doesn't want.

I'm so blessed to have Prince T in my family, he's an angel and I wouldn't want it any other way!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Mom of boys

This is a hard post for me to write, because I'm going to have to admit some secrets that I'm not really sure how people will take, but I'm also going to give some advice to people because somethings need to be said.

In my youth I played with all sorts of girl toys and lego. But the way I played lego and the way a boy would play lego were vastly different.  I made houses and cities, they made guns.  I made families and used the little two blocks as imaginary people because then you could make more people.  I played video games in my youth as well, Mrs. Pac Man, Mixed Up Mother Goose Rhymes, Kings Quest, but they were more strategical then killing stuff.

I also played a variety of sports, volleyball, basketball, figure skating, baseball.  But at 15 I stopped all sports, not because I wasn't interested but because I was working and didn't have time. My new sport was learning how to drive.

At 19 I was a girly girl.  I got my hair coloured and cut, I even had gel nails a time or two.  I was into fashion and loved to help my friends do their hairs and get dolled up for our evenings out.  I knew how to play girl games like Barbies, My Little Ponies, I still had some of my toys from childhood.  I had books that girls will love, I had movies that girls would love, I was a girls girl through and through!!

So 16 years ago I had my first son.  And my life changed drastically, for one I was a teenaged mom, for two I was a mom of a BOY.  Aside from my baby brother, who was 6 years younger than I was boys were a bit foreign to me.  Not like I didn't know about boys, but I really didn't know what boys were like as babies or as young children so I was very overwhelmed with having a boy!! What would happen if I had to raise this child on my own?  Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing, and when I found out he was a boy I was terrified and bit heartsick. I had hoped for a girl, I experience so much shame when I say this because I should never have hoped for a girl, because I wouldn't have my son now if I'd had a girl and that would be horrible!! But the honest truth was I knew what to do with a girl, I knew how to dress a girl, what toys to buy a girl, how to cut and style and girls hair, girls were familiar, and boys were alien.  I also had a sick dread that my son's dad and I would not last (one that came true, not surprising) and how was I, this girly girl, going to raise a boy into a man?? So having a boy was even more terrifying then just having a baby.

I think I resolved myself to do the best that I could.  I loved my son, unquestionably, and there was nothing I wouldn't do for him.  I watched for cute clothes for him, I learned how to style his hair for his hair type, I even learned how to play video games with him and kept him involved in different sports, basketball, swimming, soccer etc.  I learned which toys he really liked, I came to accept turning lego into guns as a norm, and that he didn't really care for the Princess Disney Movies.  I learned and appreciated that my child loved animals, animals of all kinds, from the smallest little pet rodents to lizards to dogs to cats, though, most caused him allergies, he still loved them.  My son taught me that boys were different but they weren't that scary because their differences weren't that far off. The learning curve didn't turn out to be a steep as I had feared.

Boys are louder than girls, every one of my boys so far has been louder than their girl counterparts.  They just play louder, it's all about crashing things, blowing things up.  Even Chandler, who has an old Man's soul, is louder than others.  Boys rarely play quiet colouring games, or board games. I have adjusted my volume tolerance because boys just don't have inside voices until they are a little bit older, even their whispers and more stage whispers for the whole world to know.

And it's been a journey. I can't be lazy, because my boys are active. I can't frown on video games and push colouring books. I have to accept that car chases and arrest will be made with the bathtub toys.  I understand that the boys look to their dad for shavings and girl advice (which is silly because who knows more about girls than their mother).

With each of my pregnancies I had wanted them to be girls.  I am beyond happy with the boys I have because they are amazing little men who will grow to make any woman happy to be with them, but I had held out hope for a girl.  And to some this may seem selfish and that's ok, because I would never trade any of my boys for a girl, but I would have been thrilled if any of them had come out a girl.  It's so hard to express this without sounding ungrateful, because I am totally grateful for what I have, but I've had to let a dream go. I've had to put it in a little balloon and send it up to the heavens because I won't be a mom of a girl.  I am a mom of boys and I am so proud.

As a mom of boy lot's of people ask me if I'm going to try again, it I'm going to try for that girl.  I know they don't mean anything by it, but it's like ripping the bandaid off a wound each time I'm asked.  After three children and 16 years of being an active parent I'm ready to put in the closing chapters of this area of my life.  So when I'm asked if I'm going to try again, for a girl I get sad, because I know I'm not and it's like people think my boys aren't enough for me that I'm not a complete parent until I've had a girl. I get that that's not their intention, I get it, but it's hard not to internalize that.  Besides after three boys I'd be blessed with a fourth boy anyways.



Monday, 17 November 2014

Greatest Fear

Let me tell you about my greatest fear!  It's one that if I ever give it any thought I immediately start to cry.  It's not heights or spiders its the death of a loved one. It can be anyone that is close to me, friends, family, but especially my children. The thought that one of them could be taken from me through death is heart-stopping terrifying for me.  My breath gets caught in my throat, my heart beat increases, my palms sweat and immediately my eyes well with tears. I know that this happens, I know that sometimes it's unavoidable, I know that people live through this nightmare every day, but nonetheless it is still a NIGHTMARE and my worst one!!

So let me tell you a story.  This is a story of a dream I had the other day, that terrified me and caused me to sob upon waking. But thankfully it was only that, for I don't at this moment possess the strength to carry me through something like this.

I was in a bungalow and I was walking back and forth.  While I walked back and forth from the front room to the back room I was counting my breathing. One, two, three in, one, two, three out.  Over and over. Then I started incorporating my yoga breathing, making my exhalations longer than my inhalations, all the while pacing.  But the breaths started coming In one, two, three; out one, two, three, four; in one, two, three; out one, two, three, four, five.

While I was pacing something had some type of sensor on it and it would go off and I would hear my voice say 'Ok it's bed time', but I wouldn't wait around in the front room long enough to hear the whole message. All I could think as my shoulders scrunched around my ears was, 'Why on earth did she keep that?' It would infuriate me, so I would have to concentrate on my breathing more.  I needed to be calm, I needed to be collected but something significant was missing and I just didn't know what it was.

In one two three; out one two three four five, over and over until my heart rate calmed.

This went on for what felt like an hour. I just continued to pace, noticing my pictures on the wall. Pictures of my boys, just like the ones that are currently hanging in my living room.  I finally felt calm enough to try to figure out why whoever this was was keeping that god forsaken noise box.

I went to the front room and the noise box started, it was on a shelf, I went closer and heard myself start again "Ok it's bedtime Leigham, we are going to have a bed time snack, read a Thomas Story, then and song and cuddle and it's lights out." There was a brief pause and he's little voice could be heard saying, "Ok Mommy!"

It was at that moment that in my nightmare I knew he was gone and he was what was missing from my life.  I startled myself awake, sobbing and holding Prince T in one arm, I reached my hand to where Lil Man was sleeping as he had crawled into my bed. I felt him take a breath and heard him sigh has my hand stroked his face.  I cried harder and said Thank you!! Because that was only a nightmare, it wasn't real life.

I respect anyone who has lived past their children. It is not easy and it's not an enviable position.  I know parents have children who are sick and are watching their kids live to die and it breaks my heart, it absolutely breaks my heart.  I empathize with all of you out there who have gone through this, I understand why we need to be grateful everyday for what we have because you never know when it could be taken from you!

I don't know how to end this, but I'll end it this way. To me children are a gift from God, we have to cherish them, teach them and love them unconditionally, whether they are our own or someone else's.  All children deserve love no matter what!!! I think that's why it upsets me when I hear horrible stories in the news about abused children or about foster kids. I just want to love them all!!

Friday, 14 November 2014

The next 6 weeks!!!

At the beginning of November I contacted a friend of mine to help me set up a personal training schedule that I could do at home and that would help me train for the Seawheeze in August.  I know that I can do this half marathon, but I need to strengthen my body to be able to complete my goal and goal time.   So I know it will take a lot of work and determination and discipline.

So she came over the other weekend and helped me to set up my training schedule.  We are doing 6 days a week, which after a week may be a bit of a lofty goal, but I completed it and I plan to stick with it.  (my only set back being getting strep throat on Sunday so I've had to take two unscheduled days off )

I have two leg and ab days, a day for chests and triceps, biceps and back, a shoulder day and a run day.  So we are working all the major areas, it usually takes me 30-45 minutes to complete minus my little cardio which is a run.  I'm in desperate need of a treadmill now that the snow has fallen!!

I've enjoyed my exercising and I am going to buy some new gym equipment for my house, more free weights and a body bar, things that won't take up too much room but will allow me to increase my workouts at home.  The goal is (at least for me) to be able to run 5Km in 30 minutes by the end of this 6 week training period.  I know I can, I've got 5 weeks left and right now I'm running 2 km in 17 minutes, and my 4 km was at 35 minutes.  A little more conditioning and a little more training and I know I'll be there.  I've even created a playlist on my iTunes account which is going on my phone very quickly but that's how I'll measure my changes.  I can run through one song right now, next time let's run through one song and first verse of the next and so on until I get where I want to be!!


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Superhero Birthday Party!!

It seems that gone are the days when every birthday party was the same.  From 1-4 you had family over, opened presents, ate some cake, took some pictures and let the kids do what toddlers do.  Then from 5-8 you played simple games like Pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs or pop the balloon, cake, presents and then home.  9-12 you might have sleep overs and watch movies, eat popcorn, maybe even go to a hotel or the city for a special trip.  Then in the teen aged years it was really whatever you wanted to do, movies, parties at the house, but you were old enough to start planning them yourself and parents were able to take a glorious backseat and just finance the excursion.

photo by TripleTenPhotography
Now birthday parties are to the extreme!! And I've fallen right into the trap, each of Lil Man's birthdays have been envisioned and executed with meticulous planning.

We had a pumpkin patch theme when he was one, I made Pumpkin like cupcakes with snoopy decals, and everyone came out to the Jungle Farm.  It was a great day, and the weather was fabulous.

Then the next year we had it at the house (I hated it!!!) but the theme was Old McDonald's farm.  I made Piggie cupcakes, we made animal face masks and the kids played in the back yard. It wasn't too bad but I felt pulled in so many directions, keeping the kids engaged in the activities and trying to visit with friends that came by.

For his third birthday we went to McDonalds. It was out of the house and really inexpensive, I think for 12 kids we payed $40.  The kids played in the play centre and ate lunch and then we had cake and opened presents.  I think I did something with the cupcakes that year too but it wasn't memorable so I don't remember.

His fourth birthday ended up a bust, because it dumped like a foot and half of snow in one days. Roads were impassable and the city roads were slick. So a quick change in plans we had it at the house again.  Only 4 people made it, but Lil Man had a great time so it wasn't horrible. It was a good birthday for at the house with so few people.

Now enter age 5.  And add into account that I am not currently working and have all this extra time on my hands to do crafty things so what do I decide to do.... A superhero party.

I ventured to Pinterest where I knew all things superhero would be located. And were they ever, masks, invitations, cupcake decals, thank you cards, photo booth props, and so much more.  So we decided to prepare for the superhero birthday party.

Invitations were printed and sent out. i got these from another website, and it's amazing!!


The photographer, TripleTenPhotography, was booked and photo props were made.












Capes for the kids to decorate with fabric paint and markers were surged and sewn. (thanks to Cori for the surger and Rolly for coming to help me sew)
courtesy of TripleTen Photography

Cupcakes were made and decorated and we were ready to go.


It was a good day, but it was a lot of work, a lot of preparation, and I know the kids had fun, but they would have had just as much fun in a room with balls to play with.  Was it worth it?  Yes! Absolutely!  Would I do it again? Yes I probably would.  Do I miss the simplistic birthdays of my childhood? yes my mom was so lucky!!



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Hockey Mom

In my worst nightmares I was a hockey mom.  Up early to get to practices, giving up every weekend of the winter for games or tournaments.  Taking out second mortgages on my house to pay for equipment and hotels during tournaments.  Having to deal with the politics that hockey inevitable has; who makes what team sometimes regardless of ability and skill.  Seeing nepotism that I could do nothing to help avoid because I don't know the sport so I'd never be out coaching, assistant coaching or anything like that.  So being a hockey mom was never something I was going to do, but I realized having boys I might fall into this label.

I enrolled my kids in soccer, soccer I understood.  I didn't play it growing up, but I played in University and I enjoyed it.  Chandler started playing soccer when we moved to Red Deer, he really enjoyed it. It was a youth rec league so it wasn't highly competitive but they still played games, they still won medals, and most importantly Chandler found an activity he enjoyed doing that wasn't sitting at home not being active. When Lil Man was old enough to join soccer I put him into Timbits Soccer, I even coached him the first year and assisted the second year.

He had fun, he enjoyed it, but he had a desire for another sport, and because I love my children, he is now playing hockey. And I am now a hockey mom!!

We are starting out small, we are playing Pond Hockey, which is a recreational no contact league. It's also less expensive than minor hockey, and less demanding on our schedule.  He doesn't have two or three tournaments in and around Alberta, he has one tournament in Red Deer and games and practices every week.
The games and practices so far seem to be on the same day, this may change I'm not sure, but we practice for the first 20 minutes then play a game for the last 40 minutes. It works out and Lil Man is so happy.


Lil Man's not really a morning person, I am, so I thought we'd be fighting with him in the morning to get ready, but I've not had a fight with him yet. We put him to bed super early, like 6:30-7, and he's up at 5:30 or 6 and saunters downstairs like this has been a routine all his life.  ( I wish school days were this easy)

The smile and the laughter Lil Man shows from playing hockey is enough to make me get up every morning we have hockey practice. (even those mornings when Prince T hasn't slept all night and I'm essentially a walking zombie, please no one shoot me like I am, I just move like one on these mornings) He goes out every practice and every game and gives a 110%, he never stops trying, sometimes he gets confused and needs extra explanation, but he keeps trying, trying, trying!!! I love his spirit for it, I love his attitude (again let's transfer this attitude to other areas of his life). He never says he doesn't know how or he can't, he just tries and tries and tries!!

Maybe he's not a hockey prodigy, maybe he's not a future Sidney Crosby (I put him in here because Lil Man has decided the Penguins are his favourite team), but he's got heart! He'd be that player that has skills, but his ability to connect with other players, to believe in his team, to get people to believe in his team would outshine any deficit and any team will be lucky to have him on it!!


So though it was never in my life plan to become a hockey mom, I am the happiest hockey mom around, not because my child is going to go on to the NHL (who knows maybe he will, it's really too soon to tell) but, because my son loves the sport, he loves the game with all his being and that's enough for me to set my alarm clock for 5 am on a Saturday morning!!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance Day

In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Flanders_Fields

This is my favourite Rememberance Day Poem!! Enjoy Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) and remember that we are incredibly lucky to live in this great nation that affords us freedoms to be who we are!! Thank a veteran every day you see one, but pay special respect to them today!!!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Quiet Early Mornings

I love early mornings, truth be told I'm a morning person and I've always been a morning person.  Seems to me I've got a little one now who shares my love for mornings so having quiet hours by myself in the morning are going to be rare commodities in the future.  But it is so peaceful and serene to sign in my house while the boys sleep, traffic rolls by creating a peaceful beat as the furnace kicks in and my coffee brews in the Kuerig.

Today the baby is up, but he's happily playing on the floor.  He has learned to crawl over the past month and takes every opportunity to get around and find things I thought I had picked up.  Chandler and Lil man are still sleeping, Lil Man thought getting up at 6 was an idea, but I told him we still had to sleep, so I laid still in bed until his breathing evened out.  After his breathing evened out, I stole from my room with Prince T and we came downstairs to sit in the solitude of the morning.

Unless I want to get up at 5:30 each morning I don't get this time very often.  With the boys having to be on the bus by 7:40 and 8 am, we are up at 6:30 getting breakfast made, lunches packed, showers going, and all those other little tasks we need to do to get out the door.  It's hectic, it's a whirlwind of activity, with everyone going in a variety of directions.  Then they leave and it's just me and that baby.

You'd think at that time I could enjoy the quietness that mornings offer, but it's almost too late at that point, my mind's been engaged, I've started my 'to do' lists in my head.  I've put myself in drive and it's time to move forward.  No after the boys are off to school that time for me to just sit and be in neutral has passed, I can't get back to that just woken up and appreciative stage of the day.

So because these are so few and far between I relish them, I like to draw them out as long as possible, and one would think the weekends would be a great time to install these quiet mornings into my routine, did I mention I became a hockey mom this year.  Yup, a hockey mom, and do you know what time practice is?? Oh yeah it's at 7am  or 8 am.  I love when it's at 8 that means we get to sleep in, but often it's at 7, 7:15, 7:30 or 7:45 so we are up by 5:30 to get ready to go, and when I take Lil Man to hockey i also drag the baby with us!!

I love the slowness and laziness with which I can wake up on these holiday mornings, where no one is demanding my time or attention. It may only last for 15 minutes, but they are some of the best me times of the day!! It's the time of the day where I can roll out of bed, pad downstairs and sit with my coffee just enjoying the sounds and sights around me.  I can casually think and ponder on what I want. I can WRITE without worrying about being disturbed.  I can listen to the baby giggle has he discovers something new.  I can get up and not worry about brushing my hair or getting dressed just yet, sitting in my pjs with unruly hair is all I need and I am happy!  So very content and it starts my day off amazingly!!!

What's your favourite time of the day? Why is it your favourite time of the day?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Fulfilling a Dream: Writing

It has been a dream of mine to be a published author, this has been a dream of mine since I was in middle school. The idea of making a living by creating worlds and characters that other people connect with is such a fantasy. I've imagined it for years and years but I've never really done anything about it. Nothing really concrete.

I've written countless short stories, and I have started countless novels. They are all safely tucked away in drawers or on flash drives but I've never shared them with other people. I've started putting them on flash drives in the hopes that I would send them out to be self published in and epub or something, but I've never moved past the typing them into my computer.

I find when it comes to my dream of being a writer, aside from this blog, which is hit and miss, I've never done any consistent writing.  I've never set aside time each day to devote to my writing or writing activities and it seems to me that this may be the problem.  I definitely have times in my life where I've been more creative and have spend more time writing then other periods of time and many times things come up and my writing takes a back seat.

I've decided to change that.  For the next 12 weeks, 3 months, I am to spend 10 hours a week writing. 10 hours a week writing or typing up my novels, doing editing and sharing on my blog. I figure that gives me 2 hours a week towards my writing blog and 8 hours a week spent on my novel that I want to write.  Lucky for me it's mostly written, at least the first draft, I just have to take my scribblings and transfer them to a typed version.  I figure in the next 12 weeks I can get it typed and I can even get a 2nd and 3rd draft finished. I may even be able to complete it enough to send out to readers to test for me.

I'm not an adult novel writer yet, I prefer young adult and that's where my first novel will be focused. It's a teen drama, but it doesn't have any fantasy to it, its a reality fiction. It's a novel of finding true friendship and overcoming social barriers when you realize who you are supposed to be and stop being who everyone else thinks you should be.

Then I have to start looking into the publishing side, but that's for the next 12 weeks of 2015!!

Here's the link to my other blog for my writing stuff.  I just really wanted to share this, to make it real. Hopefully, you can all keep me on track so I don't forget that this is a dream I want to fulfill!!!