Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Appreciating Wellness

The best part of being sick is when you aren’t anymore.  You appreciate being well and don’t take it for granted.  Eating, sleeping and breathing well are all wonderful accomplishments.

A nasty stomach bug has swept through our house this past week and a half.  First was Owen – knocked flat from his usual bouncy feet, generating lots of laundry and not wanting to do anything.  I understood oh so well how he felt a few days later.  Ick.  The upside being that I lost 5 lbs but was ridiculously weak from it all.  And of course, dearest husband was away for work at the time and it was up to me, bucket in hand, to get the kids fed, dressed and to school.  Joy.  Although I did feel completely justified in abandoning ALL housework and curling up with The Jane Austin Book Club, which was the perfect snuggle into the couch and sip tea type movie for the day.

Laura waited until after a beloved Build-A-Bear birthday party to have her turn.  A mere 24 hours was all she needed until she was back to her usual cheerful self.  I love how quickly kids rebound.  DH, on the other hand, was floored for days.  It always hits him the hardest but I was out of sympathy by then so abandoned him for retail therapy. 

So this morning, slowly sipping my coffee after going for a long walk, I am thankful that I am not sick.  May April come in like a very healthy lamb.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate for the Greater Good

Virtual chocolate Easter baskets. Saw this on Turtlehead’s amazing blog and thought I’d pass it on. Much easier on the waistline but the sentiment is the same. And with an extra charity twist…

Easter Basket

By mentioning this Easter Basket on my blog, I’m helping get Hershey’s to contribute a total of $5000 — $10 per blog post — to the Children’s Miracle Network.

If you’re interested in sending a virtual Easter Basket and being a part of the Easter fun, here are the rules:

  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
  • Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
  • Leave your link at comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #betterbasket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
  • Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post by each blog url will count towards the donation.

by each blog url will count towards the donation.

So I’m passing this on officially to three blog friends I know in person and who are all amazing people.

Bibliomama, Life is Good...At the Beach and Krista's Scrapbook Blog

Everyone help yourselves to some along the way. Happy Easter to All!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

About Me...

Well I'm stuck. So silly really. I have been putting off filling in this area on my little blog. And why? Because I simply do not know how to define my "me-ness". Kinda sad. So here are the bare facts.

1. I am a stay at home mom to two kids who are now in school full time.

2. I am married for over 17 years to a great guy who happens to work a lot, both in and out of town.

3. I have a cat.

Hmmmm. Sounds pretty dull. It defines myself in terms of others but says little about me as a real person. So I am stuck.

Maybe there's hope. This is one of the reasons I've started to blog. To write, to express more about who I am, what I like, where I'm going in life. Bear with me. I am aiming to be more than a mom, a wife, a pet owner and many things to others. I am aiming to be more for me.

So here comes my first attempt at more about me for me-sake. Five random facts about me:

1. Two of my favourite foods begin with "c" - coffee and chocolate. Mighty healthy mix. I'm all for setting my blinders and seeing the antioxidant arguments for both, or some other redeeming quality to them. But basically, I just love them, especially together like chocolate cheesecake and a fresh brewed coffee is heavenly. Now I'm making myself hungry. I must move on.

2. I love to hike. Both the trail variety and the urban explore. I love letting my thoughts wander as I see the sights, smell the air, laugh at the people/chipmunks/aliens I see along the way. I love how strong it makes me feel and that I am not conquered when I get home. I love to hike with family (usually at a slow pace with lots of enticing for the wee ones to keep up) or with friends with great conversation or great silence, or simply on my own, wandering with my whims. Sounds like a blog post of the future.

3. I am a ridiculously positive person most of the time for others but am the first one to criticise myself. I suppose many of us are this way. I have a dozen things I'd change about myself but love others for exactly who they are.

4. I am one of the little talked about B-type personalities. Yep, the non-A-type. I never get high blood pressure or feel overly competitive. I can procrastinate with the best of them but do well when there is a dead line. I have been working on this post for days and have put off finishing it. My house is full of unfinished projects. Is there a self-help group for folks like me? Now that I read this, I think I need it.

5. I would love to go to Italy again. I've never been with my husband and I would love to immerse myself in the culture and sights. I'm not sure how this will ever happen but maybe when we retire. Hmmm.

There. It is a start.

Wordless Wednesday - Signs of Spring

Some random photos from this month. Spring is in the air!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Reset Button

When all else fails, push the reset button. At least you feel like you are doing something, even if it doesn't work. You can at least say, "Well, I pushed the reset button and started from scratch." Starting over is often the best plan.

This is true for my old computer. It would spin and spin, making arthritic noises until I'd push the blessed "ctrl-alt-del" and snap out of it. (Until one day it decided that it knew my tricks and wasn't going to fall for it anymore.) Same goes for my spazing out mp3 player that I had given up for dead, until I found that tiny button and pushed it before I hurled the thing through the window. Ah, all better.

Today I am pushing my own reset button. It is in the form of the shower, so nice and hot and makes me feel new again. No more wallowing around in pjs, tending to my better-yet-not-well-enough-for school-hyper-son. It is time to let the rinse cycle, wash over me and reset me for the day.

The curve balls keep coming. Just remembered an appointment I'm to take my daughter to this afternoon, now with son in tow too. My MIL is still in hospital but getting better. My husband is getting worse with no rest in sight. But once I get restarted, I'll be ready to handle it all again ... hopefully... because I can't afford a me-replacement quite yet.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One foot in front of the other

Last day of March Break.  It all started out very well but has gone downhill this weekend.  Not all has gone according to plan.  I am operating on little sleep. 

Today I am taking care of a very sick little guy who has been tossing all night.  I am taking care of a husband who has come home from a business trip with ear infections and a nasty cold.  I am doing what I can for my MIL who is in hospital with heart issues.  I am entertaining my daughter, who is healthy, as my energy and time permits.  I am figuring out how to make big lifestyle changes for us all so we can be healthier.  I am trying to put more order into our home to reduce the stress that comes with lost papers and too many dishes.  Ack!  I’ve run out of steam. 

I am looking forward to Monday.  Life will get back to “normal”.  Hopefully everyone will be feeling better and no new crises will emerge.  Some days you seem to cope hour by hour, sometimes even minute by minute.  This is one of those days. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Love this photo of Owen, exploring mudflats at low tide in PEI. He is in his element.

Friday, March 12, 2010

As Luck Would Have It…

Today our school held it’s annual cake raffle fund raiser event. The students could practice their gambling skills and buy ballots for a chance to win their yummy prize. I expect they will be teaching them poker math and roulette reading soon and they will have excellent prospects at the local casino when they come of age.

Anyway, I thought I would embrace this teaching opportunity as a chance to talk about chance & odds and how we don’t always win, be a good loser, blah, blah, blah. Except Laura did win. What?! Well, that’s just great. Positive reinforcement for this wagering on confections thing. Yes, mom was wrong. Owen was a little annoyed he didn’t win too but easily appeased with a bite of the loot.

March 2010 003

Strangely, I am not actually surprised at Laura’s good fortune. We tend to be lucky people. Not big-time-winning-the-lottery-luck, but just enough to keep me chipping in for raffles. I won a roll-up-the-rim Timmies coffee the other day, won tickets to a local hockey game and a lovely can of paint at a local fair once. I remember going to a conference and feeling all nervous before they did the draw because I knew I was going to win (fancy Windows software – woo hoo!). I made my husband go back and check numbers again after a charity race because, yet again, I knew I had won before looking. (Now if I could only harness that power for good!) Maybe my little girl has inherited my “lucky” gene.

Then there is the luck we have when we change our perspective. I am so lucky to have a child with high functioning autism because it makes me view the world differently and I think makes me a better person and parent. I am lucky we found our home here on the first day that we looked and it is perfect in every way for us. Or maybe that is just perspective again. It is great luck that I have never got a speeding ticket in all my years of driving. OK, that one is luck and now that I’ve written it, I guarantee I will be posting about my run in with Officer Attitude sometime soon.

“Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast in the stream where you least expect there will be a fish. “

If good fortune does not find you today, may you make it into being.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My silly kitty cat, Molly.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Knowing you, knowing me - March

Via Bibliomama, via Fairy Blogmother
knowing me, knowing you - march

“Well it's that time again.... time for that little monthly interview project that I started that I like to call knowing me, knowing you. Why not play along with us?”

1. Do you play a musical instrument?

Sort of. A bit of piano, which I eeked out until Royal Conservatory grade 6.  It’s coming in handy now that my kids are taking piano.  Poor Steve doesn’t have any musical talent so it is up to me to guide the kidlets on their musical quest.  Unfortunately they inherited his delightful tone-deafness, but I digress.  I also play some flute from my high school band days and much to the amusement of my kids.

2. Do you have a set of every day dishes and a set of "good" dishes?

*sigh* Yes, I have some good dishes in addition to my every day variety.  They look lovely, unused, in the cabinet. I should pull them out more often but they need to be hand-washed so I don’t.  When in doubt, go the easy route, I say!

3. Chocolate milk or white? 

White – 1% or so.  I actually like the stuff although I don’t drink it near enough.

4. What time do you usually head up to bed? 

If my husband is home I am sensible and head to bed by 10:00.  He is away right now so 11- 11:30 (thanks computer!) is more the norm.  We get up early with kids bouncing around so I need my beauty sleep at times.

5. Do you hang your toilet paper over or under?

Well, that is just a silly question.  Doesn’t everyone hang it over?  It is most ergonomically correct to do so.

Monday, March 8, 2010

For The Cause

I am so lucky. When my mother first faced cancer, I was 5 years old. At that time, odds were stacked against her. She had pre-menopausal breast cancer that had taken both her breasts. If you know my mom, you know she’s got the strength, attitude and good fortune behind her to fight anything. And she won. I am blessed that despite having fought cancer many times, she is “cured” and a wonderful part of my life today.

This is my cause. I am participating in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers here in Ottawa this year. I will walk with my team and hundreds of other men and women to raise money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation that funds research and treatment to those who are fighting cancer. This kind of research has led to many advances already so that more women are surviving and thriving post-cancer. There is more to do and I am proud to be a part of it.

It is easier to simply write a cheque to a cause I care about and be done with it. But this time it is different. I am taking the leap. Jumping out of my comfort zone and daring to ask others to give. I am aiming to raise over $2000 and can’t do it alone. If this is a cause you are interested in and you would like to sponsor me, please visit the link below. Your support with your donations or words of encouragement is greatly appreciated. Thank you!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Farm Fulfillment

Since my husband is away right now, I thought we needed a field trip to pass the time. My sister has a wonderful small farm about 3/4 hour away and kids the same ages as mine. Right now they are lambing. Some smaller ones needed to be bottle fed and I got to do the honours. I want to bring one home but I think my husband would be concerned and the cat would be alarmed.

Going to the farm is so centering for us all. The kids run free and are delighted to help with chores. They go treasure hunting in the fields, look for signs of dragons or fairies in the woods, and invent all sorts of contraptions. Getting fresh eggs, collecting maple sap or bringing hay to the sheep is all good fun for them. If only they could have such enthusiasm for room cleaning! The weather was ideal today and we walked with little complaint to the back of the property, seeing a piliated woodpecker and signs of porcupines on the way. Something about the fresh air and really getting back to the basics makes us all feel the stress lift.

All that being said, I couldn't live the country life. Too much city blood in me, loving my walks to coffee shops and having neighbours. Just the same, I'm so lucky to have this farm connection. I was too busy in the moment to remember my camera. So I've attached a photo of us in the fall enjoying such a day at the farm.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blissfully blind

I would make a terrible witness.  Details escape me to a remarkable degree.  My friend Anne is the opposite and we have often laughed at our opposing tendencies.  What did I eat at the special anniversary dinner?  … ummm…  I think it was chicken…. with some sauce….  It was good, I remember that.  She remembers the wallpaper they have in the bathroom at the restaurant, the name of the waiter and the number of raspberries on her chocolate dessert. 

Another thing is how quickly I become people blind.  I have friends who, when I really think about it, I know are Asian or have a speech impediment but it has largely slipped my attention.  I will not notice if you are wearing the same pants three days in a row nor what that joke was you said.  A bit of a curse at times.  (I am also great at forgetting birthdays,  Please accept my apologies in advance!) 

What I do have is great clarity when it comes to un-seeable.  It is the personalities, the relationship we have that are so distinct to me.  Your mood of the moment, being a good listener when needed and , due to the memory loss, I am great at keeping secrets.  

(What’s the point of this post?  I’ve lost my train of thought, as usual.  But I know I like this blogging thing and I can always hope through writing I get more clarity….  oh ya, the train is returning to the station…  )

Forget the trees, I want to be in the whole forest.  And give me a call if you are having trouble putting together the pieces – I know the Big Picture.  To me, that is what really matters.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


My happy feet remembering our trip to Bermuda.

Felt like I needed some sunshine.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

At the sound of the beep...

... please leave a message. That's how I feel today.

I am not here. I am so wanting to check out of being responsible. I am not up to taking my daughter to yet another speech session to make minuscule progress on her conversation abilities. I am not up for hounding my kids to practice piano, do homework, clean up, play nice today. I am not ready to make decisions on what programs to put my son in for the summer to help him cope with being aspie and make him be at his full potential. The scale is being rude to me today, despite the progress I thought I was making. Flying solo for a couple of weeks is definitely not my favourite thing right now and I am not up for dealing with the 100% load. The sink is full and the laundry waiting. I am not on for feeling guilty for all the things I don't do that I should damn well be able to cope with. I am out.

There. Self-absorbed whine is finished. No doubt, sometime later today I will check my self-messages and feel like putting some pieces back together. I will sip some coffee and smile at something in the paper. I will get a note from my spouse and not feel so alone in all this. I will realize that there is so much more to my children than their tiny challenges and all that really matters is already perfect. I will be in control. I will be back.

Better go make some coffee and find that paper.