A Mother is a Mother is a Mother….

This morning I came across a news story that made me cringe.  It didn’t take long to realize that it was one of the main stories for the day.  I’m talking about the comments Hilary Rosen made towards Ann Romney and the reaction it’s caused with both working and stay at home mothers.  In case you do not read or watch the news, Rosen, referring to Mitt Romney said “Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.”  She continued by saying Ann Romney had “never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing, in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and why do we worry about their future.”

My first thought was “Did she really just say that??!!”, and then my second reaction was “Wow, that was pretty offensive!”.  Then I had some coffee and thought really hard about it and here’s what I decided.  She probably wasn’t attacking stay at home moms but rather “rich” stay at home moms.  She most certainly couldn’t have been referring to me, because I’m actually a Work From Home Mom who is also Homeschooling – pheeeew!  She most certainly isn’t talking about the Stay At Home Mom who works part time on the weekends because they actually have worked a day in their life, just not a week day.  Did she only mean the mothers who work that make little money?  Or do the mothers who are financially well off qualify as well?  Oh and by the way…do rich mothers not worry about their children’s futures?

Why are we as women so quick to disqualify each others opinions, choices and experiences?  We may be on different paths in our lives but aren’t we all working towards a common goal?  To give our children the best life possible and help them navigate through this complicated world?  It seems to be that once we find out we’re pregnant the war begins.  It’s c-section vs. natural birth, bottle feeding vs. breastfeeding, cosleeping vs. ferberizing and on and on it goes.  Imagine a world where we all just support each other regardless of our personal, parenting choices.  We stand beside each other, giving one another support.  Let’s not assume the Stay At Home Mom, sits around eating bon bons watching soaps all day completely oblivious to the economic climate out in the “real” world.  In turn, let’s not judge the working mother as someone who is never there for her children because she only puts her career first.  Instead lets raise our daughters to embrace each other and encourage each other through our own example.  I’d like to think we have evolved enough as women to be able to choose to stay at home if we can without making it sound like we’re settling or giving up our hard earned feminist power.

I know women of all walks of life can get along just fine. My dearest friend and I are complete opposites.  She is my South and I am her North – seriously though, she lives down south and I live more north!  She is my Ying and I am her Yang!  We could not have more different opinions on things if we tried, yet she is one of my favourite people in the whole world.  So in honor of my “Why can’t we all just get along?” post I’ve decided to interview her.  Names have been changed in order to protect the innocent!

Wonder Woman With her Children

Hello Wonder Woman, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions….

HonestlyMummy: What are your goals as a mother for your raising your children?

Wonder Woman:  My goals are currently under revision.  Of course, when  they are born, the goal is always that they “are happy”.  Generic…but a goal.  As they get older and start to show a very strong personality, the goals narrow a little.  The “be happy” goal never goes away but you want them to be happy while they are being the best version of themselves that they can possibly be. 

 

HonestlyMummy: What would your reaction be if your daughter decided to be a Stay At Home Mom when she grew up?

Wonder Woman:  I would support her 5000% if it was what she wanted to do.

 

HonestlyMummy: What do you think a Stay At Home Mom does all day?

Wonder Woman:  HA, what doesn’t a stay at home mom do???  A stay at home mom does the job that most of us “professionals” do ALL DAY EVERYDAY and still manages to be a MOM 100% of the time!  They do it without a lot of adult interaction throughout the day to keep them sane!! 

 

HonestlyMummy: How do you feel about what Hilary Rosen had to say regarding Ann Romney’s life choice?

Wonder Woman:  To an extent, I think it’s actually a political ploy to get attention by both sides.  I tend to ignore most of that nonsense because it’s not an actual issue.  It’s unfortunate and it make me sad to think there is such a strong judgement for women in both situations. 

 

HonestlyMummy: Do you think a Stay At Home Mom understands the economic situation today as much as a Mom who has a full time career?

Wonder Woman:  I think it’s 50/50.  I would say the same for working moms.  I’m a professional working woman who absolutely hides her head in the sand.  I hate to admit it but I guarantee you 50% of the stay at home moms out there have MUCH more of a grasp on current economic situations.  It has nothing to do with where I spend my days.

 

HonestlyMummy: Please give a short description of an average day for you.

Wonder Woman: Today: Wake up at 4 am, get kids and husband ready for school (lunches, clothes, soccer gear for practice after school, clean the kitchen, fold 2 loads of laundry, wake the kids up, wake them up again….and again, cook the chicken for your husbands lunch as it was too loud to do the night before because he was podcasting his psychology lectures for the next day….

friends drop off their 6 year old because I take her to school because they have to be to work by 6:30 am and before school child care doesn’t open until 7 am. Feed her breakfast, get the kids finally ready with teethbrushing and hair fixing

Leave the house at 7 am

Get to work at 8 am

Work a dizzy day with more responsibility than I have time to include

Husband (amazing, hard working husband) picks up kids from school

I try to get off by 6 most days so I can RUSH to soccer practice or soccer games, depending on the night get home at 8 pm, kids shower while I make dinner, feed them dinner, they fall asleep immediately…then it’s time for me to fold another 2 loads of laundry, clean up after dinner, attempt to spend 10 minutes talking to my husband and make sure homework is organized to turn in the next day

 

HonestlyMummy:  How do you fit all your work responsibilities and mom responsibilities into one day?

Wonder Woman:  HA!  I don’t!!!  and then I email my closest friend (she’s a very honest mummy) and let her know I feel like a failure and she loves me anyway

 

HonestlyMummy:  If you had one thing to say to all the other mothers out there what would it be?

Wonder Woman: If you’re trying your hardest and keeping your kids at the front of your decisions….you’re doing the right thing.

 

 

 

Daddy says… 40

So it’s happened, no going back now – I’ve hit 40.  I can remember a time in my life when 30 seemed so far away, but now here I am in my forties!  No big deal I guess – as it turns out, I’m just one week older than I was last week.

So, how did we celebrate this amazing achievement? A wild night on the town? A big raucous party with friends and family?  Nope – I spent it with my favorite people, doing my favorite things.  I had an incredible weekend with my wife and kids, camping in our new trailer!  We cooked steaks on the barbeque for dinner, had a great dessert and spent some time together as a family. A little later on we went swimming in the indoor pool at the campgrounds and even managed to get some Mummy & Daddy time relaxing in the hot tub.  Of course, we had to give up Mummy’s iPhone as a distraction for the Little Professor & the Mighty Princess, but it was nice to have that quiet time.

The rest of the weekend was just as relaxing.  We spent time sitting by the fire –

with a bite to eat-

And having fun at the playground –

 

All in all – it was the best birthday so far!

Milestones and Mishaps

We had a wonderful weekend on our camping trip back at Normandy Farms.  Friday we celebrated Daddy’s 40th birthday in camping style with a roaring campfire, a steak dinner and squares of our favourite carrot cake from Konditor Meister.  Having a whole cake would have been much too tempting to have around!!!  

As we were relaxing by the fire a young park ranger pulled up.  At first we were concerned our fire was roaring just a little too much! Instead the obviously embarrassed ranger awkwardly stumbled over with a bouquet of balloons and a birthday greeting for Daddy.  We were surprised since the Little Professor had only mentioned Daddy’s 40th in passing, while we were buying ketchup at the camp store the day before.  They had taken note of it and sent the balloons!

It was a wonderful way to celebrate a 40th birthday, however the weekend was not without incidences.

Mishap #1 – The Princess decided it would be fun to stick a rubber band down the heating vent, which happens to be screwed on.  With the very low temperatures during the night we knew we’d be cranking the heat and weren’t particularly fond of the thought of burnt rubber smell wafting through the trailer.  It made us realize we need to put together a small tool kit to bring with us and thus the list of “Things We Need for the Trailer” began.  As it turned out Daddy had a Swiss Army Tool of sorts and it had the screw driver head that was needed.  Thank goodness for the small things that just happen to come in handy when you least expect it!  Daddy and the Princess worked together to remove the heating vent cover and retrieve the rubber band, only to watch the Milk Monkey baby puke into it later on in the day!  Ewww!  Another smell we wanted to avoid heating!  Don’t worry I won’t show you a picture of that!!

 

Mishap #2 – Saturday morning we woke up to find that something had gotten into our garbage. You’d think we would have known that leaving the garbage out overnight is just asking for a critter to come rummage through it.  I am absolutely convinced that if we had been camping in a tent we would never have made such a rookie mistake.  Being in the trailer has given us a sense of safety from all animals and the thought of ridding our site from any food, even the tossed kind didn’t even occur to us.  I’m not sure what our excuse was for leaving it out the following night also! <- Not proud of that moment at all!

Mishap #3 –  Of all the little things that went wrong, nothing compared to what we were greeted with Sunday morning.  The thought of it brought to reality that we are so very blessed to have God’s protection.  Each night we brought everything close to the trailer to keep under the awning in case of rain.  We ended up leaning a chair against something that has to do with the heater – I’m still not exactly sure what it is, but I think it might be where the pilot light is for the propane furnace.  It looks like this…

 

and it did this to the chair….

 

 

Thank goodness that’s all it did!  We definitely won’t be leaning anything else against that in the future!

Aside from all the various mishaps, we had a blast!  Another amazing weekend to remember for a long, long time!!

 

 

 

izombie

Recently I got a new phone…an iphone.  I’m definitely a late comer to the line of i-products, as this is my very first one.  To me a cell phone is a necessity for work and for emergencies and a convenient way for picture taking.  It’s not something that I’ve used a lot, but something that I always kept on me, that is until I got my iphone.

I must confess, I’m now completely addicted.  My new phone is within arms reach at all times and usually found in the palm of my hand.  What is it about my new phone that I am so addicted to, you ask?  Well let me tell you!  I just can not stop playing games on it, like Words With Friends, DrawSomething and my favourite, Dream Zoo.  At first Dream Zoo appears just to be a simple, silly little app where you buy animals and breed them to eventually make a Champion generation.  So innocent, so fun and free to play!  In reality it’s a time sucking, crack game of collecting coins, hearts and fruit.  It takes seemingly impossible amounts of time to level, that is, unless you are willing to spend real life money to buy coins and game money.  That is something I refuse to do, so instead I have resorted to excel sheets calculating which animals to breed to get the best pay outs.  I kid you not!  This is how I, HonestlyMummy, choose to spend my “me” time.

 

Now, I find myself trying to seek out other iphone and ipad users so I can casually mention my new game and try to get them to play.  Why would I do this when I know the heinous powers this game holds?  To get hearts and coins of course, so that I can further my own game!  Yes, this is the influence an app game has over me.  I’m not proud of it but I’m not about to give up “my precious” <- insert Gollum’s voice here, anytime soon.

Don’t judge me, your time will come.  Believe me, I’ve done my own judging of game apps!  *cough, cough -farmvile* but now I get it.  I have joined the throngs of iphone users who walk around staring at the tiny screens with bags under their eyes, as they make their way in this world with blank looks on their faces.  One day you may even find me camping out over night in front of an apple store, hoping to be one of the first to buy a slightly improved version of the phone I already have, for twice the cost!

Until then, you can find me at my zoo, breeding my animals and greedily collecting my coins.  Just keep your own iphones and ipads close because I am now officially an izombie and I may eat your brains and steal your ipads!  Mama needs an ipad!!!

**No zoo animals were harmed in the creating of this post, however many coins were collected.**

Daddy Says… My dress up Princess

Yes, I am a proud Daddy of a beautiful little girl.  She is smart and funny, creative and witty. And… she loves to dress up.  She always has.

Typically, she dresses up like a princess, or like a favorite character from a movie or show.  But every now and then she pulls out a cute little waitress outfit and takes Mummy’s breakfast order.

Though sometimes she pulls off something unique…  Like, dressing up in Daddy’s shirt… complete with tiara and purse!

And once in a while, she manages to convince the Little Professor to join her.

Or at the very least, perform with her while she is dressed as a princess.

So, whether she’s rubbing elbows with celebrities,

Or just jamming with Daddy,

I always love my little dress up princess!

Toys, Toys, Toys….

Is it just me or do kids have way too many toys these days?  Our house is over run with toys.  I’m constantly stepping on small Lego pieces or little Barbie shoes.  There are toys in every room in our house. They are everywhere…on the kitchen counter, the living room, the bathroom, my nightstand.  I’m being buried alive in toys!  Not only are the toys overflowing our living area, we have boxes of toys put away in both the attic and the basement.

What really upsets me, is that my children do not appreciate the toys they have, they don’t take care of them like they should.  How can they when they have so many.  There’s Barbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Star wars, Super Hero’s, Mario Brothers, Princesses, Cars, and Squinkies just to name a few.  Boy, would I like to have a little chat with the person who created Squinkies!   As far as the Princess and the Professor are concerned, it’s just every day life to get 20 new toys on their birthday or 40 new ones at Christmas.

 

I am to blame for our situation.  Somehow, probably from all the commercials out there, I got it in my head that toys = love.  The more toys I gave my children, the more I loved them.  I wanted them to have everything their friends had.  I wanted them to have everything they wanted. I wanted them to wake up Christmas morning and be blown away by all the gifts under the tree!  After all, they’re only children for a short time…why shouldn’t they get to enjoy all the wonderful toys in the world.

Gradually with time, as the piles of toys grew so did the feeling inside me that we were somehow missing the mark with our parenting in this area.  We were actually doing a disservice to our children by letting the toys get out of control.  Not only were we wasting a lot of money on more and more toys, but we had allowed the toys to take over our house, causing tension and disorganization. We were teaching our kids to be materialistic and ungrateful by lavishing them with so many gifts.  After a while, it became expected and no longer special.  I knew things had to change – of course Daddy already thought we were giving the kids too many toys, he just needed me to come to the same revelation.

Here is the plan we came up with to set us on the right track:

  • First of all…we have started telling people to stop buying our children toys.  That doesn’t mean they have to forgo gifts altogether, it just means that we ask it not be another commercialized toy.  The only exception to that is Lego.  Our children love Lego, and it’s one of the few toys that actually teach them skills and let’s them express creativity.
  • Instead of toys we encourage art supplies, crafts, board games or learning items – a really good example would be Snap Circuits.  It provides hours of fun and it gives hands on teaching of how electricity works.
  • Instead of giving an item, we have started giving our children experiences…ie. going to a movie, going on a trip, going to a restaurant etc.
  • Instead of buying something, give something hand made.  It has more meaning to it because someone has taken the time to create it just for them.
Hopefully, this helps limit the amount of toys coming into our house.  However, we still have too many toys to begin with, so we’ve decided to go through all the toys with the children and choose some toys (lots of them) that we can sell at a garage sale.  With the money they make they’re going to take a percentage and put it towards a charity that will help other children who are in need.  The other half they decide what they want to do with it as long as they don’t spend it on more toys!
We are not looking to deprive our children of toys, we just want to give them a better perspective.  We want them to really enjoy the ones they have and teach them about greed, materialism and waste.  We want what every person wants for their children – To have the best possible life ever!

 

Puff Monkey…

Who could resist that face?!

Certainly not I!

My little Milk Monkey has found a new love.

He just can’t get enough of the puff!

 Gerber’s Graduate Puffs.

Most of the time he likes to pinch them with his chubby little fingers

and quickly place them in his mouth,

or he grabs a whole handful and smashes them to dust.

Sometimes he likes to drop them to the floor and watch as the fall.

Once in a while he’ll take them back out of his mouth and stick them on his clothes or in his hair…

or on his face.

Dare I say…

he is now the Puff Monkey?!

Normandy Farms – Part 2

We slept well that night, for the most part.  The Milk Monkey woke up a couple times and wasn’t sure about his surroundings.  He eventually made his way into our bed as he usually does.  It made for a very nice view when I woke up…those little chubby cheeks and the toothy grin with the scrunched up nose are so hard to resist.  Too hard actually, I usually just end up kissing them up which evokes an abundance of laughs and giggles.

It had rained during the night and left the air chilly and damp.  Daddy turned the furnace on in the trailer so we were definitely not in a rush to go outside.  At one point, I had all three kids in bed with me, snuggling and laughing and telling funny jokes while Daddy made us coffee with the Keurig – I know, tough life roughing it in the wild!

Eventually we all made our way out; first Daddy and the kids to make pancakes and then eventually I joined them.  After breakfast we put our bathing suits on under our clothes and made our way to the indoor pool.  Yes, that’s right, this campground has an indoor pool!

The pool area was really nice.  There was a section that had a lot of tables set out with umbrellas so it gave the feeling of being outdoors.  The tiles had a flagstone look to them and I’m pretty sure they were heated.  There were two whirlpools off to the side too.  Everything was very clean, even the showers in the change rooms.  The only negative was the pool water…it was a little foggy.  It wasn’t terrible but I’m super picky about pool water, after all, I have three little ones.  I know what they do, I don’t care what any parent says!  In defense of the campground, the pool was very popular and there were a lot of kids in it over the course of the two days.  I mostly hung out in one of the whirlpools swapping Mummy stories with a fellow camper.

After swimming we checked out the “big” playground and I have to admit it was very impressive as far as playgrounds go.  The kids had a blast  playing while I took some pictures.

 

We spent the rest of our time exploring all the ins and outs of what the campground had to offer which turned out to be a lot!  The recreation building, where the indoor pool was also had an adults loft for 18 yrs and older, but directly across from it was the children’s loft.  Both lofts were stocked with books and games and had cozy chairs and couches.  The adults loft provided a large screen tv next to a huge fireplace.

There was an arcade room, for those who enjoy it and a bike park, which I thought was a very unique idea.  The campground also provides an off leash dog park for their furry visitors.  If you didn’t feel like cooking there was an outdoor restaurant for the warmer seasons that serves breakfast lunch and dinner.  Anything from omelets, to sandwiches, burgers and even steak tips.  I couldn’t tell you if it’s any good, since it was still closed for the winter months.

There were softball diamonds, volleyball nets, basket ball and of course horse shoes.  Normandy Farms also has 3 outdoor swimming pools in the summer.  There was a little store in the registration building and laundry facilities at all the restrooms throughout the campground.

Of course all of this comes at a price.  Sites range from $41 – $79, depending on the types of hook ups and the season.  That’s just for two adults, every child over the age of three is $5 more.  Considering all the services provided, their rates seem to be fair.  Still, if you have a large family and you’re looking for a vacation that’s easy on the wallet, this place is probably not the way to go.  However, if a place like this suits your fancy, we were told through the camper’s grapevine that it books up really fast!  Dropping in last minute is not recommended in the summer season.  We enjoyed it enough to book another weekend for Daddy’s 40th birthday in two weeks!

All the Gross Stuff…

Today was a three poop day!  Most days are one poop days, sometimes we get a two poop day but it’s a rare thing to get a three poop day.  Thankfully Daddy arrived home just in time to change the third one!  I was finished with cleaning poop off baby bums for the day.  Daddy and I have a deal, when he’s home he changes the diapers – for the most part.   Daddy is very helpful!  I don’t think we’d have 3 children if he wasn’t.

Daddy is also in charge of cleaning up puke – my stomach can’t handle it, especially when I’m pregnant – which I’m not, at the moment.  The worse time was on our way home from Canada, 5 years ago.  I was pregnant with the Princess.  The Little Professor was about 18 months old and all of a sudden he threw up all over himself and the back seat of the car.  It wasn’t the baby puke kind either, it was the full force projectile kind.  We were on part of the highway where there weren’t any rest areas for a stretch and there wasn’t enough of a shoulder to pull over.  Being the brave mummy that I am, I reached back to hold the little guy’s hand as we drove for a good 15 mins to the next rest stop – it felt like forever!  The stop was the kind that was just a park without washrooms, not very helpful in our situation.  We pulled over just in time for me to get out and start throwing up myself.  Daddy cleaned the Professor off as best he could with wipes and bottles of water, then handed him off to me, which started a whole new round of retching.  That was talent on my part being able to throw up with a big pregnant belly and holding a toddler at the same time.  In the end, Daddy got everything and everyone cleaned up and we all piled back into the car.  The overwhelming sent of puke surrounded us for the next 5 hours, while I periodically dry heaved the rest of the way home.

So yes, Daddy takes care of gross stuff in our family.  He’s also the one who cleans out the mystery dishes from the fridge…eeeewww!  Daddy’s pretty awesome like that!

On a much cleaner and less gross note….

Today we did our homeschooling in the trailer.  It was a trial run for when we finally get out there.  After lugging all our books and necessary school supplies outside – boy, was that a job in itself –  we finally got to work.  It was a very distracted day but it was new…I think with time it’ll be great.  I know it will!!  I’m excited – can’t you tell??!!