Give Me A Hint….

I’m beginning to think I’ve taken on more than I can handle.

With sewing the quilt, that is.

I’ve been sewing like a maniac and there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of progress.  I know there has been but it doesn’t seem like it.

I strongly suggest to anyone out there who might be thinking about taking up quilting…

Give yourself more than a month to work on your first one!

I can’t give up…the Princess is so excited about Mummy making her something special for her birthday.

Every day she sits on my lap and asks me for a hint!

Some of my hints have been:

It’s something sewn.

It’s something I’m making.

It’s made out of fabric.

This makes her giggle…because the hints are so obvious to what she knows and do not help her one bit!

“Tell me another hint”, she says.

Sometimes when she asks, I say “I can’t tell you!” in a silly voice and then tickle her until she’s doubled over gasping for air.

She loves to be tickled!

I’m beginning to realize that the anticipation of the gift is probably more exciting than the gift itself!  I hope she’s not disappointed – I don’t think she will be.

Tonight she sat on my lap after she came home from Nana’s.  She started guessing for the hundredth time about what I was making for her.

This time, she guessed it!

She looked at me with her big, beautiful, blue eyes – I always get distracted by her cute freckles scattered across the bridge of her nose

– and she said, “It’s a blanket!!!”  She was very excited about the idea.

I just continued smiling and casually said in my silly voice “I’m not telling you what it is!”

But deep down in side I was jumping up and down for joy!

My little Princess is going to love the quilt I’m making for her!!!

                  

The Milk Monkey’s a Player….

I was working away at my desk when I looked up to see the Milk Monkey happily playing away.

He was making little sound effects and chatting away with the few words he knows “Dada, Mama, Nana, Hi” while driving little cars across the carpet.

He was tossing balls and rolling them around.

                            

Even after three children, I’m still in awe of how babies go from being completely and utterly dependent on us,

to playing, eating, walking, talking and all the other amazing things they can do.

Some how, almost effortlessly they learn so much in their first couple years!

With my first born, my Little Professor, I spent hours teaching him his colours and shapes, how to count and his alphabet at an early age.

I thought it important that he learned everything fast and with a little work, he did.  He was a fast learner and still is!

I stressed over it.

I was so caught up in his future, that I pushed him and we didn’t relax and enjoy the present.  Everything had to be perfect with him.  I changed his clothes at the tiniest mark, I constantly washed his tiny face and I agonized over every decision.

When my Princess was born I was determined to do the same for her!  Having two babies made that an impossible task.  It was barely all I could do to remember to breath during that time and trying to keep things perfect made me feel like a complete failure.

The Princess and I didn’t spend huge amounts of time obsessively going over her colours, shapes and alphabet

but surprisingly enough she learned it just as well as our Professor.

At some point it dawned on me…babies learn…children learn, it’s just in their nature.

They learn by playing, they learn by spending time with the ones who love them, they learn by mimicking.

Everything with my little Milk Monkey has been different.  I’m a more relaxed mummy.  I am able to enjoy all his moments!

Maybe it’s because I’m older – I definitely have the grey hairs and the wrinkles to back that up!  or maybe it’s just the experience from my other two darlings but now I’ve stopped reaching for perfection.

Now, instead of running for a new outfit because a puff has stuck to the Milk Monkey’s sleepers I just let him continue playing and sometimes I even join him regardless of the work that needs to be done.

I like to smell his sweet baby scent, his little curls softly caress my cheek as I kiss the back of his neck.

The Milk Monkey has learned so much already!

He’s learned it from his Daddy and I and from his brother and sister…the funny thing is,

we’ve never sat down to “teach” him anything!

Contentment…

Contentment – It’s taken me over 35 years to apply this valuable word to my life.   Much time has been wasted racing to the next big moment and I won’t get it back.  When I was young, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to drive, when I was single I couldn’t wait to be married, when my first two children were babies, I couldn’t wait for them to reach each new mile stone.  I would think that life would be more exciting once we got to the next big thing.  No wonder I was always so tired!

Then we bought our house – a fixer upper.   My husband and I had never fixed up anything before, so this was going to be  new and exciting.   We had watched plenty of  HGTV, so we were obviously qualified for the job.  Yes, that was sarcasm!  We made a list of all the things that would need fixing – it was very long.  Still, with the skills we learned from watching TV, we figured it shouldn’t take us too long and we would have the perfect house once we were finished.

As reality set in, (you’ve gotta love the harshness of reality) I realized it was going to take a lot longer than we had planned.  HGTV must do a lot of editing!  I began to hate our house.  I was embarrassed by it.  I could picture in my head the finished product, but let’s face it, it takes a lot of time and a lot of money to recreate it for real.

Then one day the revelation came –  I may not be able to change my surroundings but I sure could change my attitude!

Here I was complaining about how my house looks when there are so many people who are homeless.  Our house may not be pretty or big – that’s an understatement! – but it’s warm and dry and cool in the summer.  It’s clean – not to be mistaken with organized…but, that’s another post.  I will get to my lack of organizational skills one of these days!  It’s in a nice neighbourhood, surrounded by wonderful people.  The funny thing is, my children love our house, they find it comforting and safe – they do not have a clue about how cosmetically deficient it is!

I needed to stop complaining.

I needed to learn to be thankful.

I needed to be content.

I needed to learn to enjoy every day as I live it.

It’s amazing how much that has changed my life, especially as a parent.  Sometimes parenting is hard, sometimes it’s very, very hard.  It’s easy to wish for bedtime to arrive, and believe me, there have been many days when I truly have, but lately I try not to.  Instead, I try to appreciate the moment I’m in, even the hard ones.  It’s not always easy – I’m a work in progress!  When the children have completely trashed their room for the umpteenth time and I’m exhausted and would rather have the hairs on my head plucked out one by one than have to supervise another room clean up, I am thankful that…

my children have a bedroom

that they are safe in their room

that they have toys

that they are healthy and can play

…it’s amazing how fast that changes my attitude.  Sometimes, just stopping and hugging it out does wonders too.  I’m never more thankful than when I have my children snuggled in my arms.

Recently I’ve been presented with ample opportunity to practice my contentment skills.  Every fiber of my being wants to be in our trailer travelling full time but our situation at the moment is not conducive to that lifestyle.  It’s easy to get resentful towards the reasons we can’t be on the road right now, but instead I’m trying to be thankful for what we can do.  I’m thankful for the warm weather that has allowed us to camp  already and I’m thankful for all the trips we have planned for the rest of the year.  One day we will be able to live out our dream but for now…

I am content!

 

 

 

Lost in a World of Fabrics…

Just about every Friday the the Little Professor and the Princess spend the day with their Nana.  It gives me a break and they always have a blast going to the library to play chess, visiting playgrounds or watching the ducks and feeding the fish at the pond.  The princess hardly ever makes it home without drifting off on Nana’s couch while waiting for Daddy to pick them up and they are always both exhausted after an amazing day.

               

They look forward to their day with Nana and so do I.  It gives me a chance to catch up with all the things I’ve gotten behind in and sometimes I actually get out of the house with only one child, which is always a welcome change in the routine.  This past Friday was one of those days.  I spent most of the day getting caught up with work, but later in the afternoon I managed to make it out of the house.  The little Monkey and I made our way to the fabric store which is one of my favourite places.  All the colours of the fabrics lift my mood and set me on a journey of inspiration.

                       

The long isles of multi-textured textiles muffles the sounds of the store, creating an insulated cocoon.  It’s so peaceful and it gives my busy mind a chance to breathe.

I’m one of those people who has to touch everything when I shop, as I’m sure most women are, so it takes me a while to make my way through a fabric store.  I especially take my time in the Minkie collection – so soft.  Daddy and our two older children do not appreciate this quality about me however the Milk Monkey was more than happy to be my partner in crime.  He studied all the material, tasted a spool of thread and happily flirted with all the ladies in the store.  He was in his glory!

My reason for the trip to the store, aside from the pure enjoyment of it, was to get some fabric to make the Princess a quilt.  Her birthday is rapidly approaching.  She turns 5 years old this May and my little Milk Monkey turns one, 11 days later.   As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, toys are just not high on our list for gifts, we already have more than our house can contain.  I decided it would be nice to sew a quilt for my little girl who has everything.  Recently, I have started to gravitate toward quilting – all the super cool mummy’s are doing it these days!  I decided this was the hobby for me, along with all my other hobbies of course.

This will be the second one I make.  The first quilt I made was a Christmas gift for the Milk Monkey, a little rag quilt in the shape of a turtle.  It was a big hit with him, he loves to play on it.  It turned out far better than I had expected, especially for my first try.

                      

The quilt for the princess will be the traditional kind.  I’m excited to get started.  Even more exciting is that I plan on using a sewing machine passed down to my husband by his Grandmother.  It’s an old singer that apparently is sought after by quilters to use for machine quilting.  I just love how much sentimental value it will give the quilt knowing that it was made using the Princess’s Great Grandmothers sewing machine.  It’ll be a gift that will be valued far beyond any cheaply made toy we could ever buy.  I might even add one of those “Made With Love” tags to it!

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!