Happy New Year!

happy new year

I love New Year’s Eve.

I get all excited about the possibilities that lay wait in the new year.

Whatever happened in 2012, whether good or bad, is now the past and the future is ready to be conquered.

Anything is possible!

I’ve never been much for New Year Resolutions.

Instead I like to name the year.

Once it was the Year of Prosperity, another was the Year of Organization (not our best year), but this year is…

The Year of Change.

It’s the year we change our thinking, our environment and how we live.

Change can be painful, but sometimes it’s necessary.

I’m excited at this prospect.

Happy New Year to all of you!!

What is your year called?

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Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…

The kids have been hoping for snow for weeks now.

Last year we had very little, so when they looked out the window this morning and were met with a blanket of fluffy white snow covering everything, they were so excited.

Once breakfast was finished Daddy and I spent a good hour gathering winter clothing and helping each child get dressed.

I made it very clear they were to stay outside for at least an hour, since it took so long to get out there.

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snow

Once the Professor and the Princess were outside I went and woke the Monkey from his nap.  He was not impressed that I had disturbed his sleep, but when I showed him his siblings playing in the snow through the window, he wanted to join them immediately.

Immediately in his socks and clothes, immediately!

He was not impressed about the delay in getting his snow suit on.

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The three of them really enjoyed playing in the snow.   Daddy showed the Monkey how to make snow angels by moving his arms and legs for him.  He thought that was really funny but didn’t quite get the concept.

Then Daddy showed the Princess how to make snowballs.  She was more interested in eating the snow even though she was warned multiple times not too.  That one will eat just about anything!

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The Professor and the Princess worked together to make a snowman.  They even asked for a carrot for its nose.

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Frosty’s nose didn’t last long though…they ended up sharing it between the two of them!

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Wonderful Christmas Chaos!

Christmas expectations and Christmas realities are two completely different things in our home.

Christmas expectations are calm and orderly.  They go off without a hitch and are picture perfect.

Christmas realities are busy and messy and very loud.  They drown out Christmas music and leave the living room in total chaos.

Christmas Expectation….

christmas morning

It’s the picture I posted to Facebook today wishing all our friends and family a Merry Christmas.  So cute with the little matching pj’s, on such well behaved children.  What I should have posted was the picture right before I managed to get them to stay still and smile for 5 seconds.

Christmas Reality…

christmas

And then there’s this!

Christmas Expectations…

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The way I wish our living room stayed throughout the morning but really only lasted for a few minutes.

Christmas Reality…

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But for some, Christmas Expectations…

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pale in comparison to Christmas Reality…

christmas 6

christmas 4

Christmas 9

I’ll take Christmas Reality any day!

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!

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Daddy Says… Dinosaurs and Daycare

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The Milk Monkey has been heading off to the backup daycare a lot this month. As I mentioned in another post, my employer provides 20 days of backup daycare, and we had quite a few left for the little guy at the end of this year so we’ve been using them up to give Mummy a bit more quiet time to take care of some other projects she’s got going on.

He really likes getting out and going to see his “friends” at the daycare, and he prefers to walk and hold my hand as we head through the building. He always waves and says “Hi” to every person we pass – it’s like he’s the little mayor of daycare town.

But, even the mayor needs downtime, and apparently when our little guy is kicking back at home, he likes to do it dino style.

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We’ve had this little dinosaur costume since the Professor was a little guy and the Milk Monkey just loves it.  Every now and then as we’re getting him dressed, he’ll spot it hanging in his closet and starting pointing at it while saying “Me, Me, Me”.  Of course, we usually go for it, especially if it’s just a quiet day at home for him.  Though he did accompany me to the supermarket while wearing it once.  It’s very cute to see the little dinosaur stomping around the house, dancing to “the Wiggles” and giving the occasional little “roar”.

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Cookies, cookies, cookies…

cookies 2

It’s 11:30 pm and Daddy and I just finished making 265 cookies for his Cookie Contest at work tomorrow.  We’ve been working on them for more than 3 hours and I wouldn’t mind if I never see a cookie again!

The cookie itself was something we thought up…it’s combination of two Christmas favourites – sugar cookies and peppermint bark.

I think they turned out pretty great.

If you ever wondered what 22 dozen cookies looks like…

cookies

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Multitasking…

treadmill desk

In a busy life filled with homeschooling, work, children, writing, sewing and many other things, I always find it hard to find time to work out.  It’s frustrating at the end of the day knowing I’ve failed once again to find time for exercise.  I want to be healthy and every day I feel my health deteriorating a little more as I spend day after day sitting at my computer working and writing.  I’ve spent days standing and working, just to change things up before but it’s not much better.

The more I thought about it the more it became clear that something has to change.  I can’t change the amount of hours in a day, and work still has to get done and I refuse to give up writing or my enjoyment of gaming.  So I tried to think up a way to get some exercise while doing these things.

My first thought was to get a stationary bike, but who has the money for that.  Then I remembered a clip I had seen on the news of a woman who put a desk over her treadmill and walked all day.

Brilliant!

Since it’s the holidays and money is tight, Daddy and I found a make shift desk for the treadmill (the leaf for our kitchen table) and I’ve been walking and working (and sometimes gaming) ever since. I started off really slow and I’ve now worked up to 2.8 miles per hour.  Balancing is harder while trying to use the computer on a treadmill.  It’s still not a brisk walk but it’s much better than sitting, plus I can do it for a long time.  The first day I walked while I worked for 4 hours and burned 1000 calories.  Not bad while invoicing.

Four hours is a long time, it’s still hard to get that many hours in a row, but most days I average 2 hours and more than 500 calories.  I’ll take it.

……………

On a totally unrelated note…

Isn’t this the cutest little guy in his first time out?!!

time out

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Daddy Says… Working Man

Wood1

If there’s one thing we love at our house in the winter, it’s a nice warm fire in the fireplace.  Last week, we ordered 1/2 cord of wood from our local landscape company and had them drop it on a tarp on our front lawn.  It was a convenient spot so we could then transport it by wheelbarrow to the bulkhead and organize it into two stacks – one in the basement, and one on the side porch.

I recruited the little professor to lend a hand and I have to say, he really pulled his weight – probably more than his weight actually!  As I was running wheelbarrows full of wood to the bulkhead, he would take logs down 2 at a time and then Mummy would organize them into a nice stack in the basement.  Once we decided we had enough downstairs, we moved on to the side porch.  He was a huge help in running logs up and down the stairs and even handled the wheelbarrow some of the time.

Wood3     wood4

After a couple of hours of hard work, we were finally finished and we got the little guy into the house.  Then he had a hot shower, a warm cup of cocoa and was finally relaxing in front of the fire – enjoying the rewards of his hard work.

It’s nice to know I now have a helper that can help me with these projects around the house!

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Mysterious Ways….

Today the Milk Monkey went to back up daycare.  One of the “perks” of Daddy’s job is 20 days of daycare per child.  It really comes in handy for those days when all my concentration needs to be on work, or just for general catching up on things.  All three of the kids had some days left but the Milk Monkey had most of his because we only just started sending him near the end of the year.  So since he’s the one that occupies most of my time during the day we’ve been sending him to back up every day this week.  He loves it there and really enjoys playing with his friends, so it’s a win-win situation.

This morning my little guy woke up with a rash on his cheek and his eyes were red.  This happens, between the hives, the runny noses and the rashes we’re pretty use to it now.  I gave him his dose of Children’s Claritin, something the allergist wants us to do until our next visit in January and sent him on his way.  Sure enough, mid afternoon I got a call saying the Monkey needed to be picked up because he has a rash.  I have no idea why they waited until afternoon, maybe because it looked worse after waking from his nap, probably because the Claritin was wearing off.  I don’t know.  I tried to explain his skin sensitivities and the rashes and hives but they still wanted him picked up.  They said the only things he ate that was different was rice and black eyed peas.  The allergist has determined the triggers are not food related. A few minutes later they called back and informed me he needed to see a doctor before he would be allowed to go back.  The second call made me feel like they think I’m a bad mother – like I made light of a critical situation.

We’ve been dealing with this for a while now.  We’ve seen our sweet little baby covered head to toe in hives, we’ve slathered his little diaper parts in various creams to try and get rid of rashes that won’t disappear, we were the ones who comforted him when he got pneumonia from the constant nasal drip when the doctors kept telling us it was just a cold.  That is why I didn’t freak out about the rash on his face.  I understand they don’t know all this and they’re just looking out for his best interest, which I appreciate.  It’s just that even though he is the third child in our family, I still second guess most decisions I make, especially in the areas where I don’t have any expertise like medicine.  I don’t want to be the hypochondriac mother but at the same time, I don’t want to ignore his needs.  It’s always a fine line.

Nevertheless, Daddy took him to the doctors to see what was up.   The doctor agreed it’s just a rash because of his sensitivity.  As he was checking him out he found that the little Monkey has a small ear infection so he prescribed some antibiotics for that.  I guess the rash was a blessing in disguise.  He hasn’t had a fever and he hasn’t been pulling at his ears, so there was no way anyone could know.

I’m thankful for the way the day turned out even if it was frustrating and my motherly pride took a hit.  The thought that my little Monkey could be in pain without us knowing is just too sad.  I’m thankful for the daycare women who insisted we take our little guy to the doctors, even if it wasn’t for the reason they thought.  I’d like to think I would have caught on to the ear infection if he had been around me all day but I probably wouldn’t have unless he was showing more signs.

When I think of the saying that God works in mysterious ways, I think of situations like this.  I don’t believe he brings sickness to His children, but I do believe He can use a situation to whisper in someones ear to help us when we need it.

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