Family & Parenting · Funny story · Living Life

I’ve got morning madness, do you?

I’m all about celebrating my life’s little imperfections when I write. I see it as my way of getting my quirks, and inefficiencies out in the open where I can see them…and TAKE THEM DOWN! So, I have a new one to share with you today.  You’ve already heard about my laundry woes, and my garbage day tragedy. So today, I’m read to share with you, my daily morning madness.

It always seems to take ages for me to curate ideas to blog about. But, when an idea hits…it hits me hard.

So, here goes nothing.

Three days ago,  I pulled into my driveway, put the car in park, and applied my emergency brake.  I have to use the emergency brake, since our driveway is on such a steep slope.  As I released my hand off the brake, my eyes lingered across this little storage spot I have set aside for myself in my car.  Before I reached for the car door handle, I found myself laughing at myself…like, out loud.  So, I reached in my purse for my phone, and I took a picture of this little ‘storage container’ as a way to document the birth of a quirky blog post idea. At last! I had a new blog post idea, all I needed now was the right energy and head space to get the ideas to flow. It would take three more days, but I was lucky enough to find myself in a wee-predicament while on my way to work. An unexpected car-swap with my husband, catapulted this blog post into action.

Storage spot, you ask?

Yes, storage spot (snicker).

Be patient. I’ll get you there. I can’t make the explanation about my little storage spot the least bit understandable, unless I take a moment to share my MORNING MADNESS with you.

How many of you love waking up to a new day, so that you can take on the world and conquer all?!?! We are superheroes after all, right? Right.

Okay, I’ll be honest. I might feel more inclined to conquer the world if I didn’t lose a third of my total energy in the first 60 minutes of my day.

Our household’s relentless, morning routine is is nothing short of painful and helpless. We pretty much live out the motion picture, “Groundhog Day” routine every day, day-after-day.

Like many of you, rounding up kids and coaching them through morning routines occupies huge amounts of our time, and almost all of our mental energy (at least I hope it gets you too).

For me, it all starts with my 15-year old daughter. She has to be up, ready, and out the door for 7:25AM. It seems to be taking her the entire school year, to sort-out the appropriate wake-up time necessary for her to complete her routine. She has failed miserably in gauging the time it will take her to get out of bed, shower, get dressed, and execute her lengthy make-up routine (this becomes a pivotal point later).

Conveniently, she always seems to come up short in time, leaving-out breakfast and lunch preparations, so that I can do it…or opt to let her starve…which I have done. On occasion, she might even run so late that she needs a ride to her bus stop.  After a few missed bus incidents, she now knows she’s on her own, catching the city bus if every she misses the bus altogether. But I’ll tell you this about my teenager…she is squeaky clean, bright-eyed and stunning after her thorough beautifying routine. There are various stages in her morning routine, where you will find me hollering at her reminding her, that she needs to get up earlier to allow for the time she needs. I have also suggested that she trim down the number of duties for her ridiculous  routine. But seriously, we’ve been through this morning-glory about 112 times (wait, how many days of school have we had so far this year?).

SIDE NOTE: I would just like to thank some of you in advance for all of your helpful parenting advice (😬🤪), which you are likely to leave me in the comment section below.

Next comes my 11-year old son. He is lovely indeed. He’s got a heart of gold, and he’s one of the hardest working kids I know. However…he has significant difficulty with his short term memory. Perhaps some of you can relate to this at a very real level. My son does pretty well when he works off of a to-do list, but eventually he still needs me to spot-check on what stage he’s at (like every 5 minutes or so). I get pretty lucky if he’s had a good sleep and he’s not at his baseline mood of, Grizzly bear. At any rate, there’s plenty of mental energy I lose to facilitating his process every morning too.

Most of you at this point are thinking, yah-yah, we all go through it. Well, just you wait a minute, I’m not finished yet.  The third variable to my morning routine, is my 4-year son.

SIDE NOTE, again: Yes, I do realize you’ve all figured out the large gap between the 11 year old and the 4 year old (lol). It’s okay if you snickered or grinned once you thought about that.

Interestingly, my little guy provides the least amount of resistance (for now). Coupled with that, I do have very reasonable and realistic expectations of my 4-year old. This enables me to persevere through the coaching and support he requires (😬😕) at his stage of development.  I am trying some new tactics with my little man, hoping that he’s more self-sufficient than his older siblings by the time he is 6 years old (sigh 😔).

So the reality of me getting ready for work in the morning become almost laughable. In light of the relentless routine of monitoring and prompting my kids, I never have time to get myself 100% ready for work. Like my teenager, I always seem to come up short. Yes, I could wake up at 5:30 AM. However, I typically go to bed late, because of ‘homework’ I’ve got to prepare for work the next day. And to be perfectly honest, I insist on staying-up to have ME time, and hubby time, after all of my lovelies have gone to bed (😁).

I decided back in October, that waking up at 5:30AM was unacceptable and I wasn’t going to surrender to that reality. So instead, I decided I would move my morning make-up routine to the car. Each day, after I have survived the morning at the house, I hop into my car, drop-off the 4-year old at daycare, and head off to work. No, I do not do my make-up while driving. I pull into the parking lot, park the car, then proceed to ‘put my face on’. After that, I am ready to take-on the world!!  I march into work, cool-as-a-cucumber(😂🤣😂🤣😂)

Before I sign-off here, I just have to go back to the part of this story that propelled me into writing this post today.  It was that unexpected car-swap with my husband. On Friday, my husband wanted to drive my car for the day, since he had a long drive ahead of him and didn’t want to drive his…beater.  Of course I complied and was happy to let him drive the Rav for his 2-hour journey.  I hopped into the Nissan, I got to the first traffic light, and my heart skipped a little beat.  I looked down into the deep, empty, cavernous cup holder before me.  The Nissan cup holder did not house my make-up…only my Rav could do that.  I was off to work, with only the eyeliner and lip gloss in my purse. It was at this moment, I knew I was ready to write about my little make-up secret and the special little make-up storage space – my car cup holder.  There you have it!

Here is where you validate all of my insecurities about having such an inefficient morning routine, and you tell me you are exactly the same way!  Ready, set, go!

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Family & Parenting · Living Life · Writing

Where the heck do you buy garbage tags?

AD0C7797-6708-4E4B-A886-8E5DB1ADCF17Staying at my sister-in-laws for an extra night last week seemed like a “fab” idea at the time.  My three kids were having a great time with their cousins, aunts and uncles. The food was great, and we were all sharing stories and laughter with each other. Hey, this is what the holidays are all about, right?  Our family seldom has this opportunity to be together all at once. In fact, this Christmas was the first Christmas my husband’s family has all come together, in 8 years.  I do love my sister-in-laws.  Having grown-up with two older brothers, sisterhood evaded me. When we “sisters” get together, we all lose ourselves in laughter over the silly things we say,  gullible ways we react, and certainly to the cut-throat games of Scrabble.

I would just like to gloat for a moment, and announce right here on the Internet, that I beat my sister-in-law “K” for the very first time in 20 years! She is the Queen of Scrabble (insert, pat-on-the-back right here).  

So, after I was able to persuade my amazing neighbour, to look after our very anxious, yappy dog for an extra day…plans were in place to stay and extra night.

Okay, back to what I was sharing with you.  So, the next, day we decided to go shopping at the famous Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre.  I managed to do a bit of spending damage there. But truth be told, I hate shopping.  I especially hate shopping in trendy, massive, Toronto-ish shopping centres (I’m sure I just lost the respect of half of you right there).  Anyways, my 15-year old daughter is the polar opposite to me in this department.  And she was really struggling to understand why I wasn’t buying her EVERYTHING during these boxing week sales, having forgotten that I likely dumped a small fortune on Christmas presents for her and her two adorable younger brothers (lol).  Anyways, it was nice to be-out with my sister-in-laws, and watching the cousins spend time together in the real world.

That night, we ate delicious leftovers, again, sat down for long chats, sharing silly jokes, poking fun at each other for our various quirks, and just enjoying the brotherly-sisterly banter.  We watched a movie, and then settled down for bed.  Ahhhhhh! What a great decision to stay one more night.  Our kids were having a great time, and I just felt these were the kinds of memories you like your kids to build.

The only bummer to visiting family out of town is…the drive home.  The drive TO a vacation, or event, or visit; is always infused with anticipation, excitement, and yearning to have a great time. The time flies as you all talk about what you want to do when you get there, and you’re playing happy highway games, or chatting the time away.

On the way home however…you’re just over-tired, irritable, and fed-up with the long drive. And is it just me, or does it seem like someone has gotta pee, every 45 minutes? It is road trips like these where I come to regret our decision to settle for a 5-seater vehicle this summer, In order to dump our crummy Dodge Caravan.  Quite honestly, I completely love our Toyota Rav 4…except when all five of us have to travel in it (which is like, once a month).

I digress (as per usual).

At last, we turn-off to London.  We are so close to home, I can almost taste it.  I am so tired, and just looking forward to a quiet day or two.  All of the Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking, visiting, and socializing had finally caught up with me. We pulled into our neighbourhood, and in a matter seconds, I gasped!

NOOOOOO! We didn’t! Okay, maybe we didn’t.  Don’t give up hope yet, Heidi.  Let’s drive in a bit deeper. Maybe they haven’t made it all the way-round yet.  Afterall, post-Christmas GARBAGE DAY is slow going…surely.

We round a corner, and start down the next street.  Sure enough, I glance at the lane of up-ended garbage bins, standing like soldiers…all..the way…down to our street.

Sigh.

My worst nightmare. We…have missed the garbage day, after Christmas day.  But do you know what is even worse? It’s FRIDAY! FRIDAY, I said! Well, if you are reading this and you live in London, Ontario like I do.  You know all too well why this is a massive problem! Not only have I missed THE most important garbage day of the year. My most important garbage day, has landed on THE worst day of the week.  In London, we run on a 6-day collection cycle. When you have garbage on a Friday, you won’t have a garbage day the next week at all!  You have garbage day the following Monday!

As we make the turn onto my street, my head is spinning…it aches, and a complete feeling of defeat fills my body.  They have collected every last bin on our street.  And if that wasn’t enough, the recycling has been collected too.

I now know I’m heading into a brutal garbage-day-less week, with 3 bags of garbage in the garage already and 3 large recycling bins, full to the brim.  With 8 days until my next garbage day, I KNOW I’m gonna need a lot of garbage tags.  The other awesome feature of London’s 6-day collection cycle is the 3-bag limit.  Ahhhhh yes! I am pumped for the mountain of trash that will pile-up in the garage, and the clear recycling bags I will pull out for the recycling overflow.

It seems I am clearly on my way to winning the Domestic Goddess of the Year award.  Why is that you ask? Go back and check out my blog, Laundry Lunacy.

By the way, if you think I’m gonna tell ya how many bags I’m up to, with 3 days to go before garbage day…forget it.  It would be a colossal embarrassment to reveal that.  But, if you have a guess, comment below.

Thanks for reading!

🤪🤪🤪

 

 

 

 

Family & Parenting · Funny story · Living Life · Writing

Laundry Lunacy

47B50A46-DCA0-424C-B181-1C8AA1BA4E49Ah yes, I am over one week into my holiday vacation.  I have got nothing but time! I figure, surely I am capable of taking care of laundry duties…from start-to-finish!

Laundry tests my sanity, it really does.  I mean, who actually has the time to handle the laundry for a family of five? More often than not, I beat myself up over the inefficiency of our system (or lack thereof) around here.  But I am determined to get back on track and discipline all members of the house to uphold a better laundry system.  It’s okay, I’ve got this! I don’t have to go to work today, I don’t have to pick-up my daughter from practice, there’s no karate classes tonight…and the three year old is having a nap.  THIS…means business.

I stare at the tower of laundry before me.  What will it be today? Perhaps I will start with putting the three baskets of clothes away, which have sat neglected for over a week. Oh, fabulous, I can’t wait to REFOLD the picked-over and strewn-about clothes. Or, I could of course, high-step through the laundry room over the suitcase, over the 15-year old’s dumping after cleaning her bedroom, then through the mountain of towels collected over time (typically I set aside all towels for last).

I’m not sure how I get myself into these Laundry-Lunacy cycles.  I mean, how many lessons do you need on — wash, dry, fold, basket, deliver, and put away?  There are honestly times I just want to bang my head against a wall. And yes, I do get my kids involved in the process.  I consistently request for their help, remind them of their duty, remind them to stick to the job-at-hand, scream at them, “When I was your age!” and finally, I berate them into PUTTING  CLOTHES INTO THEIR DRESSER!

AHHHHHHHH!

Well… I. Will.Tell. You. Not only did I refold those three baskets of laundry…I also managed to deprive my kiddos of all fun for the day as we tackled five more loads of laundry. The eldest was to stay off of her phone until all towels were folded and put away. The 11-year-old was summoned to the mammoth collection of socks, teeming over the lip of the basket, and deprived from all YouTube-watching. My husband handled all lil-man clothes. Because, oh how I loathe the folding of size 3T clothes. It is endless!

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but we did in fact wash, dry, fold, basket…and put the laundry away.  For now, I have beaten the Laundry Lunacy this week. Now, let’s see how we do next week when school resumes and schedules are going full throttle.

I will take the small victory…thank you very much.

This is my first post in my effort to write weekly through, 2018. Small posts about the mundane things in life, or about matters that move me. Whichever way the wind blows 😁🖊📜

 

 

Funny story · Teaching & Working · Writing

GOOD GRIEF, What am I writing?

What a warm pleasure it is to be ‘home’ on my #WordPress blog, again straining to ignite my passion for writing. I do realize it has been the topic of the past couple of feeble attempts to write. Whatever it is I’ve been battling, I think I’m finally beginning to peel back some of the layers.

As a #teacher, I also maintain a teacher blog. It just so happens, that the blog I wrote and posted today blends nicely with some of the blunderings of every day life. In the post, you will see how I argue with myself as to whether or not the post is an #education post, or #life post.

At the end of it all, I recognize that life is all about wrestling with our hopes, dreams, goals, resolutions, etcetera, etcetera. I’m the kind of person that loves to envision things, but occasionally struggle to declare if that is officially a goal or not. When I name it a goal…that sets the ball rolling for plans and actions. I’m not afraid of that. Trust me. I just try not to commit to more than I can handle. It’s a hiccup of mine. Well fancy that, the name of my blog has seeped through the cracks here.

I thought about pasting the post from my teacher site…but perhaps I’ll link it instead. Come on over to visit. If you wanna see some incredibly perfect disastrous writing, you’ll wanna see this post.

Living Life · Writing

What does writing have to offer?

Blogging used to be ‘easy’ for me. I selected topics-with ease.

I gathered ideas – with ease. 

I found words – with ease. 

I drafted posts – with ease. 

I uploaded final products – with ease. 

No fear. 

No contemplation. 

No reservation. 

Somewhere it stopped. 

Likely for many different reasons. And even when I wanted to try again, I “couldn’t”. 

Until now. Now, I want the void to fill. 

With thoughts, ideas, feelings, and daily musings. 

Wish me luck. 

Oh yah…my passion for writing started with journaling. And so, this is how I’d like my return to writing, to resume. 

Here it goes!

Blog · Inspiration · Reading & Writing · Reflecting ~ Looking Back

I need to write

mac-keyboard-handsTwo years. It has been two years since I have written and posted a blog.  There are so many things I could say to address this void.  I could write about all the things I have done with my time. I could rationalize my reason for NOT writing. I could tell you how busy I’ve been as a mom, a teacher, a coach…I could tell you that I have a new 4-month old baby boy; so naturally, life has been a whirlwind.  BUT…I won’t.  Instead, I just need to write.

I have come to understand the role writing has in my life.  I have stopped insisting there needs to be an adequate purpose or topic to write about.  I have arrived at a more peaceful place, where I realize that I write because it’s a passion of mine. It is not an obligation I have, to those who might read my writing.  But most importantly, I have found my writing freedom.  Writing for me is a release, and my preferred method of expression.

Somewhere along the way, when this blog really started to pick up some traffic, and I had friends and colleagues telling me I should really give writing a go…I lost my voice.  I thought my writing needed to be perfect.  I thought I needed a perfect topic, one that would resonate with my audience.  I thought I needed a perfect title, one that would catch an audience.  I thought I needed the perfect lead, one that would hook my audience.  With these “needs”, writing became a chore, a stress, and an anxiety for me.  All of a sudden, I felt like my writing had to be something an aspiring published writer would produce in their novice years.  I have known for some time that I really just need to write.  It was high-time I get back in the saddle, but I just couldn’t get my leg up in the stirrup.

Writing is cathartic.  When I’m not so busy analyzing what I should write, could write, or ought to write…it’s liberating.  When I’m not generating a dozen questions about what will go into my writing, and what will not… it’s liberating.  When I’m not wondering what my readers will think, how they might comment, or if my post will reach new heights…it’s liberating.

So today, I finally took the leap.  I just need to write.  It’s that simple.  I love the feeling of my fingers hammering away at the keys.  I love how my brain is always ahead of my fingers, and I need to go back to add in the letters and words I omit.  I love the rush and excitement I feel, just knowing that I’m writing and getting my thoughts out in front of my eyes.  The exhilaration that comes over me, as I see the letters race out from behind the cursor.  I’m writing. And it feels good.  I write, because I need to write.

As I look back at a few of my blog posts, even those that are my favourites (Heart and SoulToday marks my fork in the…”Road Not Taken”, and What will I write about today?); I see ways they could have been better.  Better ways to express those thoughts come to mind now, and I smile.  Growth.  I’m okay with these changes I see.  I see the growth in my thinking, and I’m inspired and motivated to write again.  I’m excited. The relief comes over me, as the words leave my head, freeing up the space for new ideas. New writing.

There. I’ve done it. My foot hooked into the stirrup, and I’ve pulled myself up into the saddle. Now it’s time to ride.

I’m a writer again…and I don’t really care if you like it or not…because I’m writing for me.  I need to write.

#ilovetowrite  #writerwannabe  #blogger

Another good read:  The Differences Between Hobby & Professional Writers – See more at: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.ca/2010/09/differences-between-hobby-professional.html#sthash.RD9wNcZb.dpuf

Family & Parenting · Inspiration · Living Life · Teaching & Working · Wellness

JOY…is like getting a new puppy!

Aren’t we all drawn in and easily enamoured by all things…cute and adorable? Whenever I look into the eyes of a wee baby I can’t help but smile. But, it’s no ordinary smile. It’s that kind of smile that spontaneously explodes onto my face and cements there. Then there’s the emotion. I leap into joy; heart racing, blood pumping, “lost” in this world where my number one goal is to make the baby smile, or just respond to my crazy efforts. I think we can all connect to this experience, and this is what I call sheer JOY!

“Rocky” is our new 11-week old puppy. He’s a Schmorkie!

Then, there is that joy that comes when you bring home a new puppy!  In their first days, so cute, warm, sleepy, and loveable. Bringing me to the true inspiration for this post. Last week, we brought home a new puppy.  “Rocky” is our 11-week old Schmorkie.  You heard it right…a Schmorkie.  A Schmorkie is a hybrid breed crossing a Miniature Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese.  As you can see, he is truly adorable.  My nine-year old daughter has been begging us to have a dog for 7 years (she reports).  She has gripped on to the hope and dream of having a dog, much like a talented young Canadian boy hopes and dreams to make it to the National Hockey League.  Dogs bring joy into peoples lives.  Any dog-lover would confirm this.  Dogs are loyal and evolve into these companions that we, the dog lover get swooned and drawn into.  Dogs become your companion, playmate, friend, and part of your support network.  I can see that Rocky is well on his way to doing all these things for us.  He brings joy and excitement into our home everyday.  We are all thrilled to have him…and once trained…we will love him unconditionally (lol).

Joy is by far my favourite human emotion. Joy gives me such a positive,overwhelming feeling.  Not the kind of overwhelming feeling that come with stress. Joy takes over my body, mind and spirit leaving everything else on the OUTSIDE, where I can’t see it all for a while. Perhaps Joy can be better explained through an example. Family time at the beach is truly my  favourite thing to do…experience…I can’t find the words to say how wonderful it is. I don’t love the beach because I love to sunbathe, or swim in one of our splendid Great Lakes. It’s because, being at the beach with my hubby and our kids feels like a romantic and exhilarating retreat all-in-one!

We love to visit Port Stanley, Ontario once a week throughout the summer. Lake Erie is one of three Great Lakes Ontarians love to visit when hitting the beach.

The moment we arrive at the beach my body begins to change. As the kids burst with excitement, I can’t help but smile and join-in showing the same childlike thrill. We run along the shore, have races on the sandbar, and tow the kids through the deeper filling their gullies with water. Getting started it perhaps the best part. I race to the trunk of the car, frantically rummaging through all of our gear trying to find a way to take it all in one trip. All four of us load-up and we scurry down to the sand and water. Everyone is talking, giggling and planning what we’re going to build, dig-up, swim out to, and play. Everyone is a kid again.
This sensation is called…living in the moment. Another on of my favourite states to be in. Within five minutes of being at the beach, my mind and body surrender to these future moments right here…in the moment…at the beach. Gone, are all thoughts about work, house renovations, errands to be done, registrations to complete, bills to pay, things that just aren’t right, people I’m upset with and what to do about it, or all the things the kids need for this and that. All those thoughts rinse away with the waves that roll-up on the Great Lakes shore, and then pulled back out into the open water. Now, I’m actually living in the moment. When the kids begin digging to start their sandcastle I can really see them, when they laugh I can really hear them, when I jump in to pack the sand down I’m really there…playing with them. I become overwhelmed with a feeling of joy. I can’t stop smiling, and everything just feels…right.
Summer fun is wonderful! I used to get irritated by fellow teachers who seemed to clearly be in the profession because of the summers off. But as a mom and hard working teacher, I too have come to love my summers off. This is when I come alive and live in the moment. We don’t have to wait for moments of joy. The beach doesn’t come to us. We should all go out to find the joy we want.  We prepare what we need, pack-up, and drive to the beach. We’re creating these moments of joy.